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The Golden Touch of Goldsmithing



The Golden Touch of Goldsmithing
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.64

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    abbreviation, coffin, eye-pleasing, goldsmithing, hardness, karat, malleable, metallurgists, mid-seventh, modern-day, palladium, pink-tinted, prosperity, sarcophagus, finest, intricate
     content words:    King Midas, King Tut, Some Egyptologists, Byzantine Empire


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     Spanish: El Toque Dorado de la Orfebrería


The Golden Touch of Goldsmithing
By Colleen Messina
  

1     In one Greek myth, King Midas had a great gift from a god. Midas gained the ability to turn everything he touched into gold! This story has fascinated people for centuries because gold has always been a measure of wealth and power.
 
2     Sunshiny gold looks rich and beautiful. Gold is versatile and malleable. Craftsmen can shape it into lots of different items. They use gold to make rings, necklaces, bracelets, and bangles. Gold coins have been used by almost every civilization on Earth. Gold symbolizes prosperity in every culture.
 
3     The Sumerians made gold jewelry for their royal family in 3000 B.C. Archaeologists discovered these pieces in the ruins of royal tombs of the Mesopotamian city of Ur. This city was located in modern-day Iraq. They found the king's dazzling golden helmet. They found the queen's shiny headdress. They also found earrings, bracelets, and a chain. The Sumerians loved gold as much as greedy King Midas.
 
4     The Egyptians also loved gold. They had lots of it in their arid country. They worshipped the sun as the giver of life, so gold represented the yellow light of the sun. They thought of gold as the skin of the gods. Their love of this yellow metal inspired new levels of goldsmithing. They learned how to use fire to test the gold's purity. They learned how to mix gold with other metals to change its hardness or color.
 
5     The tomb of King Tut contained the finest examples of Egyptian goldsmithing. In early Egyptian history, only the pharaohs were allowed to wear gold. The chamber for the king's sarcophagus was called the "house of gold." King Tut had a magnificent gold mask and a coffin of solid gold. He also had a marvelous golden throne that had engraved pictures of the king and queen together. No wonder tomb raiders loved to discover the burial places of kings! Some Egyptologists believe that 75% of ancient treasures are still buried in the sands of Egypt, so more gold artifacts might still be out there in the hot, shifting sands.

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