I went to the Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum last week. I always love to see artifacts up close. Tutankhamun is from the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, the same as Prince Ramose, the main character from my Ramose books. In fact, Ramose was Tutankhamun’s great-great-great-great uncle.
Even though I’ve written five books set in ancient Egypt, I’ve never been to Egypt, so it is only through exhibitions like this that I get to actually see those wonderful things that have survived for around 3,500 years. In the exhibition there is a statue of Ramose’s father Tuthmosis I. My favourite pieces were the lovely jewellery with scarab beetles and the wooden statue of a panther.
I saw the Treasures of Tutankhamun Exhibition in London back in 1972. I think that was the first time Tutankhamun artifacts had travelled overseas, and the gold mask of Tutankhamun was part of the exhibition. The mask is no longer allowed to leave Egypt, so I’m very glad I saw it back then.
I still have the catalogue from that 1972 exhibition, and it was the pictures of the scarabs and the lion-footed chair that inspired parts of the Ramose stories.