eli5: How is it that ancient civilizations were able to get huge amounts of gold without today’s technology and equipment?

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eli5: How is it that ancient civilizations were able to get huge amounts of gold without today’s technology and equipment?

In: Engineering
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Really the same way the Egyptians were able to build the pyramids. Partly ingenuity, and partly having a HUGE unpaid workforce (slavery). Unlimited manpower can accomplish a lot.

Gold is a soft metal with a low melting point, making it an easy metal to purify.

They would use slave labor to mine gold, and blacksmiths or goldsmiths would melt it down and purify it for use

Much of the gold that was easy to access has already been mined. What’s left is gold that is deep in the ground, in very remote places, or where simpler technology was unable to access it. So we need to develop new technologies or take significant risks to keep mining gold.