An exhibition 3,000 years in the making has arrived at the Australian Museum in Sydney in time for the Christmas holidays; Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 18th of November to provide a blockbuster experience of the peak of Ancient Egypt until May 2024.
On November 16th, we were lucky enough to be invited to a preview of the exhibition before it officially opened to the public to get a preview of this terrific exhibition. Although not in the Hills or Hawkesbury, the sheer quality of what the Australian museum has with this incredibly immersive exhibit must be seen to be believed, and we highly recommend it as a great day out for the December school holidays.
Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is centred on the reign of Ramses II, the Egyptian king of kings who left a lasting impact on the annals of Egyptian history. Ramses ascended to the throne when he was just 25 and reigned until his death at 92, the second-longest reign of any of the pharaohs.
Ramses’ reign was prosperous on many fronts – he was a huge architectural influence in Egypt in his lifetime, as well as an accomplished wartime leader and peace broker, having signed the world’s first recorded peace treaty with the Hittite empire following the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC. The King of Kings also had eight wives, and is estimated to have fathered over 100 children.
For the exhibition, the Australian museum has generously been loaned 192 unique artefacts from Egypt for this exhibition, including the remarkable Coffin of Ramses II. Though not the pharaoh’s original resting place, as he was likely placed in the coffin as part of a reburial process in a later dynasty, the item is still awe-inspiring in person owing to its exceptional preservation. Sydney is only the second city outside of Egypt to display this invaluable historical artefact, having been on display in Paris earlier this year.
The incalculable value of the exhibition is reflected in its quality, with stunningly preserved pieces of history on display throughout the exhibit. Key highlights of the exhibition include the limestone head of Ramses that greets you at the exhibition’s entrance, the ornately painted sarcophagus of the artisan Sennedjem, innumerable gold pieces and a huge array of other statues that give you a sense of the overwhelming power that Ramses had during his reign.
Ramses & The Gold of the Pharaohs is likely to be one of the most popular Christmas school holiday activities in all of Sydney, and for good reason. Kids with an interest in history will be enamoured by the amount of gold and size of the various coffins and statues spread throughout the exhibition. For older audiences, the Australian Museum offers a deeply engaging experience that gives Sydney a one-time opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime look into the past when Ancient Egypt was at its most powerful.
Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is on at the Australian Museum until the 19th of May 2024. Tickets vary across dates and times – head to the Australian Museum website to find prices that work for you!