The Mummy's Curse Illustration

Ancient Egypt for Kids
The Mummy's Curse

Was there a curse on King Tut's tomb?

When the tomb was first discovered, there were reports of a message written in ancient hieroglyphics on the outside of the tomb. Translated, the message said, "Death Shall Come on Swift Wings to Him Who Disturbs the Peace of the King." This gave rise to great speculation in the newspapers and magazines of the time that there was a curse on King Tut's tomb.

A few months after the tomb was open, a British Lord began ill from a mosquito bite. He was there when they opened the tomb. A few months later, he died. Rumor said a mark similar to the mosquito bit was found in the exact same position on King Tut's cheek. You can imagine the media frenzy!

The ancient Egyptians believed that if their mummy was stolen or destroyed, their spirit would not be able to return to their mummified body at night, and they would disappear forever, no longer able to dwell in their Afterlife. Adding a curse or two to scare robbers into leaving their mummy alone was probably a common practice.

Howard Carter, the man who discovered King Tut's tomb, lived to be 65. He died of natural causes. He never believed in a curse.

But how to explain the deaths? Illness and death have been linked to the opening of ancient tombs. Archaeologists have discovered that there are poisonous plant molds in the tombs in many ancient tombs.

Today, archaeologists wear masks when exploring tombs, to protect themselves from these dangerous plant molds.

Just the same, Hollywood continues to have a great deal of fun with "the mummy's curse!"

King Tut and the Mummy's Curse

Interactive Quiz about Ancient Egypt (with answers)