From the tomb of Kha to the majestic sphinxes of the Gallery of the Kings, in the basement: what are the main works of the Egyptian Museum of Turin?
Located in the heart of the historic center ofTurin, a stone's throw from Piazza San Carlo and Palazzo Madama, the Egyptian Museum is the oldest in the world, second in importance only to that of Cairo.
The Egyptian Museum of Turin is located inside a Baroque palace, extends for approximately 12 thousand square meters and houses almost 40 thousand finds that cover the period from the Paleolithic to the Coptic era. Of these, those located in the various rooms are 3 thousand, while over 11 thousand can be visited inside the Galleries of Material Culture.
If you are organizing a weekend in the magical city of the Mole Antonelliana, know that a visit to the Egyptian Museum is fully included in the top ten of "things absolutely to do and see in Turin”. In this article I leave you all the information regarding prices, opening times and the main works not to be missed.
Egyptian Museum of Turin: the visit and the tour through the rooms
The itinerary that winds through the rooms of the Egyptian Museum of Turin represents a journey through 4 thousand years of history, art and archaeology. Moving between the four floors of the baroque palace (basement, first floor, second floor and third floor) you will have the opportunity to admire statues, papyrus, sarcophagi and very ancient objects of everyday life.
The visit to the Egyptian Museum of Turin begins on the second floor where there are four rooms. The period included is that which goes from the predynastic era of the Old Kingdom to the Middle and New Kingdom.
Access to the third floor gallery is via a staircase located next to the fifth room on the second floor. Temporary exhibitions are located here.
The first floor of the Egyptian Museum in Turin is made up of several rooms and corridors. From the village of Deir el-Medina to the Roman and late ancient times, the works you will find in this wing include wonders such as the Gallery of Sarcophagi, the Valley of the Queens, the Tomb of Kha and finds from the Ptolemaic era.
It is perhaps the wing of the Museum that most fascinates and leaves you astonished. The Basement, in fact, includes the majestic Gallery of the Kings and the Nubian Hall of the Temple of Ellesija.
The main works to see at the Egyptian Museum in Turin
Spread across the rooms of the Museum are some of the most important works in the history of Egyptian art and culture: here are the ones absolutely not to be missed.
The Sekhmet Statue is the earthly transposition of the fearsome goddess Sekhmet, the bloodiest of ancient Egypt. The deity, with a lion's head and a woman's body, is part of one of the largest collections outside Egypt and, without a doubt, is among the unmissable works of the Egyptian Museum in Turin.
Ostrakon of the Dancer
The term "ostrakon" indicated the fragments of vase, or limestone, used to make small notes or to make sketches. The Dancer's ostrakon represents a splendid example of a "sketch" depicting a woman with thick hair and a black skirt in the act of arching in a dance step.
Tomb of Kha
The tomb of the architect Kha and his wife Merit was discovered in the cemetery of Deir el-Medina in 1905. It is one of the most famous works of the Egyptian Museum which has allowed, among other things, to deepen scholars' knowledge of the embalming techniques, cosmetics, clothing and food of daily life during the New Kingdom.
Statue of Ramesses II
The Statue of Ramesses II depicts one of the most important pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and is a true masterpiece. The work was sculpted to receive the prayers of subjects in a temple in Thebes and shows Ramesses II sitting on a throne.
Tomb of Iti and Neferu
The semi-rock tomb of Iti and Neferu was carved into the rock with sixteen pillars marking its boundaries. The main characteristic lay in the fact that all the walls were decorated with paintings and…. they are currently perfectly visible at the Egyptian Museum in Turin.
Cup of the Goddess Hathor
With the two female heads surrounded by flowers and silhouetted against a blue background, the cup of the Goddess Hathor is among the most beautiful of all. Note the presence of the lotus flower, symbol of eternal life and rebirth.
The predynastic mummy
Among the works not to be missed at the Egyptian Museum in Turin, the predynastic mummy is the one that will certainly make you gasp. It is an adult in a fetal position placed inside an oval basin that dates back more than 5 thousand years. The preservation is due to the natural drying method of the body which was placed in an excavation made in the desert.
Tomb Chapel of Maia
Maia's funerary chapel was discovered in 1906 in the Deir el-Medina necropolis, not far from Kha's tomb. Maia was an artist from nearly 3,400 years ago. On the walls of the chapel, made of fresh mud bricks and straw, beautiful dry tempera paintings stand out, the colors of which were obtained from mineral and vegetable products.
Located in the basement, inside the spectacular Gallery of the Kings, the Sphinx of the Egyptian Museum of Turin represents one of the most characteristic works. The mythological creature with a lion's body and human head represented the pharaohs and queens who, alongside human intelligence, boasted the power of the animal linked to the Sun god.
Sphinxes were usually placed in pairs, facing each other, at the entrance to a temple or along processional avenues.
Prices and timetables
The Egyptian Museum of Turin is open every day except December 25th and respects these opening times:
- Monday: 9am / 2pm
- From Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 / 18:30
The standard ticket price is 15 euros (reduced for over 70s and journalists: 12 euros). Entrance is free for holders of the Torino + Piemonte Card.
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How to get to the Egyptian Museum of Turin
The Egyptian Museum of Turin is located in via Accademia delle Scienze, in the historic center of the city. It can be reached:
- Motorway: Torino Nord / Torino Sud exit;
- Train: Porta Nuova station;
- Bus/Tram: lines 13-15-55-56-72
- Metro: Porta Nuova stop.