Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation.
Howard Carter's diaries.
The sixth excavation season in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
September 8, 1927 to April 26, 1928

© Griffith Institute, Oxford OX1 2LG

Concept and direction: Jaromir Malek
Transcript: Sue Hutchison
Editing: Jaromir Malek and Ana I. Navajas Jimenez

[Note: all dates have been standardized.]

This diary, written partly in ink and partly in pencil in Howard Carter's hand, is on pages 29-51 of a large notebook (32.5 by 21 cm) with a label Egyptian Government on its front cover. It is catalogued in the Griffith Institute Archive as TAA Archive i.2.4.

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 cases are not marked but scans of the pages of these diaries will be available here soon and may be consulted for details.

September 8, 1927.

Dep. London (for Egypt via Trieste - Alexandria).

September 13, 1927.

Arr. Cairo. (Saw Min. P.W.D. on board S.S. Vienna, Alex.).

September 15, 1927.

Saw H. Gauthier, Secretary General S. des. A., arranged the following: -

Open lab. 24th Sept.
Electric light Oct. 5th.
Signed concession for 1927-28 (ending Oct. 31st 1928).
Discussed the proposal of replacing Mohamed Effendi Shaaban by junior Museum official. He agreed to my proposal of writing to H.E. the Min. of P.W.D. on subject.

Drafted letter - re Mohamed Shaaban - for the Min. P.W.D.

September 21, 1927.

Dep. Cairo 7pm. for Luxor with Lucas.

September 22, 1927.

Arr. Luxor 8pm - Gurna 10am.

September 24, 1927.

Opened Lab (No. 15) in presence of Mahmoud Effendi Rushdy; found everything in order; free from dust, insects and rats.

Prepared everything for work tomorrow, commencing with the shrine upon carrying poles of the figure of Anubis No. 261. The figure of the jackal having been cleaned and waxed last season.

The temperature of the lab., upon opening, was 80oF, one degree less than when it was opened last season (Oct. 6 1926).

September 26, 1927.

The Anubis being completed we commenced upon the series of boats. Paid men & Reises.

September 27, 1927.

Tuesday being a holiday no work at the lab. (Carpenter employed from 28th Sept.)

October 3, 1927.

The Anubis shrine, the nautical series, the granary, and the germinating figure of Osiris, examined, fortified, & noted.

Arranged for opening the tomb Wednesday (Oct. 5th), after which date we will begin upon the remainder of the material in the store room.

October 5, 1927.

Cleared the rubbish covering the entrance of the tomb. Received visit from O.C.P. Hassan Hosny Abou Zeid (of Keneh) and El Bey El Marmour, Ahmed Tewfik Mouro (of Luxor).

October 6, 1927.

Opened tomb, finding everything in good order. The Inspector of Luxor Rushdy Effendi was present.

Commenced removing to the laboratory the remainder of objects in the store room.

Examined the model coffin and contents; a cenotaph; and two kiosks full of shawabti figures of different kinds.

October 8, 1927.

Completed removing objects from the store chamber - (leaving out the canopic shrine and 3 boats to await Burton's photos.).

October 9-10, 1927.

Lucas commenced cleaning model coffin and shawabtis.

October 15, 1927.

Burton arrived.

October 16, 1927.

Burton commenced photographing the shawabti-figures.

November 11, 1927.

Sir John Maffy, Gov. Gen. of the Sudan visited the valley & tomb.

November 23, 1927.

Burton completed negatives of the objects from the innermost room.

November 25, 1927.

Commenced moving the roofing sections of the great shrines from the S. end of the antechamber, preparatory to opening the annexes.

November 26, 1927.

Completed do.

November 27, 1927.

Opened the entrance doorway of the annexe.

November 29, 1927.

Henri Landauer arrived.

November 30, 1927.

Burton commences the photographic records of the annexe.

We were able to commence upon the removal of some of the objects immediately below the threshold of the doorway.

December 15, 1927.

Completed clearing the annexe.

December 17, 1927.

Commenced preparations for the visitors to see tomb.

December 30, 1927.

The King of Afghanistan visited tomb.

January 6, 1928.

P.M. Sarwat Pasha visited tomb and lab.

January 8, 1928.

Opened tomb to public.

January 13, 1928.

The Sultana Melek visited tomb.

January 25, 1928.

Sent cases of antiquities (i.e. of 1926-27 Campaign) to Cairo.

Left for Cairo.

January 26, 1928.

Arr. Cairo. Saw Lady Burghclere.

January 31, 1928.

Returned Luxor with Lady Burghclere.

February 6, 1928.

Crown Pr. of Italy visited the Valley & tomb.

February 7, 1928.

Left for Aswan with Lady Burghclere, per pr. train.

February 28, 1928.

Returned to Gurneh from Aswan - very bad cold.

March 26, 1928.

H.R.H. Pri. Mary arr. Show valley & western Thebes to Princess Mary.

March 30, 1928.

H.R.H. Pri. Mary dep.

April 6, 1928.

The Sultana Malek visited Lab. and D.E.B.

April 8, 1928.

Burton, having been with me for three days completed his work.

April 14, 1928.

Closed tomb. Landauer dep.

April 16, 1928.

Left Cairo.

April 21, 1928.

Dep. for Alex. for S.S. 'Helouan' for Venice - London.

April 26, 1928.

Arr. London.

(December 17, 2010)

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