The Egyptian Museum, usually just called the “Museum of Egyptian Antiquities”, houses the world’s biggest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts.
The Egyptian Museum is conveniently located in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt. Cairo is also home to the country’s primary international airport, which in turn means that most Egyptian package tours start and end in Cairo, with travelers usually having several days to explore this enchanting city and the many infamous attractions located nearby.
Quite understandably, the vast majority of tourists rush to see the nearby Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx, but one should never make the mistake of thinking that Cairo itself has little in the way of attractions. To the contrary, Cairo is brimming with things to do and places to see, and you can be guaranteed that a visit to the Egyptian Museum will be one of the highlights of your vacation in Egypt.
Egyptian Museum – An Attraction Not To Be Missed
The Museum was commissioned in 1835 by the Egyptian government who were desperate to stop widespread plundering and looting of the country’s many archeological sites. It was hoped that the museum would effectively be able to protect priceless antiquities that bear testimony to Egypt’s ancient past.
The museum has fulfilled its role superbly, and today it is home to 120,000 Egyptian artifacts, although it should be noted that not all items are on display. Many items need to be stored under very exact environmental conditions in order to prevent rapid deterioration. Nonetheless, there are enough items on display to warrant spending at least one or two full days at the museum.
Quite understandably, there is an entire section within the museum which has been dedicated to the boy king, Tutankhamen. He is after all the most famous of all the Egyptian pharaohs. Unlike many of the tombs which have been discovered during the years, that of King Tutankhamen was still relatively intact when it was initially discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter.
While the Tomb of King Tut had clearly been looted on two occasions, research suggests that the looting took place shortly after his death, and as a result, the vast majority of artifacts were left behind in the tomb. By the time excavation work was completed, more than 3,500 artifacts had been recovered, including the gold face mask which has since become a global icon of ancient Egyptian civilization.
The face mask, which is believed to be a representation of Tutankhamen’s face in this life, was crafted from solid and weighs in at 11 kg (24.5 pounds). The mask was found in its original position where it had been place over Tutankhamen , concealing the bandages that covered his head.
Other artifacts recovered from his tomb include a range of jewelry; vases; pots; a large finely decorated chest, and several weapons and instruments which historians believe he might have used prior to his death.
Museum of Egyptian Antiquities Jewelry Display
The Egyptian Museum houses a truly spectacular jewelry display, and one which is considered by many to be the world’s finest display. Coincidentally, the display also often includes two beautiful ivory and gold bracelets that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamen. Perhaps the most striking thing of all about this display, is the fact that the items you look at have all been worn by people who lived so many thousands of years ago.
Sculptures were held in high regard in Ancient Egypt, and there served several purposes. As a result, sculptures of every shape; form and size have been recovered from Egypt’s archeological sites. Some have come from pyramids; some from the remains of ancient temples and monasteries, and some have simply been recovered from the desert sands. From tiny talismans to huge statues, the Egyptian Museum has enough sculptures to keep you busy all day.
Royal Mummy Room
The Royal Mummy Room at the museum never fails to impress visitors. In 1981, the then president of Egypt ordered the museum to close the Royal Mummy Room, but it was later reopened again in 1985, but with fewer mummies on display. The original room had 27 mummies on display, whereas the room as it stands today only has 11 mummies, including the most recently discovered mummy, that of Hatshepsut.
Visiting The Museum – General Tips
If you would like to visit the Egyptian Museum during vacation in Cairo, it is advisable to get to the museum early in the day, and particularly if you’re visiting Egypt during the high season which starts in December and ends in February. The museum is one of Cairo’s busiest and most popular tourist attractions, which inevitably means it can get very busy. Also, because of its large size and the number of artifacts on display, you should leave yourself plenty of time to explore.
Some of our Egypt tour packages include a visit to the museum, but not all of them. As such, please check the itinerary of a package tour before you make your booking. If your chosen tour package doesn’t include a museum visit, then please remember that all the tours we offer can be customized to suit your individual needs. Alternatively, you can create you very own custom Egypt tour simply be visiting our customer service team with the relevant details.
Our team of highly experienced representatives is standing by 24/7, so why not go ahead and book your Egyptian Vacation right now. Allow us to help discover the magic of Egypt, including a visit to the Egyptian Museum, in a way you never thought possible.