The King Tut movie and artifact exhibit at the California Science Center is like feeling and tasting ancient Egypt in all its wonderful mystery. You walk into the Imax Theatre and get transported to the spectacular Nile River valley and fly over thundering waterfalls, then oceans of mountainous sand dunes. You visit the ruins of massive obelisks, monumental temples, and gigantic pyramids.
Then you experience a dramatic reenactment of the discovery of the greatest archeological discovery of the 20th century, the only intact tomb of an Egyptian Pharaoh King Tutankhamun, from over 3,000 years ago. The archeologist Howard Carter lifts up a candle to the small opening he makes into the door of the tomb. “What do you see?” asks his companion. After a long pause, Carter replies, “Wonderful things!”
You should then go “into the tomb” yourself and visit in vivo the magnificent collection of wonderful things from the tomb that are on exhibit right next door to the theatre in the California Museum of Science. You’ll see perfectly preserved furniture, weapons, musical instruments, even jars of food that were supposed to ensure King Tut still had all the comforts of home as he journeyed through the underworld. Little statues of servants also accompany the king to no doubt to serve him.
There’s exquisite jewelry of gold inlaid with lapis lazuli and carnelian in the shape of the royal symbols of the cobra, falcon, and scarab beetle. You see plenty of statues and carvings (usually upon gold!) glorifying a victorious King Tut standing upon a panther or riding on a chariot shooting game or running over the bodies of his enemies.
You also see a chest covered with delicate carvings depicting tender scenes from his family life. Those scenes and also a giant carving of the god of the underworld weighing the hearts of the dead against the feather of justice made me feel like the feeling and beliefs of this boy king were not so distant from my own.
Finally you come to the most precious of findings in the tomb, the sarcophagus of King Tut himself. The depiction of King Tut is beautiful; the face is calm and serene, and the hands are crossed over the chest, holding the dignified symbols of his authority. It is beyond description- you simply must see it yourself.
For a student combo ticket of $22.90 (buying tickets separately for the movie and exhibit costs a few dollars more), you can take a journey back in time to experience one of the greatest civilizations in history. The exhibit is open until Jan. 6, 2019.