Egypt: In the Time of Pharaohs

Experience ancient Egyptian culture and see how life flourished along the banks of the Nile. Over 5,000 years ago, Egypt became a state that unified many cities and towns along the Nile River. Since then, ancient Egypt’s powerful pharaohs, phenomenal pyramids and extraordinary art have captivated people’s imagination all over the world.

Past exhibition
15 JUN - 12 NOV 2023

Past exhibition

What would life have been like, living beside the river Nile, when pharaohs ruled in the shadow of pyramids covered in gleaming white limestone? 

Discover the answers to these and many more questions as we take you back in time to explore the magnificent civilisation that flourished in Egypt for thousands of years. From the stories of the pharaohs told in hieroglyphs and the engineering marvels of the pyramids and temples, to exquisite jewellery and intricate craftsmanship. More than 300 objects, immersive displays and scale models recreate the awe-inspiring majesty of long-lost tombs, cities and monuments, showing how Egyptian society lived, worked and worshipped. 

Exhibition highlights include the mummified remains of Ta-Khar, a wealthy Egyptian woman who lived during the 25th Dynasty (747-656 BCE); a 2,000-year-old papyrus from The Book of the Dead; jewellery and adornments worn by wealthy Egyptians; stunning carved reliefs and statues of animals, gods, pharaohs and more. Featuring the largest collection of Egyptian artefacts ever to come to New Zealand, some dating back as far as 4,500 years, Egypt: In the Time of the Pharaohs is an unmissable experience for time travellers of all ages. 

Dive deeper

Expand your knowledge of ancient Egypt with blogs from our Museum specialists. 

What did the ancient Egyptians ever do for us?

Ancient Egypt covers over 3,000 years of history. Over time there were many changes and developments in technology, some of which we still use today, albeit in a slightly different form. Here we look at some of the things that have come through time to us, including paper, ink, toothpaste, and hair products.

Read more

An identity returned

Along her journey to reach the quiet corner of our Ancient Worlds gallery, the mummified woman resting in this well-known sarcophagus lost something very dear: her name. In this blog by Deirdre Harrison, Collection Manager Archaeology, her name is returned. Read on to learn about the investigation that led to this remarkable discovery.

Read more

Stitchwork from wartime Egypt

Egypt was the first stop for most New Zealand service personnel on their way to the two world wars. Whether passing through, or staying for longer periods of time, the work of Egypt's textile artisans became popular mementos of a time spent in a unique country, and as gifts to let loved ones back home know that they were being thought of and missed. From cushions to cloths, we explore the embroidered textile souvenirs purchased by service personnel in this blog by Gail Romano, Associate Curator War History.

Read more

Unveiling Egypt's Ancient Marvels

This year the state of the art exhibition Egypt: In the Time of Pharaohs came to the Museum, drawing over 100,000 people from Tāmaki Makarau and beyond. Some may remember that this is not the first time Tāmaki Paenga Hira has hosted collections from Egypt. In addition to our permanent collections from Egypt, two international exhibitions were hosted, one in 1997 and another in 2007. The ways in which information is shared has changed over the years, but the essence and themes have largely stayed the same, and are testament to the enduring interest of ancient Egypt in the modern world.

Read more

An introduction to the ancient Egyptian gods

Chaos and Order

Ancient Egyptian religion was complex and polytheistic, with multiple deities representing and controlling aspects of the natural environment and concepts such as love and creativity. The worship and rituals associated with these deities formed a core part of ancient Egyptian life and maintaining Ma’at, or divine order, peace and balance. 

Read more

Presented in partnership with:

The exhibition has been produced as a joint venture between Lokschuppen Rosenheim, the University of Aberdeen Museums, the Roemer-und-Pelizaeus Museums Hildesheim and MuseumsPartner Austria.