The big news in the Middle East this weekend, is the moving of the royal Egyptian mummies to their new resting place in Cairo’s National Museum of Egyptian Civilization! This new museum has taken some years to finish and finally now, will contain all the national treasures of ancient Egyptian civilization. I had been to the older Egyptian Museum in a section of Cairo, that had a great display room with Tutankhamun’s famous gold mask and other treasures of the Pharaohs. It was a museum rich with artifacts and anything you wanted to see from ancient Egypt, aside from say the Rosetta stone at the British Museum, and other prized artifacts that were taken during excavations, to other countries. What impressed me almost as much as seeing the treasures, were the rooms whose walls were lined with dozens of sarcophagi, mummies inside. I hadn’t realized just how many mummies there were, and still are buried in the sands!
In University I attended a few classics courses on art and archaeology of Cyprus, Greece and Rome. The professors were amazing, and knew how to read hieroglyphics, ancient Greek, Arabic, Latin, French, German, Italian, etc. We talked about Howard Carter’s finding King Tutankhamun’s tomb, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the curses that some tombs had written near their openings. At the time I was in University, it was believed that what made some on Carter’s archaeology team sick, were germs and microbes that lay dormant, sealed inside the tombs for thousands of years. It seems plausible…add some oxygen and they just might get out and infect you! Below are some newer articles about curses and germs, and the latest on the string of disasters that have happened lately in Egypt, up until now.
You decide: Mummies curse, or just bad luck?
First you may want to see for yourself the grand event, that has taken the royalty of ancient Egypt to their new resting place. The best photos I’ve found online are in the following Aljazeera article. They are taken as if you are a spectator on the streets. The BBC article below describes it as a multimillion dollar event. Sure it will drive tourism and national pride, but the great disparity between poor and wealthy just seems to slap you in the face sometimes. My one big question here; the mummies had already gotten a royal pomp and circumstance burial in their time. Do they really need another expensive rededication as it were, as they are mummies, not living people? And I say this with all respect for them, but really, if it’s a multimillion dollar affair, better to use the money for the poor that live within the shadow of the pyramid. The small homes surrounding the base of the area, where if you rent a horse and buggy, they will take you through these quarters to get into the pyramid area. Why not let the living live better…the dead don’t care and don’t need it.
“In Pictures: Egyptian mummies paraded through Cairo”, 4 April 2021, Aljazeera
“Egypt mummies pass through Cairo in ancient rulers’ parade” by Wael Hussein, 3 April 2021, BBC News
A good read, even for kids on the curse of the mummies.
“Archaeologists dismiss claims recent Egyptian disasters caused by pharaohs’ curse”, Mohammed Abu Zaid, 29 March 2021, arabnews.com