RETURNING TO EGYPT
Copyright 2002 Associated Press Information Services
[ July 10th 2002 ]
a mummy looted from his tomb 150 years ago is
that of Ramsses I, founder of a famed Egyptian
dynasty, Emory University officials have agreed
to return the long-lost pharaoh. "If George Washington's
body were found abroad, we would certainly hope
that it would be sent back to the United States,"
Peter Lacovara, curator of ancient art at Emory's
Michael C. Carlos Museum, said Tuesday.
of the 3,000-year-old mummy will not interfere
with the museum's long-standing plans to exhibit
the ancient corpse next May through April 2004
Lacovara said. "It is exciting to be collaborating
more closely with our colleagues in Egypt and
to be moving closer to the moment when we return
the mummy to the people of Egypt," Lacovara said,
"and to have an opportunity to share an exhibition
with visitors before its departure."
corpse - its arms crossed right over left, with
the left hand appearing to grasp an object, possibly
a scepter - is the centerpiece of a large Egyptian
collection the museum purchased in 1999 from the
Niagara Falls Museum in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario
museum likely received the mummy from a Canadian
doctor who had the artifacts smuggled out of Egypt
in the early 1860s, about the time tomb raiders
discovered a cache of royal mummies at Deir el-Bahri
near the Valley of the Kings. It was from that
cache that the remains of Ramsses I disappeared.
dating also puts the body in the era of Ramsses
I, who rose to the throne in 1293 B.C. and ruled
for two years. His grandson, Ramsses II, was a
builder and warrior believed to be the pharaoh
of the Bible's Exodus story. Egyptian officials
say they are satisfied the evidence establishes
its royal heritage, including the location of
the raided tomb, the style in which the mummy
was wrapped and embalmed and its facial features.
A specialist from Cairo's American University
examined the mummy earlier this year.