W ho discovered Tutankhamun's Tomb?



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ho discovered Tutankhamun's Tomb?


The tomb of Egypt's boy-king Tutankhamun was discovered by Howard Carter.

What was Howard Carter's job?

He was an archaeologist from England working in Egypt. He wanted to find out about the people who lived in Egypt in ancient times.

By 1922, other Archaeologists thought they had found all the tombs but Carter worked out that there was one still left - the tomb of Tutankhamen.


Carter had worked in Egypt for 31 years before he found King Tutankhamun's tomb.

Who paid the bills for looking for the tomb?


Lord Carnarvon was a wealthy Englishman who was interested in Ancient Egypt. He gave the money to pay the bills for Howard Carter's work in Egypt.

They searched for Tutankhamun’s tomb, in the hot dusty Valley of the Kings, for five years without finding anything.

Lord Carnarvon ended up paying a lot of money to find the tomb.

Lord Carnarvon, after spending a million pounds, was giving up hope of ever finding Tutankhamun’s tomb, but Carter persuaded him to carry on funding for one more years digging, beginning in Autumn 1922.


November 1922 On November 1, 1922, Carter began his final season working in the Valley of the Kings, by having his workers excavate the workmen's huts at the base of the tomb of Rameses VI.

Saturday, November 4.
First steps of tomb found.


On the morning of November 4th, 1922, a waterboy hit a strange rock with his heel as he tried to make a place to set jars of water. The sand around the rock was cleared revealing that the rock was infact a step. Everyone was so excited as they knew that most tombs in the valley had stairways cutting into the rock. They began to clear the area of sand and gradually uncovered another step, then another, and another until a flight of steps was cleared.

Sunday, November 5.


The steps led down to what looked like the top part of a door ........ a sealed door made of brick and plaster.

How did Carter know that the tomb belonged to a king?

Carter knew they were in luck when he noticed that the plaster coating on the stone doorway was embedded with a special stamp that was only used on royal tombs. This meant that the door would lead to the tomb of a very important person.



Extract from Howard Carter’s Diary:

"'Towards sunset we had cleared down to the level of the 12th step, which was sufficient to expose a large part of the upper portion of a plastered and sealed doorway. Here before us was sufficient evidence to show that it really was an entrance to a tomb, and by the seals, to all outward appearances that it was intact."

To protect the find Carter ordered his workmen to cover the steps. He didn't want anyone else to find the tomb.






Lord Carnarvon with his daughter Evelyn, and Howard Carter (right), on the top step of the entrance to Tutankhamun's tomb
As anxious as he was to enter the tomb, Carter decided to wait for Carnarvon to arrive from England, so he too could witness the opening of the tomb. He sent a telegram to Lord Carnarvon telling him of the find and asking him to come to Egypt.

Long Wait!


It was nearly three weeks after finding the first step that Carter was able to proceed. On November 23rd, Lord Carnarvon and his daughter, Lady Evelyn Herbert, arrived in Luxor.

The following day, the workers had again cleared the staircase, now exposing all 16 of its steps and the full face of the sealed doorway.



Bad News!

N

Saturday, November 25


Opened first door.


A corridor filled with rubble

On the morning of November 25th, the sealed doorway was photographed and the seals noted. Then the door was removed.

A passageway emerged from the darkness, filled to the top with limestone rubble. Upon closer examination, Carter could tell that the tomb robbers had dug a hole through the upper left section of the passageway.

ow that the door was fully exposed, to their dismay, they noticed that the upper left of the doorway had been broken through, probably by tomb robbers, and resealed. Carter was very nervous that the tomb would be empty after all.

The hole had been refilled with larger, darker rocks than those used for the rest of the fill. Carter was very disappointed and afraid that this might mean the tomb had been robbed.




Sunday, November 26
Opened second doorway leading into the antechamber.


Howard Carter's description upon opening the door to the antechamber:

With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left-hand corner. Darkness showed that whatever lay beyond was empty, and not filled like the passage we had just cleared...



I inserted the candle and peered in, Lord Carnarvon and Lady Evelyn standing anxiously beside me to hear the verdict. At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flames to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist ....

..... strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement.

When Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, "Yes, wonderful things."


Tutankhamun comprehension questions



  1. Who paid for the search for Tutankhamun’s tomb?

Howard Carter




Lady Evelyn Herbert




Lord Carnarvon





  1. What was Howard Carter’s job?


Researcher




Archaeologist




Writer




  1. When did they finally open the first door of the tomb?

Autumn 1922 November 4th




November 25th November 26th





  1. Find and copy the sentence that says what Carter saw in the tomb.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


  1. Complete the table to show whether the sentences are true or false.





True (T) or False (F)

A waterboy discovered the first step.

T

Lord Carnarvon saw the treasures first.




They had searched for 5 years.




Carter excavated in the Valley of the Kings.




The tomb was found in the Autumn of 1912.






  1. Here is some information about Tutankhamun’s tomb. Look at the headings in the reading booklet.

Make up your own heading that could go with this information.




------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


All sorts of treasures were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb. As well as his mummified body they also found many items of furniture such as beds, chairs and tables. Huge golden statues and boxes filled with jewellery were found piled high in the tomb.



  1. Look at page 3.

Why do you think Carter waited for Carnarvon to be there until he opened the tomb?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

  1. Here before us was sufficient evidence to show that it really was an entrance to a tomb, and by the seals, to all outward appearances that it was intact.’

Why would it be good news that the seal was intact?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


  1. Decide which person these statements are about. One has been done for you.







Howard Carter

Lord Carnarvon

Paid for the excavation






Had a daughter called Lady Evelyn Herbert







Sent a telegram







Asked, 'Can you see anything?'







Worked in Egypt for 31 years









  1. Why do you think Carter was nervous when he discovered the door seal was broken?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….



  1. How did Lord Carnarvon find out about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Look at page 3.

  1. How many steps were there leading down to the tomb?

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….





  1. Howard Carter's description upon opening the door to the antechamber:

With trembling hands I made a tiny breach in the upper left-hand corner.

Why do you think Carter’s hands were trembling?


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….



  1. Would you have liked to have been there when Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered?

Tick one


Yes No Yes and No

Explain your answer using details from the text.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………(2 marks)


  1. Put these events in order. One has been done for you.



Carter sees ‘wonderful things’.




Carter begins his final season searching for the tomb.

1

Carter sent a telegram to Lord Carnarvon.




The waterboy discovers the step.




They discover the door intact.










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