Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Egyptian Museum

This museum looked pretty nice from the outside but when I got inside it was painfully obvious there was no real order nor organization internally. The rooms and halls partially went in order of time from oldest to most recent but not exactly.

It looked like somebody had opened up a huge area in their basement, grabbed a whole bunch of stone relics that might be important to somebody, and placed them inside wherever it seemed like there was room.

It looks like what happened is that they built the museum, then found a bunch of stuff in the tombs and moved it into the museum, but forgot to notice that there´s not enough space for everything to be organized properly. Then they planned to expand the museum, but it´s just taking a really long time and they´re not done yet, so for now, everything is mashed together.

I think almost every tomb unearthed in Egypt had it´s belongings either stolen or moved into this museum. This museum has a *lot* of stuff in it. The only problem is, as a visitor, you can´t tell what anything really is or where it´s from because it´s not labeled, and if it *is* labeled, it´s probably not in English.

After my experience thought Egypt, I think the best way to do it is to see Egypt and the tombs and the pyramids *first*, then come back to Cairo on the way out and see the contents inside the museum. Because the tombs are completely empty and all the treasures (including the headdress of Tutenkhamen) are in the museum, once you see the stuff inside the museum, the tombs looked extremely bare and empty, and you have to wonder what was inside each of them originally.

King Tut´s golden headdress was the highlight of the museum for me, as it was probably for a lot of visitors. It´s very shiny and definitely attracts attention in a darkened room.

My Egypt Lonelyplanet book had some descriptions of what to expect in each of the rooms inside the museum. If I didn´t have that with me I think I would have been completely lost, knowledge wise.


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