A procession of floats carrying the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs, including Egypt’s most powerful ancient queen, snaked through Cairo Saturday night, in an appealing parade to a brand-new resting location.
Under heavy security, the mummies were taking a trip 7 kilometres (4 miles) throughout the capital from the renowned Egyptian Museum to the new National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation.
The mummified remains of Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II, “the Brave”, who ruled over southern Egypt some 1,600 years before Christ, are the oldest of the 22 mummies being paraded through the streets of Cairo Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/ –
Called the “Pharaohs’ Golden Parade”, the 18 kings and 4 queens travelled in order, earliest initially, each aboard a separate float decorated in ancient Egyptian style.
Both pedestrians and cars were disallowed from Tahrir Square, site of the current museum, and other sections of the route for the parade.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo, the brand-new resting place for much of the mummies AFP/ Khaled DESOUKI
Images of the parade and a carefully choreographed opening event were relayed live on state tv, to rousing music.
” With excellent pride, I look forward to inviting kings and queens from Egypt after their journey,” President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Twitter just ahead of procedures.
” This grand spectacle is more proof of the greatness … of a special civilisation that extends into the depths of history,” he included.
Egypt continues to unearth ancient remains – – this picture from October 2020 shows the opening of a sarcophagus excavated by the Egyptian archaeological objective at the Saqqara necropolis near Cairo AFP/ Khaled DESOUKI
Seqenenre Tao II, “the Brave”, who ruled over southern Egypt some 1,600 years prior to Christ, was on the first chariot, while Ramses IX, who reigned in the 12th century BC, brought up the back.
Another great warrior, Ramses II, who ruled for 67 years, and Queen Hatshepsut, the most effective female pharaoh, were also on the journey.
The remains of four female pharaohs are amongst those being moved, including the most powerful, Queen Hatshepsut, who stated herself pharaoh after the death of her husband-brother Tuthmosis II AFP/ Cris BOURONCLE
The gold-coloured carriages were fitted with shock absorbers for the 40-minute trip, to guarantee none of the valuable freights are mistakenly disturbed on Cairo’s roads.
The mummified remains of Pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II, “the Brave”, who reigned over southern Egypt some 1,600 years prior to Christ, are the earliest of the 22 mummies being paraded through the streets of Cairo Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/ –
Found near Luxor from 1881 onwards, interesting new details of the pharaohs’ lives– and deaths– are still emerging.
A modern study of Seqenenre Tao II, including CT scans and 3D images of his hands and long-studied skull fractures, indicate he was most likely killed in an execution event, after being captured in battle.
Two-horse chariots in Tahrir Square, in the centre of Egypt’s capital Cairo AFP/ Khaled DESOUKI
For their procession through Cairo’s streets, the mummies were placed in special containers filled with nitrogen, under conditions similar to their routine display screen cases.
The brand-new resting location, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in the Fustat district of Old Cairo, consists of streamlined, low-rise structures topped with a pyramid in the middle of extensive grounds.
Stage set along the parade location near the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square for the parade of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies AFP/ Khaled DESOUKI
The mummies will go through 15 days of lab remediation before they are showcased individually in their new home, in an environment redolent of underground burial places.
And they will be accompanied by a short biography.
Upon arrival, they will occupy “a little updated cases”, said Salima Ikram, teacher of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.
Temperature and humidity control will also be boosted.
The “museum has what it takes to protect (mummies), the very best labs … it is among the best museums we have,” Waleed el-Batoutti, consultant to the tourist and antiquities ministry, told state television.
The National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation opened its doors to limited exhibitions from 2017 and will open fully on Sunday, prior to the mummies go on screen to the public from April 18.
In the coming months, the nation is due to inaugurate another new display, the Grand Egyptian Museum, near the Giza pyramids.
It too will house pharaonic collections, consisting of the well known treasure of Tutankhamun.
Discovered in 1922, the tomb of the young ruler, who took the throne briefly in the 14th century BC, included treasures consisting of gold and ivory.
A so-called “curse of the pharaoh” emerged in the wake of Tutankhamun’s discovering in 1922-23.
An essential funder of the dig, Lord Carnarvon, died of blood poisoning months after the burial place was opened, while an early visitor also died suddenly in 1923.
With the parade coming only days after several catastrophes struck Egypt, some undoubtedly hypothesized on social media about a brand-new curse provoked by the newest move.
The past days have seen a lethal rail crash and a structure collapse in Cairo, while worldwide headings were controlled by the battle to refloat the huge container ship MV Ever Given which obstructed the Suez Canal for nearly a week.
The mummies’ re-housing “marks completion of much work to improve their preservation and exhibition,” stated UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, who remained in Cairo for the parade.
” This raises emotions that go much even more than the mere relocation of a collection– we will see the history of Egyptian civilisation unfold before our eyes.”