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Royal Mummies in Cairo are Moving
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2019 9:30 pm    Post subject: Royal Mummies in Cairo are Moving Reply with quote

Various media report on a parade of a special kind, announced in Cairo for the 15th of June. On a solemn procession, the Royal Mummies from the Egyptian Museum on Tahrir are to be transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo.

Critics of the move to the NMEC say, that this museum seems to be little appropriate, because of its low attractiveness - not least due to its location in the district Al Fustat.

" Royal mummies to be transfered from Egyptian Museum to NMEC on June.15 " (Egypt Today - Angy Essam, 11.05.2019)

" Royal Mummies to be Transferred to NMEC from Egyptian Museum " (Egyptian Streets, 12.05.2019)

" Investigating the Mummies " (Al-Ahram Weekly Issue 1443 - Nevine El-Aref, 16.-22.05.2019)
Quote:
The Egyptian royal mummies project has resumed in the search to find out more about their lives, deaths and lineage ...

... Hawass said that the second phase of the Egyptian mummies project had now resumed in order to study the rest of the royal mummies, among them those on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that will be transported to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in Fustat.

“We resumed the work with a study to identify two headless mummies found inside Tomb KV21 in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor. Samples of Tutankhamun’s foetuses were also taken for analysis,” Hawass said.

He said that preliminary studies had shown that there was a relationship between one of the headless mummies and the foetuses, indicating that it could belong to Tutankhamun’s wife queen Ankhesenamun.

“Until now we are not sure of the results,” Hawass said, adding that “we have to wait until more studies have been carried out in order to be 100 per cent sure. I think the studies will reveal that one of these mummies belongs to Ankhesenamun and the second to her mother, queen Nefertiti. The ancient Egyptians usually buried the daughter beside the mother, like the mummy of queen Tiye and her daughter, the mummy of the younger lady,” Hawass told the Weekly.

He said he had tried to find the mummy of queen Nefertiti’s sister, Mut Nedjment, in order to compare it with the headless mummy, but regretfully he could not find the remains previously located by Egyptologist Jeffrey Martin inside the tomb of her husband Horemhab in Saqqara.

Hawass said that further studies of Tutankhamun’s mummy would reveal the cause of his death. Analysis by a machine to be brought to Egypt in September would allow scientists to reveal the exact cause of the death of Tutankhamun, he said.


Greetings, Lutz.
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imnhtp
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The desecration of royal mummies in the ancient world was a very terrible thing. Its also a very terrible thing to do in these days under the pretext of "science".
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One person's "desecration" is another's "causing their names to live." So long as proper decorum is observed (which has not always been the case in the past, but seems to be more adhered to in the present), it's fine.
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2019 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not think that remembrance of names is a prime driver at all but rather indifference. Did Tutankhamun need his body treated the way it has been in order to have his name remembered? I think not. If there has been any remembrance of names then I think this has been an unintended side effect which has to put in the balance opposite the harm done to the unwrapped body which is treated with such disrespect.

p.s. My previous user name was Iker but its been so long since I posted that I had forgotten log in details and had to create this account.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From an ancient Egyptian's point of view, Tutankhamen's rediscovery elevated him from an-almost-thoroughly-forgotten minor ruler into probably the most-talked-about Egyptian ruler ever-- insuring his immortality and postlife security. Ramses II's corpse was given a guard of honor when it was flown to Paris and treated with much of the same pomp as a living dignitary. From this perspective, they are having a wildly successful afterlife.

From a strictly scientific perspective, we are talking about the preserved decayed, dessicated organic remains dating back centuries, from which we can learn much. They aren't being discarded, set on fire, being ground up to make "mummy powder" or unwrapped as popular entertainment; they are stored in controlled conditions and treated as the corpus (pun there) of valuable information that they are.

So I think there's very little grounds to call any of it "desecration" from either an Ancient Egyptian perspective or a scientific one. The only way it could be considered desecration would be to apply an irrelevant and alien set of ethics that neither the Egyptians or the scientists would recognize.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue is the treatment of King Tutankhamuns body. It should never have been permitted and as best I know anyone who tried to do that in Ancient Egypt was inviting impailment. Your claim that this is projecting an alien set of ethics where it doesn't belong doesn't seem true, indeed it is you who appears to be doing this and not me. Respect for the tomb, the sahu and everything associated was central to royal burials and it seems utterly inconceivable that stripping of the mummy, exposure of the naked body to the world, the dismemberment of the body would have been regarded as anything other than evil and linked to attacks by Seth in ancient texts.

I wonder how many of those who try and justify such practices would like to see their Mother or Father manhandled as a spectacle for the world?

These are not just organic remains but sacred bodies of Kings and that is why they were treated with the greatest reverance and respect. They went to great lengths to protect the tomb from violation. The desecration of royal mummies should be shameful to those who practice and defend it.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least we know better now.

I think the treatment of Tutankhamun, while bad, was a product of him having been sealed in his coffins for 3,300 years. This was not the case with the other royal mummies who were not hermetically sealed up with a load of resin and unguents. Today, either he would not have been unwrapped, or techniques would have been found to do this without hacking him to pieces. It's also a little unfair to criticize what people did in the past as "It's another country". They were more concerned with the items with the mummy, and how was Carter ever going to remove the mask without cutting his head off. Of course it's bad, but whatever else would they, or anybody in those days, have done.

In condemning the treatment of any mummy, royal or not, we should consider how the ancient Egyptians treated their own dead when they robbed them. We put them on show, they hacked them to bits or burnt them, which is worse. Tutankhamun is in pieces sure, but at least he is still in one of him own coffins in his own tomb.

Most of the royal mummies in Cairo have come from the caches, deposited there after suffering state sponsored robbery, and lacking any meaningful magical protection. I wonder, are they in any worse a predicament now than when the deposits were made. If the caches had never been made, and the tombs continued to be robbed, by Egyptians themselves, I doubt even their mummies would have survived. As it is, they are now protected and their names are known, and in the case of Queen Tiye, her mummy, thanks to modern science, has a name again after not having one for over 3,000 years.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

However, if, for instance, Ramesses XI were found in a tomb that had never been disturbed since his burial, would he be left unwrapped?

Mummies these days are generally left unwrapped as they can be scanned, but a pharaoh would have so much gold on his body and within the wrappings that scanning would not be an option. I doubt he would be left unwrapped.

Putting aside theories as to whether the Younger Lady, or any other mummy in storage, is Nefertiti, what would happen if she were found in an undisturbed tomb. I think even if she were found just wrapped and without all the gold that Tutankhamun had, something more likely than not I think, the pressure to unwrap her just to look at her face would be immense, and probably from the entire world.
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ikon “It's also a little unfair to criticize what people did in the past as "It's another country".
This seems to be variant of the misleading claim made above i.e. that I am projecting 21st values back in time – in this instance back to the early 20th century (rather than to Ancient Egypt in the case of the other respondent). I have already dealt with the former but my answer to you is quite similar: the treatment of mummies was controversial in the period you reference as well and it is you who seem to be projecting 21st contemporary secular values into the past. This was published just two years before the discovery of King Tutankhamun:

“it is impossible not to think that the royal mummies in Cairo have been treated with careless disrespect by the Service of Antiquities. After Maspero unrolled
them, every portion of their bodies was stripped bare by the medical experts …..After much delay, and then only as the result of the pressure of enlightened European public opinion in Cairo, large, cheap, light deal cases were provided for them, and they were exhibited in the Museum ; these cases were glazed with the commonest glass that could be bought in the bazaar…nothing was done to protect the royal mummies, .... Everyone hoped that the scandal would be removed when the Collection was housed in the new Museum in Cairo, but such was not the case,…

..I inspected them carefully in 1913, and found that they were much less complete than they were when at Bulak, and that they had suffered much at the hands of those who had examined them "medical and scientifically,"….

Sir William Garstin did the right thing when he insisted that the mummy of Amenhetep II {sic} should be replaced in his sarcophagus in his tomb at Thebes, and there seems to be no good reason why the mummies of all the great Pharaohs of the XVIIIth and XlXth dynasties should not be replaced, if not in their sarcophagi, at least in suitable chambers of their tombs at Thebes
.” (By Nile and Tigris, E. A. W, Budge)

Ikon "They were more concerned with the items with the mummy, and how was Carter ever going to remove the mask without cutting his head off. Of course it's bad, but whatever else would they, or anybody in those days, have done”.
Pierre Lacua should have forbidden the unwrapping of the mummy as was done in the case of King Amenhotep (see above).

Ikon "In condemning the treatment of any mummy, royal or not, we should consider how the ancient Egyptians treated their own dead when they robbed them”.
Why? That there were some bad Ancient Egyptians justifies modern desecrators? Two wrongs, as the saying goes, do not make a right.

Ikon “We put them on show, they hacked them to bits or burnt them, which is worse”.
Those who did evil to the noble mummies in ancient times believed they were destroying more than “organic material”. As others have speculated they hoped to destroy the power of the Akh in the West such that retribution would not happen in this world even if not the next.

Ikon "Tutankhamun is in pieces sure, but at least he is still in one of him own coffins in his own tomb”.
The way King has been treated and left lying is shameful.

Ikon “Most of the royal mummies in Cairo have come from the caches, deposited there after suffering state sponsored robbery,”
The mummies were rewrapped and placed in a place which remained secure for almost 3,000 years. I have wondered at times if the robbery of royal tombs, (which precipitated the state acting as it did to protect the mummies), coupled with the seeming assassination of Rameses III (the so called “last great Pharoah”), and the overt worship of Seth (but not through the unity of the King) in this era signalled the beginning of the long drawn out decline of the last millennium through a cause and effect relationship.


Ikon “I wonder, are they in any worse a predicament now than when the deposits were made. If the caches had never been made, and the tombs continued to be robbed, by Egyptians themselves, I doubt even their mummies would have survived.”
So having the Royal families of Ancient Egypt stripped naked, poked and cut for “scientific” research and displayed like a circus attraction is ok because crooks, barbarians and thieves are to be our reference standards?

The point you raise about magical protection is irrelevant to what is the issue i.e. piety, reverance and respect towards the dead which even avowed atheists who have no spiritual beliefs have trouble suppressing e.g. Lenin's shrine in Moscow. What is observed as "holy" and "sacred" in Ancient Egypt (ḏsr and related words) long predates the religions of the book.


Ikon “As it is, they are now protected and their names are known, and in the case of Queen Tiye, her mummy, thanks to modern science, has a name again after not having one for over 3,000 years”.
Queen Tiye had a name before the scientists came along.


I would like to see every royal mummy carefully wrapped and suitably housed in a place that was sacred and holy in Ancient Egypt and the Valley of the Kings seems the most obvious place.
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imnhtp wrote:
The mummies were rewrapped and placed in a place which remained secure for almost 3,000 years.


So, how do you explain the condition of KV35 when Loret opened it, and perhaps you can explain the exploits of the Rasoul family in connection with TT320. Just how "secure" were these places.

I'm not dealing with the rest of your post as you seem to have "issues" of varying kinds.
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didnt come back here for your benefit. The Christians called them people of the lie and when the ferryman is rejected ...
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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2019 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

imnhtp wrote:
I didnt come back here for your benefit. The Christians called them people of the lie and when the ferryman is rejected ...


And the royal mummies are not going to be treated according to your particular wishes or beliefs.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imnhtp wrote:
... The mummies were rewrapped and placed in a place which remained secure for almost 3,000 years. I have wondered at times if the robbery of royal tombs, (which precipitated the state acting as it did to protect the mummies), coupled with the seeming assassination of Rameses III (the so called “last great Pharoah”), and the overt worship of Seth (but not through the unity of the King) in this era signalled the beginning of the long drawn out decline of the last millennium through a cause and effect relationship. ...

Idea
The earliest evidence of tomb robbery in the Valley of the Kings we know dates back to the time of King Haremhab`s government (hieratic ink inscriptions in KV 43 - Thutmose IV).

Seth is beside Horus one of the oldest known and continually worshiped gods of Egypt, throughout the country. The pharaoh was considered the living embodiment of both gods, Horus & Seth (see the titles of the royal consorts, which has been documented since the early dynastic era).

imnhtp wrote:
... I would like to see every royal mummy carefully wrapped and suitably housed in a place that was sacred and holy in Ancient Egypt and the Valley of the Kings seems the most obvious place.

With which they probably were lost forever, and for anyone, at least since the unrest during the power changes Mubarak - Mursi - Sisi ...

I visited the rooms with the royal mummies in the Museum in Cairo several times. They are / were anything but tasteless or a disregard to the deceased kings.
It is probably arguable if it was really necessary to move Tutankhamun`s body from the coffin in KV 62 into a glass box. Ultimately, that was probably mainly a commercial decision (tourism). However, so he ultimately fulfills one of his otherworldly duties: to care for his living people in Egypt, even materially ...
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

imnhtp wrote:
The point you raise about magical protection is irrelevant to what is the issue i.e. piety, reverance and respect towards the dead which even avowed atheists who have no spiritual beliefs have trouble suppressing e.g. Lenin's shrine in Moscow. What is observed as "holy" and "sacred" in Ancient Egypt (ḏsr and related words) long predates the religions of the book


You seem to be putting yourself forward as the only person who cares about ancient Egypt and it's people, the rest of us being just heartless barbarians interested in nothing more than "wonderful things" and dissecting their bodies. You are wrong in that assumption.

So you say that magical protection is irrelevant, really? do you think an ancient Egyptian would agree with you on this? I doubt it.
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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz “The earliest evidence of tomb robbery in the Valley of the Kings we know dates back to the time of King Haremhab`s government (hieratic ink inscriptions in KV 43 Thutmose IV)”.
What is that to do with what I wrote? Are you suggesting that what happened then should rule out using the Valley of the Kings now?

Lutz “Seth is beside Horus one of the oldest known and continually worshiped gods of Egypt, throughout the country. The pharaoh was considered the living embodiment of both gods, Horus & Seth (see the titles of the royal consorts, which has been documented since the early dynastic era)”
What is that to do with what I wrote? Please read carefully every word again.

Lutz “With which they probably were lost forever, and for anyone, at least since the unrest during the power changes Mubarak - Mursi - Sisi ....”
The mummies have already been despoiled of all that that is valuable to a thief. Cairo museum was robbed in 2011 so I am not sure the point you are making.

Ikon “So you say that magical protection is irrelevant, really? do you think an ancient Egyptian would agree with you on this? I doubt it.”
Read again what I wrote. The three of you appear to misconstrue what I say and ignore anything anything of substance. Is this in part why this once vibrant and lively forum is now a ghost town?

We seem anyway to have cleared up conclusively, judging by your silence, i.e. that I was not projecting alien modern ethics into Ancient Egypt nor the early 20th century and indeed it is you who are doing it. That the sacred bodies of the Kings of Egypt can be described as merely “organic remains” says a lot about you.

The beautiful Maat shines ever brighter in the dark. Here is an excoriating letter which was sent to EAWB (by Nile and Tigris) by a person who maybe didn't know too much about Ancient Egypt but knew right from wrong and untouched by necrophilic like obsessions.

EAWB drew a distinction between royal and non royal mummies with the latter better housed in a museum being the lesser evil

“My endeavour to make the British Museum collection
of mummies as representative and as complete
as possible has brought upon me much criticism, and
I have been called "sacrilegious," "inhuman," "brutal,"
"wicked" and "diabolical "; and the epithets "ghoul,"
and "body snatcher" have been frequently applied
to me by those who do not know the fate which has
always befallen mummies in Egypt.

One gentleman writes to me saying, "The Egyptians took infinite
pains to hide the bodies of their beloved dead, and to
preserve them intact to await the resurrection, and
you go and break open and rifle their tombs, and drag
out their poor bodies, and bring them to England to
become gazing-stocks for irreverent crowds in the British
Museum. When you don't do that you do worse, for
you strip the dead of their wrappings, and steal from
them everything which you think worth stealing, and
then you leave them naked, and they, the brutal natives,
who are not much more brutal than yourself, either
burn them or toss them out into the desert for the wolves
and jackals to mangle. A fig for the science of Egyptology
if it makes its votaries ill-treat and destroy the
dead, even though they be only African pagans."

Another critic, an ecclesiastic, wrote to me very angrily
and told me that by exhibiting even partially unrolled
mummies I showed great disrespect for the dead and
that by placing the naked body of the neolithic Egyptian
on a board in a case in the First Egyptian Room,
where it would be stared at by a gaping mob, I had prepared
an exhibition which was at once indecent and
disgusting, and degrading alike to the living and the
dead. Naturally, it would be most unseemly for me to
discuss the attacks of such critics (which should have
been directed against the Trustees of the British Museum,
and not against one of their servants), but it may be
useful to describe briefly what the fate of mummies
in Egypt has been during the last sixty centuries, and
to show that they do not remain in their tombs and
graves safe and untouched, save when the " meddling
archaeologist or agent of some museum drags them from
their resting-places, and turns them into merchandise.”
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