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Day Trip: Walk like an Egyptian at the SC State Museum

by Traci Schumacher on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 1:50pm
Hanging out with King Tut.

Imagine intricately carved statues, elaborate stone jewelry, a golden throne covered with ancient scenes, cobras, falcons, and one mummy. On Saturday our family stepped back in time among such objects to explore the tomb of King Tutankhamun, aka Tut, by way of replicas on display at the South Carolina State Museum in Columbia. Our two and a half hour drive was rewarded by the excitement and amazement of our children as they wondered at the treasures of the boy king.

The museum is currently displaying 124 replicas of Tutankhamun's belongings for a limited time (scheduled museum events indicate the exhibit will continue at least through May 2014). We all marveled at the beautiful reproductions of artifacts that were unearthed from the ancient Egyptian tomb discovered by archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922. A golden royal throne, a chariot, a golden shrine adorned on all four sides by (very cool) solar cobras, a golden mummiform coffin, just to name a few. Amazing works of art that stir up the imagination.

My 7-year-old son considered that Tutankhamun became king at the tender age of 8, and thought about being king himself. My daughter did not think it was a good idea for her brother to be king. Regardless, the kids enjoyed the exhibit, which also tied in nicely with their school studies.

At the end of the King Tut exhibit is a children's area where kids can sculpt with clay, practice hieroglyphics, and put on puppet shows. This area was a genius idea, allowing my husband and me the extra time we needed to actually read the information about the artifacts, while the kids enjoyed themselves in a relevant way.

Aside from the Tutankhamun exhibit, the museum contains a variety of other interesting displays pertaining to the history of South Carolina, but also to the rest of the South and the nation as a whole to some extent. My kids loved the numerous hands-on exhibits that enabled them to interact with history and science. A one-room school house, old-fashioned telephones, optical illusions, stations demonstrating scientific principles, and more kept everyone engaged and interested. In fact, we were at the museum for more than four hours and still missed a few things.

Some of our non-Tut favorites included the model trains, a giant megalodon model, and a life size wigwam. I really enjoyed the history of technology area with its old model radios, television sets, records, and such. It was the first time in ages that I had seen an 8 track tape!

Overall, our whole family had a great time at the South Carolina State Museum. If you're up for a fun and educational day trip, you might want to check it out. Admission including the King Tutankhamun exhibit was $15 per adult and $11 per child (ages 3-12). For more information, check out their website here: http://www.scmuseum.org/tut/tut.html.

 

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