Photographing Tutankhamun: How the Camera Helped Create “King Tut”


Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 6:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Christina Riggs, Professor of the History of Art and Archaeology, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom

When Howard Carter found the sealed entrance to Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, he secured the services of archaeological photographer Harry Burton to document the site. Over the course of ten years, Burton produced more than 3,000 glass negatives of the tomb, its contents, and the many people—including Egyptian men, women, and children—who participated in the excavation. Christina Riggs will discuss how Burton’s photography helped create “King Tut” at a pivotal time for both Egypt and archaeology, and how revisiting these images today is changing perceptions of twentieth-century archaeological research in Egypt.

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