Home to the sole surviving ancient Wonder of the World and Tutankhamun — the most famous boy king there ever was, Egypt is a historical treasure trove just waiting to be explored. From the Great Sphinx of Giza to the historic Nile River, this unforgettable country is overflowing with remnants of a prosperous time gone past, where dynasties reigned and societies thrived.
As part of Luxury Escapes’ tour of Egypt, you will venture into Tutankhamun’s tomb to see its splendour, soak up its history and discover just why it is so important to so many.
One of Ancient Egypt’s overarching legacies is that of the pharaoh, or king. Sitting only below the gods in civilisation’s hierarchy, the king had absolute power over the people. While there were countless leaders, there are a few that have transcended time, with their legends and lore reaching far beyond the country’s borders.
There is no pharaoh more famous than Tutankhamun. He was propelled into prominence when, in 1922, his preserved tomb was discovered in the Valley of Kings by English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter. The king’s golden mask, now recognised worldwide, was just one of the treasures Carter and his team found inside, along with multiple pieces of jewellery and amulets, gold-plated shrines, furniture and chariots.
For all our advances in modern technology, archaeologists are yet to find a better-preserved tomb than that of Tutankhamun, making a visit here a one-of-kind experience.
As part of Luxury Escapes’ tour of ancient Egypt, you will venture into the tomb to see its splendour, soaking up its history and discovering just why it is so important to so many.
“Despite being located in the Valley of the Kings, Tutankhamun’s tomb is relatively untouched as it was long-forgotten by Egyptian royalty. As such, it is home to many well-preserved and restored artefacts and hieroglyphics that depict the king’s life and afterlife beliefs,” says John Saporito, Luxury Escapes tour expert.
Prior to the tomb’s discovery, Tutankhamun’s legacy wasn’t as notable as that of other recognised pharaohs, such as Cleopatra and Ramses II. He ascended to the throne at the age of nine or 10 but his reign only lasted a decade; it was the discovery of his near-perfect tomb that immortalised Tutankhamun. However, the influx of visitors — after 3000 years of relative solitude, has taken its toll on the site.
“The tomb was closed for nine years and reopened just last year after a big restoration, and even now, local authorities limit access to minimise the impact of tourism”, says John.
“There is even talk of closing the tomb altogether and creating a replica nearby to preserve it, so it’s best to see it now, while you can.”
Tourism wasn’t the only thing that the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb unleashed. It also inspired the idea of ‘Tutankhamun’s curse’, as many of those who were associated with the discovery also met their untimely ends.
Shortly after the discovery of the tomb, Lord Carnarvon, the sponsor of Howard Carter’s mission, was bitten on the cheek by a mosquito and died in a delirious fever. Around the same time, Lord Carnarvon’s pet bird and dog passed away, and a wealthy American who had visited the tomb contracted pneumonia and died. Two members of Carter’s team also met their end earlier than planned.
Despite all of these supposed case studies, there is one gaping hole in the conspiracy theories – Howard Carter died at the age of 64 from cancer, years after his discovery.
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