Until we figure out how to go back in time and actually witness the events and experience the culture of the Ancient Egyptians, the best we can do is study artifacts. Unfortunately, not many of us can be archeologists and go on important digs. So we must resort to websites and museums to experience the art and culture for ourselves. But what are the best museums to visit? I’ve compiled a list of a few for your convenience, just know that I haven’t been able to visit them all first hand.
If you have the money and the means to go, by far the greatest and most extensive museums will be in Egypt. Next to the Giza Pyramids is a new museum (still partially under construction), The Grand Egyptian Museum. This huge, one-of-a-kind museum will host over 7,000 years’ worth of Egyptian culture and artifacts, many of which are being moved from the Museum of Cairo. Final completion of the museum will take a few more years but some areas appear to be open now. Many of the artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb will be moved there, although his fragile mummy will remain at the Valley of the Kings.
There are several great places in Europe to experience Egyptian art and culture. There’s too many to list, but The British Museum is probably the next best thing to visiting Egypt yourself, as it is home to the largest collection of artifacts outside of the Nile region in the world – including a mummy, The Book of the Dead and the Rosetta Stone. There are lots of other museums in the U.K. that have artifacts as well, but The British Museum is top of the list. In Germany, you can check out the Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, dedicated solely to the study of Ancient Egypt and papyrus writings. The Louvre also has a great collection of Egyptian art. And if you find yourself in Italy, they also have a museum dedicated to the Egyptians, Museo Egizio, that is now the home of the Temple of Ellesyia — it needed to be relocated or be lost forever to Lake Nasser.
For those of you in the United States, there are several places throughout the country that are worth visiting. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has another temple, the Temple of Dendur, that needed to be relocated for the same reason as Ellesyia. Although it is indoors, the museum took pains both to make it look like it was at “home” while maintaining the look of that wing of the museum. Further east, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has a top-notch collection as well, some of which you can view directly on their website. The University of Chicago’s Oriental Museum and the Smithsonian’s National History Museum also have impressive collections.
In Asia, you can visit the impressive Pushkin Museum for another extensive collection of Egyptian art and artifacts.
These are just a small handful of museums that you can visit. Check out this handy page on Wikipedia for an even more in-depth list of locations around the world that you can visit to see and learn more about this fascinating culture.