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The Excavation of Tomb KV62

KV62 - King's Valley - The Valleys - The Places

In 1907 the archaeologist Howard Carter began working for the British Lord, Lord Carnarvon, who had developed a strong interest, bordering on obsession, with Egyptology when he had been sent to Egypt for their winters due to his ill health. Firstly, they worked together excavating the Tombs of the Nobles in Deir el-Bahri. To learn more about the Noble’s Tombs, click here

By 1914 they were working in the Valley of the Kings when Lord Carnarvon managed to acquire a concession to dig in the Valley. They continued on until the First World War interrupted all such digs.  They resumed at the end of 1917, although by 1922 Lord Carnarvon was growing tired of receiving very little to nothing to show for his outgoings. They agreed on one last Season: late 1922 to early 1923.

Carter’s method was to make an intricate and systematic search for any remaining Tombs in the Valley of the Kings which he had begun in 1915. In 1922 Carter was investigating one of the final remaining places in the Valley that his Team had not yet inspected underneath a line of abandoned Worker’s Huts from previous seasons of excavations.

27th November 1922
The Tomb was officially entered for the first time since the Tomb Robbers who had rummaged through the Funerary Goods, in the presence of an Official from the Egyptian Antiquities Department. Electric lighting was fully rigged and all present could see the outer chamber which was full of Funerary Goods.

29th November 1922
Tomb was officially opened with a number of VIPs and further Government Officials. Howard Carter now swelled the numbers in his Team after realising the monumental task they had in cataloguing the 5,000 items inside the Tomb. The Team included:-

  • Specialised Egyptian Workers and Diggers
  • Carter’s assistant, Arthur Callender
  • Arthur Mace from the Metropolitan Museum’s Excavation Team
  • Harry Burton, Archaeological Photographer
  • Alfred Lucas, an Analytical Chemist, loaned by the Egyptian Government

The time between the December 1922 and mid-February 1923 was spent discovering, photographing, cataloguing and removing every artefact in the Chamber.

16th February 1923
Carter opened the second sealed doorway into the Burial Chamber in the presence of Lord Carnarvon, Egyptian Government Officials, VIPs and the Press.

Late February 1923
Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon argued, and all work stopped. Carnarvon apologised to Carter and work recommenced in March 1923.

March 1923
Lord Carnarvon contracts Blood poisoning and dies in Cairo on 5th April 1923.

Carter continued his patronage under Lord Carnarvon’s widow, Lady Carnarvon for a further 10 years.

Timeline

4th November 1922
The Team’s Water Boy tripped on a stone which turned out to be the top step of the Tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. To ensure that this step was going to lead to a Tomb, Carter dug the steps out until they found the still sealed doorway, stamped with the Cartouches of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. They then back dug the steps and waited for Lord Carnarvon to arrive from Britain.

24th November 1922
Carnarvon and his daughter had arrived, the staircase was re-dug and the door was opened to reveal a corridor filled with rubble.

26th November 1922
Carter made a small hole in the top left-hand corner of the inner doorway and looked inside the Tomb for the first time in over 3,000 years. Lord Carnarvon asked, ”Can you see anything?”, and Carter replied with his now infamous sentence,

“Yes, wonderful things!”

Later that night, after the Valley of the Kings was deserted, Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter, Carnarvon’s daughter Lady Evelyn and Carter’s Assistant Callender entered the Tomb through a small crawl hole they made in the door.

Photos from Excavation of Tomb in 1922-1928