Howard Carter Stole Tutankhamun’s Treasure, New Evidence Suggests
100 years after the discovery of the tomb of the boy king, a previously unpublished letter backs up long-held suspicions
By: Dalya Alberge
Howard Carter, the archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, was long suspected by Egyptians of having helped himself to treasures before the vault was officially opened. But while rumours have swirled for generations, proof has been hard to come by.
Now an accusation that Carter handled property “undoubtedly stolen from the tomb” has emerged in a previously unpublished letter sent to him in 1934 by an eminent British scholar within his own excavation team.
It was written by Sir Alan Gardiner, a leading philologist. Carter had enlisted Gardiner to translate hieroglyphs found in the 3,300-year-old tomb, and later gave him a “whm amulet”, used for offerings to the dead, assuring him that it had not come from the tomb.