Bios

Howard Carter

Howard Carter became famous because of a 4,000 year old man. He was the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Howard Carter was born 9 May 1874 in Kensington, London to successful artist Samuel Carter. He was a sickly child and was sent to live with his aunts in Norfolk where he was given private home schooling. He had an artistic streak from an early age and when his father painted a well-known Egyptologist, his life-long interest in the field was ignited.

Carter began his archaeological work in Egypt in 1891, at the age of 17, after his father had found him a job as an artist for an archaeologist. There he worked on the excavation of Basi Hassan, the gravesite of the princess of Middle Egypt, circa 2000 BC. Later he was to come under the tutelage of Flinders Petrie.

In 1899, he was offered a position working for the Egyptian Antiquities service, from which he resigned as a result of a dispute, in 1905.

After several hard years, Carter was introduced, in 1907, to Lord Carnarvon, an eager amateur who was prepared to supply the funds necessary for Carter's work to continue. Soon, Carter was supervising all of Lord Carnarvon's excavations.

Lord Carnarvon financed Carter's search for the tomb of a previously unknown Pharaoh, Tutankhamen, whose existence Carter had discovered.

On 6 November 1922, Carter found Tutankhamen's tomb, the only unplundered tomb of a Pharaoh yet found in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt.

On 16 February 1923, Carter opened the burial chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen.

After cataloguing the extensive finds, which was completed in 1932 due to the cornucopia of treasures and artifacts excavated Carter retired from archaeology and became a collector. He spent his later years working in museums and even toured the US giving lectures on Egypt and Tutankhamen, contributing to the nation's interest in the region.

Carter died in England in 1939 at the age of 64 of lymphoma. He was buried in Putney Vale cemetery, London.

On his gravestone, it states: " May your spirit live, May you spend millions of years, You who love Thebes, Sitting with your face to the north wind, Your eyes beholding happiness" and "O night, spread thy wings over me as the imperishable stars."

Google commemorated his 138th birthday with a special doodle on 9 May 2012.