On 22 February, Medelhavsmuseet – the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities – will be opening its major permanent exhibition, offering a tour through 7,000 years of Egyptian history. The exhibition depicts the environment in which the objects once belonged, featuring the voices and thoughts of the people who created them and used them. More than 1,600 objects are being exhibited, many of which were not on display before. Together with new films and the very latest research and 3D technology, it will help to shed new light on ancient Egypt.
The exhibition emphasises the continuity in the history of Egypt. The main focus is on the long and well-known pharaonic period. But Egypt did not cease to be Egypt after the last pharaohs. Mediaeval objects that were previously classed as “Islamic art” now lead the visitor onwards from Late Antiquity through medieval Egypt, where Judaism, Christianity and Islam co-existed side-by-side.
– “Our new exhibition focuses on the human aspect, while also offering new perspectives on Egypt,” explains Sofia Häggman, Director of the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities. “New technology enables us to describe the health and fate of individuals, as well as ancient Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.”
As part of the work involved in creating the exhibition, the mummies and their coffins have been fully documented in 3D using the very latest technology within the fields of computed tomography, laser scanning and photogrammetry. Egypt gives visitors the opportunity to take part of these research findings for themselves using a touch-sensitive digital table, which has been developed in association with Interactive Institute in Norrköping and the Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV) in Linköping. The table allows users to take a closer look at the mummy of Neswaiu, peeling back layer after layer and revealing the amulets that lie hidden between the layers of linen.
An audio guide allows visitors to listen to voices from the past. New translations of royal inscriptions, private letters legal records give the ancient Egyptians a voice.
A dramatised audio guide, The Secret of the Tomb, has also been written for the exhibition by Martin Widmark, author of the popular LasseMaja’s Detective Agency children’s books. Archaeologist Jill and the Egyptian children Merit and Bes guide the visitor through the exhibition on an exciting adventure, beginning in the tomb workmens’ village of Deir el-Medina and ending deep down in the burial chamber. The audio guide brings the objects in the exhibition to life, weaving them together in this fictional adventure. The story is based on historic sources from the village and life in Egypt over 3,000 years ago.
In advance of the official opening of the Egypt exhibition at the Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities, the exhibition has also been made available online by the Museums of World Culture. At our website for children, you can download the Egyptian world Faraonien for the game Minecraft, visit an Egyptian village, take part in activities, solve puzzles and find out more about Egypt through the ages: www.varldskulturmuseerna.se/egypten. In order to reach out to the target group of children and young people through digital channels, the Museums of World Culture are working with a long-term focus to develop an offering that matches this target group’s expectations. The contents of the Egypt exhibition are an initial step towards achieving the vision of children finding world culture fun, by creating and investigating their creativity online.