Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the discovery in 1922 of Tutankhamun’s 3000 year old tomb and its impact on the understanding of ancient Egypt, both academic and popular. The riches, such as the death mask above, were spectacular and made the reputation of Howard Carter who led the excavation. And if the astonishing contents of the tomb were not enough, the drama of the find and the control of how it was reported led to a craze for ‘King Tut’ that has rarely subsided and has enthused and sometimes confused people around the world, seeking to understand the reality of Tutankhamun’s life and times.

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  • Elizabeth Frood 3 episodes
    Director of the Griffith Institute and Fellow of St Cross at the University of Oxford
  • Christina Riggs No other episodes
    Professor of the History of Visual Culture at Durham University and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford
  • John Taylor 2 episodes
    Curator at the Department of Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum

Reading list

  • Discovering Tutankhamun
    Paul Collins and Liam McNamara (Ashmolean Museum Publications, 2014) Google Books →
  • Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy
    Aidan Dodson (American University in Cairo Press, 2014) Google Books →
  • The Unknown Tutankhamun
    Marianne Eaton-Krauss (Bloomsbury Press, 2016) Google Books →
  • Tutankhamun: The Eternal Splendour of the Boy Pharaoh
    T. G. H. James (Tauris Parke, 2000) Google Books →
  • Howard Carter: The Path to Tutankhamun
    T. G. H. James (Tauris Parke, 2001) Google Books →
  • The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, The Tomb, The Royal Treasure
    Nicholas Reeves (Thames & Hudson, 2006) Google Books →
  • Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt and the Archive
    Christina Riggs (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) Google Books →
  • Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration
    David P. Silverman, Josef W. Wegner and Jennifer Houser Wegner (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: m000cng6

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000cng6

Auto-category: 932 (Ancient Egypt)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In 1922, archaeologists found Tutankhamen's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, unopened for more than 3,000 years.