Ramesses II and his unique trip to France in 1976

The mummy of Ramesses the Great

Ramesses II was an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC and is often regarded as one of the most influential pharaohs in Egyptian history. Fast forward to 1975 and a French doctor named Maurice Bucaille discovered that his remains were in poor condition and needed treatment so he arranged for its transportation from Egypt.

He had been the most magnificent of all the pharaohs, but his mummy was in poor shape. Early on, he was roughed up by tomb robbers, prompting priests to move him to a secret location. In 1881, that too was discovered and from then on the king’s corpse was moved from place to place, partly unwrapped, even exhibited standing up, all of which took a heavy toll. Now, battered and cracked, he was under attack from bacteria, fungi and insects. Ancient Egyptians embalmed their dead to ensure the body stayed intact for eternity, otherwise the soul wouldn’t have the use of it in the afterlife. If Ramesses’s soul was to endure, his mummy needed urgent attention to stop the rot.

via New Scientist

But he needed something: a passport. As French law required a valid passport for entry and transportation through the country, the Egyptian government complied and issued a passport to the Pharaoh. He made the flight in 1976

From the airport he was driven to the Museum of Man, where for the next eight months a team of French and Egyptian researchers examined, probed and X-rayed him. Their task was to assess the damage and suggest ways to prevent it worsening, but in the process they would discover more about the pharaoh’s life and death.

via New Scientist

It’s wild to think that a mummy would need a passport but, hey, bureacracy! I’m imagining the pharaoh on Nothing To Declare now…

Become a Patron

Since 2015, the site has remained mostly ad-free. I post affiliate links from time-to-time but I try to post alternative links where appropriate. I also write most of these blogs myself. If you read this and enjoyed the content you've so far, why not consider pledging to my Patreon.


  • Brick – $1/month
  • Concrete – $3/month
  • Steel – $5/month
  • Glass – $7/month
  • Bronze – $10/month

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.