Exploring the Mysteries Surrounding the "Mummy's Curse"

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Exploring Mysteries Surrounding The "Mummy's Curse"

Heidi Mozina

Dr. Richard Foster

Strayer University

Humanities 111

May 5, 2014

In the movies, mummies are known for two things: fabulous riches and a frightening curse that brings fortune and treasure hunters to a bad end. But Hollywood didn't invent the curse concept. The mummy of King Tutankhamen gets credit for the curse of the pharaohs, but the myth's origin has been traced to a London stage act performed a hundred years before the boy king's tomb was excavated in 1922. In opening King Tut’s tomb, a phenomenon began all around the world. In research for this paper, I considered theories behind the “Mummy’s Curse,” a series of unexplainable, unfortunate, or tragic events that happened to the people who were present at the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb.
The first theory is that of Richard Carter, an archeologist, who is famous for discovering Tutankhamen's tomb. He is also famous for surviving the mummy's curse (at least until his death in 1939). He believed that tomb inscriptions sometimes contained protective formulas, messages meant to frighten off enemies from this world or beyond, but usually just wished the dead well.
Another theory is that of scientist Mark Nelson of Australia, who assumed that because the curse was a "physical entity," it had power over only those physically present during the opening of a chamber or coffin. Nelson defined several specific dates of exposure: the Feb. 17, 1923, opening of the third door, the Feb. 3, 1926, opening of the sarcophagus, the Oct. 10, 1926, opening of the coffins and the Nov. 11, 1926, examination of the mummy. For people who were present at more than one opening or examination, Nelson accounted for their increased exposure. [source: BMJ].
Out of 44 identified Westerners, 25 were present during an opening or examination.…...

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