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Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs Review (Melbourne Australia 2011) - -

Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs Review

Viscera Coffin of Tutankhamun that held the liver of the young Pharaoh

The highly acclaimed international exhibition Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs will open its doors to the public on the 8th of April 2011 at the Melbourne Museum. With more than 130 artefacts, including 50 from the tomb of Tutankhamun, this will be the first time that the treasures of the boy pharaoh have visited Australia thanks to Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, National Geographic Society, Arts & Exhibitor International, IMG, Victorian Government and the Melbourne Museum.

As soon as you step into the exhibition, you will be transported to another time as you come face to face with history. From tiny ushabti that were used as servants in the afterlife to the amazing coffin of Tjuya, it's easy to get lost in the culture and stories of ancient Egypt. As you walk through the exhibition, you will learn about life and death in their world and how one discovery changed the way modern man looked at the past.

The amazing Gilded Coffin of Tjuya

Dr. Patrick Greene CEO of Melbourne Museum says that "Melbourne museum had a huge success with a Day in Pompeii which was followed up by the Titanic the Artefact Exhibition which became the most visited exhibition ever staged by a museum or gallery in Australia". Green suggests that due to the phenomenal interest of Tutankhamun, this exhibition will be even bigger.

Statue of Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten

Ebony and ivory child's chair of Tutankhamun

The discovery of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter on the 22nd of November 1922 truly captivated the interest of the world and spawned a world wide fascination about this young pharaoh. Even though Tutankhamun's tomb was filled with wondrous artefacts, very little is known about his life due to his heretic father, Akhenaten.

Mirror Case with jewelled inlay to display the King's name

Born around 1343 BC in the Egyptian city of Akhetaten, he became a pharaoh at the  age of 9. Scholars believed that he married his half-sister Ankhesenamun who had no surviving children, however two stillborn female foetuses were found in his tomb. Unfortunately for Tutankhamun, he died mysteriously in his 9th year as pharaoh with academics and scholars debating many theories behind his death.

Wooden mannequin of Tutankhamun

Model boat of Amenhotep II

However, during a five-year Egyptian research and conservation project that was partially funded by the National Geographic, experts would finally collect the facts in order to determine how this 19 year old died. This included a CT scan of the mummified remains of Tutankhamun's and its conclusion was more humble than the morbid stories of murder. This exhibition contains a replica of the Tutankhamun's mummy with information dismissing the murder theories and giving the visitor one of the most logical theories on how Tutankhamun died.

Statue of Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten

Over 7 million people have attended the exhibition in America and Britain alone with over 130,000 tickets already sold for the exhibition in Melbourne that has broken all box office records for a museum exhibition. Stephen Flint Wood, Senior Vice President of IMG says “our recommendation to the public is that they should book in advance” which will prevent any disappointments on the day and ensure that you have a unique and unrushed experience.

Baulstrade showing Akhenaten and Family under the Aten

Head of Colossal statue of Amenhotep IV

Foetus sarcophagus of Tutankhamun's stillborn daughter

The exhibition is also presented as a story to the public as it is split into ten galleries, each highlighting a particular aspect of ancient Egypt or that of Tutankhamun, his family and those from this era. The exhibition is truly a massive undertaking which involved people from all corners of the world. From the explanations adorning the artefacts to the special lighting that has been used to bring them to life, there is even an element of music that was composed specifically for each gallery in order to enhance the experience for the visitor. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs is broken down into the following galleries;

  • Welcome to the World of Tutankhamun

  • Egypt before Tutankhamun

  • Traditional Beliefs

  • Death, Burial and the Afterlife

  • Religious Revolution

  • The Boy King

  • Daily Life in Tutankhamun’s World

  • Everywhere a Glint of Gold

  • Causing His Name to Live

  • The Burial Chamber

  • Mysteries of the Mummy

Apart from the engaging story of King Tutankhamun, it goes into the family history of the pharaoh and showcases an additional 80 artefacts from around the 18th Dynasty, the Golden Age of ancient Egypt. There is a gallery of Akhenaten, Tutankhamun’s father which gives an overall picture to his rise to power and how he replaced all the ancient gods with one, that of Aten.

Ritual vessels

The gallery is even littered with blown-up images taken during the time of Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered the tomb and as you see the images and the artefacts together, it’s almost like you are being taken back into time to when the tomb was first discovered. Video monitors are also littered throughout the exhibition in order to highlight these amazing artefacts more. Needless to say, one viewing of this exhibition is not enough as there is a visual and information overload.

Statue of Khaemwaset and his wife Manana

Dr. Patrick Greene, CEO of the Melbourne Museum sums up the exhibition perfectly by saying that this is the "most fantastic exhibition with the most remarkable objects in it” and definitely should not be missed. After the visiting the exhibition, we would have to agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Greene because never have I experienced such an amazing collection of ancient objects with just enough information to draw you in.

Another highlight of the exhibition is that some of the proceeds will go towards conservation. National Geographic has always had a strong relationship with Egypt in not only informing the people of these amazing discovers but also protecting them. Terry D. Garcia (Executive Vice President for Missions Programs, National Geographic Society) says that exhibition will “return significant revenue to Egypt to conserve and protect its antiquities” which will ensure that these artefacts will live on forever. What more could one ask from an exhibition?

3000 years before video games, one of four inscribed game boards found in Tutankhamun's tomb

Once the exhibition closes, the objects will be returning to Egypt to be displayed in the Grand Museum of Egypt so this is definitely a once in a life time opportunity to be part of this amazing experience. The exhibition runs from the 8th of April to the 17th of July 2011.

Serpent Goddess

Ticketing information

Tickets are on sale now through the website or via Ticket on 132 849.

Monday to Friday – Opens 10am
Saturday & Sunday – Opens 9am
Adults from $29.50
Child from $17.50
Concession from $26.50
Family 4 Pack (2 adults & 2 children) from $80

The exquisite detail of the gilded Coffin of Tjuya

This is one exhibition that we could happily recommend to people of all ages and a memory that you will keep forever!

For more information, please visit


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