The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen (Egypt)

by Howard Carter

Paperback, 1977



Local notes

932 Car




Dover Publications (1977), Edition: Unabridged Reprint, 382 pages


Howard Carter (1874-1939) was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist, now renowned for discovering the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. Published between 1923 and 1933, this three-volume study contains Carter's detailed account of the sensational discovery, excavation and clearance of Tutankhamun's tomb and its treasures. The tomb was almost fully intact when discovered and remains the most complete burial discovered in the Valley of the Kings. Each volume of Carter's book is richly illustrated with over 100 photographs of the tomb and objects found in it, showing their original state and how they appeared after reconstruction. Carter's meticulous recording and conservation techniques are faithfully documented in his account, providing a vivid and engaging description of the work which occurred during the excavation of this famous site. Volume 3 describes the recording and conservation of objects in the Treasury and Annexe rooms and puts forward Carter's interpretation of their use.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

382 p.; 8.4 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member adpaton
When I did honours in Classics I was forced to take a module on Ancient Egypt because the Head of the Department was potty about the subject: my motherwas also an enthusiast so I had been brought up learning about tombs, temples and treasures, Pharoahs and pyramids, and had no wish to study it on a
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more formal basis.

Needless to say, my wished counted for nothing and I was plinged into an intense six months during which I had a crash course in Egyptology and had to examine Egyptian art in excrusiating detail. No knowledge is ever wasted and I'm glad I was forced to do it, but I must admit to finding much of it rather boring at the time.

Because his tomb was largely unplundered, Tutankhamen and his treasures form a large part of any study of Egyptian artifacts: pectorals, collars, bracelets, earrings, girdles, necklaces, anklets; chairs, chariots, beds, stools, screens, board games; vases, statues, canoptic jars, lamps, caskets, Gods, statues, toys, models and shawabti figurines - I grew to know the lot.

I also knew the story behind the discovery of the tomb backwards - who doesn't? - and was really not keen to read Carter's book on the subject. I must admitt though, cliched as this sounds - it reads like a thriller, was a real page turner, and I could hardly put it down.

I wish my copy was better bound - the pages were coming out - and that it was lighter and more handy so I could read it in bed: on the other hand, a smaller book - while more handy - would not be able to contain the plethora of magnificent illustration, both colour and black and white.

Howard Carter may have been a rogue, an adventurer and a thief but he certainly knew how to tell a good story! Despite my misgivings and reluctance, I ended up enjoying this book thoroughly!
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LibraryThing member kaulsu
Howard Carter was a man who found his bliss serendipitously. He did not come from the landed gentry class, he was not a "public school boy," yet he was in the right place at the right time to fall in with a wealthy peer of the British realm. Through this relationship, Carter was able to educate
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himself in an art and science that truly was fledgling.

The world at large berated him and the newspapers excoriated him for not opening up the tomb for immediate inspection. His painstaking work was carried out in spite of, not in collaboration with those who should have known better.

And, surprisingly, he wasn't a bad writer. He kept my attention, for the most part, though I found myself sometimes much in sympathy with the hordes who wanted in NOW!

I wonder how his preservation/conservation techniques compare with 21st c. ones? I know that color photography would have been a boon for this book...oh well, nothing for it: I must make the trip to Cairo to see King Tut for myself!
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LibraryThing member Garrison0550
This is a great book. I'm glad I took a chance on it!
LibraryThing member drj
Originally written in 1923 as a series of articles by the archaeologist, Howard Carter, whose discovery made him famous. There are many black and white photos taken by Carter's crew, and modern color photos were added in 1972. This is an autobiographical account of the discovery along with Carter's
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hypotheses of how and why these objects were included in the tomb of a king whose name had been erased from the king list thousands of years earlier.
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LibraryThing member EricCostello
This is, properly, only the first volume of Carter and Mace's account of the exploration of "Tut's" tomb, though this particular volume gives important background as to how the tomb was discovered and initially excavated. One of the other interesting aspects of the book is that it gives you a keen
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insight into the methods used to preserve very fragile artifacts, as of the early 1920s. I had started this book, put it aside, and then picked it up again, and read it in nearly one long session. Quite absorbing on a few different levels, and recommended.
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