As a response to one of my blogger friends, I am going to tell some tales from other places I have visited along the way. There are more stories about India, but I thought I would take you to this world famous museum in Cairo today. Until I came to India, I was all about the Egyptians and how kind and friendly they had been to us . We were there in the early 80’s with our children, 12 and 6! One of the first days in Cairo , the agenda for my architect was to hit this museum. Along the streets, we were constantly approached with ” shine shoes, tour, change money?” Egyptians desperately wanted to have have dollars . The exchange rate given on the streets was much better for us than the state rate, but we were concerned that somehow we would be in trouble for exchanging on the street. This post is an overview of the museum and next I want to talk about mummification and compare the Egyptian idea of life after death, with the Hindu belief in reincarnation. Also, I want to do a post on the Egyptian gods and Hindu gods.
The Cairo Museum houses the richest collection of ancient Egyptian art in the world, including the amazing treasure from Tutankhamen’s tomb. The building is neoclassical in design and built in 1900. This was the time when there was much interest in ancient artifacts all through the world and an especially strong desire to see all things Egyptian. Many museums were built and the most desirable ones were lucky enough to have a mummy. This would insure many visitors! The small museum in Albany has a mummy as well as a cat mummy. Unfortunately, Egypt was plundered of their treasures by many visitors who took them to museums all over the world. The organization of the Cairo Museum is by the three kingdoms, Old, Middle and New. Egypt was a world dominating power for 1700 years! Each kingdom lasted about 500 years. From the pictures I found on the internet , it appears that the museum is much more orderly and organized than when we where there. Then , there were boxes of treasures just lying on the floor or pushed in the corners, that we had to step over. There seemed to be very little planning for display. I remember we chucked at the contrast to the elaborate displays at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Now I see no boxes in the pictures. One other memory of our day at the museum was men standing around wanting to show us special things in the displays….for baksheesh. It really did help focus because it is easy to be overwhelmed at the volume of things to see.
The King Tut exhibits are filled with gold, jewels and treasure for the boy pharaoh.
Beautiful jewelry was for men and women ….wealthy ones.
Both men and women during ancient Egypt used dark charcoal eye liner to protect against the bright, blinding sun.
The stately obelisks covered in ancient Egyptian writing, hieroglyphics, can also be seen in St. Peter’s Piazza, Paris, and in New York in Central Park.
Cleopatra’s Needle is 3400 years old and the oldest outdoor statue in the world today located in Central Park, New York City.
A very old mummy person!
Cats were considered gods who would protect their homes. There was a particular cat which was hairless that was worshiped. The cats also helped with the rat problem in the city! If a family had a pet it was a dog. Cats were now pets but were venerated.
For thousands of years the rest of the world has marveled at the mystery of this ancient culture that was superior in the world beginning in 2700 BC which is 4713 years ago. I hope that this proud culture of intelligent creative people will be on the way to another Renaissance!
These are two previous posts on Cairo and Egypt:
Namaste. . . . . .This Is Ancient Egypt Through My Eyes!
Your post and pictures are impressive , Anne .
I think , now , I will add Egypt to my list of places to visit .
Oh it is a marvelous place. Sadly, it seems tourists will stay away now for safety reasons and that is one of their most important resources.. The people were so warm to us because we were walking around in the streets. “Why aren’t you on air conditioned buses like the other Americans?” they would ask. Yuck..that is not experiencing new places! But to tell you , my husband said, ” He had waited all his life to see the pyramids and after being there 20 minutes , he couldn’t wait to leave!” Ouch… So he hated it but I loved it . But the crazy things is that we both loved India! Two very opposite personalities and people types. A mystery of life! Namaste. . .. .Anne
Even I was interested in seeing Pyramids but have never wanted to invite trouble by visiting in the turbulent times. But after reading your post , I think , it should be seen at least once . Let troubles there subside .
Thank you so much .
And Namaste !
I am curious as to where you live if you don’t mind me being so bold. I forgot to mention today that the museum is right on the edge of Tharir Square where all the demonstrations were!
I also wrote a post called WHAT DOES YOUNG EGYPT WANT. You might like all three on Egypt so far. Anne
🙂 ! No problem , at all. I am , at present , working in Bahrain in Middle East , Anne – for last couple of years. Egypt is close by . I have a few friends from Egypt working with me.But ,for safety reasons ,Egypt was out of my list .
Shall read the other stories as well . Thanks a lot !
And , Namasthe !
Posts like this are why I love stopping by. Thanks.
I am so glad you do! What a lovely compliment……namaste. . . .Anne
Like this post and the pictures are interesting and beautiful also
Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.
You have been there, though in 1980s, in one of the best museums of the world and one of the most interesting for me. I am afraid to ask, how the museum lives today. Looted? Last year, we planned a big journey to Egypt – nothing had come of it. Wars and revolutions.
LOL….we were in Egypt for 10 days in 1982 and haven’t returned. My architect loved how the treasure were win boxes that you just stepped over and there were no huge exhibits of these priceless treasures as The King Tut treasures were displayed in NYC at the Metropolitan. It was an amazing museum and collection. I think most of the treasurers are safe. One of my husband’s students worked in Dublin this summer and that huge international firm is designing a new Cairo museum in sight of the pyramids…Not sure How I feel about that but treasure will be safer I guess as Tahir Square seems always the center of demonstrations. Do you mind telling me in which country you live?
I am very glad for Cairo museum.
Which country? It is an interesting question. Last time I try to live in different countries. 🙂 The plan for this year is: Latvia (Riga), Russia (Moscow), France (Paris), and Portugal. For the next year: Malta, Thailand, Italy (Venice), The Maldives, Belgium, and maybe somewhere else.
Paris is wonderful…never had any inclination to go to Russia except for the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Venice is my favorite city in the world…very expensive. Loved Portugal,Our students like Maldives….D and I are going to Istanbul and Berlin next summer, we hope. I want to see Petra in Jordan if it is safe. Also add Alhambra in Spain, and Prague….to your list! Travelling is wonderful !!
I have been to Petra and Prague. Alhambra is in our plans.