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.



Final Week to see Lost Egypt by Carli
September 2, 2009, 8:38 am
Filed under: Construction News | Tags: , , ,

This is the final week of the Lost Egypt exhibit. It’s hard to believe that after a 5-year development process, our 3 months of hosting the exhibit is already coming to an end. What a journey it’s been. The Cincinnati Museum Center has just announced that they will host the exhibit this fall, so our team of experts will be packing up the exhibit after Labor Day, and shipping her down to Cincinnati. At least those of us close to the project can drive south 90 minutes to visit! If you haven’t been yet, I would definitely recommend you take advantage of this last week that the exhibit is open, and come down to COSI – the Labor Day deadline is looming…

3D Pottery Puzzle

3D Pottery Puzzle



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!