Friday, September 10, 2010

At the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1923

National Geographic

An Account of the Opening of the Royal Egyptian Sepulcher Which Contained the Most Remarkable Funeral Treasures Unearthed in Historic Times. By Maynard Owen Williams, staff correspondent

With photographs

This article was published in the May 1923 National Geographic. We've retained the originally used names and spellings here.

Probably no great graveyard occupies so unusual a site as the Tombs of the Egyptian Kings at Thebes.

Across the Nile from the Temple of Karnak the western skyline is broken by rough limestone cliffs whose color varies from hour to hour. Nature here changes her complexion with the passing of the day, now softly seductive under a filmy veil before the footlights of the sun's first level rays, now savagely sharp under the fierce floodlight of noonday, now darkly mysterious beneath the glowing evening sky. The monotony of rich fields so familiar in the flat delta of Lower Egypt here gives way to the variety of barren waste where tomb robbers and scientists have sought so long the hiding places of the Pharaohs.

Ten thousand tourists have tramped above the spot where the latest find has just been made. Other archeologists, looking for the needle entrance to the royal tomb of Tutankhamen in the limestone haystack of el Qorn, came within a few feet of where, after sixteen years of labor, the late Lord Carnarvon and Mr. Howard Carter found their reward.

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