Thieves last week led archaeologists to the graves of three royal dentists, located near to the Step Pyramid of King Djoser, believed to be Egypt’s oldest pyramid.
Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, told … reporters that the tombs date back more than 4,000 years to the 5th Dynasty. They were meant to honor a chief dentist and two others who treated the pharaohs and their families.
Although their services were in demand by the powerful, the dentists likely did not share in their wealth. The tombs, which did not contain their mummies, were built of mudbrick and limestone, not the pure limestone preferred by ancient Egypt’s upper class.
Back in the day when General Motors was struggling to keep its market share below 50 percent, dentists and lawyers and such, even if they could afford Cadillacs, tended to buy Buicks and Oldsmobiles, lest their clientele wonder if maybe they might be getting overcharged. The idea that there’s historical precedent for this sort of modesty is just this side of fascinating.
This is not to say, though, that the dentists weren’t protective of what was theirs:
[O]ne of [the tombs] included a curse warning that anyone who violated the sanctity of the grave would be eaten by a crocodile and a snake.
It could have been worse: the curse could have included root-canal work.
(Stolen from Scribal Terror.)