I have to admit the thought struck me when I saw a pair of golden sandals on display today in the new King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The sandals were made specifically for him to wear in the afterlife, but they were taken off his mummified body and placed in a museum after Howard Carter discovered his tomb in 1922.
When I lived in Cairo as a child, we had ancient Egyptian history class at the American school I attended. I’ll never forget my 4th grade teacher telling us that the ancient Egyptians believed when you die, you go to the Hall of Two Truths, where your heart will be weighed against a feather. If it is lighter than a feather, you go on to immortal happiness. If not, you get devoured by a creature named Ammit who has a crocodile head and hippopotamus legs. I was only nine at the time, but I was pretty sure a human heart weighed more than a feather, so that little history lesson really kept me up at night.
All fanciful notions aside, I thoroughly enjoyed attending the new exhibit today. My recently finished novel involves an archaeologist who travels to Egypt and discovers a legendary artifact, so it was amazing to see some of the real artifacts so close to home. The National Geographic exhibit will stay in Seattle until January 6th, 2013. This is the last leg of the tour before they head home to Cairo permanently.