With the coffins of a notable ancient Egyptian Sennedjem and one of his wives being opened in an Egypt museum, fears of a ancient pharaoh’s curse effecting the population has risen in the nation. The Sennedjem was a senior official of the New Kingdom of Egypt and served as the overseer of the workers at the Deir al-Medina necropolis.
The two ancient sarcophagi were unpacked last Saturday in the presence of Egyptian Minister of Antiquities Khaled al-Anany and the media at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo. They date back to the period of Seti I and Ramsesses II of the 19th Dynasty, some 3,400 years ago.
Sennedjem was known as a “Servant in the Place of Truth” and oversaw other workers building the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb was discovered back in 1886, where he was found buried with his wife Iyneferti and more than 20 other relatives along with furniture like his bed and a stool.
He resided in ancient village of Deir el-Medina, which was home to the craftsmen who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the 18th to 20th dynasties of the New Kingdom of Egypt between 1550 and 1080 BC.
The items were previously displayed at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square in Egypt. Skilled restorers will work on the mummies to preserve it for displaying in a new exhibition hall, which opens in December. The mummies will also be sterilised and fumigated in a special restoration lab for more than 20 days to remove any insects and organisms that may reside in them. The mummies were found to be perfectly preserved and the mummification process is similar to that of the royal kings.
The new museum will have collection of 50,000 artefacts illustrating the life in ancient Egypt and the mummies’ hall will include a total of 17 royal Egyptian mummies.
But many believe that the curse of the Pharaohs, supposedly unleashed on anyone who disturbs an ancient Egyptian mummy or opens a coffin, will be triggered by this action. The curse which originates from the original process of mummification, is believed to bring bad luck, illness or even death to those involved. It is often said to be the reason behind the death of all involved in the opening of the tomb of king Tutankhamun.
Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened on November 29, 1922 and it was followed by the deaths of a number of individuals involved with its discovery and excavation. These included the deaths of Lord Carnarvon, the financial backer of the expedition and Howard Carter who opened the tomb.