Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Egyptian Room in the Museum Of South Australia





In January of this year I spent some time inside the Museum of South Australia, especially to revisit their Egyptian Room.

As the whole trip had a theme of revisiting my genesis, I reflected upon the only real life objects from Kemet that were available to me for most of my life growing up in Adelaide. 

Much of the room remains unchanged from how I recall it growing up, with the notable exception that the obelisk at the front of the museum has disappeared. (I sent the museum a tweet about this but got no reply). 

The old building that is the museum is delightfully antique in feel and they have managed to retain this with the modernization of it in recent times.

The Egyptian Room is a little "light on" in comparison with other museums (I have visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Cairo Museum so these are heavyweight comparisons!) but there is a charm to it that invites exploration.

There are many casts, painted statues (that give the impression of what the originals from whence they were cast might have looked like) as well as mummies, coffins, ushabtis and amulets. The walls are decorated with images recalling tomb paintings - some well rendered other parts not.

I am grateful that facilities are open to us like this that we can visit whenever we want, and for no charge. The room always had and still has a faint heka about it, probably coming from the artifacts that are genuine that I mentioned mentioned above and that are pictured below.



Painted statue of Apet

Framed plaques like this - as well as good old fashioned type writer  notes - are abound in this room


Painted statue series of Auset, Hethert and Ausar
This plaque of Queen Cleopatra is massive and  is displayed over the stairwell on the way up into the room
A coffin and mummy

Mummy base featuring the Apis bull

The painted walls - was there a male vulture headed deity?

Great use of the inbuilt architecture of the room with these wall paintings
Something that the Museum of SA has in common with the Cairo Museum: both display a cast copy of the Rosetta Stone
Ushabtis


Click on the picture to see the larger version; some of these are quite interesting



Painted statue of 25th Dynasty Queen Amenirdis