The Tomb of Tutankhamun

Howard Carter

Illustrated by Sandro Vannini

Introduced by Professor David P. Silverman

Howard Carter’s thrilling account of discovering Tutankhamun’s Tomb, in a superb two-volume Folio edition including a book of colour photographs by Sandro Vannini and the original text and exploration photographs.

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‘There have been countless accounts of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922, from the sober to the sensational, but none is as powerful as Howard Carter’s own first-hand testimony.’
  1. Professor David P Silverman

For more than 3,000 years, the name of Tutankhamun was unknown to all but a select few historians and Egyptologists. That changed for ever in 1923, when Howard Carter made one of the most dazzling archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The Tomb of Tutankhamun is his personal account of uncovering the pharaoh’s treasures – from the euphoria of unsealing the burial chamber to anguish at the untimely death of his patron, Lord Carnarvon, and the painstaking work to collate more than 5,000 artefacts and tease out their significance. This two-volume edition includes an entire volume of 140 magnificent colour images taken by photographic pioneer Sandro Vannini, presenting Tutankhamun’s riches in unprecedented clarity. The companion volume faithfully reproduces Carter’s original text, published between 1923 and 1933, along with the astonishing first black-and-white photographs of the tomb as it was opened and discovered taken by Harry Burton – pictures that created a worldwide sensation. Professor David P Silverman, a world authority on Ancient Egypt, contributes an engaging introduction exclusive to the Folio edition.

Two volumes.

Bound in buckram and blocked with a design by Peter Suart.

Set in Minion Pro

Text volume: 448 pages. Picture volume: 128

Frontispiece and 32 pages of black & white plates by Harry Burton in volume 1 and 140 colour photographs by Sandro Vannini in volume 2

Printed photographic endpapers

Gilded page tops

Blocked cloth slipcase

10″x 6″

‘The most famous discovery of an ancient Egyptian tomb ever made, enriched with a good introduction and a separate volume of modern photos, featuring the rich artefacts of that glorious tomb. Howard Carter, with his significant discovery, opened new paths in modern archaeological research.’
  1. Alicia Maravelia, Journal of the Hellenic Institute of Egyptology

Having miraculously escaped major plundering, the tomb of Tutankhamun remains the most complete Egyptian burial site ever discovered. The pictorial volume features 140 colour images of its greatest treasures, taken by Sandro Vannini, a master photographer who has been documenting Egypt’s archaeological heritage for more than 20 years. He was granted rare permission by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities to carry out new photography at the Cairo Museum, using a digital sensor to create high-resolution enlargements. This allows us to view the artefacts – among them statues, jewellery and details of the shrines, sarcophagus and funeral mask – in extraordinary detail. The edition is beautifully presented and finished: the winged goddess motifs on the slipcase are the work of the acclaimed illustrator and long-time Folio collaborator Peter Suart and blocked in gold.

In The Tomb of Tutankhamun, Howard Carter proves himself a skilled and lively writer. His account covers the long seasons spent scouring the Valley of the Kings – punctuated by moonlit encounters with tomb raiders – before the fortunate discovery of the burial site just as funds were running dry. (With admirable restraint, Carter waited two weeks for Lord Carnarvon to arrive before opening the sealed door.) The famous description of entering the tomb captures all his exhilaration at glimpsing its treasures for the first time. Carter chronicles the careful cataloguing of artefacts, the precautions against looting and the stream of eminent visitors, and berates the press for spreading ‘unpardonable and mendacious’ rumours of a curse that killed Lord Carnarvon: something he viewed as an insult to his friend’s memory.   

Howard Carter (1874-1939) was an English archaeologist who made one of the most celebrated contributions to Egyptology – the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Carter was the son of a portrait artist, and his first endeavours in Egyptology were as a painter and draughtsman. At the age of 17, he joined his first expedition to Egypt, working with Percy Newberry as an artist at the site of Beni Hasan. His progression was swift, and in 1899 he was appointed the first chief inspector of the Egyptian Antiquities Service. By 1907 he was conducting his own excavations, financed by the Earl of Carnarvon. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922 brought Carter worldwide fame and recreated an interest in the glories of ancient Egypt. The task of clearing the contents of the tomb took 10 years and, when complete, Carter turned to other research topics. He also travelled throughout Europe and America, giving lectures on the discovery, and acted as an agent for collectors and museums.

David P. Silverman is the Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr., Professor of Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania, Curator of Penn Museum’s Egyptian Section and one of the leading authorities on the civilisation of ancient Egypt. He was the national curator, advisor and academic content creator for the blockbuster exhibition ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ and was also responsible for the curatorial content in the original 1977 ‘Treasures of Tutankhamun’ exhibition. His extensive publications include numerous books and articles on Egyptian language, art and religion, and he has directed several field expeditions at sites throughout Europe.

Harry Burton was an archaeological photographer and Egyptologist, best known for his photographs of excavations in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. His photographs were of great beauty as well as of immense archaeological value, and his most famous commission was that to document the excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb. The first photographs released to the press cause a worldwide sensation and played a significant part in the 'Egyptomania' of the 1920s.


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