Jun 21, 2022 - Things to Do

Unwrap National Geographic's immersive "Beyond King Tut" exhibit

A screen displaying the exhibit name "Beyond King Tut"
Photo: Kayla Sharpe/Axios

👋🏿 Hi, D.C. editor Kayla here!

I'm guessing you probably don't have plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.

My suggestion: Walk like an Egyptian to the National Geographic museum's new immersive exhibit: Beyond King Tut.

What's different: Don't expect to see actual ancient artifacts. Instead, the exhibit uses replicas and high-definition projections to depict artifacts found inside Tut's tomb, along with burial practices, and to interpret the ancient Egyptians' perception of the Duat, the realm of the dead.

  • This means you get a much closer look than a display case would allow, and artifacts remain back in Egypt where they belong.

Also notable: You aren’t overwhelmed by walls of text. There's a good balance of visual and audio storytelling, perfect for young explorers.

What not to miss: The burial chamber room features a massive replica of Tutankhamun's shrine. Keep your head on a swivel to catch all the details of the story being projected onto the walls around you.

A replica of King Tut's golden burial shrine
This burial shrine is to die for. Photo: Kayla Sharpe/Axios
  • There are also many photo ops along the route. Have you ever wanted to be on the cover of National Geographic? Now’s your chance.

What I learned: Melissa pointed out that the hieroglyphs on the bottom corner of Tut's gold shrine are called a cartouche. According to her, they accurately read "tut-ankh-Amun," though the name of the god Amun is written first out of respect for the god. The boy king's name means "Living Image of Amun."

Egyptologist Melissa in De Nile reads hieroglyphics on the replica shrine.
Everyone should have an Egyptologist friend on speed dial. Photo: Kayla Sharpe/Axios

Plan your visit: The exhibit is open daily and runs through February 2023. Tickets are $12 - $20. Set aside at least an hour for the best experience.

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