The Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The Egyptian Museum

The oldest archaeological museum in the Middle East, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo is home to the largest assortment of Pharaonic antiquities globally. On display is a mind-boggling collection of relics dating back to the Predynastic Period to the Greco-Roman Era, essentially spanning the entire history of ancient Egyptian civilization? The Egyptian Museum boasts a unique location in the heart of Downtown Cairo, overlooking the famous Tahrir Square. Inside the intricately decorated pink exterior is a wealth of glimmering treasures belonging to the famed boy king Tutankhamun and other important pharaohs. Inside you will find everything from burial items and jewelry to mummies and toys belonging to ordinary Egyptians in antiquity. 

The Museum’s Unrivaled Collection

French architect Marcel Dourgnon was selected through an international competition to design the Egyptian Museum in 1895. This competition was the first of its kind. The Museum officially opened in 1902 under Khedive Abbas Helmy II and has since become an iconic historic landmark in downtown Cairo, housing some of the world’s most wondrous ancient masterpieces. The museum’s unrivaled collection features the full burials of Yuya and Thuya, Psusennes I and the treasures of Tanis, and the Narmer Palette honoring the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the unity of one king, which is among the museum’s most valuable relics. The museum is also home to the marvelous statues of the great kings Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, the great kings responsible for the construction of the Great Pyramids of Giza. You will also find a varied collection of papyri, sarcophagi and jewelry, and other amazing finds. In the museum’s 15,000 square Meyers, you will find more than 100,000 objects there. Most of the original objects are still on display however as the Grand Egyptian Museum opening date nears, a lot of the items are being moved there.

What does the Egyptian Museum contain?

The museum has two primary floors. On the ground floor, you will find a wealth of artifacts and relics from the New Kingdom, considered the golden age of Ancient Egyptian civilization. These massive items are larger than those that came centuries before. These include statues, tables, and coffins (sarcophagi), it also contains 42 rooms.

An Unrivaled Collection

The first floor features an unrivaled collection of large-scale works mostly in stone including a variety of statues, reliefs, and architectural elements. You can find these arranged chronologically spanning from the Predynastic era to the Greco-Roman era. You will find items from the final two dynasties of Egypt, including items from the royal tombs of the Pharaohs including Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Hatshepsut, and the courtier Maiherpri, as well as many treasures from the Valley of the Kings. Two special rooms hold a number of king mummies of kings other royal members of the New Kingdom era. On April 3rd, 2021, twenty-two of these royal mummies were transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat in a grand procession called The Pharaohs' Golden Parade.

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