a visit with Tut

An out-of-the-blue invitation arrived in my e-mail a couple weeks ago, tempting me to venture out to The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

Now this doesn’t sound like a “dangerous” trip, I know. But for those of you who have read or heard about a past trip to the museum, you know just how dangerous, or should I say nerve-wracking,  it has been for our family.

But that was then. This is now. And now, King Tut is in the Circle City … using his mystical power to seduce the Jacksons out of their sick house (I’ve been sick for a week now and haven’t left the house much at all. I need out!).

I’m glad we answered the call.

I saw a King Tut exhibit in 2006 in Chicago, when I was about 20 months pregnant with Little Man. I was fatter than a mosquito after a nice, long, warm drink. I was waddling and sweaty and thrilled to be in, what’s it called, Chi-town, for the exhibit. However, about a million OTHER people were thrilled to be there as well. IT WAS SO HOT and PACKED in that museum. It was a disgusting display of elbowing fanatics with a hint of rancid body odors. I can’t tell you what I saw and what I didn’t. I do remember baby mummies, though, which was disturbing to a mama-to-be. Totally nasty.

Anyway, back to Indy.

We were lucky on this trip to the Indy Children’s Museum–we were going toward the end of the day. I waited for the kids to get home from school and we headed downtown around 4:45. The museum closes at 6:30, so it was pushing it to go this late. But we were so lucky and thrilled. We practically had the place to ourselves. It was incredible.

The kids (ages 6 and 8, for those not following along), were spellbound. I don’t know if Tut cast some sort of ancient crazy spell on us all or what, but I haven’t seen these kids so attentive and interested in anything in a very long time. They wanted to read every single description. They wanted to know what every ancient piece was made of (gold was their favorite, and the limestone toilet seat left one of them asking, “Was that made with Indiana limestone?” Funny.) I was just as enthralled. It is so incredibly difficult to look at these pieces and the photos taken by explorer Howard Carter upon their discovery and not think, “How in the world did these people carve these things? Make these things? And how did it all stay intact this long?” Especially the bed. How in the world is that bed still in one piece? It’s beyond words. You must see for yourself to believe it.

As a photo buff, I was sad to not use my camera in the exhibit. I knew going in that I couldn’t. It’s so hard to hold back. But I played by the rules. Promise. But don’t think I didn’t really WANT to sneak a few shots.

I did, however, get the chance to use a few photos taken by Sandro Vannini and provided by National Geographic, organizer of the Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs exhibit. How ya like these?? 

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Tutankhamun Canopic Coffinette, which held Tut’s stomach after his death.

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This canopic stopper is in the form of Tut’s head. It originally was a lid on a container with four hollowed out sections that held Tut’s organs.

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The kids LOVED these. These are Tut’s golden sandals, and were on Tut’s feet when Carter unwrapped the mummy.

So those are the pro photos. Here are a few fun shots I shot around the museum.

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The boys LOVED the real starfighter from Star Wars … wanted to jump off the balcony and get inside. I didn’t let them.

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Tut may have been handsome, but he was never this adorable.

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If you wanna check out the Tut exhibit, you better act quickly. Tut is wrapping up his Indy tour October 25 and, I believe, heading to Canada. Take my word for it … if you’ve got kids, they’re gonna love it. And you will, too!!

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