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Howard Carter and his journey to discovery

Every archaeologist who has ever searched in the sands of the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, has dreamt of finding the tomb of a king. Lots have done so but most of the tombs discovered had been robbed many years before and were empty. 

One man continued his search after all others had given up. He believed that there was at least one tomb left undiscovered, that of the boy king, Tutankhamun. His name was Howard Carter.

Howard Carter was born in 1874 in Norfolk, England. His father, Samuel Carter was an artist who taught Howard the basics of drawing and painting.

Howard Carter was only 17 years old when he first visited Egypt in 1891. He wanted an adventure & he got a job as an archaeological artist in Egypt. He produced drawings and diagrams of Ancient Egyptian finds and sites for the Egypt Exploration Fund. Carter became very well known amongst Egyptologists for his knowledge & understanding of Ancient Egypt.

Carter held a number of key positions during his time in Egypt. He also became an antiques dealer & whilst doing this came to realise that the Egyptologists working in the Valley of the Kings had overlooked the tomb of the boy king Tutankhamun. Items had been found with Tutankhamun's name on them - a cup, some jars, and even some thin sheets of gold, but no one had found his tomb. 

Howard Carter wanted to start a search for the kings tomb, but that took men and lots of money. Carter finally got lucky in 1914. Lord Carnarvon, a wealthy English aristocrat, obtained the right to dig on site KV62. This was the supposed location of the tomb of Tutankhamun and he chose Howard Carter to manage this project.

Lord Carnarvon was a very rich man & he allowed Howard Carter to hire 50 men to help him search for Tutankhamun's tomb. The men had to fill baskets with sand, carry them away, dump the contents, and return to fill them again. After years of searching & digging, Lord

Howard Carter's House near Luxor

Howard Carter's House near Luxor

Carnarvon, gave up. He gave Howard one last chance to find the tomb. 

On 4th November 1922, one of Howard Carter’s team discovered a stone step in the sand. A long stairway was soon revealed, leading down to a sealed door. Carter contacted his then friend, Lord Carnarvon to tell him about the find. Carnarvon made the long journey (2 weeks by ship, train and donkey) back to Egypt. 

On the 26th November 1922 Howard Carter chiseled a small hole in the door and looked inside by the light of a candle. When asked by Lord Carnarvon, what was in there, Carter famously said he could see 'wonderful things’ within the antechamber.

The room was filled with treasures all glittering with gold. After months of drawing, cataloging and removing all of the artefacts they eventually came to find Tutankhamun's burial chamber, which was the most well-preserved pharoah’s tomb found in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

So much was learned about the Ancient Egyptians from this find & it made Howard Carter a very famous man!