Egypt in Dubai – Heritage – Al-Ahram Weekly

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Egypt is taking part in Expo 2020 Dubai, which opened in the United Arab Emirates on October 1, with a pavilion with elements of ancient Egyptian civilization, with hieroglyphic texts on the walls and pictures of the golden boy king Tutankhamun, reports Nevine El-Aref.

The main entrance to the pavilion is a triangular gate that simulates the design of the pyramids. More than 14 areas within the Egyptian pavilion show the different epochs of the ancient Egyptian civilization and the modern achievements and infrastructures of the country.

Egypt sent a human-like painted coffin of the priest Psamtik, son of the god Osiris, and five replicas of the goddess Maat from the collection of King Tutankhamun to the expo, along with a group of promotional videos about tourist destinations in Egypt and the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM).

In the center of the pavilion is the painted coffin by Psamtik. It was found in a group burial by a mission of the Supreme Council of Antiquity (SCA) in the Bubastian Necropolis in Saqqara and belongs to a collection of coffins believed to belong to priests of the goddess Bastet and her families.

The coffin is made of painted wood and decorated with a large floral wesekh (collar) that ends with two falcon heads. The sky goddess Nut spreads her wings underneath and holds two Maat feathers (truth and justice). The central part is adorned with inscriptions of sacrificial texts and speeches of the gods, surrounded by two rows of gods holding sceptres in their hands. Two figures of the god Anubis stand opposite the deceased.

The Egyptian pavilion also contains replicas of five objects from the tomb collection of King Tutankhamun, including the king’s golden mask, a sarcophagus, a Ka guard statue, a special occasion chair and a golden throne adorned with the goddess Maat .

Maat is the deity associated with truth, justice, balance and rightness. It can be recognized by an ostrich feather on its head. The uraeus serpent above her forehead is a symbol of gods and kings and represents a protective cobra that spits fire on enemies. Maat was the daughter of the sun god Re and the wife of Thoth, the god of knowledge, wisdom, writing, science and art.

The golden grave mask of Tutankhamun is made of solid gold and precious stones and is one of the most famous and valuable objects in the world. The young king’s perfect face is instantly recognizable and an icon of ancient and modern Egypt.

The mask was found in the burial chamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb, which was placed over the head and shoulders of the dead king’s mummified remains, which were safe in his coffins, sarcophagi, and shrines.

He looks like the god Osiris, the ruler of the underworld, and the sun god Re, whose body was made of gold and lapis lazuli hair. This is a perfect version of Tutankhamun’s face, recognizable by his coffins, statues, and temple reliefs.

The original golden throne of Tutankhamun is a beautifully decorated armchair that was found wrapped in linen in the antechamber of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Stools were used by almost everyone, but only the very wealthy had chairs in ancient Egypt.

The throne is made of wood covered with gold and silver plates and inlaid with glass, faience and precious stones. The armrests of the chair are made of winged uraeus snakes that bear the royal name of the king.

The scene on the backrest shows Tutankhamun and his wife Queen Ankhesenamun relaxing under a floral canopy. Her skin is made of red glass while her pleated clothing is sculpted from silver and gold foil.

The guardian statues of Tutankhamun are two black and gold life-size portrait statues of the king, which are located opposite the sealed entrance to the burial chamber in his tomb.

Both hold a staff in their left hand and a mace in their right hand. They are similar but not identical in that one wears a khat headdress while the other has a Nemes headscarf with two long pieces that hang down either side of his neck.

A replica of Tutankhamun’s inner coffin is also on display. It was found in the other two coffins of the Boy King.

In 1922, the British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered three nested golden coffins in the stone sarcophagus of Tutankhamun. Each is human-like and shows the king as a mummified figure with crossed hands.

The outer coffin is made of wood covered with gold leaf, the middle coffin is made of wood covered with colored glass and precious stones, and the inner coffin is made of solid gold. The lids and boxes were fastened with gold and silver nails, and on each coffin winged goddesses in human and bird form wrapped their arms protectively around the king.

At the Egyptian Pavilion in Dubai, the exhibition also includes a collection of images and films promoting Egypt tourist destinations, archaeological sites and the GEM, as well as a range of advertising paintings, designs and drawings featuring ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbols.

Ahmed Maghawri, Head of Trade Representation and Commissioner General for Egyptian Participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, said that 10,000 visitors visited the Egyptian pavilion in the pilot phase before the official start of the exhibition.

The Egyptian pavilion has been very successful in attracting visitors and 242 celebrities, heads of state, artists and celebrities are expected to visit the pavilion which will help introduce the world to Egyptian civilization.

“Egypt received a massive, first class pavilion and is in a great location in Expo 2020 Dubai. 25 million visitors are expected to visit the full exhibition and admire archaeological collections that reflect the identity of Egyptian civilization, ”said Maghawri.

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