November 4, 1922. A member of an excavation team led by British archaeologist Howard Carter discovers the steps that lead to the ancient tomb of Tutankhamun. The tombs of most of Egypt’s Pharaohs had been discovered in the Valley of the Kings but although ‘King Tut’s’ resting place was one of the last to be discovered, it was also perhaps the best-preserved. After three weeks of careful digging, Carter and his team finally entered the tomb itself on November 26; inside they found thousands of ancient treasures and artefacts, including the mummy of the boy-king Tutankhamun complete with gold death mask and laying inside a gold coffin. The man who financed the excavation, Lord Carnavon, was present when the team first entered the tomb. Six months later Carnavon died after a mosquito bite became infected. The press at the time made much of the so-called ‘curse of the Pharoahs’, whereby many people entering a King’s tomb died a premature and unusual death. Carter however died in 1939, some 17 years after his team’s extraordinary discovery. (Photograph of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, by Peter J. Bubenik – 1995)
Also on November 4: wedding of the future Mary II of England and William, Prince of Orange (1677); assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzak Rabin (1995); Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States (2008).
Born on November 4: Walter Cronkite (1916), Traian Băsescu (1951), Jacques Villeneuve (1953), Sean “Puff Daddy/P Diddy” Combs (1969), Luis Figo (1972).