Tutankhamun

I went to the opening of the Discovering Tutankhamun exhibition at the Ashmolean, which shows the continuing lure of Egypt and the treasures of the Valley of the Kings.   I was told as I approached the exhibition that it was only photographs.   But what photographs !  They come from the Griffith Institute, which was founded in 1939 by Francis Llewellyn Griffith, the first Professor of Egyptology at Oxford, who married well, with a rich first wife and an even richer second one.   They received all of Howard Carter’s papers, drawings, diaries and photographs, including 1,850 black and white negatives taken on a plate camera by Harry Burton, who was the official photographer to Carter’s expedition which led to the discovery of the tomb in November 1922.   We stood on the staircase for the speeches, including one by the Earl of Carnarvon, and then had dinner on the terrace overlooking Oxford in temperatures which were only twenty degrees less than Luxor.

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