Howard Carter and a companion examine the recently opened coffin of Tutankhamun.

The black substance that can be seen on the legs is what the priests poured over his sarcophagus when he was buried as part of his funerary ritual.

It took many painstaking hours to remove this black, soot-like residue from the delicate surface. Unfortunately, the oils used to embalm Tutankhamun had an adverse and catastrophic effect on his body. His skin was destroyed and his mummification was essentially a failure.

At this point, Tutankhamun’s death mask is still undiscovered. What you see here is one of three coffins, inside one another.

Howard Carter and his companion are unaware that only inches below the surface of this coffin sit the most precious artefact in all archaeology.

Unseen and untouched for 3,344 years.