Lord Carnarvon

Lord Carnarvon

Highclere, Basingstoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England
Death 5 Apr 1923 (aged 56)
Cairo, El Qahira, Egypt
Burial Highclere, Basingstoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England
Plot Overlooking the Castle Grounds
Memorial ID 9785543 · View Source
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British Nobleman, Archaeologist. He received notoriety for being an amateur archaeologist who supported the excavation of the tomb of the Egyptian Boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamen, known world-wide as “King Tut”, and his treasures in the first half of the 20th century. Although no formal training in archaeology, he developed a keen interest in the subject, was self-taught, and was able to financially as well as politically support the excavation. Born George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, he was the son of Henry Howard Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon and Lady Evelyn Stanhope. He was styled Lord Porchester until inheriting the title of 5th Earl of Carnarvon at his father's death in 1890. He married Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell in 1895 and with her had two children. He was a sponsor of horse races, and an early advocate of automobile racing. In 1901 a serious automobile accident in Germany severely damaged his health, and it was recommended he winter abroad. He visited Egypt for the first time in 1903. He developed an interest in Egyptology during his stay, and his initial adventure into excavation convinced him to rely on more experienced diggers. At this point, he threw his patronage behind the Egyptologist, Howard Carter. In their first season together, Carter discovered the decorated tomb of Tetiky, an early 18th Dynasty mayor of Thebes, and another tomb containing wooden tablets inscribed with the precepts of Ptahhotep, a series of instructions for moral guidance, and the text on the expulsion of the Hyksos by a 17th Dynasty pharaoh. A concession, which gave them the privilege to excavate, came from the government and granting a concession could become very political, which was more easily handled by Carnarvon. Their success led to an expanded concession, and subsequent seasons led to the discovery a series of important private tombs dating from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the beginning of the New Kingdom, and temples built by Hatshepsut and Ramses IV, as well as the tomb believed to have been prepared for the pharaoh Amenhotep I and his mother, Ahmose-Nofretiri. Their goal, however, was to obtain a concession to dig in the Valley of the Kings. Their work was halted by the out break of World War I in 1914. In 1915, the holder of the Valley of the Kings concession abandoned it, believing the Valley exhausted. Carnarvon snapped it up, and set Carter to work in Amenhotep III's tomb. Between 1917 and 1921, Carter focused his energies, and Carnarvon's finances, on finding the elusive tomb of Tutankhamen. After fruitless seasons, however, Carnarvon's enthusiasm waned. After an impassioned plea from Carter, Carnarvon gave the concession only one more season to be financed. On November 4, 1922, three days after starting the season, Carter discovered the top of a sunken staircase. Carnarvon was summoned from England and was present two weeks later when the shaft was fully excavated, and proved to be the entry to Tutankhamen's tomb. The treasure trove that was Tutankhamen's tomb was astonishing, as yet unsurpassed in the history of Egyptian archaeology. Following the official opening of the tomb, Lord Carnarvon departed for Aswan in February for a few days rest. An insect bite on his face became infected with staphylococcus which was followed by sepsis in an age of no modern antibiotics. The illness was debilitating enough to confine him to bedrest. Arrangements were made for him to be moved to the Continental-Savoy Hotel in Cairo, but he quickly declined developing pneumonia and died. His body was returned to England, and laid to rest in a tomb in an ancient hill fort overlooking his family seat.

Bio by: Iola


"Discoverer of the Tomb of King Tutankhamen November 1922 in Collaboration with Howard Carter"


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 9 Nov 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 9785543
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lord Carnarvon (26 Jun 1866–5 Apr 1923), Find a Grave Memorial no. 9785543, citing Beacon Hill, Highclere, Basingstoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .