Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Mummy of the Pharaoh of Moses

Al Ahram Weekly (Zahi Hawass)

I recently read on the Internet the story of Ramses II's mummy. We know that during the late 1970s the French president, Giscard d'Estaing, asked President Anwar El-Sadat if the mummy of Ramses II could be sent to Paris for conservation and preservation. Being that this mummy did not require any treatment, the real reason behind their request lay in their search for the Pharaoh of the biblical Exodus whom they believed to be Ramses II, also known as Ramses the Great, third ruler of the New Kingdom's 19th Dynasty. This ulterior motive, however, was never voiced to the authorities.

According to the holy books, the Pharaoh ruling in Moses's time drowned in the Red Sea during an epic chase after the parting of the waters. The French scientists were seeking evidence to prove the occurrence of this miraculous event.

The mummy of Ramses the Great was given a royal welcome at Le Bourget airport. Even the French president attended the glamorous ceremony. The mummy was then transferred to the French archaeological centre for examination.

One of the scientists responsible for the mummy's examination was a very dishonest man. He stole strands of Ramses II's hair and kept them for himself. Later on, his son attempted to sell the strands of hair on the Internet. With the help of our ambassador to France, Nasser Kamel, we were able to put an end to this and return the strands of hair to Cairo.

On the mummy's return to Cairo, reporters interviewed the French scientist about his findings. He stated that, inside the mummy, he had discovered a strange insect. The reporters laughed and called it a French insect. I seriously believe that sending the mummy of Ramses II to France was a big mistake.

See the above page for more.


Anonymous said...

Zahi Hawass strikes again...

Here's a detailed report (in french) of the mummy's examination:

Timothy Reid said...

HI Andie

The thought that the mummy of Ramses II in the Cairo museum is the mummy of the Pharaoh of the Exodus is almost certainly wrong. The story of the Exodus has never been proved to be anything other than a good story but whether it is true or not is not my point, my point being that as a fragile old man in poor health over 90 years of age he would have been in agony over the ride his frail badly decaying teeth chattering together his delicate bones breaking with each bump.

Chasing enemy or prey in a chariot is the sport of the young and vigorous people and not of the old, the mummy of Ramses II in the Cairo museum ended his Chariot days perhaps decades before he finally died. If the story of the Exodus is true and it occurred in this mummies reign than it was a representative of Pharaoh who drowned in the Red sea and highly unlikely the person who's mummy is labeled Rameses II in the Cairo museum.

Scrabcake said...

There's not a whole lot of evidence for Exodus at all. At this point, I feel it's a cultural memory that is almost certainly going to be impossible to prove, at least in the form of a miraculous bible story.

That being said, Zahi has his pants in a twist over this one! I think he might be insulted that some guy thought he'd found a bug in the mummy.

Anonymous said...

It is true there is no proof of the Exodus (with the exception or the Israel stele...possibly). At the same time, there is no proof the Exodus didn't happen. Using the "proof" argument is moot.

Also, there is nothing in the Bible about the Pharaoh drowning in the red sea.

That said, exploring Biblical mysteries from an archaeological standpoint is a waste of time. Most stories in the Bible would be nearly if not entirely impossible to find archaeological evidence for.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and Scrabcake - Dream Theater = \m/