Sunday, November 4, 2007

Its Mummy Time!

The curse of Egypt's King Tut holds that any disturbance of his tomb would bring upon disasters and death for those so bold. Lord Carnarvon famously keeled over not long after attending the first opening of the tomb. Golden mask and curse are set aside for the world's curious to view the darkened skeleton remains up close and personal for the first time in history. The handlers did it without once actually touching the actual mummified remains. It's kind of ghoulish and creepy, but when did that ever stop people from creating a traffic jam to get to the coolest dead person's opening night performance in an antechamber of a Pharaoh's tomb?

The ubiquitous Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, did the honors. Tourism is expected to rise in the Valley of the King's by putting the emaciated body on display in a glass case. Tut is causing a ruckus as autopsies are under review to ascertain death by accident or another's hands. Jury's still out. King Tut's face is visible in a modern short sheeted manner as burlap covers the rest of the body with his feet sticking out.

A British archaeologist discovered Tut on 4 November, 1922 just down the entry way's stairs. It took until 1925 to remove Tut from his 3400 year old palatial Pyramid digs, but then ham handed archaeologists butcher the mummy by cutting Tut in half, then sectioning him into 18 different sections. They needed the head to retrieve the exquisite golden funeral mask. No wonder there's a Curse. Those 225,000 ticket holders, so far, brave enough in London, cough, can see the opening of the exhibit, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs on 15 November, 2007. The American tour exhibit recently ended at Philadelphia's, Franklin Institute.

Before mummification, the King is a cool looking kid. The after is deeply disturbing and was perfectly good behind the beautiful golden sarcophagus. that'll reduce the appetite, but there are other artifacts to enjoy in the exhibit and in Luxor, Egypt.

More about the short life and complex times of King Tut are available in the gorgeously illustrated book of the same name as the touring international exhibit from the media savvy, Dr. Zahi Hawass.

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