Byjus Logo

Mummies on the move: Ancient pharaohs get new home in Egypt

Team StoryWeavers|May 17, 2021, 06:27 IST| 2

Cairo, the capital city of Egypt, is known for being home to one of the famous Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – The Great Pyramids. Lining the banks of the Nile River, the city contains innumerable ancient treasures. Preserved in the fabulous medieval Islamic history, Cairo is nicknamed ‘The City of a Thousand Minarets’ for its preponderance of stunningly beautiful Islamic architectures, rich history and culture.

The mesmerizing labyrinthine Khan El-Khalili souk is known for its jewelry, lanterns, and other trinkets.

The mesmerizing labyrinthine Khan El-Khalili souk is known for its jewelry, lanterns, and other trinkets.

But what made Cairo recently hit the headlines?

Celebrating the long-awaited opening ceremony of its National Museum of Egyptian Civilization, the Cairenes welcomed 22 of their age-old, dead kings and queens with a lavish, multimillion-dollar spectacle procession.

A grand mummy parade to remember!

The Grand Entry: Performers dressed in ancient Egyptian costume march at the start of the parade

The Grand Entry: Performers dressed in ancient Egyptian costume march at the start of the parade

On April 3, a grand procession took place in the capital to transport the mummified remains of 22 ancient Egyptian royal pharaohs – 18 kings and four queens. The five-km procession started from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, where these mummies rested for decades, and continued  to their new home where they were being shifted, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization. The grand golden and black coloured floats that carried these mummies were decorated in their ancient style resembling a glitzy war chariot.


Also Read: How Were Mummies Made in Ancient Egypt?


Why were these mummies shifted?

Discovered near Luxor from 1881 onwards, these 22 mummies have since then been moved multiple times until they were finally laid at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square. But over time, due to the increasing number of archaeological findings, the Egyptian Museum started to lose its ability to fully preserve the artefacts placed in it due to lack of space and proper maintenance facilities. This prompted the government to construct new museums, including the Grand Egyptian Museum and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). “In their new home, they will occupy slightly upgraded cases, with temperature controllers,” said Salima Ikram, professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.

Who went first?

Egypt dazzled the world on April 3 with The Pharaohs Golden Parade.

Egypt dazzled the world on April 3 with The Pharaohs Golden Parade.

The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade transported the royals in chronological order. Seqenenre Tao II, ‘the Brave’, who reigned over southern Egypt about 1,600 years before Christ led the procession. Following his chariot was Ramses II, dubbed Rameses the Great, who led Egypt into prosperity during his reign in 13th century BC. The golden line-up also included Queen Hatshepsut, one of the most powerful women who ruled ancient Egypt. The procession closed with the 12 century BC pharaoh, Ramses IX.

Scientific protection

Emblazoned with the name of their allocated sovereign, each mummy sat inside a nitrogen-filled box. The purpose of the gas was to protect these mummies from exposure to oxygen and prevent them from decomposing during the 45-minute journey. These gold-coloured carriages were also equipped with shock-absorbers to ensure none of these precious cargos are accidentally disturbed by uneven surfaces. The route was also completely repaved for the occasion, to keep the journey smooth.

Following the transports, these ancient rulers underwent 15 days of laboratory restoration before making their public debut on April

Not a great idea?

Many scholars expressed unhappiness with the idea of mummies being displayed for the public, arguing that exhibiting the bodies might desecrate the dead. On the other hand, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay who witnessed the parade said, “This raises emotions that go much further than the mere relocation of a collection – we will see the history of Egyptian civilization unfold before our eyes.

About the Author


Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself. Drop in a line at [email protected] if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!

Leave a Comment


*

Comments



Anu keerthana

May 17, 2021

It’s interesting !!!!!!!!!


Abi

May 18, 2021

Wow soo much interesting to know this information ?


Testimonials

Join 100+MN Registered BYJUS Users

Book Your Free Class Now

Thank you!

Your details have been submitted
successfully.