Howard Carter English archaeologist

the discoverer of the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.

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Skip Navigation LinksHome > The Orgin > Tut Ank Amon > Howard Carter

  howard carter, was wearing an atlantis ring

The strangest of all this whole affair, is that the only survivor of the curse was the most "guilty" one, the one who, from beginning to end, had led the work, inventoried the discoveries, removed the treasures, in short, had had all the responsibility and the glory of the undertaking: Howard Carter, dies in 1939 at the age of seventy six.

Howard Carter (May 9, 1873 – March 2, 1939) was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist. He is most famous as the discoverer of KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.

Howard Carter was born in 1873 in Brompton, Kensington, London, the youngest son of 8 children. His father, Samuel Carter, was an artist. His mother was Martha Joyce (Sands) Carter. Carter grew up in Swaffham, in northern Norfolk, and had no formal education. His father trained him in the fundamentals of drawing and painting.

Carter began work in 1891, at the age of 18, copying inscriptions and paintings in Egypt. He worked on the excavation of Beni Hasan, the gravesite of the princes of Middle Egypt, c. 2000 BC. Later he came under the tutelage of William Flinders Petrie.

He is also famous for finding the remains of Queen Hatshepsut's tomb in Deir el-Bahri. In 1899, at the age of 25, Carter was offered a position working for the Egyptian Antiquities Service, from which he resigned as a result of a dispute between Egyptian site guards and a group of drunken French tourists in 1905.

After several hard years, Carter was introduced, in 1907, to Lord Carnarvon, an eager amateur who was prepared to supply the funds necessary for Carter's work to continue. Soon, Carter was supervising all of Lord Carnarvon's excavations.

Lord Carnarvon financed Carter's search for the tomb of a previously unknown Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, whose existence Carter had discovered. After a few months of fruitless searching, Carnarvon was becoming dissatisfied with the lack of return from his investment and, in 1922, he gave Carter one more season of funding to find the tomb.

On November 4, 1922 Carter found the steps leading to Tutankhamen's tomb (subsequently designated KV62), by far the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings. He wired Lord Carnarvon to come, and on November 26, 1922, with Lord Carnarvon, Carnarvon's daughter, and others in attendance, Carter made the famous "tiny breach in the top left hand corner" of the doorway, and was able to peer in by the light of a candle and see that many of the gold and ebony treasures were still in place. He did not yet know at that point whether it was "a tomb or merely a cache," but he did see a promising sealed doorway between two sentinel statues.

The next several weeks were spent carefully cataloguing the contents of the antechamber. On February 16, 1923, Carter opened the sealed doorway, and found that it did indeed lead to a burial chamber, and he got his first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun.

While unwrapping the linens of the mummy, presumably looking for treasure, the skull of the ancient king fell away from the body. The impact from its fall out of the tomb made a dent in the skull. Ancient Egyptians believed a king could only be immortal if the body rested undisturbed, so some believe the name of the king must still be spoken today as a remembrance.

After cataloguing the extensive finds, Carter retired from archaeology and became a collector. He visited the United States in 1924, and gave a series of illustrated lectures in New York City which were attended by very large and enthusiastic audiences. He died in England in 1939 at the age of 65. The archaeologist's death at this advanced age despite being the driving force behind the opening of Tutankhamun's tomb is the most common piece of evidence put forward by skeptics to refute the idea of a curse (the "Curse of the Pharaohs") plaguing the party that violated Tutankhamun's tomb.

Howard Carter is buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in West London.

His brother William Carter, (1863-1939) was an artist.

More information about Howard Carter can be found at:

Howard Carter's personal diaries of the first excavation season

Howard Carter and the Curse of the Mummy

Howard Carter 1874-1939

Howard Carter by John Warren  

Howard Carter 1874-1939

Howard Carter by John Warren