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What color is associated with Egypt?

Egypt is strongly associated with the color gold. This association stems from ancient Egyptian culture and remains prevalent today. Gold symbolized wealth, status, and divinity to the ancient Egyptians. Many Pharaohs and nobles were buried with gold artifacts reflecting their high social standing. Temples and statues were also adorned with gold decorations. The association between Egypt and gold continues in modern times. Egypt’s flag features a golden eagle, representing the historic Golden Age of the pharaohs. Egypt is also sometimes nicknamed “the Land of Gold”.

Ancient Egyptian Use of Gold

In ancient Egypt, gold was considered the skin of the gods and a symbol of eternity. It was valued for its rarity, durability, and natural shine. Gold artifacts dating back over 5,000 years have been discovered in Egypt. The ancient Egyptians obtained their gold through trade with Nubia, which had its own gold mines. They used advanced methods of goldsmithing and metallurgy for the time period to craft gold jewelry, funerary equipment, and decorations for temples and palaces.

Gold had divine, magical, and religious symbolism for the ancient Egyptians. The flesh of the gods was believed to be gold, while their bones were silver. The sun god Ra was associated with gold, as his flesh was considered to be the precious metal. Gold was also linked to the regeneration and eternal life promised by the afterlife. Being buried in a tomb lined with gold and filled with gold artifacts would ensure the deceased was properly equipped for the journey to the afterlife.

Pharaohs wore gold crowns, headdresses, and jewelry to reflect their elite status and link to the gods. Tutankhamun was buried with over 140 gold artifacts, including an iconic funeral mask made of solid gold. Nobles and elite members of society were also buried with gold jewelry, funerary masks, coffins, and statues of themselves. The tombs of pharaohs and nobles were filled with gold artifacts and decorations to demonstrate wealth and importance.

Temples honoring the major gods of the Egyptian pantheon featured lavish gold architectural details, statues, altars, and ritual objects. The Temple of Amun at Karnak was decorated with golden shrines, columns, and statuary. The golden decorations emphasized the sanctity and power of the gods honored at the temples. Even the giant obelisks erected at major temples often featured gold-plated pyramidions at their peaks.

Gold in Modern Egyptian Symbolism

The strong association between Egypt and gold has continued into modern times. Egypt’s national flag, adopted in 1922, features a golden eagle standing on a white and black stripe. The eagle is the ancient symbol of Saladin, who established the Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt in the 12th century AD. The use of gold on the flag ties Egypt’s modern national identity to its ancient heritage and the prestige of the pharaohs.

Egypt is sometimes referred to as the “Land of Gold” or the “Golden Land” in reference to both ancient artifacts and modern associations. The famous gold mask of Tutankhamun has become an iconic global image representing ancient Egyptian culture and its treasures. Egypt is also a major gold producer in Africa today, mining gold primarily in the Eastern Desert.

In tourism, Egypt’s association with gold draws visitors to see its ancient treasures. The hordes of gold artifacts on display in museums like the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Alexandria stand as reminders of ancient civilizations. The enduring allure of Egypt’s golden ancient history makes gold a color forever linked with the nation.

Quantities of Gold Found in Ancient Egypt

Tomb Gold Artifacts Estimated Weight
Tutankhamun’s Tomb Coffins, mask, jewelry, statues Over 1 ton
Tomb of Three Foreign Wives of Tuthmosis III Jewelry, ritual objects Over 50 lbs
Tomb of Yuya and Thuya Funerary mask, coffins, jewelry Over 90 lbs

This table shows the immense quantities of gold artifacts found in the tombs of pharaohs and nobles in ancient Egypt. Tutankhamun’s tomb contained over 1 ton of golden artifacts, while other tombs held tens of pounds of gold. This demonstrates how gold was a core part of elite Egyptian burials.

Prominent Gold Artifacts from Ancient Egypt

Artifact Description Current Location
Funerary mask of Tutankhamun Solid gold mask covered in gemstones and lapis lazuli Egyptian Museum, Cairo
Temple of Amun decorations Gold-plated shrines, columns, and statues Karnak Temple Complex
Jewelry of Queen Ahhotep Gold bracelets, pendants, and flies Egyptian Museum, Cairo

This table highlights a few examples of spectacular golden artifacts from ancient Egypt. Tutankhamun’s iconic mask, the lavish gold decorations at the Temple of Amun, and the jewelry of Queen Ahhotep showcase ancient Egyptian goldsmithing skills.


Gold has been closely associated with ancient and modern Egypt for over 5,000 years. To the ancient Egyptians, gold symbolized divinity, wealth, and power. Pharaohs demonstrated their status through golden funerary goods, and temples gleamed with golden decorations. Today, Egypt’s flag features a golden eagle as a symbol of national heritage. The allure of Egypt’s golden treasures also makes gold a color tied to the nation through its tourism. For both the ancient and modern world, gold has been a preeminent color representing the identity of Egypt.