Real Hamunaptra,3 '10 Subject: Myths, Viewed by: 573
Hamunaptra is depicted as containing two books central to the film's plot. One is the golden Book of Amun-Ra, "The Book of the Living", hidden beneath the statue of Horus. "It contains within it all the secret incantations of the Old Kingdom." The other is the black Book of the Dead, hidden beneath the statue of Anubis. The Book of the Living can take life away while the Book of the Dead can give it back. It is the latter that Imhotep, high priest of King Seti I, uses in his attempt to resurrect his true love Anck-su-namun meaning Lifes mystery or hidden one.
Also in this city is the preparation room where mummification is carried out. And hidden deep is a large underground chamber holding "the wealth of Egypt." To protect this treasure, however, the entire city is hidden behind a desert mirage and is only revealed to travellers at sunrise. This trick led to the myth that the entire necropolis was "rigged to sink into the sand on Pharaoh's command," causing the city to disappear under the desert, putting the treasure permanently out of reach.
In actual history, a city called Hamunaptra (City of the Dead Man) was found in India in the 1850s when British engineers, trying to build a railroad, pillaged the area for bricks. In the 1920s, archaeologists began serious excavations. They found at the site a lost civilization occupying an area greater than that of Pakistan. It was a complex, literate, urbanized, centrally located society. Raw materials located in the area indicated that the civilization had long-distance trade with Mesopotamia. The civilization ended between 1900 and 1700 BC, which archaeologists accredit to a new group of horse-riding invaders. However, there is no evidence to prove any hypothesis of why the civilization might have become extinct.