The Curse of King Tut's Tomb
Although the curse of King Tut’;s tomb sounds like something out of a Boris Karloff movie, it’;s absolutely true, though not for the reasons people think. There is a curse of the mummy’;s tomb, but it isn’;t supernatural; it’;s bacteriological. Before you start chanting “Imhotep,” harken unto the tale of King Tut.
We know Tutankhamen—the celebrated boy Pharaoh who lived from perhaps 1367–44 B.C.*—through the splendid golden sarcophagus in which he was interred after having ruled Egypt from around 1358 to 1350 B.C. For a young man of either 18 or 23, he didn’;t do too badly. He changed the worship rites of his country from Ra, the sun king, to the religion of the priests of Amen and relocated the capital from Akhetaton to Thebes. Whatever rumbling the people or the court may have had over these radical changes evaporated in 1344 B.C when Tut went to dwell with his ancestors. They erected a pyramid in his honor at Luxor in the Valley of the Kings in his beloved Thebes.
And there he lay undisturbed for over 32 centuries, until November 1922 when archeologist Howard Carter, leading an expedition financed by George Edward Stanhope Molyneux, the Earl of Carnarvon, opened Tut’;s tomb. Bad idea.
When Carnarvon, the first to enter the tomb, died five months later on April 23, 1923, at age 57, in a Cairo hospital, word flew around the world with the speed of a biblical plague that there was a pharaoh’;s curse at work. According to Gil Kewzer’;s
According to some reports (never proved, but it makes great reading), chiseled over the doorway to Tut’;s inner tomb chamber was the hieroglyphic warning: “Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King.” But more to the provable point, a 1998 item by Gil Kewzer in the
*Eight separate references were consulted for this, and no two of them agree on the years of Tut’;s life or reign.
Over the years, with the airing out of the tomb, no further deaths have been reported. Carter himself died of natural causes on March 2, 1939, in his home in London at the decent age of 64.