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Cover thumbnail for Balkans: Ancient period Balkans: Ancient period

The Balkans was an important source of gold from a very early period, and some of the oldest gold jewelry is found there. The local nobility admired gold jewelry and were buried with as much of it as possible. The Greeks sailed across the Black Sea to trade with them and established a few colonies. Greek artists created treasures from the local gold, and the Romans sent their troops to bring back more. Trajan was successful in defeating the fierce local warriors and brought tons of gold back to Rome, gold which financed his gigantic building projects in Rome.

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