Cairo's Egyptian Museum In 10 Artefacts

Egyptian Museum in Cairo © Wikimedia Commons
Egyptian Museum in Cairo © Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Sarah Marzouk
26 January 2017

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, also known as the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, is home to more than 120,000 pieces of ancient Egypt. Designed by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon, the building is one of the largest museums in the region. It was first built in 1835, but was moved many times until it was finally moved to its current place in 1902 Tahrir Square. Here are 10 artefacts you’ve got to see on your visit to the Egyptian Museum.

Tutankhamun’s Mask

Tutankhamun’s Mask, also known as the funerary mask of tutankhamun, is one of the most famous works of art in the world. Discovered by Howard Carter in 1925, it is the death mask of the Egyptian Pharaoh of 18th dynasty Tutankhamun who reigned 1332–1323 BC. The mask is made from 11kg of solid gold. According to Nicholas Reeves, an English Egyptologist, the mask is “not only the quintessential image from Tutankhamun’s tomb, it is perhaps the best-known object from ancient Egypt itself.”

Tutankhamun Death Mask

The Grave Mask of King Amenemope

Amenemope was an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh of the 21st dynasty, who was also the son and the successor of Psusennes I. The Grave Mask is made of gold and cartonnage. Other funerary goods, including funerary masks which portray the king as young, can also be found in Cairo Museum.

Narmer Palette

The Pallette of Narmer, or Narmer Palette, is the “first historical document in the world” according to the American Egyptologist Bob Brier. The palette dates back to the 31st century BC, and holds some of the earliest hieroglyphic engravings that have ever been found. It is believed that the palette portrays King Narmer’s unification of the Upper and Lower Egypt.

Narmer Palette | © Wikimedia Commons

Mummy Mask of Psusennes I

Pseusennes I’s tomb was discovered by professor Pierre Montent, a French Egyptologist, in Tanis 1940. Unluckily, due to the moisture in the ground in Lower Egypt, most of the wooden objects had disintegrated. But the mask which is made of gold and lapis lazuli, a deep blue semi-precious stone, was recovered. The mask is considered as “one of the masterpieces of the treasure[s] of Tanis.”

Statue of Khufu

Khufu, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the first dynasty and builder of the greatest pyramid of Giza – ruled for 63 years, from 2589 to 2566 BC. The statue of Khufu, also known as the Ivory figurine of Khufu, was discovered by Flinders Pitrie in 1903 during an excavation in Abydos, Egypt. The statue is considered a big historical and archaeological artifact, although it is only around 7.5 cm high, 22.9 cm long, and 22.6 cm wide.

Statue of Khafra

Khafra, Khefren, or Chephren, was an ancient Egpytian pharoah of the 4th dynasty, son of Khufu, and the builder of pyramid of Khafra at Giza. Not much is known about him, but it is believed that he reigned for around 26 years. Some authors say that the Great Sphinx of Giza was also built for him in approximately 2500 BC. Tha Khafra statue is made of Diorite.

Statue of Menkaure

Menkaura, Mykerinos, or Menkheres, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh and king of the 4th dynasty, was the son of Khafra and the grandson of Khufu and the builder of the smallest pyramid in Giza. The Menkaure statue is made of greywacke, a grey earthy rock characterized by its hardness and dark colour.

Merneptah Stele

Merneptah Stele, also known as the Victory Stele of Merneptah or Israel Stele, is an engraving by the ancient Egyptian king Merneptah – fourth ruler of the 19th dynasty, who reigned from 1213 to 1203 BC. The stele was discovered by the English Egyptologist Flinders Petrie in 1896 at Thebes, and now can be found in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Merneptah Stele | © Frank Rytell / Flickr

Bust of Akhenaten

Akhenaten, Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, or Khauenaten, was an ancient Egyptian king of 18th dynasty who ruled for 17 years and was known for abandoning the traditional egyptian polytheism and introducing monolatrism. The statue of Akhenaton was built on the Amarna style, which was mainly characterised by a sense of movement in the images with raised heads.

Mummy mask of Wendjebauendjed

Wendjebauendjed was an ancient Egyptian general and a high priest from the reign of Psusennes I of 21st dynasty. He held many remarkable military, religious and administrative titles which gave him the honour of being buried in the royal nicropolis although he wan’t of a royal decendent. His tomb was found by Pierre Montent inside the royal necropolis of Tanis.

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