on September 2, 2005
We entered the museum by going through two security checkpoints with metal detectors. They first let you into the gated area surrounding the museum (this is as far as your camera can go, as no cameras are allowed inside the building). The second one was when you entered the actual museum building. Unlike most tourist spots in Egypt, this was one place where you could not beep when going through the metal detector.
We started our visit at probably the most famous artifact in the museum, the Palette of Narmer. For me, it was an amazing experience to see the piece of actual true palette that I had spent 2 weeks studying by the use of pictures in a class the previous semester. The palette depicts King Narmer uniting Lower and Upper Egypt. He is often considered the first pharaoh to rule over both upper and lower Egypt. The palette dates to around 3,200 BCE and is one of Egypt’s oldest surviving historical records. It is hard to imagine that the palette was caved over 5,000 years ago, because it remains in such good condition. I believe that seeing this palette is definitely worth pushing your way through the crowd of tourists surrounding the case.
The rest of the museum is just as overwhelming. There are many rooms on the two floors of the museum. The walls of each room are covered with cases containing artifacts, and in many rooms, statues stand in the middle. My favorite thing to see besides the Palette of Narmer was the Tutankhamen exhibit. The exhibit took up a good portion of the museum’s second floor. The exhibit included the well-recognized golden burial mask of Tutankhamen, the many enormous sarcophagi that he was buried within, and many other items that were buried in his tomb.
Before leaving the museum, I got my camera off the bus and took the only photos I could of the outside statues and the building. I could not pass up buying postcards of the Palette of Narmer and mailing one with a stamp of one of the Tutankhamen statues that are in the museum.
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