"Cursed Be He Who Moves My Body"

The Representation of King Tut’s Curse in 20th Century English-Language Newspapers

The Project

Our project is an investigation into the representation of the Pharaoh's Curse in relation to the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb in English-language newspapers from 1910-1949.

Research Questions

Our project aimed to answer a number of questions, including:

  1. How did newspapers report on the Curse of the Pharaohs in the wake of the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb?
  2. How did sentiment around the tomb discovery and the curse change over time?
  3. Were there any peaks and falls in the discussion regarding the curse and King Tut? And if so, what might have caused them?
  4. Were there any other topics strongly connected to or continuously recurring in the discussion regarding the curse and King Tut? And if so, what were they?


Due to time-constraints, the scope of our research had to be fairly limited. As such, we said that non-textual data, newspapers in languages other than English, handwritten documents, social media data (ex. Twitter), and articles outside of Jan. 1st, 1910 to Dec. 31st, 1949, were out of scope.

Navigating the Exhibit

Use the navigation list off to the right to navigate through the different pages of the exhibit, or use the left and right links at the bottom of the page to move forward or back one page.

Click on "About the Project and Team" to view information about our team members and how we worked together.

Click on "Primary Source Items" to view articles about the curse and King Tutankhamun.

Click on "Data Curation and Cleaning" to learn more about our method of finding articles and making them usable for analysis.

Click on "Timeline" to view our interactive timeline visualization of the key events surrounding the curse and King Tutankhamun from 1910-1949.

Click on "Sentiment Analysis" to view our graph and analysis for the sentiment over each document in our content set.

And finally, click on "Word Clouds" to view our visualizations of the most common words for each decade and across the entire content set.