King Tut exhibition, Art Gallery of Ontario
The story of Tut is actually the story of two boys: the mysterious Egyptian Boy Pharaoh and another, more modern, English boy who would grow up to discover his tomb. Howard Carter (1874-1939) was a sickly son of humble origins, his father a draughtsman who educated him as an artist. In 1891, seventeen-year-old Howard was hired by the Egypt Exploration Fund to document finds and left his drizzly homeland for the first time, making the expedition to strange, sweltering Alexandria.
By the age of 25, diligent Howard had attained the position of Inspector General of Monuments for Upper Egypt, his duties including the overseeing of all Nile valley excavations.
It wasn’t a straight-up trajectory to the discovery of Tut’s tomb n 1922, though, or afterwards. The fascinating Find a Grave website tells Carter’s story very well. It’s a story just as surprising as Tutankhamun’s.