COSI’s Lost Egypt Exhibition


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



Tombs, Tombs, and more Tombs by Kate

Author: Kate

In the Valley of the Nobles today, which contains over 400 tombs of noblemen and high-ranking officials, we saw the openings to dozens of tombs cut into the golden-brown limestone cliffs. The head guardian of the tombs (translated through Ehab), told us about a man who recently fell into one of these open holes, falling 12 meters down to the bottom, because he was so busy looking around at the landscape that he forgot to look down! The guardian had to use a rope to climb down into the tomb and help carry the man back out, with a broken leg.

Within some of the many tombs is beautifully preserved artwork, showing daily life and the afterlife from the New Kingdom. The Tomb of Nakht was the first one we visited. Plexiglass covered the walls, to preserve the tomb walls from the many tourists who visit each year. A much-needed precaution, but of course it makes it difficult to film, with the glare. The walls were covered in scenes of rural life – fishing, harvesting and hunting in the Nile Delta. Nakht was a scribe and an astronomer for the Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV.

Next we visited the Tomb of Menna, which shows Menna and his wife making offerings to the gods, and the Tomb of Nebamun and Ipuki, with scenes of mourners, Osiris, and Anubis, along with others.

We ended the day at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. She was a female pharaoh – very unusual! She secured power by convincing everyone that she had a right to rule not only because of her blood relationship to her father (the previous pharaoh), but also was divinely ordained to rule Egypt. The Birth Colonnade at the temple shows scenes of her divine birth, with the story of how her mother got pregnant from being touched on the nose.