One of the most fascinating parts of the Cairo museum is the display of the ancient Egyptian mummies. Actually, there are Egyptian mummies in many other museums around the world, including:
Many mummies were discovered in their tombs untouched, but many more were exposed to grave robberies and wasted away.
Some, although exposed to tomb robbers, survived nonetheless...
...they were rescued by ancient Egyptian priests, re-wrapped and hidden away in other burial sites.
These hidden collections of deceased pharaohs are called the "Royal Mummy Caches."
There were two Royal Mummy Caches found by Egyptologists - one in the tomb of Amenhotep II in the Valley of the Kings, and one in a tomb in Thebes.
The first cache was made up of 40 ancient Egyptian pharaohs, some of whom are so famous that we can hardly believe our luck that they exist! This cache had the mummies of Ahmose I, Ramesses II, Seti I, and Thutmosis III!
The second cache was made up of another 16, some of them also famous ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
The legend of the mummy's curse began with the discovery of King Tut's tomb in 1922 by the famous English archeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter.
Howard Carter had a team of foreign archeologists along with a team of locals to help with the excavation of the tomb. The locals however were not too keen and believed that disturbing the dead would trigger an ancient curse.
The majority of locals here are still quite superstitious, with some of the strangest traditions still widely used and considered as viable within even highly intellectual circles.
The older generations still hold on to many rituals, and I myself have been forced to drink weird stuff when ill!
Howard Carter left the locals believe what they will, and thought better of it anyway so that they didn't go around digging when no one was watching; but then the curse spread.
After a member of the team died from any cause, the curse of King Tut would be blamed for it... even years after the excavation!
There were only two curses recorded thus far as being ones which the ancient Egyptians themselves had imbued the tombs with to protect against tomb robbers.
In any case, cursed or not, ancient Egyptian mummies are a sight to see and a story to talk about.
I highly recommend that you search for museums near you that have mummy displays, it's quite a humbling experience looking at a pharaoh thousands of years old - someone who was worshiped as a God and now rests before you as a mere mortal.
Return from Famous Ancient Egyptian Mummies to Egyptian Mummies
Return from Famous Ancient Egyptian Mummies to the Experience Ancient Egypt Home Page