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Ancient Egypt comes to Auckland | Thulitha Abayawardana

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ශ්‍රී LankaNZ is a free distributed Sri Lankan Community Newspaper that aims to reach a Sri Lankan population of over 18,000 all over New Zealand. The demand for entertainment in literacy media itself gave birth to ශ්‍රී LankaNZ

Have you ever wondered about visiting Egypt and experiencing its ancient glory? Have you ever wondered about exploring the pyramids, the lasting architecture, and the priceless artifacts of a bygone era? Any history buff would. So, for all the ancient history enthusiasts Auckland War Memorial Museum is providing an opportunity to experience a glimpse of this great civilization.

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to partake in this amazing journey through time. And I am highly satisfied.

Auckland War Memorial Museum is currently conducting a special exhibition titled ‘Egypt: In the Time of Pharaohs’. The exhibition started on June 15th and will be around till November 12th. As the name suggests it is a journey into the ancient times of the Egyptian civilisation with a display of 300+ artifacts. In fact, this is the largest number of Egyptian artifacts that have ever arrived in New Zealand.  

The exhibition covers artifacts and knowledge from the civilisation’s early days in the 4th millennium B.C. to the Graeco-Roman period. It starts with the lives of ancient Egyptian communities, with their agriculture, hunting, and interactions with nature. Then it moves to their beliefs of gods and mythologies. Further on we get to see the greatest Pharaohs of Egypt, the major events in the timeline, and their social structure.

On the way, we also get to see the replicas of buildings such as the pyramids and temples. The jewellery, sculptures, and even the fragments of the clothes they used to wear are some of the many attractions. You even get to learn the ancient hieroglyphics in an interactive session.  

The exhibits end with the Egyptian afterlife. The fascinating funeral rites and their beliefs of the afterlife are covered in this final section. You will get to see some interesting artifacts such as a mummy of a pet cat and a human. One of the interesting parts of this section was learning about how the researchers re-imaged the appearance of a mummified woman.  

This being a special exhibition, you have to buy tickets and as the museum suggests it’s better to book the tickets early to avoid queues, although I didn’t see much of a rush at the entrance. Once I finished the tour, I bought a book titled ‘Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs’ from the gift shop, which is kind of a guide to the exhibition. So, if you missed any description back there, this book can cover it for you.  

Unfortunately, the time is limited, and the exhibition ends on the 12th of November. So, grab your tickets and never miss this rare opportunity. To me, this experience was both exciting and educational, and I am sure it will be the same for everyone. 

By Thulitha Abayawardana

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