Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, and since then the Egyptians have suspected of stealing parts of the pharaoh’s treasure before the tomb’s official opening. However, evidence for these claims was not forthcoming.
A previously unpublished message is now changing that. The letter was written in 1934 by Alan Gardiner, the philologist hired by Carter to translate the hieroglyphs. For this the archaeologist gave him an amulet, assuring him that it did not come from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
But Gardiner distrusted the case and presented the amulet to Rex Engelbach, the then British director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He assured the philologist that the amulet certainly came from the tomb. It obviously came from the same mold as the other examples.
Gardiner then sent Carter a letter writing Engelbach’s judgment and stating that the amulet had undoubtedly been stolen from Tutankhamun’s tomb. “I deeply regret being put in such a difficult position.”
The messages were in a private collection, but will soon be published in the new book Tutankhamun and the tomb that changed the world From Oxford University Press.
The world-famous Carter had been excavating in Egypt since the age of seventeen, and died in London in 1939.
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