Former Carter House turned into a museum.
Castle Carter II has been completely renovated
A lot of Egypt’s dig houses are heading towards an uncertain future. It’s unsure if they will still be there, next year.
Howard Carter’s house, or Castle Carter II, as it is often called, is not on the list of houses with an uncertain future. In fact, it has been completely renovated and now serves as a small museum and rest house.
The grand opening took place on November 4. 2009. Fortunately, we received an invitation to attend both the symposium, prior to the opening festivities as well as to the actual opening itself.
Not as many people attended the symposium as I expected. Though there were many well-known Egyptologists present: Professor Geoffrey T. Martin, Dr. Otto Schaden, Dr. Christian Leblanc, Professor Donald P. Ryan, Nicholas Reeves, Professor Earl L. Ertman, Professor Nozomu Kawai, Dr. Sakuji, Yoshimura, Professor Salima Ikram, Marc Gabolde and, of course, heading the group of speakers, Dr. Zahi Hawass, the hall was far from full.
Maybe it had something to do with the air-conditioning, which was at full speed, driving a lot of people outside into the relative warmth of the November day.
One of the new Ferry-boats had been summoned to bring everyone to the West bank of the Nile, where minibuses were waiting to bring us to Castle Carter.
There we found that a tremendous job had been done, over the previous few months. The house looked absolutely fabulous. With furniture, matching the time of Howard Carter (most of it, I am told, donated by Dr. Francis Amin, since almost nothing remained from the original Carter House), everything inside repainted, new plaster on the walls, both inside and outside. The house looked brand new!
Lady Carnarvon had put together posters, containing photographs of Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, together with explanatory texts, copies of original documents had been displayed and there was even a projection of a virtual Howard Carter. telling a story about the discovery of the Tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen.
Not us, though, and since we were getting very hungry, we decided to leave Carter House and go back to our Hotel to grab a bite to eat ourselves. But not after a small series of speeches from Dr. Zahi Hawass, the current Earl of Carnarvon and Mr. Stuart Carter, one of the last descendants of Howard Carter, the legendary discoverer of the most famous tomb on Earth.
Castle Carter Captures the imagination of people visiting Egypt. As my friend “el Konsol” would say “It magics the people”, but there are more dig houses throughout Egypt with a huge history of their own. Let’s just hope that the SCA will decide to preserve more of these houses for the future. If not as a museum, then at least as existing proof of Egypt’s rich, more recent, history.
Places where we can find and experience `Wonderful Things`.