British historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes is filming a television show on location in Egypt. She stands before an elegant chest with Egyptian antiquities expert Dr. Essa Zidan. But this is no ordinary box – it came from the 3,300-year-old tomb of Tutankhamun and has never been opened in front of a film crew. Turning to Zidan, Hughes asks if she can remove the lid; to which, astonishingly, he says “yes.” And what they find inside is entirely unexpected.
There is no doubt about the provenance of this chest; it can be seen quite clearly in photographs taken by Howard Carter of the interior of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Indeed, it was Carter who discovered this pharaoh’s last resting place in 1922. But although the chest was in Tutankhamun’s burial chamber, it seems it didn’t belong to him.