Howard Carter biography

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Howard Carter biography

Archeologist. Born May 9, 1873, in Norfolk, England. The youngest of 11 children, Carter was educated at home, where his father, Samuel, a recognized painter and draftsman, taught him how to draw. In 1890, Carter joined the Archaeological Survey of the Egypt Exploration Fund, which gave him the opportunity to study with world-renown archeologists like Sir Flinders Petrie, Francis Llewellyn Griffith, and Henri Eduoard Naville. Carter spent seven years working as a draftsman under Naville, before he was appointed Egypt’s inspector general of antiquities in 1899. While supervising numerous excavations, his most notable discoveries were the tombs of Hatshepsut and Thutmose IV. Carter served as inspector general until 1907, at which time he began what would be a lifelong professional and personal relationship with British Egyptologist George Herbert, the fifth earl of Carnarvon. Over the next 10 years, Carter conducted his own research under the patronage of Herbert. In 1917, Carter began to concentrate on an area located in Western Thebes, which was known as the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings. After six years of thorough exploration, he made one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century—the undefiled tomb of King Tutankhamen (an Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty who reigned from 1333-23 B.C.). Following the discovery, Herbert mysteriously died from an infectious mosquito bite, leading many to believe that a curse was associated with the disturbance of the tomb—a rumor that became known as the “Curse of King Tut.” After Herbert’s death, Carter had a number of altercations with Egyptian authorities, who temporarily banned him from the excavation site. The disagreement was eventually resolved. Carter spent the next decade supervising the painstaking removal of the tomb’s contents, while meticulously recording the location and placement of each object. He documented his account of the Tutankhamen excavation in a three-volume book titled The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen, which he cowrote with Arthur C. Mace. After a long battle with Hodgkin’s disease, Carter died on March 2, 1939, at the age of 65. .

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