In 1976, thousands of years after the death of the Pharaoh Ramses II, the Egyptian authorities issued a modern Egyptian passport to Pharaoh Ramses II the Great, the third ruler of the 19th Dynasty. He was one of the greatest and longest living rulers of ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom (he lived in the years 1304-1214 BCE).
How did it happen?
In 1975, Maurice Bucaille, a French physician examining the corpse of Ramses II (found in the Valley of the Kings in 1881 and exhibited in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo), concluded that the pharaoh's mummy was at risk of fungus, and that treatment needed to be carried out immediately to preserve the mummy.
Unfortunately, the complicated procedure was only possible in France, which required a valid passport for the entry of the body of a foreigner. To comply with the regulations and to allow the mummy to be preserved, the Egyptian government issued a passport to Ramses II. His profession was written as "King".
The mummy landed at Le Bourget airport on September 26th 1976, and as the 27 September edition of the New York Times read, "was specially treated by airport staff". The mummy was welcomed by the French Secretary of State, Alice Saunter-Seite. The world media went crazy - the famous Pharaoh was still a celebrity. Journalists described the journey in terms of covering a rock idol's farewell tour.
On-site research at the Paris Ethnological Museum not only effectively protected the mummy of Ramses II from the fungus, but also confirmed that he had a very fair complexion and curly red hair.
According to Maurice Bucaille, the cause of the pharaoh's death was drowning in the sea. After this discovery, the French doctor, Maurice Bucaille, adopted Islam as a religion, because in the holy book of Islam, the Koran (Surah X Jonah, Ajah 92), God says that the body of the pharaoh who persecuted the prophet Moses would remain as a sign for posterity, which was all the proof needed for the French scientist to understand the truth of Islam. Bucaille is also the author of The Bible, The Qur'an and Science that he wrote following his study of the mummy of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II.
It is shameful th at scientists in Paris decided to keep a sample of the mummy's hair without asking for permission and that Egyptian scholars, who accompanied the expedition, did not notice that this had happened until the son of one of the doctors tried to sell it. As soon as Egyptian authorities discovered this, they reclaimed the hair and brought it back to Cairo.
The mummy of Pharaoh Ramses II, along with other royal mummies, can be seen at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo.
The original passport issued by the Egyptian authorities is not available to the public. The illustration below was commissioned by one of the portals and is for reference only.
Looking for a unique way to discover Egypt? Check out our Egypt tours and be a part of unforgettable adventure!