Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Museum of Egyptian

 The Museum of Egyptian

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, should be a priority on the list of things to see when visiting Cairo. It would take at least a week to see the entire contents of the museum, but a brief visit can at least give an insight to the world's largest repository of more than 120,000 ancient Egyptian artifacts. It has actually been calculated that if you spend one minute at each exhibit, it will take nine months to see the entire collection!

Egyptian Museum in Cairo
The collection of Egyptian antiquities began in the 1830s in an attempt to stem the tide of the treasures of Egypt being stolen or otherwise removed from the country. The current collection was started by Auguste Mariette, who had originally been sent to Egypt by the College of France to collect Coptic Papyrus. Mariette oversaw many important excavations during his thirty years in Egypt, becoming a dominant force in the development and progress of Egyptology as guardian of monuments. He was appointed the first director of ancient monuments in Egypt and the head of a new national museum Bulak in 1863 - the first national museum of antiquities in the Middle East. The collection was then briefly transferred to an annex of the palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza, Gizeh Museum was flooded and then stored in a building in the Citadel. The current museum was officially opened November 15, 1902, in a building designed by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon.

Mariette statue and city hall
Gaston Maspero, an alumnus of Marietta, became the new director of the Department of Antiquities. He carried on the work of the museum Mariette, editing 50 volumes of museum material for "catalog" and continued to provide excavation permit that allowed a proportion of antiques to go to collectors and museums Europe and America. Maspero was the first director of the new Museum of Antiquities from its inception until his death in 1916.

The content of the date of Prehistory Museum of Egypt until the end of the Roman era. The exhibits are arranged in chronological order on two floors, with 42 rooms on the first floor and 47 rooms on the second and appendices at the entrance. The ground floor consists of a large atrium that displays the largest exhibitions, including a colossal statue of Ramses II and a pair of huge statue of Amenhotep III and his wife Tiye its development. The best view of the rotunda looks down from the upper gallery.

The objects in the Egyptian Museum
1 golden mask of Yuya, Thebes, Eighteenth Dynasty
2 dwarf and his family Seneb Old Kingdom
3 statue shale Khasekhem, Hierakonpolis, Dynasty II

The most popular by far the museum's treasures are housed in the Tutankhamun gallery upstairs. These remarkable artifacts from the tomb of the boy king, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922, are now housed in a specially lit gallery, temperature controlled, which has restricted entry. There are 3000 pieces, including the famous gold funerary mask and coffin, shrines and furniture of the tomb are much more impressive than they look in the pictures, almost everyone in the Flaming museum.

The museum also houses a superb collection of royal and private statues, reliefs and paintings of all times as well as many small (most interesting often) daily use or funeral objects. There is the full content of the dynasty I fall Hemaka, furniture meticulously reconstructed chamber Hetepheres Queen (mother of Cheops) of the Giza tomb, beautiful jewelry of the Middle Kingdom, and the content of most of the new Theban Kingdom tombs and graves later tanite Delta. Other famous pieces not to be missed include the Narmer Palette (Dynasty) the huge diorite statue of Khafre (Fourth Dynasty), and parts of the Amarna collection which includes a colossal statue of the king "heretic".

Amarna exhibitions
1 Statue of a young Akhenaten with an offering table. Eighteenth Dynasty
2 Part of the altar, perhaps Amarna. Eighteenth Dynasty
3 Colossal statue of Akhenaten. Eighteenth Dynasty

Last but not least, there is the Royal Mummy Room, which is second only to the Tutankhamun gallery in popularity. This room has been closed for several years, but is now open to the public again after restoration but shows only a proportion of 27 mummies in the collection. There is an extra room for Mom.

Any visitor to the museum will probably want to visit at least twice. I recommend you visit the beginning of a stay in Cairo and again at the end, when you'll be able to complete the knowledge you have gained from visits to monuments. Guide books and guides are available at the museum and there is also a good book at the entrance, and a cafeteria on the right of the museum.

The museum also houses a library specializing in the ancient Egyptian civilization and is considered one of the most important in the world of Egyptology libraries. However, borrowing or playback is possible only for research students and post-graduates with a special permission from the Supreme Council of Egyptian monuments.

The Museum of Antiquities is located in Mariette Pasha Street on the north side of Tahrir Square (next to the Nile Hilton Hotel). Tel 574 4267. Opening hours are 09:00-19:00 daily. Mornings are very busy because that's when many groups of tourists visit the museum and if you do not like crowds, you may want to leave your visit until the afternoon or evening. Photography is not allowed inside the museum and cameras must be left at the box office. All bags are X-rayed twice at the entrance of the Museum. Entrance to the museum costs EGP 60 EGP 100 for the room mom.

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