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The Discovery of the Pharaoh’s Tomb – Amenhotep II and His AgeOnline jegyvásárlás
The exhibition presents the age of Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep II and the sensational discovery of his tomb with the life-size reconstruction of his burial chamber unearthed in the Valley of the Kings at its focus. Visitors can also familiarise themselves with the history of the great archaeological discovery based on the original documentation of the excavation. The colourful scenes decorating the walls of the chamber evoke the journey taken by the sun god and the deceased pharaoh reborn in the afterlife. Items from the original documentation of the excavation placed around the burial chamber allow a glimpse into the most exciting moments of the remarkable archaeological discovery, and visitors can step inside the fascinating life-size replica of the burial chamber of Amenhotep II.
Amenhotep II and his age
Amenhotep II ruled Egypt in the last decades of the 15th century BC, about 3,400 years ago. His father, the legendary Thutmose III, had incredible power concentrated in his hands by the standards of the time: thanks to his successful military campaigns, Egypt’s political influence and commercial domination spread from Nubia to the Euphrates. Amenhotep II ruled the vast empire he inherited from his father with success, creating a long period of stability and peace in Egypt. During his reign, most of the important offices and court titles were held by people close to the king. The pharaoh was famous for his great physical skills: he excelled in archery, rowing, running and horse riding. His outstanding successes in various sports and his love for horses are recorded in contemporary texts.
The discovery of the royal tomb
Amenhotep II was buried in one of the royal tombs carved into the rock in the Valley of the Kings, located on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. His tomb was found and excavated in 1898 by Victor Loret, a French Egyptologist. The history of the excavation can be accurately reconstructed based on his journals, photographs and drawings, which are preserved in the archives of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Milan. The discovery of the tomb was a sensation as the pharaoh’s mummy – unlike those in other royal tombs at Thebes – was found in the burial chamber, in a sarcophagus made for him. Besides the tomb, several items of the original royal grave goods (statues of deities, inscribed vessels and amulets) were unearthed.
An even greater sensation was caused by the discovery of the mummies of another nine pharaohs of the New Kingdom – the predecessors and successors of Amenhotep II – laid in coffins in one of the side chambers connected to the burial chamber. This confirmed that the tomb of Amenhotep II was used as a royal cache at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC in the Theban necropolis to protect the bodies of the pharaohs, who were worshipped as gods after their deaths, from grave robbers.
The exhibition and the catalogue
The first version of the exhibition debuted in 2017 in the Museo delle Culture (MUDEC, Museum of Cultures) in Milan under the professional direction of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Milan. The Budapest show presents the age of the Egyptian pharaoh and the sensational discovery of his tomb based on a similar concept but with a completely different ensemble of artefacts. The displayed artefacts were loaned, among others, by the British Museum in London, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire in Brussels, the Museo Egizio in Florence, the Museum August Kestner in Hannover and the Ny Carslberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. The exhibition is accompanied by a Hungarian and English bilingual catalogue with essays by prominent world-wide researchers of Egyptology on the age of Amenhotep II and the history of the discovery of the royal tomb.
Curators of the Budapest exhibition: Patrizia Piacentini, full professor and head of the Department of Egyptology at the University of Milan; Christian Orsenigo, curator of the Egyptian section of the Museo Civico di Crema e del Cremasco; and Éva Liptay, head of the Museum of Fine Arts’ Department of Egyptian Antiquities.
17 September 2021 – 9 January 2022Online ticket purchase