The Egyptian Museum in Cairo or Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, is located in Cairo (Egypt), and holds the largest collection of objects from the time of Ancient Egypt. The Egyptian Museum has more than 136,000 classified objects from different epochs of Egyptian history: Early Dynastic Period, Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Third Intermediate Period, Late Period of ancient Egypt, Hellenistic and Roman, standing out from other museums not only for quantity but also for importance of many of them. More than 2,5 million people visit the museum every year.
Egyptian Museum is located in the center of Cairo, in Tahrir Square. It was designed in 1900. by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon in neoclassical style.
Many institutions have criticized the fact that the museum does not have enough space to exhibit the works, which appear to be “stacked” rather than exposed (when it was open it had 12,000 pieces and currently has 150,000) and that is why the Great Egyptian Museum at Giza is under construction.
To protect the treasures and monuments of the country in 1835. the Egyptian Antiquities Service was created. This led, for the first time, the Egyptian government to assemble a collection of Egyptian Art, which was initially stored in a small building in Esbekiah Park in Cairo, and was later transferred to the Citadel of Saladin. The governor of Egypt, Abbas Pasha, gave this collection to the Austrian Emperor Maximilian, during his 1855. visit to Egypt. In 1858. Auguste Mariette opened a new museum in the neighborhood of Bulaq, on the banks of the Nile. The government decided to build a large museum, and until then the collection was kept in the palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza.
Since 1922., the museum has experienced spectacular growth as its collections were increased with Tutankhamun’s great treasure of more than 3500 objects, discovered by Howard Carter (financed by Lord Carnarvon) in the tomb of the pharaoh (KV62), in the Valley of the Kings, located in the vicinity of the ancient Thebes.
Contents of the Egyptian Museum
The museum exhibits objects from all periods of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic and protodynastic time:
Stone vases and funerary objects.
Statues, paintings, reliefs and furnishings.
The great treasure of Tutankhamun
Statues, reliefs and objects from the Amarna period and Akhenaten sarcophagus.
Funeral equipment, jewelry, models and other objects.
Statues of kings and persons.
Late Period of ancient Egypt:
Statues, reliefs and funerary objects
Statues and funerary objects.
In the gardens of the museum are exhibited sculptures from various eras.
On the ground floor there is a large collection of papyrus. They are written in several languages, Greek, Latin, Arabic, ancient Egyptian and in hieroglyphic writing. The coins are gold, silver and bronze, and there are not only Egyptian but there are also Greek, Roman, and Islamic coins, which has helped historians in the investigation of ancient Egyptian trade. There are also objects from the Ancient, Middle and New Kingdom, including statues, paintings and sarcophagus. Among them are objects found in the tombs of several pharaohs, as well as many others found in the Valley of the Kings.
In the upper floor there is the treasure of Tutankhamun and the exhibition continues in chronological order with objects from the last dynasties, including the dynasties XXI and XXII of Tanis, including the gold mask of Pharaoh Psusennes I. The collection finishes with the sample of several pieces of the Roman period, like a mosaic with the head of Medusa.
There are still a large number of objects in the warehouse, located in the museum’s basements that have not been documented, including those from about 600 tombs whose inventory was last for years.