Carter, Howard (archaeologist)

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Comment by millie on February 5th, 2010 at 12:59 am

just wondering, what were his methods of excavation? cause the arcaeologists excavation methods changed over the years.

Comment by Jennifer Tanabe on February 5th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Thank you for your interest in Howard Carter.

Carter learned his archaeological skills from Flinders Petrie, who is considered the founder of systematic research methods in archaeology, and under Gaston Maspero. They all learned archaeological techniques “on the job.” Maspero was primarily a linguist. Flinders Petrie was taught by his father, an engineer, how to survey accurately and developed the use of seriation to establish the chronology of a site. Carter was an artist and was first hired to copy inscriptions at archaeological sites. He learned from Flinders Petrie how to conduct an archaeological excavation and was known to be meticulous and precise in his work, and to have cataloged the artifacts with great care and detail, including his own sketches as well as numerous photographs of the objects in situ with and without their assigned reference numbers. He created complete records for each discovery and preserved each artifact with great care. Carter took almost a decade to carefully preserve and remove the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen, showing an approach to excavation that more resembles the efforts of modern excavators than those of earlier times. Naturally, though, his methods were limited by the equipment and techniques known in his time.

Again, thank you for your comment.

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