Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The gold myth surrounding King Midas

The legend of how Dionysus granted King Midas wish to turn everything he touched into gold is well known and almost proverbial, highlighting the immense wealth of this Phrygian king who lived in the late 8th century BC.

Strangely enough, archaeologists never were able to find much of that gold when excavating the site of Gordion and the surrounding area. So, was it all myth?

Recently, scholars may have found a plausible answer when they investigated the clothes of Gordion’s elite population. Some of the fabrics used were coated with goethite, an iron-bearing hydroxide mineral found in the soil. A definite proof was found in the royal tomb attributed to Gordias, the father of King Midas. His shroud had been dyed with goethite, giving the impression that it was woven from gold.

Goethite was known as a paint pigment long before King Midas days and was used as early as in the paintings of the Paleolithic Caves of Lascaux in France. Applied on the fabrics, it produces a golden shine.

Rather than referring to the production of gold artifacts, Midas’ golden touch may very well refer to this clothing fashion instead.

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