A Famous Discoverer - The Story of Howard Carter

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" ... One of the greatest figures in the history of archaeology," wrote Nicholas Reeves in the book, Ancient Egypt the Great Discoveries, about Howard Carter. Those who recognize the name, Howard Carter, usually associate it with the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb. As an excavator and discoverer of the famous tomb of King Tut, Howard Carter has won a place in the archaeologist's hall of fame. However, few people know very little about Howard Carter, other than his exploration of King Tutankahmun's tomb.

Howard Carter was born on March 9th, 1874 in Kensington, London, the youngest son of eight. He grew up in the county of Swaffam, North Norfolk, England with no formal education. His father, Samuel Carter, an artist, trained him in the fundamentals of drawing and painting. Although Howard Carter developed a well above average skill, he had no ambition to continue the family business of painting portraits of pets and families for the local Norfolk landowners.

Instead, Howard Carter sought the opportunity to go to Egypt and work for the Egyptian Exploration Fund as a tracer, a person who copies drawings and inscriptions on paper for further studying. In October of 1891 at the age of 17, Howard Carter set sail for Alexandria, Egypt, which was his first journey outside of Britain.

Howard Carter's first project was at Bani Hassan, the gravesite of the Sovereign Princess of Middle Egypt during 2000 B.C. Carter's task was to record and copy the scenes from the walls of the tomb. At this early age, Howard Carter was a careful worker with much enthusiasm. He would work the day through and then at night he would sleep with the bats in the tomb.

In 1892, Carter joined Flinders Petrie, at El-Amarna. Flinders was a strong field director and one of...