The Ring of Ra

An Englishman named Howard Carter was the leading archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in November of 1922. The tomb’s excavation became world famous due to the legend of the curse that was said to have been unleashed in the process. Dozens of people involved in finding the tomb fell victim to severe misfortune or death within two years of the discovery. This curse affected even the financier of the expedition, the wealthy Lord Carnavon, who died only one year after the tomb being opened. These many tragedies were all attributed to the “Curse of the Pharaoh”.

Leading up to the excavation, Carter received dozens of anonymous letters warning against opening the tomb as all royal tombs, not just Tutankhamun’s, were said to have the same curses placed on them so as not to be disturbed. He even had witnessed dark omens himself, such as when he returned home one evening and found the bird cage occupied by a Royal Cobra, the symbol of Egyptian monarchy. Carter's canary had died in its mouth, which even further fueled local fervor about a curse.

People of the day wondered why Carter wasn’t scared to open the tomb, and how he escaped the misfortunes that fell upon many his colleagues. Not only had he discovered the tomb and physically opened it, but he also removed the mummy of Tutankhamun from the sarcophagus by hand. It is believed by many that Howard Carter was protected by a magic ring known as the “Ring of Ra”.

According to legend the ring was discovered in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian high priest around 1860. It was then passed through the ownership of several Egyptologists, through Marquis d’Algrain, before Carter acquired it. This ring was though to be as much as 5,000 years old, made of dark sandstone from the mines of Assouan. The ring had geometric symbols carved into it that were unlike anything known in ancient Egypt.

Howard Carter was reported to have told some of his closet associates that he did not fear any curses because he was wearing a “talisman” which would protect him against all harmful influences. After Carter died in 1939 from lymphoma at the age of 64, when his personal accounts and documents were being analyzed, there was mention of a specific ring of importance to the man. The ring’s current location or owner is unknown.