...not a single thing...
afterall, i've only got the same superlatives as everybody else--feel free to pick one--it turns out they're all absolutely correct! breathtaking? uh-huh. magnificent? oh sure. sumptuous? lavish? marvelous? yepper...and then some! all i can tell you is, if you think you might be into it, and it's possible/affordable/convenient for you to get to the franklin institute in the next six weeks (it closes 9-30-07)...
be ready for a crowd. we had advance reservations for 10am last friday (six months into the run) and it was packed. not to a push-and-shove "times square on new year's eve" level, but definitely crowded. we waited in a bit of a line to get in, and then to really get close to most of the items we had to stand patiently behind some other folks until it was our turn. it's beautifully set up, though, so that the descriptions are printed on several sides of the display cases--and up nice and high--so we could use each delay to read them and be ready to really look for the salient details.
and what details they are! the artistry and workmanship of the exhibits would have to impress anyone from any era of human history. the ingredients alone are beautiful: calcite (when did we stop calling it "alabaster"? ...just wondering...), carnelian, crystal, ebony, obsidian, copper, faience, lapis lazuli! stone and gems carved into the the most intricate of shapes, metal engraved with complicated hieroglyphs, wood inlaid with miniscule pieces of ivory and gold to form gorgeously elaborate patterns. you're overwhelmed by the skill and dedication that went into the creation of these fabulous pieces of art...and then you realize every last bit of it was made with hand tools! and it's survived, intact, buried in the desert, for 3,000 years. of course the only appropriate response is awe, and awestruck we were!
here are a few of my particularly favorite objects, as depicted on my tutankhamun souvenir cards (b/c me + paper things = joy, as well we know!) they have photos on the front and descriptions on the back:
so basically i just have one question left: do you think that gold headressy thing is too formal for daywear? (naaaaaaahhhhhh--on me, it works!) :)