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Donation Stela with a Curse

This stela, which once stood in or near a temple, commemorates a donation of land to that temple, and its text promises dire punishments to anyone misappropriating the land. In modern times the media have made much of Egyptian curses, especially that of King Tutankhamun's tomb. That curse was in fact an invention of a newspaper reporter, inspired by the sudden death of Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of the archaeological expedition, several months after he attended the opening of the tomb in 1922. Nevertheless, the ancient Egyptians did aim curses against tomb and temple violators, and they believed it was magic (heqa) in the form of written and spoken words that made those curses possible and effective.


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