It isn’t that The King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center isn’t amazing. My daughter loved it.
It was getting there and scrounging for parking, and taking nine minutes to see-saw the van into a parallel parking spot on a hill while sweat left both my armpits like running water and while my daughter threw encouragement at me from the back window.
It was also exiting the van with false relief as the parking guy pointed to the curb and said, “you know you parked where it’s all yellow.” Only I didn’t.
It was ending up in a parking garage that either billed my visa twice or didn’t charge me at all. At which time I shrugged, “Ah, tow me.” Which was also the last thing I meant.
It was running to the science center with my daughter clopping behind me in too-large shoes via the opposite direction of the science center. Until I gave up at a corner crosswalk and asked the herd of people shuffling to the sidewalk where I could find the science center. At which time the whole group pointed in the direction from which I’d been running.
It was also arriving at the gate to the science center dripping in our jeans liked we’d finished a 5k and waiting in the first of four lines.
We were meeting our group at noon. Our group of 200. Which would be 15 minutes behind the previous group. Of 200. Which would enter in conjunction with bus loads of elementary school kids also visiting King Tut. At noon. On a Wednesday.
Now, I knew the stuff inside the exhibit was neat. I knew it was old. And preserved. And held meaning. But I mostly knew that I wanted to be anywhere else but at an exhibit, inching around in the dark with a suffocating surplus of small children.
In fact, I suddenly wanted to live in a cabin–alone–by a river.
But that’s not where we were. And so we looked. And pointed. And read templates. And took pictures of the things we’d read about in October when we’d studied Ancient Egypt.
And we learned more. And remembered. And put statues to names we’d only seen in print.
We liked that.
The tour, itself, began with statues and pieces from several of the Egyptian pharaohs before finishing specifically with the discovery and findings in Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Here’s just a smidge of what we saw.
This is the Gold burial mask of King Psusennes I, discovered in 1940 by Pierre Montet.
This is a necklace or collar found in the tomb of Princess Neferuptah who was the daughter of the pharaoh Amenemhet III. Because water had gotten into her tomb, nothing remained of her body. Just her jewelry.
This is a canopic jar, a jar used to hold the organs of a mummified pharaoh upon burial. King Tut had four canopic jars–one each for his stomach, intestines, lungs and liver.
The height of the tour, though, was walking into the reenactment of the four rooms found in King Tut’s tomb–The Anteroom. The Annex. The Royal Treasury. The Burial Chamber–Each exhibit room displaying actual items that were found in that specific room of the tomb.
Here’s a woven bed. My daughter’s favorite piece.
Here’s a headrest.
Here are the gold coverings found on King Tut’s fingers and toes. As well as the gold sandals on his feet.
About here–two hours from the crowded gate– is where the tour ends, save for a replica of King Tut’s mummified remains.
And here’s but a sample of what you can buy in the gift shop, if you so need.
Which we didn’t.
I am glad we came. But glad mostly for my daughter who seemed to breathe in the experience. Her experience.
Which had little to do with excessive, anxious sweating and lead legs.
No…her experience was perfect.
And that, I realize, is what mattered.