Released May 7, 1999, The Mummy, written by Stephen Sommers and more, can be viewed in various aspects. There are numerous interesting parts in this movie. From the adventures of the main characters to the very minute details of each person, the movie took on an exciting aspect of its on. The most mind grasping aspect of it all was the Ancient ruins of Egypt. When looking at this particular film my mind wondered in a specific direction, does this place really exist and if so, how much do we know about it? The Mummy is a suspenseful movie as well as informative. Although we can learn much from films like this, how much of it can be held accountable? Does the ancient city of Hamunaptra actually exist? From previous research many have learned from evidence the details of an ancient city, or civilization. How much of the myth of mummies is true and what is the actual myth? In order to go into depth with an historical approach of ancient Egypt another question is relevant. During the time period that the movie was established or written, did this seem to play a role in the behavior of characters as well as the significance of how the scenes were depicted throughout the film and its historical relevance? In order to merge these four questions as a whole, one would ask, does the time period in which the movie was made have influence on the actuality of the ancient myth based on the aspect of mummies and the city of Hamunaptra?
“Death is only the beginning,” quoted by Evelyn Carnahan, led to every aspect of suspense in my body. I was forced to wonder what was bound to happen next. Keeping this quote in mind I was also compelled to think something extremely astonishing was going to happen. As the movie pressed forward I was continually reassured that what was happening in the present would not be as nearly as worse as to what was to come. Formally known as Rachel Weisz, Evelyn took on her character as if it were her own personal life. This helped the movie to become more engaging. During the movie she was on a quest to find the city of Hamunaptra, also known as the city of the dead. One day she stumbled upon a man by the name of Rick O’Connell whom claimed to know where to find this ancient city. This is when the adventures of ancient Egypt unraveled. Rick O’ Connell and Evelyn came upon the city of Hamunaptra very abruptly. When they did things began to happen within the blink of an eye. Mummies, ancient artifacts, and more recovered from the city of the dead is where the significance of Hamunaptra is questioned. Through extensive research I have grown to learn that Hamunaptra did not really exist, yet there were several cities that were deemed with the label, “City of the dead”. “Several places in Egypt have been nicknamed “City of the Dead,” such places are Saqqara, the Theban Westbank, etc.” Learning more about the film helped me to also become knowledgeable on several things pertaining to ancient Egypt. The canopic jars in the movie were used to preserve the body parts of Pharaoh Seti. There were a set of five jars when in Egypt during this time only four jars were used to preserve the body parts of mummies. “Each jar was dedicated to a specific deity, often referred to as a son of Horus, and contained the embalmed remains of specific organs. Thus the jar containing the liver was under the protection of Imsety, the jar containing the lungs had Hapi as a patron, and the jar for the deceased’s stomach was protected by Duamutef and the intestines by Qebehsenuf.”
Although I have discovered that Hamunaptra does not store any relevant significance to Egypt’s actual history there is much more information stored in the legend based on the aspect of the mummies. A mummy is “a body embalmed or treated for burial with preservatives in the manner of the ancient Egyptians.” When thinking of a mummy the first place that comes to mind is Egypt. Egypt seems to be the place of most historical relevance on the subject of mummies, yet there have also been discoveries in China as well as South America. The purpose of preserving a person’s body was to ensure a safe passage into their afterlife. This may seem ridiculing to many now but it was practiced by ancient Egyptians daily. “By the 4th century AD, many Egyptians had become Christians and no longer believed that mummification was necessary for life after death.”This is where the significance of mummification began to decline. While acknowledging these several points the conclusion drawn is simple. Although the time period in which the movie was filmed does not serve as relevance, the ancient artifacts and settings displayed throughout the movie does. Mummification is an extremely interesting topic and is made very apparent in the movie. The city of Hamunaptra served as a city of fiction while at the same time led me to research more on the city of the dead. Hamunaptra was not real but the things that took place in it related to many things that the Egyptians did practice.
Taking a deeper look in the plot and setting of this film allowed me to gain an understanding of the ancient city of Egypt. While encountering the similarities and differences based on what people know today, this may help one to look at the things taken place with a whole new viewpoint. The Mummy is a story full of excitement and suspense. As far as the setting and other things are concerned, everything was portrayed in a well enough manner to see the specifics of Egypt during this certain period of time. Costumes, lighting, etc were able to bring you closer to the picture that the movie was trying to depict. Although everything came together in great unity the aspects of the film were not completely correct. Understanding this allowed me to research and gain insightful information on the full aspects of Egypt during these times.
 Amazon. The Mummy. May 7, 1999. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120616/ (accessed November 30, 2009).
2Kinnaer, Jacques. The Ancient Eygpt Site. July 25, 2009. http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (accessed November 30, 2009).
5 University of Michigan. Mummies of Ancient Egypt. http://www.si.umich.edu/CHICO/mummy/kings.html#top (accessed November 30, 2009).