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On show in Canberra

Here's our top tips for your visit to Discovering Ancient Egypt, a new exhibition from the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden).

Explore everyday life, death and the afterlives of the ancient Egyptians alongside many stories of rediscovery and archaeology.

Two visitors inside a darkened exhibition space, looking at hieroglyphs projected on a replica temple wall.

Projections on the replica Temple of Taffeh in Discovering Ancient Egypt

Tip 1: Book in advance

Everyone knows something about ancient Egypt – pyramids and pharaohs are etched in our collective memories – even if we haven’t ever visited Egypt.

This exhibition is very popular and we don’t want you to miss out or get stuck in long queues.

If you haven’t already done so, book your tickets online before you journey to the land of the pharaohs with us.

Tip 2: Look AND listen

Getting a glimpse of amazing Egyptian antiquities is one thing, but if you listen you might be surprised at what you uncover.

Explore Discovering Ancient Egypt at your own pace, on your own device, in our audio tour narrated by Egyptian–Australian actor Helana Sawires. Accessible versions are also available.

Kids can go on their own journey through the exhibition with a free audio tour led by Ahmose the ba bird and Cleocatra the cat (aka Cleo), who have snuck into the exhibition after hours.

Tip 3: Take your time

This exhibition is big, including over 220 objects and spanning over 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian society and culture.

There is so much to explore and we don’t want you to miss it. Take your time and discover the detail.

Keep an eye out for surprising things, such as the faint remnants of blue paint that adorn the stone offering stela of Khu and his family.

Rectangular stone with three rows of hieroglyphics carved at the top and four figures, in relief, beside a table laden with offerings as the main image.

Offering stela of Khu and his family, Amenemhat II, about 1878–1843 BCE, Abydos, Egypt, limestone, AP 71. Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

You can even explore your artistic side and paint the stela on screen, while learning about the symbolism of the ancient Egyptian colour palette.

Tip 4: Don’t miss the coffins

Ancient Egyptian coffins are iconic, and we have 10 incredible examples on display in this exhibition.

A preserved body was one of the essential elements for transforming the deceased into a spirit who would live on in the afterlife.

Decorations applied to ancient Egyptian coffins are imbued with deep symbolism. Spells, representations of gods and illustrations of key scenes like the ‘weighing of the heart’ supported a deceased person’s safe passage to their eternal afterlife.

Tip 5: Join Friends for ticket and shop discounts

Museum Friends receive discounted exhibition entry as well as 10% off in both the exhibition and Museum shops.

Among the incredible range of products in our dedicated Discovering Ancient Egypt shop are sheets of illustrated papyrus, scarab beetle ornaments, stunning Egyptian-made jewellery, kids’ books and of course the exhibition catalogue.

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