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King Tut in Indianapolis (with narration by Harrison Ford!)

King Tut sign

I had flashbacks to Ms. May’s world civ class as I walked through the touring King Tutankhamun exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum last week. I wasn’t overly fond of history class because it seemed like you were just learning a long list of facts. I preferred math class because once you learned a few techniques to solve problems, you just repeated them over and over to get the solutions. It seemed like less to learn, and figuring out the puzzle was fun. Ms. May’s class was different than the usual boring history calss because she told us stories about history, and stories are what we find captivating.

I was at the King Tut exhibit in Indianapolis because it was “blogger day” and I was offered a complimentary admission. Photography inside the exhibit is prohibited, so the only photos I can show you are the sign in the hallway (see above) and this shot of the door.

The door

And this picture of an ancient Egyptian starfighter!

Star fighter from Star Wars

Oh, wait, that might be part of the Star Wars exhibit hanging in the lobby, where photography is permitted. I exited the lobby by walking up the stairs to the second floor and saw this sign on the wall:

Staircase given by Ernst and Young

This made me wonder, what would they do if Ernst and Young hadn’t donated the staircase? Would they have looked for someone to donate a ladder?

I made it to the exhibit and was ushered into a little waiting room outside the above pictured doors. There were three LCD screens above the door playing an intro narrated by Harrison Ford. It must have been a big deal that they got Harrison Ford to narrate the intro and the audio guide (which costs an additional fee), because it was mentioned in the press release and the usher mentioned it at least twice. Usually the usher gives the speech to several people in the lobby about not touching anything and not taking photos. However, due to the timing of my arrival, I was the only one in the lobby, making it rather awkward and weird since it seemed like the usher was specifically making sure that *I* turned off my cell phone and that *I* knew there were no restrooms inside the exhibit hall because I obviously looked like a troublemaker who would pee in a sarcophagus when no one was looking. Oh, how I missed the anonymity of crowds!

Then it was into the exhibit and within 5 minutes I ran into Kat from The Burb Blog who I am doing a good job of stalking without even lurking in the shadows outside of her house (…or am I?). I met Kat at BlogHer09. Then, literally the day after I returned home, I walked into the Subway near my apartment to be greeted by, “Hey, PastaQueen!” and a wave from Kat and her husband. And now here I was following her into the King Tut exhibit at the same time within a six-hour window of opportunity. So, either I am stalking her or she is stalking me in such a clever way that she finds out where I’ll be and gets there in advance so it looks like I’m the stalker. Soon, I am sure I will bump into her at the grocery store, and I can only hope that occurs at a time when I am not buying a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s during the throes of depression. If so, I give her permission to remove it from my cart.

After chatting with Kat, who mentioned that an episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta mentioned this exhibit, I strolled through the 12 galleries. The first few rooms featured sculptures and relics from Egypt focusing on their pharaohs. It was in these rooms that I saw the sarcophagus created for King Thutmose’s cat.

Cat sarcophagus

I love my kitties, but they will not be getting their own custom made sarcophagi. In fact, I am fairly certain they are immortal and will never, ever die because that would just be too terribly traumatic to bear.

I walked to the next room and saw a bust of Osiris, the god of the underworld, and immediately exclaimed, “Oh! I remember him! He was in that episode of Sesame Street where Big Bird gets locked inside the museum!” Yes, all I needed to learn about Egypt, I learned on Sesame Street. And everything I’ve ever wanted to watch is on YouTube (watch Don’t Eat the Pictures! here).

After I walked through the galleries containing King Tut’s possessions, which included gold-plated finger and toe covers, I realized that 1) Egyptians were really scared of being forced into labor in the afterlife, so much so that they were buried with lots of little statues that were supposed to become servants on the other side who’d do the work for them, and 2) Egyptians just couldn’t let go of their stuff. I realize King Tut’s tomb is not representative of the way a typical Egyptian would be interned. He was given the royal treatment, literally. However, it was amazing how much crap they stuffed in four rooms of this guy’s tomb. It made me think of the hoarder who used to live above my mother’s apartment. Her neighbor’s habit got so bad that the neighbor’s daughters had to clean out the place by throwing things out the 2nd floor window into an industrial size dumpster, which they filled TWICE. One of my life goals is to not be weighed down by my STUFF. Minimalism is good. Attachment brings suffering, and all that Buddhist Zen stuff. I certainly would not want to be buried like King Tut with a mountain of stuff, no matter how shiny it was.

If you want to see all the stuff King Tut accumulated, the exhibit will be in Indianapolis until October 25. Weekdays tickets are $25 for adults, $23 for seniors age 60 and over. (Mom, I bet you could still sneak in even though you’re technically not a senior!) Weekends (Friday-Sunday), tickets are $30 for adults and $27.50 for seniors. Audio guide is about $7 extra.

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17 Comments

Kimmi • September 23, 2009 at 9:05 am

Of course your kitties are immortal! Silly PastaQueen!

Is it odd that even before you mentioned it I thought of that Sesame Street episode? Just goes to show how profound an effect that muppets have on society!

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Mymsie • September 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

I LOVE Egyptology and thought about going to this but assumed it’d be kind of lame since it was at the Children’s Museum. I may check it out now! :)

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Diane Fit to the Finish • September 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

I saw a Tut exhibit when I was in college one time. It really was amazing!

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ragtopday • September 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Ben & Jerry’s comes in gallon containers?? Do tell!

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Lainey • September 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

+1 for kitties being immortal!

I’m not religious, and don’t particularly believe in the supernatural/an afterlife, but I’ll make an exception for kitties. Because they’re obviously special. And myself, of course, because I have to tell myself I’ll see them again.

Also +1 for minimalism being good. Now if only I could manage to put that into practice…

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Jenna Z • September 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm

What a cooinkidink, we were at the Indy Zoo last weekend! We kept seeing this banners for Tut and husband wanted to go but we were already late after getting out of the zoo and dogs can only hold their urine SO LONG!

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Rahim • September 23, 2009 at 6:40 pm

That sounds like a wonderful experience you had. I’m kicking myself repeatedly right now because I missed it when it was in Atlanta.

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Lydia • September 23, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I touched that cat sarcophagus kind of but not really by accident. I was showing it to my little girl, and when we came out from behind it, my hand just kind of brushed up against it. Well, that’s my story, anyway. It was so cool! Cool to have touched an ancient thing, yes, but it was also actually very cool to the touch.

We got in free during a homeschoolers’ day. I guess if you are a blogging homeschooler, they’d actually pay YOU to go to the exhibit.

I loved the Anne Frank exhibit on the second floor.

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couchSpud • September 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Wow! It really bothers me that the words sarcophagus and esophagus are so similar. I seem to get them mixed up a lot.

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Lizz B • September 24, 2009 at 12:09 am

Funny, I saw the link to the title of this post in someone’s blogroll in Pittsburgh and clicked because I had just been to the Tut exhibit myself….on the SAME day as you! Which would make perfect sense, (since we are both bloggers) and less of a coincidence if I could put 2 and 2 together more quickly. But to find this by way of Pennsylvania is still a little odd.

My son was impressed by the cat sarcophagus, but SUPER enamored by the ancient toilet seat. Even ancient pharoahs had to crap too!

So, nice to “meet” you, fellow Indiana blogger!

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ladyloo • September 24, 2009 at 12:27 am

I saw the exact same exhibit at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco last week. Except our video was narrated by Omar Sharif.

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Ismael • September 24, 2009 at 7:57 am

Hey Pasta Queen,

Exhibit sounds fantastic — since I won’t get to go, your descrip is a welcome bit of info. Makes me feel like I know what I’m missing.

Re: Ben & Jerry’s, I think the expression is *throes of depression,* although I like your version too. If only depression were something we could throw!

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cbuffy • September 24, 2009 at 10:55 am

How pissed is your Mom that you suggested she could pass for a senior????? LOL

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Ann • September 25, 2009 at 10:01 am

You’ve just visited one of the most fascinating exhibitions in the world and all you can say is He had a lot of stuff. I have a lot of stuff. Best not to have a lot of stuff. But then you’re the woman who went to Paris and had a nutella sandwich. You’re intelligent Pasta queen. It seems to me that you’re amusing and attractive. Might it not be time to acquire some sophistication?

Ann

p.s. Your comparison of a macaron to a ghastly processed Oreo actually gave me a headache and I do want to be cured. Stop eating rubbish and open your mind. I know I’m being cranky but I am 105.

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Jenny • September 25, 2009 at 11:28 am

@Ann – You’re an asshole.

Could you go away?

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Tiffany S. • September 27, 2009 at 12:46 am

Wow – when did you get the not-so groovy followers? Oh right, back at the Hotel Room Service Tray incident. I remember now.

Anyway, great post. Your stalker fears cracked me up. I’ve had that happen so many times, and it makes you wonder why your paths are crossing all the time (I drove next to the same guy on my commute every morning after randomly meeting him in a bar – apparently he didn’t think there was anything fatelike about it. Oh well, his loss).

Oh…stuff. My friend is a cameraperson on the new Hoarders show for A&E, but it’s so depressing I can hardly watch. She had to wear a hazmat suit for one episode. If I had to choose my disease, I think I’d stick with overeating, thank you very much.

Peace out!

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bobbie • September 28, 2009 at 7:38 am

Great Blog. Learned a little and enjoyed the photos. People are also bumping into other people they know.I don’t even able to run into friends from my home town when I’m away, and yet you run into a blogger. Go figga…

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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