The images you'll see as you scroll down to the current text are all part of the story telling in my novel, Realms of Gold:Ritual to Romance.


Bianca Caldwell, pen name, Bianca Fiore, is a writer for an art magazine. In each of her monthly stories she describes an object used in ancient ritual.

Gold Torques or Necklaces

 From the area of the Golden Fleece, the Kuban, Circa 6th century B.C. 






Modern gold torque circa 1971 by the American designer, Mary McFadden.



FROM THE KUBAN, LAND OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE

In the steppes north of the Black Sea. These finds testified to the existence of close connections between Olbia (in the storyline of Realms of Gold and the natives) as early as the sixth Century B.C.

Diadem in the shape of a broad band ornamented with flowers and rosettes alternating with figurines of birds. There is an amber inlay in the central rosette. The band has wire loops at the ends.

Gold. 66.8 cm. long, 7.2 cm. wide; Kelermes--Kuban .VII-VI c. B.C.
The first discoverers of gold were prehistoric, well before the civilizations of the Pharaohs of Egypt, and the Sumerians. But gold soon attracted the admiration of the rich and royal, and since then, kings and emperors, explorers, pirates, and thieves have been associated with this precious metal, perhaps more precious than ever at this very time in our history.

The legend of Jason and the Argonaut, and the search for the Golden Fleece is an example of reality evolving into myth. The Roman historian, Strabo(1st century B.C.) writes about these villages by the Kuban River in Ukraine, where gold collectors used sheepskins to trap the fine gold particles in the rivers and streams flowing from the Caucasus Mountains. The skins could then be dried and beaten to shake out the gold dust. This practice continued well into the 20th century. I think we can safely conclude that the Argonauts sailed to Colchis, a kingdom on the Black Sea, searching for gold. They most likely heard about this wondrous process from other seafarers and traders.

The Greeks and Etruscans traded with the Celtic tribes along the Rhone and its tributaries, and from archaeological remains we know they were very much influenced by Hellenic and Etruscan cultures. Homer's date is circa 800 B.C, contemporary with the Celts of Latisco, now Mont Lassois. I often envision these Celts sitting rapt around their fires, listening to the bards of the Hellenes, reciting their tales of Jason and the Argonauts as they built their ships, preparing to set out to find the Golden Fleece,

'Realms of Gold' Offers Unusual Twist on Arthurian Legend

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire -08/20/12)- In her new novel, "Realms of Gold: Ritual to Romance," author Terry Stanfill uses her extensive knowledge of medieval art and history to explore her theory about the origins of King Arthur's Camelot and the Grail.

"Many scholars of Arthurian legend believe that, if there was really a Camelot, it was in England," Stanfill says. "I've found compelling evidence that there was a Camelot -- in France! And I believe the Grail of legend was found nearby, in a grave."

A world traveler intimately familiar with France and Italy, Stanfill employs real-life archaeological discoveries and ancient history in a plot about an unlikely modern romance. The protagonist is Bianca Caldwell, a single young woman who writes for a New York art magazine. Her gift is a powerful imagination and intuition.

On a trip to Venice, Italy, for a wedding, she meets handsome archaeologist Giovanni Di Serlo, who's in no mood for a relationship. The couple nevertheless embark on a journey through time and geography, following the ancient trail of an enormous bronze vessel known as the Krater of Vix.

"In real life, this vessel was found in 1953 in a grave near Mont Lassois, France, where archaeologists unearthed a hilltop fortress in 2007," Stanfill says. "I believe that fortress was Camelot, and that the Krater is the Grail -- krater is a Greek word that evolved into the word 'grail.'

"Add to that, Mont Lassois is near Avallon, another important place name in Arthurian legend."

Arthur Riothamus, King of the Britons, (a real historical figure in the mid-400s A.D.), was known to have spent time in France and died in Avallon following a battle.

Erik T. Haskell, professor of French Studies & Humanities at Scripps College, Claremont University Center, was enchanted with "Realms of Gold."

"The novel is a masterful tapestry of human aspirations and enterprises, of science and intuition, revealing the author's profound understanding of the past and her visionary re-crafting of it that leads to the story's romantic -- and historically surprising -- revelation," he wrote.

About Terry Stanfill

Terry Stanfill is an Overseer of the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif., former international representative for Christie's auction house and former director of Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif. Stanfill is married to Dennis Stanfill, former CEO of 20th Century Fox and MGM Studios.

Mold Gold Cape

The Mold Cape is a solid sheet-gold object dating from about 1900-1600 BC in the European Bronze Age. It was found at Mold in Flintshire, Wales, in 1833. The cape is thought to have formed part of a ceremonial dress, perhaps with religious connections. It is currently housed at the British Museum in London.




The cape is considered to be one of the most spectacular examples of prehistoric sheet-gold working yet discovered. It is of particular interest as both its form and its design are unparalleled






The decorative motifs of The Mold Cape 

 Around the neck and base are a line of perforations. There are three zones of decoration on the cape: a band running around the base, a curving panel which dips at the neck and rises over the shoulders, and two matching panels to fill in the upper arm area.

Musée des Antiquitées Nationales Saint-Germain-en-Laye , Paris: Gold Cone


This strange object was discovered in Avanton, on the Rhohe, about 197 miles from Vix and the grave of the Lady of Vix. 




On our way to Vix we stopped in Paris to have a look at ancient antiquities found in the area around the Rhone River. I bought this postcard in the Museum shop. 

This strange, fascinating gold cone is an extremely rare object The cone was discovered in poor condition and has undergone major restoration. It measures 5 cm high (about 25 inches). The restoration reveals a circular pattern, and designs which are probably symbols of the sun. This rare "cone" is dated between 800-1400 B.C the later Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron Age, and the emergence of the early Celtic Hallstatt tribes. Some experts believe that the "cone" was worn as high headdresses in religious and secular ritual ceremonies. I describe a cone like this in my novel Realms of Gold. However, I imagined it impaled on a long birch pole and carried in procession in a ritual ceremony.