Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: artifacts, Cairo, cow bed, Egypt, experience, goodbye, King Tut, memory, museum
It was wonderful to finally meet Salima, who has been one of our project advisors for the past couple of years. I’ve had phone conferences and email exchanges with her, but those don’t quite capture her energy and humor. She was very patient with us – we were exhausted today.
In my attempt to be efficient, I only scheduled 1 hour for us to film in the Egyptian Museum (a major miscalculation!), so we spent time almost running from room to room and still only saw a small portion of the objects there. There were wonderful papyrus scrolls on display, along with lots of ostraka, which are pieces of pottery, stones, etc. on which the ancient Egyptian wrote notes, receipts, and other information (kind of an early version on Post-Its).
A couple of days ago at the Visitor Center for the Valley of the Kings, we watched footage of Howard Carter and his team taking the objects out of King Tut’s tomb, including the famous “cow bed.” Today, we saw the real thing. A solid gold bed. The beads and jewelry were incredible – intricate collars and necklaces in gold, the deep blue of lapis lazuli, orange carnelian, and other stones. My sister Lisa, who does beadwork, would love these.
We walked through rooms of stone statues 20-30 feet tall, and the sheer number of objects we saw overwhelmed us. It really brought home the concept of how much the ancient Egyptians took with them to the afterlife, and the amazing artistry that went into the creation of all these items.
I’ll miss Egypt. It’s been an amazing experience being here – one I’ll always remember. Brad and I looked back through his photos at the many faces and places we’ve seen. Will I remember it all? Not just the sights and sounds, tombs and pyramids, but the feelings? What it was like to see Sekhmet in the darkness, drink tea with the tomb guards, talk to the archaeologists who I’ve only read about in books, or share my heart with this astounding place.