Cairo Lecture: The American Minister Plenipotentiary and Tutankhamun’s Tomb: An Untold Story

Presented by: Dr. Cynthia Sheikholeslami

  • 6:00 PM Cairo Time
  • In PersonCairo Center
    2 Midan Simon Bolivar
    Garden City, Cairo
    Governorate 11461
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Lecture Information

The first American Minister Plenipotentiary to newly independent Egypt, J. Morton Howell, was appointed a few months before the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. Aside from his diplomatic duties, and his friendships with Egyptian nationalists, which were not appreciated by some other American archaeologists or State Department officials, Howell had a passion for Ancient Egypt. Using materials shared by Howell’s great-granddaughter and other archival research, this lecture reveals the untold story of Howell’s special visits to Tutankhamun’s tomb and his support of Howard Carter during his clash with Egyptian authorities. Some of the legends about Tutankhamun seem to have been invented by Carter during his lecture tour in the United States, arranged by Howell. 

Speaker Bio

Cynthia May Sheikholeslami is an Egyptologist who has lived and researched in Egypt for 40 years. Her interests are in the social and cultural history of Egypt during the New Kingdom and 21st-25th Dynasties, espcially in Thebes. She has also studied the history of Egyptology. Cynthia consulted for the Tutankhamun exhibit that toured the United States in honor of America’s bicentennial in 1976, lecturing widely about the tomb and its contents.