Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs Review
Viscera Coffin of Tutankhamun that held the
liver of the young Pharaoh
acclaimed international exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs
will open its doors to the public on the 8th of April 2011 at the
Melbourne Museum. With more than 130 artefacts, including 50 from the tomb of
Tutankhamun, this will be the first time that the treasures of the boy pharaoh
have visited Australia thanks to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities,
National Geographic Society, Arts & Exhibitor International, IMG, Victorian
Government and the Melbourne Museum.
As soon as you
step into the exhibition, you will be transported to another time as you come
face to face with history. From tiny ushabti that were used as servants in the
afterlife to the amazing coffin of Tjuya, it's easy to get lost in the culture
and stories of ancient Egypt. As you walk through the exhibition, you will learn
about life and death in their world and how one discovery changed the way modern
man looked at the past.
The amazing Gilded Coffin of Tjuya
Greene CEO of Melbourne Museum says that "Melbourne museum had a huge success
with a Day in Pompeii which was followed up by the Titanic the
Artefact Exhibition which became the most visited exhibition ever staged by
a museum or gallery in Australia". Green suggests that due to the phenomenal interest of Tutankhamun, this exhibition will be even bigger.
Statue of Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten
Ebony and ivory child's chair of Tutankhamun
of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter on the 22nd of November 1922 truly captivated
the interest of the world and spawned a world wide fascination about this young
pharaoh. Even though Tutankhamun's tomb was filled with wondrous artefacts, very
little is known about his life due to his heretic father, Akhenaten.
Mirror Case with jewelled inlay to display the King's name
1343 BC in the Egyptian city of Akhetaten, he became a pharaoh at the age of 9.
Scholars believed that he married his half-sister Ankhesenamun who had no
surviving children, however two stillborn female foetuses were found in his tomb.
Unfortunately for Tutankhamun, he died mysteriously in his 9th year as pharaoh
with academics and scholars debating many theories behind his death.
Wooden mannequin of Tutankhamun
Model boat of Amenhotep II
However, during a
five-year Egyptian research and conservation project that was partially funded
by the National Geographic, experts would finally collect the facts in order to
determine how this 19 year old died. This included a CT scan of the mummified
remains of Tutankhamun's and its conclusion was more humble than the morbid
stories of murder. This exhibition contains a
replica of the Tutankhamun's mummy with information dismissing the murder
theories and giving the visitor one of the most logical theories on how
Statue of Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten
Over 7 million
people have attended the exhibition in America and Britain alone with over
130,000 tickets already sold for the exhibition in Melbourne that has broken all
box office records for a museum exhibition. Stephen Flint Wood, Senior Vice
President of IMG says “our recommendation to the public is that they should book
in advance” which will prevent any disappointments on the day and ensure that
you have a unique and unrushed experience.
Baulstrade showing Akhenaten and Family under
Head of Colossal statue of Amenhotep IV
Foetus sarcophagus of Tutankhamun's stillborn
is also presented as a story to the public as it is split into ten galleries,
each highlighting a particular aspect of ancient Egypt or that of Tutankhamun,
his family and those from this era. The exhibition is truly a massive
undertaking which involved people from all corners of the world. From the
explanations adorning the artefacts to the special lighting that has been used
to bring them to life, there is even an element of music that was composed
specifically for each gallery in order to enhance the experience for the visitor. Tutankhamun
and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs is broken down into the following galleries;
to the World of Tutankhamun
Burial and the Afterlife
Life in Tutankhamun’s World
Everywhere a Glint of Gold
His Name to Live
Mysteries of the Mummy
Apart from the
engaging story of King Tutankhamun, it goes into the family history of the pharaoh and
showcases an additional 80 artefacts from around the 18th Dynasty, the
Golden Age of ancient Egypt. There is a gallery of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun’s
father which gives an overall picture to his rise to power and how he replaced
all the ancient gods with one, that of Aten.
The gallery is even littered with blown-up images
taken during the time of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the
tomb and as you see the images and the artefacts together, it’s almost like you
are being taken back into time to when the tomb was first discovered. Video
monitors are also littered throughout the exhibition in order to highlight these
amazing artefacts more. Needless to say, one viewing of this exhibition is not
enough as there is a visual and information overload.
Statue of Khaemwaset and his wife Manana
Greene, CEO of the Melbourne Museum sums up the exhibition perfectly by saying
that this is the "most fantastic exhibition with the most remarkable objects in
it” and definitely should not be missed. After the visiting the exhibition, we
would have to agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Greene because never have I
experienced such an amazing collection of ancient objects with just enough
information to draw you in.
highlight of the exhibition is that some of the proceeds will go towards
conservation. National Geographic has
always had a strong relationship with Egypt in not only informing the people of
these amazing discovers but also protecting them. Terry D. Garcia (Executive Vice
President for Missions Programs, National Geographic Society) says that
exhibition will “return significant revenue to Egypt to conserve and protect its
antiquities” which will ensure that these artefacts will live on forever. What
more could one ask from an exhibition?
3000 years before video games, one of four
inscribed game boards found in Tutankhamun's tomb
Once the exhibition closes, the objects will be returning to Egypt to be
displayed in the Grand Museum of Egypt so this is definitely a once in a life
time opportunity to be part of this amazing experience. The exhibition runs from
the 8th of April to the 17th of July 2011.
Tickets are on
sale now through the website kingtutmelbourne.com.au or via Ticket on 132 849.
Monday to Friday – Opens 10am
Saturday & Sunday – Opens 9am
Adults from $29.50
Child from $17.50
Concession from $26.50
Family 4 Pack (2 adults & 2 children) from $80
The exquisite detail of the
gilded Coffin of Tjuya
This is one
exhibition that we could happily recommend to people of all ages and a memory
that you will keep forever!
For more information, please visit