Is it just me or do other people get super stoked about exhibitions at museums as well? No? Just me? Okay, that's fine. I love going to museums, one of my favorite things about moving to LA is the museums. I haven't been to all of them yet and it's been 7 months! The most recent exhibition I went to is the "King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh," celebrating the 100th year anniversary since the finding of King Tutankhamun's tomb, at the California Science Center.
I first heard of this exhibition from Dr. Diane Perlov, Deputy Director for Exhibits at the California Science Center and UCLA alum, when she spoke about it in my class a few months ago. Honestly, I was stoked before the exhibition was even open. She envisioned the exhibition to be interactive for the visitors, as if we're accompanying King Tut through the underworld. Since I'm a total nerd for these types of things, I had to go see it for myself.
I ended up paying $30 dollars and went to the exhibition with my roommate on a Sunday afternoon. If you hate crowds as much as I do, don't go Sunday (there were humans everywhere). We start off in a room full of his belongings that were found in his tomb. Some basic Egyptian mythology: a pharaoh is buried with all the things he needs for the afterlife. King Tut had a lot of stuff.
Until today we are not certain how King Tut actually died. He began his rule at the age of 9 and suddenly passed at the age of 19. His death will always be a mystery to us.
Although being a little cramped in space, the interactive aspect of the exhibition lives up to my expectations. Quotes from the "Book of the Dead" used in ancient Egyptian burial ceremonies are seen on the walls next to the golden treasures cases. The dark gloom throughout the rooms enhanced the colors of the artifacts. They were meticulously made and meticulously conserved; 3000ish years later and his gold plates are still shinier than my shoes.
Not only did they show the mystical aspects of ancient Egyptian culture but they also showed the process of the archaeological dig itself. It was an informative section on the excavation process, which I personally think is important to know. Was it permitted? Was it done ethically? Did they take any treasure from the tomb? It was informational in so many ways and not boring to read through. Sometimes going through a museum and tediously reading the informational plaques can get boring but not in this case.
A majority of the artifacts have never left its homeland and after the international world tour, the artifacts will be returned to Egypt and will permanently remain at the Grand Egyptian Museum.
We're fascinated by other cultures and before I had the opportunities to travel, museums were my go to places to open my eyes to the world. Until today, I have not been to Egypt but after visiting this exhibition I was reminded why I became an anthropology major. If only a few artifacts give me this much wonder, imagine how one would feel standing in front of a structure built 3000 years ago.
The exhibition will be in Los Angeles until January of next year.