Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation.
Howard Carter's diaries.
The first excavation season in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
Part 2: January 1 to May 31, 1923

© Griffith Institute, Oxford OX1 2LG

Concept and direction: Jaromir Malek
Transcript: Sue Hutchison
Editing: Elizabeth Fleming, Diana Magee, Ana I. Navajas Jimenes, Jaromir Malek
Scanning: Hana Navrátilová
Image editing: Jenni Navratil

The diary and journal for 1923 have been scanned with the financial support of the Manchester Ancient Egypt Society

[Note: all dates have been standardized.]

The first two books in which this excavation season is recorded are small (19.5 by 12 cm) appointment books, Lett's No. 46 Indian and Colonial Rough Diaries 1922 (catalogued in the Grifith Institute Archive as TAA Archive i.2.21) and 1923 (TAA Archive i.2.22), which contain only the briefest of notes (these are given in italics in the transcript which follows).

The third book is a large ring-binder (Walker's Loose-Leaf Books, 33 by 21.5 cm) entitled Notes, Diary, and Articles, Referring to the Theban Royal Necropolis and the Tomb of Tutankhamen (TAA Archive i.2.1). It contains extended entries written in ink. They are in Howard Carter's own hand (except for those between December 6 and 27, 1922 which are by A.C. Mace) on pages 25-53.

The transcript presented here has been only very slightly edited, for example by correcting misspellings and eliminating duplication or omission of words. For easier reading, such changes have not been marked but scans of the pages of these diaries will be available here soon and may be consulted for exact details.

Monday, January 1, 1923.

Paid salaries Dec. up to date
to Cook 10LE on a/c
(Note see 3LE before)

Tuesday, January 2.

Gardiner arrived
Go Luxor. Contesa, barber, lunch Merton, see Mamour morning, Bank,

Wednesday, January 3.

Gardiner commenced upon the inscriptions upon objects.

Gardiner commenced upon the various inscriptions and texts upon the objects of the Ante- chamber.

Saturday, January 6.

Motor & Chauffeur arriving 10 am.

Motor and chauffeur arrived.

Monday, January 8.

Gardiner left.

Gardiner left.

Tuesday, January 9.

Lunch Contesa

Friday, January 12.

Lunch Contesa send car 12 noon
Merton 4pm house.

Tuesday, January 23.


Thursday, January 25.

Left for Cairo to meet Ld. C.
Received request from Lacau, Ross Taylor, and Ld Allenby to allow Egyptian press to visit tomb Monday.

Left for Cairo to meet Lord Carnarvon.
Received wire from Lacau, Ross Taylor, and Lord Allenby, re the Egyptian press visiting the tomb.

Friday, January 26.

Arrived Cairo.
Went to Ministry with Ld C & K.B. where we met the P.M. Nessim Pasha, the Min. of P.W.D., Sirry Pasha, Abd El Hamid Suleman Pasha & Lacau where arranged about local Press to visit one day every week. Local Press visited tomb.

Went to Ministry with Ld. C. & K.B., where we met the P.M. Nassim Pasha, The Min. of the P.W.D. Sirry Pasha, the Under Sec. for State P.W.D. Abd El Hamid Suleman Pasha, and Lacau, where we arranged about the question raised by them regarding the local Press and visit to tomb one day every week - i.e., Tuesdays.

Sunday, January 28.

Advise Breasted.
Returned with Ld. C. to Luxor

Returned with Ld. C. and Lady E. to Luxor.

Monday, January 29.

Arrived Luxor. Ld. C. put up at Winter Palace.

Arrived Luxor - where we inspected the progress of the work in the afternoon

Tuesday, January 30.

To be invited.
Lacau, Breasted, Arch. Com., Ministere - Sarwat, Ismail Sedky, Simaila , Izzeb Pachas
Museum employees.
Countess & Sucrerie (Note Queen Spain.)
Landauer, Dr. Howell.
S.E. Mohamed Bey Moussa to see tomb per author. Per Lacau.

Wednesday, January 31.

Paid Salaries to date

Abd El Aal 3
Taha 2
Hussein 2
Rehaan 2.10

Monday, February 5.

To Cook LE6
to Cook 3
" " 10
" " 6

Tuesday, February 13.

Lunch Mr Merton.
Ld. C. went Cairo - re Engelbach and Tewfik Boulos

Ld. C. went to Cairo - re Engelbach and Tewfik Effendi Boulos, inspectors of the S. des. A.

Wednesday, February 14.

Examined seals with Breasted

Examined seals with Breasted.

Thursday, February 15.

Preparations for opening sealed doorway.
Examined seals with Breasted

Made preparations for opening sealed doorway to sepulchral chamber. Examination of seals continued with Breasted.

Friday, February 16.

Opened sealed doorway
before officials Etc. before
1 Abd El Hamid Pasha Suleman, 2 Lacau, 3 Lythgoe, 4 Winlock, 5 Sir W. Garstin, 6 Breasted, 7 Gardiner, 8 Engelbach, 9 Tewfik Boulos, 10 Ibrahim Effendi, 11 Mace, 12 Callender, 13 Lucas , 14 Burton, 15 Ld. C, 16 Lady E.

Opened sealed doorway before the following visitors and officials:

Abd El Halim Pasha Suleman, Under Sec. of State P.W.D.
Lacau. Dir. Gen. S. des. A.
Engelbach. Chief Insp. Up. Eg. S. des A.
Ibrahim Effendi. Insp. Luxor S. des A. and Tewfik Effendi Boulos.
Sir William Garstin
Lythgoe and Winlock
Mace, Callender, Lucas, and Burton.
Ld. C. and Lady E.
and others.

Saturday, February 17.

Preparations for visitors tomb Tutankhamen
Breasted examined seals.

Preparations for official opening and visitors to tomb.
Breasted continued examining seals.

Sunday, February 18.

Queen of Belgians visited tomb
Official visits to opening tomb Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.
Queen of the Belgians and numerous visitors to official opening.

Monday, February 19.

Press to tomb of Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.
Press to tomb.

Tuesday, February 20.

Visitors to tomb of Tutankhamen.

Given up to visitors.

Wednesday, February 21.

Visitors to tomb Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.

Thursday, February 22.

Visitors to tomb of Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.

Friday, February 23.

Visitors to tomb of Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.

Saturday, February 24.

Visitors to tomb Tutankhamen

Given up to visitors.

Sunday, February 25.

Visitors to tomb

Given up to visitors.

Monday, February 26.

Closed tomb of Tut.ankh.amen

Closed tomb for season. Which undertaking took until the end of the 28 Feb.

Wednesday, February 28.

Completed covering up tomb Tutankhamen
Ld. C. went Aswan.
Mace left for Aswan.

Ld. C and staff left for rest. Ld. C. went to Assuan.

Thursday, 1 March.

Paid Salaries

Abd El Aal. 3 10.000
Taha 2 9.100
Hussein 2 - 900
Rehaan 2.10
Cook Dec. 6 = 4LE, Jan. 1 = 10LE, Feb. 5 = 6LE = 20LE:

Dec. 6. Jan. 1. Feb 5. Total to date
to Cook. 4LE X 10LE X 6LE:X today 5LE = 25 LE.
to Sofragi. LE: 5 on a/c Total to date
5 LE:
Callender went to Erement

Friday, March 2.

Went Luxor. Lunched Mr. George Blumenthal
(15 Bd. Montmorency - Auteuil 38.16)

Saturday, March 3.


Sunday, March 4.

Went Erement - Returned Gurna
Bethells & Martineaus

Tuesday, March 6.

Lucas returns 11.am
Callender " 6pm
Ld C. return Luxor

Wednesday, March 7.

Restarted work at No. 15

Resumed work in tomb No. 15., the laboratory.

Thursday, March 8.

Queen of the Belgians visited the Lab.

Friday, March 9.

3pm Q of Belgians

Sunday, March 11.

Lady Evelyn left for Cairo.

Eve left for Cairo.

Monday, March 12.

Dine Maxwells

Tuesday, March 13.

Lunch Martineau
Arranged with Ld. C. for completion of the season's work.

Wednesday, March 14.

Ld C. left for Cairo

Lord Carnarvon left for Cairo.

Thursday, March 15.

Habub Basla came.

Tuesday, March 20.

Left Gurna for Luxor - Cairo on account of Lord C's illness.

Left for Cairo owing to Lord C's illness.

Wednesday, March 21.

Arrived Cairo.

Found Ld. C. very ill with an acute attack of erysipelas and blood poisoning.

Monday, March 26.

Ld. C. developed pneumonia. Lady Carnarvon arrived.

Saturday, 31 March.

Received a.m. Lythgoe for E.S. Harkness N.Y. the sum of LE 973.750 for two Paps.
purchased of Nahman
Paid to Nahman L773.750
" " self 200.000
973 750

Thursday, April 5.

Lord C. died 2 a.m.

Poor Ld. C. died during the early hours of the morning.
Johnny arrived soon after.

Monday, April 9.

Lady E. left with Porchester per P. & O. for Marseilles

Eve left per P. & O. for London with Porchester.

Thursday, April 12.

Lady C. and Johnny left with poor Ld. C's remains per P. & O. by sea.

Saturday, April 14.

Lady. C. left Cairo 11pm.
with Ld C's remains & Johnnie

to Blumenthal.

Scarab 103 L cost 85
(lion hunt)
Dad (faience) 20 " 15
__ ___
123 100

Turkoman 15 cent.
Specimen compound bow of horn, wood & ligament.

Sunday, April 15.

Left Cairo for Luxor - 8 pm.

Returned to Luxor to resume and finish up the season's work in the laboratory.

Monday, April 16.

Returned Luxor - Gurna.
To Callender 50.760 exs to date -
" " 4.000 salary servants March advanced

Charged LE15 for Rail. exs. March 20 - April 16th.
Lady C. left per P. & O. "Malova"
with Ld. C.'s remains & doctor Johnnie

Found Mace, Lucas, Callender and Burton had progressed much with the recording of the objects.

Tuesday, April 17.

26 photos to Hall. Mena house.
2 " " " " 20th
3 Notes " " "

Wednesday, April 18.

Lythgoe leaves Alex per Sphinx
Blumenthal " Alex " "
Lacau called
- send Lacau demands for time

Friday, April 20.

Crown Princess Menem of Abyssinia

Crown Princess Menin of Abyssinia visited the Laboratory.

Sunday, April 22.

Gardiner leaves for Syria

Monday, April 23.

Paid Salaries of Abd El Aal
Rehaan up to March 31st.

Tuesday, April 24.

Sent 30 photos objects from Ante-chamber. to Robinson Metro. Mus. Art. N.Y.

Wednesday, April 25.

Photos Blumenthal
Description of antiques

Saturday, April 28.

Bury Ld C. 11am Beacon Hill
Send Lacau advice regarding transport of material Tutankhamen

Sunday, April 29.

Gardiner returns Cairo

Wednesday, May 2.

Paid Salaries April to date:
Abd el Aal 3.000
Taha 2.000
Hussein 2.000
Rehaan 2.100
see March 3

to Cook. on a/c 25LE. + today nil = 25
" Sofragi " " 5" + today. LE:10 = 15

Lucas left.

Friday, May 4.

Gardiner leaves Alex for England.
Burton finished.

Saturday, May 5.

Burton left for Cairo.
Packed cases

Burton left for Europe.
Commenced the final packing of objects.

Sunday, May 6.

Packed cases

Monday, May 7.

Packed cases

Tuesday, May 8.

Packed cases

Wednesday, May 9.

Packed cases

Thursday, May 10.

Packed cases

Friday, May 11.

Inspected barge for transporting cases to Cairo - (Sucrerie barge & tug Luxor). Made inventory of cases.

Saturday, May 12.

Sorted negatives.

Cases completed and packed.

Sunday, May 13.

Merton comes to tea.
Preparation for transport.
- i.e. stacked case on cars for early morning start

Made preparations for transport of cases to river

Monday, May 14.

Merton came
Cars with 34 cases containing 89 boxes started at sun-rise this morning. Arrived midway of canal bank 6pm.

Transport of cases started at sunrise and reached the middle of the canal bank 5pm.

Tuesday, May 15.

Restarted transport 9 cases sun-rise this morning. & placed on tow boat 10am in presence of Maamur. Engelbach & others ready for down river trip to Cairo - to start the following morning
See chauffeur

Wednesday, May 16.

Transport continued. Reached the Gov. barge on river 10am.

Thursday, May 17.

Barge started for Cairo early in the morning with an escort of police, Antiquity guards and Ibreheem Effendi.

Friday, May 18.

Engelbach & Inspector to B. el. M 5pm.

Saturday, May 19.

(?) left for Cairo.
Omar Mataui
Address Frank Wade
`Sphinx Office'
P.O. Box. 990. Cairo.

P.d. Balance of Salaries to May 31st Abd el Aal Ahmed 3.000
Taha Ahmed 1st boy 2.000
Hussein Ibrahim 2nd boy 2.000
Ahmed Ali Sofragi (27 Dec. 1922) 22.500
Ali Abou Zeid. Cook (21 Nov. 1922). 53.000
Rehaan 2.100

Nov 21. 1922, to May 21, 1923 = 6 months @ 13 LE = 78.000
less monies paid 25
Ali Abou Zeid P.58 53.000

27 Dec 1922 to 27th May 1923 = 5 months @ 7.500 LE: =
less monies paid 15.000.
Ahmed Ali. Paid 26 22.500

Left for Cairo

Sunday, May 20.

Arrived Cairo
Exs. transport car and chauffeur
Saw Lacau arranged opening principal objects for Exhibition Museum
Objects to be listed in special book.
35pt. taxi.

Monday, May 21.

1. Garaging car. E.A.S.T. Co. or Ford Car Co.
2. Papyri New York. to England for mounting.
3. Concession in safe at bank.
4. Money.

Cases arrived 5pm at Cooks Wharf Ghezira
Cabled Mary, Maxwell, Lady C.

Cases and barge arrived Cooks Wharf 5pm.

Tuesday, May 22.

Damascus inlaid box.
Cases arrived and placed in the Cairo Museum - arranged for these to be opened (& exposed on view in Mus.) for the morrow Tuesday 8.pm.

Cases transported to Museum.

Wednesday, May 23.

Unpacked certain number of objects for C.M.

Unpacked certain number of capital pieces to be placed on view in Museum.

Thursday, May 24.

Arranged objects in cases Cairo Museum.

Exs. Abd el Aal.
Fare 206 300 cash
transport 5 222
11 ___
___ -78

Exs. transport Ford Car - Luxor - Cairo.

Freight. 763.5 12.000 Cash
Octroi 38.5 11.110
Fares. 206.
Ibraheem 103 .890

Friday, May 25.

leave via Alex per Vienna
Left Cairo 8.15am for Alex.
Went on board SS. Vienna. left 1pm

Left with Mace for London per SS. Vienna via Venice.

Saturday, May 26.

June 3+ 4 = 7
July 3" 35 4 7
August 3" 4 7
Sept. 3" 4 7
Oct. 3" 11 4 7

Monday, May 28.

Arrived Venice 2.30pm

Tuesday, May 29.

Left for London 7pm per Simplon Express

Wednesday, May 30.

Arrived London via Boulogne & Folkestone.
Arrived London (Victoria) 4.15pm
Saw Lady E.

Arrived London via Boulogne & Folkestone 4.15pm.

Thursday, May 31.

Saw Lady C. Opened letter at B. England

This text is also published in Discussions in Egyptology 32 (1995), but the electronic version has been revised and updated.

(October 19, 2010)

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