The Search for Gold, Cadair Idris, Wales.
There was hard economic logic to Rome’s actions. Britain promised, wealth and raw materials. Mining became one of the most prosperous activities in Roman Britain. Britain was known to be rich in resources such as copper, gold, iron, lead, salt, silver, and tin. Perhaps this abundance of mineral resources helped fuelled the Roman conquest of Britain. The mining of tin here and the curiosity as to its origins brought the first traveller from the Mediterranean world Pytheas and gave us the first written accounts of these islands.
Wales seems to have had rich mines of gold, lead and copper. The gold mine at Dolaucothi was discovered soon after the invasion.
I imagine that small teams of prospectors were sent on scouting parties into the newly conquered territories to find the source of the native gold, and perhaps more places to mine. On top of the magnificent Cadair Idris in mid Wales I imagined these scouts glimpsing, in a break in the cloud, the gold colour as light strikes the sheer rock face above Llyn Cau, excitedly scrambling on, to view the hidden lake. This secret lake, hidden away in this alien land, reminded me too of the legendary sacred lake where great offerings of gold were made according to the El Dorado legend. Perhaps this parallel isn’t so fanciful as Britons had been making offerings of precious metals into water for centuries.