Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exhibition: A Nubian King’s Burial Chamber

NCAAA Museum

This exhibition presents the world’s only fully accurate recreation of a Nubian burial interior.

Created around the legacy of the late 25th Dynasty ruler King Aspelta (600-580 BC) whose excavation records were locally available, the presentation features nearly fifty 2,600-year-old objects from Aspelta’s tomb or times, including such ancient artifacts as pyramid furnishings from the chapel, and jars related to mummification. In the mix are protective amulets, as well as alabaster containers for the scented oils with which the dead were anointed.

In the recreated burial chamber—which has been inscribed with four chapters from the Egyptian Book of the Dead—is a remarkable cast of Aspelta’s huge sarcophagus. Inside it is the King’s outer coffin. Ringing the room are the spell-binding cycle of relief paintings celebrating the daily resurrection of the king. A nearby related auxiliary display focuses on iron-making in ancient Nubia.

The National Center of African American Artists located at 300 Walnut Avenue in Boston's Roxbury section commemorates these black pharaohs. In the only permanent exhibit at the center is the recreated tomb of the Nubian Pharaoh Aspelta. For $4.00 admission you can walk into a tomb housed in a majestic, if dilapidated, mansion in one of Roxbury's prettiest pocket neighborhoods.

The Center also hosts traveling and temporary exhibits, but Aspelta's tomb alone is worth the price of admission.

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