Here’s a well written and interesting article on historical gold mining, and gold as a commodity/monetary system. Check out this article from GainsvilleCoins.com.
From there site: The ancient Romans’ feats of engineering, technological advancement, and mankind’s general conquest over nature through agriculture and construction were truly remarkable for their time.
This same spirit of ingenuity and engineering prowess has animated Americans since at least the early stages of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. In various forms, this entrepreneurial drive still exists in the United States to this day. As the leading power of the Western world, America and its Northern European founders inherited this legacy from the Romans, along with many of its civic, legal, and cultural foundations.