Exploitation or Science?

November 4, 2007 Kristance Harlow

Scientists have unveiled King Tut’s mummified face. Currently, he is one of the few mummies remaining in the tombs, while the other corpses are on display in museums.

“The move is part of a plan to protect the remains. Archaeologists say they are under threat from the heat and the humidity brought into the tomb by the vast numbers of tourists visiting each year.”

But is it really the answer? How can we reconcile the tourist industry while respecting this powerful culture? To harm a pharaoh, even after death, was to harm the pharaoh’s existence in the afterlife. Putting Egyptian mummified corpses into museums is not necessary to build interest in Egyptian studies.

The British explorer who discovered King Tut’s tomb desecrated the body when plundering the goods for personal gain.

“In an effort to extricate the treasures, Carter and his team cut the body into pieces, chopping off the limbs and head, and using hot knives and wires to remove the gold mask which was fused to Tutankhamun’s face by the embalming process.”

King Tut had to be ‘reconstructed’ from the remains of his cut-apart body. Now, because of further modern intervention, the mummy will have to be re-preserved. King Tut, though, is one of the lucky ones, he remains in his final resting place.

So, is it science or exploitation?

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1 Comment

  1. René O'Deay on December 17, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    Exploitation, what else? esp since Hawass was appointed Supreme Head.

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