The sweeping grandeur of Ancient Egypt still entrances us today, even millennia after its demise. In the halls of a Berlin's Neues Museum
—itself a monument to 20th-century turmoil—this civilization comes to life. On this 3-hour tour with an art historian or archeologist, the treasures of Egypt, including architecture, artifacts, and the bust of Queen Nefertiti herself, are the key that unlocks the stories of this era and its people.
Neues Museum Tour
Our visit to the exhibition starts in the Egyptology room, which sets the stage for our excursion into the ancient world. What does the fascination with Egyptian culture tell us about our own society? We will explore the growing interest in Ancient Egypt that rose to full-fledged “Egyptomania” in the 19th century and led to the founding of the Neues Museum by intrepid archaeologists and explorers. With this understanding of the museum’s history, we will plunge into the collection itself. Using a selection of artworks, architectural monuments and objects, the collection provides a glimpse into the society and culture of the Egyptian dynasties.
"A magical mystery tour through the museum's impressive Egyptian collection. [Our docent's] background in art and his attention to the delicate nuances of the figures and friezes breathed life into what can sometimes be a dry subject."
Archaeology of Day-to-Day Life
We will then head downstairs to rooms dedicated to everyday life in Ancient Egypt, containing diverse curiosities from practical tools and carved statuettes to exquisite jewelry and canopic jars used in the mummification process. We will also consider Egyptian concepts of spirituality, death, and the afterlife, inspired by the coffins, mummies, and Fayum portraits on display here. Surrounded by the remnants of a lost civilization, we will get a sense of how the people of this world really looked, thought, lived and died.
Religion, Myth, and a Famous Face
After a stroll through the sculpture gallery, we will make our final stop: the incredible rooms dedicated to discoveries from the Amarna period (14th century BCE). From 1911-1914, an archaeological team from Berlin excavated and brought back countless invaluable objects from Amarna, a city built by the pharaoh Akhenaten as the new capital for a cult kingdom dedicated to ‘Aten’ (the sun).
We will then have the extraordinary opportunity to stare into the eyes of this pharaoh’s wife, who remains one of the most famous - and notoriously beautiful - women in history: Queen Nefertiti. The original color of this regal bust has been preserved without restoration from the moment of its creation (around 1340 BCE) and still, centuries later, possesses an incredible magnetism. Could there be any better way to end our sojourn to Ancient Egypt than with this work of astounding artistic beauty, gazing back at us from across the millennia?
Is the museum wheelchair accessible and/or suitable for those with mobility issues?
Yes, the museum is fully wheelchair accessible.
We would prefer to purchase passes for all of Museum Island, instead of tickets to an individual museum. Is this possible?
Yes, not a problem. Please let us know in the Notes section when placing your order that you would like to purchase Museum Island passes. We'll follow up with you directly.