Nearly 40,000 people, including several world leaders and diplomats of various countries, have congregated in Egypt, for yet another climate change jamboree. But today Egypt ought to be remembered for a different and completely unconnected story.

It was exactly this month a hundred years ago that the English archaeologist, Howard Carter, putting his eye against a dark hole, exclaimed those now-famous words: “Yes, wonderful things.” He was responding to his colleague, Lord Carnarvon’s question as to whether he could see anything.

Howard Carter’s startling discovery was that of the boy king, Tutankhamun, who became the Pharaoh of Egypt when he was only 9 and died at 18, in 1324 BC. Recent DNA analysis seem to indicate that he was the product of an incestuous relationship between his father and his aunt; consequently, he was born with multiple deformities. It is said that he needed to walk with a cane, suffered from epilepsy, had a cleft palate and a curved spine.

Today, Tutankhamun is such a big draw. He achieved much during his short lifetime including restoring an ancient religion that his father, Akhenaten, dissolved. He continues to achieve a lot for Egypt’s economy by pulling throngs of tourists to his resting place in the Valley of Kings. The aura of mystery around the boy king and the “curse” of his tomb, have also helped – all those who were involved in the discovery of his tomb, including Carter and Carnarvon, died mysteriously.

social-fb COMMENT NOW