What makes this exhibition different than the others we have seen in the past?
This King Tut exhibition—the largest ever to leave Egypt—features more than 150 real objects from King Tut’s tomb, including 60 that have never been on display outside of Egypt.
The breadth of this collection, with three times as many artifacts than ever exhibited previously, is also unprecedented in that it focuses exclusively on King Tut’s tomb. All of the artifacts on display (except for the one 10’ temple statue) come from Tut’s tomb, the most intact royal tomb ever to be discovered. The exhibition is also distinct in its narrative experience. The top floor galleries immerse guests in the story of King Tut’s journey through the underworld to the afterlife, and guests learn the role of these burial objects in the pharaoh’s quest for immortality. The final chapter on the first floor presents the story of Howard Carter’s sensational discovery and what subsequent scientific analysis has revealed about King Tut’s life.
What are some of the highlights everyone should see in the exhibition?
The exhibit includes an extraordinary collection of real treasures from King Tut’s tomb created more than 3,300 years ago. With more than 150 artifacts in all, each is exquisite in its artistry and condition. Guests all have different favorites, but they are all sensational to behold.
Does this exhibition include King Tut’s death mask?
No. The Death Mask (or Funerary Mask or Golden Mask) is at its home at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It is a very popular object that traveled in the 1970s, and many people have fond memories of it. Because it is so important and fragile, the Egyptian government has decided it will never travel again.
Does this exhibition include King Tut’s mummy?
No. King Tut’s mummy rests in the Valley of the Kings, inside his tomb. The mummy has only been removed from the tomb briefly for scientific testing in recent years including CT scans, and has never left Egypt.
What is the image used on the posters and brochures advertising the exhibition?
The image is of the canopic coffinette (16” high) that held Tutankhamun’s liver. This spectacular artifact is displayed in the exhibition’s third floor gallery with two high-definition video screens to give guests a detailed look.
Why is this exhibition at the Science Center?
There is science throughout the exhibition. Displays explore the history of Egyptian archaeology and the work of Howard Carter, who discovered the tomb in 1922. The burial objects are analyzed in the context of the Egyptian belief system. Other displays highlight how more recent CT scans and DNA analysis of the King’s mummy have revealed new information about King Tut’s life. We are hosting the exhibition to stimulate curiosity and interest in such science exploration and to advance appreciation for the significance of this scientific discovery.
Does this exhibition provide additional details on King Tut’s death?
King Tut’s death is one of history’s great unsolved mysteries. But guests will see the latest information and theories uncovered in recent years with the help of technologies such as CT scanning and DNA analysis—advanced scientific tools not available in Howard Carter’s time.
Why is King Tut important?
King Tut’s tomb remains the richest and most intact royal tomb ever discovered in Egypt. The quantity (over 5,000 burial objects) and quality of the objects advanced researchers’ understanding of the beliefs and cultural practices of the ancient Egyptians. In addition, Egyptologists discovered in this tomb technological innovations which continue to be studied and debated to this day.
In 1922—at the beginning of the mass media age—news of the discovery of King Tut quickly spread throughout the world and brought Egyptology to the attention of a global audience. For the general public, the discovery of King Tut’s tomb and the treasures it included turned this minor king into an overnight celebrity, influencing art, design, and fashion for decades. The interest in King Tut may be due in part to the mystery surrounding both the life and death of the boy king. Crowned Pharaoh at just nine years old following his father’s death, King Tut’s brief reign underscores a particularly tumultuous period in Egyptian history. Following his death, there was a deliberate effort to remove all traces of him from the record and to erase King Tut from Egyptian history—impeding his quest for immortality. This attempt failed. King Tut continues to be the most famous Egyptian pharaoh both inside Egypt and around the world.
What makes King Tut’s tomb unique?
King Tut’s tomb contained more than 5,000 objects—an unprecedented amount of treasures—and remains the most intact royal tomb ever found in Egypt. The tomb was particularly well hidden in the Valley of the Kings, which prevented the pillaging and taking of objects that befell other tombs, and was nearly untouched when discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.
The tomb has provided a unique window into Egyptian burial and religious practices. And the objects found within it have had a profound impact on researchers’ understanding of the beliefs and cultural practices of the ancient Egyptians. KING TUT: TREASURES OF THE GOLDEN PHARAOH will give visitors a firsthand look at more than 150 of these important and exquisite artifacts.
How does this exhibition relate to modern-day Egypt and ongoing work with the antiquities?
KING TUT: TREASURES OF THE GOLDEN PHARAOH stimulates both interest in and financial support for ongoing archaeological work, the study of antiquities in Egypt, and support for the upcoming Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza where King Tut's treasures will ultimately be housed.
Where will the tour go next?
Following its world debut at the California Science Center, the exhibition will travel to Europe. In total, it will visit 10 cities over the next seven years. Updates on the worldwide tour can be found at kingtutexhibition.com as they become available.
Will this be the last time the King Tut objects will tour and why?
The Egyptian government has said that this will be the last time the King Tut treasures will tour the world. Ticket sales are helping to finalize the permanent King Tut wing at the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will be the largest archaeological museum in the world. The wing will be dedicated to a comprehensive display of King Tut’s treasures, serving as the ultimate final home for his legacy.
What are the exhibition expenses and where does the ticket revenue go?
Expenses are high for this type of exhibition. They include developing an extraordinary guest experience, packing, shipping, security, and insuring these priceless world treasures. In addition, a significant portion of ticket revenue goes directly to support the preservation of antiquities and historic sites in Egypt, ensuring priceless artifacts such as these are protected for generations to come. Sharing these objects with the world generates important funds needed for their continued protection and cultivates interest in the incredible history of Egypt.
Who is putting this exhibition tour together?
The exhibition is being presented by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, global events leader IMG, and the California Science Center.
Why do I need to purchase tickets for a specific time?
When you purchase your tickets, you will be asked for a date and time you would like to see the exhibition. For example, if you purchase tickets for December 15, 2018 at 10:00am, you will enter between 10:00am and 10:15am. This 15-minute window allows us to manage the number of people in the exhibition at any given time.
Can I come to the box office to purchase my ticket?
Due to ongoing sellouts, we recommend reservations in advance online or by calling 213-744-2019.
How long does it take to see the exhibition?
Guests may begin lining up for the exhibition at their ticketed time. While individual visit times depend on the guest, most take about 60-90 minutes to view the exhibition. A guest may stay inside the exhibition until the galleries close for the day should he or she wish.
Can I enter and exit the exhibition more than once with my ticket?
No. Tickets are for one entry per person only. Used tickets will show as such in our system to prevent reentry, so a guest should be certain to purchase tickets from the California Science Center, either from our Call Center, Box Office, or online. Advance purchase is recommended as space is limited.
Where can I learn more about the exhibition?
You can discover more online at californiasciencecenter.org or through social media at Facebook.com/CaliforniaScienceCenter/, @Casciencecenter on Twitter, @CaliforniaScienceCenter on Instagram and Facebook.com/KingTutTour.