While there has been considerable intrigue and study about the male pharaohs of ancient Egypt, very little has been revealed about its queens. A new exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC endeavours to change this by highlighting the most powerful women of ancient Egypt, spanning from the first queen of the New Kingdom (1539–1514 B.C.) through the final pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty (51-30 B.C.).
There will be more than 300 ancient Egyptian artifacts on display, including monumental statues and impressive sarcophagus, a 3-D fly through of one of the most decorated tombs in the Valley of Queens. Nat Geo’s team has invested in virtual reality for better viewer experience.
From Hatshepsut, one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs; Nefertiti, known for her incomparable beauty; and Nefertari, the beloved queen of Ramses II, visitors will also see four enormous statues of the goddess Sekhmet with the largest statue standing an impressive seven feet tall and weighing around 6,000 pounds.
Sekhmet, depicted as a lion-headed woman, was the goddess of battle and the fiercest hunter in all of Egypt.
Tourists and history enthusiasts will not learn about the daily life of ancient Egypt but also the afterlife including the cultural rituals practiced to honour gods of the region.
A special inclusion of Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt, in the exhibition through artifacts including a sculpture dating back to 44-30 B.C., one of more than 200 artifacts from the collection of the MuseoEgizio in Turin, Italy will tell her story.
The exhibition is organised by Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex and MuseoEgizio, Turin, in partnership with the National Geographic Society.
The exhibition will be open until September 15, 2019.
The National Geographic Museum, located on 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC, is open on all days (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 10 am to 6 pm.