Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Today's Trivia - A Mummy With A Passport

Ramesses II was the third Egyptian of the Nineteenth dynasty, and one of the most powerful and influential. He is also known as Ramses the Great for his contributions to Egypt, including numerous campaigns to return previously held territories back from Nubian and Hittite hands and to secure Egypt's borders, as well as his construction projects, such as cities, temples and tombs. He ruled for 66 years (1279 BC – 1213 BC), and lived to the ripe old age of 90, which was incredible considering most people only lived a few short decades at the time. Since the ancient Egyptians believed that the bodies of the dead had to be preserved for the next life, especially those of powerful Pharaohs, Ramesses II was mummified when he died. His mummy is in Cairo's Egyptian Museum.


In 1974 Egyptologists visiting his tomb noticed that the mummy's condition was rapidly deteriorating and flew it to Paris for examination. Ramesses II was issued an Egyptian passport that listed his occupation as "King (deceased)". The mummy was received at Le Bourget airport, just outside Paris, with the full military honours befitting a king.

I wonder if he had to take a number at the passport office...

6 comments:

  1. I hope not -- he would have aged even further!

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    1. I think we all age when we have to wait at a government office ;)

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  2. Another great story! Since he had a passport like a live person, I wonder if he traveled in the airplane cabin or in the baggage hold? Better have been the former -- and in first class, dammit!

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    1. I bet he got the royal treatment -- despite being dead!

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  3. Love this ancient history with a modern twist! Great story Martha.

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    1. I love stories like these. It makes learning about history that much more interesting.

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