INTRODUCTION

Ancient Egyptian civilization, with its vast history and culture spanning over 3,000 years, has been a source of fascination for people around the world, starting with travellers from Europe and the publication of Description de l’Égypte, written after Napoleon’s military expedition to Egypt. The civilization’s unique outlook on life and death, its religious values, and array of stelae, coffins, sculptures, and other excavated artifacts, continue to allure us to this day.

With the full cooperation of the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands, one of the oldest national museums in the world, we have carefully selected approximately 250 pieces to borrow from the approximately 25,000 pieces in the museum’s Egyptian collection. The museum prides itself in having one of the five biggest Egyptian collections in Europe both in quantity and quality, along with the British Museum, the Louvre Museum, the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, and the Museo Egizio in Turin. It is also known for its ongoing excavations and research in Egypt for over 60 years, and has worked on numerous international research projects using science and technology.

This exhibition introduces various aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization through the museum’s treasured Egyptian collection, ranging from the history of how Europeans rediscovered Egypt and began excavations, to the Egyptian people’s lifestyle, outlook on life and death, and aesthetic sense at the time. While it is particularly rare to have more than 10 coffins on exhibit at once, this exhibition offers the valuable opportunity to see 5 sets of coffins and 2 mummy covers at once in three-dimensional displays.

Furthermore, most of the mummies in the collection have been stored in good condition, completely wrapped in their original cloth bandages. Some museums in the world with mummy collections remove the cloth wrapped around the mummies for research, but J.C. Reuvens, the founding director of the National Museum of Antiquities, in Leiden, the Netherlands, foresaw future technological advances and preserved the mummies without altering them. For this exhibition, CT scans were conducted again on three human mummies and one animal mummy. The results of the analysis will be made public for the first time, so we invite you to take a look at these new findings.

We hope you will enjoy learning about new aspects of ancient Egypt by transporting yourself back in time, while also looking to the future with modern research.

SCHEDULE

  • April 25 – June 21, 2020

    Kyushu National Museum

    Cancelled
  • July 4 – September 6, 2020

    Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

    Cancelled
  • September 19 – December 6, 2020

    Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art

  • December 19, 2020 – March 31, 2021

    Shizuoka City Museum of Art

  • April 16 – June 27, 2021

    The Bunkamura Museum of Art

  • July 9 – September 5, 2021

    Sendai City Museum

  • September 18 – November 7, 2021

    Yamaguchi Prefectural Art Museum

  • November, 2021 – February, 2022

    Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art