Quest for Immortality exhibit, hosted by the National Gallery of Art

Remaining tour schedule

About the exhibit (from the web site)
From the earliest times, Egyptians denied the physical impermanence of life. They formulated a remarkably complex set of religious beliefs and funneled vast material resources into the quest for immortality. This exhibition focuses on the understanding of the afterlife among Egyptians some 3,000 years ago, in the period of the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC) through the Late Period (664-332 BC). The New Kingdom marked the beginning of an era of great wealth, power, and stability for Egypt, and was accompanied by a burst of cultural activity, much of which was devoted to the quest for eternal life.

The exhibition is divided into six sections: Journey to the Afterworld, The New Kingdom, The Royal Tomb, Tombs of Nobles, The Realm of the Gods, and The Tomb of Thutmose III.

Visit the online exhibit

See the NPR story

Osiris resurrecting
Twenty-sixth Dynasty, 664-525 BC
gneiss, with a headdress in electrum and gold
The Egyptian Museum, Cairo

Copyright National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

The Armchair Archaeologist gives “The Quest for Immortality” exhibit five-helmets Five helmet rating

Check your local public library for accompany public free lectures given in association with the exhibit.

According to a report on NPR’s Morning Edition (March 9, 2005) new scientific tests reveal that the boy-king probably did not die of a lethal blow to the head as previously thought.

“One of the great mysteries of ancient Egypt has just become a little less mysterious. Scientists who’ve been studying the 3,300-year-old mummy of King Tutankhamen say computerized scans contradict the long-held theory that a blow to the head killed the boy pharaoh.”

For the complete story on NPR

King Tut
The mummy of King Tut is prepared for scanning. The CT scan took place outside Tutankhamun’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt. National Geographic © 2005

According to the February 10th 2006, All Things Considered on NPR:

Dr. Lorelei Corcoran discusses with Robert Siegel the recent findings from the archeological dig at Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The Egyptologist and the director of the Institute for Egyptian Art and Archeology was at the site today and is the academic sponsor of the dig.

Full story and listen to the original broadcast

New Tomb in the Valley of the Kings web site

Wooden mummy cases are shown with ceremonial storage jars in a newfound tomb on February 10, 2006. The tomb is the first discovered in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings since 1922. Source

Site of Pharoah's dentistsThieves last week led archaeologists to the graves of three royal dentists, located near to the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, believed to to be Egypt’s oldest pyramid.

Hawass told reporters that the tombs date back more than 4,000 years to the 5th Dynasty. They were meant to honor a chief dentist and two others who treated the pharaohs and their families.

Read full article now

Check out the article in the Chicago Tribune

NPR story

The Armchair Archaeologists says: I’ve always wondered if the Egyptian-elite (i.e., the Pharoahic class) had access to any kind of advanced healthcare when it comes to dental problems. I’ve read that many mummies have been discovered – mummies of Pharoahs even – with horrible tooth decay remains. Ouch! Can you imagine having to endure the pain of bad tooth decay for years?

Mummy dearest? Recent scholarship is changing thinking about female pharaoh Hatshepsut, whom Egyptologists once called “the vilest type of usurper.”

See full article in Smithsonian Magazine

Queen Hatshepsut
Numerous colossal statues of the pharaoh once adorned the terraces of her temple at Deir el-Bahri. In the one above, Hatshepsut is depicted wearing the tall white crown of Upper Egypt.