Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:March 11th, 2006 13:43 EST
The Curse of the Tutankhamen

The Curse of the Tutankhamen

By Saly Alhady

There are many tales about the Ancient Egypt and the cruses of the mummies especially the occurrences surrounding the strange events following the opening of Tutankhamen`s tomb.
The hype began in the valley of the kings on the West Bank at Luxor, in Egypt on 17th February1923 when a team archaeologists under the lead of Howard Carter discovered the Tomb KV62 that of Pharaoh Tutankhamen one of the richest tombs found intact in Egypt, King Tutankhamun (alternate transcription Tutankhamen), named Tutankhaten early in his life, was the 12th King of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt (ruled 1334 BC/1333 BC " 1323 BC, lived c. 1341 BC " 1323 BC), during the period known as the New Kingdom; he died when he was only 19which mean that he live a short life .

His original name, Tutankhaten, meant "Living Image of Aten", while Tutankhamun meant "Living Image of Amun".  Some believe him to be the son of the Pharaoh Akhenaton, which takes us to the first insert on monotheism - the sun/god connection - in the evolution of consciousness; his tomb was one of the very few tombs, which were not disturbed by vandals.

The discoveries were funded by Lord Carnarvon, a British sponsor of archaeology in Egypt.  Carnarvon and Howard became the first men to enter the tomb for thousands of years.  When they interred they read on the outside of the tomb a curse was written in hieroglyphics: Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King " but they ignore the advice.    

On 5 April 1923, just 47 days after breaching the chamber into Tutankhamen`s resting place, Carnarvon, aged 57, died in agony during his morning shaving routine, he further aggravated the mosquito bite.  It soon became infected and Lord Carnarvon found himself ill.  He suffered a high fever and chills.  A doctor was sent to examine him, but medical attention arrived too late, and Lord Carnarvon died.  However, there was a strange thing happened later when a small blemish was found on Tutankhamen`s cheek in the same spot as the infected mosquito had bitten the Carnarvon. 
At the moment of his death in the Continental Hotel, Cairo, the lights in the city went out in unison, and stayed off for some minutes.  Also, at the same time thousands of miles away in England, at Lord Carnarvon`s country house, his pet dog-- Susie-- started barking, began baying and howling, and by the morning she had died too. Then, a cobra ate Carnarvon`s pet canary-- the cobra being considered the protector of the Pharaohs.

One of the most interesting things that Carnarvon before his journey to Egypt to join Carter he visited two mediums.  Both of them had warned him that this trip to Egypt would be his last
shortly after Carnarvon`s demise, another archaeologist, Arthur Mace, a leading member of the expedition, went into a coma at the Hotel Continental after complaining of tiredness, He died later
The deaths continued among the rest of archaeologists, and it was blamed on "The Curse".  According to one the records, 26 people associated with the find died within a decade of its discovery.  In reality, only six people died during this first decade, while many others lived to an old age.
To be sure, of all the members of the expedition to uncover Tutankhamen`s tomb, by 1969 only two members of the team had avoided the curse-- one of them was Carter.

On the other hand, the famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass declared that there is no such thing as a Pharaohs` curse, and he gave a scientific explanation that when tombs or other monuments are excavated after thousands of years, microbes may still survive.  Then the person who enters the monument may die of old diseases.  Be they deaths from spells or microbes.