Tutankhamun – the secrets of the tomb go online

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Howard Carter spent years documenting the thousands of artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb. Now, thanks to the efforts of an Oxford archaeologist, this remarkable archive of pictures and notes can be viewed online.

A total of 5,398 objects were found in the tomb, covering every aspect of ancient Egyptian life, from weapons and chariots to musical instruments, clothes, cosmetics and a treasured lock of the royal grandmother's hair. A few, like Tutankhamun's gold burial mask, are instantly recognisable, but many are not well known, even to experts.

A succession of secretaries scanned and transcribed Carter's notes in between other work, then Malek proofread the results at evenings and weekends. Jonathan Moffett, head of IT at the affiliated Ashmolean Museum, built a database that could hold images of the original material as well as transcripts, so the text could be easily searched. In 1995 the team started posting the records in one of the first websites dedicated to Egyptology. They called it Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation .

More than 15 years later, the internet has been transformed: a Google search for Egyptology now returns more than 3 million results. And Malek's project is almost complete. Around 98% of the material is available, with the last pages to follow within the next three months....

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