October 10, 2018

In 1974, the Mummy of Pharaoh Ramesses II Was Issued a Valid Egyptian Passport So That He Could Fly to Paris

What do you do if you want to move a precious mummy from one country to another? Well, you give it a valid passport. This is exactly what happened to Ramesses II, one of Ancient Egypt’s powerful pharaohs. He was set to travel to France and therefore had to get the proper travel documents, including a valid passport.

The 1974 passport for Ramses II

When the mummy of Ramesses II was transported to special laboratories in France in 1974 to assist in preserving its condition, a passport was required. Under French law, anyone who enters the country, alive or dead, must hold a passport. So the Egyptian government issued a passport to King Ramesses II, labeling him as “King (deceased)”. Just as interestingly, when the mummy arrived in France, it was received with a funeral procession of full military honors, as was fitting for all members of high rank.

Ramses the second, or Ramesses II, was the 3rd Pharoah of Egypt in the 19th dynasty of the 12th century. Also known as Ramesses the Great, this Pharoah of impressive achievement lived to be 96 years old, which means that he basically outlived most of his subjects. All of his subjects who were born with him as Pharoah, believed the world would end with his death. He assumed the throne in 1290 BCE, setting about to the restoration of war-torn Egypt. Many monuments and temples he built in his own honor, like the vast tomb complex known as the Ramesseum at Thebes, the temples at Abu Simbel, and hundreds of other buildings. That’s how great he was!

Ramses II was buried in the Valley of Kings, but had to be replaced because of looting. After a detour, his mummy was moved to tomb DB320, located near Deir el-Bahri, where it would be safe from tomb robbers. In 1881 his body was discovered there and moved to Cairo's Egyptian Museum.

Mummy of Ramesses II

The mummy learns us Ramses II was rather short for an ancient Egyptian: 5ft7 (170cm). It also shows us his hooked nose and wounds and fractures incurred in battle.




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