Anniversary of Tutankhamun discovery

18th Feb 2013

Saturday marked the 90th anniversary of one of the greatest discoveries ever made - the uncovering of the sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun.

The find by British archaeologist Howard Carter kick-started a public fascination with the boy king, who was virtually unknown at the time.

Carter's discovery in the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, was the culmination of years of study and ultimately defined his career.

Tutankhamun died in mysterious circumstances in 1323 BC when he was just 19 years old. His tomb was twice raided by robbers in the months following his death, prompting the resealing of the entrance to prevent further plunder.

Carter was running out of money to fund his work and convinced the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, an ancient Egypt enthusiast, to finance one final search. Thankfully it proved fruitful, with his team discovering steps leading to the tomb on 4 November 1922.

They eventually opened the burial chamber of the boy king four months later in February 1923 - more than 3,200 years after he was buried.

On Monday the current Lord Carnarvon was set to show off artefacts brought back from the tomb at the family seat of Highclere Castle in Berkshire.

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