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The Mummy’s Curse: True History or Dark Fantasy Essay

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Tutankhamun was a Pharaoh of Egypt, who ruled in the 18th dynasty. The death of Tutankhamun was mysterious, and there were no records to show his final days. The cause of his death was not established. It is, however, speculated that Tutankhamun was assassinated (O’Farrell, 2002). He was buried hurriedly due to the sudden death. His tomb was discovered by an archaeologist known as Howard Carter in 1922.

The tomb was found in a place known as the Valley of the Kings (Westphal, 2012). King Tutankhamun’s tomb contained “a coffin consisting of three separate coffins placed one inside the other” (Sayre, 2008, p. 65). According to Sayre (2008), there were a lot of precious items found in the tomb, which took Carter a decade to empty from the tomb. Some of the items included jewelry, perfumes, and weapons, among other things.

There is a belief of a curse at the tomb due to the events that occurred to those who visited the tomb. For example, a cobra ate Carter’s pet just one day after the excavation. Lord Carnarvon, the archaeologist’s financier, died of an alleged mosquito bite infection, while other horrible deaths occurred later to people who visited the tomb (Westphal, 2012).

This curse is commonly known as the Mummy’s Curse. The horrible fates of the people who came into contact with the tomb in one way or the other made news globally. This article focuses on the Mummy’s Curse and the theories behind it.

The events that happened after the Tutankhamun tomb was opened caused speculations that there were some supernatural powers that were working at the tomb (Luckhurst, 2012). There have been theories trying to explain the events that happened after the tomb was opened. One of the famous theories is the Mummy’s Curse theory.

Although it is said that Lord Carnarvon died after a mosquito bite following his visit to the tomb during its opening, a popular novelist named Marie Corelli expressed his views regarding the death in a book titled “The Egyptian History of the Pyramids.”

He opined that probably Lord Carnarvon died as a result of exposure to secret poisons that could have been enclosed in the boxes in the tomb. Touching the boxes would cause someone to suffer mysteriously. Corelli believed that this was a risk caused by breaking into the tomb of a king and robbing him of his possessions. According to Corelli, anyone entering the tomb was to be punished severely. This was the reason behind the death of Lord Carnarvon.

Another explanation for the death of Lord Carnarvon was given by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who was also the man who created Sherlock Holmes. He suggested that Lord Carnarvon died as a result of elementals that were created by Tutankhamun’s priests (Luckhurst, 2012). The elementals were created so that they could guard the royal tomb. It was believed that the tomb was guarded so that no one would enter it and take its contents. The elementals, according to this explanation, were not visible.

The second theory, as advanced by Doyle, is more plausible than the first theory. The hypothesis that there were elementals erected to guard the royal tomb makes sense because it was believed that the kings were highly regarded and protected in Ancient Egypt, both in life and afterlife. For instance, the Ancient Egyptians believed that the Pharaohs were guarded by cobras (Westphal, 2012).

The second reason that supports the second theory is the fact that the Ancient Egyptians believed in curses and evil spirits. For instance, Shapiro and Shapiro (1997) report that the evil spirits would spell curses on individuals and make them ill. This could explain the mysterious illnesses and the subsequent deaths that befell all those who visited the tomb.

References

Luckhurst, R. (2012). The Mummy’s Curse: The true history of a dark fantasy. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

O’Farrell, G. (2002). The Tutankhamun deception: The true story of the mummy’s Curse. London, UK: Pan Books.

Sayre, H. M. (2008). The humanities: Culture, continuity & change, volume 1 (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Shapiro, A. K., & Shapiro, E. (1997). The powerful placebo: From ancient priest to modern physician. Baltimore, MA: The John Hopkins University Press.

Westphal, J. (2012). The Mummy’s Curse. Minneapolis, MN: Bellwether Media, Inc.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "The Mummy's Curse: True History or Dark Fantasy." May 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-mummys-curse-true-history-or-dark-fantasy/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Mummy's Curse: True History or Dark Fantasy'. 1 May.

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