Sydney’s Hidden Gem: Powerhouse Museum’s Treasures Revealed

Who has not been intrigued and fascinated by mummies? We all want to visit Egypt some day to see and learn about this interesting ancient custom. I was fortunate that I was able to see these mummies in Sydney at Powerhouse Museum. In this post, you will find the visual journey of the mummies I saw during my visit to the museum.

I have always been fascinated by the stories of mummies. Long time ago, I had seen some of the documentaries on how mummies are created and the entire funeral process in Egypt. Sydney’s Powerhouse museum was hosting an exhibition of mummies. When I stumbled upon the event on Facebook, I immediately RSVPed. One of my friends was also interested and hence we booked two tickets online and were all set to visit the exhibition.

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Where is Powerhouse Museum?

The Powerhouse museum is one of Sydney museums, located in Ultimo suburb of Sydney. Opened in the year 1988, the museum is the major branch of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). The name Powerhouse is given because the museum is housed in a converted power station building.

  • Visiting Powerhouse museum is one of the free activities that you can do in Sydney.
  • The museum is open everyday between 10 AM and 5 PM.

The museum is located in the Central Business District (CBD), you can either combine visiting the museum with a visit to one of these landmarks in Sydney CBD or do a self guided tour around Sydney CBD.

The museum has a collection of many artefacts pertaining to science, technology, art, fashion, design, and social history. Some of the artefacts that you must observe and notice are the Locomotive Number 1, and the Apollo 11 Space Capsule.

If you love museums, then another notable museum to visit in Sydney is the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA).

The museum frequently hosts exhibitions and events and one of them was the display of Mummies brought all the way from Egypt. It is a place that is very popular for school field trips and outings. For public events, ensure to check on Facebook regularly as they do post or create events for special exhibitions.

How to get to Powerhouse Museum?

  • By Public transportation – The best way to get to the Powerhouse museum is by public transport. The nearest train station is Central train station. There are also light rails that go to the Powerhouse museum from Central train station.
    • You can either take a light rail (Paddy’s market stop) or just walk (1 kilometre walk) from Central to the museum.
    • Up-to-date information can be found on the Transport for New South Wales (NSW) website.
    • The public transport fare is either paid using the Opal transportation card or credit / debit card.

The museum is also very close to Darling Harbour that has plenty of restaurants and bars where you can spend an afternoon having delicious food by the waterfront.

  • By Road – Located in Ultimo suburb of Sydney, the Powerhouse museum is part of the CBD. It is around 2 kilometres from Sydney General Post office (GPO) and by road, the journey takes about 10 minutes.
    • The museum has limited paid parking on-site.
    • There are a few parking places around the museum that you can look for.

Booking and Entrance Fee

The general ticket is free that gives you entry into Powerhouse Museum and explore the general exhibits. But if you have to attend special events and exhibitions, you will need to pay for the ticket. To see the mummies, my friend and I had to pay to AUD 27 per adult. You can purchase the ticket online or at the entrance of the museum.

My Experience of seeing the mummies at Powerhouse Museum

We arrived at the Powerhouse museum at around 7 PM and collected our pre-paid tickets from the counter. We were given a map and the brochures containing information about the mummies.

A mummy is the body of a living being who has been preserved after death. This practice of preserving bodies were followed in Egypt.

There were 6 mummies that were on display. The exhibition was about the lifestyle of these mummies, how they looked and how they lived/died. The scientists at the British museum had recreated all these findings based on an advanced non-invasive techniques.

The first mummy on display was ‘Nestawedjat’ – a married woman from Thebes. There is very little information known to the scientists. Her three coffins arrived to the British museum in the year 1880. The name ‘Nestawedjat’ means ‘the one who belongs to the wedjot eye’ and wedjot was a symbol of protection and healing.

The second mummy on display was ‘Tamut’ – chantress of Amun. Inscriptions on her case identify her as the daughter of a priest of God Amun. Amun is the King of Gods.

The third mummy on display was ‘Irthorru’ – a priest from Akhmim. Irthorru was a priest who served several Gods and probably divided his time between temples. He lived in the town of Akhmim, which is about 200 kilometres north of Thebes.

The fourth mummy on display was of a female Temple singer from Thebes. Her name is not known and identified. Inscriptions on her coffins show that she was a priestess and more precisely a singer of the Interior of Amun. She lived in Thebes around 800 BC.

The fifth mummy on display was of a young 2 year old child. His cartonnage shows that he came from an elite family.

The sixth mummy on display was of a young man from Roman Egypt. An overweight, aged between 17 and 20 years with dark curly hair has been revealed.

Closing Notes

The whole exhibit and the insight into the Egyptian culture was definitely intriguing and interesting. This was by far one of the best exhibitions I have ever seen and definitely the best evening I have spent at the museum.

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