On 4 November 1922, Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s long search in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings drew to a triumphant close: Tutankhamun’s tomb had been found. As news of the discovery spread, and as images of the breathtaking treasures began to circulate, this once-obscure pharaoh would capture the imagination of the entire world.
A hundred years on, and both the fascination and the drama continue. Scientific research has pushed forward, and the results have been impressive: the tomb’s ground-plan and setting are now fully remapped; CT-scanning and aDNA have begun to shed their unique light on Tutankhamun in life and in death; super-accurate recordings have been secured of the Burial Chamber’s decorated walls; and we possess at last high-quality photography of Pharaoh’s possessions. Our access to Carnarvon and Carter’s extraordinary find is greater today than it has ever been, and from this fuller evidence comes one new realization among many – that both the tomb and its treasures had been intended for someone else.
In this new edition of his landmark book Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves revisits Tutankhamun in the context of his time, the excavators in the context of theirs, and every aspect, old and new, of the tomb’s discovery, archaeology, architecture and art. If what was discovered in 1922 had the ability to amaze, then what has been discovered since will simply astonish.