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George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, was born at the family seat of Highclere Castle in Hampshire. He was the only son of Henry Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, and his wife Lady Evelyn Stanhope. When George was about 8 years old, his mother died, and he and his sisters were sent to stay with some elderly aunts. He became close to his older sister Winifred, later Lady Burghclere. He was educated at Eton College and Cambridge University. He succeeded his father to the earldom in 1890, and five years later married the vastly wealthy Almina Wombwell, illegitimate daughter of banker Alfred de Rothschild, with whom he had two children. Lord Carnarvon was a keen amateur Egyptologist and began the excavation of ancient royal tombs at Deir el-Bahri, near Thebes. He soon felt the need of experts, and in 1907, hired Howard Carter to supervise the work. In 1912, the two published an account of their efforts as Five Years’ Exploration at Thebes. In 1914, Lord Carnarvon received permission to dig in the Valley of the Kings, with Carter again leading the work. The excavations were interrupted by World War I, but resumed in late 1917. In 1922, Carter unearthed the magnificent tomb of King Tutankhamen and Lord Carnarvon was present when it was opened. The celebrated sarcophagus was discovered early in 1924. Lord Carnarvon died in Cairo from infections and complications of a mosquito bite shortly afterwards.
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