The Egyptian Museum in Cairo; Ancient Egyptian Antiquities

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo; Ancient Egyptian Antiquities

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The Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt. Egypt travel attractions and destinations to reveal with us.

Traveling to Egypt is all about visiting the museums, the Pyramids, the old places, as well as getting the chance to walk through the streets, eat the Egyptian food, enjoy a day by the Nile, and at the same time give yourself the chance to get introduced to the nightlife of this city.

From the most famous Egyptian touristic attractions, the Egyptian Museum is on top of the list, through which you will see the historical Pharaonic pieces. The Egyptian Museum is in Tahrir square, which is considered the middle of the city, Cairo, and thus you will not just enjoy watching the old gems, but will also get the chance to see the old Egypt.

The Egyptian museum is famously called the Museum of Egypt "المتحف المصري" and it carries a good amount of Egyptian ancient antiquities, about 120,000 items; some of them are already on display while others are kept in store rooms.

This is a must see and visit place during the trip to Egypt because there are different stories to hear inside about the Gods and Goddesses of ancient Egyptian civilization. You might even love the stories that you just wish you could visit the place once again and go through the same things millions of times.

The most important thing about the Egyptian museum in Cairo is to never miss the hall of the mummies in order to see the superior quality of the life that the ancient Egyptians used to live and have an evidence for that.

The moment you enter the Egyptian museum, you will feel that you have been taken and transformed to the old age due to the sculptures that are found inside and the different things you will get the chance to see.

A lot of Egyptian artwork and Egyptian artifacts to come across in this place. We recommend that you either get a trustworthy tour guide who could help you with knowing more about the place and getting the chance to reveal all the stories, or else bring yourself a book or an article from the internet that will help you to know as much as possible, but never wander the place just watching; read everything that is written there.

There are audio guides which you could buy from the kiosk in front of the foyer for 20 EGP and which will be very useful as your guide inside.

There's great history behind this place, not just the Egyptian artifacts, but the mummies, the masks, and actually everything about this place shows how the Egyptians were so good when it came to living like real kings and queens.

We recommend that you take your water with you because it is a little bit hot inside and you might find nowhere to bring yourself water inside during the journey. We also recommend that you take something that will tell you more about the artifacts there because some don't have label and you might find yourself standing in front of something you know nothing about.

Egypt history is like no other place in the world, this country of peace carries a lot to tell the world and the Egyptian museum is where the story starts. The grand Egyptian museum will tell you about the 7 thousand years of history that this country carried and that is the reason why it is considered one of the most important museums to visit in the world.

The Egyptian museum working hours are everyday from 9 AM until 7 PM. The Egyptian museum entrance fee differ according to what you are going to see inside; general admission is for 30 EGP for non-Egyptians, the royal mummies room is for 100 EGP, the centennial gallery for 10 EGP, and all these are reduced by half if you are a student.

Cameras are not allowed inside the place and you will be checked for that by the gates, so you will never get the chance to take photos inside and keep the memory of seeing those artifacts with you. You could only take photos from the outside to prove that you have been there and visited this important museum of Egypt.

This place is so famous, you will be able to reach it by taxi, by the metro, or even by the other transportation tools - but we don't recommend any other way than these two.

The Nile is only five minutes walk away from the Egyptian Museum so you could go for a walk there after you get done with your trip in the museum. There are different things to do in Egypt in general and a lot of things to see, so always plan to see as much as your stay allows you to.

When you visit Egypt, you should plan to visit Muhammad Ali Mosque

You should also visit The National Museum of Egypt

You should give yourself the chance to go to a tour through the Pharaonic Village

And even go to Al Moez street

Egyptian Museum in Cairo

The Tentative Lists of States Parties are published by the World Heritage Centre at its website and/or in working documents in order to ensure transparency, access to information and to facilitate harmonization of Tentative Lists at regional and thematic levels.

The sole responsibility for the content of each Tentative List lies with the State Party concerned. The publication of the Tentative Lists does not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the World Heritage Committee or of the World Heritage Centre or of the Secretariat of UNESCO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its boundaries.

Property names are listed in the language in which they have been submitted by the State Party


Located in the heart of Tahrir Square, Cairo, the Egyptian Museum is a unique building designed to host the world's oldest collection of Pharaonic art and monuments. Built on an area of 13,600 sq. meters, with more than 100 exhibition halls, the museum is a product of a competition launched by the Egyptian Government in 1895 and thus it is considered the first national museum in the Middle East. The original collection, established in the late 19th century, was previously housed at a building in Bulaq. Afterwards it was transferred to the palace of Ismail Pasha in Giza, until its definitive resting place was completed. Several design projects were proposed, but the one presented by the French architect Marcel Dourgnon was chosen as the winner. The cornerstone was laid on 1st April 1897 at Tahrir Square by the Italian company of Giuseppe Garozzo and Francesco Zaffrani. Due to the fact that the competition was specifically created to find the most practical design and architecture strategy for hosting a vast exhibition of antiquities, the Egyptian Museum became the first purpose-built museum edifice in the region, setting a precedent for many other museological institutions that were to emerge during the 20th century.

Besides the site’s original and avant-garde design concept, the building carries an enormous scientific value, since it is considered the museum with the largest ancient Egyptian collection in the world, and has thus always been the flagship of museums for the study, research, conservation, and exhibition practices related to ancient Egypt and the influence it exerted on many other historical civilizations. The Museum displays an extensive collection spanning from prehistory up to the Graeco-Roman period. The museum originally contained a library, conservation laboratories, and an extra piece of land that extends to the Nile-bank, that later became the headquarters of the National Democratic Party, which was burnt down during the 2011 revolution. This land used to provide the museum with direct access to the Nile.

Justification of Outstanding Universal Value

Museums are institutions regarded as centres for education, research and leisure. Throughout the whole 20th century, they have grown to become one of the most indispensable spaces for cultural exchange and dialogue in our societies, as well as for the conservation and preservation of historic, scientific and artistic items. Although the idea of collecting extraordinary or ancient artefacts for contemplation and/or learning is not new, the concept of designing a building in which specific elements (such as organisation of space, lighting, ventilation, etc.) are thought out precisely for the purpose of exhibiting those artefacts is relatively recent. Before the construction of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, many international museums, such as the Louvre Museum, the Britsh Museum, and many other major museums were housed/located within historic palaces and buildings, while the Egyptian Museum was designed specifically to house a large collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. While it is not the first purpose-built museum in the world, it is the first in the Middle East and North Africa, and certainly the earliest one dedicated entirely to the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Besides the design and structural aspects of the building, the tangible heritage that is housed within its walls is universally recognized and fundamental in the development, since the end of the 19th century, of the field of Egyptology. The contributions of ancient Egypt to modern civilization are undeniable, and the Egyptian Museum played a very important role in the unveiling of many mysteries about ancient Egypt. Egyptologists from all over the world consider it to be their second home. No research on ancient Egypt would be complete without multiple visits to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Criterion (iv): Through the competition established in 1895, the French architect Marcel Dourgnon was able to come up with a model of a building which was not only original but one that became an important reference for museum design. Besides its beautiful 19th century Beaux-Arts architecture, his project was chosen as the winner because of some specific elements that have proven their functionality and genius.

The building consists of a basement and two floors. The main façade divides the museum into two identical parts, which is useful for managing the flux of visitors. The basement consists of a number of intersecting vaults supported by pillars and bearer walls designed to lessen the heavy load created by the huge objects above. Therefore, it is the perfect place for storing the museum's major antiquities. uncovered during archaeological excavations. The first floor consists of one large corridor and 51 halls, while the second floor consists of one large corridor and 55 halls. Those were purposely designed with the idea of improving the arrangement and distribution of the artefacts along the space. It is designed as a sequence of rectangular and circular spaces from east to west, with a rotunda in the centre, located right after the museum’s main entrance. These are double-height rooms topped by a skylight and connected by an outer and inner ring gallery on both floors, which surrounds the whole edifice.

The double-height rooms, with mezzanines and sunlight penetrating through a glass ceiling, gave Dourgnon an edge over his competitors in the eyes of the jury, since these distinctive architectural features allow natural light to sufficiently illuminate the two-floor building, enhancing the viewing potential of what’s on display. Moreover, the ventilation system was designed to allow the natural flow of air and wind without the need for further additions. In constructing the museum, attention was paid to ensuring ease of movement and smooth access between the various sections.The visitor enters the museum through a handsome porch in the center of the main facade. A well-proportioned archway is flanked by two Ionic columns and decorated with a head of the goddess Isis. Set into the wall on either side are two high-relief female figures representing Upper and Lower Egypt (the Nile Valley and the delta). Likewise, adorning the facade are marble panels inscribed with the names of prominent Egyptologists and other individuals who contributed to the preservation of Egypt's antiquities

Unlike his competitors, Marcel Dourgnon did not design the museum as a duplicate of an ancient Egyptian tomb. On the contrary, he proposed a conceptual building to house the precious artefacts without obscuring them. By combining practical needs with aesthetics, the Egyptian Museum became a prototype of design, organization of space and exhibition method for many museums around the world, wonderfully illustrating the ideals of education and conservation of artefacts.

Thus, Egypt’s first state museum owes its fame not only to its rich contents but also to its splendid architecture, which is also a manifestation of the western imperialism that characterized the time in which it was constructed. The building is designed in a Beaux Arts, neo-classical design that closely met the requirements outlined in the competition programme. The façade includes images of Egyptian goddesses, yet they are executed in the late classical Greek style. The inscriptions on the marble panels are in Latin, which most Egyptians could not read, and for a long time, the only busts that were included adjacent to the sarcophagus of Mariette were those of European Egyptologists.

Criterion (vi): The Egyptian Museum is not only the first purpose-built museum edifice in the region but also stands as the mothership of Egyptology in terms of the breadth and significance of its collections. Egyptology is a field of study dedicated to the research and preservation of ancient Egyptian culture and is recognized as one of the oldest and most important branches of historical, archeological and cultural studies in the world. The development of Egyptology is a crucial step in the history of humanity since it allows us to have deeper understanding of the past, the legacy and the identity of one of the most influential civilisations that has existed. Because of its key geographic location and because of the many years of cultural exchanges with nearby kingdoms and empires, ancient Egypt has directly influenced the development of many other African and European civilisations in Ancient History. Therefore the Egyptian Museum serves as a universal symbol for the development of Egyptian museology in the 20th century (inspiring other important collections such as the ones in Turin, Paris and Berlin) .

Moreover, at the same time that the site has occupied this internationally recognised position in the field of Egyptian Museology, it has also been strongly associated with ideological beliefs, historical events and artistic works that are continuously helping to shape the Egyptian cultural identity and its society.

The site was also at the epicentre of the 2011 Revolution in Egypt, during the Arab Spring. It is situated adjacent to what used to be the ruling National Democratic Party’s building, which occupied the land that used to belong to the Egyptian Museum, and was set ablaze by protestors. Looters have managed to enter from the roof and vandalize and steal some of the historic artefacts within it. However, there was also a great number of Egyptian citizens who mobilised themselves in solidarity and created a human shield to protect the museum (a gesture which has inspired and moved many other heritage communities around the world. The image of this human shield has become a symbol of devotion to a people’s own national heritage).

The Egyptian Museum has also appeared in numerous national and international films. Most documentary films on ancient Egypt include scenes shot at the museum. such as: David Macaulay: Pyramid (Unicorn Projects, 1988) Im Schatzhaus der Pharaonen (2007) Secrets of the Dead: The Silver Pharaoh (PBS, 2010) The Man Who Discovered Egypt (BBC, 2012) A History of Art in Three Colours (BBC, 2012) Duels (France 5, 2014) Tutankhamun: The Mystery of the Burnt Mummy (BBC, 2013), numerous National Geographic documentaries and the Finish documentary Ramses ja unet (Partanen & Rautoma, 1982), to name but a few. Popular movies such as the horror film The Awakening (EMI Films and Orion Pictures, 1980) and the classic Cairo (Metro Goldwyn-Mayer, 1962) also feature the Egyptian Museum. Literary works, such as the The Seventh Scroll, by Wilbour Smith and the Dutch novel Art Theft in Egypt, by Huub Pragt, that tells the story of the looting of the Egyptian Museum in 2011, also feature the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. All of those examples emphasize the iconic status and importance of the Egyptian Museum, not only for Egyptians, but for the world as a whole.

Statements of authenticity and/or integrity

The Egyptian Museum still includes all elements needed to express its exceptional value as a remarkable and original building. Reinforced concrete material and specific Italian construction methods were used for the first time in Egypt for the museum, allowing its structure to survive the many challenges it has faced over the past 100 years. The full restoration of the original walls, floors and skylights in these halls is currently being carried out by two initiative projects namely “Transforming the Egyptian Museum” and “Revival of the Egyptian Museum”, that are meant to present the museum as it was originally intended to be seen, so that it remains a reference destination for both national and international visitors. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo is thus to remain a museum of museums.

Although the original design of Dourgnon - which gives the place its OUV - was not directly affected by the transformations that happened throughout the years, it is also important to address some issues. For example, the implemented projects in its vicinity which in some instances have impacted the museum’s structure. Vibrations caused by tunnel-boring activities during the construction of metro lines and from traffic passing nearby - Tahrir Square and/or the 6th of October Bridge - have caused cracks in the museum’s walls, as well as in some of the artefacts.

To this end, the Revival Initiative team has carried out a series of physical rehabilitation works inside a limited section of the museum’s display galleries, notably in Halls 30, 35, 40 and 45, in the east wing of the Tutankhamun Gallery. Their methodology was to create an "initiation zone” designed to serve as a living example for what the full museum renovation and rehabilitation will look like in later stages. Within this zone, sustainability issues, such as preventive conservation of the museum’s priceless artefacts and the maintenance of the display galleries are being thoroughly addressed. Those rehabilitation strategies are light-touch, causing minimal disturbance of showcases. There will be no heavy works where large numbers of showcases have to be moved. The proposed works will be carried out without necessitating closure of the rooms under rehabilitation. As much as possible, the Revival Initiative is designed to avoid having to interrupt the visits and to demonstrate that Egyptians are taking care of their cultural heritage.

The site's architectural style presents a mix of different artistic influences used by Marcel Dourgnon: 19th century French Beaux-Arts architecture, Italian Renaissance references, the classic “Greco-Roman" columns and arches in the large halls and the reproduction of ancient Egyptian temples in the entrance of the inner halls. All of those elements are still visible and testify to the authenticity of the place.

However, it is undeniable that the museum has suffered some alterations in the past century. Within the museum’s original enclosure, new facilities were built, modifying the layout of its gardens from the original plans. Physical changes were also made to the museum building, both from within and without. Such changes include the addition of bomb shelter structures that have impeded the natural lighting from the skylights and increased the load on the museum building, the partitioning of some exhibition halls for the creation of storage spaces and the modification of its interior design in some places. The architects leading the Revival Initiative team have set the restoration of the site’s original lighting scheme, wall colour schemes (through the removal of multiple layers of invasive paints and the application of differently coloured, naturally abundant Egyptian oxides) and terrazzo floors as their goal.

Comparison with other similar properties

The uniqueness of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo comes both from its original architectural design and its meaningful place as a leading institution for Egyptology and Egyptian museology. The site can easily be compared to the Neues Museum in Berlin, which is inscribed in the World Heritage List since 1999 and also has a dense collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. While the Neues Museum is the first one in Europe dedicated specifically for such a purpose, the museum in Cairo is the first national museum in the Middle East. Such a statement proves the regional importance of the site among its neighbouring states/countries, as well as its global role as the leading institution for Egyptology in Egypt itself.

At this point, it is also important to recognise that the Neues Museum was built in Neoclassical and Renaissance revival styles as an extension to house collections that could not be accommodated in the Altes Museum (first one to be erected on the Museum Island, unable to accommodate the Egyptian collection). The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, on the other hand, was built under a competition to find the best design possible for a museological building, which shows the social and cultural value of its architectural features and sets it apart from other institutions with similar purposes.

While there are many World Heritage Sites that include museum buildings within their core zones, most of them were not originally designed as museums, being mainly part of historical palaces, citadels, ancient settlements and archaeological sites. That is why criterion (vi) is so relevant in this nomination, since it brings forward the genius behind Marcel Dourgnon’s design. From this perspective, we believe that the museum could be compared with the Bauhaus Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau. Although completely distant in terms of chronological period, design style and references, both of the sites converge on the idea that their architectural features embody the principle of purpose-built edifices. The Bauhaus style is considered to be a revolutionary movement because it proposed a rupture with the trends of its time by going back to primary basic forms. What brings it closer to the concept of the Egyptian Museum is that the desired aesthetic had to be brilliantly combined with functional matters in term of space occupation, financial resources, functionality and use of the construction material, just like the original plan of Marcel Dourgnon.

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo Ancient Egyptian Antiquities - History

Amid the deadly chaos that has erupted in Egypt, the country's cultural heritage took a hit last week when looters ransacked the archaeological museum in the town of Mallawi.

Located about 190 miles (300 kilometers) south of Cairo, the museum was opened in 1963 to showcase the finds from excavations at nearby sites.

"The museum contained irreplaceable artifacts, many not yet studied," says Salima Ikram, a professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo. "The looting leaves enormous gaps in our understanding of ancient Egyptian religious and funerary rites."

Housed in a modest, two-story building, the museum's galleries displayed a wide range of objects—animal mummies, votive statues, religious offerings, brightly painted wooden coffins, necklaces of stone beads, a ritual rattle known as a sistrum, funerary masks, amulets, statues from tombs, stone trays for sacred oils, jars that once held the internal organs of an Egyptian now long dead—all of which had survived in remarkably good condition for more than 2,000 years.

According to local news reports, looters—as yet unidentified—broke into the museum while supporters of recently deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi were holding a sit-in protest in the museum's garden. From the 1,089 artifacts on exhibit, an estimated 1,050 were stolen.

After the looters had departed, gangs of what one source calls "local bad boys" entered the building and began to burn and smash what was left.

In the photo shown here, debris from the rampage surrounds large artifacts that were too bulky to haul off.

This incident is just the latest of countless attacks on Egypt's archaeological riches since the 2011 revolution.

During the protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square that ended the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak, looters broke into the Egyptian Museum—home of one of the world's foremost archaeological collections—and made off with about 50 artifacts. Many are still missing.

The country's continuing turmoil has led to lax security at archaeological sites and storerooms throughout the country, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Reports of looting have surfaced everywhere from Abu Rawash and Abusir to El Hibeh and Luxor.

Looting is certainly not a new phenomenon in Egypt. It was as lucrative in antiquity as it is today. Almost as soon as the paint was dry in the tombs of the rich and powerful, robbers would break in and grab what wealth they could. Even the tomb of King Tut was a target. Experts believe looters got in twice, stuffed their pockets, and left jewelry strewn along the exit passage as they fled from guards.

What's different today is the scale—selling antiquities is a global business, and it's booming.

To help warn dealers and collectors away from the Mallawi loot, Egyptologists are turning to social media to publicize the objects as quickly as possible. A group on Facebook called Egypt's Heritage Task Force is leading the effort. Their page includes a growing collection of artifact photos sent in by people who visited the museum in recent years. As of this morning it showed almost 900 images.

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials have catalogued what has been lost and sent the list to UNESCO for publication in Arabic and English on its website. They are now salvaging what they can from the ruined galleries and encouraging looters to return priceless treasures that testify to the glory of ancient Egypt and the infinite possibilities of human creativity.

A Brief History of the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir

For much of Egypt’s modern history, this pink by day, orange by night building complex solemnly stood as a witness to it all, bearing our priceless national treasures. To this day, the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir remains as a staple of Egypt’s heritage and a reminder of the greatness of those who came before us.

On the 16th of June, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities announced the launch of a massive refurbishment plan for the country’s oldest museum, according to Reuters.

The three-year development project aims to establish the 200-year-old building as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, employing the help of five major European museums including the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy the Louvre Museum in Paris the British Museum in London the Egyptian Museum in Berlin and the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, Holland.

The plan includes the refurbishing of the museum entrance as well as developing the show halls on the ground floor. Furthermore, everything from wall paint to lighting is to be renewed. As for the artifacts, a number of them will undergo major restoration along with their explanatory cards, many of which were in dire need of an update. The curators also plan to put the treasures of the royal tombs discovered in Tanis in Sharqia on display.

Although the much-anticipated opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum on the outskirts of Cairo has forced the centrally located museum out of the limelight, the latter remains an icon of Downtown Cairo’s architectural landscape. Still, the history of how it came to be remains obscure to many Egyptians who pass by it almost every day.

In 1858, after a wave of excavations across many of Egypt’s governorates, French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette succeeded in convincing the Wali of Egypt and Sudan to establish a museum at Bulaq, near Cairo to house what would become the world’s most prominent collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities.

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities is considered to be one of the oldest, most famous, and largest museums in the world. The Egyptian Museum has a long history that dates back to the year 1825 when Mohamed Ali Pasha, the ruler of Egypt at the time, issued a decree to establish a museum for the precious antiquities of Egypt. The first location of the museum was in front of Azabakeya Lake, between the squares of Opera and Atabba today.

The Ruler of Egypt at this period didn&rsquot fully realize the true value of the antiquities and ancient historical finds of Egypt and for a time, they gave them to various European tourists who visited Egypt during the middle of the 19th century.

Eventually, the rest of the antiquities, that were kept near the Azabakeya Lake, were taken to an abandoned room in the citadel. The Austrian Archduke, Maximilian, visited the citadel and was quite taken by the amazing belongings of this room.

Suprisingly, Khedive Abbas, the ruler of Egypt at the time, gave the Archduke all the items that were kept in the room. Afterward, Maximilian took theses treasures with him to Austria, where they remain today.

After years of attempts and hard work, the great Egyptologist, Auguste Mariette, was paramount in the opening Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities, located in the famous Tahrir Square, when it opened to public on the November 15th, 1902.

About the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

Situated in front of the main entrance of the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities, is a small artificial lake surrounded by the lotus and the papyrus plants, the most revered plants to the ancient Egyptians.

The papyrus is a green long plant that was used by the ancient Egyptians to produce paper. On a side note, the words &ldquopaper&rdquo in English and the word &ldquoPapier&rdquo in French are both derived from the word Papyrus.

The sections of the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities located in the Tahrir Square in Cairo is considered to be the largest museum in the entire world. With so many exhibits put on display in the Egyptian museum, and even double the number of exhibits kept in storage rooms, the guests would take days to view everything in the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities.

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities consists of two floors the ground floor that hosts the bigger displays such as coffins, huge statues, and stone carvings.

The displays of the ground floor were organized according to the historical periods which are the Old Kingdom, the Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom, the Late Period, the Greco Roman Period, and the antiquities of the Nubia.

The upper floor of the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities hosts the smaller displays that include gadgets and tools, funerary objects, smaller statues, papyrus papers, wooden coffins, jewelry, and most importantly, the displays of the Tut Ankh Amun tomb. It is an experience not to be missed.

The Narmer Plate

Among the most important displays that the guests of the Egyptian Museum should view during their visit is the Narmer Plate, also known as the Plate of the King Menes.

The Narmer Plate is a large plate made of stone and it is the only remaining evidence that King Narmer or Menes was able to unify the two regions of Egypt, Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt in one unified kingdom, beginning the dynastic era of the Egyptian history. That is quite an amazing feat.

The name of King Menes is inscribed on the two sides of the plate. King Menes is portrayed on one side of the plate wearing his long white crown and seems to be about to beat a war prisoner with his bare hands

On the other side of the Narmer Plate, the king is portrayed wearing two crowns and walking with his followers to supervise the process of prosecuting the war prisoner.

The Displays of the Old Kingdom

The displays of the Old Kingdom in the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities are located on the left-hand side of the entrance door and they are among the most remarkable among the whole displays of the museum.

The Old Kingdom, known as the "Pyramids Builders Period", is a section in the ancient Egyptian history area.

The most important achievements of this period are the Pyramids of Giza, the Step Pyramid of Saqqara, the Pyramids of Dahshur, and the Pyramids of Abu Sir.

The first capital of a unified Egypt was founded by King Menes in the 32nd century BC and it was called Memphis, presently located to the South of Giza. The most important Egyptian kings that ruled over the country from Memphis are King Menes or Narmer, King Zoser, King Senefru, King Chespos, and King Khafre.

There is a wonderful statue of King Khafre made out of alabaster and it is put on display in the second half of the ground floor of the museum. There are also four heads of some of the relatives of the king made out of limestone.

Moving forward in the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities, guests will find a collection of attractive smaller statues of servants carrying out their everyday duties and responsibilities.

There is a statue of a woman grinding the grains and beside her, there is a statue of a man getting the dough ready to produce beer. On the other side there is a man grilling a goose and beside him, there is another man holding a large bag on his shoulder.

These statues were found in some of the tombs of the Nobles who included these servants, in their burial chambers, to serve them in the afterlife as they did on Earth.

Afterward, as they explore the ground floor of the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities, guests will find a large collection of coffins that were made from variousvrocks and stones adorned with notable decorations and carvings.

There are also the walls of the funerary chamber, that was reconstructed after being brought from one of the tombs of Saqqara. This piece is the best example of the magnificent breadth of art of the 6th dynasty of the Old Kingdom. The guests will view on the chamver walls a list of items showing what the deceased might need in the afterlife.

The Old Kingdom is considered to be among the most powerful periods of the ancient Egyptians. This is why huge statues are featured with extreme accuracy in both design and beauty. A prime example of this is the wonderful statue of king Khafre, made out of the strong diorite stone.

Another example of the detailed statues of the old kingdom would be the sycamore carved statue of the &ldquoSheikh of the Town&rdquo, one of the most important figures that date back to the ancient Egyptian and which is still practiced until today.

The Displays of the Middle Kingdom

The Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities hosts ten notable statues that date back to the Middle Kingdom. The ten statues portray King Senosert I, a king that belongs to the 12th dynasty and they are all made out of limestone.

There are also three other statues of Senosert portrayed as the god Osiris and they were found near the El Lisht, an area near El Fayoum and the Pyramid of Medium to the South of Cairo.

The Middle Kingdom period started in Egypt with the fall of the Old Kingdom and it was, according to historical records and researchers, a relatively negative period of the ancient Egyptian history.

However, with the beginning of the rule of the 12th dynasty, the living conditions of the Egyptians were improved and their arts and industries have greatly flourished.

Another transition took place in Egypt once again, as the nobles fought among each other, as the living conditions detoriated, the way was paved for the Hyksos to invade the country.

When the 17th dynasty, from Thebes, came to rule over Egypt they began to fight these foreign invaders until King Ahmose was able to defeat the Hyksos and expel them out of Egypt. Ahmose founded the 18th dynasty, which is the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt.

The Displays of the New Kingdom

The 18th dynasty, which is the first dynasty of the New Kingdom, is considered to be among the greatest dynasties that ruled over Egypt and the most important rulers of this period were Queen Hatshepsut, King Amenhotep, Ikhnaton, and King Tut Ankh Amun.

There are so many displays in the Museum Of Egyptian Antiquities that date back to the New Kingdom. Among these, there are several statues of the goddess Hathour and the god Amun, the most famous god of ancient Egypt.

The displays of the New Kingdom also include a large collection of mummification tools, chairs, wooden objects, crowns, and a large collection of statues of gods, kings, and queens dating back to many different periods of the New Kingdom.

There are a number of remarkable statues of Queen Hatshepsut with some of them portraying her in the shape of the Sphinx while the other shows her in the disguise of a man.

There are some notable statues of King Tuthmosis III, the successor of Hatshepsut, who is known as one of the most skillful military leaders of ancient Egypt, so much so he was called the Napoleon of Egypt!

Open daily, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM
9:00 AM-5:00 PM during Ramadan

General Admission:
Egyptian: LE 4 (LE 2, students)
Foreign: LE 60 (LE 30, students)

Royal Mummies Room:
Egyptian: LE 10 (LE 5, students)
Foreign: LE 100 (LE 50, students)

Centennial Gallery:
Egyptian: LE 2 (LE 1, students)
Foreign: LE 10 (LE 5, students)

Student rates available to bearers of a valid student ID from an Egyptian university or an International Student ID Card (ISIC)

Midan al-Tahrir, Downtown Cairo

By metro: Sadat Station, follow signs to Egyptian Museum exit and walk straight along the street.
By car or taxi: Ask for "al-met-haf al-masri"
By bus: Ask for "abdel minem-ryad"

Cafeteria, bank, post office, gift shop, library, children's museum, school
Taped audio guides are available in English, French, and Arabic for LE 20. Go to the kiosk in the front foyer to purchase.
Membership in the Friends of the Egyptian Museum organization is available. Call for details (+20-(0)2-2579-4596).

An elevator, located to the right of Gallery R43 (Pre- and Early Dynastic) is available for those unable to use the stairs--ask the engineers in the office next to the elevator to activate it

Contents of The Egyptian Museum

Inside the Egyptian museum is about 120,000 rare magical artifacts from 2700 BC at the beginning of Egypt old kingdom to Egypt New kingdom to even the Greco-Roman Period. The building consists of two floors, the first floor (Ground Floor) and the second floor. The ground floor holds all the massive displays like coffins, masks, large states, stones tablets and items found in the royal tombs of many Kings and Queens. The second floor contains a lot of the smaller objects like jewelry, papyrus papers, funerary objects and most of the displays of many royal tombs. The artifacts are organized according to the historical periods starting with the old kingdom up to the Greco-Roman period. One of the most famous artifacts is the Narmer Plate that tells the story of the unification battle by the hands of King Menes and part of the legacy of the age of the pyramids the olds era. On the ground floor, statues of king Khufu, Khafre and many others will be found. Most of the monuments in the Museum belong to the New Kingdom (1550-712 BC) covering three dynasties from the 18 th to the 20 th , these artifacts differ from crown, wooden objects, gold statues of goddess-like Hathor, Amun to luxurious belongings of many Kings and Queens such as Thutmosis III, Thutmosis IV, Amenophis II, Egypt’s most powerful Queen Hatshepsut, The Great Ramses II also, of course the famous Boy-King Tutankhamun, and many others from the new kingdom.


Last Ticket

The tickets window closes at 4:15 PM

Free tickets

1. Seniors aged 60 and over 2- special needs 3- Orphaned children 4- Public schools trips primary and preparatory school

Photography& Video Tickets

FOREIGNERS: Photography:EGP 50 Video:EGP 300 EGYPTIANS ARABS: Photography:EGP 20 Video:EGP 300 - Photography (Personal Use – without Flash) - With the exception of the Mummy rooms and King Tutankhamen’s Mask Room


- Private photography is permitted inside the museum after paying ticketfees. - Please refrain from taking photographs of other visitors or staff as it may violate their personal rights. - Please refrain from taking video recordings (cell phone, cameras) in the galleries unless you have paid the appropriate ticket fees. - Taking photographs and video recordings for commercial use (TV, cinema, programmes, advertising, documentary clips, etc.) are permitted only after obtaining permission from the concerned authority and paying the daily rate. - Please refrain from using flash photography. - Please refrain from using tripods or monopods except for permitted commercial use.

General Policies

- Please do not touch any exhibits or showcases. - Food and drinks are not allowed within the galleries, except for small water bottles. - Smoking is prohibited throughout the museum. - Please refrain from disorderly, disruptive, and offensive language or actions. - Please be mindful of others, and be quiet when using your cell phone. - Audio players are not permitted throughout the museum. - For the safety of the exhibits, please do not use flashlights or laser pointers inside the museum. - Appropriate attire is requested. - Please do not lay down on seats or on the floor, and do not remove your shoes. - Please follow all posted signs and visitor instructions.


 In times of emergency such as an earthquake or fire, please follow the instructions of museum staff.  In the event of an earthquake, please move away from large sculptures, displaycases, and other objects that may fall down.


With regards to the students of Art Faculties, please conduct yourself respectively in regards to the following:  The use of pens and pen markersare prohibited in all galleries: only pencils may be used in taking notes or sketching.  Sketchbooksexceeding 18 x 24 inches are not permitted.  Please do not hinder visitor traffic flow in the galleries by blocking visitors or walking paths.

UNESCO adds Egyptian Museum in Cairo to its World Heritage Tentative List

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to its World Heritage Tentative List.

Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities applied, last February, in accordance with the established criteria for registering such sites.

Abdel Mohsen Shafi’i, Supervisor of the Central Department for International and Public Relations at the ministry, stated that, during the process, the latter was keen to highlight the special status that the museum enjoys.

It noted that the museum serves as a cultural beacon in the heart of Cairo, and acts as a witness to Egyptian civilisation.

He said that the Egyptian Museum is the first national museum in the Middle East, and includes the largest and most important archaeological treasures of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation.

It is also a unique landmark that has played an important role in educating and disseminating archaeological awareness of the various eras of Egyptian society.

The museum additionally has a library and archive that contains rare documents and books in the field of Egyptology. It holds a great position as a source of living heritage.

For her part, Sabah Abdel Razek, Director General of the Egyptian Museum, said that the building is unique in being an exceptional architectural example. It is also one of the first architectural buildings specifically constructed to become a museum, distinguished by its unique design and engineering achievement.

The museum was built by the French architect Marcel Dornon, whose classical Greco-Roman design beat 87 other rivals to be chosen. The foundation stone of the museum was laid in 1897, with the museum finally inaugurated on 15 November 1902, during the reign of Khedive Abbas Hilmi.

It is reported that a project is currently being implemented to develop the exhibition area in the Egyptian Museum, through a short-term and long-term plan.

The museum joins a long list of Egyptian sites registered on the UNESCO Tentative List, which includes a number of unique cultural and natural heritage sites across the country.

This includes sites in Minya governorate, the Ras Muhammad Reserve in South Sinai, the Nilometer on Cairo’s Roda Island, the monasteries of the Western Desert, and the ancient Sinai castles.

Egypt has seven sites registered on the World Heritage List, including: the Memphis and its Necropolis Ancient Thebes and its Necropolis Nubian Monuments Historic Cairo Saint Catherine Area Abu Mena Monastery and the Wadi El Hitan (Whales Valley) in Fayoum.

The Egyptian Museum was first built in Boulak. In 1891, it was moved to Giza Palace of “Ismail Pasha” which housed the antiquities that were later moved to the present building.

The Egyptian Museum is situated at Tahrir square in Cairo. It was built during the reign of Khedive Abbass Helmi II in 1897, and opened on November 15, 1902 . It has 107 halls.

Tutankhamon’s treasures

At the ground floor there are the huge statues. The upper floor houses small statues, jewels, Tutankhamon treasures and the mummies.

The greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities is, without doubt, that of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It is a place of true discovery and, even after many visits, I continue to make new and delightful discoveries every time I venture into its many galleries.

Egyptian Museum Sections

The Museum also comprises a photography section and a large library. The Egyptian museum comprises many sections arranged in chronological order :

The first section houses Tutankhamon’s treasures.

The second section houses the pre-dynasty and the Old Kingdom monuments.

The third section houses the first intermediate period and the Middle Kingdom monuments.

The forth section houses the monuments of the Modern Kingdom.

The fifth section houses the monuments of the late period and the Greek and Roman periods.

The sixth section houses coins and papyrus.

The seventh section houses sarcophagi and scrabs.

Egyptian Museum’s Royal Mummy Room

The museum’s Royal Mummy Room, containing 27 royal mummies from pharaonic times, was closed on the orders of President Anwar Sadat in 1981.

It was reopened, with a slightly curtailed display of New Kingdom kings and queens in 1985, along with the reconstructed Royal Tomb of Akhenaten in the museum’s car park.

A hall for the royal mummies was opened at the museum, housing eleven kings and queens. More than a million and half tourists visit the museum annually, in addition to half a million Egyptians.

Egyptian Museum Location

It is situated at Tahrir square in Cairo. Maydan at-Tahrir, Cairo, Egypt.

Be sure to explore the peaceful park in front of the salmon-colored museum, which opened in this spot in 1902

There was simply no way I was going to miss the treasures of Tutankhamun, much less the mummies of the pharaohs. So I knew our trip to Cairo wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the landmark Egyptian Museum.

It was a dry, hot morning when Wally and I left the Kempinski Nile Hotel and walked along the Corniche — the grand boulevard that runs parallel to the Nile River. The thoroughfare was not yet car-choked, and we had to walk past armed military police as we approached the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, more commonly known as the Egyptian Museum.

The colossi of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye tower above Wally (a queen shown actual size)

The Egyptian Museum’s Rough Start

The museum’s first home was established in 1863 by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette on the banks of the Nile, in Cairo’s Bulaq district. Over time, its extensive collection continued to grow, but in 1878, one of the worst floods in Egypt’s history completely destroyed much of the building, as well as some of Mariette’s drawings and excavation documents. The artifacts were temporarily relocated to the royal palace of Ismail Pasha at Giza after the catastrophe.

Construction on a new museum began in 1897 at its present location in Tahrir Square, an address that’s now known as the site of protests during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, part of the Arab Spring. It officially opened its doors to the public on November 15, 1902.

A pair of larger-than-life figures personifying the goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt adorn the museum’s façade on either side of the entry arch

The main façade of the salmon-colored Beaux-Arts style structure features a pair of Art Nouveau female figures personifying the goddesses of Upper and Lower Egypt. The museum’s collection consists of approximately 120,000 objects — the largest assemblage of pharaonic antiquities dating from the Old Kingdom (circa 2613-2181 BCE) to the Greco-Roman Period (332 BCE-395 CE).

We purchased our tickets, which included general admission and the two rooms of royal mummies for 300 Egyptian pounds (just under 20 bucks when we visited), plus an additional ticket for photography for 50 L.E. (about $3).

Looking down upon the entrance, with its metal detectors

Exploring the Egyptian Museum

We made our way through the courtyard, which contains a reflecting pool with papyrus, additional stone artifacts and a monument dedicated to Mariette. Passing through the museum’s arched entrance, we paused at a security checkpoint, where we showed our tickets and placed our phones in plastic bins before entering. Make sure to look up at the sculpted keystone of the central arch with its Art Nouveau depiction of the goddess Isis, wearing the headdress of Hathor: a solar disc cradled between the horns of a cow.

Peek behind a wall partition and you’ll see just how disorganized the Egyptian Museum is

Lose Yourself in the Cluttered Collections

The museum has two floors, each of which is arranged in roughly chronological order. Objects are displayed amongst wooden crates and errant forklifts, giving the space a transitory feel. The sprawling second floor halls are filled row upon row of glass cases haphazardly combined with cabinets of curiosities. The Egyptian Museum felt trapped in time, a bit like the decaying mansion of Miss Havisham, the jilted spinster from Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations.

The section on the Amarna Period, with Akenhaten’s defaced sarcophagus in the foreground

The Good: The Androgynous Amarna Period

One of our favorite parts of the museum was the section on the Amarna Period. At the center of this collection are Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti. Akhenaten is remembered as the “Heretic King” who abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism in favor of the monotheistic worship of a single god, the Aten. His reign and art are referred to as Amarna because of the Beni Amran, a Bedouin tribe living in the area when his short-lived capital city was discovered by archaeologists.

The royal family shown worshipping the Aten (aka the sun) and its life-giving rays — check out those thunder thighs!

The Aten was depicted as the disc of the sun, whose rays ended in hands reaching out to touch the royal family. What we like best about the Amarna style is its sculpture, which differs radically from the rest of Ancient Egyptian art, which remained largely static for millennia. Perhaps the androgynous elongation and curved form of the colossal statues of Akhenaten and Nefertiti were meant to illustrate the transformative power of the Aten’s rays?

The unfinished yet still stunning bust of Nefertiti

Don’t miss the unfinished quartzite head of Nefertiti with the sculptor’s ink marks still intact, and take a moment to gaze upon the coffin of Akhenaten, which was defaced after his death. His cartouche (the hieroglyphic symbol with a pharaoh’s name) on the lid of the coffin was obliterated so that his spirit would be unable to return in the afterlife.

Catch the treasures of King Tut before they’re moved to the new Grand Egyptian Museum

King Tut…at Last!

The incredible Tutankhamun galleries are located on the second floor — a collection I have wanted to see ever since I was a little boy. It contains hundreds of funerary objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb, including the black jackal-topped Anubis shrine and gilded canopic shrine surrounded by the divinities of Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Selket.

A shrine to the jackal-headed god of mummification, Anubis, found in King Tut’s treasury

A gilded shrine shows a lesser-known deity, Selket, the goddess of magic, who wore a scorpion atop her head

King Tut’s iconic, dazzling golden death mask, inlaid with colored glass and semi-precious stones, is displayed in a case in a separate room, where photography isn’t permitted. You probably already know what it looks like, anyway.

Sarcophagi line the hall leading to the Mummy Rooms, where you can see the dried-up corpses of legendary kings and queens of Ancient Egypt

Mummies Dearest

The shrunken, desiccated bodies of the royal mummies, the kings and queens who ruled Egypt over 3,500 years ago, are located on the second floor and displayed in dimly lit, climate-controlled rooms, within hermetically sealed nitrogen-filled glass cases.

Despite the entrance ticket referring to “the Mummy Room,” note that there are actually two, on either side of what I’m calling the Mummy Hall — the walls are lined with what I’m assuming are original display cases stacked nearly floor to ceiling with coffins and wooden sarcophagi.

Ancient Egyptians painted coffins with the image of the person inside, so their spirit would know where to return after wandering at night

An attendant will ask for your ticket and will punch a hole in it before you enter. Patrons are not allowed to take photos inside either of these rooms. I would suggest adhering to this policy as you probably don’t want your camera or device confiscated — or worse, be asked to leave.

Rows of figurines of gods and goddesses sit tucked away in vitrines — some labeled, some not

The Bad: Put a Label on It

The Egyptian Museum’s succession of rooms and dusty display cases preserve a Colonial Era charm, but make it difficult to guess the history and chronology of many unmarked artifacts. Signage is often dated, has indecipherable handwritten captions or is nonexistent. Perhaps with the transfer of Tutankhamun’s treasures to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), the Egyptian Museum can take the opportunity to reorganize and refine its collection — though the GEM project, as of this writing, is significantly behind schedule.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have — the Egyptian Museum. But the somewhat run-down state makes you feel like you’re stepping back in time

I’ve been fascinated by Ancient Egypt since I was a child, and the Egyptian Museum remains a singular experience for me — definitely one highlight among many and a must-visit for those in Cairo. –Duke

The Egyptian Museum can be a bit of a mess inside — but that’s part of its charm

The Egyptian Museum
Tahrir Square Rd.
Cairo, Egypt

This isn't your typical travel blog.

Sure, we cover the basics — where to go, what to see.

But travel is so much more than just ticking sites off your itinerary. To fully appreciate the places you explore, you should have a better understanding of its history, food, religion, folklore, arts and crafts — and of course the weird and wonderful customs and subcultures found around the world.

We take deep dives into our subjects, infusing our articles with an always informative, sometimes irreverent, sometimes funny approach.

Watch the video: Egypt 2018: Lost Ancient High Technology Artifacts In The Cairo Museum (June 2022).


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