38 SC Exhibitions Magazine 2016 When Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in November 1922 it was critical that each object and every stage of the excavation be recorded for posterity by a skilled and experienced archaeological photographer This important role fell to Harry Burton who had been working in Egypt for many years under the auspices of The Metropol itan Museum of Art and was highly regarded for the quality of his arte fact and tomb photography With perfect clarity and composition Mr Burton s black and white pho tographs of Tutankhamun s won derful things stunned the world as each was published they revealed one by one the first glimpses of the treasures within the boy king s long sealed burial chambers For the ten years of the excavation Mr Burton was meticulous in his process first taking a photograph of the objects as found by Mr Carter in their original positions and then taking a second photo of the same scene now with small white numbered cards alongside each object to facilitate their identification and study Only af ter Mr Burton had taken his photographs could the objects be removed and taken for conservation in the tomb of King Seti II the team s makeshift laboratory there Mr Burton photographed each object individually and used nearby tomb no 55 as his darkroom With perfect clarity and composition Mr Burton s black and white photographs of Tutankhamun s wonderful things stunned the world In total Mr Burton took over 2 000 photographs of Tutankhamun s tomb and its precious artefacts an archive that along with Mr Carter s notes was transferred to the Griffith Institute in Oxford after Mr Carter s death Recorded on glass plate nega tives the images have been safely preserved and have since been digitised and placed online in full by the Griffith Institute They remain the most iconic photographs ever taken during an archae ological excavation and as well as capturing an cient treasures at a key moment in history portray the human side of Mr Carter s work in the Valley of the Kings One photo for example shows Mr Carter s colleagues Alfred Lucas and Arthur Mace undertaking conservation work on one of the two sentinel statues from the Antechamber another Arthur Mace and Alfred Lucas conserve one of the sentinel statues in the tomb of Seti II the team s makeshift laboratory Burton photograph 0493 Griffith Institute University of Oxford Digital colour reconstruction by Dynamichrome The Antechamber with chariots stacked against one wall Burton photograph 0012 Griffith Institute University of Oxford Digital colour reconstruction by Dynamichrome

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