Tuesday, March 08, 2016


March 8, 2016

I went with two friends visiting the Exhibition : "Sarcophagi Under the stars of Nut" in the Cinquantenaire Museum.

Nut was the Egyptian goddess of the sky and and also carried symbols representing resurrection and rebirth. Sometimes she was depicted as stretched across the skies with stars forming her clothing, her elongated legs and outstretched arms symbolized the four pillars of the heavens.

We thought we would only see sarcophagi, but it turned out that this was not at all the case. It was an exclusive exhibition on Egyptian sarcophagi where we could get a first look behind the scenes of the restoration process and learn all about ancient Egyptian funerary rituals. We saw coffins, death masks and embalmed cats, and other animals many of which have never been shown before.

We also could watch an expert Italian restoration team at work as they restore the coffins of the Theban priests that were discovered in 1891 in the Second Cache of Deir el-Bahari one by one.

Of course we were checked at the entrance, just like at the airport, which has now become normal. It went quickly and we got in.

Walking through the exhibition we could see the Egyptian mourning ritual through the display of statues of wailing women that cry over the deceased. Then the items the dead needed to bring with them to ensure safe passage to the realm of Osiris, god of the Afterlife. After that, followed a chronological sketch of the evolution of sarcophagi from ordinary non adorned coffins from the prehistoric era and the Old Kingdom, to the richly decorated examples of the later periods. One hall was entirely dedicated to the ancient Egyptian process of mummification.

The different layers of a sarcophagi with a scarabaeus painting at the end

This one looked like a huge vase with a handle, you could open and look inside. It was empty.

For the first time we saw sarcophagi with the two hands outside. They were just fixed outside.

Beautiful paintings inside the sarcophagi

If you think that these coffins date from long before JC, it varied from 400 to 3000 years ! And the colors are still intact ! Amazing.

Two little once in a box

Standing sarcophagi

Again beautiful paintings

A mummy with a gold mask

Of course I admired the cat sarcophagi ! They were beautiful

also dating long before JC.

inscriptions on stone

Little gifts in the boxes containing the sarcophagi

and also less preserved remains

The mummy of a little boy

The Romans copied the Egyptians and had their death masks made

Some Egyptian once

At the end of the exhibition we could watch the Italian team working on a sarcophagi. It was very interesting to see all the instruments and machines they used.

At the exit you could buy souvenir coins

choose a background and make a selfie, which was send to your email address.


Fun60 said...

What an interesting exhibition. I am fascinated by the Ancient Egyptians.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - what an interesting exhibition to visit - I enjoyed the one at the British Museum that was on recently ... cheers Hilary

Klara said...

oh, this part with watching the team working is so appealing. are they there all the time?

Photo Cache said...

This is most interesting. Imagine seeing how mummification is done?

Worth a Thousand Words

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gattina, this is an amazing exhibition. You're so lucky to live near a real City where things like this take place. I do remember many years ago traveling to Seattle to see the traveling King Tut exhibit, which was wonderful.

I really did not know that there were so many forms of them (cats etc... how very interesting.

Thanks for sharing this tour - - I'm so glad they let you take pictures.

Gracie said...

I love everything Egypt, I really hope one day I could visit all the ancient Egypt sites and travel on a cruise over the Nile...

Gracie said...

I really love everything Egyps, I wish one day to visit all the ancient Egypt sites and be on a cruise on the Nile river...


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I love writing, traveling and photography. . I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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