American Heritage Dictionary
mum-my'(mum'e)1. The body of a human being or animal embalmed after death, as practiced by the ancient Egyptians. 2. Any withered or shrunken body, living or dead, that resembles a preserved mummy. [Middle English mummie, from old French momie, embalming ointment, mummy, from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiya, mummy, bitumen, from mum,wax.]
In ancient Egypt written language was a gift of the god's, therefore hieroglyphs were not symbols, but actually carried the sprit of that which they represented. The most powerful hieroglyph was the ankh, the looped cross was life itself. He who wished to protect his soul, had his tomb painted showing himself with the ankh held under his nose, the center of the soul. Egyptians believed that the life-force was composed of psychic elements and of these, the ka was most important. After death, the ka departed to the kingdom of the dead. Without the body though, the ka could not exhist. The corpse must be preserved at all costs.
The Incans believed that royalty embodied direct links to their gods. Royal Mummies were viewed as huacas ( any person, place, or thing of supernatural power ). Royal Mummies were therefore a direct link to the holy realm. Maintaining these links required perpetual care of the mummies.
An archaeologist has just unearthed the find of his career, the tomb of Ramses II. The door to the tomb is lettered with a curse, the mummy of the king who claimed to be immortal lies shriveled inside. The archaeologist dies and the treasures are shipped to his daughter Julie in England, who finds that the mummy comes to life as a perfect man. Julie grows to love him and introduces him to modern life, including the museums that purport to reconstruct his time. He becomes disturbed and disgusted with the modern portrayal of his beloved Cleopatra. Ramses and Julie, her ex-fiance and his father Elliott in tow, travel to Egypt. There, Ramses is further upset by the tourist flavor given to his ancient civilization. In one of the museums, he recognizes an "unknown" mummified woman as his beloved Cleopatra. One night, he returns with the immortality elixir and raises her from the dead. But Cleopatra is not restored to her beautiful body or mind. She is a horrid monster, a walking corpse of rotting flesh and a disoriented mind that kills without mercy. Ramses abandons her, leaving her to Elliott, not realizing that he too is in peril. All in the party partake of the elixir, with Cleopatra and Ramses in the shadows.
The Curse of the Mummy and the Titanic
Sometime after the sinking, several New York newspapers revealed the truth behind the Titanic's demise. The real reason for the disaster, they claimed, lay within Titanic's hold. There, inside a sarcophagus, was a mummified body of an Egyptian princess being shipped to America for a private collector. The mummy was cursed, and when the unthinkable happened, the collector bribed the crew to put the mummy in a lifeboat. Safely in America, the mummy brought such bad luck to the collector that he shipped it back to Europe on the ship Empress of Ireland--which sank with the loss of hundreds of lives. Somehow, the mummy was saved again. The owner now decided to return it to Egypt on a third ship, the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German submarine. Presumably, the princess is now sleeping undisturbed at the bottom of the Irish Channel.