Tutankhamun DiscoveredFinally managed to catch up with Discovering Tutankhamun at the Ashmolean.

Tutankhamun is of course famous for the amount of stuff – especially the amount of beautifully crafted gold and bejewelled stuff – that he took with him when he died. Clearly not a light traveller. In this, he probably had more than a little in common with the wealthy, aristocratic 5th Earl of Carnarvon who bankrolled the archaeological exploration of Tut’s tomb and whose picture as a young man in his 20s opens the exhibition.

The exhibition, though, isn’t about stuff (which probably explains the absence of long queues of people waiting to get in) – it’s about Howard Carter’s methodical search of the Valley of the Kings and his meticulous recording and cataloguing of his findings.

So, not much bling, but plenty of detailed plans, drawings, glass negatives, black and white prints and hand written letters.

And in complete contrast, the manifestations of what became known as Tut-mania – from the impact on fashion and architecture to popular songs, King Tut lemon sherbets and, of course, all those mummy films.