King Tutankhamen was born in 1341 BC. Tutankhamen is referred today as the Boy King or King Tut to many people around the world. King Tut’s tomb was essentially broken into long before it was discovered more than three thousand years later. “On November 4, 1922, workmen exposed the top step of a staircase which archaeologist Howard Carter followed to stumble on eleven stairs and a sealed door. ” (the discovery). The mummy’s curse or the curse of King Tut is one of the most well known and one of most famous curses known around the world.

The curse pretty much states that by opening the tomb of King Tut you were doomed to die. “This popular legend was born when Lord Carnarvon, the English Earl who funded the Tutankhamen expedition, died less than six months after the opening of the tomb” (the discovery). There are many different theories to why people would die after opening the tomb. One theory given by an article from National Geographic news is that ancient toxins were the causes of the death of the people that were excavating the ancient tomb.

Another theory of the curse is that newspapers that were covering news of the exhibition started the curse as a way of selling their product. In the case of the theory that exists because of the newspapers I think this is a very plausible theory. Even in today’s society tabloids are constantly over exaggerating stories to make their sales increase. But I think that even more believable then the newspaper made the whole thing up is the theory about the ancient toxins. Recent laboratory studies have revealed that some ancient mummies do indeed carry mold, including at least two potentially dangerous species—Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. These molds can cause allergic reactions ranging from congestion to bleeding in the lungs” (Handwerk, 2005). This type of mold can be deadly when someone has a weakened immune system. If for any reason Lord Carnarvon was experiencing a weakened immune system and he had been exposed to mold, this could easily explain why he would have died shortly after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

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Another explanation to why Lord Carnarvon died is “Bats inhabit many excavated tombs, and their droppings carry a fungus that can cause the influenza-like respiratory disease, histoplasmosis” (Handwerk, 2005). I think diseases that could have been encountered when the tomb was discovered and ultimately killed people is the most plausible explanation for why the curse was so easily turned into something scary and taken advantage of by the newspapers. I found the mummies curse an interesting topic to discuss. I think this curse has become well known because of the fear of the unknown.

People didn’t know what to think of when they found out that Lord Carnarvon died six months after the discovery of the Boy King’s tomb, and out of fear of course, they thought the worse by creating the curse themselves.


Handwerk, B. (2005, May 6). Egypt’s “King Tut Curse” Caused by Tomb Toxins? Retrieved July 23, 2011, from National Geographic News: http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2005/05/0506_050506_mummycurse. html the discovery. (n. d. ). Retrieved July 23, 2011, from Tutankahmun and the golden age of the pharaohs: http://kingtutmelbourne. com. au/discovery. html


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