Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation.
Howard Carter's diaries.
The seventh excavation season in the tomb of Tutankhamun.
September 20 to December 4, 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 53-5 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 20, 1928.

Dep. London 10.45. Vict. for Calais - Paris - Trieste.

September 21, 1928.

Arr. Trieste.

September 25, 1928.

Arr. Alex. - Cairo.

September 30, 1928.

Dep. Cairo - for Luxor.

October 1, 1928.

Arr. Luxor - Gurna. Finding everything in good order.

ctober 2, 1928.

Put things straight in house.

October 3, 1928.

Opened Lab. for recommencing work.

October 4-8, 1928.

Cleaned, repaired and noted the majority of the calcite vessels and ornaments.

October 8, 1928.

Lucas arrived.

October 9-17, 1928.

With Lucas's aid cleaned repaired & noted a large quantity of miscellanea that came in the sequence of discovery under the main No. 620. Lucas was also able to clean, ready for waxing, two stools and one small chair.

Lucas when he arrived was not well, had a cold, and fever. The latter (by the 18th) developed and proved to be para-typhoid.

October 18, 1928.

Sent Lucas to Cairo to go to the Anglo-American hospital.

October 19-22, 1928.

The work progressed very slowly, I having developed a cold and far from being fit to work at 'full steam'.

On the morning of the 22nd, I had an interesting experience: when driving up the valley (8am), I saw, quite near the car (not more than twenty yds away) a seven to ten months old jackal. Quite black (perhaps a few grey hairs under the abdomen); long muzzle; large pointed ears; and of the attenuated form of the ancient Egyptian Anubis-animal. But the tail though drooping was shorter than that represented by the god. This is now the second example of this animal that I have witnessed, in both cases resembling in form and in colour the Anubis-animal far more than the normal jackal of these parts.

October 25, 1928.

Car broke down and morning lost. I seem to be having a run of bad luck, with poor Lucas in the hospital from whom at present I can't get any news.

October 29, 1928.

Continued this week, examining, repairing & recording a number of miscellaneous objects found in boxes 367 and 565.

Had news of Lucas saying that he was progressing well.

Expect Burton to arrive towards the end of this week.

November 5, 1928.

Work progressing slowly - some nice specimens of tapestry - woven textiles turned up. Though in bad condition they show quite interesting details especially the needle-work.

Burton arrived.

November 6, 1928.

Burton began his photographic records.

November 9, 1928.

Which progressed well but unfortunately he fell ill today. He having contracted in Cairo 'dengue-fever' which suddenly became evident this evening.

November 15, 1928.

Burton progressing as well as possible - a relapse today which means the end of the fever. He won't be fit for ten days however.

Just heard that Lucas has recovered and out of hospital. He wants to come back on the 23rd Nov. I don't think that very wise.

Having a lot of trouble from stupidity on the part of the Reises & men. It seems that they get more stupid as they get older - and slacker having been perhaps too long with me.

November 24, 1928.

Work progressing. The box (370) containing all kinds of weapons entails a lot of work & recording.

Burton sufficiently strong to return to work today.

Eumorfopolous came to valley and afterwards to lunch - we went over various monuments together.

December 4, 1928.

Lucas returned from Cairo this morning. I had hoped to go to Cairo for a few days - the end of Nov. but what with Burton being able to return I did not feel justified in delaying the work more than possible so decided to put off going to Cairo later in Dec.

(December 17, 2010)

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