The idea of a 'Curse of the Pharaohs' emerged following the death of George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon after excavation of perhaps the most famous of all ancient Egyptian treasures - the tomb of King Tutankhamun.
The general public were amazed at the unbelievable wealth reflected in the amount of solid gold funerary pieces that were entombed with the minor Pharaoh. This treasure had been buried, along with its owner Tutankhamun, for over 3000 years. His resting place had remained undisturbed until its discovery in November 1922 when Howard Carter and Carnarvon, his sponsor, excavated a step cut into the rock in the Valley of The Kings beneath some workmen's huts at the base of the tomb of Rameses VI. What they discovered was to be the monumental culmination of a number of years (and considerable investment on Carnarvon's part) searching for a tomb they weren't even at all sure existed! Is it surprising that the general public perhaps felt that it was wrong to disturb King Tut? Perhaps people felt that the excavation was a disrespectful act of violation and that the idea of the Curse of King Tut was a justified form of revenge on any invaders of his tomb.