King Tutankhamen: the treasure hidden inside his tomb 100 years ago this week

The treasure hidden inside King Tutankhamun’s tomb 100 years ago this week, including thrones, chariots, and THAT death mask.

  • 100 years ago this week, Lord Carnarvon was rewarded with a major discovery
  • Hidden for 3,000 years was the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen, ‘the boy king’
  • He came to the throne at age 8 and ruled for a decade before his death at age 19 in 1323 BC.
  • More than 5,000 items were recovered from his grave, and excavation continues today.

Patience is a virtue, but it must have been wearing thin at Highclere Castle in the summer of 1922 when Lord Carnarvon was pondering whether to allow Howard Carter one last season of excavation work in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings.

He had already spent £5-6 million in today’s money and was disappointed that his investment was showing so little return.

But he rolled the dice once more and, 100 years ago this week, he was rewarded with arguably the greatest archaeological discovery in history.

100 years ago this week, Lord Carnarvon was rewarded with a great discovery: marvelous, priceless and hidden for 3,000 years, including, ultimately, King Tutankhamen's sarcophagus.

100 years ago this week, Lord Carnarvon was rewarded with a great discovery: marvelous, priceless and hidden for 3,000 years, including, ultimately, King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus.

British archaeologist Howard Carter (1874 - 1939) at Tutankhamen's tomb, March 1, 1923

British archaeologist Howard Carter (1874 – 1939) at Tutankhamen’s tomb, March 1, 1923

Carter and his team had been investigating a line of rocks in front of the tomb of Ramesses VI when a young water carrier tripped over a stone that turned out to be the last flight of covered stairs.

After partially excavating the steps, they came across a gate stamped with oval seals and hieroglyphics.

This was just the beginning of things to come.

At that point, most of us would have dug up, or kicked down, the door to see what was hidden, but Carter loyally deferred to his employer.

‘At last I have made a wonderful discovery in Valley; a magnificent tomb with intact seals; re-covered same for your arrival; congratulations,’ he reported in a telegram.

Lord Carnarvon and his daughter, Evelyn, left Highclere immediately, arriving at Luxor on 23 November.

The next day, with the Carnarvons present, Carter breached the corner of a second door deeper underground, allowing him to peer into the candlelight.

‘Can you see anything?’ Carnarvon asked him.

Yes, wonderful things! Carter said.

Egyptologist Howard Carter watches as porters carry a throne from the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Egyptologist Howard Carter watches as porters carry a throne from the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.

Sarcophagus containing the golden coffin of Pharaoh Tutankhamen (ruled between 1333 and 1323 BC) that contained his mummy.  From the Cairo Museum, Egypt

Sarcophagus containing the golden coffin of Pharaoh Tutankhamen (ruled between 1333 and 1323 BC) that contained his mummy. From the Cairo Museum, Egypt

Marvelous, priceless and hidden for 3,000 years, including, ultimately, the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamen, ‘the boy king’, who ascended the throne at eight or nine and ruled for a decade before his untimely death, to the age of 19 years. in 1323 B.C. C., after which he was mummified and buried in a tomb filled with works of art, jewelry and other treasures.

Daily Mail correspondent Arthur Weigall was present when the tomb was opened and saw Lord Carnarvon enter.

Over the next few weeks, now in the presence of eager Egyptian authorities, the full scope of the discovery was revealed: an antechamber filled with thrones, alabaster vases, musical instruments, and dismantled chariots; the Treasury, which contains the internal organs of King Tutankhamen and 34 miniature statues of Tutankhamun; an annex to store weapons and household items; and the Burial Chamber, with the king’s golden tomb.

Ultimately, more than 5,000 items were recovered, and excavation work continues to this day.

For Lord Carnarvon, who would die from the bite of an infected mosquito just five months later, it was a triumph after a lifetime of interest in Egypt; and, for Carter, a reward as an archaeologist in the country where he had worked since he was 17.

KING TUTANKHAMUN: THE PHARAOH WHO RULED EGYPT MORE THAN 3000 YEARS AGO

The face of Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 B.C.  C. and 1323 a.  c.

The face of Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 B.C. C. and 1323 a. C. On the right, his famous gold funerary mask.

Tutankhamen was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty and ruled from 1332 B.C. C. and 1323 a. c.

He was the son of Akhenaten and ascended the throne at the age of nine or ten.

When he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten.

He died around the age of 18 and the cause of his death is unknown.

In 1907, Lord Carnarvon George Herbert asked English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter to supervise excavations at the Valley of the Kings.

On November 4, 1922, Carter’s party found steps leading to Tutankhamen’s tomb.

He spent several months cataloging the antechamber before opening the burial chamber and discovering the sarcophagus in February 1923.

When the tomb was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter, under the patronage of Lord Carnarvon, the ensuing media frenzy was unprecedented.

It took Carter and his team 10 years to clear out his treasure tomb due to the multitude of objects found inside.

For many, Tutankhamun embodies the glory of ancient Egypt because his tomb was filled with the glittering wealth of the rich 18th Dynasty from 1569 to 1315 BC.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (3rd from left) oversees the removal of King Tutankhamen's sarcophagus lid from his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in 2007.

Egypt’s antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (3rd from left) oversees the removal of King Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus lid from his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in 2007.

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Author: Harry Gill

This is Harry Gill years of experience in the field of journalism, Harry Gill heads the editorial operations of the Elite News as the Executive Producer.

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