The Mummy, history review.
This is what happens when something bothers me…
Okay so, in The Mummy (2017) we have Ahmanet who makes a pact with the God of the dead, Set. First and foremost, this is incorrect. Anubis is the god of the dead (since he is the patron for mummification, leading your spirit to the underworld, etc.), Osiris is the god of the Underworld, death, regeneration, and life. These two were intertwined throughout mythology because in the Middle Kingdom era Anubis was replaced as God of the Underworld by Osiris. So I would have been willing to accept either of these two as “the god of the dead” that Ahmanet made a pact with…BUT, they specifically said Set.
Set is the god of deserts, chaos, evil, and war. Now, granted, in Egyptian mythology Set (although a dick) has an important role wherein he helps repel Apep from Osiris during his evening journey to the underworld. However, if you’re picking an evil god villain, Set, is the way to go so I will give them points for choosing him.
But, if you’re going to refer to everything as “the ultimate evil” you should probably make sure you get the god and what they are associated with, correct.
Next item, now this is where the research really kicked in. Ahmanet’s body markings.
So…this bothered me after the makeup artist said something specific. I thought the idea of the markings was really cool… but prior to seeing the interview, I was really unsure of the origin. So the make up artist says that they are runes from the Book of the Dead and it is an actual spell in the book.
*le sigh* I was pretty certain at first that 1.) Egyptians did not use runes because runes are native to Germanic tribes, Scandinavian, and Nordic. 2.) I own a copy of the book of the dead and never ever saw anything that resembled runes. 3.) still can’t find the spell she referenced.
So I started digging. The runic system is birthed from the Egyptian hieroglyph system, the hieroglyphs are considered a parent system to runes, but there are also other runic alphabet systems prior to what most people know as RUNES. But here’s the thing, I would be willing to get on the believe train if there wasn’t such a difference in the timeline.
The earliest runic system is dated at around 150AD… Ahmanet is mentioned in the film to be from the New Kingdom era in Egypt (by Jenny when she says the hieroglyphs on the sarcophagus are New Kingdom), which spans from 1550-712BC… that’s a huge fucking gap. Not only that but The Book of Dead, aka what is the Papyrus of Ani (although there were multiple Books of the dead, the papyrus of ani was the most intact and I assume is what the artist is referencing), is dated at 1240BC. This is New Kingdom as well.
This is a quote taken from an interview with the makeup artist, “As the Mummy, Boutella is covered in an scroll’s worth of ancient runic letters from head to toe, a painstaking process that required hours to complete each time, according to makeup artist Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou.” She also says in an interview on youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu_KQzXnkRE, that it is from the Book of the Dead and actually says something……………bitch where?
Runes, in the sense I said earlier, compared to Egyptian hieroglyphs, are not ancient. Basically they bent time and space and somehow decided that they could use runes because they were “ancient,” not even bothering to consider how large of a fucking time gap that is.
Now, there are a shit ton of different ALPHABETS that used letters that look runic but they aren’t runic, sabe? The best I can figure is that the writing on Ahmanet looks Aramaic…but some of the characters look Paleo-Hebrew as well as Carian. I’m not sure what system they based it off of, or where they ACTUALLY got the markings from (personally I’m thinking they just bullshitted it because they aren’t from the Book of the Dead). Any linguists are free to try.
Aramaic writing period, though, is dated to have begun in 800BC… Book of the dead is dated 1240-50BC. So, substantial gap.
Paleo-Hebrew is dated 1000BC… so less large but still large enough.
It could be a mixture and include some Carian, which was a child system of Greek and was used in Egypt. But it was only used 7th to 1st century BC. That starts at 700BC…also too late.
I’m not sure if they stuck with a single script, or meshed it together to bullshit it. Either way, I call bullshit on the writing on her body. There is no way that it is from the book of the dead and is a funerary spell.
Basically, The Mummy (2017) can suck it. Except for Sofia Boutella because she was fantastic.