Although the entrance fee to the Agriculture Museum of Cairo is cheap, the museum is rather remarkable as it illustrates the history of Egyptian agriculture from the ancient Pharaonic period to modern times. Egypt had the first agricultural projects in the whole world and its agricultural history is deeply intertwined with the history of the whole country, not only the agricultural field.
The Agriculture Museum in Cairo consists of a number of miniature museums each pertaining to a different field of agriculture. This article will shed some light on these museums and the most important displays in each of them.
The Scientific Museum
We will start our exploration today with the Scientific Collections Museum, located within the Agriculture Museum in Cairo. In the first map hall, guests find out many historical facts about modern Egyptian agriculture, including the amount and location of production of wheat, lentils, and barley.
The second hall is fascinating and has a number of statues demonstrating the nature of life in traditional Egyptian villages. There is a statue of a man making traditional pottery, another man making handmade carpets, and another man making baskets. There is also a statue of a woman making baskets as well to sell them in the village market.
Afterward, come displays about the manufacturing of glass with a statue of a man making glass products and pictures illustrating this old Egyptian craft. Then there are colorful statues showing a traditional village wedding. The bride is in her Hawdaj, a wooden box put on a camel, and there are music players and dancers celebrating in front of her. This scene is fascinating and a rare treat to behold.
The village market is also perfectly demonstrated at the museum. There is a statue of a young lady selling her goat at the market, a man sitting on the floor and selling his handmade baskets, a man drawing different colorful tattoos for his customers, and a typical statue of a Sheikh reciting the Qur'an which is a common scene to be found in villages across Egypt.
There are also displays showing a typical wedding ceremony inside a small house in Egypt. The first thing the guest sees once he enters the house is the “Kateb Ketab” rituals, the Islamic official marriage rituals, with the Sheikh of the village completing the marriage between the bride and the groom. The male relatives of both families have to attend these rituals and are also shown attending.
Inside the house, there's a statue of a mother opening her door for her young kid to enter. Young girls are distributing sharbat, the traditional drink served in Egyptian marriage ceremonies among the guests of the house and in some cases among all the dwellers of the village.
In the last part of the house, there are two attractive scenes: the scene of a young boy kissing the hand of his grandmother, a well-known tradition among Egyptians in the countryside. The other scene is of the bride coming out of her room to meet her groom and the village belly dancer performing in front of her.
Moving on to other exhibits on the first floor of the museum, there are other demonstrations of village life in Egypt. There is an old man selling goods in his small grocery shop and a man performing the aragouz, the customary Muppet show in the Egyptian village. There are also statues of ladies in the village performing various activities.
The village café is also displayed in the museum. You can see a group of men laughing while drinking tea and smoking shisha while others are enjoying tunes played by the village band. Of course, women in the very traditional villages are not allowed to sit at cafes with men.
In the last part of the first floor of the museum, there are some models of different water dams around Egypt. The two most important water dams in Egypt are the Aswan and the high dam. There are models of them both with some facts about the two dams and how much electricity they generated throughout Egyptian history.
The second floor of the museum is mainly an animal section. At the stairs leading to the second floor the guests can see a mummified Egyptian wolf. On the second floor, there are various mummified dear and ram heads from all regions of Egypt and Africa as well, with some facts stated about each kind of species.
The next section is the part for displaying the skeletons of several creatures. The most impressive among them is a skeleton of a huge whale. There are also skeletons of other animals like dogs, sheep, and horses.
Next, there are many displays of sea life in Egypt with different models of fish that live in the Red Sea and in the Nile. There are a lot of scenes illustrating the exciting underwater life in the Red Sea. They are quite similar to the displays in the marine museum near Qaitbey Fort in Alexandria. At the end of the marine section, there is an amazing mummified Nile crocodile.
The next series of displays are of different kinds of sheep, rams, ewes, and goats that live in Egypt. There is an Arabian goat, the Baladi goat, and the pure Zaraibi she-goats, which are certain breeds that only grow in Egypt. There is the Racka sheep and ram, the Friesland ram, and the Rahamany ram that grows in Giza in Egypt.
Next comes bird life with displays of Orpington ducks, Qutqaty pigeons that only grow in Egypt, Booz pigeons that live all over the world, Malta pigeons, carrier blue and white Egyptian pigeons, and the Gazagandy pigeon Egyptian breed. Of course, there are a lot of facts displayed about each bird in the museum. At the end of the bird section, there are some models of birdhouses in Egyptian villages.
Rabbits come next with displays that include mummified checkered giant German rabbits, white giant German rabbits, steer gray Flander rabbits, and Himalaya rabbits. This section is the cutest on the second floor.
Then the ducks and geese start appearing in the museum. There are exhibits of Baladi Egyptian ducks, Ailesbury white ducks and geese from Toulouse in France.
Afterward, there are exhibits of different animals that live all over the globe. This collection includes the Nubian Capra, the Egyptian wolf, European pigs, the desert wild dog, wild cats, and the fur of one of the African Zebras.
The scientific collection museum is one of the most interesting museums inside the Agriculture Museum in Egypt. It illustrates the village life of the Egyptians and the animal life in Egypt specifically and all over the world in general.
If you are a history and a nature fan, this museum is fascinating for spending a warm morning. The Agriculture Museum opens every day from 9 in the morning until 2 pm at noon except for on Mondays.
The Flora Museum
The Flora Museum of the Agriculture Museum complex consists of two floors and is all about the flora of Egypt, including displays of all sorts of crops and plants cultivated in Egypt. The ground floor of the Flora Museum has displays of many different types of wheat, barley, corn, rice, onions, and garlic, while the second floor has exhibits including on Egyptian fibers, oil products, pulses, fodder, sugar cane, tobacco, and garden vegetables.
The Arabian Hall Museum
This Arabian Hall Museum was opened to the public in 1961, and it contains many displays from Syria. There was a union between the two countries of Egypt and Syria forming the United Arab Republic for around five years in the 1960s. The Museum of the Arabian Hall displays many exhibits illustrating handcrafts that are practiced in Syria using various types of materials to display their talent and beauty.
Museum of Cotton
The Museum of Cotton includes a number of displays on the rare genetic origins of Egyptian and foreign cotton. Some scientific experiments are carried out on these origins to know how similar the origins of Egyptian cotton and foreign cotton are. Since cotton is one of the most important crops that Egypt exports to many countries around the world, the museum illustrates the steps of cultivating cotton and then manufacturing different types of cloth.
Museum Of Art Collections
This Museum displays many kinds of art created by several Egyptian and non-Egyptian artists. This includes a rare collection of portraits of the former royal family of Egypt.