Queens of Egypt: A Fascinating Exhibition
This summer at the Canadian Museum of History, travel back in time to one of the most important ancient civilizations. In the exhibition Queens of Egypt, on view until August 22, 2021, discover the stories of seven fascinating women who played important military, political, diplomatic and religious roles 3,500 years ago.
A multisensory voyage to the heart of ancient Egypt
The exhibition profiles seven queens and is divided into six thematic sections: the palace, the temple, the harem, the Valley of the Queens, the village, and the tomb of Nefertari. On the left, death. On the right, life.
For no particular reason, I started on the left. I was immediately fascinated by the process of mummification. For the ancient Egyptians, the body of the deceased had to be preserved so that the travelling soul would recognize the body when it returned to the grave. Did you know that a hook was used to break the nose and extract the brain? That resin was used to disinfect the body? That metres and metres of linen strips were used to wrap the body?
The sarcophagus section is very impressive! More than 3,000 years ago, Ramses II ordered that a tomb be dug in the Valley of the Queens, on the west bank of the Nile, for his favourite Great Royal Wife, Nefertari. It is one of the most beautiful ancient Egyptian tombs ever discovered, and I was amazed.
Every part of the exhibition is filled with priceless discoveries, riches and history. There are over 300 monumental statues, sarcophagi, funerary objects, jewellery and other iconic artifacts. You don’t have to be a history buff to be fascinated!
Female power, without limits
This journey takes us into the world of Nefertari, Nefertiti, Hatshepsut and other women of power and influence between 1539 and 1076 BCE. Originally a hunter-gatherer society, it gradually settled down.
The status of women in ancient Egypt was very high. They could become civil servants, merchants, soldiers, ship captains, and in one case, even a pharaoh! They kept their businesses and assets in the event of divorce.
It’s intriguing to compare their living conditions to those of today. It raises the question of why women were so devalued in Greek, Roman and Jewish societies; it’s equally intriguing to consider that those advanced societies were all decimated…
Family fun: Mission Nefertari
Family activities are offered in an adjoining area. Young and old alike are invited to solve puzzles using a mobile device. The multisensory environment will appeal to young children, while older ones will enjoy learning about hieroglyphics.
To round out your visit
Several complementary activities are offered at the Museum, including the CINÉ+, now screening Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs, and various activities designed to help young people and families discover the permanent exhibitions and the Museum’s outdoor environment. The Aqua-Taxi links the Museum to the Ontario shoreline, offering beautiful views, and Rabaska Canada‘s voyageur canoe takes you back to the days of the 18th–century explorers. So many possibilities on one site—thumbs up to that!
Canadian Museum of History, 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau
June 2 to August 22, 2021
Various admission prices depending on age.
The Museum limits the number of people admitted, so book your tickets online for a set time at historymuseum.ca. The Museum also offers special online programming, including a virtual tour with the exhibition curator and a virtual “seek and find” game.