Egyptian art is very essential to the growth and development of many cultures of today. It’s, also, viewed most often today by many archaeologists and historians looking to better their knowledge of Egyptian culture. Egyptologists and archaeologists are always finding new discoveries concerning the history of Egyptian art. It’s particularly easy since the Egyptians, literally, left their mark on the world through use of their native alphabet, hieroglyphics, mummification, and the preservation of traditions. The Egyptians made it easy to discover who they were and their customs by leaving their history in writing and drawings.
At the Albany Institute of History and Art, there is an exhibit filled with Ancient Egyptian art. I, particularly, enjoyed this exhibit because of how realistic the artifacts were. Three in particular that caught my attention were the hieroglyphics display, the mummy of Ankhefenmut, and the containers used to hold the organs of mummies. The way that these specific exhibits are connected enhances the culture of the Egyptians back in the Ptolemaic kingdom. It, also, connects to the customs and traditions of the Egyptians.
The hieroglyphics display was quite interesting. Hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt tell stories. They allow people like us to gain knowledge of the Egyptian lifestyle. The only challenge today is finding people who are able to translate hieroglyphics into common languages spoken today. One hieroglyphics at the Albany Institute, in particular, was the “biography” of the mummy Ankhefenmut. The hieroglyphs told who he was, what he did in his lifetime, and how he prepared for his afterlife. Within his “biography”, it was stated that he was a sculptor and a priest. This would help archaeologists discover different things about his body and identification.
Although we’re not supposed to dwell on mummies because they’re not “real art”, I found the discovery on Ankhefenmut of interest to me. Apparently, the realization was discovered recently that Ankhefenmut was a male. For many years, he was believed to have been a female. Because it was quite difficult to determine the sex of mummies, the mistake of genders was very common. However, one source reported that “the problem [was] that these were just looked at by doctors and not people who specialized in ancient remains” (www.legislativegazette.com). Another interesting part of Ankhefenmut's mummification was his coffin. It included inscriptions along the side that were “magic spells and protective instructions to guide the deceased through the afterlife”. I thought it looked very intriguing because I have never seen anything like it in my life. In today’s world, coffins with such distinct features are very rare to come by. However, in Ancient Egypt, garnished coffins were very common. The belief of the afterlife was a very popular tradition as well. However, most mummies were of royal descent. Therefore, only special people were mummified.
Last, but not least, were...