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The Curse of the ancient Egyptian mummies

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

The tales about the "Curse of the Pharaoh's" started around the 7th Century when the Arabs arrived in Egypt. They could not read the hieroglyphics so many things seemed weird and strange to them.

King Tutankhamun tomb

The most famous story about a mummies curse occurred in 1923 when King Tutankhaumum's tomb was discovered by Howard Carter. Today everyone has heard of the young boy King Tut and his treasures have toured the globe.

Carter's patron and sponsor of the excavation, Lord Carnarvon, had entered the tomb with Carter. The tomb was virtually intact and had never been broken into. They were the first to enter since it was sealed in antiquity. What happened several weeks afterwards was the following? Lord Carnarvon got a mosquito bite that became infected and this led to pneumonia which he died from. At the time of his death there was a complete black-out in Cairo and Carnavon's dog in far-off England started howling at that instant. This story was spread all over the world and the interest in the "Curse of the Pharaohs" was rekindled.

What about the others that entered the tomb? What happened to them if there was a curse?

At the opening of the tomb, 26 people were present. Only 6 died within 10 years. At the opening of the sarcophagus, there were 22 people present. Only 2 died within 10 years. At the unwrapping of the mummy, 10 people were present. None died within 10 years. In fact, the Doctor who performed the autopsy on King Tut's mummy lived for another 20 years. What about Howard Carter who was the first to enter the tomb in 1923. He died 16 years later in 1939.


There is an interesting story regarding the prestigious British Museum. They had been reputed to own a mummy which had a curse on it. They decided to get rid of it so they arranged to sell it to an American Institution. They arranged for it to be shipped to America on the Titanic. We know what happened and today many people think the Titanic sank because of the presence of the mummy on board.

This story was completely made up and the only truth in it is that the alleged mummy is actually a coffin lid, which is still present to this day in the British Museum.


In 1972 in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut's tomb, some of the treasures from the tomb we sent to select museums in other countries for display. Some of the treasures were sent to England in crates aboard a Royal Air Force Britannia aircraft. A technical officer thought it would be funny to kick the crate which contained King Tut's Royal Mask. Two years later, he broke that same leg. Another crew member got a divorce some time afterwards and blamed the curse. Two other members had heart attacks and they believed it was caused by the curse. This story was reported in September 1978 in the "News of the World" newspaper.

External Links

About the mummification process :

The Mummy In the Movies : Top 13 Movies about Mummies in the world

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