The Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition to travel to Australia


(eTN) – Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said this is the first time that the treasures of the golden king will be displayed in Melbourne. The exhibition contains 140 objects belonging to King Tut and his family, fifty of which were found by Howard Carterduring his excavation of the boy king’s tomb.

Tutankhamun’s tomb was uncovered on November 4,1922 and is so far the only royal tomb to be discovered virtually intact. Dr. Hawass said that the exhibition will leave New York City’s Discovery Center in January 2011 in order to travel to Australia.

The Melbourne exhibition will contain some never before seen objects, including a statue of King Akhenaten. This statue is being added as a result of DNA analysis, which proved that Akhenaten wasthe father of Tutankhamun, and the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. This statue depicts Akhenaten in the Amarna style, with physical features of a man and a woman. Many scholars previously thought that these statues were a realistic depiction of the king and that he may have suffered from a disease, which caused him to exhibit severe physical deformities. However, after the CT scan and DNA analysis carried out by the Egyptian Mummy Project (EMP), it was determined that Akhenaten was a completely healthy individual. Dr. Hawass stated that the statuary of the king represented a religious concept of the Amarna age. During this period, the king was supposed to exhibit the qualities of the Aten, or sun disk, which was both male and female. Therefore, Dr. Hawass believes that the statues of Akhenaten are not realistic depictions of the pharaoh.

Australian visitors will also be able to view groundbreaking information on the family tree of Tutankhamun, thanks to the recent findings of the Tutankhamun Family Project.

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs will travel to Australia after visiting many major cities in the USA, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.

Proceeds from the tour in Australia will go towards the construction of the new Grand Egyptian Museum, currently being built in the shadow of the pyramids at Giza. This new museum is expected to be opened for the public at the end of 2012 and the artifacts of Tutankhamun’s tomb will be the stars of its collection.

Some of the unique artifacts that visitors will see include a mannequin statue of the boy king, which would have been used in antiquity to hang ceremonial robes and jewelry on, a beautiful golden dagger, a small coffinette used to house one of King Tutankhamun’s internal organs, and other statues of the king.

Dr. Hawass believes that this exhibition will be one of the most important events in 2011.