Happy birthday, curse of Tutankhamun. The rumor that some mysterious force set out to kill the team who opened the tomb of the boy pharaoh turns 90 today (April 5).
On April 5, 1923, Egyptologist Lord Carnarvon, the 57-year-old financial backer of the Tutankhamun search who opened the tomb along with Egyptologist Howard Carter, died of an infected mosquito bite he’d slashed open while shaving. Carnarvon’s failing health spurred a media frenzy that gave birth to the myth of the “Mummy’s curse.”
“Finally, the world’s press had a story had a story they could publish without deferring to The Times,” the newspaper that had an exclusive deal to report on the Tutankhamun tomb opening, Joyce Tylsdesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, said in a statement. Read more.
The popular ITV drama Downton Abbey has made Highclere Castle a hit with tourists. But now the stately home is hoping to attract visitors for a very different reason.
This grand 19th century mansion, so familiar to TV viewers, is the real-life ancestral seat of the Earl of Carnarvon. And almost a century ago, the fifth Earl was part of a significant find.
Ninety years ago, in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, he helped the fabled archaeologist Howard Carter to discover a wall of gold within the Shrine Room of the tomb of the ‘boy pharaoh’ Tutankhamun.
To mark the anniversary of the discovery, a visitor attraction has been created in the cellars of Highclere Castle - to give an impression of what was uncovered in November 1922. Read more.
In recent years, DNA analysis has shed light on the parents of Egypt’s most famous pharaoh, the boy king Tutankhamun, known to the world as King Tut. Genetic investigation identified his father as Akhenaten and his mother as Akhenaten’s sister, whose name was unknown.
French Egyptologist Marc Gabolde offered a different interpretation of the DNA evidence on Thursday. Speaking at Harvard’s Science Center, Gabolde said he’s convinced that Tut’s mother was not his father’s sister, but rather his father’s first cousin, Nefertiti.
Nefertiti was already known to be Akhenaten’s wife and in fact the two had six daughters. Gabolde believes they also had a son, Tutankhamun, and that the apparent genetic closeness revealed in the DNA tests was not a result of a single brother-to-sister mating, but rather due to three successive generations of marriage between first cousins. Read more.
SEATTLE — As Egyptians flocked to the polls to elect a president Wednesday, the first election of its kind in the Arab world, a different page of Egyptian history was unfolding here.
For the first time in three decades — and possibly for the last time — people in the Puget Sound region can view some of the artifacts found in King Tut’s tomb.
”Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs,” a new exhibit opens at the Pacific Science Center. It’s scheduled to last through Jan. 6.
Officials say the exhibit is the final trip the artifacts will make outside Egypt. Read more.
Around the world today, searchers are stumbling upon a gilt- and sepia-toned artifact of the Internet age—a Google doodle heralding the 138th birthday of Howard Carter, the British archaeologist who discovered the ancient Egyptian tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922.
The King Tut find brought Carter overnight—and lasting—fame, but it was anything but a stroke of luck, experts say.
“Everyone likes to use the phrase ‘stumble upon,’ and that always ticks me off a little bit,” Yale University Egyptologist John Darnell said.
Carter spent decades as an archaeological excavator exploring burial sites in ancient Thebes (now Luxor) before finding the roughly 3,000-year-old resting place of Tutankhamen, Darnell pointed out.
“Carter found [the tomb] in a methodical way … He did all the necessary background work,” he added. “He didn’t simply look for the door of a tomb, but rather he went at it in a way that we would probably characterize today as a form of landscape archaeology. Read more.
On Feb. 16, 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen’s recently unearthed tomb was unsealed in Egypt. The New York Times called it “perhaps, the most extraordinary day in the whole history of Egyptian excavation.”
King Tutankhamen’s tomb is situated in the Valley of the Kings, east of the Nile River in Egypt. In 1907, the English archaeologist Edward Russell Ayrton uncovered a pit in the area containing pots, dishes and other objects belonging to Tutankhamun, then a relatively unknown 14th-century B.C. pharaoh. Mr. Ayrton’s sponsor, the American Theodore M. Davis, proclaimed that he had discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and donated some of the objects to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. After years of study, Herbert Winlock, a curator at the Met, determined that the objects were left over from the embalming process and funeral, and that the pit was not actually Tutankhamun’s tomb. Read more.
In the tomb of King Tutankhamen, the elaborately painted walls are covered with dark brown spots that mar the face of the goddess Hathor, the silvery-coated baboons — in fact, almost every surface.
Despite almost a century of scientific investigation, the precise identity of these spots remains a mystery, but Harvard microbiologist Ralph Mitchell thinks they have a tale to tell.
Nobody knows why Tutankhamen, the famed “boy king” of the 18th Egyptian dynasty, died in his late teens. Various investigations have attributed his early demise to a head injury, an infected broken leg, malaria, sickle-cell anemia, or perhaps a combination of several misfortunes.
Whatever the cause of King Tut’s death, Mitchell thinks those brown spots reveal something: that the young pharaoh was buried in an unusual hurry, before the walls of the tomb were even dry. Read more.
Egypt’s top archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass announced Monday that the county will open a series of new tombs to the public, offering a never-before-seen glimpse of desert life thousands of years ago for the first time ever.
The six new tombs are located in the New Kingdom Cemetery in South Saqqara and include the tomb of Maya, who was the treasurer of King Tut, as well as the tomb of Horemheb, the general of King Tut who later became king. Read more.