When you plan your visit to the Egyptian Museum, you’ll find an added option of visiting the mummies exhibit. This isn’t included in the general museum admission—unless you book certain guided tours—but many visitors find it to be well worth the extra cost. Here are some of the facts about mummies and the exhibit to help you decide if it’s something you simply can’t do without:

The History

When they died, Egyptian pharaohs were generally mummified and then buried in highly ornate tombs filled with gold, treasures, and other objects they would need in the afterlife. High officials and people of nobility were also mummified, though not as extravagantly buried, and although some commoners also had the privilege, it was rare due to the cost involved.

Mummification of a body took just over two months and in many cases, was so well done that even today, looking at a mummy actually gives a pretty good idea of what the person looked like in life. The mummies in the Egyptian Museum are great examples of this process and the outcome.


The mummy of Pharaoh Seti I

The exhibits in the Egyptian Museum provide interesting insights into an ancient world, and the display includes the mummies of Ramses I, Seti I, his son Ramses the Great, and Merenptah, among others.

Don’t expect to see King Tutankhamun’s mummy though – it still lies in his original tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

There are now two halls of mummies in the Egyptian Museum, in the east and west wings. The newer one, in the east wing of the museum, opened in 2006 and was designed to resemble an actual tomb, so it provides an even more intriguing insight into the past. There are 11 mummies in total.




Other Interesting Bits

It’s surprising how small the mummies are, and some of them actually still have hair.

There is one mummy that is believed to have been killed by a machete to the head – and you can see the slash.

Finally, consider that you’re looking into the face of some of the greatest ancient leaders who ever existed. How often do you get that chance in life?