More information on the 5th of July talk by Sue Gattuso

This talk first introduces Egypt, its relevant politics and change of attitude towards its ancient artefacts over the 19th and early 20th centuries. It then moves on to Howard Carter’s family roots in the Breckland area as artisans and in Swaffham where both his parents were born. Howard spent a considerable amount of time in Swaffham as a child and was first introduced to Egypt by the Amherst family of Didlington Hall near Brandon. The work Howard did as an artist and archaeologist in Egypt over a 40 year period is considered, and how he achieved his long-held dream of finding the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Howard’s story is a real tale of how a dream, tenacity and not a little luck can influence the world, even though personally he received no formal recognition from his home country. His story is rarely told in museums, something which Swaffham is uniquely placed to do.

1922 was the year in which he opened the first door to the tomb. In 1923 he opened the door to the burial chamber and in 1924 he came face to face with Tutankhamun for the first time. To celebrate Howard’s achievements Swaffham has received a grant from Historic England for commemorative events, and this has enabled us to tell his absorbing story to a much wider audience.