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Gold

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Gold was used in Egypt throughout its history. The precious metal occurred in many places in the eastern desert between the Nile and the Red Sea, in particular between Qena and Quseir and on the border with the Sudan. The greater part of the area in question lay in Nubia, and it is assumed that the name of this area is derived from the ancient Egyptian word for gold, 'nub'. In the Egyptian Museum in Turin is a papyrus dating from the New Kingdom which shows a map of the Wadi el-Faw√Ękhir, an area in the Wadi Hammamat in the eastern desert where gold was found. Egyptian texts differentiate between different types of gold, based on the various places it was found. The most important are the gold of Koptos, the gold of Wawat and the gold of Kush. Exquisite objects were made by hammering the gold, or by melting it (the melting point is 1063( C) and pouring it into a mould. The best known are the many gold objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun, which are not only priceless from an archaeological point of view. The gold of the famous golden sarcophagus of this pharaoh, for example, which weighs more than 110 kilos, would at today's prices be worth more than $1 million. Although the treasures of Tutankhamun are the best known, many other gold objects have been found in Egypt from all periods. Time and again they prove that the goldsmiths were able to achieve a high degree of perfection in the working of gold. In addition to gold objects, some of them solid gold, numerous pieces of furniture and objects of other materials have been found which were once covered in gold leaf. This was made by pounding the gold with stone or wood hammers until thin sheets were created, sometimes as thin as 0.01 mm or less.

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GOLD