Elephantine: Island of the Millennia - James Simon Galerie



Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin


Ralph Appelbaum Associates


Exhibition Design, Layouts and Floorplans, Project Management, Production


Sandra Steiß (SMB)
This special exhibition was developed with Ralph Appelbaum Associates for the Ägyptisches Museum and Papyrussammlung and presented in the James-Simon-Galerie and in the Neues Museum in Berlin.

On display are hundreds papyri, clay fragments, sculptures and other artefacts from Elephantine island on the Nile, drawn from the collection of the Ägypgisches Museum as well as from international institutions including the Louvre, British Library and Brooklyn Musuem.  

The exhibition spans 4,000 years of diverse cultural history on Elephantine, an historic trade and border hub. Visitors enter a stylised tent, recreating the atmosphere of an archaeological dig from the turn of the 20th century. Free-standing theme islands, based on the rock formations on Elephantine, represent different aspects of everyday life including religion, law, medicine, family and trade. A timeline provides a striking backdrop, spanning the entire length of the James Simon Galerie.

In addition to the main exhibition area in the James Simon Galerie, the Greek Hall in the Neues Museum was used to

display a giant six metre long representation of Elephantine, with tactile displays, surrounded by stylised felucca river boats used as seating.