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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in
Ancient Egypt

Gold earring

Diameter: 2.300 cm (exterior)

EA 54459

Gold earring

From: Tomb no. 56, Valley of the Kings, Thebes
Date: around 1200-1186 BC

Gold was very special and magical to the ancient Egyptians. They thought it meant everlasting life, because even if gold is dug up after 5000 years it still looks new. Most of the gold mines were in Nubia, to the south of Egypt in the desert mountains. Many people died of thirst trying to get there. And even if they did make it, they had a hard time digging out the rock, crushing it and then washing it to get the gold out. Then it had to be carried on the long journey back to the Nile Valley.

However, once home, skilled goldsmiths would make it into beautiful objects like statues, jewellery and amulets. This earring, which belonged to Queen Tawosret, has her name engraved on it in hieroglyphs.