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King Ramses the Great: First Mummy to be Issued a Passport

Valentine’s is over and it’s nowhere near time for Halloween, but Ramses II has been out and about! Some people may ask, who’s Ramses II? Well, he’s a mummy and he’s been dead for a long, long time!

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!

After his death, this great King was mummified, as was custom for Egyptians. Over time, the mummy of Ramses II began to wear out , and in 1974, the mummy’s condition was worsening, becoming infested with creepy crawlers and bacteria. France was allowed to take the mummy back to its laboratories for treatment, but not without a catch! According to French law, anyone who enters the country, alive or dead, must hold a passport. The thing is, passports never existed in ancient times! Egypt issued a passport to King Ramses II, labeling him as “King (deceased)”. That’s not even the most interesting part! He was received with a funeral procession of full military honors, as was fitting for all members of high rank.

Ramses got to enter Paris, as a mummy, 3000 years after his death, and people today are lucky if they get the chance to even leave their country to travel!

What is also interesting, was the discovery of Ramses’ red-headedness, during his visit to Paris.

If you’re impressed with  King Ramses the Great’s journey to Paris leave us a smile and let us know!

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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