Egyptian National Museum, part 2 – Mummies

Probably 90% of the people who go to the Egyptian Museum go there to see the mummies and the most famous mummy of all: King Tut.

I got to see both.

Photos of everything in the King Tut room is strictly forbidden, however I did get one cool photo that I’ll reveal in part three of this series. Meanwhile, I learned something super interesting about King Tut: after he died, all the major organs were removed from his body. Each was embalmed separately and then placed in its own little mini sarcophagus. Gold-plated, of course! Then each of those was placed inside a very large, gilded box almost as big as a compact car. On each of the four sides of that box stands a golden statue of one of the goddesses from Egyptian mythology. They stand there to protect and watch over the dead king’s spirit as he transitions into the afterlife.

Then that large gilded box was placed inside an even larger gilded box. Then those two were put inside an even larger gilded box! Each of these boxes was reversed so that the doors could not be opened without completely removing it from the one containing it.

There are mummies and then there are the royal mummies. (Others besides just kings and queens were mummified.)

Royal mummies are incredibly well preserved. They are gaunt and their skin is absolutely black in color. You can still see teeth, fingernails and hair. I don’t mean just a little bit or that you have to look closely and use your imagination. I mean whole mouths full of pearly white chompers and enough hair to run a comb through. (It it weren’t mummified and sealed inside a protective glass case.)

There are only about 10 royal mummies on display but it’s worth the extra ticket price to see them. (Admission to the museum without the mummy room is EGP£160 (~US$9.03), adding the mummy room will set you back another EGP£80 (~US$4.52). No one in their right mind would go all the way to Egypt then be too cheap to pay an extra $4.52 to see the royal mummies.

Outside of the royal gallery, there are plenty of “lesser” mummies on display. These are not nearly as well preserved but still fascinating nonetheless. You can even see intact 3,000 year old toes and toenails on some of them!

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Many of the mummies that can be photographed (those outside the royal gallery) are quite difficult to photograph well. There are lots of reflections on the cases.

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