Today, one of the greatest archeologists in history would be 138 years old. Alas, he died in 1939, the Curse of Tutankhamun having passed him by completely… Why the curse? If you had to ask, please go away now and feel ashamed for yourself. Howard Carter is remembered because he discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Which proves the point: If a poor uneducated man does it, it is grave robbing. If someone with education and/or financial backing does it, it is archeology.
Anyway, Howard Carter made history with his unearthing of the tomb and today is remembered in the West as a great man. How the Egyptians feel about him is less well known…
He is famous and highly regarded enough to receive the ultimate cyberspace-inernet decoration, his own Google Doodle:
And now for the inevitable Steampunk interpretation: Howard Carter is the archetypical Steampunk Explorer. A gentleman and artist with financial backers to allow him to travel and explore, who then stumbles upon the discovery of a life time. He is right up there, together with Heinrich Schliemann and Jean-François Champollion.
Let’s not forget the “civilized nations” have a long history of plundering other countries’ treasures, but also not forget the epic and inspiring adventures which happened along the way and the knowledge we gained by the discoveries the adventurers in the name of science, profit, and adventure for its own sake made.