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The History of Mining: The events, technology and people involved in the industry that forged the modern world by Michael Coulson

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9. Gold, Silver and the Spanish Conquistadors

One of the most wide-reaching events in the Middle Ages as far as metals and mining are concerned was the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in Latin America. If the Middle Ages ended with the Reformation and the dislocation that ensued, its golden time was surely the Renaissance when art and culture began to blossom – the first indications of an economic revolution to come were seen in the form of the futuristic sketchings of Leonardo de Vinci.

The Spanish certainly were inspired by the atmosphere of the Renaissance to sail out into the Atlantic, pushing west in the hope of finding a route to the east – in particular India and China – where riches in the form of spices, not to mention gold, ...

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