Our stunning ancient Egypt exhibition The Tomb presents the story of one extraordinary tomb, built around 1290BC and reused for over 1000 years.
The Tomb was constructed in the great city of Thebes shortly after the reign of Tutankhamun for the Chief of Police and his wife. It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras. These are displayed alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time.
The Tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family. The exhibition ran from 31 March – 3 September 2017 and comes ahead of the new Ancient Egypt gallery, opening at the National Museum of Scotland in 2018/19. You can find out more about the exhibition here.
Here you can see highlights from the exhibition in 360°.
The Tomb was originally intended to be the final resting place of the Chief of Police and his wife. This beautiful statue of the couple is the only surviving object from the first burial in the Tomb. The pair are shown as they wanted to be remembered, young and handsome, dressed in their finest pleated linen clothes and elaborate wigs.
This box inscribed with the name of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, found in a tomb next door to the Tomb of the Chief of Police, is one of the finest examples of decorative woodwork to survive from ancient Egypt. You can find out more about the box here.
The Tomb's last reuse was by the high-ranking local official Montsuef and his family, who lived through the reign of the last pharaoh, Cleopatra, and the conquest of Egypt by the first Roman emperor. Mummy-masks were often gilded or painted yellow because Egyptians believed the skin of the gods was gold. You can find out more about Montsuef’s family and the mummy shroud belonging to his son here.