Imagine being in the midst of immaculate Ancient Egypt, having the opportunity to witness its wonders first hand. Now, members of the University of Miami’s community will not have to travel across the globe to have an experience such as this; artifacts from Ancient Egypt’s history can be found at The Lowe Art Museum, which is showcasing a unique exhibition until Nov. 2.
“Excavating Egypt: Great Discoveries from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology” is a major traveling exhibition which tells the story of British pioneer and archaeologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie and his exploration of Egyptian civilization.
Denise Gerson, the associate director of The Lowe Art Museum, called this exhibition “a gift to our community” because this exhibition “is so significant in showing what the history of Egypt has to offer by examining this material which has never traveled before.”
“You would have to go to New York or Paris or even travel around the world to see examples like this, and this is the only exhibit of its kind in South Florida,” Gerson said.
Petrie is known as the father of Egyptian archaeology for his innovations and contributions to the field. He was also the inspiration for the Indiana Jones movies.
“Excavating Egypt” features 221 of Petrie’s most significant finds resulting from his archeological expeditions and many of these have never been seen by the public before.
“I really enjoyed coming to the museum, this exhibit is very interesting and I enjoyed learning about the history of Egypt,” visitor Ricardo Monslave said.
The exhibit includes excavation notes, journal pages and photos of Petrie’s digs.
“All of this material is on loan from a London collection named for this pioneering archeologist,” Gerson said.
The exhibit also includes examples of how people lived and died in the Nile Valley and some of their jewelry, sculptures, pottery and even a mummy case.
“This exhibit also sheds light on modern excavation techniques,” Gerson said.
The museum is also hosting another exhibit which includes certain parts that overlap with the Petrie exhibit, and subsequently these exhibits complement each other.
The second exhibit, “Eternal Egypt: Photography from the Collection of the Lowe Art Museum,” is permanent and all the material it contains is owned by the museum.
These are images of the Nile Valley during a bygone era. They feature the Lost Egypt portfolios produced by The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
“These photos show ancient places where Egyptians built pyramids and temples and they document an Egypt that doesn’t exist anymore,” Gerson said.
The photographs were taken over a century ago, during a time when the government moved several of these monuments, altering the landscape of the area. This exhibit shows museum-goers how Egypt looked prior to the alteration, giving them a historical perspective.
“There is always great interest in Ancient Egypt and museums get a lot of attention on the subject,” Gerson said.
The Lowe Art Museum is located on campus at 1301 Stanford Drive. It is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Saturdays, noon to 7 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for non-UM students with I.D. and seniors, $5 for adult groups of 10 or more, $3 for student groups of 10 or more, and free to members, University of Miami students, faculty and staff and children under 12. For more information, call 305-284-3535 or visit www.lowemuseum.org.