Excerpts from the Diaries of Howard Carter

Howard Carter was a famous archaeologist working in Egypt. Read the following excerpts from his diaries about his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut). Excerpts from the Diaries of Howard Carter “For no man takes his riches to the grave” —Song from the Tomb of King Intef 1 Introduction: one of the most important finds in Howard Carter searched for archaeological history because of the tomb of an unknown Egyptian all the riches found inside. Carter’s Pharaoh named Tutankhamun discovery made the name “King Tut” for about ten years. Then, on known around the world. November 22, 1922, Carter found the tomb at last. It turned out to be ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. 2 November 4, 1922 broken pots, jars, and numerous fragments of small objects; jars whole Something out of the ordinary and broken, and colored pottery happened. A step cut in the rock has vases; all pertaining to some burial. been discovered. 7 November 26, 1922 3 November 5, 1922 It was the day of days. The most Towards sunset we had cleared wonderful I have ever lived through. down to the level of the 12th step, We came upon a second sealed which was sufficient to expose a doorway. Feverishly we cleared away large part of the upper portion of a the remaining last scraps of rubbish plastered and sealed doorway. Here on the floor of the passage, until we before us was sufficient evidence to had only the clean sealed doorway show that it really was an entrance before us. With trembling hands to a tomb, and by the seals, to all I made a tiny breach in the upper outward appearances that it was left hand corner to see what was intact … The seal-impressions beyond … widening the hole a little I suggested that it belonged to inserted the candle and peered in … somebody of high standing, but at first I could see nothing, the hot air at that time I had not found any escaping from the chamber causing indications as to whom. the candle to flicker. Presently details 4 November 6, 1922 of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and At last I have made a wonderful gold—everywhere the glint of gold. discovery … a magnificent tomb with For a moment—an eternity it must seals intact. have seemed to the others—I was 5 November 24, 1922 struck dumb with amazement … I could see wonderful things. It was The whole staircase is clear. We a strange and wonderful medley of made out the name of Tutankhamun. extraordinary and beautiful objects 6 November 25, 1922 heaped upon one another. We opened the first doorway 8 I then with precaution made the … and exposed the beginning of hole sufficiently large for both of us a completely blocked descending to see. With the light of an electric passage. It was filled with stone and torch as well as an additional candle rubble. As we cleared the passage, we looked in. Our sensations and we found mixed with the rubble astonishment are difficult to describe ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only. as the better light revealed to us the 11 Conclusion: marvelous collection of treasures … Howard Carter had discovered gold couches … exquisitely painted, the only complete final resting place inlaid and ornamental caskets, flowers, of an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. vases … finely carved chairs, a golden There were four rooms in the tomb, inlaid throne … and lastly a confusion and over two thousand objects, many of overturned parts of chariots glinting covered in gold. In addition, he with gold …. The first impression of discovered King Tut’s golden coffin. which suggested the property-room of The mummy of the king was still an opera of a vanished civilization. Our inside, more than three thousand sensations were bewildering and full years after his death. It was covered of strange emotion. We questioned one with jewels and a golden mask. another as to the meaning of it all. Was 12 The riches found in the it a tomb or merely a cache? A sealed tomb were astounding. But even doorway between two statues proved more astounding is the fact that there was more beyond, and with the Tutankhamun was considered an numerous cartouches bearing the name unimportant king. He reigned for of Tutankhamun on most of the objects only ten years and died when he was before us, there was little doubt that about eighteen. It makes one wonder behind there was the grave of that what vast wealth and riches may Pharaoh. have been buried with the greatest 9 November 27, 1922 kings of Ancient Egypt. It soon became obvious that we were on the threshold of the discovery. The sight that met us was beyond anything one could conceive. 10 It was a sight surpassing all precedent, and one we never dreamed of seeing. We were astonished by the beauty and refinement of the art displayed by the objects surpassing all we could have imagined — the impression was overwhelming. ™ © Advanced Assessment Systems/LinkIt! Duplication is restricted to licensees only.

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