Nicholson Museum: The Curse of Tutankhamun

Nicholson Museum Invitation
Sunday, 6 September 2009

2 pm, Nicholson Museum, Quadrangle, University of Sydney

Pamela Chauvel
The Curse of Tutankhamun
‘Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King’

Bookings are essential, call 02 9351 2812 or
email m dot turner at usyd dot edu dot au

From the moment Howard Carter broke the seals of Tutankhamun’s tomb in November 1922, the world has been fascinated by this once all but forgotten young king and the wonderful treasures buried with him. The death of Carter’s backer, Lord Carnarvon, a few months after the opening of the tomb, sent the press into a frenzy of rumours about a curse. Was there any basis for these rumours? Is there any truth in the idea of a
mummy’s curse? This talk will examine the circumstances surrounding Lord Carnarvon’s death, the part played by Egyptomania and Gothic fiction in the public’s imagination, and whether there is any historical evidence for curses in Ancient Egyptian tombs.

Pamela Chauvel is a senior education officer with Sydney University Museums. She has a particular interest in the truth of historical excavations compared with popular perceptions, and it is this that forms the basis of her fascination with Tutankhamun and the mummy’s curse.

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