Quite a distinctive museum in Egypt, the Mummification Museum in Luxor demonstrates the mummification process professionalized by ancient Egyptians and one of their deepest and most complicated secrets.
This marvelous sophisticated process that was able to preserve the mummies of the kings of ancient Egypt until today. Recently, sites like the Mummification museum has become of interest for the tourists visiting Egypt.
Situated in a very special location overlooking the Nile in the East Bank of Luxor near the Luxor Temple and the Luxor Museum , many travelers spending their vacation in Egypt usually miss visiting this really remarkable museum which illustrates the mummification process of ancient Egypt from A to Z.
The Mummification Museum in Luxor can easily be reached by a taxi as it is situated near the centre of the city. Unfortunately, many Egypt travel packages usually do not include a visit to the Mummification Museum in their programs. However, it is easily accessible for tourists visiting Egypt, who would be interested to explore the concepts and the process of mummification in ancient Egypt.
The idea to establish a museum to document and demonstrate the mummification process followed in ancient Egypt has emerged in the beginning of the 1990s. The officials responsible for the construction of the Mummification Museum chose the East Bank of Luxor facing the West Bank of the River Nile, the city of the dead in the ancient time, the place where mummification was originally carried out.
The construction works of the mummification museum began in 1995 and it was officially opened for the public in 1997 during the ruling period of Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt.
With a surface area of around 2000 square meters, the Mummification Museum in Luxor is not as huge as the Luxor Museum or many of the other big museums in Egypt. However, this newly established museum is featured for having a marvelous lighting system that really takes the guests spending their vacation in Egypt into the atmosphere of mummification.
Dimly lit with light spots coming from the ceiling falling on the displays without shedding light on anything else in the display room, the Mummification Museum takes its visitors into a real journey inside the world of the Mummification process of ancient Egypt.
The display hall in the Museum has a surface area of around 300 square meters. It includes more than 65 pieces of exhibits that document the Mummification process in different eras of the ancient Egyptian history.
This excludes two displays, the salt that was brought recently from Wadi El Natrun region. This was where the Pharaohs originally brought the salt they used in mummification. This is besides the mummified duck that was done by the Egyptian scientist, Zaki Iskander in 1942.
The display hall of the Mummification Museum consists of two sections. The first is like an ascending slope that hosts ten portraits created by Khaled Amin, a contemporary Egyptian artist. They tell the story which is demonstrated in the two important papyrus papers of Ani and Hu-nefer that tell the story of mummification from the point of the death of the deceased till the burial rituals.
These two papyrus are now put on display in the British Museum in London and this was why the paintings of Khaled Amin were used instead.
The other section of the display hall of the Mummification Museum in Luxor shows two types of exhibits; the tools the ancient Egyptians used in the mummification process and some examples of mummified animals and humans.
The tools used for mummification include a small chisel which was used to break down the cells of the brain. There is also a small spoon and other similar tool that was used to clean the parts inside the head. A sharp short tool that looks like a knife that was used to cut into the left part of the abdomen of the deceased.
Among other tools the ancient Egyptians used in mummification that are put into display in the mummification museum in Luxor there are a pair of scissors, tweezers and a scalpel that were used for Evisceration. This is besides a brush that was used for the dry cleaning of the inner parts.
There are also the substances used by the ancient Egyptians during mummification like the salt brought from Wadi El Natrun and sawdust that was used as a temporary filling in the chest and the abdomen. The Pharaohs have also used many oil perfumes to purify the mummy and they were rapped at the very end of the process with pieces of linen before being buried at the end of the funerary rituals.
The other part of this section in the Mummification Museum in Luxor displays many mummified animals like remarkable mummy of a monkey in a sarcophagus that was found in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara. This is besides the mummy of the duck that was mummified recently in 1942.
One of the most notable display in that section is the mummy of a crocodile that was newly born, a mummy of a fish, and a mummy of cat which represents the goddess Bastet who was very popular among ancient Egyptians in the Delta.
This section also displays the Ankh, the symbol of life in ancient Egypt. This is besides a fascinatingly painted piece of wood that was found in the Valley of the Kings and dates back to the 18th dynasty.
The Mummification Museum in Luxor also hosts a wonderful mummified ram that is covered in pure gold that was found in Aswan. The Ram used to symbolize the god Khunum that was believed to be the god responsible for forming the body of the human in ancient Egypt.
The Museum also exhibits some statues of the god Isis who is responsible for protecting the deceased in the afterlife. There is also an example of a funerary boat that used to carry the body of the dead from the East Bank of the River Nile, the city of the living, to the West Bank, the city of the dead.
Many tourists who spend their vacation in Egypt miss very interesting places like the Mummification Museum in Luxor because they are not included in many Egypt tours. This is why it is always recommended to do some optional tours while visiting the land of the Nile.