Did you know that you can learn about the ancient Egyptian civilization in the heart of Athens?
Many visitors of the National Archeological Museum of Athens are surprised as they enter the halls of the Egyptian collection. Statues, figurines, vases, funerary caskets, jewelry and Fayum portraits cover different period of the Egyptian civilization. A wide array of artifacts related to different aspects of daily life are displayed; get to know about the magic, art, religion and funerary customs of in ancient Egypt. The chronological logic of the exhibition allows the visitor to follow the development of Egyptian art, whilst discovering the relationship between Egypt and Greece and the influence the former had on the Greek civilization.
At the core of this beautiful collection lies the most impressive of all exhibits, a wooden sarcophagus and the mummy of Hapi, also known as ‘Khor’, son of Pami. Although this mummy case belongs to the latest stages of the Egyptian realm, in particular the Ptolemaic period (304-150 BC), it remains highly impressive.
How did the Egyptian antiquities reach the National Archaeological Museum of Athens?
In the 19th and early 20th century, collectors of Egyptian art donated the artifacts that currently comprise the permanent Egyptian exhibition of the National Archeological Museum of Athens The first donations arrived early, only a couple of years after the establishment of Greek state. A group of Greek dilettanti made the first donations to the University of Athens, which were subsequently housed at the National Archeological museum. Ioannis Dimitriou and Alexandros Rostovitch entrepreneurs of Greek descent that lived in Cairo and Alexandria gifted the majority of the exhibits displayed today at the heart of Athens.
National Archaeological Museum
44 Patission Street, Athens 10682