Skip to comments.Plagued by curse of the Pharaoh
Posted on 06/09/2005 7:32:20 PM PDT by wagglebee
When a woman in Canada refused to return a valuable statue to the Cairo Museum, Dr Zahi Hawass, who was handling the negotiation, casually mentioned a curse said to be associated with the artifact. The next day the statue duly arrived at the Egyptian embassy in Canada.
The fear of the Pharaohs curse has long been the stuff of fiction and films. It is a subject that has stirred public imagination. There are those who believe that the pharaohs placed a curse on whoever disturbed their place of eternal rest.
When Lord Carnavon died on 5 April 1923, barely six months after the expeditions discovery of Tutankhamuns tomb, it appears that there was indeed a curse. The Times journalist who covered the discovery of the tomb was killed in a motor accident.
But in fact Lord Carnavon died as a result of cutting an infected mosquito bite while shaving with a razor.
He was 59 when he died in Cairo. A study done recently by a Monash scholar found that the average lifespan of the 25 people present at the opening of Tutankhamuns tomb in November 1922 was 70.
This should dispel the myth that they died prematurely.
Carter passed away in 1939 at the age of 66. The Times reporters accident took place in 1942. Still, all these deaths were lumped together and seen as the outcome of a pharaohs curse.
Even Dr Hawass, Secretary-General of Egypts Supreme Council of Antiquities, appeared to have a strange encounter with the Pharaohs curse while carrying out the CT Scan project at Tutankhamuns tomb. He was asked during a recent interview on National Geographic Channel whether he had been worried about a curse.
The idea of the curse was a joke to me but when the storm occurred in the Valley (of Kings at Luxor) on that day, and the husband of my sister died and the CT Scan machine was stopped for one hour. I began to worry? but now I laugh. To Dr Hawass the chain of events he encountered was pure coincidence.
Still, those entering newly-excavated tombs in the Valley of the Kings could face other types of risks.
Dr Hawass explained that a likely danger to archaeologists was the exposure to air long trapped in the sealed tomb and probably carrying harmful elements.
Hence, Howard Carter took the precaution of inserting a candle through a small hole in the doorway to Tutankhamuns tomb to test for noxious gases, before he entered.
Since then, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Luxor and the pyramids have been kept open and well-aired.
The hieroglyphs on the walls of King Tutankhamuns tomb, Dr Hawass pointed out, make no reference to a curse. Still, the fear of dire consequences from the long-dead Pharaoh make good stories and has no doubt helped sustain wide interest in Tutankhamun.
A lot of Canadians will fall for anything.
Sly old bugger. Heh. But I still believe the Sphynx was eroded by water more than anything else.
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I disagree, wind and sand erosion is more likely.
I've always felt bad for Lord Carnarvon. He never got to see the full glory of what he helped discover.
I also never knew until quite recently that he and Howard Carter and two other members of their party actually entered Tut's tomb the night they discovered it, and pretty much scoped out the whole thing. They kept a very good secret for a very long time.
Okay, wind and sand. But it still looks like water erosion.
Yes, it was water erosion. Wind and sand erosion on everything but the head was impossible for most of the years regarded as the Sphinx' existence, because the Sphinx was covered up to the neck in sand. This was the case (according to Thutmose IV's "Dream Stele" erected between the paws) even in Egyptian New Kingdom times. The head is the least eroded part of the Sphinx.
Here's another NickCarraway-posted topic regarding Tut:
BOOK FEATURE: The man who really found Tutankhamen (British Corporal Spy)
Middle East Times/World peace Times | March 31, 2005 | Desmond Zwar
Posted on 03/31/2005 1:45:59 PM PST by nickcarraway
Yes, rain. The erosion was caused by water in the form of rain.
I wouldn't put it past the old mummy to be pulling strings in the world beyond.
you goin to the king tut show?
cats2dogs: Do you think that the Sphinx is 5,000 years older than is stated, like Professor Shoch (sp) thinks. He also thinks the head was originaly a lions head.Schoch thinks the Sphinx enclosure (the front part of it) was exposed to rainfall for thousands of years, making it much older than circa 2500 BC. I'm not aware that he has given any specific date for it, although he has assigned a range of years which depend of course on the end of the wetter period (in which rainfall would have occurred). The head on the Great Sphinx is out of scale compared with the scale used on other Egyptian Sphinxes. Also, the head was exposed to wind erosion for a much longer time than the body could have been, since the body has spent most of the last 4500 years covered in sand.
ken21: you goin to the king tut show?That would be nice, but I guess I'll wait and see. I checked into it a while back, but don't recall offhand what the itinerary is. I think I saved the file though, and/or posted a link around here somewhere. It's tough to keep track of stuff on a forum with 100s of 1000s of threads, eh? :')
Where Tut will be: http://www.kingtut.org/venues.htm
Thanks! Looks like I'll be going to the Field next year (where the "Treasures of a King" exhibition lit almost 30 years ago) or to Philadelphia in 2007. :')
I'm thinking philly (unless I get some work travel in)
This is about the same line they used to get them to buy into nationized medicine! They'll fall for anything up there!
July 22, 2005
by Jessica E. Saraceni
"This brief history of the famous bust of Nefertiti discovered in Egypt by German archaeologists in 1912 marks its return to the Berlin Egyptian Museum. The article neglects to mention that the government of Egypt has recently demanded the return of the Queen."
Queen Nefertiti moves to her new digs
July 22 2005 at 11:32AM
By Ernest Gill
this is the Amarna-related topic that the FR search engine refuses to find:
Smenkhkhare, the Hittite Pharaoh
BBC History | September 5, 2002 | Dr Marc Gabolde
Posted on 07/30/2004 9:42:36 AM PDT by SunkenCiv