Ancient Times to the 1500

Assignment 3: Ancient Times to the 1500

HUM 111 World Cultures I

My activity would have been about 11 years ago, just prior to deciding to move form Rockford Illinois to Chelsea Alabama. My husband and I decided that we would visit the museums in Chicago one more time. We got lucky in that The Field Museum of Natural History located at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, had an exhibit showing of King Tut. Talk about excitement! The museum always has a section called Inside Ancient Egypt, but this was different. It was late June and perfect weather on the Lake Shore front. If you have never been to Chicago the museum sits off Lake Michigan which is the third largest of the Great Lakes. The lake is absolutely beautiful, but it can change in a heartbeat and become windy and cold.

When you visit The Field Museum of Natural History and make it to the area of Inside Ancient Egypt you will find a glimpse into what life was like for ancient Egyptians. They have well over twenty human mummies on display as well as mummified animals. The exhibit features a replica that is three stories tall of with 5,000-year-old hieroglyphs of the Mastaba tomb of Unis-Ankh who was the son of Unas also know as the last pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty. As you walk through you see artifacts that were used in everyday life.

On this day however, we were there for one purpose to see King Tuts royal tomb. There are heavily guarded security features like I’ve never seen before from armed security to laser beams, to extra security cameras everywhere. Finally, we enter the room and there is gold everywhere, not sure if it was real, but you understood what the explorers felt when they uncovered his tomb. It was breath taking they had tombs that were over 3,500 years old in the room and just to see the etchings and golden stature made me feel like a queen. They even had a replica of his solid gold death mask. There were actual mummies on display that showed what the people looked like in the mummified state as well as the cloths they were wrapped in. There were jewels every where you turned which let you know the Egyptians weren’t short on lavish things. One of the coolest things we saw was a miniature coffin made of gold and decorated with carnelian, obsidian, rock crystal and glass. It was very small, maybe about the size for what we would consider a casket for a small child. This was a representation of Tut as Osiris, the god of the dead. As you continue to walk you will see horses in a statue like form, they are adorned with different designs. There is a display of gold statues which are believed to be servants of the royal family.

Chicago news papers called this traveling exhibit “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, “Tutmania”. We didn’t experience any thing close to what occurred in 1977 when the exhibit first appeared in Chicago, but you did leave with a feeling of pride and honor. As for me a belief that these mummified people were apart of my heritage and a deeper belief of my envision of what God himself looks like. Don’t get me wrong the museum has lots of other great features from Cyrus Tang Hall of China, Antarctic Dinosaurs, to Underground Adventure. This museum offers something for the entire family or those who just want a breath-taking view of Egyptian life.

To be honest I LOVE all the museums in Chicago. I believe they spoiled my level of expatiations for other museums as I’ve visited some here in Birmingham, Alabama and left feeling let down. It made sense as the museums in Chicago are top rated and some are even under the guidance of the Smithsonian. We haven’t been back to Chicago in awhile so our next stop to visit will be the Michael C. Carols Museum in Atlanta, GA.

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