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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > TAICHUNG > ARTICLES >

COMPASS MAGAZINE, April 2000. VOL. 7 ISSUE 3

CULTURAL CORNER:

Ancient Egypt on Display at Taichung's Science Museum

By Cheryl Robbins

The National Museum of Natural Science is currently the temporary home of an extraordinary collection of more than 200 objects from ancient Egypt, on loan from the Roemer-und-Pelizaeus Museum in Germany.

This exhibition marks the first time that such objects have been available for public viewing in Taiwan, due to the fact that the German museum--home to one of the most important Egyptian collections outside of Egypt--is in the process of moving to a new building. This unprecedented display has already drawn huge crowds, with 100,000 visitors in just the first weekend. Three mummies are the main draw of this exhibition. One is of Penju, a priest who died around 800 BC. Penju's mummy is still inside its case, but the foot cover has been removed to reveal the mummy inside. The other two mummies on display are of children. One is from about 2000 BC and the other is from sometime between 30 BC and 324 AD.

Even more unique, however, is the reconstruction of the burial chamber of the tomb of Sennefer, the mayor of Thebes around 1425 BC--the height of Egyptian civilization. The tomb is famous for its extensive illustrations of grapevines and, thus, has been dubbed the "Tomb of Grapes". The burial chamber is a 1:1 reconstruction of the original, including exact copies of wall paintings, and visitors enter through a low passageway as in the original.

In addition to grapevines, there are scenes of Sennefer undergoing purification and mummification rituals. Another painting shows the various objects that were to be placed in the tomb for Sennefer to use in the afterlife, such as food, clothing and weapons. The Roemer-und-Pelizaeus Museum is the only museum in the world that has received a license from the Egyptian government to recreate the tomb, providing viewers with a very unique opportunity to explore an Egyptian tomb.    

The Ancient Egypt Exhibit runs until July 9, 2000 and is located in the basement of the Chinese Science Hall of the museum.  The National Museum of Natural Science is located at 1, Kuan Chien Road, Taichung and may be contacted at 04-322-6940.  Open hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and general admission is NT$150.

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