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Tomb of Tutankhamun, famous the world over for the wealth of treasure it contained.

The tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, underneath the remains of workmen's huts built during the Ramesseid period. This explains why it was spared from the worst of the tomb depredations of that period.

In design, the tomb appears to have originally been intended for a private individual, not for royalty. There is some evidence to suggest that the tomb was hastily adapted for a royal occupant during its excavation. This is supported by the fact that only the burial chamber walls were decorated, unlike royal tombs in which nearly all walls were painted with scenes from the Book of the Dead.

The tomb was literally packed with items, but they were in great disarray. And yet, Carter was able to photograph garlands of flowers, which of course disintregated when touched. Due to the state of the tomb, and to Carter's meticulous recording technique, the tomb took nearly a decade to empty, the contents all being transported to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Even though Tutankhamun was a minor Pharaoh, for the first time, it was possible to get an idea of the riches which were buried with an Egyptian king, and they were truly astounding. Considering also that his tomb was somewhat small, one can only wonder what more important Pharaohs had buried with them.

It is often said that Tutankhamun's tomb was never violated, but this is not true. In fact, it was entered at least twice, and not long after he was buried. There is clear evidence that the sealed doors were breached in the upper corners, and later resealed. It is estimated that 60% of the jewelry which had been stored in the so-called Treasury was removed. Necropolis officials tried to set things right, but they did so hastily, repacking boxes with the wrong objects (based on inscription on the boxes themselves). And the outermost doors of the shrines enclosing the king's nested coffins had been opened.

See also: Valley of the Kings, Burials in the Valley of the Kings

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