Discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun
Howard Carter was not an archaeologist by training, when he undertook work for Lord Carnarvon. George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, fifth Lord Carnarvon, motorist, eccentric and amateur archaeologist, he was forced by doctors to go to Egypt. To kill boredom, decided to look for some monuments and so in 1907 r. exploration work began. Carter had a feeling, that the Valley of the Kings, recognized by Theodore Davis as an investigated site, still hides many secrets. Years passed, during which Carter searched unsuccessfully through its untouched fragments. At the end of the season 1921-1922 Carnarvon decided to terminate the work, but Carter begged his sponsor for the final season. 1 November, the search was resumed. Unexpectedly, the step of the stairs was found, then a plastered wall with indistinct seals was exposed. Two weeks later, Carnarvon and her daughter, lady Evelyn Herbert, came to Luxor.
The tomb was opened. The bottom seals spoke, it's the tomb of Tutankhamun, but others reported that the tomb was closed again after the break-in. What's left inside? When the blockage was removed and the corridor was revealed, a second door appeared in front of the archaeologists. Carter punched a hole and inserted a candle into it, and after a while he saw a gleam of gold. They entered the vestibule with the Lord and Lady Evelyn and saw the monuments. On the second day, after installing electric lighting, real archaeological work has begun. Carter decided to document every item found, not only after taking it out, but also in situ. The monuments are numbered, with whom they were photographed. Did the three of them secretly open the third room during the night – burial chamber? It is not known. After the official opening, researchers stumbled upon gilded chapels. To disassemble them, it took a lot of effort. The team was growing.
Professionals came from the Metropolitan Museum to help clear the grave of the finds, maintenance and documentation. It almost took Carter and his crew 10 years. Carter did not allow the tomb to be emptied quickly despite pressure from many people, m.in. Carnarvon and his friends and the Egyptian authorities. Kings and Queens, presidents and prime ministers were careful, that it is the responsibility of the researcher to show them around the find. Journalists without hesitation wrote out crazy nonsense about the discovery. When Carnarvon, to repair your strained budget, he sold the rights to the description to the Times, journalists took their revenge, inventing the famous curse of the pharaoh.
Carnarvon's unexpected death turned out to be a disaster. Carter, calmly conducting the work, while the lord dealt with officials and the press, was pushed into the spotlight. It was beyond human strength, who had enough trouble preserving the finds.
Now he still had to fight people and the legend. Conflicts began – with colleagues, with the Egyptian authorities. Carter was forbidden to work in the tomb, but as irreplaceable in 1925 r. received a new license. The work lasted over seven years, and it took Carter the rest of his life to study and prepare the artifacts to be shown to the world.
W 1933 r. the last part of the work on the tomb has been published, and until Carter died, he worked on the report. He almost died forgotten 2 brand 1939 r. in London. His home in West Thebes became the property of the Metropolitan Museum, who plans to turn it into the Carter Museum.
Tutankhamun's tomb (KV62)
Can visit daily 400 tourists (200 people in the morning and 200 in the afternoon), The Supreme Council of Antiquities decided to limit the number of people. From 1 of December 2007 r. the tomb is also closed in between 12.00 a 13.00. The tomb of the most famous king of ancient Egypt is not impressive either in size, nor the wealth of decorations. The impressions related to its sightseeing do not compensate for the ticket price, therefore many tourists do not enter the KV62 recently. Nevertheless, there are still crowds here, attracted by the legend of the Pharaoh's curse, fabricated by journalists, a vision of great treasures and a tearful story about a child pharaoh murdered by courtiers. Despite the discovery in 1922 r. an almost intact grave, little is known about this ruler. Tutankhamun may have been the son of Smenkhkare and one of the princesses (Meritre?), others point to Amenhotep III and Queen Teje or Amenhotep IV Akhanton and his second-order wife Kiyi. It is believed, that he remained in Akhetaton during the first two years of his rule, later he moved the manor house or part of it to Memphis. Nevertheless, he concentrated his construction activities in the Theban district. Tutankhamun probably died in late August and was buried in early November. The view prevails, that at the time of his death he had 18-19 years, though some say about age 23-27 years. The last theory about his death is related to a CT scan of the mummy, which showed severe damage to the knee (infected wound). Perhaps the boy had an accident or was injured. The murder of Tutankhamun by his successors seems to have no real justification. The damage to the skull occurred during mummification, the blow to the head theory is therefore omitted. Tutankhamun's reign was short and there was no time to build a larger tomb. The accumulation of funeral gifts is puzzling, and some of them, including the sarcophagus, clearly meant for someone else. Some figures have a pronounced female bust…
Many publications have been written about Tutankhamun's tomb, so scientific, as well as those looking for a cheap sensation. He found the tomb 4 November 1922 r. English archaeologist Howard Carter, working on behalf of an archeology lover – Lord Carnarvon. The tomb may have been intended for some dignitary, e.g.. arcykapłana Shaft (Ai) and was adapted for a king. Apart from the entrance stairs, a descending corridor leads to the vestibule and the annex, and then, on the right, to the lowered burial chamber with an additional chamber called the treasury. These two chambers could be added at the time of the ruler's death. Only the burial chamber has decorated walls. The discovery of an almost intact tomb and its professional exploration have enriched museums with unique exhibits, but they did not contribute much to the knowledge of the end of the eighteenth dynasty.
Found over 3500 funeral gifts. In the burial chamber, officially open 17 February 1923 r., there were four golden chests-chapels with a sarcophagus inside. The outer chest-chapel had no seal, that the ancient robbers broke. The spaces between the chapels were occupied by various items. Dismantling of chapels, The opening of the sarcophagus and coffins as well as the classification of the monuments took almost eight months, because all the things lay in great disarray along the north wall. In one of the chests there were two miniature anthropoid coffins containing mummified fetuses of the royal daughters. A miniature coffin with an inscription with the name of Queen Teje was also found. Inside was a lock of hair probably belonging to my grandmother
Tutankhamona. An interesting item was a knife with an iron blade (a rarity in the Bronze Age) with a richly inlaid gold hilt and scabbard.
The paintings in the tomb are protected by glass panes. A door leads to the tomb, that Carter discovered. A corridor leads down. The re-sealing of the door showed that the thieves had broken the peace of the tomb. After entering the vestibule, the road available for tourists ends. Next is the burial chamber, where in a quartzite sarcophagus and the first (wooden) the coffin rests the mummy of the young king. The colorful paintings show Tutankhamun's funeral procession with a coffin on skids, on the other hand, Eje celebrates the opening of the mouth. Tutankhamun is shown here as Osiris. The names of Tutankhamun and Eje were placed above their heads in royal cartouches, which proves, that Eje succeeded the ruler. Then Tutankhamun in the robe of a mortal king greeted by Nut enters the world of the gods. On the left, a king in a headdress called nemes, walking in front of his ka (with hands and a bird on his head), is welcomed into the Underworld by Osiris, with whom to identify. Far left, on the west wall, the sacred barge of Re with the god Chepri is adored by baboons (excerpt from the Book of Amduat). On the right you can see fuzzy paintings on the southern wall, where the king in a sling, huts in the company of Hathor – Lady of the West, Anubis and Isis enters the land of the gods. Part of the painting was destroyed during the removal of the golden chapels.
In further side rooms, adjacent to the vestibule and inaccessible to visitors, most of the pharaoh's tombstone gifts were located.