Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Happy Birthday Howard Carter

May 09, 1874. LONDON.- Howard Carter was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist, noted as a primary discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun. On 4 November 1922, Carter's water carrier found the steps leading to Tutankhamun's tomb (subsequently designated KV62), by far the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. In this image:Howard Carter is shown examining King Tut's sarcophagus, date unknown.

Clearing the tomb took another ten years. Carter retired from archaeology in 1932 and became a part-time agent for collectors and museums, including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts. He visited the United States in 1924 and gave a series of illustrated lectures in New York City and other cities in the US that were attended by very large and enthusiastic audiences, sparking American Egyptomania.

Carter died of lymphoma in Kensington, London, on 2 March 1939, aged 64. Carter is now buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in London. His epitaph reads: "May your spirit live, may you spend millions of years, you who love Thebes, sitting with your face to the north wind, your eyes beholding happiness", a quotation taken from the Wishing Cup of Tutankhamun  and "O night, spread thy wings over me as the imperishable stars".

Carter was one of a generation of archaeologists who brought Ancient Egypt back to life through their discoveries. King Tutankhamum's tomb was and is famous for its wealth of grave goods - which makes me hungry for what has been lost from the tombs of the great Pharaohs. When I was young, I read the novel "The Lost Queen of Egypt" by Lucille Morrison about Ankhesenamun. Queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Daughter of Nefertiti. Sister-wife of Tutankhamun and possibly the one who wrote the famous letter to the King of the Hittites, asking for a husband to replace the one who died. Unfortunately the novel is out of print but I wish it could it be reissued. Naturally it's fiction but so well written that it makes the whole era come alive.

Bio from Wikipedia here 

Egyptology here

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

I have always been fascinated by all things Ancient Egypt. I'm sure Howard Carter would be pleased to know that his discovery of Tut's tomb and grave goods is still a subject very much on the minds of history buffs. I'm betting he would love the huge exhibits and tours surrounding his discovery.