Historical records of the Golden Horn, so named in antiquity because of its shape, were examined to construct the pollution history of the area and to find out the past and present-day entries of pollutants and hence the impact of man. The pollution level of the Golden Horn by metals is presented by comparison which the continental soil and two other polluted water bodies: Savannah River Estuary and Narragansett Bay. Metals are distinguished as crustal and anthropogenic according to their enrichment factors. Information on how pollution level changes in time was shown using the concentration profiles of the elements between years 1913 and 1988. Li, Na, K, Rb, Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, AI, La, Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Co and P in the Golden Horn sediments are in levels comparable with those in continental soil. Cd, Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ag, Pb, Mo, Ca, Sr, on the other hand, displayed enrichment through the surface strata. Elements were further grouped using factor analysis. As a result, an anthropogenic component, whose origin is mainly domestic, two crustal components, and a sea-salt component were found to be the main constituents of the Golden Horn sediments.