Egyptian Museum

Egyptian Museum

Egyptian Museum, museum in Cairo, Egypt, containing the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. It also administers other Egyptian museums and controls excavations in the country. The Egyptian Museum was founded in 1858 by French archaeologist Auguste Mariette at Būlāq (now a suburb of Cairo). The museum was later moved to the city of Giza and then, between 1897 and 1902, it was moved in stages to Cairo. In the following decade, objects from later periods were transferred from the museum to Cairo’s Museum of Islamic Art and Coptic Museum. Since then, the Egyptian Museum’s collection has consisted of more than 120,000 artefacts ranging from 5000 to 1400 years old.

The pieces on display in the museum amount to only about one-third of its enormous collection. The museum contains hundreds of images—found in temples and tombs—of ancient deities, such as Isis, Osiris, Horus, and Amon, and rulers, such as Khafre, Hatshepsut, Akhenaton, and Ramses II. There are also a number of mummies from both Pharaonic Egypt and the Greco-Roman culture that succeeded it, and the cuneiform tablets known as the Amarna Letters, a major source of information about the Hittites (who were unknown until the tablets were deciphered). Perhaps the best-known artefacts in the Egyptian Museum—and among the most valuable—are the more than 1700 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamen, discovered by British archaeologists in 1922.

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Tutankhamen MaskTutankhamen Alabaster Jar Model of Boat out of Alabaster