Friday, April 2, 2010

King Tut and the Golden Age of Pharaohs Exhibit

At the De Young Museum in San Francisco they had an exhibit called King Tut and the Golden Age of Pharaohs. They had items from all over the world all of which came, obviously, from Egypt. It started last year and I had mentioned wanting to go but we kinda stopped family days to save money and it wasn’t mentioned until two months ago. We had planned on going Sunday the 21st but the tickets were sold out so we got them for Saturday the 27 the day before it ended. They were selling 90 tickets for every 30 minutes we were able to get tickets for 4:30. Before we could go we had to stop in Sacramento.

It was also the 2 year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. We left the house at 9:15 and headed up to Sacramento. My grandmother, aunt, and cousin were waiting and we hung around the gravesite, took some pictures, had a small speech, and left some flowers. After we went to Brookenridge (?)….well it was a restaurant and had some yummy breakfast.

We were able to get done at the time we wanted, 12:00, and get on the road to San Fran. It only took us about 2 hours to get to the Bay Bridge and a little longer to get to the toll booth. After the bridge we hit wonderful traffic. Let me tell you having seven people crammed in a van on a semi-warm day is not fun. We made it to Golden Gate Park but couldn’t find a parking space and had to drive around until we found on the other side of t he park. We made it to de Young at 3 something and just walked around before I told them I was sure we could go into the main part of the museum just not the King Tut exhibit yet. So we wandered around the art and artifacts. It was interesting, but I did get a little bored after the fiftieth African head mask and stopped reading all the info.

Anyways skipping some uneventful nonsense after we toured the musuem at 4:40 we stood in line for King Tut. We had to wait upstairs and then slowly made our way down the stair to another line. They had a video about King Tut’s death and we got our tickets scanned (there were also people buying tickets which was a little annoying since we probably could have gone last weekend). I knew that no one but me was really excited until we got in line downstairs. I swear it was like getting on a ride. Everyone perked up, Chelsea started quoting the mummy, I showed her that King Tut married Ankhesenamun and his dad’s name was Imhotep the IV was his father (or grandfather), Chelsea then thought there was a conspiracy theory, and people began admitting there excitement. They had the huge wooden doors that they let the people in and would shut them after 20 or so went through. We were finally ushered through the doors and ended up in a small black room that had blue lights and two TV’s on either side of another set of big wooded doors. I swear it felt like an amusement park ride. We were shown a 90 minute video giving up an introduction on King Tut before allowing to enter. The first room has only a bust of Tut then you walked through different rooms that held all the items.

Upon entering the first room I knew why they limited the amount of people allowed to enter. In each room there was one big poster talking about what the room theme was with history and then there was tall glass cases with the items. At the top of the case they talked about what the item was so that people behind the large crowd could read before seeing what it was. But there were so many people. You could barley move, it took forever to get up close to the case, and even though there was air-conditioning it was warm. My annoyance for the people gave me a bit of claustrophobia which made me even more annoyed. I lost the family after the second room (my mom saw a group of people said “forget it” and walked away), but Chris joined me and we joked around as I read and saw everything.

Even though I wanted to seriously injure, yell , and skip things I had an amazing
time. There were so many interesting and wonderful things from King Tuts Tomb and from Egypt in general. They had knives, stools, games, the outer part of a mummy coffin, Canopic jars, weapons, King Tut’s still-born children’s coffins, and so much more. The last room showed what King Tut’s coffin was like (six boxes, three coffins, and a head mask). They also had some of the jewelry he was wearing.

After that It was the gift shop. I just walked around wondering what to buy because they had so many cool things. But I ended up with a book and magnet.

I can’t really think of any other word to use but amazing…thesaurus gave me some good ones: incredible, remarkable, mind-blowing…you get it. I was just astounded buy the things they made and how thousands of years later it’s still there and we can look and hold it. Learning more about Tutankhamum; how he changed his name, his parents, his marriage to his half-sister, how he really looked (club foot, cleft lip, diseases).

Almost eveything had gold in it. The gold was mixed with wood, silver, other melts or a varation of it. You would never had know that there was wood under the gold. They created such smooth surfaces and detailed carvings by hand. If it wassn't made of gold it was a colored stone (blue, white, black). Everything was beautiful and I can almost imagine half of what Howard Carter felt when they first entered the tomb.

I loved it and it wish I could go through again (just without so many people). It has definitely made me want to visit the museum in Cairo where they hold these items and much more. I also want to see the pyramids that are amazing in themselves but that held these things.

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