In November 1922, a momentous discovery - unlike any other before or since - was to change our understanding of the ancient world. Until now, however, the marvelous story of Carter's quest for Tutankhamun and its culmination in his unearthing of the intact, treasure-filled tomb has been told without a reliable account of the man behind the discovery and the myths that have surrounded it. Howard Carter's career was a remarkable one: he had arrived in Egypt 30 years earlier as a 17-year old "tracer" with rudimentary education, and progressed to become the first Chief Inspector of Antiquities in Upper Egypt. An improbable but auspicious partnership with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon developed in which the young Carter acted as assistant and "learned man" to the aristocrat's excavations in the Theban necropolis. But it was the legendary discovery in the Valley of the Kings and Carter's painstaking clearance of the intact royal burial that was to secure his place in history. He became an international celebrity, simultaneously honored and vilified wherever he went, but he was also a sad, disillusioned man whose success never brought any reward of happiness. T.G.H. James' definitive biography is both the story of perhaps the most renowned archaeologist of all time and of an essentially tragic human being.