How and when did gold achieve its cultural role? My assumption is that before some point there is no evidence for a human affinity for gold— and then there is. What happened?

Do any other species demonstrate an analogous affinity for this element?

I am not asking why gold had value to ancient or prehistoric peoples.

  • 1
    You're asking "how" gold achieved its cultural role, but you don't want to know "why" gold had value? I'm not sure what hair you're trying to split here.
    – Joe
    Nov 24, 2015 at 18:18
  • @Joe, considering this is prehistory any "why" would likely be highly subjective and drawn from secondary/tertiary sources or even the brash speculation of the question answerer. Hence, it is not very useful compared to the when or how. Nov 24, 2015 at 20:02
  • This question would be difficult indeed- perhaps a bounty is in order? Nov 24, 2015 at 20:02
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    How (and when) did whale bone achieve its cultural role (in Inuit culture). In other words, in which culture(s) do you refer? Gold does not have worldwide cultural significance, no matter how much you may wish to believe.
    – CGCampbell
    Nov 24, 2015 at 20:12
  • How could I make it clearer that I am not asking why ancient or prehistoric peoples valued gold? I am asking when this happened(@CGCampbell I'd love to know when this affinity arose in different place) and how it happened. Nov 25, 2015 at 2:48


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