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Egyptian Museum Hosts Exhibit on Sacred Burial Practices in History

‘Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages’ explores all the ways that Egyptians honoured the passing of their most prominent figures from ancient times to the modern day.

For most people around the world, how Ancient Egyptians honoured their pharaohs when they died may be the only thing they know about our history. And who could blame them? Between the Great Pyramids of Giza and the golden funerary mask of King Tutankhamun, it’s hard not to be fascinated by Egypt’s cultural fixation with the dead. But as it turns out, this morbid fixation goes well beyond the Pharaohs.


‘Exalted Spirits: The Veneration of the Dead in Egypt through the Ages’ is a new exhibition at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, in cooperation with the American Research Center in Egypt and the American University in Cairo. The exhibition explores all the grand and dramatic ways that Egyptians honoured the passing of their most prominent figures from ancient times to the modern day.


The exhibition features 41 objects from the collections of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Coptic Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art, including the Stela of Amenhotep I, the Icon of St. Mena, two sleeves from a clerical costume, the Bust of Khendjer, silk from the Mosque-Mausoleum of Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawi, and Hilya Sharif texts by master calligrapher Mustafa Ezzat Effendi.


A three-day conference at the neighbouring Tahrir Cultural Center begins today, November 10th, and will feature panel discussions and academic papers that explores how modern funerary practices have their roots in ancient tradition.