On this day in 1923, King Tutankhamun's tomb which had been sealed since 1323 BC, was opened by Howard Carter after nearly 3 months of excavation. Carter first came to Egypt in 1891 convinced that the boy king lay yet undiscovered. In 1922 while digging through workers huts in an area where the tombs of other Egyptian royalty had been discovered, his water boy stumbled over a rock that turned out to be the top step of a staircase that led to doors bearing the name Tutankhamun. Those doors had been clearly opened and resealed on at least 2 occasions shortly after burial. After clearing the corridor behind the door, they found a second door which had also been obviously resealed. He made a hole in the door, and while using a candle to light the opening as he looked through, his assistant asked if he could see anything, to which he famously replied: "Yes, wonderful things..." 5398 objects, many of which made of gold, gems and precious stones, were found still in the chambers of Tut's tomb, including funerary items, thrones, chariots, statuettes, shrines to various deities, the oldest known brass instruments in the world, an iron meteorite dagger, jars with vintage wine residue, the king's underwear, and model boats intended to take the king to the afterlife, which accompanied the granite sarcophagus, itself placed inside 3 coffins, the innermost one being made of 243 lbs of pure gold. His funerary mask was actually made for Queen Nefertiti, whom Tut succeeded. He likely died unexpectedly, as his tomb was much smaller and less ornately decorated than his royal contemporaries, suggesting it had been hastily constructed or originally meant for someone else of lower status. The process of removing the entirety of the collection took 10 years and was the most complete ancient Egyptian royal tomb ever found. Tutankhamun currently rests in his linen wrappings removed from its sarcophagus in a climate controlled glass box for public viewing.
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