The Egyptian Museum [officially, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities], on the northern edge of Midan Tahrir, is One of the world’s great museums. An extensive building and massive collection of Egyptian antiquities, the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, as we Said is considered a home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. The museum [also commonly referred to as the “Cairo Museum”] is truly a destination in its own right, with at least 136,000 items on display; hundreds of thousands of additional items languish in the museum’s basement storerooms and are added to each year with ongoing excavation and discovery.
The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities contains many important pieces of ancient Egyptian history. It houses the World’s largest collection of Pharaonic antiquities, and many treasures of King Tutankhamen. The Egyptian government established the museum, built in 1835 near the AL Azbekeyah Garden. The museum soon moved to Boulaq in 1858 because the original building was getting to be too small to hold all of the artifacts. In 1855, shortly after the artifacts were moved, Archduke Maximilian of Austria was given all of the artifacts. He hired a French architect to design and construct a new museum for the antiquities. The new building was to be constructed on the bank of the Nile River in Boulaq. In 1878, after the museum has been completed for some time, it suffered some irreversible damage; a flood of the Nile River caused the antiquities to be relocated to another museum, in Giza. The artifacts remained there until 1902 when they were moved, for the last time, to the current museum in Tahrir Square.
The Museum also comprises a photography section and a large library. The Egyptian museum comprises many sections arranged in chronological order
- The first section houses Tutankhamen’s treasures.
- The second section houses the pre-dynasty and the Old Kingdom monuments.
- The third section houses the first intermediate period and the Middle Kingdom monuments.
- The forth section houses the monuments of the Modern Kingdom.
- The fifth section houses the monuments of the late period and the Greek and Roman periods.
- The sixth section houses coins and papyrus.
- The seventh section houses sarcophagi and scraps.
A hall for the royal mummies was opened at the museum, housing eleven kings and queens. More than a million and half tourists visit the museum annually, in addition to half a million Egyptians.
Interior design: There are two main floors in the museum, the ground floor and the first floor. On the ground floor there is an extensive collection of papyrus and coins used in the Ancient world. The numerous pieces of papyrus are generally small fragments, due to their decay over the past two millennia. Several languages are found on these pieces, including Greek, Latin, Arabic, and the Ancient Egyptian writing language of hieroglyphs. The coins found on this floor are made of many different metals, including gold, silver, and bronze. The coins are not only Egyptian, but also Greek, Roman, and Islamic. This has helped historians research the history of Ancient Egyptian trade. Also on the ground floor are artifacts from the New Kingdom, the time period between 1550 and 1069 BC. These artifacts are generally larger than items created in earlier centuries. Those items include statues, tables, and coffins (sarcophagi). On the first floor there are artifacts from the final two dynasties of Egypt, including items from the tombs of the Pharaohs Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many artifacts from the Valley of the Kings
King Tutankhamun: The Gold Mask of Tutankhamun, composed of 11 kg of solid gold, is on display at the Egyptian Museum The Grave Mask of king Amenemope of the 21st dynasty. Unlike many tombs discovered in Egypt, that of King Tutankhamun was found mostly intact. Inside the tomb there was a large collection of artifacts used throughout the King’s life. These artifacts ranged from a decorated chest, which was most likely used as a closet or suitcase, two ivory and gold bracelets, necklaces, and other decorative jewelry, to alabaster vases and flasks. The tomb was also home to many weapons and instruments used by the King. Although the tomb held over 3,500 artifacts, the tomb was not found completely intact. In fact, there had been at least two robberies of the tomb, perhaps soon after Tutankhamun’s burial.
The best known artifact in King Tutankhamun’s tomb is the famous Gold Mask, which rested over the bandages that Were wrapped around the King’s face. The mask weighs in at 11 kg (24.5 pounds) of solid gold, and is believed to
Represent what the King’s face really looked like.
Pharaohs: mummy mask of Psusennes I The remains of many famous Pharaohs are stored in the Egyptian Museum. One of these is Pharaoh Ramses III, who was an extremely skilled warrior.
Mummy mask of Sheshonq II : For many of the mummified pharaohs, it has been very difficult to determine when they were born, and historians can only estimate a time when they reigned over Egypt. For Akhenaten, historians have estimated his reign around the 1350’s B.C., that is the estimated date when Amenhotep IV’s father, Amenhotep III died. Also, Akhenaten’s tomb was inscribed with his formal five name titulary which he gave himself and one of them, the Golden Horus, proves that he was crowned on the bank of the Nile, his father’s favorite domain. Before he became pharaoh, he was already married to Nefertiti. Akhenaten moved to destroy the religion of Amun in his regnal Year 4. He did this because he wanted to start his own new religion of Aten, the sun, which is pictured as a disc that sends out rays ending in hands. Historians believe Sneferu was the first king of the Fourth Dynasty. The year he started his reign was around 2620 B.C. Sneferu appears to have been a fair and just king, and seems to have deserved his chosen name of
Master of Justice or Truth. Sneferu, like many other kings, built many temples and structures. All of his structures and buildings had a specific signature: the statue of a young woman symbolizing the foundation. She presents the sign of life and votive offerings, as well as the signs of the city and the stronghold. There are about four or five of these structures in each province. Many pharaohs chose coronation names and they all seemed to be alike. For example, Sneferu, Tutankhamun and Amenhotep all had the name “Golden Horus”.
Plans are now well advanced for the transfer of the main collection to a new Grand Egyptian Museum within the
Vicinity of the Giza Pyramids. Hopefully the new building will be more user friendly, instead of the current Poorly-labeled and documented nature of many prime exhibits. The museum is an outgrowth of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, established by the Egyptian government in 1835, in an attempt to limit the looting of antiquities sites and artifacts. The museum first officially opened in 1858 with a collection assembled by Auguste Mariette Pasha, the French archaeologist employed by Isma’il Pasha to organize the collection. After residing in an annex of the Bulaq palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza from 1880, the museum moved in 1900 to its present location, a neoclassical structure on Tahrir Square in Cairo’s city centre. More than a million and half tourists visit the museum annually, in addition to half a million Egyptians.
Objects from the Tomb of Tutankhamen: Upper Floor – discovered in 1922 and gradually revealed over the next few Years, many of the objects from the tomb of the “boy king” were brought to the Egyptian Museum for display. A small number of objects found their way into foreign collections, whilst several, including the inner sarcophagus and the body of Tutankhamen himself, remained in the small tomb in the Valley of the Kings. The most famous objects from the tomb are the funerary mask of Tutankhamen and the inner coffin. The mask is made of solid gold, inlaid with lapis lazuli, cornelian, quartz, obsidian, turquoise, and colored glass. The inner coffin is made of solid gold. It is 74″ long, 20″ wide, and 20″ high. The king is shown as Osiris holding the crook and flail, traditional symbols of kingship. A significant number of items from the Tutankhamen collection are currently on tour to museums in Europe and North America. The complete collection of items found in the tomb has yet to be fully documented. It took almost ten years for the founder of the tomb, Howard Carter, to finish excavating the tomb. he current permanent housing for the Tutankhamen collection is in the basement of the Cairo Museum but there are hopes to move it to a downtown location soon.
The Royal Mummies: Upper Floor, separate admission no photography allowed please note there are two rooms you can enter using same ticket so make sure that you see both of them: many of the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom period and later are displayed here in the Royal Mummy Hall, which is at the corner of the first floor lobby. There are mummies of eleven kings and queens that are kept in temperature and pressure controlled glass cabinets on display. Unfortunately, some mummies are not even identified by the name or the period to which they belong to and other chronological information.
Jewelry: there is a large collection of Egyptian jewelry on display in the museum. Egyptians were concerned with creating harmonious forms and color combinations. To a large extent, the majority of Egyptian jewelry was made with gold and semi-precious stones. Silver was used but it much less popular than gold in the creation of jewelry. The majority of the jewelry found on display in the museum was found on the mummy of Tutankhamen himself.
Egyptian Museum Library: created in the year 1902, the library specializes in ancient Egyptian civilization and houses some 42,500 books on the topic. However, the library is not open to the general public, with access restricted to accredited researchers and students.
The Upper Corridor: The corridor connects the chambers of the upper floor. These rooms belonged to Prince Amr Ibrahim and the museum manager, museum keepers’ rooms as well as the warehouse are under restoration. You will find magnificent pieces of Persian, Iraqi, Tunisian and Moroccan pottery. The upper floor (devoted to exhibit Iranian masterpieces) is connected to the ground through inner stairs. The upper floor is of a rectangular shape that vacuumed from the middle to see the lobby, and in the two sides of the rectangle there are four doors opened. Two of them on the left side; one of them is for conducting researches and the other one is for storage. While the right two rooms, one for the director of the museum and the second is that of the prince. The walls of this floor is used to put fourteen showcases , in addition to two walls that exhibit two Andalusia pieces from the 16th C. Where one can see fifty one Iranian pieces, in addition to two tiles dating back the 15th- 18th century, two Iraqi bowls belonging to the 9th century, the Iranian pieces varied from bowls, jars, square or star tiles and plates. All these ceramics belong to the luster metallic glare of “Sultan Abad’s city” and the decoration consist of plants, animals, and written texts in the Persian language .There is some furniture that belongs to the palace; the first is a wooden sofa covered with a special textiles, the second thing is a box made of inlaid wood, and it is located in front of Andalusia showcase. There is also a half circle wooden door, above it one can find an Islamic Gypsum decoration .The door itself is divided into two parts.
The Lobby: The lobby is situated at the museum entrance leading to the various halls as well as the door to the stairs leading to the second floor. At the sides of the large wooden museum gate, there are two small rooms; one to the left hand side used as control room and the other room to the right used as a bathroom. A marble fountain is located at the center of the lobby, with small geometrical ornaments made of the same marble tiles. In the entrance of the museum there is the lobby which is in a rectangular shape and all the galleries’ doors are open on this lobby and stair for the upper floor .On the museum’s wooden door both sides there are two small rooms; the left one used as a control room for all the museum and the electric panel, while the right one used as a water closet. In the middle of the lobby there is a marble Jet with a geometric formation. The walls are covered with marble till the middle and above it there is a line of gypsum decorations but the remaining is from a soft gypsum. The marble is influenced by the Mameluke buildings. The ceiling of the lobby is covered with a Mamlouks beautiful dome, consisting of a square that has a four colored glass lamps and from the four corners there are yokes to change the square to a circle. In this dome there are sixteen windows of colored glass, and from the middle of the dome there is a chandelier. In the lobby’s four corners there are copper oil lamps and above all the doors there are Islamic decoration at the front face of the museum’s door there is a conical stove covered with a Turkish tile with a plant decoration.
The lobby has eight show cases that exhibit Turkish, Iranian and Mameluke masterpieces. One of these pieces is an Iranian Ewer ends with an animal head and another Mameluke bowel that has some written texts on it. There are some modern furniture added to the lobby as a preparation for holding musical concerts and cultural seminars. They add a wooden stand, microphones, a piano and a circular wooden table designed on the Islamic style.
Gallery of Egyptian style: The Egyptian hall located immediately next to the Turkish hall without a separator. The floor is made of marble tiles. The ceiling is ornamented with geometrical shapes composed of star, plate motifs with geometric shaped plant ornaments assembling the star plates. Gallery of Egyptian style (Mameluke – Ayyoubide – Ottoman – Omayyade) Gallery of Egyptian style is nearby the Turkish one devoted to exhibit many masterpieces made in Egypt throughout different ages. This gallery has a rectangular shape with a marble floor, red with a Turkish tiles on blue, white and scarlet colors; these tiles at he ceiling is consisted of repeated units as the star plate. Half the walls are lined from upper and lower edges with a light blue tiles and decorations are a plant’s leaf. There are six different show cases that exhibit 39 Egyptian pieces that are characterized with simplicity. These pieces are oil lamps, plates, bowls, tiles, jars (ollas) opening filtrations.
Turkish Gallery: The Turkish hall is located to the left -hand side of the museum gate. It is rectangular in shape with one large window facing the hall gate and another small window to the left of the hall’s entrance. Both windows are made of wood arabesque. Turkish Gallery is allocated on the left side of the entrance that has a rectangular shape. In the front face of the door there is a large window while in the left side there is another small one. The Gallery’s wall till the mid height is decorated with blue, white and scarlet Turkish tiles; they are lined from both the upper and the lower edge with a light blue tiles on it. The decorations are of dark blue plants, while the second upper half of the wall is decorated with molded gypsum and near the ceiling there is a repeated sentence “no winner except Allah” ; and the ceiling’s decoration is the “star plate” . In the gallery’s right side there is a conical stove on blue Turkish tiles has the sentence (Full blessing – entire felicity) on it, above that (no winner except Allah) is repeated and there are two squares, in the first the word “Allah” and in the other is “Mohammed” the prophet. The Floor is from marble, in the middle there is a geometric formation. It is a large square surrounded with other eight small squares, then four large ones, in between them there are four large rectangles decorated with geometric formations. The gallery has twelve show cases of different sizes; and large one in the middle; the total pieces are 96 Turkish works; they are varied as, plates, bowls jugs, jars, ewers, qumqums, Canteens, suspending balls, and tiles. The Turkish era is well known with plant decorations and animal ones are rarely used; the preferred colors are blue, green, white and scarlet. The door of the gallery is from wood and decorated as the star plate. The Turkish Gallery is annexed to the Egyptian one ( Mamlouke, Ayyoubid, Omayyad, Ottoman ) through a horseshoe like arch and both sides are decorated with vases of flowers .
Fatimid’s Gallery: The Fatimide hall is located on the right hand side of the museum gate and it is rectangular in shape. Its entrance is in the form of a semi circle, the hall has three windows; the medial is the largest in size. On the two sides of the entrance, two sittings of wood coated with velvet originally from the palace furniture. Fatimid’s Gallery (devoted to exhibit Fatimid’s Ceramics works) is located right of the entrance. It takes a geometric form, looks like a rectangle,. in front of the door there is as half a circle with three windows ; the middle is the biggest while the other two are small . Right and left the door, there are two wooden sittings padded with velvet, from the palace’s furniture that has Islamic geometric formations. In addition to that there is a rectangular wooden table, inlaid with oyster on geographic formations and Turkish texts; beside the table from both sides there is a mosque drawing with its dome and minaret. The walls of the gallery are decorated with Turkish tiles in blue, white and scarlet colors. Decorations take geometric formations at the center of each one rounded with small flowers and from the upper side it is lined with blue tiles with white and light blue plants. The upper half of the wall to the ceiling is made of gypsum taking intertwined plants decorations ( Arabesque ) and the ceiling has the “star plate” decoration which has inside it the palace owner name “Prince Amro Ibrahim” that is well known in Islamic ceramics . The sentence “no winner except Allah” which is the insignia of “Bno Al Ahmar” in Al Andalusia is repeated on the wall, and at the end of the wall there is a line of a Quran text. From the ceiling there is a round Islamic style chandelier. At the arches of the gallery there are four small kilns, in addition to two lamps on both sides of the window. All gallery’s doors and windows are decorated with geometric Islamic Style. In the same Gallery there is a conical stove of a blue tile with flowers and leaves as grapes leaves and carnation flower; it has some texts written on it such as (Full blessing – entire felicity) while on the upper sides of it there is the sentence “no winner except Allah” and there are two squares written inside the first “Allah” and in the second “Mohamed” the Prophet. There is a marble dining table in the middle of the Gallery as it was prepared to be a dining room. In the mid of this table there is a watercourse (used to keep the food hot by heating this water), and it is used in exhibiting some works on it. The total exhibits on the table are 19 pieces (16 plates and 3 jars) differ in shape and size, but they are similar in decoration and brightness which is clear in the Fatimid’s works from (10-11-12 centuries) but one plate from 19th century. On both sides of the door there are two other marble tables, on each one there is a showcase to jugs, jars, oil lamps, ceramics seal, bowls and small vases. In the front face two marble tables have show cases to show some acquisitions as jar’s (ollas) opening filtrations. Moreover there are two other showcases for small works such as; ceramics seals and Jar’s opening filtrations which are characterized with accuracy. In addition to that there is some other wooden furniture used to show the unplaced Jar opening filtrations.