Pages and accounts on social networks circulated a publication claiming that “amounts of mercury used in embalming pharaonic mummies” could be sold for millions of dollars.
And one of these publications, which garnered tens of thousands of posts on social media, stated that Egypt owns 54 mummies, and that the weight of mercury contained in these mummies is 162 grams, and that their price could exceed one billion dollars.
But this claim is incorrect, according to experts surveyed by Agence France-Presse, and it is nothing but the imagination of its promoters, as archaeologists confirmed that the materials used in embalming were free of metallic mercury.
“The ancient Egyptians did not use mercury in their mummification operations, but rather used materials known to every specialist in mummies,” Sabah Abdel Razek, director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, told AFP.
Among these substances are “Nazoron salt and its function is to rid the body of water, date wine for sterilization, and vegetable materials such as Kinder, which plays the role of a body preservative,” according to Abdel Razek.
And her colleague, Mohamed Yahya Oweida, who previously held the position of director of the Mummification Museum in Luxor, supported her, describing what was stated in the publications as a “myth.”
“The ancient Egyptians never used mercury, whether in mummification or in any other matters related to their civilization,” he said.
“There is no recorded case of mercury in any pharaonic tomb,” he added.
Sabah Abdel Razek commented on the misleading publications about the presence of 54 mummies in Egypt, and said, “There are more than 150 mummies in Egypt, including 22 mummies that were transferred from the Egyptian Museum to the Museum of Civilization in the year 2021, but many Egyptian museums have royal mummies, Some of them will be displayed in the Great Museum.
Misleading news about Egyptian antiquities or the ancient Egyptians often appears on social media pages, including that the ancient Egyptians used lasers to dig their sculptures, the latest of which was a statement attributed to the archaeologist and former minister, Zahi Hawass, about the arrival of the pharaohs to Mars, but Zahi Hawass described to the agency AFP this news as “fairy”.