Presentation on theme: "On November 4, 1922, archeologist Howard Carter dragged himself out of bed. Would it be another day of failure in the choking dust and burning heat of."— Presentation transcript:
On November 4, 1922, archeologist Howard Carter dragged himself out of bed. Would it be another day of failure in the choking dust and burning heat of Egypts Valley of the Kings? For 15 years, Carter had been searching for the tomb of King Tutankhamen, often called simply King Tut. If he didnt find it soon, he might have to give up.
Luckily, this day would be different. The workers, who had begun digging earlier that morning, found something. It was a stone step about six feet long. Carter knew almost immediately that it was part of a sunken stair. Did it lead to King Tuts tomb? Carter took that day and the next to digcarefully and slowlydown to the 12th step. There he found a doorway. The seals on the outer door, made 3,000 years earlier, proved that it was a royal tomb and that its contents were intact.
On November 26, Carter and his team arrived at the inner door. Feverishly, Carter later wrote, we cleared away the remaining last scraps of rubbish on the floor of the passage before the doorway. They then saw the royal seal of Tutankhamen pressed into the plaster. Fighting to control his excitement, Carter used a knife to make a small hole in the top of the door.
He took a lighted candle and peered inside. At first I could see nothing, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and goldeverywhere the glint of gold. Carter stood in awed silence. For the momentan eternity it must have seemed to the others standing byI was struck dumb with amazement.
Howard Carter had dug out the greatest treasure ever found in Egypt. The four rooms held more than 5,000 objects. It took Carter two months to reach the highlight of his discovery the burial room. There he found a gold coffin weighing 2,448 pounds. He also found what is now the most famous item in the tombthe extraordinary golden mask which covered King Tuts mummified head.
As was the custom in his day, King Tutankhamen had been buried with everything he might need to make him happy in the afterlife. His tomb was crammed with games, lamps, boats, statues of gods, baskets, clothes, chairs, and so on.
So crowded was the tomb that it was a matter of extreme difficulty to move one precious item without running serious risk of damaging others. Searchers worked patiently and carefully for 10 years to dig the entire tomb. The contents of the tomb are now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
While other pharaohs had similar tombs, these other resting places had all been robbed long ago. King Tuts was the only tomb that was left almost completely untouched. Why was this tomb left alone? One theory is that King Tutankhamen was only a minor figure in Egyptian history.
He came to the throne in 1352 B.C. and died nine years later at the age of 18. Perhaps grave robbers passed over his tomb for the riches of more tempting targets. Or perhaps his underground tomb was too well- covered to be noticed.
When Carter began his digging of Tuts tomb, some people proclaimed that breaking into it would bring bad luck. Terrible inscriptions etched on the tomb, they believed, warned that anyone who disturbed the kings tomb would be punished. The newspapers in London even called the warning The Curse of the Pharaoh.
Over the years, there were deaths and suicides among people linked to the tomb. However, Howard Carter himself said that the curse was nonsense. If anyone was going to be cursed, he figured, it should have been him. But the great archeologist died of natural causes at the age of 64 at his home in London on March 2, 1939.
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