Relative's push for statue of Howard Carter to be erected in Swaffham

Susan Allen, great-niece of Howard Carter, in her Tutankhamun's Emporium in Swaffham, with a portrai

Susan Allen, great-niece of Howard Carter, in her Tutankhamun's Emporium in Swaffham, with a portrait of Howard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

He achieved international fame with one of the most important historical discoveries of all time.

Now the man who shed light on the flourishing world of the Egyptian Pharaohs of more than 3,000 years ago could be immortalised in the county he once called home.

Ahead of the centenary of Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, Susan Allen, the Egyptologist's great-niece is pushing for a statue to be erected in Swaffham to celebrate the historical figure's links with the market town.

The archaeologist was born in London but spent much of his childhood and teenage years in Swaffham after being sent there to recover from a period of ill health.

While living in the town the young Howard Carter would often visit Didlington Hall, the nearby home of the Amherst family which contained a large collection of Egyptian antiques and it was there where the young Egyptologist's interest was first sparked.


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Mrs Allen, who runs Tutankhamun's Emporium, in Swaffham, said: "What we're hoping for is a bench with a sitting down statue of him, if  not a standing statue."

Susan Allen, great niece of Howard Carter, in her Tutankhamun's Emporium in Swaffham, with a portrai

Susan Allen, great niece of Howard Carter, in her Tutankhamun's Emporium in Swaffham, with a portrait of Howard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

She said she thought it was a shame that Howard Carter's links to the town and the significance of his work was not celebrated more.

A copy of one of the Egyptian artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb on display in Susan Allen's Tutankha

A copy of one of the Egyptian artefacts from Tutankhamun's tomb on display in Susan Allen's Tutankhamun's Emporium in Swaffham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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Mrs Allen, said: "It's just trying to get people to see we need something in Swaffham. In Thetford they have a bench with Captain Mainwaring from Dad's Army, he's not even a real person, he's a fictional character.

"What he found was so significant. It took 12 years to find and another 10 years to write about and document every artefact [in Tutankhahum's tomb], it was massive. A lot of the graves, which had previously been found, had been robbed. People say Howard Carter was also a grave robber but he didn't steal or sell anything, it was all given to Egypt, he just did it as his life's work."

Keepers Cottage in Swaffham, where Howard Carter stayed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Keepers Cottage in Swaffham, where Howard Carter stayed. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Mrs Allen hopes to have something in place in time for the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb in November 2022, ahead of then she is taking her plans to Swaffham Town Council for discussion.


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