This curious head was found under a pile of debris at Saqqara, near the ancient capital city of Memphis, by the French expedition to Egypt in 1798. It has long been thought to be the head of the Third Dynasty Pharaoh Sanakht, who ruled Egypt for some years before 2650 BC. It found its way to Paris, and later into the private collection of French Emperor Napoleon III, the rather pompous and unimaginative nephew of the original, and vastly more talented, Napoleon Bonaparte.
The nineteenth century was a time of empires, and European emperors controlled much of the world. In 1863, after two years of fighting, the French army, sent by Napoleon III, captured Mexico City, and the Austrian Grand Duke Maximilian was made Mexican Emperor. His rule was short and unfortunate. Under pressure from the United States, Napoleon III abandoned Mexico, and Maximilian. Soon thereafter, Maximilian was deposed, put before a firing squad, and shot. Napoleon III fared somewhat better. After losing the ill conceived Franco-Prussian War, he was not executed, but merely deposed and run out of France. Sanakht’s head was not found among his belongings.
A hundred years later it turned up in Mexico City. Renovations were being made to a large office in the Palacio Nacional de Mexico. Behind a wall workers discovered a small sealed closet. Inside were three wooden crates. One contained mementos and some personal artifacts of Maximilian. The second contained a small fortune in gold coins. The third crate contained the head of King Sanakht. This would suggest that the head had been given to the ill fated Maximilian by Napoleon III.
More is known, but unfortunately the story must end here—at least for now. I have King Sanakht’s head, but until the estranged wife of a certain high government official is able to secure her divorce, exactly how it came into my possession must remain a mystery.
Note: This story is subject to change at any time according to the whim of its creator.