In this article, we will share a story of King Tut’s tomb, which was discovered a century ago. You will be thinking about who was King Tut and how King Tut’s tomb was discovered. So, let’s read the story of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in detail!
Lady Fiona Herbert
The eighth Countess of Carnarvon, Lady Fiona Herbert, turns the folio pages of a leatherbound guest book, pointing out the names of prominent guests who frequented her renowned residence a century ago. We are in the upper levels of Highclere Castle, a magnificent country estate located about 50 miles west of London and recently used as the backdrop for the hit historical drama Downton Abbey.
The Fifth Earl
She refers to him as “The Fifth Earl,” and he is famed for supporting British archaeologist Howard Carter in his tenacious search for King Tutankhamun’s hidden tomb. A diverse group of explorers, diplomats, socialites, and—a little unexpectedly for an English aristocrat—leaders of Egypt’s independence movement gathered to Lord Carnarvon’s opulent gatherings at Highclere.
On July 13, 1920:
On July 3, 1920, Lady Carnarvon paused and welcomed the attendees as if she were there herself.
“Of course, this is Howard Carter, who spent weeks organizing the excavations with the Fifth Earl here each summer. Lord Allenby, High Commissioner of Great Britain Lady Diana Cooper, the lovely wife of Alfred Duff Cooper.”
She identified several signatures, some of which are written in Arabic.
“Look there, too. Saad Zagloul, Adly Yeghen, and other early Egyptian state founders Egypt’s national hero, Zagloul, was imprisoned and sent into exile for his opposition to the British occupation. Yet there he was, mingling with influential British people.”
Lady Carnarvon comments on the earl, saying,
“I can see what he was doing since I do it myself.”
Before engaging in treaty negotiations or resolving a political crisis,
“the Fifth Earl was bringing individuals together informally, where they could create a modicum of personal trust, perhaps even friendship.”
On his doctor’s suggestion, Lord Carnarvon started spending the winters on the Nile in 1903. His innately ill health was worsened by a nearly fatal car accident that left him with seriously damaged lungs.
Lord Carnarvon soon enjoyed Egyptian artifacts as much as the country’s atmosphere. He employed Carter in 1907 to oversee the excavations he was supporting and to look for objects for his expanding collection at Highclere.
LeftEngland for Egypt
With no professional background in archaeology but an unmistakable flair for art, Carter left England for Egypt when he was just 17 years old. He developed a remarkable eye for artifacts, and the Egyptian Antiquities Service designated him as one of its two principal antiquities inspectors in 1899.
Following what he later described as a “bad affray” with a party of French tourists, Carter’s fortunes abruptly changed in 1905. (Carter claimed they were intoxicated and violent, though he subsequently acknowledged having a “hot temper”). His superior advised him to convey his regrets to prevent a diplomatic issue. He refused, believing that the only proper course of action was resignation, which he eventually did after a few months.
When Carter met Lord Carnarvon two years later, he earned a living by selling watercolors to wealthy tourists. Although the two guys were very different regarding social standing, they both had a love for ancient Egypt.
Together, they would unearth a little-known kid king who had been buried with an incredible collection of treasures and had been virtually forgotten for over 3,000 years. Moreover, one of archaeology’s greatest successes, the discovery gave the world a stunning glimpse of ancient life on the Nile. It gave modern Egyptians a renewed sense of identity and self-determination.
After five years of suffering with little reward, Carter’s benefactor lost hope. The valley might have been exploited and played out. Lord Carnarvon called Carter to Highclere in June 1922 and told him he was giving up on the valley.
Carter begged for another digging season and even offered to foot the bill. Lord Carnarvon consented grudgingly. On October 28, 1922, Carter returned to Luxor, and time was running out. Therefore, seven days later, he made a happy discovery of King Tut’s tomb that quickly rocked his world.