Howard Carter, archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun tomb in 1922, long suspected by the Egyptians. of treat yourself to treasures before vault was officially opened. But while there are rumors for generations the proof was hard pass by.
Now the charge that Carter faced property “Undoubtedly stolen from tomb”appeared in a previously unpublished letter sent to him in 1934, eminent British scientist on his own excavations. team.
It was written by Sir Alan Gardiner, leading philologist. Carter secured Gardiner’s support. translate hieroglyphs found in 3300-year-old tomba later gave him “hm amulet” used for offers to dead, assuring him that it did not come from tomb.
Gardiner showed the amulet to Rex Engelbach, then a British man. director of Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and was alarmed to learn that indeed from tomb how it matched other examples – all made from the same form.
Shooting off letter to Carter, he enclosed a damning sentence against Engelbach, which reads: hm the amulet you showed me was undoubtedly stolen from tomb of Tutankhamen”.
Gardiner told Carter, “I deeply regret being placed in in such an awkward position.
But he added: “Naturally, I did not tell Engelbach that I received the amulet from you.”
Letters, now in a private collection to be published in forthcoming book from Oxford University Press, Tutankhamen and the tomb that changed the world
Its author, Bob Brier, leading An Egyptologist at Long Island University Observer that there have long been rumors that Carter treats himself to treasure: “But now there is no doubt about it.”
This year celebrates 100th anniversary of Carter’s discovery and financial patron, Lord Carnarvon, of in tomb of boy king filled with thrones, chariots and thousands of necessary objects in in next world. Above next for a decade, Carter directed their removal and transportation down Nile to Cairo will be displayed in Egyptian Museum.
Some Egyptologists dispute Carter’s claim that tomb treasures were looted in antique times. In 1947 in obscure scientific journal in Cairo, Alfred Lucas, one of Carter’s staff reported that Carter himself secretly forced the door to the burial chamber before sealing it again and closing the opening.
Brier said: “They were suspected of breaking into tomb before his official opening, taking out artifacts, including jewelry sold after their deaths. It is known that Carter somehow items and also people suspected that he could help himself, but these letters dead proof.
“Of course he never admitted it. we do not have official negation. But he was locked up out of in tomb for some time egyptian government. There were many of bad feeling, and they thought he was stealing things.”
In his book, he writes that the Egyptians could not prove their suspicions and made sure for for example, that Carter planned to steal a wooden head of Tutankhamun found in his possession: “The Egyptian authorities entered and inspected Tomb No. 4, which Carter and team used for storage of antiquities and discovered a beautiful wooden head of Tutankhamun in his youth.
“He was packed in Fortnum & Mason box, but it was never mentioned in Carter’s records of finds or in volume describing the content of vestibule…. Carter claimed he was just discovered in rubble in descending passage.
Brier said: “Later we find objects on Egyptian antiquities market from his estate, which clearly came from tomb”.
Some entered museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. of Art in New York, which announced in 2010 what will he send back Egypt 19 items it acquired between the 1920s and 1940s as they “can be attributed to with Confidence in Tutankhamen tomb”.
In his 1992 book on Carter, the late Harry James painted on Carter’s letters in Griffith Institute at the University of Oxford, which belong to the series with Gardiner, which led to the return of the amulet to Cairo.
Meaning of previously unpublished correspondence is that the accusation came from leading expert who really got involved in in first excavation.
Carter would be hard challenge Engelbach, who had “too much authority and really knew his stuff,” Brier said.