This year’s the 100th anniversary of Englishman Howard Carter discovering King Tutankhamun’s Tomb. Many horror films have been based on the cursed consequences of Carter’s actions. Here’s a list showing why mummies have good reason to be angry about how they’ve been treated in recent centuries …
- For thousands of years, Egyptian grave robbers have ransacked tombs looking for loot – some of them set mummies on fire to light up the tombs as they were robbing them!
- Things got worse fo the mummies in the Middle Ages, when Europeans discovered that Egyptian mummies existed. The trade began as people believes these wrapped up corpses were the key to eternal life.
- A popular social event in Europe in the 1800s was “mummy unwrapping” – where rich Europeans would buy a mummy from a trader, invite friends over and have a party! Sometimes this would involve a dinner party where guests would feast while the mummy was being unwrapped in front of them.
- Also in the 1800s, ancient mummy wrappings would be shipped to the US paper mills to be made into brown wrapping paper.
- Some of the uses for mummies included: Ground-up wrappings into power to treat an upset tummy and the resin from boiled up mummies was used to treat bruises.
- Europeans weren’t the only ones to use mummies for other purposes – local Egyptians might chop them up for fire wood or thatched their rooves with the wrapped up dead.
- Egyptians thought the supply of mummies was endless, so some were ground up and used for fertiliser!
- Mummies became big business in Egypt, so factories were set up to create new ones, including the bodies of beggars, thieves and dead criminals. Their bodies were covered in pitched, dried out in the sun and then ground up for mummy powder!
If you want to see some of the mummies which survived being ground up, snuffed up or burned, check out the British Museum.