|Points of interest||
Statue of Anubis, Statue of Horus, Seti's Treasure Chamber,
Children of Ancient Egyptian royalty (deceased)
|Behind the scenes|
Destroyed and abandoned upon finding artifacts
- "...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.[src]
Hamunaptra 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 was known as the "City of the Dead" and 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.
After Pharaoh Seti I was murdered by his mistress and future bride Anck-Su-Namun, the Pharaoh's mistress took her own life before the Medjai warriors, who had just entered the room that Seti was killed in moments after he died. Imhotep, the then-High Priest of Osiris and Anck-Su-Namun's secret lover, was given the command as High Priest to lay the concubine to rest within Hamunaptra, performing the customary rites and afterward seeing the routine killing of all those present that were unauthorised to know of Hamunaptra: first the slaves that brought the remains at the hands of armed soldiers, followed by the soldiers' deaths at the hands of Imhotep's priests, so that none would know of the necropolis' whereabouts.
Taking his priests along with him, Imhotep performed the rituals needed to bury Anck-Su-Namun, condemning her soul, all the while remembering that he made a solemn promise to her that were she to die that he would resurrect her. Some time after Anck-Su-Namun had been buried, Imhotep raced back into the City of the Dead with his priests, hoping to bring back his love. Taking the Book of the Dead from its resting place, Imhotep began the spells that would bring his beloved back, which made the use of a moat that was filled with black liquefied human remains within the ceremonial chamber in the city, aided by his priests. During the ritual, however, the youngest priest was frightened beyond reason at the sludge and ran as far as he could from it, only to lose his footing in the corridors and fall in the sludge to his death. The black sludge made its way up and brought Imhotep's love back to life; before the ritual could be completed however, the Medjai stormed the chamber and apprehended Imhotep and his priests. The priests were all condemned to be buried alive within the walls of the ruins, and Imhotep himself was condemned to endure the Hom-Dai, being buried in a great stone sarcophagus buried at the base of a statue of Anubis; the key to the sarcophagus taking the form of an octagonal puzzle-box-like object. For many years to come, the Medjai remained vigilant over the city and its contents, with the two goals of stopping grave robbers from accessing the treasures within and more essentially, to stop any potential resurrection of Imhotep.
Three thousand years after the time of Seti, Hamunaptra remained standing as crumbling ruins and had long since been considered by many to be nothing more than myth; one such group that believed the city existed was a garrison of the French Foreign Legion, who set out without orders across Libya to find the city. The ruins that the Legionnaires found, however, would serve as a base of operations as the men fought off a great horde of Tuaregs. Both the Tuaregs and the Legionnaires fought hard, each side eliminating vast numbers of the other, until only a handful of Tuaregs, a Legionnaire Corporal named Richard O'Connell and a Legionnaire foot soldier named Beni Gabor lived. O'Connell fought as best he could, taking down many Tuaregs, but was ultimately outnumbered as the Tuaregs cornered him and were about to deliver their gunfire. Before they could shoot, however, an unknown force beneath the sands caused the Tuareg horses to panic, compelling their riders to leave the ruins. As O'Connell stood wondering what could have caused the Tuaregs to depart, the force caught him by surprise as well, frightening him off and forming a great face imprint in the sands. With nearly all of the Legionnaire forces wiped out, their camels stood waiting around Hamunaptra, waiting for their masters to return.
O'Connell had been sent to Cairo prison and set free since his time in Hamunaptra, now returning to the city at the request of two Egyptologists named Evelyn and Jonathan Carnahan; joining them was the warden of Cairo Prison, Gad Hassan, all four expeditionaries with the goal of finding valuable artifacts within the ruins. Another separate expedition, led by Beni Gabor, another survivor of the battle at Hamunaptra, consisted of three treasure-hungry Americans, their Egyptologist professor, and three dozen native diggers. The groups had all set out to find the city, trekking through the Sahara with great intent until they reached a spot in the desert in which all stopped and waited for the sun to rise on the horizon. Once the sun rose, the path to Hamunaptra was shown, and both expeditions raced across the desert to reach it first. Evelyn Carnahan had reached the city before all of the others, winning her group a wager that had been set down before.
The native diggers of the Americans' expedition set to work at once, constructing the tents and retrieving artifacts from the ruins, while the smaller expedition worked alone, rappelling down ropes into the chambers below. Once inside the chambers, the smaller expedition made their way down the corridors and found a great statue of the god Anubis. The four heard strange sounds coming from the other side and drew out their guns, expecting the worst, but upon turning they saw that the sounds were merely the other expeditionaries, along with a small number of diggers. Both groups began to argue at gunpoint over who should get the statue, but Evelyn saw that below the statue was another chamber, and relinquished the statue base to the larger expedition, taking her fellows with her to seek out their fortunes below.
While excavating the underground chambers, a number of deaths occurred among the treasure-seekers: as the warden Hassan was wandering off from his group to find treasures, he came upon a mural on the wall that had several stones encrusted on it. The warden did not notice that the mural was actually a warning, depicting an ancient Egyptian priest screaming as he was devoured alive by carnivorous scarabs. In his greed, the warden took out a knife and began to pry off the gems, placing them in his pouch. One gem, however, missed the bag as it dropped, hitting the sand, and cracking open to reveal a large scarab beetle that scurried about before cutting a hole in the warden's shoe and eating its way up to the man's brain. The warden, now shrieking in agony as the scarab scrambled around his skull, ran blindly into a wall, killing himself. Meanwhile, in the chamber above, the Americans had begun to try and pry open the statue base before they were advised by their professor that it was likely booby-trapped, advising the treasure-seekers to let the diggers handle the excavation. As the professor coaxed the diggers to force the statue base open with crowbars, a torrent of salt acid burst out from the rock, burning the three diggers to death.
That night, as the treasure-seekers were camped out on the ground level, a group of Medjai, led by Ardeth Bay, came riding into the ruins on horseback, killing off several diggers as they rode. The Medjai were fought off by the expeditions, who worked together to outgun the warriors, wherein Ardeth Bay stepped forward and told all present that he and his warriors would kill no more, but that they must all leave the city or die, giving them one day. In the wake of the attack, the expeditions were both confused and shocked that the desert nomads would attack for no overt reason, and so they decided that it would be best to band together for protection at night.
The next morning, the three American treasure hunters and their associates all returned to the compartment at the base of Anubis' statue, prying it open safely and finding an elaborately detailed wooden chest. At first reluctant to open the chest, the treasure hunters learned of the chest's significance, that if opened, the chest would release a curse on any that were present, and subsequently pried the chest lid off, revealing the Book of the Dead, as well as five canopic jars. In the chamber below, Evelyn and her fellows had opened the sarcophagus that contained Imhotep, revealing his rotting corpse and learning of his fate: Imhotep had suffered the Hom-Dai, the worst of all ancient Egyptian curses.
That night, the Egyptologist Allen Chamberlain had tried to pry the book open, but to no avail without its key; Evelyn soon after stole it from Chamberlin as he slept, and proceeded to read the verses within so as to prove to O'Connell that the curses were nothing but myth. As she read, however, the mummy that she and her fellows had found awoke, and the manifestations of the curse had reached the City of the Dead, first arriving as a swarm of locusts, followed by a mass of frogs that coated the floors. Scarabs soon joined the troubles as they chased and killed some of the diggers. As the two expeditions ran through the tunnels and corridors, Evelyn was separated from the others in her group as she leaned against what she thought was a wall, which actually was a trap door. O'Connell and Jonathan tried to pry it open, but could not and as they tried to pry it open, the two Americans, along with one digger, ran through the corridors screaming to O'Connell and Jonathan that they should run, as a horde of scarabs was running towards them, devouring the digger, who had tripped and was unable to get up as the insects ate him alive. O'Connell, followed by Jonathan, Daniels and Henderson had found Evelyn, cornered by Imhotep, who roared in fury at O'Connell and the others; O'Connell roared mockingly back and blasted Imhotep with an elephant gun.
With the mummy down, the group ran from the chamber and encountered the Medjai, who had outnumbered and outgunned them all, taking Dr. Chamberlain as their prisoner; Ardeth Bay, their leader, stepped forward and admonished them all for what they had done: they had unleashed an ancient evil force that had been kept safely suppressed for three thousand years. After informing the explorers that no mortal weapons would stop the mummy, the Medjai sent them all off, away from the city. As the expeditions were about to leave, they had forgotten a guide: Beni Gabor, who had been left with the mummy by mistake when he had separated himself from the rest of the group; soon after he had faced the mummy, he pledged his services to him. The expeditionaries had left so quickly that they had left much of their equipment behind, and did not notice the mummy's fist erupting from the sandy ground.
The mummy Imhotep, after having killed and taken organs from the four men that had opened the chest containing the Book of the Dead and the canopic jars, had returned to Hamunaptra with Evelyn Carnahan as his prisoner and Beni Gabor as his accomplice. The city had also been infiltrated by O'Connell, Jonathan, and Ardeth Bay, who intended to rescue Evelyn and stop Imhotep from completing the ritual that would restore his lover, Anck-Su-Namun, to life. As O'Connell and Ardeth dug out rocks from a tunnel, Jonathan was distracted by a gem on the wall, which he plucked off, holding it for a moment before it cracked open, revealing a scarab that dug into his skin and was drawn out by a knife and shot. Imhotep, in another corridor of the necropolis, heard the shot and cast a spell on the walls that summoned the mummified corpses of his former priests from them, as they were mummified alive and cast into the walls.
O'Connell, Jonathan and Ardeth Bay reached one chamber that was darkened before O'Connell shot at a mirror close to the ceiling inside the compartment, illuminating the chamber and revealing that it contained vast amounts of gold, jewels and other priceless objects. At that moment, the three men saw that a mummy was emerging from the sandy floor, along with others that broke out from the floor as well, and finally mummies that had come from the nearby corridors. The three men began shooting at the mummies, taking them down and leaving the chamber to find the statue of Horus. As they had left, Beni, who had abandoned his master's side, entered the treasure chamber, standing wide-eyed at the golden mounds and priceless items before him; Beni thus began to loot the treasure chamber, taking saddlebags full of treasure to the camels that were outside on the surface.
O'Connell and his friends had found the Book of Amun-Ra, which, they had found out previously, could successfully kill off Imhotep. As the mummies kept coming forward, Ardeth ran towards them, holding them off so that O'Connell and Jonathan could retrieve the Book of Amun-Ra. The Book of Amun-Ra was found inside a compartment in the statue of Horus, and as O'Connell and Jonathan tried to pry the compartment open, they were stopped by some of the mummified priests, who threw the two men aside and began to pry the compartment themselves, only to be burned as a torrent of salt acid shot out at them, as it had in the statue of Anubis some time before. The chest containing the golden book was brought out and opened, revealing the Book of Amun-Ra, which O'Connell and Jonathan took out.
Meanwhile, in the ceremonial chamber, Imhotep was performing the incantations that would bring Anck-Su-Namun's soul to her body, with Evelyn chained alongside Anck-Su-Namun's dried mummified corpse. Imhotep was about to stab Evelyn with a ceremonial dagger in order to bring Anck-Su-Namun back to life when Jonathan burst in with the Book of Amun-Ra. As Imhotep saw Jonathan with the Book, O'Connell sneaked towards the mummified priests and began to take them down with a golden sword taken from a statue, cutting Evelyn free of the sacrificial altar as he fought. As Imhotep stepped closer to Jonathan, Jonathan read an inscription on the cover of the golden book which summoned a number of mummified soldiers that were controlled by Imhotep, who gave them the command to kill O'Connell. Evelyn called out that Jonathan could control them by finishing the inscription on the cover of the Book, and O'Connell managed to fight the mummified soldiers off but was soon overpowered; as they were about to kill him, they stopped, for Jonathan had read the inscription.
Jonathan then gave the mummies the order to kill Anck-Su-Namun, and in his rage, Imhotep lunged forward and grabbed Jonathan by the neck. To save his friend, O'Connell hacked Imhotep's arm off, allowing his robe to slide off and Jonathan, gasping for air, to be able to pickpocket the key. Imhotep angrily reattached his severed arm and began to throw O'Connell about, throwing him into walls, onto the floor, and as O'Connell was being bloodied up, the Carnahans managed to use the freshly opened Book of Amun-Ra to summon up the god Anubis, who rode through the chamber in his ghostly chariot and took Imhotep's immortal soul, leaving Imhotep mortal. As the former mummy leaned forward to try and kill O'Connell, the adventurer impaled Imhotep with a sword, causing Imhotep to fall back into a moat filled with human remains, which took the forms of souls. Before Imhotep died off completely, his skin was stripped from bone, and he re-transformed into a mummy, giving the final words: "Death is only the beginning".
Meanwhile, Beni Gabor was greedily helping himself to various golden treasures throughout the treasure chamber. As he set one heavy bag of gold down on a post, it lowers on the weight, the walls began to fall, the ceiling began to cave in, and the lever that would destroy Hamunaptra had been found.
Several years after the City of the Dead had been brought down, it had been revisited by a group of cultists, who were seeking the remains of Imhotep, as well as several other pertaining artifacts: the Book of the Dead, the Book of Amun-Ra, and a blue-and-gold urn that contained the remains of "those that served" Imhotep. Enlisting the efforts of at least a hundred native fellahin diggers, the cultists uncovered much of Hamunaptra's remains and were led in their doings by a woman known as Meela Nais, who knew things that none but those from ancient times knew, she knew, for instance, where Imhotep's remains were located. As one pit dug by the workers had been opened, a rumbling sound emanated from the ground and a large mound of sand began to form at the bottom of one pit, finally bursting open as thousands of scarabs swarmed out, devouring all those within the pit, cultist and digger alike. The scarabs continued to eat away their victims until they were impeded by several cultist thugs wielding flame-throwers. and Anuck Sunamun found the body of imhotep.
The next year, Evelyn O'Connell, since married to Rick O'Connell, was sent by the Curator of the British Museum of Antiquities to inspect the excavations in the ruins of Hamunaptra, which had been undergoing some restoration, as its pylons, pillars and chambers were all standing once more. While in the ruins, Jonathan Carnahan, who had joined Evelyn's family on the expedition, found the Manacle of Osiris in an underground chamber, while Evelyn's co-archaeologist Colin Weasler, envious of her rising fame, found a chamber in Hamunaptra in which the remains of Imhotep himself had ended up, mummified. Weasler brought the mummy back to life with the Book of the Dead and attempted to command him, but Imhotep spoke for himself and instead commanded Weasler to assist him in taking the Manacle of Osiris.
The mummy learned that Evelyn's son Alexander O'Connell had put the Manacle on, and Imhotep abducted the boy, taking him away to Saqqara so as to separate him from the Manacle; in pursuit of their son, Rick and Evelyn, accompanied by Jonathan and Ardeth Bay, headed for Saqqara, leaving behind their work in Hamunaptra.
- The Mummy (First appearance)
- The Mummy Returns
- The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai
|Locations in The Mummy film series|