Ancient Egypt - Through the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

From Egypt, Memphite Region

Sarcophagus of Harkhebit at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC
Sarcophagus of Harkhebit at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC

Ancient Egypt - FAQ's

  • Ancient Egyptians loved board games.
  • Egyptian pharaohs were often overweight.
  • A Pharaoh never let his hair be seen that is why we see him pictured always wearing those elaborate gold headdresses.
  • Both Egyptian men and Egyptian women wore makeup.
  • Egyptian children didn't wear any clothes until they were in their teens.
  • The pharaoh Ramses had eight wives and one hundred concubines.
  • Excavated skeletons show that the builders of the pyramids were actually Egyptians.
  • King Tut may have been killed by a hippopotamus.

Ancient Egypt

Pharaohs, the Nile River Valley, pyramids, slaves, hieroglyphics, all things we associate with Ancient Egypt. What about the art in Ancient Egypt? Stone and wood were used to carve statues, beautiful reliefs are found which, according to Wikipedia, were used to depict victories in battles, royal decrees, and religious scenes. How many archaeologists have uncovered elaborate Egyptian tombs? Speaking of tombs what about the amazing mummification techniques?

We know so much and yet so little about Ancient Egypt. Discoveries have shown that women in Ancient Egypt had more tattoos than men. Although not the earliest tattoos ever found, statues, drawings and mummies identified tattoos on the thighs of women in Ancient Egypt.

In Ancient Egypt the sun was supreme. In an article in the New York Times about cats in Ancient Egypt, it states that the sun was "a natural and spiritual force of tremendous power." The sun god was Ra and it was believed that Ra created the first divine couple. Pharaoh was believed to be a direct descendant of Ra. "Oh Sun, thou hast made the heavens that thou may rise therein." - Akhenaten's Hymn...Akhenanten was a pharaoh who ruled for seventeen years. He tried to change the religion in Egypt from one worshiping many gods to one worshiping one god. Oh, and his queen was Nefertiti.

Are you interested yet?

What about the inventions of the Egyptians? Things like the lock and key, wigs, makeup and toothpaste.

Just like today, the father was the provider in an Egyptian family. The mother stayed home to care for the children, well almost like today. The children began helping their parents in the fields at around age four or began their training as craftsman. Not an unfamiliar situation but I believe the earliest age for working children that I have seen. In researching this piece I found the reason boys shaved their heads and had one braid was to avoid lice!

Egypt gave birth to what later would become known as 'Western Civilization,' long before the greatness of Greece and Rome.

— John Henrik Clarke
An Egyptian Sarcophagus at the museum.
An Egyptian Sarcophagus at the museum.

Canopic Jars

Four canopic jars on display at the Met.
Four canopic jars on display at the Met.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City

The museum commissioned expeditions, made purchases, and received bequests, all of which have provided an extensive display of Ancient Egypt. Amazingly the expeditions began back in 1906.

I've always been interested in Ancient Egypt, possibly from watching "The Mummy" and possibly from all of the artifacts that have been excavated.

When I visited the Museum I was totally amazed at the display and artifacts. I felt like I was in Egypt, without the sand of course. Looking at the tiniest artifacts and canopic jars was just amazing. Canopic jars were used by the Ancient Egyptians to store the internal organs that were removed from the body during mummification. It was believed these organs could be used in the after life. They (organs) were also removed to avoid contaminating the dead body and causing it to well, rot. The stoppers on the jars were often fashioned after the heads of one of the four funeral deities, the four sons of Horus; one guided the lungs, one the liver, one the stomach and upper intestines and the fourth the lower intestines. These jars were also buried with the deceased.

I could write an entire piece just about the Egyptian burial practices including mummification but that wouldn't fit in here.

The Egyptians were really amazing and wise beyond our comprehension. The exhibits at the Metropolitan bring these artifacts to us. How fortunate we are that we can see Ancient Egypt right in the heart of New York City.

Each truth you learn will be, for you, as new as if it had never been written.....Egyptian Proverb

The Temple of Dendur

A monument built by Emperor Augustus around 15 B.C. It was a small temple in lower Nubia and was given to the US as a gift from Egypt in appreciation of all of the US efforts to save Egyptian artifacts of all sizes. The temple was brought to the Metropolitan and reconstructed. To continue with its authenticity a pond was fabricated to "resemble" the Nile and the slanted windows added a touch of mysticism with the the lovely light.

Temple of Dendur Exhibit

One of the statues along the "Nile" is the Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III.  The temple is not visible in this picture.
One of the statues along the "Nile" is the Colossal Statue of Amenhotep III. The temple is not visible in this picture.
The Temple of Dendur
The Temple of Dendur

All photos are the property of Tillsontitan

Hatshepsut

Pictured below are two sphinx of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut with the body of a lion and wearing a beard and a nemes headcloth. The first sphinx was shattered back in Egypt but restored by the museum and brought here for display. This granite sphinx weighs more than seven tons! It is said to be one of six sphinx that stood in Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri. (It amazes me how a team could take a smashed sphinx and reconstruct it to look so perfect.)

There are many depictions of Hatshepsut throughout the museum. The smaller sphiinx depicts a younger Hatshepsut. There is also a statue and probably more that I did not photograph.

Hatshepsut was a young female king! Though she shared her reign with Thutmose III, she was a female king. After ruling as king for a while she took the title of pharaoh. The country prospered and there were many accomplishments under her reign. New information about Hatshepsut has been found in the last fifty years. Here again is a great subject for an entire hub!

Sphinx of Hatshepsut

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The sphinx of Hatshepsut.A sphinx of a younger Hatshepsut.A statue of  Hatshepsut. A beautiful red granite statue that almost has a smile on its face.
The sphinx of Hatshepsut.
The sphinx of Hatshepsut.
A sphinx of a younger Hatshepsut.
A sphinx of a younger Hatshepsut.
A statue of  Hatshepsut. A beautiful red granite statue that almost has a smile on its face.
A statue of Hatshepsut. A beautiful red granite statue that almost has a smile on its face.
A marker1000 fifth Ave, NYC -
1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028, USA
[get directions]

Metropolitan Museum of Art - Hours and Prices

  1. Address: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028
  2. Hours:

Open 7 Days a Week
Sunday–Thursday: 10:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May

Customer service: (212) 535-7710

4. General Admission

Advance tickets to The Metropolitan Museum of Art allow the visitor to avoid waiting in admission lines at the Museum. Tickets include admission to the Met's collection and all special exhibitions. Tickets also include same-week admission to The Cloisters museum and gardens. Tickets are valid for up to one year after the date of purchase.

ADULT GENERAL ADMISSION$25.00
SENIOR GENERAL ADMISSION$17.00
STUDENT GENERAL ADMISSION$12.00
CHILDREN UNDER 12 WITH ADULT FREE

A service fee of $1.00 is charged per paid admission ticket.

Have you ever visited this exhibit?

  • Yes and I loved it.
  • No, I didn't know about it.
  • No, but I would like to.
See results without voting

More Beauty at the Metropolitan

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Six statues representing the goddess Sakhmet, goddess of war, violent storms and pestilence.Egyptian Coffin of Harmose made of wood, gesso, paint, gold.Hieroglyphs are known to be the "writing system" used in Ancient Egypt.Paintings from the Tomb of Wah.Egyptian wall painting showing men farming.
Six statues representing the goddess Sakhmet, goddess of war, violent storms and pestilence.
Six statues representing the goddess Sakhmet, goddess of war, violent storms and pestilence.
Egyptian Coffin of Harmose made of wood, gesso, paint, gold.
Egyptian Coffin of Harmose made of wood, gesso, paint, gold.
Hieroglyphs are known to be the "writing system" used in Ancient Egypt.
Hieroglyphs are known to be the "writing system" used in Ancient Egypt.
Paintings from the Tomb of Wah.
Paintings from the Tomb of Wah.
Egyptian wall painting showing men farming.
Egyptian wall painting showing men farming.

Egyptian Art and Paintings

Most of the surviving Egyptian art came from inside of tombs and the survival is attributed to the dry climate of Egypt. There was much symbolism in art paintings, and the colors used weren't quite what we'd consider true to form. The size of the people portrayed was used to indicate their importance. It is believed many paintings were painted inside tombs to make a pleasant afterlife for the tomb's inhabitant.

Art of course is more than paintings and much of what has been found of Ancient Egypt is pure art. The statues, the sphinx, the paintings, even the clothing is beyond what one would expect in an ancient land.

More Artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Statue of jackal God Anabis was originally painted black.A mechanical dog carved from ivory.Jewelry worn by a pharaoh.A pair of sandals, finger coverings and toe coverings also worn by pharaoh.Small statues made of a glass like substance called faience.  Small figures representing servants to serve in the afterlife or gods to protect in the afterlife, were placed in tombs.Traveling boat  made of wood, paint, plaster, linen twine and cloth.  This boat was found in a hidden chamber at the side of the passage leading into the rock cut tomb of the royal chief steward Meketre.
Statue of jackal God Anabis was originally painted black.
Statue of jackal God Anabis was originally painted black.
A mechanical dog carved from ivory.
A mechanical dog carved from ivory.
Jewelry worn by a pharaoh.
Jewelry worn by a pharaoh.
A pair of sandals, finger coverings and toe coverings also worn by pharaoh.
A pair of sandals, finger coverings and toe coverings also worn by pharaoh.
Small statues made of a glass like substance called faience.  Small figures representing servants to serve in the afterlife or gods to protect in the afterlife, were placed in tombs.
Small statues made of a glass like substance called faience. Small figures representing servants to serve in the afterlife or gods to protect in the afterlife, were placed in tombs.
Traveling boat  made of wood, paint, plaster, linen twine and cloth.  This boat was found in a hidden chamber at the side of the passage leading into the rock cut tomb of the royal chief steward Meketre.
Traveling boat made of wood, paint, plaster, linen twine and cloth. This boat was found in a hidden chamber at the side of the passage leading into the rock cut tomb of the royal chief steward Meketre.

Ancient Egypt Lives

Ancient Egypt lives on in the preservation of its artifacts here at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but there are other museums throughout the world that also uphold Egypt's past. The largest collections include (in descending order):

  • The Grand Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt
  • British Museum, London, UK
  • Ägyptisches Museum, Neues Museum, Berlin, Germany
  • Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK
  • Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

There are many more and to my surprise on that list ranking the museums with the most artifacts, the Metropolitan Museum is listed as number twelve! So there are many museums and many artifacts to be seen. I hope you are able to find one of the great museums showing these amazing glimpses into what was once Egypt and enjoy a trip into the past.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Facts Gathered From

Facts in this article were gathered from various sources including;

More by this Author


41 comments

Jacqui Denu 23 months ago

I watch every program on this subject..There have of recent been many new finds..with new technology,such as( satellite imagery)there will be many more..


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 23 months ago from Wales

A brilliant hub Mary. Thoroughly enjoyed and voted up.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Jacqui, I never realized your interest! Isn't it amazing how many things people share without even knowing it?

Thanks Eddy, so nice to see you here!

Happy New Year to both of you.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 23 months ago from Olympia, WA

I taught world history for years, and I find it all fascinating. Having said that, I have never been to this museum, but I know I could get lost in there and they would have to send a search party for me. I wouldn't want to leave. :) Thanks for the tour my friend.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 23 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Mary, I am all the wiser for reading this article. What a fascinating peek into the past. Now, going to work at age four seems a bit extreme but the times where what they were. This was a nice way to take a break.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 23 months ago from England

Loved this Mary, we have a similar Museum here in England, its called the British Museum, I have been there and seen the amazing Egyptian Pharoah and all the grave goods etc, its amazing. Just to think that back then they were so advanced, wonderful hub!


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 23 months ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. How interesting. Sadly I have never been to the Met and I'm embarrassed to say that. I'll have to add it to my short list of places to visit soon. I find the Egyptian culture fascinating and would love to visit Egypt someday. Great job with this hub. You have whetted my appetite to visit soon. A happy and healthy New Year to you and your family.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 23 months ago from Southern Illinois

Mary, this was a fantastic read. I also love anything to do with ancient Egypt. I was surprised to read that the Egyptian women had tattoos and I didn't know they removed organs before embalmment. I'm sorry to report that I have never seen an Egyptian museum, I would love to though. Thank you for a great hub....


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 23 months ago from Shelton

you know it's sad I live so close and yet I never visited the museum .. the photos the information you give I could kick myself thank you so much for sharing bless you and happy new year!!!!


DDE profile image

DDE 23 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A brilliantly written hub on such an interesting topic. Voted up!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Oh Bill it's a great place to get lost in! The Met is certainly not the only one but is the one I've visited several times. Glad you enjoyed the tour! Happy New Year.

Scary isn't it Mike? Imagine a four year old working? I can't for the life of me. So glad you enjoyed my little visit. God bless and have a Happy New Year.

I know Nell, two of your museums have more artifacts than the Metropolitan! How amazing that must be. They were certainly smart people we could learn a lot from. Hope you have a Happy New Year.

Thanks for the comment Bill. I'm reading it and thinking I should add the hours and prices for the Metropolitan! What a good influence you are. Happy New Year to you and yours as well.

Always exploring, I was surprised about the tattoos too! So many fascinating things have happened in the past. So glad you enjoyed. This hub has been rumbling in my head for a long time. Happy New Year.

Frank, instead of kicking yourself, visit the museum! Glad you enjoyed and I'm wishing you a blessed, healthy New Year.

DD, thanks so much.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 23 months ago from West Virginia

I loved this!!! I love anceint stuff and how it all worked together to bring us into this day and age. Though most of this day and age will be even more anceint in like 100 years. I liked the quote about truth. That was very interesting. I loved the pictures and everything. Thank you for wtiting such an informative article.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

I am so glad you enjoyed this Lady Guinevere. I've been wanting to write this hub as I was totally fascinated by my visit. I only wish I had taken more pictures! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 23 months ago from Central Florida

Mary, the Egyptians were quite an advanced people, weren't they? I really enjoyed reading this and looking at all the wonderful pictures you took. I've learned a lot, too. For instance, I never knew ancient Egyptian children didn't wear clothes until they'd reached their teens or that Egyptian women had more tattoos than the men.

Really great article, Mary. I hope to see more from you on this fascinating subject!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Sha the Ancient Egyptian civilization was just so amazing! I wasn't aware of all the facts you mentioned either until I started writing this hub. I hadn't thought about another hub but now you've got me thinking.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 23 months ago from london

Brilliant minds, great culture, sculptors and people. Much mystic and yes, I guess that the energy of the sun was very important to them. Sri Chinmoy talks a lot about Light. Its in much of his writings.

The Egyptian Pharaohs had interesting beliefs and beautiful Queens. They certainly left us quite a lot, some things still yet to be unveiled. Queen Nefertiti was a most beautiful woman. Perhaps you remember some of it, Mary. Hehe. I believe that they were influenced by other parts of Africa. Peace.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Hmm, could I be a reincarnation Manatita? I would more likely be Hapshepsut, I am a bit bossy and forward thinking ;)

Yes, the Light in so many forms has shown us the way dear friend. I am sure more parts of Africa were involved with Egypt.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 23 months ago from london

'forward thinking.' Hehehe. Are they the new words for Assertiveness?

Gentler, and yet you say that you are 'bossy.' Anyway, I think that I have seen you in Egyptian-looking gear, no?

Pardon my waffle. Much joy, my sweet Spirit Sister.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Ah you know my secrets.....you can waffle here anytime dear friend! Blessings.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 23 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Interesting and beautifully done. I have visited Egypt but only for a Weekend from Saudi Arabia, a fascinating country with an incredible art and history. The Metropolian Museum of Art is well worth a visit, great images. I can't help but wonder, wih all those wives and cuncubines Ramses must have been one very exhausted king.:)

A thoroughly enjoyable hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

To business I envy your visit to Egypt even though short. It is so fascinating and as you have pointed out its pharaohs are even more so. Yes, Ramses must've been one exhausted guy.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my hub.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 23 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Til....What a fascinating hub and so educational. I remember my trip to NYC in 2002 (I think). We did so much and saw numerous sites, including the Met Museum of Art. My nephew made sure we made it to some of the very best places to visit.....St Pat's Cathedral, the Abbey (I'm not recalling the actual name) It was gorgeous, nestled in a hillside....

Thanks for this, Til. Another one out of the park! You're quite the champion!...UP ++++ pinned & tweeted


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Always glad to stir up memories. St. Pat's is one of my favorite places. NYC has so many interesting and beautiful places to visit, its certainly more than subways and business buildings.

Glad you enjoyed and really appreciate all the shares my friend.

Hope your New Year has started out well and continues to get better and better.


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 23 months ago

My daughter and I went to NYC a couple of years ago and we saw this. It was really incredible to see all of their treasures. Thanks for the interesting article and the memories!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Glimmer Twin I'm so glad to hear from someone else who has seen this marvelous exhibit! So glad you enjoyed. Thanks for reading and commenting.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Mary - What a fabulous Hub. So interesting full of marvelous pictures. I think I have always liked Ancient Greek and Ancient Egyptian history, art, mythology, and architecture the nest. Both civilizations fascinate me. Well done. :) Sharing.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Thank you Theresa. Seems we share an interest. It is easy for these civilizations to fascinate when they have left us so much. I appreciate the share.


annart profile image

annart 23 months ago from SW England

This is fascinating, Mary. I've been to exhibitions in London and the Egyptians make for intriguing study. They had so much art and amazing building techniques; where did all that expertise go?

You've given us some quirky, less-known details here, all making an entertaining read. Lovely!

Ann


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

They were a truly amazing civilization Ann. Sometimes makes me wonder about the theory of aliens building the pyramids, sphinx, etc. Glad you enjoyed my lesser known facts.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 23 months ago from Somewhere in the West

WAW Till this was very informative and I am sure you had a swell time visiting and taking pictures. I did not know some of the facts you listed above. Eyes opened to children naked until their teens lol, well I am sure they were not filled with dirty vices like now.

Have a wonderful day and thanks much for sharing this treat with us.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 23 months ago from New York Author

Lady Fiddler I would think nudity was so natural to them there were no "dirty vices"...they came later I'm sure.

Glad you enjoyed and hope your day is a good one filled with sunshine.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 23 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Thanks Till and yes i believe it was natural at that age for them.... lol but time has change immensely you now they know everything at age 2.

I will by God's help :)

See me around soon


jhamann profile image

jhamann 22 months ago from Reno NV

I had the honor of seeing the King Tut exhibit at the Worlds Fair in 1982, (I think). I love the mystery and the beauty behind this ancient culture. Also I love the Museum where this exhibit was, evertime the family travels to New York to visit my sister-in-law I take the kids to these incredible museums. Thank you for a great hub. Jamie


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 22 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I have always adored Egyptology. Have you read the Book of the Dead? If not, get yourself a copy!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York Author

Will have to do Deb, thanks.


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 22 months ago from USA

Thank you for this vicarious virtual tour of Ancient Egypt. I find other cultures fascinating, especially the older ones, and enjoy comparing the differences and similarities with other cultures I know.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York Author

Glad you enjoyed my visit Millionaire. It is just amazing what ancient civilizations knew.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 21 months ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Mary, thanks for the armchair visit to this magnificent Egyptian collection. Though I have visited NY several times, I've missed this awesome display. I love how you include a piece by Akhenaten. He was fascinating and his poems or prayers are so beautiful.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 21 months ago from New York Author

To bad you missed it Dolores, I'm sure you would have loved it. Nice to learn more about Akhenaten.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 20 months ago from Southern Oklahoma

This is very interesting! I have always been amazed by Egyptian artifacts. I would love to visit one of these museums and really learn more about how they lived and died. Great hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York Author

Sheila it was truly amazing to see how well preserved so much of the artifacts were! I hope you get to see it or one of the other museums that have Egyptian displays.

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