Lord Carnarvon

George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb

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Skip Navigation LinksHome > The Orgin > Tut Ank Amon > Lord Carnarvon


Lord Carnarvon Lord Carnarvon married into the family of the Rothschilds. He then went to Egypt for his health. Granted permission to dig at Luxor, Lord Carnarvon soon met Howard Carter whom he employed and financed in work leading to the discovery of Tut Ankh Amons's tomb. In 1923, the year after Tut Ankh Amon's tomb was discovered, Lord Carnarvon died. Lord Carnarvon's death sparked rumors about the curse of the mummy.

George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon (June 26, 1866 – April 5, 1923), usually referred to simply as Lord Carnarvon, was an English aristocrat best known as the financier of the excavation of the Egyptian New Kingdom Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

Born at the family home, Highclere Castle, in Hampshire on June 26, 1866, George Herbert succeeded to the Carnarvon title in 1890. On June 26, 1895 Carnarvon married one Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell, daughter of Marie Boyer, the wife of Frederick Charles Wombwell, but her real father was possibly Alfred de Rothschild, the unmarried member of the prominent Rothschild banking family of England who made Lady Carnarvon his heiress. (Their grandson, Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, was Racing Manager to Queen Elizabeth II from 1969, and one of Her Majesty's closest friends). Exceedingly wealthy, Lord Carnarvon was at first best-known as an owner of race-horses and as a reckless driver of early automobiles, suffering - in 1901 - a serious motoring accident in Germany which left him significantly disabled.

The 5th Earl was an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, undertaking in 1907 to sponsor the excavation of the royal tombs at Thebes by Howard Carter. It was in 1922 that they together opened the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, exposing treasures unsurpassed in the history of archaeology. Several months later, Carnarvon died suddenly, giving popular credence to the story of the "Curse of Tutankhamun", the "Mummy's Curse." His death is most probably explained by blood poisoning (progressing to pneumonia) after accidentally shaving a mosquito bite infected with erysipelas. His colleague and employee, Howard Carter, the man most responsible for revealing the tomb of the young king, lived safely for another sixteen years.