Tutankhamun’s Last Guardian

The young Pharaoh has gripped peoples’ imagination and changed lives. Desmond Zwar looks at the career of the man who claimed to have spent seven years living in the tomb, guarding it while Howard Carter examined its contents.

Howard Carter and associates opening the shrine doors in the burial chamber (1924 reconstruction of the 1923 event)
Howard Carter and associates opening the shrine doors in the burial chamber (1924 reconstruction of the 1923 event)

At the end of the day just before Christmas 1968, a visitor was ushered into my office at the Daily Mail.

A small man with a round head topped by white hair. He was clutching his hat and apologizing for being ‘a trouble’. He arrived from the lift, 70-ish, in threadbare black suit. He didn’t want to be a bother, but he had just come from being with Prince Charles at Cambridge University.

Richard Adamson explained that back in 1922 he had been in Luxor, Egypt with archaeologist Howard Carter, and he needed an important photograph he had taken at the time; he wondered if our newspaper could help?

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