Although this episode is titled Tutankhamen – The Lost Pharaoh, it really isn’t so much about Tutankhamen as it is about the finding of his tomb, and that’s totally okay with me. This is a fascinating dissertation on how Egypt was excavated before there was even a discipline of archaeology. Whether treasure-hunters or honest explorers of history, Europeans came Egypt to uncover its past, and from Napoleon on, that led to hunts, digs and discoveries.
The episode talks a lot about Howard Carter, and I find him an immensely sympathetic character, an artist shipped off to Egypt when he was 17 who remained there through many different jobs, some of them prestigious many of them not, before finally gaining funding from Lord Carnarvon to seek for Tutankhamen’s tomb. One of the things I like about Carter is that when forced to choose between entitled Europeans and earnest Egyptians, he chose the Egyptians. It cost him his job as Inspector of Antiquities which led to him being available when Lord Carnarvon came seeking an excavator.
While this episode isn’t going to give you lots of good inspiration for an adventure set in Ancient Egypt, it provides a lot of interesting information on tomb hunting and the work that went into not just excavating the ancient tombs, but finding them.
The first time I listened to this series, it inspired an idea for Howard Carter – Combat Archaeologist, here.
You can find the Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt here.