Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Egyptian Museum

Egyptian Museum

Egyptian Museum

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum, holds an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items and is one of the largest museums in the region.

A Tour of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

Highlights of the Egyptian Museum

  • Narmer Palette
    • The Narmer Palette is a significant Egyptian archaeological find, dating from about the 31st century BC. It contains some of the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions ever found. The tablet depicts the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under King Narmer and provides one of the earliest known depictions of an Egyptian king. The Palette shows many of the ancient conventions of Ancient Egyptian art, which means that this art form must already have been formalized by the time of the Palette’s creation. The 5,000-year-old Narmer Palette is one of the first historical document in the world.
  • Tutankhamun’s Mask
    • Tutankhamun’s mask is the funerary mask of Tutankhamun, the 18th-dynasty Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who reigned 1332–1323 BC. It was discovered by Howard Carter in 1925 and is now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. This mask is one of the most well-known works of art in the world. Tutankhamun’s burial chamber was found in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 and opened three years later. It would be another two years before the excavation team, led by the English archaeologist Howard Carter, was able to open the massive sarcophagus containing Tutankhamun’s mummy. On 28 October 1925, they opened the innermost of three coffins to reveal the gold mask, seen by people for the first time in about 3,250 years.
  • Merneptah Stele
    • The text glorifies King Merneptah’s victories over the Libyans and their Sea People allies. It also describes a separate campaign in Canaan, which was then part of Egypt’s imperial possessions. The last two lines mention a campaign in Canaan, where Merneptah says he defeated and destroyed many ethnic groups, including Israel. The Merneptah Stele is sometimes referred to as the “Israel Stela” because a majority of scholars translate a set of hieroglyphs on the stele as “Israel.” The stela represents the earliest surviving text referring to Israel, and it is the only reference from ancient Egypt. It is one of four known inscriptions that mention Israel and date to the time of ancient Israel and is thus of unique historical importance.
  • Colossal Statues of Akhenaten
    • This Statue of Akhenaten depicts the pharaoh, also known as Amenophis IV or Amenhotep IV, in a distorted representation of the human form. Akhenaten is represented with a distorted physique not present elsewhere in the artwork of Ancient Egypt. He is portrayed with exaggerated facial features, such as a long nose, hanging chin, and thick lips. Traditionally, pharaohs are depicted as idealistically heroic in Egyptian art. These departures from cultural norms that occur with the colossi of Akhenaten have, therefore, sparked numerous debates among scholars. Indeed, no artist would have voluntarily produced such an amazing image of the king without it being directed by the pharaoh himself. One theory suggests that the pharaoh wished to separate himself from ordinary people and associate himself solely with divinity and the Royal Family.
  • Statue of Amenhotep III and Tiye
    • This colossal statue of Amenhotep III and Tiye is a group statue of Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III, his Royal Wife Tiye, and three of their daughters. It is the largest known Ancient Egyptian family group ever carved. The almond-shaped eyes and arched eyebrows of the figures are of typical late 18th dynasty style. Amenhotep III wears the “nemes headdress” with the cobra, a false beard, and a kilt, and he is resting both his hands on his knees. Queen Tiye is sitting on his left, with her right arm placed around her husband’s waist. Her height is equal to that of the pharaoh, which shows her prominent status. She wears an ankle-length, close-fitting dress and a big wig with a vulture headdress.
  • Stela of Akhenaten and his Family
    • This Stela of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Family is an altar image of the Pharaoh, his queen Nefertiti, and their three children. On the left sits Akhenaten on a stool. He is handing a jewel to his eldest daughter, who stands in front of him. Nefertiti sits opposite him, on the right playing with two of their daughters on her lap. In the upper part, in the middle of the stela is the disk of the Aten, whose rays end in hands holding the symbol of life. The hieroglyphic inscriptions are the names and titles of the people depicted. The stela is bordered on three sides by a band of further hieroglyphs, marked with blue paint.

Egyptian Museum

Exploring Popular Egyptian Art

Explore Museums with Egyptian Artifacts

Explore Middle East Museums

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“Leave him in error who loves his error.”
– Egyptian Proverb

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Photo Credit: 1) By Hisham nasser (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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