I’ve had the most wonderful weekend in London. The tickets had been booked for months and months – and on Saturday I went to the Tutankhamun exhibition with my best friend. I went with her (and my husband and kids) when it was at the O2 about 10 years ago, and I went to the British Museum one in 1972 (I was very small and don’t remember that much of it, but it’s definitely where my fascination with Egypt started).
This one was spectacular. And fascinating. And we got to see things that hadn’t been out of Egypt until this particular ‘world tour’.
Bits I loved most? (Apologies; this will be a bit pic-heavy!)
The reed stylus case, a linen glove (3500 years old and in wonderful condition), and a vessel used in the ‘opening of the Mouth’ ceremony that was apparently shaped like its hieroglyph.
Statues, large and small. (The middle one is the guardian statue and it had obsidian eyes.)
Details – the drawing and lion on a bow case, and look at the toes on this statue!
It was absolutely fascinating. I learned that the Egyptians used boomerangs for hunting (waves to my Aussie mates – I couldn’t believe it, either, but there were 3500-year-old boomerangs in front of me). I learned that the Egyptian week had 10 days instead of 7. I learned how canopic jars worked, and how mummies were put together – not just the wrapped mummy, but all the layers on top of that.
Obviously *the* mummy case wasn’t there (too fragile), but the rest of that layer was exhibited. The gold etc was impressive, but I found the art around it much more interesting. (I would’ve liked more on the medical stuff, but sadly…)
It’s also very topical for me, because my latest book features an archaeologist — and although it’s not a medical, it kind of is because it’s an amnesia book. (And because it’s my first amnesia story, and because I’m interested in the medicine behind it… you can guess where this is going! Anyway, One Night to Remember is out now. (If you’re interested in Egypt, Regency England, the Roman baths, or cello music, this is totally up your street.)
So my question for you is – what’s the most memorable exhibition you’ve ever seen?