Tutankhamen, Howard Carter and the Curse of the Mummy


On the 9th May 2012 the

Google Doodle

 of Howard Carter reminded the world of the existence of Howard Carter. May 9, 2012 would have marked his 138th Birthday. He was born in England on the 9th of May 1874. Howard Carter discovered one of the best preserved Egyptian Pharaohs and Tombs in Egypt.

Howard Carter

He found the now famous Tutankhamen Tomb on the 4th of November 1922. He was involved with archaeology from an early age and played an important role in the history of Egyptian Archaeology. According to Wikipedia he arrived in Egypt when he was only 17 years old.

In Egypt he started his career documenting Egyptian excavations, archaeology and treasures. He was a skilled artist and was employed to make drawings of the artifacts, treasures archaeology sites and excavation plans. Though his own unique methods he soon became one of the pioneers of early archaeology. It is during these projects that he learned from the masters of the trade and implemented his own ideas, concepts and though processes to archaeology.

Video of Howard Carter, Egypt and Tutankhamen


The curse of the mummy began when many terrible events occurred after the discovery of King Tutankhamen tomb. Legend has it that anyone who dared to open the tomb of Tutankhamen would suffer the wrath of the mummy and die. This is also referred to as the “”Curse of the Mummy” or the “Curse of Tutankhamen”.

In early years mummies were associated with medicinal and magical powers throughout history, these tombs were robbed and plundered and the mummies found were grind into a fine powder and then sold as mystical mummy powder. It were believed that the powder contained magical healing, medicinal and super powers this abruptly ended when Howard Carter discovered the Tomb of King Tutankhamen.

Shortly after discovering the Tutankhamen Tomb Lord Carnarvon (British Explorer), who funded

Howard Carter

, died shortly after the discovery of the Tutankhamen Tomb in Egypt. The path to his death began in the spring of 1923 when he was bitten by a mosquito on his cheek.


The mosquito bite soon became infected and Lord Carnarvon became very sick. He suffered a high fever, chills and many people said it were because of the curse of Tutankhamen.

The media went wild with stories of his death and the coincidence of the lights that went out in Cairo at approximately the same time as when he died. Thus the curse of Tutankhamen and the Mummy were born. They claimed King Tutankhamen wanted revenge and announced a mummy’s curse on all that have entered his final resting place, Not only did the death of Lord Carnarvon get all the people in an uproar but more stories began to surface about the Tutankhamen curse.

One of the prominent stories is that a cobra killed Howard Carter’s pet canary after the discovery of King Tutankhamen tomb. The second story of the curse of Tutankhamen is that Lord Carnarvon dog howled at the time of his death and then the dog also dropped dead.

It seems Howard Carter has escaped the curse of the mummy. Howard Carter died on 2 March 1939 at the age of 64.

Before his death in 1939 the British archaeologist traveled to the United Kingdom and the United States where he provided lectures about his expeditions and experiences. It is said that the interest of Americans with the Egyptian history are part as a result of his lectures in the US.

We have created a short video about Howard Carter, if you are looking for more information on the English Archaeologist or are just interested to find some more information about Egypt and Tutankhamen you might enjoy the video. The video is not an academic work but made to provide a basic overview of Howard Carter, the Howard Carter Google Doodle, Tutankhamen and Egypt. In 1995 I had the opportunity to travel to Egypt and talk the experience in the video.

YouTube Link to the Howard Carter’s 138th Birthday and the curse of Tutankhamen video: