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Archives Centre: Image of the Month

1st February 2013 in Archives Centre, Our Collections


Ebony bed being carried from Tutankhamun's tomb, 1923. Corbett Papers, CORB 7/6/4

To celebrate the unsealing of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb on 16 February 1923, 90 years ago, our latest Image of the Month shows "an ebony bed being brought out of Lord Carnarvon's tomb". No mummies, though, sadly.

It was sent to Thomas Corbett by an H Goldschmidt from Luxor. The only thing we know about the image is that it was taken by someone called Ernest, clearly a friend of Goldschmidt's. Tutankhamun's tomb, of course, was discovered by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon in November 1922, the only tomb dating from Egypt's New Kingdom (c1550-1069 BC) to be found almost intact.

Thomas Corbett himself was an officer in the Indian Army who went on to become Chief of General Staff in the Middle East in 1942, serving under General Auchinleck; his papers are particularly informative on the training of Indian staff officers, particularly Corbett's endeavours to convert Indian Army cavalry units into armoured vehicle divisions to meet the fighting requirements of the Second World War.

Corbett Papers, CORB 7/6/4