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Howard Carter is one of the most famous archaeologists in the history of the world, but no one ever would have predicted this - not even Carter himself - by judging from his humble beginnings. He was born on 9 May 1874 in Kensington (Reeves and Taylor 1993, 10)…
Perhaps Howard Carter's artistic abilities were never fully cultivated because his family did not have much money, or perhaps it was because Carter spent much of his early life as a very sickly, weak little boy (10). Whatever the reasons were, Carter never saw himself as good as his father, who taught Carter all he knew about drawing (11). However, Carter was good enough to get a job as an assistant copyist with Percy Edward Newberry (20). The recommendations of a family friend, Mrs. Margaret Tyssen-Amherst also helped to secure this position (22), thus began Howard Carter's career as an archaeologist.
In the autumn of 1891, when Carter was just 17 years old, he made his first trip to Egypt and experienced sea-sickness for the first time (Reeves and Taylor 1993, 23). The voyage across the Channel is vividly - although not too fondly - remembered by Carter in his autobiographical sketches:
It was then that I discovered I was not physically fitted for a sailor; that an appetite for food oozy with oil, and the motion of the ship caused very adverse sensations which centered around the sensitive nerves of the solar plexus, and which in my case resulted in a complete 'knock-out' (23-24).
Carter was extremely relieved when the ship at last landed in Alexandria (24). ...
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