The Key is an object found in Hamunaptra that ordinarily takes the form of a puzzle box. When it opens, it takes the shape of the sun and is able to unlock at least four important objects in history.
The key was first used by Imhotep to unlock the Book of the Dead to resurrect his lover, Anuck-Su-Namun. He is stopped by the Pharoah's bodyguards before he could finish the ritual, and thus, Anuck-Su-Namun's soul is sent back to the underworld. The key is then used to lock Imhotep's sarcohogus and it is hidden from the world until a French Foreign Legion soldier named Rick O'Connell finds it.
Three years later in Cairo, Jonathan Carnahan steals it and he, along with his sister Evelyn, find a map of Hamunaptra inside. They show it and the key to Dr. Terrence Bey, who burns the map halfway, and thus, prompting the siblings to find Rick, who was currently in a prison. O'Connell reveals that he found it and Evelyn saves him from a hanging by Warden Gad Hassan, who then comes along with the siblings along with a clean-shaven Rick.
Eventually in the boat they were riding in, a Medjai known only as Hook threatens Evelyn for the map and key. Evelyn gives Hook the map, but still thinks that the key is just a puzzle box. Hook finds it and collects it, but it is stolen back by Jonathan moments before Hook was shot down by Henderson of the American treasure hunters.
The group of Rick, Evelyn, Jonathan, and Hassan eventually get to Hamunaptra accompanied by Beni Gabor and the group of treasure hunters. They eventually find Imhotep's sarcophogus under the base of Anubis's statue, while at the same time, the American treasure hunters find the Book of the Dead in a cursed chest, both of which can be opened by the same key. They find out that the puzzle box is a key moments before they witness Gad Hassan's death.
After an attack by the Medjai, Rick, Evelyn and Jonathan open up Imhotep's sarcophogus. Luckily for them, Imhotep was in suspended animation at the time, but he was in a really gross state at this time.
Later that night in the camp, Evelyn takes the book from Dr. Allen Chamberlain of the American party, and unlocks the book with the key. She then mistakenly wakes up Imhotep, and the group eventually escapes Hamunaptra.
Much later, after the Americans, Dr. Bey, and Winston Havelock are dead, Rick, Jonathan, and Ardeth Bay find the Book of Amun Ra, but they need the key to open it, and unfortunately, it was currently in the possesion of Imhotep at the time, who used it to once again open the Book of the Dead. Jonathan manages to steal back the key and Evelyn reads the right inscription to make Imhotep a mortal and be killed by Rick. The key is then apparently left in Hamunaptra.
Years later, the key, along with the Books of the Dead and Amun-Ra, are discovered in the now buried Hamunaptra. The key and the Book of the Dead are taken with them, but the Book of Amun Ra is left to the ruins of Hamunaptra. It is then used to open the Book of the Dead, which Imhotep uses to perform a ritual to bring back Anck-Su-Namun, which succeeds, and the two lovers are reunited.
The key is then used again on the Book of the Dead to bring back Evelyn, who was impaled by Anuck-Su-Namun moments ago. This also succeeds, but it is unknown what came of the Key and Book afterwards.
Appearence and Traits
The Key resembles a puzzle box in all aspects. When it is closed, it takes an octogonal shape, but when it is open, the top opens up to the shape of the sun. Small objects, like the map of Hamunaptra, can be stored in it for safe keeping.
- Although the key is not seen in The Mummy Returns, it is assumed that the cultists aquired it, as both Imhotep and Alex were able to open and use the Book of the Dead in their respective rituals.