|“||...City of the Dead, ancient burial site for the sons of Pharaohs, and resting place for the wealth of Egypt.||”|
–Ardeth Bay's description of the City of the Dead., The Mummy
Hamunaptra also known as the City of the Dead was an ancient lost city that served for many centuries as the resting place for the Pharaohs of Egypt and their wealth. The vast necropolis contained precious artifacts and antiquities from the wealthiest of Egypt's Pharaohs, as well as their remains and was guarded intently by the Pharaoh's elite guards, the Medjai in ancient times and for centuries into modern times.
Set in a remote area of the vast Sahara, Hamunaptra held such high importance that none but the Medjai and the High Priest of Osiris could ever know its location. The city was fiercely guarded by the Medjai warriors and by warrior priests, with any that found the city silenced so as not to divulge its location; a burial within the city could only be attended by the High Priest of Osiris and his priests, accompanied by soldiers and slaves. Slaves were made to do the hardest work when in the city, digging graves, wherein they were promptly killed off by soldiers that were in turn murdered by the priests so that none might ever reveal the exact location. The City of the Dead had been established some time into the ascent of the New Kingdom, replacing the Pyramids of old as the resting place of the Pharaohs and their possessions and was host to a number of different booby-traps and deterrents of grave robbers and plunderers.
Destruction and rediscovery
Following Imhotep being cursed with the Hom-Dai and the subsequent collapse of Hamunaptra, the city lay buried for many years, secluded beneath the sand. In 1923, an excavation of the ruins begun and the body of Imhotep was located near the Statue of Anubis, along with the Book of the Dead and the Book of Amun-Ra.
Behind the Scenes
Historically, there was no such place as Hamunaptra. Several necropoleis existed in Egypt, most notably at Saqqara, Giza, Amarna and Thebes, but these were associated with living cities (Memphis, Akhetaten, and Thebes, respectively), and their locations were, at least in ancient times, public knowledge.
- The Mummy (First appearance)
- The Mummy Returns
- The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai
Hamunaptra on Wikipedia
Locations in The Mummy film series