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.

Tesoro de Villena

In 1963, in the Spanish town  of Villena  a, jeweler  admired a similar bracelet on the arm of  on a young gypsy woman , When he examined the heavy cuff  more closely, he saw that it was pure solid and heavy gold, weighing a pound.  He summoned the director of Villena’s museum of archaeology, Jose Maria Soler to investigate.  The woman told him that her husband had found it in a pile of sand being used to mix concrete. A month later another gypsy woman was seen wearing a similar bracelet.

She insisted it was a family treasure but when Soler examined her ”heirloom” he saw that like the other bracelet, it bore fresh traces of soil. Believing the gypsies had accidentally uncovered a prehistoric find, the archaeologist obtained legal permission to confiscate both pieces until their origin could be determined. Soon after, the husband of the second gypsy, confessed he had found both while working a gravel quarry and volunteered to help the archaeologists.

Soler and his team began to dig—but no luck.  One day, when they were about to give up for the day,  one of the men discovered yet  another heavy gold bracelet which was soon followed by a huge pottery jar filled to the brim with gold.

An  inventory of the jar revealed an impressive haul: sixty eight separate pieces including five flagons, twenty-eight bracelets and two sword handles. The total weight of the gold treasure was over twenty-two pounds, the heaviest yet unearthed. One bracelet alone weighed more than a pound. The jar had been so skillfully packed that not an inch of space was wasted. This fact, plus the great depth suggests that it was a king’s treasure which had been buried for safekeeping. Evidence of fire in the soil around the spot indicated that a building once stood there, perhaps a royal palace which was set ablaze in the course of a battle.

The question is, what king? Soler theorized it was one of the petty rulers in southern Spain during the late Bronze Age and that, like other kings, he had his own private army and goldsmith According to Homer, Mycenaean kings (of the same period) ate from dishes of silver and gold.  The golden bowls and flagons were probably royal tableware.

Christie’s London May, 2013 This magnificent Celto-Iberian bracelet estimated at $60,000-90,000 was the star lot, selling for ten times estimate at $804,780! 

Found in Portalegre in Portugal, it is probably the only example of its type still in private hands. A similar piece was found in nearby Estremoz and  is now in the National Museum of Madrid. This type of bracelet reflects  the technological changes that occurred at the beginning of the Iron Age, -Tools made: new, high-temperature furnaces designed for iron production made it easier to melt large amounts of gold, and tools made of iron were sharper, more precise, and more durable than those of copper alloy with the new and sharper iron tools.


Treasure of Villena

The Treasure of Villena (in Spanish Tesoro de Villena) is one of the greatest hoard finds of gold of the European Bronze Age. It comprises 59 objects made of gold, silver, iron and amber with a total weight of almost 10 kilos, 9 of them of 23.5 carat gold. This makes it the most important find of prehistoric gold in the Iberian Peninsula and second in Europe, just behind that from the Royal Graves in Mycenae, Greece.

The iron pieces are the oldest found in the Iberian Peninsula and correspond to a stage in which iron was considered to be a precious metal, and so was hoarded. The gold pieces include eleven bowls, three bottles and 28 bracelets.

The hoard was found in December 1963 by archaeologist José María Soler 5 km from Villena, and since then has been the main attraction of Villena's Archaeological Museum. Its discovery was published in most of the Spanish media and also some abroad, mainly in France, Germany and the United States of America. It has been exhibited in Madrid, Alicante, Tokyo and Kyoto, and now there are two sets of copies of the whole treasure to be shown in exhibitions while the originals are permanently conserved in an armoured showcase at Villena's Archaeological Museum.