COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition


Video: Moving the Mummy by COSI

Today, we moved “Annie” our mummy to her new glass encased home where she will be on display through September 7, 2009.  You could hear a pin drop as we rolled her down the hallway.

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Thank You Blue Rhino Studio and Science Museum of Minnesota! by COSI

Author: Kate

camel head 2

Our camel, Sarah, is finished! She will be joining us at the Association of Science-Technology Centers conference in Philadelphia in a couple of weeks before coming to live at COSI until Lost Egypt opens. I’m hoping I can get a luggage strap and some wheels and pull her through the Philadelphia airport as my carry-on item (although I’m guessing she won’t fit under the seat in front of me…).

blue rhino team

We want to give a huge thank you to the Blue Rhino Studio folks who created our delightful dromedary – Jim Burt (left) is the main sculptor at Blue Rhino Studio – he sculpted Sarah. Also shown are Jeff Nelson, Aaron Dysart, Nikkia Vredenburg and Ryan Dahl. Not pictured are Dave Leak and Tim Quady. We all enjoyed working with them, checking on Sarah’s progress, and visiting Blue Rhino Studio!

sarah dan and dick close

We’re also grateful to our partners at the Science Museum of Minnesota who worked on Sarah, including Dan Miller and Dick Leerhoff, who are pictured here.

Thank you!



Lost Egypt’s first Official Sponsor! by COSI

We are thrilled to share that Lost Egypt officially has its first sponsor! American Electric Power, a long-time friend and supporter of COSI, recently agreed to be the Presenting Sponsor of Lost Egypt.

American Electric Power’s sponsorship supports COSI’s annual fund, which will enable COSI to provide COSI guests, members, and donors of all ages dozens of special events and programs to complement the Lost Egypt exhibition, including:

  • Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs film on COSI’s 7-Story Extreme Screen
  • Member and Donor Lost Egypt preview events
  • Special events or lectures featuring archaeological or ancient Egypt experts
  • Educational programs like camps and workshops for students of all ages

Over the past 18 years, American Electric Power has remained one of COSI’s greatest supporters and closest friends. American Electric Power’s sponsorship of popular exhibitions like Einstein (spring of 2007) and Sesame Street Presents: The Body (open October 4, 2008 to January 4, 2009) makes it possible to bring unique, quality educational experiences to our community that create meaningful, lasting memories for all COSI visitors, both young and old.



Lost Egypt’s Amazing Camel by COSI

Author: Kate

Our camel (who we’ve nicknamed Sarah) is almost finished! A couple of our Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) partners headed to Blue Rhino Studios to see the progress. To see if the camel is going to hold up as thousands of kids climb on it, we have to test it (that’s the fun part!), so here’s the team at Blue Rhino, as well as Dan Miller and Dick Leerhoff from SMM hard at work!

Blue Rhino Testers

Blue Rhino Testers

Dan Miller and Camel

Dan Miller and Camel

Dick Leerhoff and Camel

Dick Leerhoff and Camel

Since last time, the eyes, ears, and teeth have been added, and the camel has been painted.

Camel Face

Camel Face

Camel Face

Camel Face

Sarah’s hump is pretty tall, and we’ve had to think about how people will climb into the saddle. We designed the saddle similar to real ones on camels, and we’ll be adding some decoration like blankets to soften it up. We have added a stirrup as well to help the riders.

Complete Camel

Complete Camel

It’s been amazing seeing Sarah emerge from a block of foam, being sculpted into a camel that looks just like the ones we saw in Egypt!



Is This How the Ancient Egyptians Built It? by COSI
September 9, 2008, 8:20 am
Filed under: Construction News | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Author: Kate

This is one of the rooms that will be in the Lost Egypt exhibit – an area talking about tombs, artwork and hieroglyphics.

Hieroglyphic Room 1

Hieroglyphic Room 1

When the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids and tombs, they used solid materials like limestone and granite. On the Lost Egypt project, we need materials that are going to be durable (although not quite as durable as the Pyramids!) to last for the entire 6+ year tour of the exhibition, as it travels around the U.S., but also lightweight and easy to assemble at each new location. Wood panels that fit together using camlocks are a good solution. Showing up at the next venue with semi trucks filled with limestone ready for assembly would be a bit challenging….where are those pyramid builders when you need them?

Hieroglyphic Room 2

Hieroglyphic Room 2

Hieroglyphic Room 3

Hieroglyphic Room 3

We modeled the front façade of this room after the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes we saw in Luxor, Egypt. Transforming the simple wood structures into something that looks like stone is going to take some work, and involve the help of our Science Museum of Minnesota partners and scenic painters.

Temple Complex

Temple Complex



Building a Camel by COSI
July 25, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: Construction News | Tags: , , , , , ,

Author: Josh

The camel is moving forward! We approved the initial design, and now the folks at Blue Rhino Studios are working on blowing him up to full size. And full size is, well, full size. Camels are big!

Camel Prototype

Camel Prototype

The designers sent us this maquette of the camel. We had already looked at an earlier model and made a few suggestions (like raising her head up more, having her eyes open, and making her “smile”) that, as you can see, they changed on this model. Since we approved the model, they moved into the next phase, which is making the actual camel that we’ll use in the exhibit.

Rough Camel

Rough Camel

As you can see, they started with a big lump of clay. You can see how the outline of the camel is there in the shape. You can also get a feel for how big she’s going to be—look at the guy who’s working on her!

Sculpted Camel

Sculpted Camel

Next, they start adding details and refining some of her features. Features like her ears and tail are added later; you can see the wire that they’ll be forming her ears around. As Blue Rhino keeps moving forward, we’ll keep you posted. I can’t wait to see her when she gets done!



Sarah Parcak, Content Provider by COSI
July 1, 2008, 10:00 am
Filed under: The Big Picture | Tags: , , , ,

Another of the archaeologists whom we have interviewed for the exhibit is Sarah Parcak. She has been doing some really cool work on finding sites using satellite imagery, and she’s been called the first person to use this imagery to find new sites in Egypt.

Sarah Parcak

Dr. Parcak works at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. It’s a little odd to think of an archaeologist doing a lot of “field work” at a computer station, but that’s exactly what she’s doing. One of the tricky things about archaeology is that the people who practice it are often looking for things that are hidden, buried underground for long periods of time (have you ever seen the drawings Napoleon’s team did of the Sphinx buried up to its neck in sand?). Archaeologists used to (and sometimes still do) rely on logic, perseverance, and luck when looking for new sites. They would dig in places where they had deduced that a site should be based upon the available evidence (like the team that discovered the Lost City of the Pyramid Builders), or they would jump on chance discoveries made by the local human or even animal population (like the donkey who accidentally stepped into the graves now known as The Valley of the Golden Mummies). But because of the satellite imaging that is now being done by Dr. Parcak and others, archaeologists are better able to determine exactly where to dig before ever even setting foot there.

Her tools range from old still images from spy satellites to cutting-edge digital scanning filters that can detect differences in the water content of soil. She even uses Google Earth to search known sites from above and look for previously unknown features. To date, Dr. Parcak has discovered more than 150 previously unknown sites, with the promise of many, many more; she estimates that only about 0.01 percent of ancient Egypt has been uncovered!

Try it yourself! In Google Earth, visit Amarna, a vast ancient site and the capitol of Egypt during the reign of Akhenaten (27°39’24”N, 30°54’22”E). See if you can tell the difference between the modern town and what’s buried just to the south of it!

Here’s a link to Dr. Parcak talking about her work.