Blind Overbrook teacher Rebecca Ilniski grinned as she circled the 12-ton sphinx, one hand touching the granite, the other holding the leash of her guide dog.
"Just being able to examine parts of history that you learn about in class, but you're not really able to see, is awesome," she said. "This brings it to life."
Maunder, a Moorestown art educator who has raised two blind children, consulted with focus groups and an Egyptologist to design the tour, which she expected to attract 200 visitors from as far as the Poconos.
The exhibit has already had about 60 visitors, including Elsie Watson of Upper Darby, who was so overcome by what she had experienced she had to sit and take a breath. "I can't believe," she said, "that I'm touching something this old."
Just taking the tour has inspired some of the students to continue their studies of Egyptian history.
Some have returned to their classrooms and created sculptures and prints inspired by the exhibit, Maunder said.
After each tour, participants have been asked what could be added to the program. Maunder recalled the response of one man who came with a group from Allentown: "A sleepover! We'd give anything to spend the night right here."
Contact April Saul at 215-854-2872 or firstname.lastname@example.org.