The Tut Roadshow Experience

A more comprehensive presentation of ancient Egyptology will not be found outside the great institutions of the world. The Tutankhamun Roadshow is unique. It has been designed to become a powerful portal for education in cultural antiquities in Australia.

Where the Journey Began

Dr Wayne French
Founder of the Tutankhamun Roadshow.

Throughout my teen years, I was fascinated by the stories that came from ancient history. I grew up being inspired by the amazing lives, accomplishments and stories of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar.

In the late 1970’s I was given my first artefacts from the Middle East by historian David Currie—these were three bricks dating back to 605BC from Babylon, Iraq, with King Nebuchadnezzar’s name stamped on them—they were genuine pieces, not mere copies. These three bricks are still in my collection, and you can see them in the ‘Scroll Room’ on the Tutankhamun Roadshow.

That began my life-long journey of buying and collecting artefacts and pottery that gave evidence for stories from the ancient Hebrew Writings.

I was given the opportunity to personally visit many of these ancient locations and take pictures using a panoramic head so that I could tell stories that related to the ancient Bible Lands. I then completed a doctorate specialised in the Importance of Experiential Learning in the Lives of Young People. This led to my love of leading young people to experience these fascinating historical sites.

After completing a post graduate certificate in Archaeology, I set up a higher education subject visiting important archaeological sites in countries throughout the Middle East.

Over the past twelve years, as a part of degree requirements, I have taken hundreds of university students to experience these fascinating locations following in the footsteps of the Israelites as they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan through the Sinai desert, and tracing the foundations of Christianity in Israel, Greece, Italy and Turkey.

While in Egypt I loved the story of Howard Carter and his determined journey to discover the buried tomb of the forgotten Pharaoh Tutankhamun. This Pharaoh came from the eighteenth dynasty in the New Kingdom. I loved to see his treasures, and have collected copies of artefacts from his tomb.

My collection gradually grew until I had enough pieces to display these artefacts in a replica tomb complete with wall paintings.

The artefacts that I purchased in the Middle East were increased when I had the opportunity to purchase another private collection that began in the 1940s. This collection added greatly to the number of genuine pieces in my display including the sacred urn from Saqqara, glass and lamps from ancient Roman times as well as a bowl from Phoenicia with a script.

A semi-trailer was purchased to display these artefacts in a mobile museum and take them to communities throughout the east coast of Australia, especially into remote areas where students do not have access to the larger museums. Thus began the vision for the Tutankhamun Roadshow.

What will you find in the Tut Roadshow?

A world-class, Museum-quality Archaeology Exhibition waiting to come to you.

The Tut Roadshow is a purpose built semi-trailer that will bring the wonders of Ancient Egypt into schools and communities centres up and down the East Coast of Australia.

This trailer is equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia and enthralling displays of authentic artefacts from Ancient Egypt and other millennia-old civilisations.

The exhibition has been designed to allow small groups to move sequentially through the trailers three theatrettes and be immersed in a full-sensory learning experience.

Visitors will be able to view and handle objects that were made thousands of years ago, examine accurate replicas and learn their significance today.

School programs, teaching and learning resources have been mapped to Australian and NSW curriculums.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt casts a binding spell over all who encounter its enigma. Its scale is epic both physically and metaphysically. Buried beneath millennia of Sand’s time, its mysterious allure has drawn intrepid men like Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon deep into its heart.

Much is now known about this ancient civilisation, its might, renown culture, science and devotion to gods both fearsome and capricious.

Yet there is an important understanding void still to be filled.

Pharaoh’s Key

The ancient Egyptians hoped to live forever. Their gods assured them they could. But only Pharaoh held the key.
It was called the Ankh. It forms the middle part of Tut-ankh-amun’s name and is ubiquitous in Egyptian art.

In order for them to accompany him to the wonders of the afterlife, the people spent their lives serving their sovereign. They toiled under the hot desert sun building lavish temples and monuments to him. And when he died, priests mummified his body following elaborate rituals.

All their hopes were vested in Pharaoh surviving the grave and from his vantage ground in the afterlife, they hoped he would save them all in their turn.

The people worshipped their god-king and willingly gave their lives for him. For his part, Pharaoh served the gods as the people’s mediator. “Amun” is the name of Tut-ankh-amun’s chief deity.

The Egyptians’ religion shaped their entire culture, art, literature, science and daily life.

The Tutankhamun Roadshow exhibits a huge array of objects from this ancient culture. Some of the artefacts are ~3000 years old. A dazzling array of accurate replicas of the gods and other, culturally significant items are also on display.

Their technology, architectural prowess and artistic skill remain unrivalled even today. Considering they were built some 4,000 years ago, many of their structures remain a source of engineering awe. Egypt’s wealth was legendary, and when a pharaoh died no expense was spared.

His convenience was provided for in both life and death. Pharaoh was, after all, the people’s god. King Tutankhamun’s ‘coffin’ consisted of an elaborate gold, outer, casket depicting his loyalty to the same feathered-serpent-god of all pagan religions under various guises.

An inner, gold, casket encrusted with semi-precious stones contained the ‘boy-king’s’ mummified remains. Certain organs were removed and stored in separate containers.

The origin of ideas that continue to profoundly shape many people’s world-view are seen in their historic context.

There seemed to be a god for every aspect of the ancients’ daily lives. To them they owed their very existence, they believed, and to them they offered expensive gifts to appease their inscrutable caprice. The priests profited greatly, as priest have always done.

Standing unobtrusively behind the thrones of the Pharaohs, the priests swayed not just public opinion, but the very policies of the nation — a phenomenon that has continued unabated in regions not far from the Valley of the Kings and beyond.

Nothing lacked significance when it came to Pharaoh’s accoutrements. Every marking related to his ‘divine’ status in some way or another and also, importantly, signified his subjection to the ultimate authority of the sun-god, Ra. This golden fan was originally adorned with ostrich feathers and wielded by servants to keep Pharaoh cool. The Tutankhamun Roadshow exhibits numerous examples from Tutankhamun’s court and personal life.

For minds conditioned to expect that our civilisation has originated all significant engineering and technological achievements, it often comes as a surprise to discover the level of refinement and scientific understanding the ancients practiced.

The Tutankhamun Roadshow presents a wide range of artefacts displaying high levels of sophistication.

Authentic bricks from the kilns of king Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, bearing his name in cuneiform characters, glassware from civilisations predating the birth of Christ by a thousand years, and much more is presented and identified for students’ edification.

Remarkable insights into the lives of ordinary people are found on these fragments — 2000 year old SMS text messages without the internet. Shopping lists, lover’s notes, greetings and the general stuff of life are revealed on countless pottery shards, numbers of which are on display in the Tut Roadshow travelling exhibition.

The Tut Roadshow Experience

A more comprehensive presentation of not only ancient Egyptology but from the ancient world that carry the student on a journey of discovery transcending the limitations of the school room and dry textbooks.

The Tut Roadshow touring exhibition introduces students to narratives written thousands of years ago, verified as accurate by archaeological discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Exhibition’s audio-visual presentation and the student and teacher resource materials provided to every school will show early sources of moral and ethical development and its corresponding influence on the development of Australian culture since 1788.

The Roman legion occupying the land of Israel during the time of Jesus is identified by this unique mark. Artefacts bearing this insignia are displayed in the Tut Roadshow travelling Exhibition. A replica of the gruesome steel spikes used by the Romans to crucify their condemned criminals make a poignant impression when you see it in real life. Just holding one of these implements of torture, testing its weight in your hand and feeling its unyielding tensile strength is sure to add moment to the experience.

Original Oil Flask

An original oil flask used to refill the ceramic lamps carried by those living in the Middle East more than 2,000 years ago. As students have the opportunity to handle such treasures, meaning comes alive. This flask is a little larger than a man’s thumb — a millennia-old ‘AA battery’.
The Tut Roadshow travelling exhibition displays many such items from the ancient world that carry the student on a journey of discovery transcending the limitations of the school room and dry textbooks.

The Tut Roadshow Experience