The Egyptian Museum

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is a true treasure trove of ancient history, filled with artifacts and displays that narrate the story of a great and powerful civilization. From the royal mummies to the priceless statues, the museum houses the secrets of the past, allowing visitors to travel back in time and explore the wonders of the ancient world. The museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts, including sculptures, paintings, jewelry, and everyday objects from thousands of years ago, giving a glimpse into the daily life of the Egyptians. The museum also holds a number of important pieces from the tombs of the pharaohs, such as Tutankhamun's golden mask and other relics from the Valley of the Kings. Whether you are interested in the culture and customs of the ancient Egyptians, or are simply looking for an educational and entertaining experience, the Egyptian Museum is a must-see destination on any trip to Cairo.

History of the museum
The Egyptian Museum was opened in 1902, and was the first museum in Egypt's modern history. The idea of an Egyptian museum was first conceived by the French orientalist, Auguste Mariette, who was working on excavations at the Great Pyramids of Giza at the time. Upon his return to France, Mariette displayed a collection of artifacts from his excavations at the Louvre Museum, which was later visited by the future King of Egypt, Mohammed Ali. In 1858, Mohammed Ali ordered his Prime Minister, Khayr al-Din, to start the process of creating an Egyptian museum in Cairo. The construction of the museum started in 1881, but it was only completed 16 years later, in 1903. The museum was the first building in Cairo to use electricity to light the exhibit halls, and it also had the first elevator in Egypt.

Major collections of the museum
The Egyptian Museum holds a vast collection of artifacts and relics, dating as far back as 4000 BC. The museum has 13 exhibition halls, which are split into 3 main categories: - Prehistoric Egypt - the earliest periods of Egyptian history, including the Badarian, Naqadan, and Amaratian cultures. - Ancient Egypt - the Old and Middle Kingdoms, along with the New Kingdom, including the treasures of King Tutankhamun. - Later periods of Egyptian history - including Coptic and Islamic-era artifacts.

Ancient Egyptian artifacts on display
The museum houses an impressive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts, including mummies, statuary, jewelry, shabti figurines, and everyday objects from thousands of years ago. Some of the most famous items on display, and a must-see for all visitors, are: - The Royal Mummies of the 18th Dynasty - these include the remains of King Tutankhamun, his wife, and his parents, discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922, and displayed at the Egyptian Museum. - The Egyptian Temple Treasures - these are the original gold and silver artifacts discovered in the temples of King Tutankhamun, on display in the museum since 1935. - The Rosetta Stone - the most famous and celebrated Egyptian artifact, now displayed in the main exhibition hall of the Egyptian Museum.

Fun facts about the museum
- On the roof of the museum, there is a restaurant that overlooks the city of Cairo, known as the Roof Terrace Restaurant. - The museum hosts an annual photography contest, with the photography exhibition open to all visitors to the museum. - Dr. Zahi Hawass, the former curator of the museum, was the host of the History Channel's popular TV show, "Mysteries of the Sphinx."

Special exhibitions at the museum
The museum also hosts special exhibitions on a variety of topics, with all exhibitions open free of charge. Some of the most popular shows at the museum include: - Cultures of the Nile - an exhibition that explores the impact of the Nile on different cultures, including the ancient Egyptians, Nubians, and cultures of the Middle East. - The Treasury of the Pharaohs - a collection of rare and unique artifacts owned by the Egyptian government and loaned to the museum on a long-term basis. - Royal Jewels of the Egyptian Museum - an exhibition of unique and rare items from the collection of the Egyptian Museum, including a ruby and gold ring, a sapphire and gold necklace, and a diamond ring. - The Splendor of Ancient Egypt - a collection of rare artifacts owned by the Egyptian government and loaned to the museum for a long-term basis.

Tips for visiting the museum
- The Egyptian Museum is open from 9 AM to 8 PM, and closes on Fridays, Saturdays, and the first Monday of each month. - Tickets cost 100 EGP (around $5/£3) for adults, and 50 EGP (around $2/£1.50) for children aged 12 or younger. - Visit the museum with a tour guide if you have limited time and want to maximize your visit. - Plan your visit to the museum well in advance if you are interested in attending one of the special exhibitions. - Take a break from the ancient artifacts and climb to the roof of the museum for a spectacular view of Cairo. - Buy a snack at the museum's cafe and enjoy it while relaxing on the lawn surrounded by ancient history.

Educational activities at the museum
If you want to enjoy more than just a quick tour of the museum, you can participate in one of the museum's educational programs. These include workshops on subjects like ancient Egyptian history, treasures of the Nile, and the Rosetta Stone, as well as activities for children. You can also attend lectures and seminars on topics related to the museum, such as archaeology, ancient Egypt, and the hieroglyphic language.

Restaurants and shops at the museum
The museum is home to a number of cafes, restaurants, and shops, which serve various cuisines, including Egyptian and international dishes. You can also buy souvenirs and gifts at the gift shop, including replicas of the most famous exhibits at the museum.

The Egyptian Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in ancient history, culture, and art. The best way to experience the wonders of the ancient civilization is to visit the museum and explore its vast collection of artifacts and relics. Whether you are interested in the early periods of Egyptian history, or the later periods, the museum has something for everyone.

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