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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the the work of Howard Carter's team in 1922, and the extraordinary contents of Tutankhamun's tomb and what it revealed of Egyptian history

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.


Elizabeth Frood
Associate Professor of Egyptology, Director of the Griffith Institute and Fellow of St Cross at the University of Oxford

Christina Riggs
Professor of the History of Visual Culture at Durham University and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford


John Taylor
Curator at the Department of Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Boxing Day 2019 21:30


Elizabeth Frood at the University of Oxford

Christina Riggs at Durham University

Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation - The Griffith Institute, University of Oxford

The Cult of King Tut – BBC Radio 4

Tutankhamun – Wikipedia



Paul Collins and Liam McNamara, Discovering Tutankhamun (Ashmolean Museum Publications, 2014)

Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy (American University in Cairo Press, 2014)

Marianne Eaton-Krauss, The Unknown Tutankhamun (Bloomsbury Press, 2016)

T. G. H. James, Tutankhamun: The Eternal Splendour of the Boy Pharaoh (Tauris Parke, 2000)

T. G. H. James, Howard Carter: The Path to Tutankhamun (first published 1992; Tauris Parke, 2001)

Nicholas Reeves, The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, The Tomb, The Royal Treasure (first published 1995; Thames & Hudson, 2006)

Christina Riggs, Photographing Tutankhamun: Archaeology, Ancient Egypt and the Archive (Bloomsbury Press, 2019)

David P. Silverman, Josef W. Wegner and Jennifer Houser Wegner, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006)


  • Boxing Day 2019 09:00
  • Boxing Day 2019 21:30

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