Ancient History & Civilisation

Chapter 77

Valley of the Kings

November 24, 1922

WITH THE DOOR now fully exposed to sunlight and air, there was clear evidence that the plaster seals had been tampered with. A party of tomb robbers—perhaps two—had actually entered the tomb, then had taken the time to reseal the door when they had finished ransacking it.

Carter’s mind raced in all the wrong directions. Would the break-in have happened in modern times? Impossible. The workmen’s huts and loose soil above the bedrock predated the tomb to the time of Rameses VI, at the very least. This meant that whoever rifled through the tomb had done it in a two-hundred-year window between the reigns of Akhenaten and Rameses.

There was one thing that gave Carter hope: the seal of Tutankhamen was stamped on the doorway.

This led to more questions: Was the seal evidence that this mysterious king, about whom so little was known, was buried inside? Or was it merely an indication that he had been present or in power when the remains or belongings of others had been relocated to this site? After all, the same seals had been found on the tomb that Davis had once claimed belonged to Tut.

As the light faded and work stopped for the day, the symbol taunted him. Carter’s mind kept going back to the same question: Tut?

If so, this could be the greatest discovery of modern time.

In the morning Carter would get an answer. At dawn, he planned to be the first man in three thousand years to break down that door.

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