Iconic, innovative and visionary, Ramses II is probably the most famous pharaoh of all of ancient Egypt. Known historically and in popular culture as Ramses the Great, the deified and legendary leader reclaimed lost land, expanded the borders of his nation, brokered the first peace treaty in human history, and directed the construction of cities, temples, and monuments – to name just a few to name his innumerable achievements.
Perhaps Egypt’s greatest figurehead will be celebrated this fall with a new exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. “Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” will be opened on November 20 as part of a world premiere engagement and a 10-city world tour. Tickets are $ 27 and are available online now.
At the immersive, state-of-the-art exhibition, visitors can stroll among real colossal statues and experience a multimedia replica of Ramses’ triumph at the Battle of Kadesh, widely believed to be the greatest chariot battle of all time, according to a press release.
An expertly preserved collection of these artifacts, including sarcophagi, animal mummies, sumptuous jewelry, intricate royal masks, opulent amulets, and ornate golden treasures of the tomb, is on display, showcasing the craftsmanship of Egyptian artists.
The journey begins via a 120-degree curved HD projection screen, which offers a wide panoramic view of Egypt and a backstory to Ramses the Great. This is followed by a surround sound choreographed with programmed lighting with more about the life of Ramses – including the surprising discovery of his mummified remains from the 19th century.
Next, experience an immersive virtual reality experience with fast-paced highlights of the Pharaoh’s greatest moments, the temples of Abu Simbel and Nefertari’s tomb. A ghostly apparition of Nefertari, Ramses wife, tries to join her husband.
The specter of the Nefertari guides visitors through Ramses’ transformation of Egypt as a brave and fearless general, civil architect and unwavering guardian of the ancient Egyptian religion, according to the press materials. While the viewer sits in motion chairs, the viewer “flies” through temples, sandstorms and finally meets Ramses’ mummy face to face.
This mummy encounter is significant: the Pharaoh’s tomb was known to have been looted by robbers, leading historians and the world to believe that his mummy and the associated treasures that were buried with him were lost forever. In 1881, however, Ramses the Great’s mummy hiding place was dramatically rediscovered along with other long-lost royal mummies.
“Ramses II is considered to be the greatest king who ever ruled Egypt,” said the former Egyptian minister for antiquities and the well-known Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass in a statement. “Many of the structures and artifacts we used to trace the history of Egypt were created as a result of Ramses the Great. This exhibit will highlight the defining moments that earned the great Pharaoh his place in history as it brings visitors face to face with beautiful Egyptian artifacts. “
“Ramses the Great and the Gold of the Pharaohs” at the Houston Museum of Natural Science; 5555 Hermann Park Dr. Tickets and information at hmns.org.