Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Hans Gnodtke

Lunchtime Meeting

100 years of the opening of King Tutankhamun’s tomb

Hans Gnodtke

Hans Gnodtke will relive the excitement and wonder that accompanied the opening of tomb of the Boy King Tut Ankh Amun one hundred years ago.

In November of 1922, Howard Carter, archeological supervisor of a privately funded explorative dig in Upper Egypt’s Valley of the King’s informed his affluent and generous sponsor Lord Carnarvon that he had just discovered what seemed to be an undisturbed royal tomb and less than 3 months later, on 17 February 1923, Carter opened the third sealed door to this tomb and created a sensation. He found not just a tomb but in fact the royal tomb that he had been trying to locate all along: The tomb of the Boy King Tut Ankh Amun, which Carter knew had to be there somewhere. But much more sensational were the enormous treasures discovered: heaps of golden and gilded objects, heaps of precious and semi – precious stones from the desert quarries of Egypt, Nubia and Sinai and hundreds of objects revealing a wealth of information about Pharaonic Egypt at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty, when pharaonic Egypt was the domineering power in the Middle East as well as the Eastern Mediterranean. No other archeological find has ever, before or since, caught the imagination of the world as much as the discovery of “King Tut”, and even today, a hundred years on, the story of the rediscovered Boy King reverberates.... and is it true that all archeologists involved died an untimely death, result of the curse of Tut's mummy?

Hans grew up in Egypt where during the early 1960’s he was invited by the Director of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo to participate in their diggings near the Valley of the Kings, in Thebes Upper Egypt. While studying at the University of Heidelberg Hans attended Oriental Studies under Professor Eberhard Otto, then arguably one of the highest authorities in Egyptology. However, Hans did not pursue a career in Archaeology, and after graduating from Heidelberg Law School he joined the German Foreign Service who sent him back to Cairo and Khartoum for 4 more assignments during which he was intensively associated with archaeological and restoration efforts.

After serving as German Ambassador in Zimbabwe, Hans retired in 2013 and is currently completing his PhD in Constitutional Law.

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Date and Time

23 August 2023
12:00 pm

Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building, North Terrace, Adelaide.

Members: $FREE
Non members: $5