Friday, November 11, 2011

Twitter Ye Not - Tutankhamun's Tomb

Twitter Ye Not - Tutankhamun's Tomb

A regular piece for the Daily Mail Weekend magazine about how figures in history might have twittered or tweeted or whatever, had they the chance, inclination and technology.

On November 22nd 1922, Lord Carnarvon and archaeologist Howard Carter first entered the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Here we imagine the Twitter feed excavated from that day.

I have show Howard Carter, in his linen suit and remarkable white shoes, and Lord Carnarvon, his aristocratic sponsor, both flanking a selection of the treasures found in Tutankhamun's tomb. Above the hoard floats a cartouche containing one of King Tut's names (he had several, including a 'throne' name) in hieroglyphics. Behind Carnarvon are two of the three Great Pyramids at Giza, and a date palm. Near his ear buzzes the mosquito that bit his cheek the following Spring, and which led to his unfortunate death and the notion, popular in the Press at the time, of a Curse of the Pharoah.

I saw the treasures of Tutankhamun's tomb as a small child, at the British Museum in 1972, a-top my father's shoulders. I remember being much taken with the animorphic bed I have shown and the chair with lions' feet. My mum tells me that I admonished the guard who kindly asked me if I liked 'Toot'n'karmen' by telling him it was pronounced ' Toot-ankk-ar-Mooon' (a pronunciation I recently and gratifyingly heard to be correct by a scholar on Radio 3!). What a precocious little toad I was (am).

My partner Nick and I have a secret and unprovable belief that we espied each other for the first time at that exhibition, me upon Dad's shoulders and he a school-boy a little older. I am quite certain it did happen!

1 comment:

Clive Hicks-Jenkins said...

Did he look like a young Neil Tennant? I feel he may have done. All floppy head-boy hair and a grave and level stare! Sigh!