By Mehmet Kurtkaya
Published online on November 14, 2016 (Updated May 30, 2017)
The oldest gold ornaments in history were found in Royal Tombs of Ur, dating back to third millennium BC. Gold had a special place in their culture.
The Sumerian Bull head, as part of a Sumerian lyre, is made of gold and lapis lazuli. Bull represented Sky god An and Sun god Ut in Sumer. So, gold was used for the Sun and blue-colored lapis lazuli for the Sky.
Sumerians were expert metal workers, yet there are no gold mines in the area, neither silver. How did this happen?
They may have traded with others, but what about the expertise of working metals? Where did they acquire it from?
When we wonder about the origins of the metals they used, we should also be looking at the origins of the gemstones like lapis lazuli and carnelian. We know for sure that lapis lazuli came from Eastern Afghanistan. Carnelian was used in the Indus valley, and Sumerians had extensive relations with the Indus valley. Meghara and Mojendro Daro civilizations are near the Indus Valley. So, the gemstones came from near Central Asia, the historic heartland of Turks.
What about the metals?
We know copper came from the Gur (misnamed Hurrian) people residing in Anatolia (Turkey). Their vocabulary relating to copper is from the Gur language (Hurrian).
What about Sumerian gold?
We know how central gold is to Turkic ornaments in Siberia and Central Asia, albeit from finds dated at a later period.
Gold as a durable, malleable, non-oxidizing, shiny metal is the best symbol for the sun, the source of energy and life on earth.
Turks are historically known as expert metal workers, both as weapon makers and as goldsmiths (Note that Turkish word for gold, altin is almost the same as the word golden). The current Turkish finds go back about 3,000 years. During the iron age, Turks were top iron workers too. Examples of Turkic gold ornaments are plenty, like The Man with a Golden Dress and Scythian finds in Pazyryk Kurgan located in Siberia near Altai mountains.
Sumerian Gold may have come from India, Turkey, or Iran.
Silver was used as money for exchanging goods and labor!
Sumerians used silver for its weight, and they called it shekel. For example, 1 shekel equals one 1 gur of barley. Where did the silver come from? Iraq, where Sumer civilization flourished, has two neighbors, Turkey and Iran, as potential sources.
Also See: Presentation by Gunnar Heinsohn in 2009: Comparing Sumerian and Scythian civilizations with pictures of beautiful gold-made artwork (Scythians are largely Turkic, mixing with Iranian/Indo-European populations in some regions):
Scythian and Sumerian gold artifacts Note: The presentation itself, including its main premise, is erroneous. However, it is good for Sumerian and Scythian gold artwork comparison. (Scythians are largely Turkic, mixing with Iranian/Indo European populations in some regions.)