Tutankhamun‘s tomb is probably the best-known in the world, maybe because of the fascination people will always for the Egyptian culture. Moreover, the treasure hidden in it has sparkled our imagination since Howard Carter found it in 1922 and is still considered to be one of the biggest archaeological discoveries ever made, especially as the tomb was almost intact.
See also: What Not to Do in Egypt
Tutankhamun ruled Egypt form the age of 9 for 10 years and the cause of his death is still a mystery. Some researchers believe that he was murdered, possibly because he had grown up and had started to impose his own will in the political affairs.
After the death of the young pharaoh the tomb remained almost untouched for a very long period of time until its discovery. The treasure, which comprised numerous objects of cult, most of them made of gold and other precious materials, its value being appreciated at about 650 million $. The most famous is definitely the mortuary mask, which is still considered iconic for the Egyptian culture.
The mainstream culture profited from the myth of the curse that is said to affect anyone entering in contact with the tomb or the treasure, some bizarre deaths and accidents being related to it, even if most of them have a less interesting explanation. In order to get a taste of the treasure yourself there is a possibility that you might see some items of it in your own country as tours have been organised in countries such as: USA, Germany or the UK.
Now we move further to another very well known ruler and also much more controversial, Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed body can be seen by visitors since 1924. After the dictator’s death about 10,000 letters were received, all demanding for the preservation of the body. The task was completed but another one followed: a tomb had to be built in order to allow the people to say good bye to the ruler. The Red Square was the chosen place and the construction was finished immediately. As the visitors’ number reached 100,000 it was decided to enlarge the tomb.
Moreover, in 1929 it was established that the body could be preserved for a lot more time, by keeping it at a certain temperature and humidity and by using special chemicals, a new sarcophagus also being designed. Until 1972 more than 10 million people came to see the tomb.
For its importance, the body was moved during the German invasion in order to be safe, but it was returned after the war. For some time, Stalin’s preserved body was kept next to Lenin’s but then it was buried during the de-Stalinization process. Now you can visit the site without paying a fee; you will have to wait in a long queue however and follow the rules, which are quite strict, especially as the tomb is carefully guarded.
Emperor QIN SHIHUANG’s tomb
This is another megalomaniac wonder, created by one of the most powerful rulers in the world in order to remain immortal, at least in the collective memory. There are few people who haven’t heard of the emperor’s Terracotta army, an incredible work of art meant to accompany the ruler in his afterlife in the mortuary complex which spreads on about 52 square kilometers. The tomb dates from 221 B.C. and is located at the foot of the Li Mountain. No entrances or exists were found and it is known that in order to keep the secret of the tomb, Qin ordered that the workers would be buried alive inside.
This is just one example of how cruel the emperor proved to be; even though he brought peace to the Chinese, he also ordered that all the books would be burnt. Many Confucians were also killed for their belief and fear was a common feeling among the people.
In his last years the ruler became obsessed with finding immortality, taking large amounts of mercury for that purpose, which eventually killed him. Feeling that death was not far away he ordered the creation of the terracotta army, which is amazing in its realism and dimensions, more than 8000 soldiers, horses and chariots serving the emperor in his afterlife.
Edgar Allan Poe’s grave
Edgar Allan Poe must be one of the most important and influential writers in the world. His dark, mystical creations inspired thousands of other works of art, not to mention readers all around the world. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is a real personality cult dedicated to Poe, both as a writer and a man. A lot of mysteries are related to the end of his life: firstly the cause of his death is still an unsolved problem for the researchers who still have a lot to figure out. However, there are plenty of theories, varying from alcoholism and delirium to rabies and syphilis.
But what makes this grave so special? Well, there is a legend related to it that has attracted a lot of attention since the beginning. Every year, a stranger would show up at the grave and leave there three red roses and a bottle of cognac, which was the author’s favorite. The man would show up dressed in black and with his face covered by a scarf and a hat. Vigils were organised in many years and the stranger continued to show up, the same mystic ritual taking place every year. The identity of the man remained a mystery, even if new claims seem to prove that there wasn’t a lot of mysticism in the happening. But mystery or not, the grave still attracts a lot of people coming to leave a homage to the man who changed the world in his own particular way.