Tutankhamun's Burial Chamber Found

A photo of British archaeologist Howard Carter at the sarcophagus of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun
A photo of British archaeologist Howard Carter at the sarcophagus of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun

Historical Context

In November 1923, a team led by British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of the Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun. This would go on to become the most famous discovery of a pharaoh's tomb, and make Tutankhamun perhaps the most famous pharaoh.

After chipping his way into the tomb in November (using a chisel his grandmother had given him on his 17th birthday), Carter and his sponsor Lord Carnarvon spent the next several months meticulously cataloguing the items inside the tomb's antechamber.

On February 16, 1923, Carter discovered that the antechamber did in fact lead to Tutankhamun's burial chamber when he opened the sealed doorway inside, and glimpsed the sarcophagus of the pharaoh.

Over the years, many legends have emerged around the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, most famously the so-called curse of the pharaohs: that those who disturbed the tomb were doomed to an early death. Among those who died not long after the discovery was the financial backer of the project, Lord Carnarvon, who died in April 1923; A. C. Mace, a member of the excavation team, who died in 1928; Archibald Douglas-Reid, a radiologist who x-rayed Tutankhamun's mummy, died in 1924; and even Howard Carter himself, who died in 1939.

Photo Info


Photographer: The New York Times
Location taken: Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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