Although I had hoped to see **Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs**when the exhibit was in Chicago, I missed it. So I was excited when a friend suggested that we go see it in Philadelphia and make a road trip out of it. I eagerly said yes, and boy, am I ever glad that we made the trip.
I missed Tut the first time around (in the 1970’s), so this was a real treat. The exhibition includes more than 130 artifacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun, other Valley of the Kings tombs and ancient Egyptian sites, and gives visitors a hint into the art, politics, religion and culture of the Tut-era.
King Tut, frequently referred to as the Boy King, reigned over Egypt for nine years (1333 BC to 1324 BC). He was only 10 when he ascended to the throne, and he died before his 20th birthday. Although the precise cause of his death is unknown, and various theories have been espoused over the years, it is currently thought that he died of complications (possibly an infection) from a compound fracture of his left thigh.
Along with lots of artifacts that weren’t on the last exhibit tour, new technology plays a big part in this current exhibit. For example, the evolution of forensics allowed for tests to be performed on Tut’s mummy. This developed information from which scientists could create a life-sized bust, and, for the first time, we get a hint at what the boy King looked like.
While the highlight of the exhibit is probably Tut’s coffinette (VERY IMPRESSIVE!), there are also some pretty impressive gold pieces on display. It is clear that the idea of “bling” goes way back to ancient Egypt! You can see a few exhibit highlights, from each of the 11 galleries, here.
Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs is on display at the Franklin Institute Science Museum, located at 222 North 20th Street (20th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway) in Philadelphia. Metered parking is available on neighboring streets, and discounted parking is available in the Institute’s garage.
Tickets are $32.50 for adults, $30 for students, seniors, and military personnel (ID required), and $17.50 for children ages 4-11. The tickets are timed for entry in 30-minute increments. Advance purchase of tickets can be done online, and is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Plan early, as many days and times are already sold out.
Proceeds from the tour will go to support the construction of the Great Egyptian Museum, to be built near the pyramids at Giza, a new home for the entire Tut collection.
The Philadelphia exhibit runs through September 30th, 2007, after which the exhibit moves to London.
Photo credit: flickr
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