Rebuttal to Gerald O'Farrell's "The Tutankhamun Deception"
by Amun list members
1) The writer claims that Carter and Carnarvon actually entered Tut's Tomb from the next door tomb of Ramesses VI years before the famous official opening via the original entrance.
One cannot simply bash through a wall in the tomb of Ramesses VI tomb to enter that of Tutankhamun. Tut's tomb is some 17 to 25 feet below the level of Ramesses VI tomb, which overlies it. Three-dimensional thinking is required here - not two!
2) The writer implies that Carter himself subsequently had to paint the scene on the North wall of the Tomb chamber, to cover up the illegal entry (hence, supposedly, the out of proportion heads.)
Carter painting the north wall to cover-up their activities is an interesting supposition but definitely lacking in logic. How could Carter et al reseal a breach in the wall upon their exit and also repaint it from the inside at the same time?!! A way out would be to suggest he did so after the discovery in 1922 and before the official opening, but that would make him a wizard with plaster
and brush. Yes, there was a "midnight run" between discovery and official opening it is a wellknown story. Thomas Hoving in his book "Tutankhamun, the Untold Story" Simon & Schuster, 1978, ISBN 0-671-24305-5, Chapter Nine, The Long Night, tells an interesting story of Carter, Carnarvon, and Lady Evelyn entering the tomb secretly. He states on page 89 that the actual events are revealed in unpublished material in the Metropolitan Museum and on three obscure notes published in "a scholarly journal" in 1942 and 1947 by "an individual who participated in the excavation
." Carter et al only explored the Antechamber and the Annexe during the night of the 26 November 1922. It wasn't until at least the evening of 28 November that they entered the Burial and Treasury chambers. Lord Carnarvon wrote a letter to Alan H. Gardiner dated 28 November 1922 in which he said: "Tomorrow the
official opening and before I leave we peep into the [Burial Chamber] walled chamber
3) The writer implies that the surfacing of objects with the name of Tutankhamun before 1922 supports his thesis of Carter and Caernavon looting it for 9 years.
Artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun were being encountered years earlier even than the "revised" date for Carter's opening of the tomb in the chronology of O'Farrell's theory. Also these early finds managed to find their way into reputable museums without ever passing through the hands of Carter or
Caernavon. The following is from Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt "Tutankhamen", Pelican Books 1965, p.42: "During the winter of 1906 Theodore Davis, who was excavating in the Valley of the Kings, discovered in a cache near Carter's future working site a blue-varnished pitcher with the name of Tutankhamun upon it. The following year he entered a subterranean chamber...situated to the north of Horemheb's tomb...from it the diggers extracted a broken wooden casket containing several leaves of embossed gold upon which, among others, were the silhouettes of Tutankhamun, his wife Ankhesenamun [sic]and the "Divine Father" Ay. Some days later these two discoveries were complemented by finding a number of pieces of pottery in a well-shaft some hundred yards to the south of the tomb; among them was a very elegant long-necked wine bottle, now in the Metropolitan Museum. Some of the pots were still stoppered with lids bearing the seal of the necropolis...and the name of Tutankhamun, "beloved" of various gods, including Ptah and Khnum. One container was wrapped in a cloth dated year 6 of Tutankhamun....remarkable among [the linen sacks and textiles] were three semi-circular handkerchiefs
or wig covers of sorts and fifty mummification bandages....Davis and his colleagues were then convinced that they had found all that remained of Tutankhamun's tomb...pillaged like so many others
." The evidence is very clear that Tut's tomb was not disturbed in any way before its discovery in November 1922. Since Howard Carter was a meticulous excavator, the collection of evidence shows that the tomb was violated twice soon after Tut's burial and that the entrance was sealed and was undisturbed for more than 3000 years. The only changes were the construction of Ramesses VI's tomb where fragments were dumped on Tut's tomb entrance. Funerary objects bearing the cartouche of Tutankhamun were in circulation during at least the late nineteenth century, i.e. decades earlier than Carter is alleged to have looted them from the tomb. Presumably these were among the more readily portable artefacts removed from the tomb when it was robbed in antiquity and for these to have come to rest in modern
museums is not surprising. Surely it was the very existence of such objects that in the first place persuaded Howard Carter that a comparatively minor monarch such as Tutankhamun had been afforded a well-furnished tomb and that it was well worth searching for.
In general our overall conclusion must be that Mr O'Farrell's arguments are full of extreme
speculation and without any supportive evidence to back up his claims.