Monday, December 2, 2013

The Boy King, Tut

Donna-Lane and I toured the exhibit, “Tutankhamun, His Tomb and Treasures,” this afternoon. 

It runs through January 12 at Geneva’s Palexpo: http://toutankhamon.ch/?lang=en.
Amazingly well presented. This was not a mere display of a few artifacts. The exhibit first provided the context, via multimedia and film, of what we would view – an outline of the Egyptian ruling dynasties of the time, so you could see where Tut fit into the lineage, as well as the background of Howard Carter, the man responsible for discovering the tomb.

Then they showed replicas of how things were in the tomb when they found them – before leading you into the display areas where the full-size artifact replicas were positioned in ways that helped you understand their significance in the Egyptian religious and burial scheme.

The signage was in both French and English. And there were audio guides, not just in multiple languages but also with versions tailored to children. (We shared the tour with a group of fourth-graders and a few senior citizens.)

Tutankhamun ruled as pharaoh in Egypt about 3000 years ago - from the time he was eight years old until his death at 19, likely from a chariot race accident.
His tomb was discovered in 1922 by Englishman Carter, who first went to the Nile at age 17. Appropriate, somehow, that a boy with a passion for Egyptology would discover the tomb of the Boy King. 

Carter’s dig was funded by The Earl of Cornarvon, who lived at Highclere Castle, which is where the British TV series – Downton Abbey – is filmed. Since we have been watching the 1st three seasons of DA on DVD, it was a nice connection. 
The person credited with opening up Egypt for such explorations was actually Napoleon. But he didn’t do it for the purpose of sharing historic treasures with the world. He wanted to control Egypt both to disrupt Britain’s connection to India and to flow trade revenues from the East and Middle East to his French empire. (Power and money – things don’t change much, do they?) 

After the exhibit and before catching the No. 10 and E busses home, we celebrated the day at a pastry café at the Aeroport, which adjoins the Palexpo centre. D-L had a decadent chocolate-on-chocolate pastry and I had, what else, a Napoleon.  (Donna-Lane's blog may have more on that soon - http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.ch/)

2 comments:

  1. Oh Wow, I didn't know that Napoleon opened up exploration! Hmmm pastries! What is this Napoleon that you eat?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Napoleon is a layered pastry. Very light with cream in between the multiple sections.

      In Donna-Lane's blog today, the photo at the bottom shows a Napoleon (dessert in the background)

      http://theexpatwriter.blogspot.ch/2013/12/toilets-tut-and-treats.html

      Delete