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:: Mumia Chronica: The Mummy Chronicles ::

Historical Inaccuracies

Cats as Guardians of the Underworld
Canopic Jars
Theban Background
The Giza Pyramids
Seti the First's Beard
Seti the First's Crown
Egyptian Clothing
Cleopatra VII's Cartouche

Cats as Guardians of the Underworld:

Cats as guardians of the Underworld? Maybe or maybe not. Technically, cats were not guardians of the Underworld. However, felines played some part in the Underworld: Suf and Dua were two lions who stood at the entrance to the Underworld, the point at which Ra would board his solar barque to start his nightly travel. At the other end, at the 12th hour, Aker stood at the portal that would permit Ra, in the form of Khepri, to rise to the sky as the morning sun.

Another feline of the Underworld was the Great Cat of Ra, who represented the deity Ra. This feline was very ferocious, cutting the head off of the Underworld enemy of Ra, Apep, the demon serpent.

It is more than likely that the latter cat/feline was the cat--which Imhotep would fear until he becomes fully generated--to which Dr. Bey referred.
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Canopic Jars:

5 canopis jars? Are you kidding me?! For the process of mummification, the ancients used only four canopic jars in which they put certain organs of the deceased. Of course, there were also certain periods during which one preserved the organs of the decedent and placed them between his or her legs instead of in canopic jars. The only explanation that I can think of that can justify the appearence of this fifth jar is the following: without the heart of Anuck-su-namun still resting in its original place--the chest, of course--she would not be able to have her heart protected by amulets or otherwise. Without one's heart, one has absolutely no chance of having a fair judgement before Osiris; that is to say, Anuck-su-namun would be characterized as an unjustified dead, whose soul would roam in the Underworld without ever entering the Afterlife. In the words of Jonathan, "Tough luck, ol' mum."
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Theban Background:

Theban background looks rather odd, don't you think? Even though it is often that a person can see for miles several different monuments, sculptures and such from a certain location, it would not be possible to see the pyramids of Giza if one was in Thebes [modern Luxor], especially that close up--realistically, the pyramids would appear very much smaller. For one thing, the distance between the two locations is approximately 400 miles apart, with Thebes/Luxor being located in Middle/Upper Egypt and Giza being located in Lower Egypt. Even on a clear day, it would be relatively hard to see these pyramids. Perhaps the director and his team of tech guys figured that if they did not place a recognizable ancient Egyptian monument--a pyramid, or pyramids--in the background, the audience would not know in what era the beginning of this movie takes place. It is certainly a possibility.
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The Giza Pyramids:

The newness of the pyramids of Giza of the Old Kingdom, during Dynasty 19…an impossibility because, by the New Kingdom, the pyramids of Giza were already in ruin, missing most of their limestone casing—a stone covering that gave the pyramids their smooth-look—as well as their pyramidions—cap-stones that were pyramid-shaped toppers made of granite or other materials, giving the pyramid its point. In the beginning of this film, we see the pyramids in all of their glory—limestone casing and pyramidions and all—which is a definite impossibility.
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Seti the First's Beard:

Although one sometimes sees depictions of rulers and gods with beards, Seti would not--should not have any evidence of one. Here is the reason, straight from my website: the situation is similar to that of the all-round shaven priest: even the beard was considered unclean. Since this was the mind-set, most Egyptian men shaved off their facial hair, which means leaving no signs of a beard [or even a mustache]. In fact, it was very rare to see a royal Egyptian wearing a real beard. Only shepherds and lower-class men wore facial hair and, obviously, Seti was a ruler and not anyone of a lower class. Then, how come some depictions of rulers show them with beard? This is just a depiction of a false beard, as most of you already know ;) The situation is somewhat juxtaposed, however, because the ancient Egyptians considered facial hair/beards as a symbol or manly dignity and that which commanded respect from others. Yet, they also considered it unclean; wearing a real beard was forbidden. Thus, Pharaoh and other officials of higher order adopted wearing the well-known false beard. During the Old Kingdom, this was especially true. False beards from this era were thus: generally tiny in size; longer for high official and longer still for gods who were depicted with beard—usually longer and wider, with a curl at the end that was bent slightly up--; a short bit of hair that was tightly plaited or braided, with two straps to wind behind the ears. However convenient this false beard was, the rulers from the Old Kingdom abhorred them; they wore them only for special occasion, but sometimes not even at these moments. Furthermore, most rulers were reticent to allow a sculptor or artist to include him with a false beard. Then one comes to the Middle Kingdom, where high officials and the like wore a false beard. However, Pharaoh and those like him became reticent to wear these falsie beards again, during the New Kingdom, which is during this time that part of the Mummy takes place and during the time in which Seti I lived.
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Seti the First's Crown:

Seti's crown, historically speaking, should be the white crown of Upper Egypt, Upper/Middle Egypt being the location of Thebes. However, in the movie, Seti is wearing the [red] crown of Lower Egypt! *Gasps dramatically*
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Egyptian Clothing:

he depiction of ancient Egyptian clothing: In this movie, the priests of Imhotep where green and brown diaphanous cloth, Imhotep wears black diaphanous cloth, the bodyguards of Pharaoh wear also black diaphanous cloth, and Seti wears gold and brown diaphanous cloth. Most of the clothing in ancient times was made from diaphanous linen of cream or white color. It is known that linen was—and is—a relatively difficult fabric to dye, any color. The only way to obtain a green or gold color, one would have to use beads, sewn into the cloth. To obtain brown or black, one would use animal hide. Thus, it is impossible to have robes, skirts, or any other article of ancient Egyptian clothing, made of the aforementioned colors—that is, if the fabric the costume designers was linen, which it should have been—even if they did not, it should have been made to represent linen.
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Cleopatra VII's Cartouche:

The cartouche of Cleopatra? What it her name doing on the statue of Anubis at Hamunaptra? In context, Hamunaptra was already constructed during or before the 19th Dynasty--the time during which the flashbacks take place. You can see the cartouche in the beginning, when the Med-jai mummify Imhotep, if you have a keen-enough eye to catch it. Thus, it is evident to see the juxtaposition between the date--the 19th Dynasty, when we witness Imhotep's burial--and the illustration of Cleopatra VII's cartouche on the statue of Anubis.
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Copyright October 2006 - March 2008 Mumia Chronica. All Rights Reserved

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