Google’s homepage logo today is a birthday tribute to archaeologist Howard Carter, who discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. The Google Doodle is an illustration of Carter standing in front of the sarcophagus, amid other ancient Egyptian artifacts excavated from the tomb, including a statue of Anubis.
Carter left London, England, to chase his dream of assisting in the excavation of Middle Kingdom Egyptian at just 17. He would work as an archaeologist and artist, replicating the treasures recovered in his digs, for thirty years before the discovery that would make him a household name to this day.
It was on November 4, 1922 that his excavation group discovered the stairs to King Tut’s four-room chamber. It turned out to be the best preserved and most intact pharaonic tomb in the Valley of the Kings and remains at present. In what is now a famous exchange, Lord Carnarvon, who had enlisted Carter to supervise his excavations, asked, “Can you see anything?” Carter replied, “Yes, wonderful things.”
Indeed, the tomb was filled with over 3,000 priceless items; so much that it took Carter a full 10 years to extract and catalogue its contents. This was the first royal tomb that had been unlooted and contained treasures, many of solid gold, including two thrones, anthropoid gold coffins, gilded Anubis and sentry statues, and over 130 walking sticks made of ivory, ebony, silver or gold.
Carter and his team had searched for the tomb since 1917; the tomb clearance and itemization wrapped up in 1932. The May 1932 issue of National Geographic magazine featured a collection of images from the excavation and the surrounding Valley of Kings and is still available online for public viewing.
Howard Carter passed away in March 1939 in Kensington, after a battle with lymphoma. Today, Google celebrates what would have been the famed archaeologist’s 138th birthday with their logo illustration linking to search results for his name.