National Museum of Archaeology, Lisbon

Visited on 11th of December 2016

The National Archaeology Museum of Lisbon (Portuguese: Museu Nacional de Arqueologia) is located in Lisbon, Portugal. It is one of the most important Portuguese museums dedicated to Archaeology.

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Address: Praça do Império, 1400-026 Lisboa, Portugal

Telephone: +351 21 362 0000

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 6pm Closed Mondays

Admission 5 Euros (Free the first Sunday in any Month, not every Sunday as stated on website!)

Photography not permitted unless requested. Next to the reception are toilets and a self serving cloakroom with lockers and vending machines.


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The museum was founded in 1893 by notable archaeologist José Leite de Vasconcelos, and since 1903 it occupies the Western wing of the Jerónimos Monastery, in the Belém district. The building of the museum used to be the dormitory of the monks, and was redecorated in neo-Manueline style in the second half of the 19th century. The museum is the most important centre for archaeological research in Portugal, and has a collection of finds from the whole country.

At the entrance there is agranite statue of a Lusitanian Warrior, dating from the 1st century AD and brought from Northern Portugal. The permanent exhibits are divided into Egyptian Antiquities and a collection of Treasures of Portuguese Archaeology, consisting mostly of notable metalwork dating from the Bronze and Iron Ages. The museum also possesses the most important Portuguese collection of Roman mosaics, mostly from Southern Portugal, but also from “Estremadura” (Póvoa de Cós) in the Centre.

Apart from its permanent collection, the museum often organises temporary exhibitions covering several subjects.

The Egyptian Room

The collection has over 500 pieces dating back to pre-history (c.6000-3000BC) and up to the Coptic period (395-642AD), representing most of the important periods of the Egyptian civilization.

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A- Egypt and The Nile.

As you enter you are greeted with a Stone Tablet of Udjat ‘The Eye of Horus’, this was the divine symbol of good and benevolence and resurrection, evoking the victory of good over evil. There is also a map of the Nile and Egypt.

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B- Funerary Objects and Objects of Daily Use.

Here are displays of Pre-history stone containers, objects used in daily life, epigraphy and lithic funerary inscriptions. Most would have been placed in tombs following the death of their owners.

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C- Funerary Practices

In the centre lies the anthropomorphic coffin that protects the muumy of Pabasa, a priest, which is surrounded by showcases of funerary statuettes, shaped as mummies, with the aim of performing agricultural labour for the deceased in the afterlife. Others, with amulets and beetles, whose function was to protect the Egyptians during death, as well as votive and servant statuettes.

Pabasa, lived during the Ptolemaic Period (303-30BC). He died aged around 40-50.

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D- Mummification

Rituals and preperations for the deceased’s journey into the afterlife are shown here. There are tow sarcophagi frm different periods with two human mummies, animal mummies (An Ibis, Hawk and Crocodiles), funerary masks, canopic jars, and votive vessels.

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The Mummy of Horsukmet, who lived between 285-30BC. He was between 50-60 years old when he died of prostate cancer.

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The Second mummy is Irtieru, who lived between 948-712BC, he was between 35-40 years old.

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The area also has four funerary cones, which display the names and titles of their owners. Placed on the walls of tombs, these are the interpreted as solar symbols where the names of the deceased are forever preserved.

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Below are bronze statuettes, ornaments and utensils.

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E- Greco-Roman Egypt

This unit presents a set of objects from the Coptic period, the moment of the Christianization of Egypt.

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