Arts & Attractions


Australian exclusive: Sarcophagus of Ramses II is coming to the Australian Museum

The rare Ancient Egyptian artefact is headed down under!

One of the most impressive royal coffins to ever be discovered from ancient Egypt is heading to Sydney! In an Australian exclusive, the sarcophagus of Ramses II will be included in the upcoming Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition, opening at Sydney’s Australian Museum on November 18.

Sydney will become only the second city in the world, after Paris, to be directly loaned Ramses’ coffin from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiques. The extremely rare artefact is rarely permitted to leave Egypt and will join 181 other treasures on display at the Museum from next week.

Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, said “The beautiful sarcophagus of Ramses II will be the star attraction in the Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibition and is a wonderful opportunity for Australian audiences to see this rare, fragile artefact in real life. Ramses’ coffin is a work of inestimable value and a powerful symbol of one of the greatest leaders of the ancient world. Egyptians worshipped their Pharaohs, and their devotion to Ramses II can be seen through the craftsmanship of the coffin.”

Ramses II, often regarded as Egypt’s greatest pharaoh, reigned for over six decades during the 13th century BC. His extraordinary sarcophagus, an intricately designed burial container, is an artefact of profound historical significance. Crafted from cedar wood, the vessel and the mummy inside, were discovered in 1811 within the Royal Cache at Deir el-Bahari – an Egyptian archaeological site located on the west bank of the Nile River, opposite the city of Luxor and east of the Valley of the Kings. The sarcophagus depicts the recumbent king in bright colours with his arms crossed on his chest holding a sceptre and whip, but was not actually Ramses II original coffin with inscriptions on the vessel indicating his body was likely moved an number of times. The mummy of the pharaoh himself remains in Egypt, with Egyptian law now forbidding the transportation of royal mummies abroad.

Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs Exhibition at the Australian Museum

In other exciting news Golden Tickets are now on sale!

These tickets grant you entry to the exhibition at any time during opening hours from 15 December 2023, allowing you to stroll through the Museum at your leisure at a time that best suits you. But that’s not all, each Golden Ticket also includes an Audio Guide, providing you with fascinating insights and stories as you explore the artefacts.

Golden Tickets are valid for one-time, single entry only. Valid for sessions from 15 December 2023. During particularly busy periods, a short wait may be required from arrival to exhibition entry due to fire and safety capacity regulations.

Buy Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs – Golden Tickets here.

Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs is presented in partnership with Neon, World Heritage Exhibitions, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with the support of Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. Proudly supported by the NSW Government through Create NSW Blockbusters Funding initiative.

Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs opens at the Australian Museum on 18 November 2023. Tickets are available now via