The Re-Investigation of Tutankhamun’s Mummy: The Expedition of Harrison In 1968

Document Type : Original Article


Faculty of Tourism and Hotels, University of Sadat City, Egypt


Over forty years before Harrison’s expedition in 1968 to re-examine the remains of Tutankhamun, a British archaeologist, Howard Carter, made one of the world’s most famous archaeological discoveries. He discovered the almost intact tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62) in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes in 1922. The mummy of Tutankhamun was first examined by Carter and Derry in 1925. The treasure of Tutankhamun was taken to the Cairo Museum after the discovery, but the mummy remained in the outermost gilded coffin within the red granite sarcophagus until December 1968 when the BBC sponsored a scientific mission led by Harrison to reopen the coffin for the second time to re-examine the mummy. The investigation team of the 1968 expedition wanted to disclose the features that could be clarified by the application of more modern scientific methods of enquiry, which could not be discovered in any other way.
The conclusions of the expedition are well known from the anthropological, anatomical and Egyptological points of view, but current scholarship lacks a study of the historiography of the expedition. This study, mainly, depends on the important primary sources represented in the personal papers of Harrison archived in Sydney Jones Library in the University of Liverpool, with presentation of the relevant Egyptological and medical literature.