Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hats, Suits and Shovels: Discovering Tut Through Photos


The splendors of Tut’s tomb are just the beginning. Behind the golden facades lies the story of the boy king of Egypt, and also a story of the excavation of his tomb, thousands of years later. This is the prime focus of Wonderful Things: The Harry Burton Photographs and the Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun, the sister exhibition to Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs, and opening at the Michael C. Carlos Museum Friday.

The title Wonderful Things comes from the writings of the English archaeologist Howard Carter as he first sees the tomb: “At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle to flicker. Presently details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold — everywhere the glint of gold. ... I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, ‘Can you see anything?’ it was all I could do to get out the words, ‘Yes, wonderful things.’”

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