King Tut Essay, Research Paper
In 1922, over 70 years ago, King Tut s tomb was finally discovered by Howard Carter, a British archeologist and George Hebert, also known as Lord Carnarvon. This was a historically significant discovery because inside these tombs were treasures from the ancient civilization of Egypt, and of course the mummy of King Tut. The tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh, King Tut, is believed to contain a curse, but this theory is inaccurate due to the fact that the newspapers sensationalized events, Egyptians went to great lengths to prevent entering of the tomb, and people believed to have been cursed, in reality, died of natural causes. Newspapers sensationalized any event associated with the illness or death of the explorers of King Tut s tomb. Some people believed in the curse of King Tut s tomb because they let their frightened emotions affect their judgment. When some of the workers involved in the discovery of the tomb died, people and newspapers began linking the deaths to King Tut s tomb. The newspapers promoted the deaths as resulting from the tomb being cursed, and people automatically assumed it was true. Lord Carnarvon died a few months after entering the tomb. Newspapers blamed this on the curse. However the exact cause of his death was unknown, but he most likely contracted a disease, and since his body was already weak because of his poor health and a previous car accident, he couldn t fight it off. When he died supposedly all the hospital lights went out. This has nothing to do with the curse because the lights in Cairo are notorious for frequently going out without warning even to this day. It is rumored that in England, Carnarvon s dog died at exactly two o clock in the morning which was the same time that Lord Carnarvon died. However, this is not true because Egypt and England are in two different time zones. Another rumor was that on the day the tomb was opened, Carter s pet canary was eaten by a cobra(a symbol of the ancient pharaohs.) The truth is that although Carter had a pet canary, he gave it to a friend named Minnie Burton to watch, and she gave it to a bank manager, still alive and well. After Carnarvon died, more people that had come in contact with the tomb died of supposedly unnatural deaths. However during the late 1920 s and early 1930 s it wasn t unusual for doctors to be unsure about a diagnosis and the cause of death. The Egyptains were upset that Carter did not treat the tomb of King Tut with the respect due to this Egyptian ancestor. The Egyptian press followed the deaths carefully, attributing each new one to the purported curse. By 1935 they had credited 21 victims to the curse of King Tut.(Krystek,1997) However it doesn t make sense that some of these people lived 13 years after supposedly being cursed. If truly cursed, why wouldn t they just fall dead a couple days later, if not immediately after they exited the tomb. Some of those deaths may have been caused by diseases that had been locked up in that tomb for some 3,000 years. It is also interesting to note that Howard Carter, the man who discovered and opened the tomb, lived to be 66 years old and died from natural causes. Not to mention all of the others who came in contact with King Tut s tomb and went on to live a long life. The truth is that the newspapers at that time exploited the curse of the tomb in order to sell more newspapers. Whenever anyone related to Carnovon or the discovery of the tomb died, the death was taken as proof that the curse was in effect. Long ago Egyptians would do anything in their power to provide a safe tomb for their dead pharaoh so that thieves would not enter and loot all of the kings treasures. The Egyptians believed it was essential for the king to have all of these riches to keep him wealthy in the afterlife. The last thing the Egyptians wanted was to have thieves break into the tomb, disturbing the pharaoh and robbing him of all of his possessions. Egypt s best architects would design structures to prevent intruders by employing false doorways, blocked passageways and hidden rooms. The Egyptians would even place a curse on the tomb, so that potential intruders would be too frightened to enter. If Egyptians really knew how to place curses on the tombs, why would they go to all the trouble designing elaborate structures to fool thieves? Instead they would simply provide a curse that would kill anyone the second they stepped foot into the pharoah s tomb. Egyptians engraved the message, Death Shall Come on Swift Wings To Him Who Disturbs the Peace of the King on the tomb in an effort to convince others that there was actually a curse. Recent studies by some scientists indicate that certain pathogens may have been placed in tombs by the Egyptians, because diseases were found inside the tomb. Also, priests used poison to protect the dead, which some of the archeologists might have touched to make them die. This could result in what would appear to be unexplainable deaths that people would attribute to a curse on the tomb.
There is no reason why one should believe that a curse killed many of those people working on the newly discovered tomb when in reality they could have died from natural causes. There are dozens of explanations and theories of why they actually did die, theories that actually make sense and are backed up with scientific information unlike a myth or a curse. Because technology and medical knowledge were not nearly as advanced as today, doctors could not always provide a cure or determine how exactly someone had died. Since doctors could not provide logical explanations of deaths, people began believing in the curse even more. Technology today shows dozens of explanations of how these people exploring King Tut s tomb could have died. Several explorers died of pneumonia, which can be caused by bacteria. According to some medical researchers, mummies bred germs that would have infected people exploring the tomb. Another medical theory is that fungus in the tomb caused a fever, as many of those who died had suffered from a fever. Egyptian priests applied poison on items in the tomb to protect the pharaoh. These items could have been touched by some of the explorers. Egyptians could have also purposely put pathogens inside the tomb. Since the tomb has been buried for 3,000 years or longer, doctors back then would not have been able to recognize the disease. The tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh, King Tut, is believed to contain a curse, but this theory is inaccurate due to the fact that the newspapers sensationalized events, Egyptians went to great lengths to prevent entering of the tomb, and people believed to have been cursed, in reality, died of natural causes. For thousands of years the human mind has been preoccupied with thoughts of the occult, power of gods, and witchcraft. The curse of King Tut s tomb was another opportunity for people to ponder the possibility of some unknown force existing from several thousand years ago. In fact there is no proof of any type of unknown supernatural force. The events associated with the discovery of King Tut s tomb can be explained using scientific evidence, modern technology, and everyday common sense.