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Simple Short Reports #4 Mummy’s curse Dr. Craig Jackson Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology School of Health and Policy Studies Faculty of Health & Community Care University of Central England. email@example.com. The Mummy’s Curse
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Dr. Craig Jackson
Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology
School of Health and Policy Studies
Faculty of Health & Community Care
University of Central England
Examine survival of those exposed to the “mummy’s curse”
Tomb of Tutankhamen in Luxor, between 1923and 1926
Retrospective Cohort Study
44 Westerners present in Egypt at the specified dates
25 potentiallyexposed to thecurse
Length of survival after exposure
Nelson MR, 2002
Used Westerners recorded in Carter's writings as being in Egypt at the time but not recorded byhim as present at the site at the mentioned times
Included only Western individuals in the analysis
D.O.B and death identified by biographical texts, newspaper obituaries (the Times, New York Times, Le Monde)and a Google web based search (searched with keywordsarchaeology, Egyptology, personal name, Egypt, Tutankhamun, andTutankhamen)
Records divided into those who survived less than or greaterthan 10 years
Comparisons were then made by age, sex, and exposure
Survival was analysed by “any” or “no” exposure and by number of exposuresby logisticregression.
Group comparison of characteristics of people with data on mortality according to exposure to the mummy's curse.
Exposed Unexposed P
No (%) of men 24 (96%) 7 (64%) <0.001
Age at classification (years) 49.3 (11.0) 44.1 (9.1) 0.25
Age at death (years) 70.0 (12.4) 75.0 (13.0) 0.87
Survival (years) 20.8 (15.2) 28.9 (13.6) 0.95
Female sex a significant predictor of survival (38 v 21 years, P=0.017).
Adjustment for age, sex,
exposure, and number of
times exposed did not confer
additional risk forearly death
within 10 years. Odds ratio 1.38.
Also no effect on
survival timefor any exposure
or number ofexposures.
Exposedpeople were more likely to be involved with the dig and thereforebe mentioned in print, therefore easier to trace
Sex difference: spouses of professionals in the1920s more likely to be women and therefore over-representedin the unexposed group.
“Exposure” may also bequestioned with the possibility of contamination of the unexposedif the “curse” acted longer or more widely.
The smallnumbers analysed, however, resulted in wide confidence intervals,and the study may have been underpowered to show a more subtleadverseeffect.
An Egyptian archaeological dig in the 1920swas inhabited by interesting characters and it was this and thecircumstances of the archaeological find of the modern age thathas kept the myth of the mummy's curse in the public eye.
No evidence for its existence.
Perhaps finally it, like the tragicboy king Tutankhamen, may be put torest.