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«Text A Lord Carnarvon: Carnarvon had been in poor health for over 20 years following a motoring accident in Germany. Less than two weeks after the ...»

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Text A

Lord Carnarvon:

Carnarvon had been in poor health for over 20 years following a motoring accident in

Germany. Less than two weeks after the official opening of the burial chamber,

Carnarvon received a mosquito bite which became infected after he cut it while shaving.

Carnarvon fell ill and, with his resistance lowered, came down with pneumonia and

eventually passed away at the age of 57.

Howard Carter:

As discoverer of the tomb, Carter should have been Number 1 on the curse's "hit list", but he survived until March 1939, just short of his 65th birthday and nearly 17 years after entering the tomb - about a decade of which was spent working in the tomb itself.

Lady Evelyn Herbert:

Lady Evelyn, Lord Carnarvon's daughter and one of the first into the tomb, died in 1980 at the age of about 79.

Harry Burton:

Burton was the photographer loaned to Carter by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art to document the work done in Tutankhamun's tomb. Many of the magnificent black & white photographs of the time were taken by Burton who died in 1940.

Alan Gardiner:

Gardiner studied the tomb's inscriptions and was still very active working on Egyptian grammar for many decades until his death in 1963.

Dr D. E. Derry:

Derry carried out the original autopsy on Tutankhamun's mummy. If anyone should have been cursed along with Carter, it probably should have been Derry, but he didn't die until 1969.

By 1929 eleven people connected with the discovery of the Tomb had died early and of unnatural causes. This included two of Carnarvon's relatives, Carter's personal secretary, Richard Bethell, and Bethell's father, Lord Westbury. Westbury killed himself by jumping from a building. He left a note that read, "I really cannot stand any more horrors and hardly see what good I am going to do here, so I am making my exit."

The Curse as a Blessing In reality, the curse of the mummy probably did more good then harm. Many early movies were made about the curse, in addition to the widespread media coverage. Even today, movies continue to be made with at least an underlying sense of the curse. All of this has bought several revivals of interest in Egyptology to the world, and there is no doubt about the blessings that the curse has bestowed on Egypt's tourism industry.

Even Tutankhamun himself might have been pleased with the discovery of his tomb. The ancient Egyptians believed that their souls were kept alive when their name was remembered, and this has been ensured.

We are well aware that dead bodies have the capacity to spawn infections that can be very dangerous for the living. It is very possible that ancient grave robbers, entering tombs shortly after the pharaoh's death, may have been exposed to diseases, and thus died from their crimes. This indeed could very likely have lead to an ancient belief in the "mummy's curse". In fact, the ancient pharaohs went to great lengths to protect their tombs, and would have probably been happily inclined to help spread such beliefs.

Today, archaeologists wear protective gear when unwrapping mummies. In 1999, Gotthard Kramer, a German microbiologist from the University of Leipzip, suggested that there might be some truth to the mummies curse. Studying 40 different mummies, he identified several potentially dangerous mold spores. He believes that when tombs were first opened, fresh air could have disturbed these spores, blowing them into the air, and perhaps, creating health problems.

Text B Carter's team cut up the mummy into various pieces: the arms and legs were detached, the torso cut in half and the head was severed. Hot knives were used to remove it from the golden mask to which it was cemented by resin.

Text C Let the sleeping pharaoh be By Martin Fletcher, NBC News Tel Aviv Bureau Chief LUXOR, Egypt – An irreverent and entirely inappropriate thought kept imposing itself as I waited to report live on MSNBC about the first-ever public viewing of the face of King Tutankhamen from his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt.

There he lay in front of me, his blackened face and empty eye sockets staring upwards, with taut cheeks stretched over small bones, lips pulled back in a sneer and deep wrinkles forming jagged scars in his face.

And all I kept thinking as I waited for the anchor to ask her first question: Do not kiss the Sleeping Beauty who died more than 3,000 years ago. I imagined that if I did, maybe he would come back to life. And if he did, what would I say?

But all went well. King Tut didn't interrupt the live broadcast, and when the lights went out, I was left contemplating these mortal remains of the famous boy-king.

Fate of the famous boy-king Tutankhamen was about 8 years old when he became the leader of mighty Egypt, and he is believed to have been 19 when he died. It isn't clear who his father was, what King Tut did as pharaoh or how he died. But he has become the most famous pharaoh, and along with the pyramids and the sphinx, an icon of Egyptian antiquity.

And all because robbers missed his grave. For about 400 years, Egypt buried its kings in the Valley of the Kings, a practice that stopped roughly 3,000 years ago. But within a century or two, the graves had been picked clean, gold statues had been melted down for their ore and carvings of inestimable value had been scattered to the wind.





So when the fabulous treasure of gold and inlaid stones that was buried with Tutankhamen to smooth his transition to the afterlife (pharaohs believed in taking it with them) was first discovered 85 years ago – on Nov. 4, 1922, King Tut was guaranteed his place in history and has fascinated ancient Egypt fans ever since.

Not so pretty 3,000 years later But back to his face. Ugly doesn't begin to describe it. After all, what would any of us look like more than 3,000 years after dying? But whether it was the imposing surroundings in the ancient tomb, the tension of the moment (he could have fallen apart while being moved), or my own response to the face of the pharaoh, I was moved, and left wondering what message he brought from antiquity.

Tutankhamen is on view in a climate-controlled glass case in the tomb, a modern sarcophagus, his burial place in the Valley of the Kings. Only his small black face and his little black feet can be seen. The rest of his body is covered by a linen cloth – much of his body is broken into 18 pieces. The damage was sustained when the British archaeologist Howard Carter first discovered the mummy in 1922.

EMAIL THIS

Comments How sad is this? How far are we willing to go to feed our selfishness? This WAS a sacred burial intended to remain undisturbed...for eternity!

Sad in San Diego---san diego, california (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 1:35 PM) He is the King, we should not allow for his dead body to be exposed to the public in that manner, if scientists need to observe his body they should,but not to everybody. I visted his tomb in luxor fourty years ago,when it was still well preserved and vibrant, when I visited it last year, the colors on the walls were fading..it's human treasure, and it would be a better preserved, without overt exposure.

Andy (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 2:42 PM) I've never agreed with this sort of conduct. How arrogant are we that we dig up sacred areas only to satisfy our own interests? The whole subject makes me sick.

Cody Lee, Las Vegas, NV (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 3:25 PM) He should be left to rest in peace, people are ruining something that is more than sacred!

Lisa Sandiego California (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 3:32 PM) Good of you to share this with the world. Thanks!

Barbara Bacchus, Panama, Rep. of Panama (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 3:43 PM) I think this is pure disrespect. I know this body is a rare archeological find, and of course piques our morbid interests.

However, if this were my relative, and 3000 years from now (if the Earth is still turning) it MAY be my relative someone digs up, how heartbreaking that would be.

Dawn, Conover, NC (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 4:52 PM) Since when is there is time limit as to when it is OK to dig up a corpse? What would people say if we were to dig up Abraham Lincoln? (Oh it's ok because he died centuries ago) as opposed to say digging up John F. Kennedy which millions of people would have a heart attack over! No matter how much history has been made, bodies should be laid to rest and LEFT THERE! Whatever happened to having respect for the dead??

Jill, New Jersey (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 5:16 PM) Dear Mr.Fletcher, When looking upon the face of King Tutankhamen there would never be the right words. You are so very fortunate to have been there when the were moving his body to the glass case. It is truly incredible how the face is preserved. I agree with you Mr.Fletcher I would be wondering what message the young King would bring. How sad he had to die so young. Very moving experience and exciting to see. Thank you for the report and the posting. I hope that King Tutankhamen stays preserved forever. Peace.

Lisa McNeil,Alpharetta,Georgia (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 5:43 PM) What a shame to expose the body of this young King. I truly believe that disturbing his grave to put him on display has no significance at all. The dead should be left alone and given the respect they deserve. I suppose seeing a dark dried up mummy is something we just can't live without!

patricia amador, los angeles california (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 6:13 PM) I agree that revealing the face (or any other part) is completely inappropriate. This was his sacred burial place. This of course is all in the name of Anthropology (definitely a significant find). But also a sacred place. Anthropologists could have photographed the scene at the time of discovery and re-sealed the tomb. How unfortunate that the body and paintings are now fading and will never look the same again.

Anthropologists also raided the sacred burial place of 1500 souls at the site of the Titanic.

All the history was known including the pattern of the fine China. This didn't stop them from looting their final resting place. What did we learn that wasn't already known and well documented?

Respect should be given to these sacred sites.

Daniel Alan (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 6:17 PM) Dear Martin, You made numerous factual misstatements in your video piece on King Tut. To begin with, Howard Carter didn't break the mummy into pieces in a ruthless quest for the jewels wrapped with the mummy. He and his team took great care to preserve the tomb and its contents, including the mummy. They spent years clearing the tomb, and took great care to document, draw in situ, and photograph its contents. A decision was made to unwrap the mummy (the arguement can certainly be made this was a bad idea), but due to the excessive use of resins in the embalming, the bandages were stuck the the mummy, and unfortunately the mummy was subsequently broken in this process. Howard Carter was a man a very high morals, and devoted his life to finding, and preserving antiquities. Your rendering of him is a huge disservice, both to him personally and the many others from his team as well as the Egyptians that worked with the mummy.

Secondly, there IS NO CURSE.

The so-called curse was invented by newspapermen to sell newspapers. Howard Carter gave exclusive reports to only one paper, The London Times, and the others were angered by this and invented the curse to have headlines. Lord Carnarvon did not die weeks after the discovery as you claim, but in April of 1923, approx 5 MONTHS later.

And there was nothing mysterious about his death. He was in poor health for many years, hence spending winters in the dry warm climate of Upper Egypt, and he didn't properly take care of an infection, and in those days didn't have access to or use antibiotics, and eventually he died. The lights were always going out in Cairo due to a very unreliable power grid. The story of his favorite Terrier dying at the same time was apocryphal, (ie.

untrue), and finally and most glaringly, some simple research on your part would have revealed that Lord Carnarvon was from Highclere Castle, Berkshire, ENGLAND. Not Scotland.......

Other than that, great job......

Andy Katy, TX (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 6:17 PM) How would you like it if someone dug up your deceased loved one and put him/her on display? Very Sad!

Carmencheetah, North Carolina (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 6:19 PM) leave the poor kid alone.

Chris anthony, des moines, iowa (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 7:02 PM) Here is one reason I have chosen to be cremated when I pass. I hate to think that sometime in the future I would be dug up from an eternal rest and put on display like some circus side show freak. I am sure that God would not,and does not aprove of this barbaric practice. Sad In Missouri H. Todd Joplin MO (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 7:40 PM) How many years must a body be buried before grave robbing becomes archeology? This applies to anyone, not just royalty.

Clyde Parrish (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 7:47 PM) How many years must a body be buried before grave robbing becomes archeology? This applies to anyone, not just royalty.

Clyde Parrish, Beckley, WV (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 7:49 PM) I think the pharaoh's should be left untouched, after all this is the ancient Egyptians religion, and how would we feel if in 2,000 years someone came by and dug up our graves?

Tom A., Providence, RI (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 8:07 PM) I agree, I don't see the point of revealing his body to the general public. I don't think most of us would want our dead bodies on display, most especially a king. I find it irreverant and the only purpose I see is that they hope to increase tourist visits.

Mary, San Francisco (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 8:21 PM) I agree with Sad in San Diego...this was his sacred burial ground. Do you want someone to disturb your grave? Nobody had the right to enter King Tut's grave. That's what's wrong with society today, we feed into our own greed and selfishness to bring pleasure to our own selves. You need to leave well enough alone.

Disgusted, Kyle, TX (Sent Monday, November 05, 2007 9:28 PM) For how long must a body be buried before its exhumation goes from sick to acceptable?



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