Tutankhamun And The Golden Age Of The Pharaohs: Reinforcing Preconceived Notions

2519 words - 10 pages

Ominous, monolithic wooden doors, slanted backwards to accentuate their apparent height, swing slowly and automatically outward, beckoning the carefully counted herd of visitors into a darkened room lit only with eerie blue light trickling out of hieroglyphic sconces. Doors close behind, the lights dim - so begins the visitor’s journey among the treasures of ancient Egypt. Each visitor’s Egyptian immersion, however, started long before entering the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs” exhibit at the San Francisco De Young museum. The ancient Egyptian “mega-myth” – of grandiose and opulent Pharaohs, majestic, mysterious pyramids, sphinxes, Cleopatra, Ramesses, and of course King Tut – is deeply ingrained through popular culture, glorified in countless films, novels, and even video games. So too is the mystique of the brave adventurous archaeologist fixed in every western mind, patterned after the fedora-donning and pistol-toting protagonists of “Indiana Jones” and “Tomb Raider.” The King Tutankhamun exhibit, instead of exploring historical facts and daring to counter these myths, embellishes and substantiates them, reinforcing the Egyptian “blockbuster” perception in an attempt to satisfy the preconceived notions of the average person in hopes of drawing masses to the museum.
The guiding force behind the Tut exhibit is profit, to attract and satisfy the most visitors as efficiently as possible. The exhibit's backers were clear in their profit-driven motives, and every aspect of the experience exudes this monetizing mindset, from the efficient entrance line to the finishing souvenir shop. The museum curators craftily target the exhibit to reinforce the simplified and majestic popular notions about ancient Egypt, favoring sensationalism over substance and cinema over clarity, and do so with an effective flair. The brief dramatized adventure through the land of the pharaohs, however, leaves the discerning visitor feeling slightly empty, and more than slightly swindled, as a dearth of practical, new, or particularly in-depth information makes for an exhibit bereft of any apparent scholarly rigor. Through its emphasis on theatrics, its textual descriptions, and its overall layout and tone, "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" presents the value of Egyptian archaeology as not in discovering and preserving local or global heritage, but in supporting the vaguer, more mystical myth of Egypt - a glorified and mysterious past of godlike Pharaohs and vast treasures, which, whether accurate or not, brings in a modern plunder of its own. Such a gross dramatization of Egyptian culture can and does occur, as its only stakeholders are those with moneyed interest in the exploitation of antiquities – modern society has very little direct attachments to ancient Egypt beyond its treasured artifacts. In the case of “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” this manipulation and romanticizing of Egyptian history is felt in...

Find Another Essay On Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs: Reinforcing Preconceived Notions

Postwar America: The Golden Age of Television

1322 words - 5 pages The ‘Golden Age of Television’ is what many refer to as the period between the 1950s and 60s when the television began to establish itself as a prevalent medium in the United States. In 1947, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the Du Mont Network were the four main television networks that ran stations with regular programming taking place. (Television, 2003

Golden Age of the Dutch Art

1002 words - 5 pages During the seventeenth-century people were really fund of paintings and almost every house had paintings hung on their walls even though some were not able to effort much paintings. Since the war ended the Netherlands had lot of time and money on their hands which made them a capitalistic society. I think the main reason why Netherlands had many painters and more buyers because they loved and cared for their land. The main reason why I think

Understanding the Notions of Communication and Culture

2578 words - 10 pages The notion of culture and communication are important in understanding society and further comprehend its problems. Different theoretical paradigms of mass culture and mass media are never coequal viewing the matter antagonistically with another. Some theoretical approach regards the notion of communication positively whereas other considers it as having a negative impact on culture. Three of the most significant theoretical ideas on the

The Golden Age: Acadian Life

1367 words - 5 pages The article reviewed is The Golden Age: Acadian Life, 1713-1748. It was written by Naomi Griffiths, and published in Social History 17, 33 (May 1984): 21-34. The Golden Age is a reference to the prosperous times encountered by the Acadian people. The Acadians lived in what is known as modern day Nova Scotia. While the Main Center of there colonies was Grand Pre, which lied on the coast against the Bay of Fundy. This article is an attempt to

Elizabethan Era: The Golden Age

1497 words - 6 pages , is said to be the golden age of English history, with a quite diversified public life, a rise in the fine arts, and numerous advancements in many technological and scientific fields. To begin with, the highlighted topic of almost all historic accounts of the Elizabethan Age was the lives of nobles, “painting the pretty picture”, but most people fail to realize that there is always another side to every story. Nobles and peasants lived very

The Golden Age of Greece and its Effects On the Modern World

965 words - 4 pages The Golden Age is considered the pinnacle of Greece as a nation and a society. It was the highest point of wealth and prosperity in Greece’s history and therefore the happiest of times. This period was also the peak of Grecian art, writings, sculpture, theatre, and architecture. The Golden Age is credited with forming the modern day stereotype of what Grecian life was like. The Greeks greatly influenced modern day culture through the

Innovations of the Golden Age of Islam-Paper

1518 words - 7 pages it is important that they know that the spread of Islamic civilization brought paper to the West. It was actually Muslims who learned how to manufacture paper in large quantities, a technology very important to the spread of ideas in the time of the Golden Age of Islam because paper was important for documents and books. This essay will explore the history of paper, the innovations in paper manufacturing, the spread of paper by the Muslims, and

Charlemagne, bringer of the golden age of Europe.

2120 words - 8 pages from the River Elbe to the Pyrenees. It was Charlemagne that brought about the unity of Medieval Europe through conquest as well as a strong administration. Charlemagne was solely responsible for bringing Europe out of the dark ages and establishing its golden age during his rule.Among the barbarian tribes who pulled down the Roman Empire, the earliest success in creating a new European state went to the Franks, a group of Germanic tribes who

Blackbeard's Life, The Golden Age of Piracy, and Its Effect on Piracy Today

2466 words - 10 pages Blackbeard’s Life Blackbeard was a brave and most outspoken sea rovers who operated during early 1700s in the coastal regions of the English Southern parts of the New world. His piracy activities, together with his co-pirates are key sectors in United States of America’s history. Happening in the time eminently known as the golden age of piracy, their brave advances in sea robbery facilitated the gradual demise of sea hijacking and theft on the

The Burial mask of Tutankhamun Joshua McCoy It is about the Burial Mask of Tutankhamun.

597 words - 2 pages I chose the burial mask of Tutankhamun. This mask of Tutankhamun is an example of the highest artistic and technical achievements of the ancient Egyptians in the New Kingdom. Covering the head of the wrapped mummy in its coffin and activated by a magical spell, number 151b from the Book of the Dead, the mask ensured more protection for the king's body. The exact portrayal of the king's facial features achieved here made it possible for his soul

The Notions of Justice in The Republic and Antigone

2034 words - 8 pages Within two classical works of philosophical literature, notions of justice are presented plainly. Plato’s The Republic and Sophocles’ Antigone both address elements of death, tyranny and immorality, morality, and societal roles. These topics are important elements when addressing justice, whether in the societal representation or personal representation. Antigone uses the concept of death in many ways when unfolding the tragic story of

Similar Essays

The Golden Age Of Comics Essay

826 words - 3 pages 1930s, coined the “Golden Age of Comic Books” which lasted until the 1950s. During this time, comics provided a source of cheap entertainment, they helped Americans cope with the New Deal villains, and they even inspired Americans to fight during World War II. The Golden Age of comic started with the Great Depression, a time where Americans looked for new and different ways to brighten their moods amidst poverty. At the worst point of the Great

The Golden Age Of Athens Essay

1340 words - 5 pages ” (Hunt 83). Pericles did this to secure high value of Athenian citizenship. However, the Athenians understood that citizenship in Athens is a privilege. It is something that should be cherished and not taken advantage of. Pages 3 &4 Pericles’ The Funeral Oration allowed Athens to thrive in its Golden Age. It helped alter people’s mindsets in a positive manner. The people no longer focused simply on their wants and desires, but on Athens as a

The Golden Age Of Couture Essay

1266 words - 6 pages Christian Dior wanted to start a new fresh look for women to kind of celebrate the war ending. The effects of war had made women crave glamour and beauty which changed how people wore clothes on a daily basis and had made 1950’s the Golden Age of Couture. World War 2 was the biggest war in history! And it sure did affect fashion in a huge way. During WW2 there were some laws like L-85 that rationed clothing. This had made the consumer society

Golden Age Of The Greeks. Essay

2365 words - 9 pages it is not as basic a difference as the difference between a man and a woman, or a Greek and a foreigner.The earliest buildings that were built in Greece in the New Stone Age are small houses or huts and wooden walls around them for protection. Later there are bigger houses and stone walls around the villages. By the Early Bronze Age we find one bigger house in the middle of the village, and fancier, bigger stone walls. In the Late Bronze Age