#On This Day – Dust

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

#OnThisDay

George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, was born on June 26 1866. An enthusiastic Egyptologist, Lord Carnarvon sponsored the excavations of the tombs at Deir el-Bahri, Thebes, in 1907. It was on this dig that Carnarvon first employed Howard Carter. Carter would again be employed by Carnarvon in 1914 when the Earl began the excavations in the Valley of the Kings. The dig was slow going, it was not until 1922 that the famous tomb was discovered. It was in November 1922 that Lord Carnarvon, along with his daughter Lady Evelyn, witnessed Carter make the initial breach into the tomb, and it was to Carnarvon’s question, “Can you see anything?”, that Carter replied with the now famous words: “Yes, wonderful things!”. Carnarvon, Carter and Lady Evelyn then entered the tomb, crawling into Tutankhamun’s inner burial chamber. In 1923 Carter became the first person to enter the last inner chamber in more than 3,000 years. Robbers had breached the tomb soon after completion, but were caught before they made it as far as the inner burial chamber.

To find out what links the excavation of the tomb with the development of optics, Karl Marx’s Das Kapital, and the widow makers of the South African mines, listen to our episode on dust!

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