In 1922, Howard Carter found something amazing in the Valley of Kings – the Holy Grail for Egyptologists at the time. On November 4th, Carter and his group stumbled upon steps that led to the entrance of King Tut’s tomb. By the end of that month, Carter was busy chiseling away at the sealed entrance.
Of course, “stumbled upon” might not give the explorers enough credit. The discovery of King Tut’s tomb came near the end of decades of work in the Valley of Kinfs.
For months, Carter and his team cataloged the many treasures that they found inside the tomb. Carter reportedly was unsure about the actual nature of what they had found. Was it the tomb of a King, or simply an underground treasure trove? It wasn’t until February of 1923 that Carter happened upon Tutankhamun’s burial room and got his answer.
The excavation, processing, and cataloging of everything inside the tomb took Carter and his team almost ten full years. It was an extremely rigorous process, as each item had to be given a reference number (with multiple subdivisions) and photographed from multiple angles. Each object then received its own description and sketch on its reference card. Finally, items were taken to a lab and photographed even more.
Today, the archaeologist who led this painstaking work is being celebrated with a Google Doodle. In the Doodle, the Google logo is obscured by many of the treasures that were uncovered in Tut’s tomb. Carter himself is featured in the center gazing up at the prized sarcophagus, who is casually leaning up against a column.
Carter was born in 1874 and died in 1939. He would have been 138 years old today.