The Curse of the Pharoah sample essay
Our fascination with the ancient Egyptian royal bloodline has been equated with the treasures that were found in the tombs of the mummified pharaohs. This is not surprising since Egypt has been equated with the origins of ancient civilization with existing artifacts available for scientific and cultural study. Its rich culture spoke of a unique identity, of riches and slavery that has engaged Americans an emerging sense of a national identity with its increasing conflict over slavery.
Yet when the mummified bodies of pharaohs were discovered, the Western culture found a link with the dead and studied about rebirth and the myths attached to it. Paranormal studies desperately tried observing a likely chance of proving spiritual activity and phenomenon to support the claims of a supernatural occurrence. Skeptics ruled against the validity of an existing curse that has triggered an extensive research on the subject. When Phillip Vandenberg (1973) wrote his book, we are equally amazed to learn the amazing connections backed by facts that were pointed out as a “curse of the pharaohs”.
Such findings according to him started in the 1922’s when the complete tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered. The treasures uncovered sparked rumors of a “curse” of death against one who first entered the ancient tomb that has persisted. The fist victim identified was Lord Carnarvon, a patron of the expedition to find King Tut’s tomb. Mystery according to Vandenberg surrounded Carnarvon’s death barely 6 months after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. This brought about rumors of a curse as another journalist covering the expedition died in a terrible motor accident.
Another victim of the curse pointed out by Vandenberg is Lord Westbury, father of Howard Carter’s assistant Richard Bethell who died suddenly of a circulatory collapse some six years after the opening of the tomb. Another equally interesting coincidence on board the Titanic was an Egyptian mummy that Lord Canterville wanted to take away from England to New York(p. 186). The mummified body belonged to a prophetess during the reign of Amenhotep IV, the pharaoh Ikhnaton. The mummy which was encased in a wooden crate was not placed in the cargo hold of the Titanic because of its value.
The sinking of the Titanic sparked and renewed the curse of the pharaoh. Current study on the facts pointed by Vandenberg revealed though that Lord Carnarvon died of an infected mosquito bite. He was actually bitten by a mosquito while in the Valley of the Kings. The bite actually turned septic while he was shaving with a razor. Certain facts also point out that after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, only six of the 26 people present during it’s opening actually died within a few years.
The mystery surrounding the mummy on board the Titanic held no significant facts. Sources said that the story was concocted in the decks of the Titanic itself and from the press and a journalist on the Titanic who believed in mysticism and spiritualism. By data, verified facts revealed no mummy on board the Titanic. The British Museum has still in its possession the disputed mummy board that was being mentioned. The idea of a curse has probably originated when Victorian novelists suggested this story that had origins in 19th century England.
Jane Loudon Webb was so inspired by a circus show she had seen featuring an Egyptian mummy that made up the plot for a novel entitled, “The Mummy” featuring a vengeful mummy who returned from the dead to kill the hero in her book. Other authors followed suit like the famous Louisa May Alcott who wrote a short story “The Mummy’s Curse”. In 1980 (Aug 29) the Daily Mail published an interview with 81 year old Richard Adamson, a military policeman ordered to assist in asking Carnarvon’s expedition to leave the Valley of the Kings.
The tomb was discovered before they could ask them to leave and as a result, Adamson was tasked to spend the next seven years guarding the tomb. In the interview, he revealed that as crowds hampered the digging, the guards were worried about thieves coming in and thought of about a curse. Nevertheless Adamson’s age during the interview provided against any suggestion of a curse. My Opinion The wide mystery surrounding the curse of the pharaohs may have been the illustrations of an imaginative mind to create enough fascination over the ancient myth.
A lot of people and business had cashed in on this premise from literary works and media to souvenirs and even tourism that has greatly increased Egyptian revenues. A recent study based on the death records of individuals involved in the finding of the tomb revealed that most lived past the age of 70 years. Lady Evelyn, Lord Caranrvon’s daughter loved up to 79 years old which could refute Vandenberg’s claim and support the skepticism of other authors.
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