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Cairo, The Egyptian Antiquities Museum
The Egyptian Antiquities Museum houses the biggest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. The collection contains over 120,000 items some of which are on display and others in storage. The current museum is located in Tahrir square where it was built in 1902.
For a comprehensive exploration of the exquisite Egyptian Museum, it is best that you plan to visit it over more than one day. Since this museum is home to the most extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities, it is very often crowded with interested tourists, and therefore your tour could be a little slow. The museum is divided into several sections in chronological order; therefore, it is a good idea to see a few sections at a time. Alternatively, since the museum is of two floors, you can dedicate a day to the ground floor and another day to the first floor.
The ground floor of the Egyptian Museum contains a large collection of papyrus and coins from Ancient Egypt including some Greek, Roman, and Islamic coins. There are also some artifacts from the New Kingdom on the ground floor such as statues and coffins. On the first floor, you can explore antiquities from the last two dynasties of Ancient Egypt including items from the tombs of the Pharaohs of that period.
The most popular room in the Egyptian Museum, which is located on the first floor, is the room that houses the tomb of the King Tut Ankh Amun, which was discovered complete and intact in the Valley of the Kings. Although the king’s reign was not a significant one since he only ruled for 8 years and died at the age of eighteen, he is one of the most famous kings of Ancient Egypt thanks to the discovery and display of his whole tomb. The room displays all the items found in King Tut’s tomb and visiting the Egyptian Museum without taking a look at this beautiful discovery would be a shame. The fee to enter the museum is 20 Egyptian pounds for non-Egyptians.
The Egyptian Museum also includes a room that contains 9 royal mummies on display. However, an extra fee of 40 Egyptian pounds is required in order to enter the royal mummies room and additional fees apply if you want to take photographs or record videos. If your budget is not incredibly low, you will find that the fees are insignificant and worth spending.
A big library is also found in the Egyptian Museum where many books are found on Ancient Egyptian civilization including history, mathematics, arts, literature, and so on. The library contains over 40,000 books, magazines, and periodicals in various languages. However, note that reading inside the library is allowed only for researchers and students.
When you pay a visit to Cairo, make sure to make this very essential stop to the Egyptian Museum and enjoy exploring one of the world’s greatest and most amazing ancient civilizations.
© 2009 Yasmine Sheaito
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