Thursday, 4 February 2010

King Tutankhamun

Howard Carter was a British artist. He was born in 1874. He loved studying Egyptian history at a young age and traveled to Egypt for the first time when he was 17 years old. He became famous when he discovered the tomb of a very famous Egyptian king called Tutankhamun in the city of Luxor. Tutankhamun lived nearly 3000 years ago . Howard Carter worked at the Egyptian museum from 1899 to 1905. Later on he met a British Lord called Lord Carnarvon who was known for his love of Egyptian history. Lord Carnarvon gave Howard Carter money to discover tombs of old Egyptian kings and queens and look for treasures.
On November 22, 1922 Carter made a very important discovery. He  found the tomb of Tutankhamun. Inside the tomb Carter found nearly 3500 pieces of gold and furniture. All the pieces were in a very good condition. Howard Cater also found two big masks of the king and three coffins.  They were all made of gold. You can see a picture of one of the gold masks on the left hand side.
The ancient Egyptians believed in life after death. That is why they kept all their gold and furniture inside their tombs. They wanted to use them again when they returned back to life.
Shortly after the discovery of the tomb, Lord Carnarvon was suddenly taken to hospital in Cairo where he died two days later. Doctors said later on that he had an infection when an insect bit him inside the tomb. He was only 57 years old.
11 people from those who took part in the discovery had died by 1929 of unnatural causes. They  included two of Lord Carnarvon’s family members and his personal secretary. The secretary’s father also killed himself by jumping from a balcony. 22 people connected to the discovery of the tomb died for unknown reasons by the year 1935.
After the discovery, Howard Carter left Egypt after spending more than 30 year there and went to live in New York. He gave lectures about his great discovery and the history of ancient Egypt. In the year 1939, Howard Carter died at the age of 66.
Now most of the items of the treasure found inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun are kept at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Some items of the treasure were stolen and sent to England because at that time Egypt was occupied by England. They are kept at the British Museum. England has always refused to return the stolen pieces to Egypt.