Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

ECWG Virtual Meeting: Amalgamation and Small-Scale Gold Mining at Ancient Sardis, Turkey by Dr. William E. Brooks

September 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

gold coins

Explorers Club Members, Associates/Friends, Members’ Guests and Non-Members’ Guest List You are cordially invited to the September 2020 ECWG virtual via Zoom.

About the Presentation

Amalgamation is widely used today in small-scale alluvial gold mines around the world and this method is key to understanding alluvial gold mining in the past that would have similarly utilized gravity separation of gold combined with mercury amalgamation. It is a rudimentary process that begins with washing the gold-bearing sediment to obtain a gold-bearing pan concentrate; then adding mercury to amalgamate the gold; then removing the gold-mercury amalgam; and finally, burning the amalgam to volatilize the mercury leaving the gold.

In the ancient world gold was mined mainly from alluvial occurrences using gravity Ancient Sardis, Turkey. Archaeological methods combined with the use of mercury (amalgamation), a method that is still used today in small-scale alluvial gold mines worldwide. Cyanide, which was first used in the 1880s, is used in large-scale hard rock mines to recover gold, silver, copper, and other metals from porphyry and disseminated ore deposits.

Dr. Brooks’ career has led him to unique locations all over the world. His intensive research has unearthed evidence of how gold was mined in ancient times.

About our speaker

Dr. William E. Brooks

William E. Brooks obtained his PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle. He is retired from the US Geological Survey where he published maps and mineral resource studies on field areas in New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. He also worked on international mineral resource studies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Belize, Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador. He translated Georg Petersen’s Mining and Metallurgy in Ancient Peru from Spanish to English as a part of his new career track in geoarchaeology. Publication of this book led to a field study of ancient gold mining at Sardis, Turkey.

Dr. Brooks objective is to apply his domestic and international research and mapping experience in volcanic terrain and mineral resources to mapping, minerals exploration, and research projects.

How to Attend

This presentation will be given on the Zoom platform. Access will be mailed to all members. For help using Zoom please see this post: 

Zoom Meeting Instructions


September 26
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm