Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Thursday, November 11, 2010

It has been announced that 19 items from Tutankhamun's tomb, which are presently in the collection of New York's Metropolitan Museum, are to be returned to Egypt.  The returned to Egypt.  The story has been covered extensively with a good coverage on Zahi's blog including pictures of the main objects.  Thomas Hoving is usually creditted with identifying that these objects had come from KV62.

What has not been picked up in the press reports is the implication for the entry and clearance of KV62.  There have been suspicions for many years that Carnarvon was involved in the illicit removal of items from KV62.  Official acknowledgement that these items came from the time, will make it much harder to deny those suspicions.  They centre on two separate allegations:

1) Did Carter enter the tomb before it's official opening and then re-seal it?
2) Did Carter set aside items while cataloguing the tomb?

We may never know.


kmtscribe said...

Fifteen of the 19 pieces to be returned by The Metropolitan Museum
to Egypt, have the status of bits or samples, thus not looted
pieces of particular importance!
Some of the most artistically important are:
Four nails
The bronze dog is only 3/4 inch in height.
Tiny sphinx from a bangle.
The collar was re-assembled.
- what a plundered treasure!!!
They had been noted in the tomb records, so not a concealed cache.
It is so often deliberately forgotten that all excavators in Egypt used their own money to help bring the lost antiquities back to 'life'. It would all be beneath the sands if not for the skill and finances of westerners.
The vast income from tourism, that comes from these discoveries,
then to now, is the main income to a still impoverished Egypt
All excavators were given a share of what was found.
Carter and Carnarvon were under this impression throughout their years of toil and expense.
Even when the tomb was opened, the sharing of objects was expected.
The rules were suddenly changed by the Egyptian government when the
huge amount of goods was at last revealed.
The excavators were to get nothing.....................
That a few beads and tiny pieces were kept aside shows no plundering. It does show the disrespect and greed of the officials to not allow Carter/Carnarvon even one small item. Without these two men, the tomb would still be undiscovered. That Carter and Carnarvon's names are now being blackened
deserves the accusors of nothing better than for their souls
to be devoured by Ammut.

Scrabcake said...

It kind of irritates me how there are those who are happy publish salacious stories about Carter pre-entering the tomb with little proof. There was no reason for Carter to enter the tomb in advance...he was convinced that he and his backers were going to get a cut. If he wasn't and he broke in early to make the tomb look like it was robbed, why did he stay on with the excavation after it became apparent that he wasn't going to get a cut! The fact that he did I think says enough about his character--that he cared enough about the find for its own sake and not just for the sake of his pocketbook--to make his distructive break and enter probable. I think that the best thing that ever happened to Egyptology, besides the Giza internet archives, was that Carter found the tomb instead of Davis. I don't think *anyone* of the time would have done as good a job as Carter did.


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