By Shady Roshdy
Kurna, Egypt, Nov 3 (EFE).- When British archaeologist Howard Carter made a groundbreaking discovery over 100 years ago when he found Tutankhamun’s tomb, only part of the story was told.
As a European white male in a colonized country, Carter received sole recognition for the feat and the Egyptians who worked with him were forgotten.
At his restaurant in Luxor, next to the temple of Tuthmosis III, Nubi Abdelrasul proudly tells Efe the story of how his family “played a leading role in the discoveries of the area.”
His father and grandfather led the excavations in the Kurna area, where most of the relics discovered by the end of the 19th century were buried.
At a time when Egypt was still under British rule, a group of European archaeologists asked Abdelrasul’s family to help them dig up the secrets of Luxor.
“My grandfather, Mohamed Abdelrasul recruited workers from our family and others from a nearby village,” he continues.
According to the family, Hassan Abdelrasul, Nubi’s father, was only 12-years old when he was helping his grandfather carry water on a donkey for the workers at the excavation.
He accidentally dropped a bucket and the water formed a hole in the ground prompting the workers to dig around it.
They soon stumbled upon the first step to the entrance to the tomb.
“Carter began to run and lifted the child screaming: ‘Today is the day!’,” Abdelrasul tells Efe.
That same kid would later pose for a portrait by Carter, wearing the pharaoh’s gold necklace.
Oxford University Egyptologist Daniela Rosenow is skeptical of Abdelrasul’s story.
In an interview with Efe, she recognized the authenticity of the boy’s portrait sporting the necklace but she could not verify the boy’s identity.
She says that Carter did recruit hundreds of workers in the area, many of them were underage, something common at the time, but says that the story about the boy and the water is not included in his journals.
The archaeologist’s archives are well known because his niece donated them to Oxford University. But the documents, which include pictures, tell only one side of the story, Carter’s account. EFE