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.

Treasures of the Sarmatians: Dagger and Ornamental Sheath

Date of interment: last quarter of the 1st century AD
Gold, turquoise, sard, iron
Azov Museum of History, Archaeology and Paleontology

Gold – the Hot Commodity of 2013 and 500 B.C.


With Interest in the Precious Metal High, Art Expert Examines Its Past

If ever gold was precious, it’s now.

“Gold has remained at or near record high prices, even while the value of other commodities falls,” notes art expert Terry Stanfill, author of Realms of Gold: Ritual to Romance (, a book that blends factual ancient art and history with modern, fictional romance.

“This past summer, we were all about the gold – our athletes’ gold medals, which, by the way, had the highest value of any Olympic gold medals in history at $708.”

More than two-thirds of the world’s gold demand is for jewelry, she says, of which the United States is the third-largest consumer, behind India and China.

But Stanfill, who studies ancient gold artifacts and weaves them into her newest novel, says we are hardly the first to become enamored of the rare yellow metal.

“The first discoverers of gold were prehistoric, well before the civilizations of the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Sumerians,” she says. But gold soon attracted the admiration of the rich and royal, and since then, kings and emperors, explorers, pirates, and thieves.

“Gold figures prominently in the art and currency of the ancient European civilizations I research. It’s one of the most enduring metals, by every definition of the word,” Stanfill says. “Because of that, the gold jewelry, shoes, vessels and other artifacts unearthed by archaeologistscontinue to tell their stories centuries later.”

Stanfill shares some other precious golden nuggets:

• Jason and the Golden Fleece, myth or reality? Roman historian, Strabo(1st century B.C.) wrote about villages by the Kuban River in the 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. It’s very possible Jason and 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.

• Why so popular for so long? One of the reasons gold has been valued since prehistoric times is, frankly, its beauty. The gleaming yellow metal has a color and brilliance unmatched in the mineral world. Another reason is that the world has precious little of it. In all of history, just less than 364 million pounds have been mined. Only 5.5 million pounds a year are mined now.

• The stuff of classic fashion. Evidence of ancient art in contemporary architecture, sculpture and other designs is all around us. But nowhere is it as surprising to see as in modern jewelry. Choker-style necklaces made of rigid metal, so populartoday, date back to the 8th century B.C. They were a multi-cultural phenomenon, worn in some societies by men and in others by women. For the Celts, they were a symbol of strength and power, and ancient Celts were often identified by the torques they wore not only around their necks but around their waists and wrists (bracelets!)

Even as modern society hoards gold as a hedge against the volatile world economy and watches as the price per ounce rises and dips, Stanfill says the true value, for her, is in its history.

“Some of mankind’s most beautiful artwork – his very best efforts – were created from gold, and they endure today,” she says. “Without gold, we might not know the status of people found in ancient tombs, and we would not have the vast collection of centuries old artworks that we do today.

“The value of gold that never changes is in how it allows the ancients to communicate with us.” New Book Releases Introduces Realms of Gold

Art expert offers her new theory about Camelot in new romantic suspensethriller

By: Sarah Hearn

Planning already is underway to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22. Commemorative events in Dallas and in churches across the country are being organized. TV host Bill O’Reilly releases a new book, "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot," this fall, and a feature movie, “Parkland,” is planned for release next fall.

“As people ponder the legacy of President Kennedy and his ‘Camelot,’ it’s a good time to revisit the original Camelot of King Arthur legend, and I have compelling new evidence about where it may have been located,” says art expert Terry Stanfill, author of Realms of Gold: Ritual to Romance,, a novel of ancient history and modern romance that posits her new theory about Camelot.

In 1953 archaeologists near Châtillon-sur-Seine., France discovered a massive bronze krater in the grave of a Celtic woman. Although the Krater was discovered in Burgundy, it was cast in Southern Italy circa 510 B.C. and made its way to Vix, a village at the foot Mont Lassois, once Latisco, an important Celtic trading citadel. Bianca Evans Caldwell, a writer for a New York art magazine, came upon the Krater accidentally and becomes obsessed with the great vessel and with the princess-priestess buried with it. Since then, Bianca has returned to the museum in Châtillon-sur-Seine six times to admire the Krater of Vix.

It is July, 2007, and Bianca finds herself in Venice for a family wedding, where she meets Giovanni de Serlo, an Italian archaeologist. Neither Bianca nor Giovanni wanted to attend the wedding but they both felt a family obligation to be there and soon become friends. After the weekend Bianca returns to New York City, Giovanni to Puglia, where he is working on an excavation.

When Bianca enters her apartment she finds it has been ransacked, although nothing seems to have been stolen. She finds a strange symbol written on a scrap of paper in her kitchen, and learns that it might be a Mafia warning. After more frightening and puzzling occurrences Bianca decides she must leave New York. She flees to Italy to visit Giovanni, who had promised to drive her to Calabria to see the site of the no longer existing Sybaris, in ancient times a city notorious for its wealth and luxurious living. At Sybaris, Giovanni shows her his secret find in an old farmhouse, a discovery which startles Bianca.

Giovanni and Bianca learn that they might now be in danger if they remain, and decide that they will make the journey from Sybaris to Châtillon-sur-Seine, Burgundy, following the ancient route of the Krater.

As the story unfolds Bianca begins to write about the Krater, how, why and with whom it made its journey from the south of Italy to be buried in the earth of Vix.

When they arrive in Châtillon-sur-Seine they learn of yet another remarkable recent discovery atop Mont Lassois. Bianca's intuitive conclusion of what the Krater meant to the ancient Celts, and its connection and significance to Arthurian legend is bonds the two together in a romance that will be forever.

“The Arthurian legend is so ancient, and yet it has been one of the most enduring interests in Western civilization,” she says. “It’s exciting to think that after all of these centuries, we have a strong case for a real Camelot.”

Educated in Medieval history, Stanfill has traveled extensively through Asia and Europe,
particularly France and Italy, and researched the art and artifacts. She offers this primer on King Arthur, including her own surprising theory about the true location of the original Camelot.

Treasures of the Sarmatians: Diadem

 Sarmatian Gold Diadem with Garnet, Glass, Almandine, Pearls, and Turquoise; From the Khokhlach Burial Mound  (1st century AD, Hermitage Museum).

Gold, garnet, glass, almandine, pearl, turquoise, 1st century C.E.
H. 15 cm.; L. 61 cm.

The diadem consists of three hinged parts, the whole surface inlaid with garnet and glass. In the center is an amethyst bust of a woman wearing a tunic and crowned with a gold wreath inlaid with almandine. The upper edge of the diadem is decorated with a figurative frieze representing a ritual scene of sacred animals processing towards the Tree of Life. The lower edge is decorated with pendants bearing rosettes rimmed with gold beads, pearls and small plaques.

This diadem is a typical example of the eclectic art which combed both Classical features and elements of Sarmatian art. It was intended for ritual use and was associated with the cult of fertility.