Last updated January 19th 2016

Ancient Egyptian history captivates the modern imagination as well as scholarly interest, in great part because so many documents and artifacts exist to tell, or rather reconstruct the narrative. Pharoah in Canaan: The Untold Story will open at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem on March 4, 2016, revealing unexplored aspects of this history in a large scale exhibition which will be the focal point of the 2016 – 2017 season.

Canaanite amulet, schematic nude goddess in Egyptian style, Tell el-Ajjul, 15th century BCE

Canaanite amulet, schematic nude goddess in Egyptian style, Tell el-Ajjul, 15th century BCE

Thutmose III was too young to ascend to the throne at the death of his father, Thutmose II, and spent the first 21 years of his reign as co-regent with his father’s wife Hatshepsut. Yet his long internship was apparently not spent in idleness, Hatshepsut wisely made him head of the military. Immediately following her death, the King of Kadesh advanced into Megiddo, and Thutmose III, now officially Pharoah of Egypt, set out for what would be known as the Battle of Megiddo. Thutmose III, known to history for his successful military campaigns, won the battle, and as a result, the region came under Egyptian rule, thus setting the stage for the cross-cultural influences examined in the upcoming exhibit.

Pharoah in Canaan: The Untold Story will feature over 680 ancient artifacts discovered in Israel and Egypt, including royal victory steles, anthropoid coffins, scarabs and amulets. These objects reveal the traditions, rituals and aesthetics of the two cultures, and their mutual influence. Many of the objects are from the Israel Museum’s extensive collection, augmented by significant loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Louvre Museum, Paris; the Kunsthistorisches Museum; Vienna; the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy; and other collections.

Pharoah in Canaan is curated by Dr. Daphna Ben-Tor, Jeannette and Jonathan Rosen Curator of Egyptian Archaeology, and Dr. Eran Arie, Frieda Burda Curator of Iron Age and Persian Periods.
During the coming season, the Israel Museum will present three corresponding exhibitions that explore the cultural and aesthetic impact of Egyptian culture over time: The Allure of the Sphinx Egypt in European Art (March 4 – October 25, 2016); The Second Exodus from Egypt: 1950-1960s (March 4 – October 25, 2016); and Yitzhak Danziger: Return to Canaanite Identity (May 22 – September 10, 2016).

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