Almost everyone has seen or heard about the curse of the mummy. It is a popular topic for movies and books.
The mummy’s curse first became well-known after the tomb of King Tut was found, but it was actually started a number of years before that.
In 19th Century England, anything Egyptian was the trend. Many people had a fascination with ancient Egypt and many items became collectible. Many people were exploiting cannibalizing and reinventing Egyptian culture. Many of these accounts date back to 17th-century explorers (e.g. Jean de Thevenot and Claude Sicard) when they told stories of Egyptian culture.
Many of the current stage shows, musicals, movies and tourist souvenirs show the fascination that people have for the ancient Egyptian culture.
People became fascinated with Ancient Egypt and wanted to find more….let see what happened
What is the Mummy’s Curse
The curse of the Pharaohs is believed to cause death, illness or bad luck to anyone who disturbs a mummy or pharaoh’s tomb. This is an alleged curse and was really to discourage thieves from robbing the many valuable items that were buried with the Pharaoh.
In 1922 when King Tut’s tomb (in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt) was discovered and opened by Howard Carter. Six of the 26 people who were present when the tomb was opened died within 10 years.
The first to die was George Herbert, he financed the project and was the first person to succumb to the curse. But, the reality is he had a mosquito bite and when he was shaving he cut this opened accidentally and ended up dying from blood poisoning a short time later.
We really don’t know how the story of the curse came about but here’s one theory.
The story and discovery of King Tut’s tomb was promised to only one newspaper.
When some of the people that participated in the excavation started dying, competitive newspapers created the story of the mummy’s curse.
In reality, there were logical explanations for each of the deaths. Howard Carter, who discovered and opened the tomb of King Tut lived to be 65 years old and he would have been the prime target of any curse wouldn’t you think.
Birth of the Curse
Could the origins of the story date back to 19 century London when stage shows were very popular?
During some of these Egyptian stage shows they unwrapped real mummies which inspired some writers to make up stories about mummies revenge.
There are a few areas in ancient Egypt that actually have a ‘curse’ written on them for anyone that disturbs the tomb of the person buried there.
The curses are supposed to scare anyone that might think of robbing the tomb and usually involve revenge by the Egyptian gods, or death by lions, snakes, crocodiles or scorpions.
These curses have been found in the tombs that were built before the time of the pyramids.
The reasons that the ancient Egyptians may have written a curse to scare anyone away is that in their religion, the mummified body had to remain undisturbed so that the spirit could go to the afterlife.
It is said that the tomb of King Tut did have a written curse: “Death Shall Come on Swift Wings to Him Who Disturbs the Peace of the King.”
Old Tomb’s Sealed in Time
In recent times, there have been dangers discovered with opening burial tombs that have been sealed for so many years.
The tombs contain natural items such as dead human bodies, remains of animals and food.
These were placed in the tombs for the person who had died to take with them into the afterlife.
Since they are in the tombs for thousands of years, they are going to decay.
Scientists have discovered that many of the ancient mummies had a dangerous mold on them.
The mold is so bad that it could cause very bad congestion. Other dangerous bacteria were also found in burial tombs.
Anyone that entered the tombs when they were first opened would disturb the mold and bacteria and they could breathe it in. If they were not completely healthy, they could become very sick.
They do not think it would cause anyone to die.
What they do Now
Today scientists wear protective medical masks when they enter a burial tomb.
They know that even if it has been open for a while, there is still a chance that there is active mold and bacteria that could cause discomfort.
Mummies in Movies and Books
A majority of the myths of the mummy’s curse have been expanded in books and Hollywood movies.
Everyone seems to like the mysterious, the magical and the unusual and they are fascinated with ancient Egypt.
Creating the myths of a mummy’s curse is not based on any scientific evidence but make really great stories.