A land quite literally peppered with ancient history, Sohag’s archaeological depth is now in full bloom.
For whatever reason, you don’t think much of anything when the word Sohag comes up in any conversation. You probably only remember it from social studies class, or maybe you have kin whiling away their years there, but nothing much else.
You don’t hear a whole lot about the numerous, glorious vestiges of the past littering its urban landscape. You don’t have much of an idea of how storied almost each and every nook and cranny is. Temples steeped in Pharaonic legacy, monasteries covered in intricate Coptic symbolism, mosques that tell tales of a time gone by, and much, much more hiding in plain sight.
Sohag is a veritable gold mine of archaeological wealth. Whether it’s the remnants of Seti I’s New Kingdom Temple in Abydos, the long-buried head of the god Osiris, intricate textiles from Ottoman times, or the innumerable artefacts left by royalty once revered, this unfairly-vague little slice of Egypt is a theme park to any would-be history buff.
Now that the Sohag National Museum is finally open to the public after all these years, folks far and wide can immerse themselves in its meticulously curated and organised exhibits, a whole 8,700 square metres of history splayed out to all for only EGP 20. A simple tithe to see what the land of past kings has to offer.
945 pieces of tangible history litter both floors of the temple-esque monument to the past, guarded by five massive sculptures of the goddess Sekhmet. All indicative of the kind of heritage that gives Sohag its ancient, unique flavour, echoing an endearing sentiment shared by the head of the Antiquities Ministry’s Museum Sector, Elham Salah “Every regional museum should reflect the city or town in which it is located.”
Though we could while away the hours (or likely days) dissecting each and every aspect of Sohag’s enigmatic history and beauty, we’d rather you take a day off and explore it for yourself.
The Museum’s newly-opened doors are more a gateway to the human aspects and dealings of our forerunners than a simple threshold into what can only be described as Egypt’s premier historic homage.
If you fancy yourself an appreciator of the ancient, a fan of the unjustly forlorn, or just a happy-go-lucky sort with a passion for discovery, Sohag and its now-iconic museum should be your next destination.
You can check out more stunning photos of the Sohag National Museum as well as the city's sites here.
Video and photography by MO4Network's #MO4Prodcutions in collaboration with the Ministry of Antiquities.