On this day 101 years ago, the secrets held by a long-overlooked chapter of history began to be unlocked with the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. This astounding discovery, made by British archaeologist Howard Carter and his team, gave the world a rare glimpse into the life of ancient Egyptian royals and their expectations for the afterlife. However, searching for the tomb was no easy task – after more than 3,000 years the exact location of Tut’s tomb was long forgotten.
THE SEARCH FOR TUT’S TREASURES
In 1907, Howard Carter met a fellow Englishman by the name of Lord Carnarvon. The two men shared a passion for ancient Egyptian history and culture, and Carnarvon hired Carter to find artifacts through excavations. In June of 1914, Carter convinced Lord Carnarvon to acquire the necessary permit to search Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Not long after the two men faced their first major setback – the first World War halted their investigation until its end in 1917.
ONE FINAL PUSH
Carter and his team spent the next four years scouring the Valley for evidence of the tomb’s entrance but came up largely empty-handed. Lord Carnarvon grew frustrated, believing that the Valley of the Kings had no more secrets left to discover. He began to seriously consider abandoning the search for the Boy King’s final resting place. Howard Carter wasn’t ready to give up, and perhaps sensing how close the archaeologist was to a breakthrough or maybe just moved by his passion, Lord Carnarvon agreed to fund one final digging season.
DISCOVERING KING TUT’S TOMB
In November of 1922, Howard Carter’s years of searching finally paid off when a stone step was discovered by a member of his team. By November 4, an entire staircase had been cleared and Carter was able to confirm that the entrance to King Tut’s tomb was revealed. He sent word to Lord Carnarvon who arrived back in Egypt later that month. Finally, the two men had made their great discovery.