Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities

Yesterday afternoon I took my daughter Morgan and her fiancé Jack to see Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The exhibition displays treasures recovered from two powerful ancient Egyptian cities, Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus, that were sunk into the Mediterranean  in the 8th century AD.

Previously known only by scattered mentions in ancient writings, no physical trace of their splendor and magnificence had been found until maritime archaeologist Franck Goddio and his European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) made the discovery and lifted their secrets up from the depths.

IEASM’s ongoing underwater excavations have fundamentally changed our understanding of the cultures, faiths, and history of Egypt’s Mediterranean region. This exhibition features a staggering array of objects from these excavations, supplemented by treasures from museums across Egypt.

Photo set and video below.

 


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4 responses to “Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities

  1. “Sunken Cities” was at the St. Louis Art Museum maybe a year and a half ago–truly amazing! Glad it made its way to your neck of the woods.

    Best,

    James

    • It’s not only about Egypt. It’s about the power and majesty of the human desire to understand why we are here, how we should be in the world, and how to relate that quest using symbols, language, and art. Staggering!

  2. I loved this exhibit so much that I went three different times when it was in Saint Louis. The small stuff, the details, the materials that don’t normally preserve. It is just a glimpse of all we don’t know about the past.

    • I will probably go again also. The two pieces that just demolished me were the Tewaret (the hippo-headed deity) and the Amis (bull deity). They were so perfect, so detailed…the bull looks as if it walked out of time and into the museum and, at any moment, could walk right out into the street. The amount of work, the skill, the dedication — it’s inconceivable.

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