King Tut’s long, long afterlife

Morgan Meis in The Easel:

Fascination with the ancient Egyptians seems nigh inexhaustible. And why wouldn’t it be? There are all those pyramids, so pleasingly geometric against the stark and sandy landscape. In the pyramids, in those giant tombs, massive hoards of treasure. And at the very center of those hoards of gold and bejeweled items, mummies. How can one not be fascinated by mummies? They are corpses and corpses are tantalizing. But not just any corpses, corpses of kings and queens. Death, but death preserved for centuries and eons, for eternity.

Eternity in ancient Egypt usually meant, in reality, that these kings and queens were preserved just long enough for tomb raiders to plunder their tombs and sometimes make off with their corpses. Those mummies not lost to thievery mostly ended up in the glass cases of museums and historical displays. History has been and ever will be the playing field for irony.

More here.