King Tut

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March 8, 2017 – MCAT CARS Passage

Question: What is your summary of the author’s main ideas. Post your own answer in the comments before reading those made by others.

In 1922, Howard Carter had spent the last thirty years digging around Egypt for ancient tombs. As one of the world’s leading experts in the field, he often operated at the behest of the fabulously wealthy collector of antiquities, Lord Carnarvon, who had hired him to supervise his excavations in the Valley of the Kings along the Nile River.

Carter lived there in a modest mud-brick house as he roamed the area in search of an elusive tomb which he believed might still hold the remains of Tutankhamun, a mysterious Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, who had ruled between 1332 and 1323 B.C. “King Tut” had taken the throne at the age of nine or ten and died at about age 18, making his story all the more intriguing.

In 1922, however, Lord Carnarvon informed Carter that he would fund that quest for only one more year unless they struck pay dirt. That time was running out when, on November 4, Carter’s water boy stumbled across steps in the sand that led to an important burial site. An ebullient Carter immediately wired his employer and the excited Lord Carnarvon soon arrived with his entourage to visit the site.

Carter’s hands were trembling when he exposed the tomb in Carnarvon’s presence. “At first I could see nothing, the hot air escaping from the chamber causing the candle flame to flicker,” Carter later wrote, “but presently, as my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold—everywhere the glint of gold.” Carter was dumbstruck with amazement, prompting the impatient Lord Carnarvon to ask, “Can you see anything?” The gaping archaeologist eventually composed himself enough to reply, “Yes, wonderful things!

Together they had uncovered the best-preserved and most intact pharaoh’s tomb in the Valley of Kings. A year and a half later, Carter’s team entered the burial chamber to find gold-covered shrines and jewel-studded chests. Raising the lid of Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus revealed a coffin of pure gold that held the mummified remains of the boy, King Tut. Word of the discovery flashed across the globe, igniting the world’s latest craze and turning Carter into a major celebrity.

Lord Carnarvon was not so lucky. While in Egypt he suffered a mosquito bite that became infected and he died three weeks later—an event that journalists famously ascribed to the “Mummy’s Curse.” The tale became a staple for Hollywood moviemakers. Carter’s journal and subsequent public writings, photographs, and documentary film related details about the 20th century’s most exciting archaeological discovery.

Adapted from smithsonianmag

Review

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This was an article on Archaeology.

Have a great day.
Jack Westin
MCAT CARS Instructor.
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30 Comments


  1. MIP: Carter = most exciting archeological discovery

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  2. MIP: Carter looked for King Tut’s tomb; He found it + excited
    Tone: Neutral

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  3. found treasure + Carter = famous

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  4. Howard Carter, an archaeologist, became a world-renowned celebrity after discovering the gilded tomb of King Tut under the employment of Lord Carnarvron, a wealthy collector. King tut was a mysterious Egyptian pharaoh who ascended to the throne around age 10, yet died at age 18. This finding exhilarated the ever-curious Carter, but his employer’s enjoyment was short lived, as he succumbed three weeks later from the “Mummy’s Curse”, an infected mosquito bite.

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  5. Carter= excavation expert + located King Tut’s tomb + famous/rich

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  6. Carter = uncovered the King Tut’s tomb (most exciting archaeological discovery in 20th century) + became famous + along with Carnarvon (unlucky one)

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  7. MIP: HC found tut=a very fortunate find
    tone: Neut

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  8. Carter found the tomb of King Tut—–>Carter = famous.

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  9. MI: Carter found King Tut tomb -> famous -> Movies and stories

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  10. details about the discovery of King Tut’s tomb = a major discovery

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  11. Carter’s (under the direction of Carnavon ) amazing discovery of King Tut

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  12. With funding from Lord Carnarvon, Carter discovered the now famous tomb of boy king Tut.

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  13. MI: discovery of Tut = made Howard carter a celebrity

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  14. Funded expedition for king tut= greatest discovery
    A curse created tied to the dead of lord C – carter famous
    Movies ect

    Reply

  15. Lord C funded Carter expedition which led to discovery of King Tut’s tomb and many other remains: Carter famous, Lord C dead.

    Reply

  16. Not much of an argument in this passage…. but this is what I thought was important

    Carter searched for Tuts tomb
    Carters discovery= amazing achievement + lords death provoked great story

    Reply

  17. Carter’s discovery = Tut; story famous

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  18. Carter= found Tut + famous

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  19. Carter was a great and famous archaeologist who excavated a short lived famous pharaoh but he lost his life from mosquito bites

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  20. MIP: Carter = found King Tut tomb = fame archaeologist

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  21. Howard Carter = famous for uncovering intact pharaoh’s tomb of King Tut w/ everything in gold. Lord Carnavon’s (Carter’s boss) death from mosquito infection ascribed as “Mummy Curse”

    Reply

  22. MIP: king tut tomb discover; tone = neutral

    Reply

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