The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to Explore Underground Archeology and Ancient Tombs

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has revealed the third and final component of its National Geographic exhibit opening next year. Archeological excavation of ancient Egyptian tombs will be one of three major areas of the $4.2 million exhibit. The backdrop for the Egyptian component will be the tomb of Seti I, an ancient pharaoh who reigned from 1290 to 1279 BC.

Wrapping up its series of Spring Break adventure announcements, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis revealed today the third and final component of its latest permanent exhibit opening in the summer of 2011. Archeological excavation of ancient Egyptian tombs and the treasures that are discovered will be one of three major areas of interest for National Geographic Treasures of the Earth.

As visitors packed into the museum’s Sunburst Atrium, excitement built for the opening of the final mysterious crate. When the moment finally arrived, adults and children alike stood captivated as a replica mummy was revealed.

Throughout the 20th century and into today, archeologists from around the world have been enthralled with ancient Egypt and the knowledge being gained from the discovery of tombs and related artifacts. Visitors to The Children’s Museum will now have the opportunity to immerse themselves in such discoveries, learning the process for excavating an Egyptian tomb and how to interpret the findings.

“During the past few years, The Children’s Museum has undertaken an enormous effort to bring knowledge of Egyptian culture, both past and present, to our visitors,” said Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. “By adding this component to the Treasures of the Earth exhibit, we continue down this exciting path.”

With last summer’s King Tutankhamun traveling exhibition, The Children’s Museum provided an opportunity to see some of the most important and extraordinary artifacts recovered from ancient Egypt. This new component, however, will feature more of a hands-on, immersive setting for visitors, similar to the permanent museum fixture, Take Me There: Egypt.

The backdrop for the Egyptian archeological excavation component will be the tomb of Seti I, an ancient pharaoh who reigned from 1290 to 1279 BC. Visitors will find themselves encompassed in the tomb excavation, surrounded by hieroglyphs, beautiful paintings and ancient Egyptian artifacts. The passageway will eventually lead to the burial chamber of Seti’s tomb, with its amazing ceiling depicting the constellations of the northern sky.

Repair the tomb walls, work as a team to piece together the broken sarcophagus lid, excavate the mysterious hidden tunnel and decipher the hieroglyphics on the tomb walls. What stories can we uncover from this tomb? What purpose do these paintings and hieroglyphs serve? These questions and many others will be answered within Treasures of the Earth.

“This exhibit will truly be an amazing learning experience for our visitors,” said Patchen. “From the Captain Kidd shipwreck in the Dominican Republic, to the Terra Cotta Warriors of China, and finally to the ancient Egyptian tomb of Seti I, people will have the opportunity to discover some of the world’s most significant treasures, all with a trip to the Children’s Museum.”

To help with artifacts and content for this component of Treasures of the Earth, The Children’s Museum worked in partnership with Dr. Zahi Hawass and Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Hawass and his team received international attention recently when they released a study detailing DNA testing results of King Tut’s mummy.

Patchen is part of a group that is currently in Egypt. Among the many trip activities will be a visit to the tomb of Seti I. In a video played during the announcement, Patchen greeted visitors and provided details of his trip and what visitors can expect when they visit Treasures of the Earth.

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a nonprofit institution committed to creating extraordinary family learning experiences that have the power to transform the lives of children and families. The 472,900-square-foot facility houses 11 major galleries. Visitors can explore the physical and natural sciences, history, world cultures and the arts, see how dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago in Dinosphere: Now You’re in Their World®, experience Dale Chihuly’s Fireworks of Glass and examine children’s impact in shaping history in The Power of Children: Making a Difference. The Children’s Museum, situated on 19 acres of land in Indianapolis, presents hundreds of programs and activities each year. For more information about The Children’s Museum, visit