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The Egyptian Museum in Cairo for Beginners

King Tut exhibit, Cairo Museum
Make your way upstairs to view
the museums's top treasure :
tomb artifacts of King Tut.

The Egyptian Museum holds a mind-blowing number of treasures; the two-story pink-toned building in the center of Cairo exhibits over 120,000 relics from ancient Egypt.

But unless you know what you're looking for, it's easy to get lost. The "guides" lining the entrance of the museum are hit-or-miss; you could luck out with a pedigreed Egyptologist, or get stuck with someone out for a quick pound who has never studied even the basics of Egyptian art and history.

Plus, there aren't any complementary pamphlets or floor plans, and the bookshop's prices for these items are exorbitant.

My advice is to do some preliminary research before diving into the museum's collections.

Getting around the Egyptian Museum

The ground floor contains items from the Protodynastic and Archaic Period (ca.3000-2670 B.C); Old Kingdom (ca.2670-2195 B.C); Middle Kingdom (ca.2065-1781 B.C); New Kingdom (ca.1550-1075 B.C); Amarna Period (Religion Revolution Period) (ca.1365 B.C); and Late Period (ca.1075-342 B.C).

The first floor (second floor for Americans) contains the Ancient Egyptian Jewelry Room; the Treasure of the Royal Tombs of Tanis (ca.1070-712 B.C.); the Fayum Portraits (ca.100-250 AD); the Tomb of Yuya and Tuya; and a number of rooms dedicated to deities, writing, daily life, and other subjects.

The first floor also contains the two biggest attractions in the museum - the tomb artifacts of Pharoah Tutankhamun and the royal mummy collection. These collections are clearly marked and easily accessible.

Front courtyard of the Egyptian Museum, home to King Tutankhamen
and thousands more ancient Egyptian artifacts around every corner.

Tomb Artifacts of Pharoah Tutankhamun

The 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, an Egyptian Pharoah of the 18th dynasty, was one of the most spectacular archaeological finds in history. The artifacts from Tutankhamun's tomb are some of the most recognizable symbols of ancient Egypt. Among the treasures housed in the Egyptian Museum are the Full-Faced Funeral Mask, the Gold Coffin, the Winged Scarab, an elaborate gilded throne and a collection of precious jewelry.

Royal Mummy Room

The Royal Mummy Room contains the mummified remains of 11 pharoahs and royal family members, expertly-preserved in temperature-controlled glass units. The room charges an additional fee of 40 L.E. ($7) for adults and 20 L.E. ($3.50) for children.

Egyptian Museum Basics

Tahrir Square, Cairo
Tel: 5796974

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Admission: 20 L.E. ($3.50) for adults; 10 L.E. ($1.75) for children.

About the Author... Jessica Arriola Marati

More about the Cairo Museum around the Web:

Ancient Egyptian Mummies

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