Travel to Egyptian Museum – Treasure-House of Antiquities
The elegant red-building sitting unprepossessingly on the north side of Tahrir Square in the middle of downtown Cairo is the greatest repository of Pharaonic treasures anywhere in the world. It houses artefacts from every period of Egyptian history but is famous as the home of Tutankhamun’s funerary-ware, a vast collection of stunning gold ornaments.
Built in 1902 the museum is approached through a garden littered with relics and hinting at what can be found inside. Once through the doors the impressive interior is guarded by enormous statues and in rooms and galleries from here artefacts are arranged chronologically.
Visitors generally make their way to the highlight of their visit, the Tutankhamun hall, slowly taking in some of the other important exhibits. These include the Amarna Room which houses artefacts from the heretical Akhenaten period; the room holds statuary showing the unmistakable face of the Pharaoh together with an unfinished yet beautiful carving of the head of his wife, Nefertiti.
The exhibition of Pharaonic mummies is a little creepy but is nonetheless unmissable and demonstrates the remarkable success the ancients had in preserving the dead with features, hair and even wounds clearly visible.
Lastly and most importantly are some of the 1700 artefacts discovered by Howard Carter in Tutankhamun’s tomb, including gold statues, thrones, huge gilded sarcophagi, and of course the stunning gold funerary mask.
The museum is always crowded with the end of the day being less so. Allow a half-day to explore it, ideally with a knowledgeable local guide.
Take a walk through the grounds of the museum, packed with statuary and relics and a good place to escape the crowds inside.
The museum can be reached on foot easily from anywhere in the downtown area.
- The highlight of any visit is the Tutankhamun collection
- See the Amarna Room to learn something of this turbulent time in Egyptian history
- Don’t miss the Royal Mummy Room and a chance to come face to face with the architects of Egypt’s glories