I remember in my sixth grade world history class I got to learn about King Tutankhamen and old Egypt. I made a hieroglyphics chart and even made my own Egyptian-themed board game. But it wasn’t until almost 20 years later that I learned so much more.
The Las Vegas Natural History Museum recently added 4,000 square feet to accommodate its brand new exhibit, “Treasures of Egypt.” The exhibit not only features the life of King Tut, but also life as a commoner. One of the things I enjoyed was the interactive touch screens. The beginning part of the exhibit features touch screens that share interesting facts about the Nile River and how much people depended on it for survival.
If you want to challenge yourself, you can try and see how heavy it is to carry two buckets of water on your shoulders. Since Egyptians didn’t have the luxury of running water, they had to carry buckets of water from the Nile back to their village on a daily basis. Despite the fact I exercise often, I gave up after a couple of tries!
There’s also a mock village, including what a house would have looked like as well as a marketplace: “We wanted to set the stage on what everyone was doing 3,000 years ago,” said Marilyn Gillespie, director of Las Vegas Natural History museum.
Once you’re about halfway through the exhibit, you’ll get a chance to see a film about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb and how archaeologist Howard Carter came across it in 1922. You’ll also get to peek through a hole in the wall that showcases the world-famous tomb. “We wanted to have our visitors get that first sense of excitement,” she said.
The museum re-created the tomb and its four different rooms. As you’re walking through this portion of the exhibit, you’ll see replicas of items found inside. You’ll see everything from vases to statues, jewelry, furniture and much more. And even though these aren’t the “real thing,” I was still left in awe.
“These things are all replicas, but they were all made in Egypt by Egyptians using the same techniques and materials they used 3,000 years ago,” Gillespie explained.
One of the most fascinating things in his burial chamber is the gold sarcophagus, which sits atop his tomb. I also liked the interactive mummy scan, which goes through different layers, from the bandages to the skeletal system. This is the first usage of this kind of technology in a museum. Right next to the mummy scan, you can try to build a pyramid out of little building blocks.
It’s hard to imagine King Tut was only 18 years old when he died. His treasures in his tomb left behind such a great legacy. I would share more, but I don’t want to spoil the experience for you. With more than 500 replicas on display, you’ll definitely pick your favorites.