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Old 05-07-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
eternal_spirit
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Default King Tutankhamun's Curse hoax



In November 1922 Howard Carter located the entrance to the tomb of Tutankhamun. By February he and his team had unsealed the door of the Burial Chamber. But a mere two months later, on April 5, 1923, the sponsor of his expedition, Lord Carnarvon, died in his Cairo hotel room, having succumbed to a bacterial infection caused by a mosquito bite.

The media immediately speculated that Carnarvon had fallen victim to King Tut's Curse. This curse supposedly promised death to all who violated his tomb. Newspapers added fantastic details to their accounts of Carnarvon's death, such as claiming that the lights dimmed throughout Cairo at the moment of his death. (This wouldn't have been surprising since power outages were almost a daily occurrence in Cairo.)

Over the next decade, other members of Carter's expedition died. The media greeted each death with renewed speculation about the fulfillment of King Tut's Curse. Scientists such as Herbert Winlock pointed out that the deaths were no more than should be statistically expected. In fact, of the twenty-two people present at the opening of the tomb, only six had died by 1934. Hardly a powerful curse.

Many papers also claimed that Carter's archaeological team had seen, but chosen to ignore, a warning placed above the tomb that read: "Death shall come on swift wings to him that toucheth the tomb of a Pharaoh." But there was no such inscription. The idea that there was appears to have come from a creative mistranslation by some newspapers of an inscription found in the tomb on a statue of a winged goddess. This inscription was, in reality, a spell from The Book of the Dead intended to ensure eternal life.

A study published in 2002 in the British Medical Journal found no significant difference in the survival rate of those said to be exposed to the curse and those who weren't. Howard Carter himself, the man who should have been most affected by the Curse, appeared to be completely unaffected by it. He died in 1939 at the age of 64.

The truth of King Tut's Curse is that it was nothing more than a story invented by the media to sell papers.

Links and References

http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/a...ng_tuts_curse/
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:23 PM   #2
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interesting...so carter died of natural circumstances?

Last edited by majestic; 05-07-2010 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
eternal_spirit
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Originally Posted by majestic View Post
interesting...so carter died of natural circumstances?
I think so.

n 1933, a German Egyptologist, Professor Georg Steindorff, wrote a pamphlet on Pharaonic curses, attempting to debunk the myth -- while also riding on its coattails. He studied the lives and deaths of the "victims," determining that many had never been near the dig and had only tenuous connections to the principle archaeologists or financiers. But like all good curses, that of Tutankhamen's tomb stuck around in the public's imagination. Eighty years after the tomb's discovery, the British Medical Journal published a scientific study of the mummy's curse. Mark R. Nelson of Monash University, Australia, examined the survival rates of 44 Westerners identified by Carter as being in Egypt during the examination of the tomb.
Nelson assumed that because the curse was a "physical entity," it had power over only those physically present during the opening of a chamber or coffin (thus removing Lord Carnarvon's dog from the roster of victims) [source: BMJ]. Nelson defined several specific dates of exposure: the Feb. 17, 1923, opening of the third door, the Feb. 3, 1926, opening of the sarcophagus, the Oct. 10, 1926, opening of the coffins and the Nov. 11, 1926, examination of the mummy. For people who were present at more than one opening or examination, Nelson accounted for their increased exposure.
Out of 44 identified Westerners, 25 were present during an opening or examination. These 25 lived an average of 20.8 years after exposure, while the unexposed lived 28.9 years. The mean age at death for the exposed was 70 years and 75 for the unexposed. Nelson determined that the results proved there was no curse [source: BMJ].
But what if there's a scientific explanation for the phenomena some mistook as a curse? Can a tomb make an already sick person sick enough to die? Find out on the next page.
Could you really get sick from an ancient tomb?



Supernatural explanations for the mummy's curse may have been discredited by careful translations of protective formulas, study of Egyptian death rituals and even modern investigations, but the myth of the curse refuses to quit. Some still believe that there may be a scientific explanation for Lord Carnarvon's death that links it to Tutankhamen's tomb. The financier died from erysipelas, a bacterial infection that was brought on by a mosquito bite. This led to septicaemia, or blood poisoning, and pneumonia. Could exposure to toxic pathogens in the tomb have killed the already ailing man?
Carter maintained that the tomb was free from "bacillary agents," but modern studies show that respiratory-attacking bacteria are sometimes present in ancient tombs [source: Ceram]. Sarcophagi can also contain formaldehyde, hydrogen sulfide and ammonia gas -- all agents that assault the lungs. Ancient meat, vegetable and fruit funerary offerings, not to mention preserved human bodies, can attract dangerous molds like Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus while bat droppings can grow fungus.


But regardless of the potential for nasty microorganisms, experts don't think Lord Carnarvon's death was tomb-related. He died in the excavation's off-season, the time of year when it's too hot to dig in Egypt. He had been exposed to any potential bacteria, fungus or mold months before his illness.
Carter also maintained that the conditions of the tomb were more sanitary than most of 1920s Egypt -- that essentially, Lord Carnarvon was more likely to pick up a bacterial infection in modern Cairo, where he died, than in Tutankhamen's sequestered tomb. And even if a person were to catch an infection from a tomb, it would be nearly impossible to tell whether the agents that caused the infection were, in fact, ancient.
But regardless of the tomb's bacillary contents, any ancient grave undoubtedly lends itself to a good ghost story.
For more information on mummies, ghosts and other spooky topics, be sure to visit the next page.


What killed the king?

The fascination with King Tutankhamen's tomb, curse and treasure extends to his own death. What killed the ruler? A 1968 X-ray showed a hole in the mummy's cranium, leading to the popular assumption that Tutankhamen was murdered. However, modern CT scans revealed greater detail, allowing scholars to recreate his face and deflate the theory of murder by blunt force. Scientists now believe archaeologists caused the hole when they removed Tut's famous mask. The CT scan also revealed a broken leg -- probably not life threatening and potentially caused by embalmers. The otherwise healthy teenager could have been poisoned but, for now at least, Dr. Zahi Hawass, Egypt's chief archaeologist, has closed the case on the boy king. In 2010, scientists used DNA studies and CT scans to suggest that Tut, who was also inbred and sickly, died of malaria and a degenerative bone condition called avascular bone necrosis -- all potentially exacerbated by a leg fracture [source: Wilford].




http://history.howstuffworks.com/anc....htm/printable

Last edited by eternal_spirit; 06-07-2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Wow, this is interesting.
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Old 27-07-2010, 08:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by nielsen1994 View Post
Wow, this is interesting.
Goes to show that there is often a rational scientific explanation behind such things.
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Old 15-11-2011, 06:27 AM   #6
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There are sufficient grounds to assume that the “discovery” of the king Tut’s tomb was an elaborate hoax.
Howard Carter with his team found the tomb filled with treasures and not the empty one. Beginners luck ? I think not.
The obvious explanation is that they dug the tomb themselves and put the “ancient artifacts” inside. Don’t ask me where they got the mummy.
There is no shortage of them in Egypt. So they locked the tomb, artistically covered the entrance with sand and some stones, invited reporters and cameramen.
Once all the necessary preparations have been made, the discovery was not long to wait…

In the following years persons who participated in the expedition were killed as dangerous witnesses. So the myth of the curse originated.
Or perhaps the story of King Tutankhamun's Curse was invented to put the investigators “on the wrong track”. So no one ever discussed the posibility of a huge scientific fraud, but everyone heard about the curse.
It seems that the famous mask may be a fake.

Relics from Tutankhamun’s tomb are among the most traveled artifacts in the world



The tomb itself is located 2-3 meters below the ground. Not so deep for an authentic egyptian burial chamber.

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Old 15-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #7
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Can you tell us more about the mask being a possible fake?

I went to the link you have in your post, but there was no text, just a picture of the famous gold mask.

I saw a tv programme which had allegations that the famous head of Nefertiti is a fake - they said it may have been created in the 1920s.
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Old 15-11-2011, 07:51 AM   #8
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it's merely a speculation of mine,based on indirect evidence, but keeping in mind the possibility of Nefertiti bust being a fake i see absolutely no difficulty in Tut's mask being a fake too. The mask was first presented to the public in the year 1923, so may be the same artist was involved

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Old 15-11-2011, 10:55 AM   #9
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Intersting theory, wouldn't suprise me if much of the treasure is fake. And that people were bumped off (to keep the curse myth alive). Certainly a way of keeping superstitious types away from the area.

Last edited by eternal_spirit; 15-11-2011 at 10:56 AM.
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