THE CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS by Philipp Vandenberg


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Overlook the schlock title and bizarre theme--did the curse of King Tutankhamen account for the deaths of well over twenty archeologists and their associates who either opened the great tomb in 1922 or dealt with the artifacts and mummy? Vandenberg delivers some suggestive detail that reinforces his case that something happened to the scientists as a direct result of their tomb tampering. The curse: DEATH WILL SLAY WITH HIS WINGS WHOEVER DISTURBS THE PEACE OF THE PHARAOH. This was found on a tablet in the tomb, which the scientists hid from the native diggers--superstitious beggars!--and subsequently lost. Another curse much like the first was also found and is still around. That an utterly unaccountable number of the scientists died is quite true. And several died inexplicable deaths--the autopsies revealing bubonic plague, sudden and quickly terminal cancers, and abrupt heart failures. That one man, Howard Carter, a co-leader who worked intimately with the mummy, survived his colleagues is, Vandenberg opines, the exception that proves the rule. (He did become very ill.) The author is at his best on Egyptian medicine and medical practices; the houses of the dead and modes of embalming; and on certain still mysterious qualities of the pyramidal shape and its relationship to cosmic rays, radiation and magnetism. The great Khufu pyramid is aligned to the compass points with greater than hairbreadth precision--and the ancient Egyptians supposedly had no compasses. Unsettling--more triangles?

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1975
Publisher: Lippincott