In a parade fit for the royals, 22 royal Egyptian mummies emerged from their resting place last weekend to be relocated to a new high-tech facility, CNN reported.
Many Egyptians tuned in to "The Pharaoh's Golden Parade," the event organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. But as a health precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials urged people to stay off the streets which is why residents witnessed the event by watching their television.
Egyptian authorities shut down the roads along the Nile for the royal parade that is aimed to showcase the north African country's rich collection of antiquities to boost tourism that has stopped because of the pandemic.
Myth on the "Curse of the Pharaohs" Not True
The Golden Parade transported 22 royal Egyptian mummies wherein 18 of them are kings and four were queens, from the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo's Tahrir Square to the high-tech facility of the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Fustat.
But this has ignited concerns, particularly in social media, that disturbing the tombs of the royals might have caused the recent incidents that happened in the country.
These incidents are the giant ship that blocked the Suez Canal for a week that was only freed on Monday, the train crash that killed dozens late last month, and the collapsed building in Cairo.
Even before British archaeologist Howard Carter opened Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922, there was a warning written on his tomb that read: "Death will come on quick wings for those who disturb the king's peace."
Soon after opening the tomb, his team succumbed to freak accidents and death that fueled the myth of the curse. But experts today said that the cause of their deaths is likely due to the dust and germs sealed in caverns.
Egyptian archaeologists Zahi Hawass dismissed the myth saying that the recent events are not caused by the planned relocation of the royal mummies. The myth could serve as a good element for movies, TV shows, or newspapers but there is no truth behind it.
"There's no curse at all," Hawass said.
Process of Mummification in Ancient Egypt
The mummification process in ancient Egypt would take several days administered by special priests that are knowledgeable in the human anatomy that would perform rituals and prayers during the process.
Here is the step-by-step mummification process in ancient Egypt according to Smithsonian Magazine:
- The process starts by removing all internal organs, such as the brain, organs of the abdomen, and chest but leaving the heart as it was believed to be the center of the person's being and intelligence. The lungs, liver, and intestines were all preserved in jars and will be buried together with the mummies.
- Then moisture is removed from the body by covering it with natron, a salt with great drying properties, and placing packets inside the body.
- The nation is washed off once the body is completely dry, producing a dried-out but recognizable human form.
- Then they would add linen and other materials and false eyes to make the mummy seem more life-like and the sunken areas of the body filled out.
- The wrapping then begins which typically needs hundred of yards of linen. The priest would carefully wrap the linen around the body, and sometimes even wrapping each finger and toe separately. They also add amulets to protect the dead from mishaps. The priest would also often add a mask in between the layers of head bandages. Then the last or final cloth is put in place with linen strips.
Experts said that the drying and embalming part of the mummification process is the key to preservation, which is at the heart of Egyptian culture.