In 1972, when I was six, my aunt took me to see the Tutankhamun exhibition at the British Museum. I've been hooked on Egypt and archaeology ever since – I spent most of my childhood looking for tombs in our garden in Watford.
Although I make my living as a writer and hold no formal archaeological qualification, I have worked on digs whenever I can and learned on the job. The one I'll always remember took place more than 10 years ago, working as a field archaeologist and diarist with a team digging in the Valley of the Kings.
I was part of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project and we spent four years excavating in the valley, around the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramesses VI. As well as digging new ground, we were given permission to re-excavate a small existing tomb, KV56. I was in charge of this re-excavation.
Discovered in 1908 by English archaeologist Edward Ayrton, KV56 had yielded one of the most spectacular arrays of jewellery found in the valley, hence its nickname: the Gold Tomb.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Feature: I discovered pharaoh's gold
The Guardian, UK (Paul Sussman)