Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Howard Carter Remembered With A Google Doodle

NEW DELHI: Search engine giant Google has featured a doodle on its homepage today to celebrate the birthday of Howard Carter, who was an English archaeologist and Egyptologist. Carter is known for his discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, a major contribution to his field.

The doodle displays Carter standing amidst the ancient artifacts excavated from the tomb of Tutankhamun and inspecting his work.

Howard (May 9, 1874 - March 2, 1939), born in London, was the son of a skilled artist who encouraged him to follow his footsteps.

In 1891, Howard was made to go to Egypt by the Egypt Exploration Fund to act as an assistant to Percy Newberry in the excavation and recording of Middle Kingdom tombs at Beni Hasan.

From a young age, Howard had an inquisitive mind and was capable of copying the ancient tomb decoration. Because of his interest in the ancient tomb decoration, Howard from 1894 to 1899 worked with Edouard Naville at Deir el-Bahari and recorded the wall reliefs in the temple of Hatshepsut.

His work was recognized and acclaimed, and in 1899 he was appointed as the first chief inspector of the Egyptian Antiquities Service (EAS).

In his career, he has supervised several excavations but it was on November 4, 1922, that he eventually found the trace leading to Tutankhamun's tomb, which is considered to be the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb to be found till date in the Valley of the Kings. He then with the support of George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, explored the gold and ebony treasures which are also considered an amazing archaeological discovery.

He spent the next several months in cataloging the contents of the antechamber. And on February 16, 1923, Howard Carter opened the sealed doorway only to find that it led to a burial chamber where he got the first glimpse of the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun.

Howard after this extraordinary discovery retired from archaeology and worked as a part-time agent for museums and collectors.

At 64, Carter died of lymphoma, a type of cancer, in Kensington, London, which was commonly believed to be the "curse of the pharaohs" plaguing the party that violated Tutankhamun's tomb.


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