Harry Burton (Egyptologist)

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Harry Burton (13 September 1879 – 27 June 1940) was an English Egyptologist and archaeological photographer. Born in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England, to journeyman cabinet maker William Burton and Ann Hufton, he is best known for his photographs of excavations in Egypt's Valley of the Kings at the beginning of the 20th century. His most famous photographs are the 1400 he took documenting Howard Carter's excavation of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. The Times published 142 of these images on 21 February 1923. He remained in Egypt after the tomb's excavations, dying there in 1940. He is buried in the American Cemetery in Asyut.


Howard Carter in Tutankhamun's tomb, photographed by Harry Burton

He trained in Florence, Italy and worked in Egypt from 1910 for Theodore M. Davis. From 1914 he worked for the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Egyptian Expedition, often with Herbert E. Winlock. He was loaned by the museum to Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon to record the findings of the British excavation team at the tomb of Tutankhamun. He spent eight years photographing Tutankhamun's tomb and its artefacts. Burton experimented with documentary film recording in the 1920s, including several hours documenting the Tutankhamun excavation.

In 1969, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a special exhibition focusing on Burton: The Pharaoh's Photographer: Harry Burton, Tutankhamun, and the Metropolitan's Egyptian Expedition. Beginning 26 May 2006, the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute began an exhibit of Burton's Tutankhamun photographs called Wonderful Things! The Discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun: The Harry Burton Photographs

From July until November 2014 the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, displayed many of Burton's original photographs in their exhibition Discovering Tutankhamun, alongside records, drawings and photographs from the Griffith Institute.[1]


  1. ^ "Ashmolean Museum". Ashmolean website. Retrieved 4 March 2014.

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