Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Gold Series: The Golden Sun

For many ancient civilizations, the sun was worshiped as only a god could be – praised and revered as the bringer of life. No civilization placed the sun in higher esteem than the Ancient Egyptians. It is then no surprise that the Egyptians, above all others, are associated with gold – the closest representative of the sun on Earth.

For the Egyptians, gold was considered the very flesh of the gods and only the Kings could adorn themselves in its sheen. Never tarnishing or degrading, gold was used extensively in statues and funerary masks - the most famous being the solid gold mask of Tutankhamen (seen to the right).

Linked to the concept of eternity, gold took center stage in the funeral chambers of the royal family and other wealthy Egyptians.

When Tutankhamen died in 1350 B.C., everything the boy king might need in the afterlife was buried with him: chariots, chests, a throne, crowns, collars, amulets, charms, and even the walls were worked exquisitely in gold. In order to provide the vast quantity of gold required for such extravagant accommodations, more then 4,000 Egyptian slaves were forced to extract gold from the hills, while hundreds more searched the ancient world looking for more.

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