Review of Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science Exhibit
By Chelle Dohrmann
I was fortunate to get a sneak preview of the Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science exhibit at the Saint Louis Science Center. What a great experience! This is not just a “traveling museum” – it is an interactive, hands-on experience to keep both kids and their parents interested throughout the exhibit.
Visitors begin their adventure by first walking down an Egyptian street-scene, immediately getting the feeling of being transported to another place. A large floor-map of modern-day Egypt shows the size and topography of the country as well as highlights current archeological dig sites. Once inside, the real fun begins!
Highlights of the exhibit include:
- Videos throughout narrated by actual archeologists working at dig sites near the pyramids of Khufu, Menkaure and Khafre, and the nearby Sphinx.The pyramid of Khufu is the largest of the pyramids, known as the “Great Pyramid” – one of the wonders of the ancient world!
- Several hands-on activities for the kids: explore the engineering skills required by building a pyramid from the ground up; learn about the “seals” that ancient Egyptians would place on their tools and artifacts to label them; reconstruct ancient pottery discovered at dig sites (one is MUCH easier than the other and could be frustrating for younger kids - but it shows the painstaking process archeologists go through in attempts to piece together history!); and play an interactive computer game - decide what to pack for an archeological trip to Egypt!
- Kids can sit upon a life-size camel (makes a great photo-op!) and learn why they are important desert animals.
- Learn the story of an unidentified mummy that was afforded special treatment by the Egyptian Priests (the mummy is actually there!). See how modern technology and imaging was used to "tell" the story of the girl under the wraps.
- Learn how the Egyptians developed and used technology to allow them to build the massive pyramid tombs of the kings – kids can actually experience the difficulty of moving the large stones the way it was originally done, and then see how technology allowed for much easier movement of those stones.
- See how a sandstorm in the Sahara Desert can shift the sands to show or hide the ancient history of ancient Egypt.
- Learn about the use of kites to get a bird’s eye view of the current topography in Egypt.
- View actual hieroglyphics that were found in the various tombs in Egypt, and a replica of the Rosetta Stone that allowed the modern world to finally “break the code” and read what the Egyptians were saying with the hieroglyphics.
Overall, Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science is an amazing experience! We learned the various reasons that animals might have been mummified, gained insights as to how scientists are now able to “reconstruct” a mummy through imaging technology, and were exposed to what the various amulets that are found on mummies meant and how the Priests selected the amulets to send the dead into the afterlife.
This exhibit is geared toward upper-elementary and middle school kids and adults, but all children will gain something from the experience.
An hour and a half passed by in the blink of an eye as the wonders of Ancient Egypt came alive through this interactive experience!
Lost Egypt: Ancient Secrets, Modern Science is open from May 25-September 2, 2013. While admission to the Science Center is free, entrance to the special exhibit requires a ticket: $12/adult, and $10/child (members are discounted).
© 2013, KidsOutAndAbout.com
Chelle Dohrmann, Editor of KidsOutAndAbout-St. Louis, is a wife and mother of two.