COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition

A Send-Off from Lost Egypt Exhibit Producer, Kate Storm by Carli

It’s been an amazing summer with “Lost Egypt” at COSI. There were several particularly memorable experiences for me.

  1. After years of looking at a small table-top paper scale model of the exhibit, it was incredible to walk into the gallery for the first time and see the real exhibits and murals and walls. Seeing the large scale murals of Egypt, as well as Brad Feinknopf’s photos in the hallway, reminded me of our trip to Egypt.
  2. Watching visitors at our member event with archaeologists Dr. Mark Lehner and Ana Tavares from Ancient Egypt Research Associates, and Dr. Jonathan Elias from the Akhmim Mummy Studies Consortium, was so great. I got to introduce two girls who want to become archaeologists to Ana as they walked through the exhibit!
  3. I saw hundreds of people climb on the camel, build a pyramid, search out the archaeological clues from the Lost City site, move a pyramid block, discover artifacts, watch a show about the afterlife, come face to face with a mummy, explore tomb art, and study the forensic science behind mummies. I really hope we managed to capture some of the excitement and sense of wonder that is the science of archaeology, and share it with our visitors.
  4. We performed formal evaluations, received written comments, and overheard lots of conversations about “Lost Egypt”. We really value all the comments from visitors and colleagues – everything that was said about what you liked and didn’t like, what you found compelling, beautiful, or boring, is so useful in planning our future exhibits. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Now we’re preparing to close “Lost Egypt”. I feel a bit like I’m sending my kid off on her first day of school. “Lost Egypt”is heading out into the world to tour the U.S. for the next several years. It was the most wonderful, exhausting, amazing and challenging work project I’ve ever had. I’m so grateful for the help of Josh, Carli, Jenn and all the others at COSI who helped turn the idea into reality. And the Science Museum of Minnesota team who brought it to life was incredible – I miss working with all of you, and hope we can head off to Jordan or Greece or Mexico for the next adventure some day soon! It’s been a privilege to work on Lost Egypt, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

An interview from the top of the world.

An interview from the top of the world.

Lost Egypt is Open! by COSI

Author: Carli

COSI has held an unprecedented number of opening events to kick off the Lost Egypt exhibit. We started with a Columbus Metropolitan Club luncheon last Wednesday featuring COSI President and CEO David Chesebrough, Executive Director of The Columbus Museum of Art Nannette Maciejunes, and Archaeologist at the Ohio Historical Society and advisor on COSI’s Lost Egypt project Dr. Brad Lepper. We followed that up with a huge Press Preview on Thursday morning with media, sponsors, dignitaries, and community leaders, with opportunities for media to interview Dr. Mark Lehner and Ana Tavares of the Ancient Egypt Research Associates.

Friday evening was our VIP Dinner event, To Egypt & Back: an Evening with Dr. Mark Lehner, with nearly 150 people enjoying a Mediterranean-style dinner and lecture on the “Lost City” of the pyramid builders by Dr. Lehner. Saturday morning was our Member Preview where members got a sneak peak of the exhibit and saw the film Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs on the Extreme Screen. And finally, we opened to the public on Saturday at Noon. It was a marathon of events, but we had a ton of great feedback from guests that we wanted to share.

For more videos from opening weekend, check out COSI’s YouTube Channel!

AERA is back in the field! by COSI

Author: Kate

Our Lost Egypt project advisers from Ancient Egypt Research Associates have entered another field season in Egypt.

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (1 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Lost City Excavation (2 of 2)

Their goals at the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders’ site this season are:

  • Excavate House Unit 1, a large high-status house in the western section of the town.
  • Investigate an area we call the Chute to better understand its function.
  • Investigate remote sensing anomalies detected by Glen Dash’s team in the Western Extension of the town to determine the type and date of buildings that may lie in this area.
  • Investigate the construction of the Lost City enclosure wall.
  • Excavate Late Period burials in the Western Extension and train the field school osteology group.
Wall of the Crow

Wall of the Crow

Students and teachers have just started arriving for the Giza Field School, in which students will learn advanced skills in Ceramics, Illustration, Survey, and Osteology. Some of the Egyptian graduates will be teaching the classes to the next group, and eventually the school will be an Egyptian-run operation.

We’re very excited to see what they discover in their research this season. Check out the blog for their 2009 season – which is the 20th field season of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project under Mark Lehner. You’ll see postings from some of our advisors – Ana Tavares and Mary Anne Murray!

Ana Tavares

Ana Tavares

Mary Anne Murray

Mary Anne Murray

A Part of Something Larger than Life by Josh
March 3, 2008, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Author: Josh

There are few moments in one’s life that one can truly describe as transcendent, where you become fully aware of being a part of something larger than yourself. Today I felt more of those moments than I was perhaps due in a lifetime.

Arriving at the pyramids was breathtaking. They sit, quite literally, just outside of Cairo (or, as our guide pointed out, just outside of Giza-technically, all of the city west of the Nile is Giza), with the gates to the Sphinx located directly across the street from a Pizza Hut. Walking up to these tremendous structures takes your breath away, especially when one considers the scope of these construction projects. But the transcendent moments began when we met with Dr. Ana Tavares at the Lost City site.

Having worked on this project for several months now, I’ve read quite a bit about the Lost City: how it was discovered, how it was excavated, how its mere presence confirms that the incredible monuments of the Giza Plateau were built not by slaves but by a well-fed, well-cared for workforce. But to stand at that site, with the pyramids towering in the background, speaking to a woman whose work had quite literally helped to rewrite history…well, suffice it to say there’s a reason we’ve chosen to tell this story in the exhibit.

Looking back, I realize that this exhibit we’re building is bigger than any one of us; it’s the surreptitious meeting of hundreds of separate elements, all lending themselves to the creation of what we hope will be a spectacular whole. I wonder if any of those workers whose homes we stood in today felt something similar almost 5,000 years ago.

A Serendiptious Day of Interviews and Pyramids by Kate
March 3, 2008, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Trip to Egypt | Tags: , , , , , ,

Author: Kate

Group shot of us: Carli, Josh, and Kate
Our guide on this trip is a friend of Ana Tavares, co-director of the Giza Field School and member of the Lost City archaeological team. We called her yesterday, and met up with her today at the Giza Plateau. We were able to go behind-the-scenes and join her and part of her team at the Lost City site. They are currently dealing with the issue of rising groundwater at the site. Even though the excavated buildings have been back-filled with clean, sterile sand, the salt is still leaching to the surface in several areas, showing the effect on the architecture, as it flakes away.

Ana was amazing. She spent most of the day with us, letting us interview her on a variety of subjects and pose her on rocks, sand, and elsewhere for photos and the high-definition videography for the project. The time with her was more than any of us could have hoped for, and we overwhelmingly felt that this day alone made the whole trip worthwhile!

This afternoon another member of the team joined us – Jessica Kaiser. She is the author tell in the exhibit, and we interviewed her in the sand, with a pyramid behind her, on the exact spot where she and the osteology team had uncovered the bones. She told us about the field of osteology, and how she can determine gender, diseases, age, and other information from studying bones. She told us about the amulet necklace found with the girl, and its significance. All in all, it was an amazing and serendipitous day.

Getting ready – Carli Gives an Overview