Howard Carter Finds King Tut's Tomb
Howard Carter was an artist, like his father. His father was quite successful as a portrait painter in England. Howard Carter had a great deal of artistic talent, but he did not want to become a portrait painter like his father. He wanted adventure. With his father's help, he got a job with an archaeologist, who was on his way to Egypt. This was a exciting opportunity for young Howard Carter, who was a teenager at the time. Carter was only 17 years old when he first went to Egypt in 1891.
In Egypt, Carter worked as an artist for some of the best egyptologists of his time. An egyptologist is an archaeologist whose focus is learning about ancient Egypt. Carter's job was to copy drawings and inscriptions on paper so they could be studied. (See emails at the bottom of this page.) Carter was very good at his job. It was not long before Howard Carter was quite well known among egyptologists, not only as an artist, but also for his knowledge about ancient Egypt and his knowledge about archaeology. As his fame grew, so did the importance of his jobs. For a while, Howard Carter was the Inspector General of the monuments of Upper Egypt, supervising and controlling archaeology along the Nile River.
While he was Inspector General, Howard Carter installed electric lights in the Valley of the Kings. The lights allowed archaeologists and diggers to better see what they were doing. The lights also brought in the tourists. Some tourists were respectful and careful. But some were not careful at all. One day, Howard Carter had an especially loud fight with some very careless tourists. As a result, Howard Carter resigned as Inspector General. But he did not leave Egypt.
He continued to work as an artist. He also became an antique dealer. Whenever he found funding, he worked as an excavator. (He did not call himself an egyptologist.)
In November 1922, while working as an excavator for Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter searched for and found King Tut's tomb. It had been overlooked for many years because it was such a small tomb. It was filled with treasures! Howard Carter became world famous. (As did King Tut's tomb.)