"At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing my candle flame to flicker, but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere the glint of gold."
With these words Howard Carter described his first glimpse of what is undoubtedly the greatest archaeological discovery ever made, not only to Egyptology, but to the world of archaeology in general. Nothing before nor since, has ever equalled and probably never will equal the splendour and magnificence of the tomb of Tutankhamun, a little known Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. Until then, he was known by only one or two minor objects that had lain in museums attracting little attention, but from November 1922 his name was a household word. He was the symbol of ancient Egypt.
Tutankhamun's tomb lies in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes. It had been lost after the construction of the tomb of Ramesses VI, the debris of which covered the entrance. It was discovered in November 1922 by Howard Carter after many years of fruitless searching in the Valley. Howard Carter's work was funded by the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon. The tomb was found after a workman cleared some debris and uncovered steps. These steps lead down to a sealed doorway behind which was the splendour and magnificence of Tutankhamun's legacy.