The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California houses a wealth of ancient treasures—the largest such collection in western North America.
Not only does the museum house artifacts from the pre-dynastic to the early Islamic era, but it also has exhibits on the non-Egyptian Assyrian, Babylonian, and Sumerian periods. The four large galleries—Afterlife, Daily Life, Rulers, and Religions—ensure visitors to stay for hours.
I’ve been there three times now and never get tired of it. It might be time to get an annual subscription!
There is also a reconstructed underground tomb and even an exhibit on alchemy. The Alchemy Exhibit is a precursor to the Alchemy Museum being developed on the grounds of the park. Not only will it be the first alchemy museum to exist in the United States, but it will also be the largest in the world.
The Alchemy exhibit can be considered an unusual addition to the Egyptian Museum. It makes sense, though, when you realize that the museum is part of the Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, and that the park houses the headquarters of the Rosicrucian Order in the United States.
Some believe that Rosicrucianism is a cult; Others call it religion. But the Rosicrucians maintain that it is a philosophy with educational and humanitarian goals. They do not require followers to change their religious beliefs.
Rosicrucian philosophy incorporates mystical and spiritual teachings from Ancient Egypt in 1500 BC, including teachings of Western European and Arabic philosophy, medicine, mathematics and alchemy. Today, the Rosicrucians regard alchemy not as a chemical transformation but as a philosophy of spiritual transformation.
The idea of an Egyptian museum in San Jose began with H. Spencer Lewis in 1927. Lewis was the founder of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order Rosa Crucis) in the United States.
Over the decades, the Order’s collection grew from a small statue of Sekhmet to thousands of artifacts, leading to the grand opening of the new Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in 1966. Today (pre-Covid), more than 100,000 guests visit the museum every year.
Annual visitors include the general public, scholars and researchers, and 26,000 sixth graders. Classes of some schools also come from outside the state.
The popularity of the museum is not surprising. Most of the exhibitions include authentic ancient artifacts. Guests can read detailed signage and educational pamphlets, ask questions to the knowledgeable staff, or listen to an audio tour. The website is full of educational material and information.
Visitors can also enjoy an enlightening underground tour of a reconstructed tomb. Built in the 1960s, this tomb is a composite of different time periods. It was created from photographs brought back by the Rosicrucian research expedition that visited Egypt.
My tour was led by an enthusiastic university intern. She assured one of the children on the tour that she had nothing to fear, and of course, the child came out with a smile and questioned about Egyptian beliefs in the afterlife.
The museum also offers monthly workshops; This month there will be one on making papyrus paper. And there are weekly games of an ancient Egyptian board game called Senate.
Young people, grades K-12, can join the museum’s Junior Archaeologist program to learn about archeology and Egyptology within the museum. Graduation ceremony takes place in the grave!
After visiting the museum, it’s nice to walk around and explore the grounds of the park. The Peace Garden is modeled on the gardens of the ancient Egyptian city of Akhenaten. It includes food and medicinal plants, a pond, a pergola and a small temple.
The maze is based on one built 800 years ago in Chartres, France. It is lined by native plants and is accessible by wheelchair.
There is also a research library for Rosicrucian members.
I highly recommend visiting this fascinating museum and relaxing park. The museum is located at 1660 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126. There is free parking in the lot behind the museum at Nagley Avenue and Chapman Street. Hours are shorter these days: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday For more information, visit their Website.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times