Lord Carnarvon opens Tutankhamun exhibition at the Ashmolean, Oxford

Almost a century after his great-grandfather, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon discovered the tomb of the Boy Pharoah King, Tutankhamun, along with fellow archaeologist Howard Carter, the current Lord Carnarvon attended the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford today to help launch the ‘Discovering Tutankhamun’ exhibition, which opens tomorrow and runs until 2 November 2014.

Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter’s excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The name of the ‘boy king’ is now synonymous with the glories of ancient Egypt and the spectacular contents of his tomb continue to enthral the public and scholars alike. The Ashmolean’s summer exhibition displays objects from ancient Egypt’s Amarna Period (around 1350-1330 BC) with material from inside the archives of Oxford’s Griffith Institute, celebrating it’s 75th anniversary in 2014, to tell the story of the discovery of the tomb, its popular appeal and to explore how modern Egyptologists continue to interpret the evidence.

‘Discovering Tutankhamun’ brings together objects, photographs and archive material from leading collections to tell the story of the search for the tomb, the painstaking recording of its contents, and the research that continues to illuminate Tutankhamun and his world. On display are Harry Burton’s iconic photographs, Carter’s handwritten diaries, and the sketches and records made in the tomb as it was cleared from 1922-32. Much of this material is from the Tutankhamun archive at the Griffith Institute and has never before been exhibited in public.

Professor Christopher Brown CBE, Director of the Ashmolean said: “Discovering Tutankhamun tells a thrilling story of archaeological discovery and explores its impact on both scholarship and popular culture. The exhibition shows archival material which has never been seen in public before, with major loans from around the world, and provides the opportunity to re-examine pivotal moments in both ancient and modern history.”

Lord Carnarvon, who with his wife Lady Fiona, still resides in the ancestral seat at Highclere Castle, gave an enthusiastic speech to officially launch the event. He said: “We owe a great debt of gratitude to Howard Carter and my great-grandfather for their perseverance. A million thankyou’s go to the sponsors and the fantastic team at the Ashmolean for putting on this exhibition. I am sure that thousands of children will enjoy this exhibition too.”

The ‘Discovering Tutankhamun’ exhibition runs from 24 July 2014 to 2 November 2014. Tickets are priced at £10/£8 for concessions and is free to under 12’s.

To find out more about the ‘Discovering Tutankhamun’ exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, visit www.ashmolean.org/exhibitions/discovertut.

Last modified on Monday, 13 April 2015 07:58