National Museum of Egyptian Civilization: The New Ancient Egyptian Museum
You might have seen something in the news earlier this year about mummies being paraded down the streets of Cairo. As incredible as the story may sound, it is, indeed, true and was dubbed the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade. On April 3, twenty-two kings and queens, each lying on its own swanky war chariot, made their way through Egypt’s capital. They were, in fact, being moved about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. Where’s their new home? Why, it’s at the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC).
About the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization
The NMEC is located 10 miles (16km) east of the Great Pyramid of Giza in the ancient city of Fustat. Open since February 2017, it is the first museum in the world to focus on history’s earliest civilization – Ancient Egypt. The museum displays artifacts dating from prehistoric times to the present day. These include the mummies of kings and queens mentioned above. Archaeologists discovered the regal mummies as far away as the Valley of the Queens. As a result, they are now on display in the museum’s Royal Mummies Hall.
Though Mummies Hall is the crown jewel of the museum, other displays are also quite striking. For example, the Main Hall contains, as its name suggests, the main exhibition area. Here, showcases display Egypt’s heritage which lends great insight into the pop culture of Egypt.
Next, along the western edge of the museum, visitors will find the Dye House. Dating from nearly 1,000 years ago, it’s one of the most well-preserved dye houses in the world. It’s also a great reminder of how the dying industry has helped sustain Egypt from ancient to modern times.
What Will Happen to the Old Egyptian Museum?
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities has lost a lot of its biggest tourist draws in the last few years. In 2019, the Grand Egyptian Museum acquired the museum’s King Tut collection. The Pharaoh’s Golden parade was yet another nail in the proverbial coffin of the old museum. All of this begs to question what will happen to the museum once the tourists return and all of its main attractions are on display at other museums?
Well, according to Egyptian Museum’s director Sabah Abdel Razek, there’s reason to remain positive about the museum’s future. She believes the museum still has enough unique objects to keep people coming through the doors. For example, there’s the 5,000 year old ceremonial engraving of the Narmer Palette. There’s also a statue of Khafre who built Giza’s second pyramid. Then there’s the Tanis collection. Gathered from six tombs, its shiny objects are said to come second only to the King Tut find.
Thus, even with King Tut and his other mummified colleagues renting space in other museums, the Egyptian museum is still a gem of its own. In fact, Dr. Tarek Tawfik, Director General of the Grand Egyptian museum, agrees. He even says there are even plans to keep the old museum open until later in the evening. As a result, it will give visitors more time to explore both museums.
With the world returning back to normal, are you thinking about a trip to Egypt to see its new museums? Then why not make your trip even better by learn Egyptian Arabic? Imagine how rewarding it would be to talk to native Egyptians in their own language! Not only that, but you’ll also be able to order food and get exactly what you want. You’ll be able to haggle over souvenirs for the folks back home Best of all, you’ll meet a lot of new friends who introduce you to the real Egyptian hospitality.
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