Sunday, February 4, 2007

King Tut

The King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute was really great. I went today and there was a sizable crowd for its opening weekend. The exhibit mostly had artifacts from the early New Kingdom, and showcased some of Tut's predecessors. Akhenaten, Thuyu and Amenhotep had items on display, along with Tutankhamun. The last part of the exhibit focused on items found in Tutankhamun's tomb, including statues, gold vestments and the crook and flail.
I'm a fan of ancient Egpytian mythology and their gods and goddesses, and the artifacts contained representations of gods such as Osiris, Anubis, Horus and Thoth.
Before going, I read posts on the Internet from people who attended the exhibit in Chicago and Los Angeles and they complained the death mask and sarcophagus weren't included. My take on it is, so what? You're already looking at relics from Tut's tomb and other Egyptian artifacts that are thousands of years old. The detail and intricacies on these artifacts must be seen up close. The exhibit didn't have the death mask but they did have a golden coffinette that held Tut's liver. The beauty and rich detail of this piece should be viewed in person in order to be appreciated.
It took about an hour to walk through the entire exhibit, which chronicled Egyptian life, religion, death rituals, Tut's predecessors, Tut's reign and the discovery of his tomb. All in all, a very good exhibit. It made me think: these artifacts were forged by artisans living over 3,000 years ago. When Tut ruled, his civilization was already 2,000 years old. And the quality and beauty of ancient Egyptian artifacts can't be understated. I walked away with a greater appreciation of ancient Egyptian culture.
Archeologist Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tut's tomb became a celebrated event in archeology. The tomb, with its riches and artifacts intact, allows up to peer into the lives of ancient Egyptians and into the life of a boy king. It's because of Carter and others like him that we glean a better picutre of these long-forgotten civilizations.
During my visit, a father hoisted his kid on his shoulders and said, "Son, you're seeing history." He's right. It's an exhibit showcasing history that should be seen.
Total props to the Egyptians, dude.

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