TRANSCRIPT: TUTANKHAMUN’S TOMB, EGYPT
When archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, he remarked that it was “the day of days, the most wonderful that I have ever lived through, and certainly one whose like I can never hope to see again.” On that November day, not only had this man uncovered an unknown ancient Egyptian tomb, but one that had lain nearly undisturbed for over 3000 years whose remains laying within astounded the world.
Previous excavations in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt by Theodore Davis had found and cleared the tombs of Tutankhamun’s family and their possessions. By 1913, Davis had not yet found an intact royal tomb and became disillusioned, finally declaring the area exhausted of By 1920, the tomb of nearly every New Kingdom king from between 1550 and 1070 BCE had been found in the Valley of the Kings, but Tutankhamun’s remained missing.
Lord Carnarvon, an English aristocrat who was enthusiastic about Egyptology, applied for and purchased the license Davis gave up and chose Howard Carter, a British Egyptologist, to continue the search. Minor finds by Davis bearing Tutankhamun’s name led Carter to believe the king was still somewhere in the valley and felt the finds justified a further exploration. Between 1917 and 1921 the two worked in the eastern valley without success. Carter convinced Carnarvon to persist for another season, determined to find Tutankhamun. Carter’s team cleared bedrock using the grid system of archaeological excavation. This technique was developed in WWI for the purpose of maintaining a system that ensured stratigraphic control of excavations in trench digging and artillery barrages. Using these methods, on November 1st 1922 a staircase was uncovered in the limestone cliffs of the Valley of the Kings. The entrance door, which had a dry limestone blocking plastered with gypsum, was later uncovered to reveal Tutankhamun’s name. The...