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The Tale of Hussein Abdel Rasoul: The Young Discoverer of King Tutankhamun's Tomb


The annals of archaeological history echo an intriguing tale of a 12-year-old Egyptian boy named Hussein Abdel Rasoul. His humble beginnings as a water boy would transform into an extraordinary story of discovery, placing him at the center of one of the most significant archaeological finds in history — the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

Early Life

Hussein Abdel Rasoul, born into the prominent Abdel Rasoul family, was raised among excavators and antiquity enthusiasts in Upper Egypt. This clan has been crucial in numerous notable excavations, particularly in Luxor, since the 19th century.

The young Abdel Rasoul's life was not of ordinary childhood play but of laborious toil alongside his father and fellow clan members amidst the harsh conditions of the rocky valley.

The Fateful Encounter

One day, while serving water and tea to the local and foreign workers, Hussein made a remarkable discovery. His water pottery jar led him to the first step that descended into King Tutankhamun's tomb.

This moment etched his name into the history books and marked the beginning of an incredible journey of archeological revelation.

The Discovery

Upon discovering the entrance to what seemed like an ancient tomb, Hussein hurriedly fetched Howard Carter, a respected British archaeologist at the time. Carter, along with Hussein and his father, investigated the finding. Their exploration led to the unveiling of the tomb of King Tutankhamun.

The Abdel Rasoul Legacy

Hussein Abdel Rasoul wasn't the first from his clan to stumble upon a significant archaeological find. His grandfather, Mohamed, and his great-uncle, Mahmoud, discovered the famous Royal Cache at Deir El-Bahry in 1871. The Abdel Rasoul clan's role in finding the Royal Cache was dramatized in Shady Abdel Salam's masterpiece, "The Night of Counting the Years."

The Impact and Aftermath

Hussein's discovery turned Egyptology on its head. The intact tomb held the world of Tutankhamun, preserved nearly 3,245 years earlier with an array of gold, jewelry, weapons, and family heirlooms. The tomb's contents and the story of its discovery captivated the world's attention, forever binding the names of Hussein Abdel Rasoul, Howard Carter, and King Tutankhamun.

A Lasting Image

In recognition of his discovery, Howard Carter allowed the young Hussein to wear one of King Tutankhamun's scarab necklaces and captured this moment in a photograph. This image, which Hussein proudly displayed throughout his life, is a testament to his archaeological contribution.

The Centennial Celebration

In 2022, Egypt marked the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb. The centennial celebration included the reopening of Carter's former home, which had undergone nine months of renovation. The event saw the gathering of Hussein's descendants, experts, officials, and diplomats, all paying tribute to the monumental discovery.

Reflections of Hussein Abdel Rasoul

Hussein Abdel Rasoul's story is a testament that significant discoveries can come from the most unlikely places. In his case, a young boy performing his daily duties stumbled upon a finding that would reshape our understanding of ancient Egypt. His tale continues to inspire and captivate, reminding us of the enduring power of curiosity and the potential for greatness within us.


The tale of Hussein Abdel Rasoul resonates with the spirit of discovery and exploration. His humble beginnings, unexpected discovery, and enduring legacy contribute to a narrative that has captivated generations. Today, Hussein Abdel Rasoul's name is forever associated with one of the most significant archaeological discoveries in history, cementing his place in the annals of Egyptology. His story inspires future generations of explorers and archaeologists, reminding us all that greatness can be found in the most unexpected places.


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