Stories Of The Paranormal, The Unexplained, And All Things Incredible

May 9, 2012

Howard Carter - In the Beginning

Life leads us to where we need to be. An excellent example of this is the life of the infamous English archeologist, Howard Carter -discoverer King Tut's tomb.

Carter was born into a family too poor to send him to school in a hamlet in Norfolk, May 9, 1873.
His father made a meagre living painting watercolour portraits of animals belonging to the local aristocracy. He taught Howard to paint. In 1890 a wealthy neighbour inadvertently introduced the young man to Egyptology when she asked him to assist a friend finish some drawings of ancient monuments discovered in Middle Egypt. Carter taught himself about antiquities as he went along, first with a three month stint at the British Museum and then as a most junior member of the staff of the Egyptian Exploration Fund.

Eventually he became assistant to one of the greatest Egyptologist who ever lived, Sir William Flinders Petrie. Unfortunately Carter's stubborn sense of protocol and insensitivity to petty politics ended the appointment. In 1903 Petrie, accompanied by his wife and three young women were recording hieroglyphs in a tomb at Saqqara when they were accosted by several drunken Frenchman. The men demanded a private tour and attempted to force their way into the women's quarters. Carter arrived with a squad of Egyptians guards to save the day and during the ensuing struggle, knocked on of the Frenchmen to the ground.

With injured pride, the fallen man complained to his consul and demanded an apology. Howard refused. He was only doing his job afterall. Unfortunately the French had the upper hand in the power structure of Egyptian archaeology, and Carter was dismissed from service. After four years of barely surviving by selling watercolours and giving guided tours, life once again moved Howard Carter to where he needed to be. He was introduced to Lord Canarvon who was looking for a Egyptologist for his treasure hunting expeditions. Howard Carter was a professional and readily and cheaply available. In 1922,after years of vicious insects, unbearable heat and unending ridicule, Carter and Carnavon discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamen. The rest is history.


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