Do you know who Howard Carter was? He was the man responsible for the discovery
of the legendary king, King Tutankhamen. Because of his discovery, it has
inspired many Indiana Jones and Lara Croft type of movies, books, and games that
have flooded the world ever since. The mysteries, the curses, and the traps; all
the essence of a good show, book, and even play.
He was seventeen years old
when he set sail for Alexandria, Egypt. That was Howard's maiden journey outside
England. He came to Bani Hassan, where he recorded and copied scenes from the
walls of the tombs of the princes of Middle Egypt. He was so dedicated to his
work that by day, he could be found in the tombs and by night, he was still
there with the bats.
Slowly, Howard became an archaeologist in his own right. Under the tutelage
of William Flinders Petrie, he unearthed several important finds that vaulted
him to be on par with his teacher.
However, Howard's career was not a bed of roses. At 25, he was made the first
Inspector General of Monuments for Upper Egypt by the Director of the Egyptian
Antiquities Service only to be forced to
resign in 1905 due to an incident that occurred between the Egyptian archaeology
guards and a few drunken French tourists. Howard sided with the guards and that
led to formal complaints made against him by the unhappy tourists. Howard
refused to offer a formal apology and thus was fired.
This led him to become the Supervisor of excavations for the 5th Lord of
Carnarvon where he would eventually discover six tombs in the Valley of the
Kings on the West Bank at Luxor.
However, Howard was more interested in locating the tomb of the boy king. The
elusive tomb took much of his time and provoked Lord Carnarvon who threatened
him that he would no longer back him up.
Undeterred, Howard began digging exclusively for his tomb and on 26 November,
at 4 p.m., he triumphed.
However, problems still persisted. Lord Carnarvon died during this time and
at precisely the time he died, the lights in Cairo went off. There were also
others who were involved in the discovery that soon
died and their deaths sparked an appetite for mummy tales and movies.
However, Howard Carter was untouched by the believed curse and lived in
moderate success, to a ripe old age of 65.