Night at the Museum - MUMMIES of PHARAOHS

MUMMIES of PHARAOHS (Illustration) Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Archeological Wonders Biographies Famous People Geography Fiction Film

This image depicts the mummified head of an Egyptian Pharaoh known as Rameses V. Reigning during the 20th Dynasty, circa 1196-1070 B.C., Rameses died in his early 30s.  Scholars tell us that Rameses had smallpox since they can see evidence of smallpox scars on the mummy’s face, neck and chest.  Photo online via PBS, courtesy University of Chicago Library.


Of all the mummies in the world, the most famous are Egyptian pharaohs from the land of pyramids. (Follow the link to be a "Pyramid Builder.")

Say the word "archeology," and many people think "King Tut." Had that young pharaoh (and those who lived before and after him) been buried in a sand pit, however, their bodies would have undergone much less decay.

Even so, what remains is interesting to see.

Because grave robbers (who also stole artifacts from royal tombs) were such a problem, the mummies of pharaohs were buried in hidden places in the Valley of the Kings. Even those graves were often plundered, although the mummies were not desecrated.

If the final resting place of a pharaoh had been robbed, mummies would sometimes be moved to Western Thebes. Of the bodies hidden there, the most famous pharaohs were:

  • Ramesses I whose mummified remains (for a time) were believed to be "owned" by a museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Seti I, father of Ramesses II, who was a great pharaoh and warrior.

  • Ramesses II, also known as Ramses the Great, was unusual in many respects. He was about six-feet tall at a time when his countrymen were just over five feet. Ruling sixty-seven years (1279-1212 B.C.), he lived until he was nearly ninety (more than double the average life span of a then-healthy Egyptian).  He built a monument to himself (known, today, as Abu Simbel) on the west bank of the Nile.  Percy Bysshe Shelley * wrote a poem about him, called "Ozymandias" (at least ... some scholars believe that a bust of the youthful Ramesses was Shelley's inspiration).

  • Tuthmosis III who was unwrapped, in 1882, by Emile Brugsch.

  • Sadly, there are no known records about a Pharaoh named Ahkmenrah (or Merenkahre).

Although not the most important pharaoh, King Tut is the most famous. The treasures in his tomb, still completely intact when they were rediscovered in 1922, have been exhibited in many places outside Egypt. Today, Tut’s mummy resides at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Let’s take a look.


Percy Shelley was married to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley, the inventor of a thinking monster who comes alive in her still-popular book Frankenstein (a tale about "The Modern Prometheus").  Film adaptations of the story - which portray the monster as a lumbering, illiterate, moronic giant who kills for the sake of killing - do not completely follow the source material.  Shelley's monster is an intelligent (albeit unaccepted) creature who turns to violence when he realizes he is living in a world to which he will never belong.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"MUMMIES of PHARAOHS" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2009. Jan 18, 2020.
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