The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) near the Giza Plateau opened the Grand Staircase for visitors starting from December 1.
The opening is part of a trial operation of the GEM in preparation for its official opening due in the next few months.
The Grand Staircase resembles a six-storey building divided into four levels.
The first one is called ‘Royal Image’. It is about the kings that ordered images of themselves that showed an all-powerful leader chosen for greatness by the gods. Royal statues and reliefs were placed in temples, palaces, and royal tombs, and sometimes in private houses and tombs.
The second level is the Divine Houses. Temples were homes for the gods, whose souls lived inside the statue at which offerings for the dead king in his afterlife were placed.
‘Gods and Kings’ are depicted on the third level. Gods were responsible for different aspects of life, including the sky, the River Nile, the desert, and the Underworld. The king was in charge of the land of Egypt and represented the gods on earth. Kings were the only people allowed to order new god statues, and many have faces similar to the kings that paid for them.
The last level is called ‘Journey to Eternity’. Royal death and burial were just the beginning. In the old Kingdom, the king’s soul travelled to heaven to become a star, and by the New Kingdom, he also transformed into Osiris, King of the Underworld. To keep their dead body safe, kings were buried under pyramids in the Old and Middle Kingdoms, hidden in the Valley of the Kings in the New Kingdom and buried inside temple enclosures during the Third Intermediate and Late Periods.
At the end of the Grand Staircase, the visitors will see the Pyramids through the glass wall. It is the first time that the Pyramids are part of the display.