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article imageEgyptian statue moves on its own, 'curse of pharaohs' scare (Vid)

By JohnThomas Didymus     Jun 24, 2013 in Odd News
Mysterious daytime movements of a 10-inch, 4,000-year-old ancient Egyptian statuette at the Manchester Museum is causing a puzzle for museum staff with some wondering whether it has got anything to do with the legendary "curse of the pharaohs."
The ancient relic is a statuette of an ancient Egyptian Neb Senu, who made an offering of the statuette to the deity Osiris, god of the dead, to guarantee his afterlife. The relic was found in the dead man's tomb and transferred to the Manchester Museum 80 years ago. But now after 80 years of silence, it has come alive, spinning on its own in its glass case.
According NDTV, museum curator Campbell Price, who revealed that the statuette began moving only a few weeks ago, said: "I noticed one day that it had turned around. I thought it was strange because it is in a case and I am the only one who has a key."
The Sun reports that Price, who claims that most Egyptologists are not superstitious, said he was deeply puzzled when he noticed the movements. He said: "The next time I looked, it was facing in another direction — and a day later it had yet another orientation."
Price said that after he noticed the movements, he wondered whether someone was moving it and made up his mind to investigate.
He returned the statue to its normal position and then set up a time lapse video which appears to show the statue moving without human interference (see video above).
He told NDTV: "I put it back but then the next day it had moved again. We set up a time-lapse video and, although the naked eye can't see it, you can clearly see it rotate on the film."
Price explains the significance of the statuette: "The statuette is something that used to go in the tomb along with the mummy. Ancient Egyptians believed that statuettes such as these could act as an alternative home for the spirits of the people they represented, should the body be damaged or destroyed."
But according to Price, moving on its own was not one of the supernatural functions the ancient Egyptians expected of the statuettes.
He consulted a popular TV physicist Brian Cox, who suggested that the movements might be due to what he called "differential friction," which involves subtle vibrations between the serpentine stone of the statuette and the glass shelf, possibly set off by human footsteps during peak traffic hours. According to The Huffington Post, the fact that the statuette appears to move only when visitors were in the museum supports the suggestion.
Price told NDTV: "Mr Brian thinks it's differential friction. Where two surfaces, the serpentine stone of the statuette and glass shelf it is on, cause a subtle vibration which is making the statuette turn. But it has been on those surfaces since we have had it and it has never moved before."
Apparently spooked by the mysterious movements, the curator suggested a spiritual explanation (tongue-in-cheek, we guess): "Mourners would lay offerings at its feet. The hieroglyphics on the back ask for 'bread, beer and beef'. In Ancient Egypt, they believed that if the mummy is destroyed then the statuette can act as an alternative vessel for the spirit. Maybe that is what is causing the movement."
It seems the statuette was attempting to call attention to the hieroglyphics on its back asking for offerings of "bread, beer, oxen and fowl."
The "curse of the pharaohs" refers to the texts Egyptologists found written on ancient tomb doors pronouncing evil on anyone who opens the tomb and disturbs the dead therein. It is believed that some explorers and archaeologists who opened the tombs of the ancient Pharaohs were smitten with bad luck, illness and death, although modern researchers scoff at the suggestion. In spite of the rumor that the "curse of Tutankhamen" claimed more than 20 lives, experts have denied that there was a written curse in the pharaoh's tomb.
Although curses relating to tombs are said to be rare, a few have been found, mostly in private tombs from the Old Kingdom period. Best known examples include the tomb of Ankhtifi which contains the curse "any ruler who... shall do evil or wickedness to this coffin... may Hemen [a local deity] not accept any goods he offers, and may his heir not inherit."
The tomb of Khentika Ikhekhi (9-10th dynasty) contained a particularly malevolent one: "As for all men who shall enter this my tomb... there will be judgment... an end shall be made for him... I shall seize his neck like a bird... I shall cast the fear of myself into him."
A prominent archaeologist Zahi Hawass quoted another bad one he had seen: "Cursed be those who disturb the rest of a Pharaoh. They that shall break the seal of this tomb shall meet death by a disease that no doctor can diagnose."
In spite of these threats of evil, Mr Price has urged the public to visit the museum and have a look at the mysterious statuette. To do what? Bring offerings of "bread, beer, oxen and fowl" to appease the angry spirit of the long-dead Neb Senu?
It seems that the "curse of the pharaohs" might turn out a blessing for the museum because curious members of the public are certain to take interest in the statuette and visit the museum to see it, a fact which prompts speculations about what might have caused the movements in the first place
More about Ancient Egyptian statue, Neb Senu, Osiris, Manchester Museum, Egyptian statuette moves
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