The Art Gallery of Ontario is bringing the riches of Tutankhamen’s tomb to Toronto.
This being the greatest archeological discovery in history, the exhibition also features the voice of Hollywood’s most famous archeologist, Harrison Ford.
Ford, who starred as Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arc, turns out to be an amateur Egyptologist.
“Mr. Ford is very interested in Ancient Egypt and has been to Egypt many times,” explains Mark Lach, the show’s organizer,
“He narrates the exhibition’s film and the audio tour. He’s a superb voice actor.”
Like Jones, who discovered the site of covenant, Tut’s tomb was discovered by a dashing archeologist.
In 1922, Englishman Howard Carter found the only untouched resting place of a pharaoh, ever. The rest of them had been robbed over the course of centuries.
What Carter found is what’s on display, and it’s displayed so that viewers can see the original layout of the burial chamber.
So what we get to see are not only the gold riches of the tomb, but also a recreation of Carter’s discovery.
“We’ve recreated the four rooms Carter found,” says Lach, “which he named the Antechamber, the Annex, the Treasury and the Burial Room. Each room is its own gallery. There are 70 objects on display that were in the tomb.
“My favorite is Tut’s game box. It’s a beautifully ornate wooden box about the size of your hand, which Tut actually would have played with on the banks of the Nile.”
That’s a 3,500 year old X-Box!
Other items include the sandals Tut’s mummy wore. The mummy itself has never left its final resting place in Egypt’s The Valley of the Kings, but a gold coffinette containing his organs is on display. Mummies need their organs removed or they rot.
Apart from Tut’s own personal stuff, this exhibition also includes an additional 60 objects from the temples of other kings and queens of Egypt, to show more of what daily life was like and the belief systems in effect.
Apart from the big statues, there are more and more examples of top-notch ancient craftsmanship in all the religious and art items inside.
“The skill that went into some of these artworks and religious items is amazing,” concludes Lach. “It helps you understand what Carter experienced when he looked inside the tomb for the first time. He was asked what he saw, and he replied, “I see wonderful things.”
The AGO’s King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs exhibit runs Tuesday through April 18. Ticket range from $16.50 on weekdays to $32.50 on weekends (adult) For more information visit ago.net.
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