When the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered in 1922, it caused a sensation. The nearly intact tomb was a time capsule waiting to be explored, allowing scholars to gain vital information about life and death in ancient Egypt. When British Egyptologist Howard Carter stumbled upon the tomb in the Valley of the Kings, no one could have known what riches awaited them inside. Luckily, photographer Harry Burton was on hand, documenting the excavation of King Tut’s tomb for eight years.
These incredible images, which have been colorized by Dynamichrome, give an unparalleled overview of the excavation. The photographs are a complement to Carter’s diaries and journals, where he recorded his impressions throughout the excavation. Reading his words and looking at the photos, it’s hard not to be drawn into this piece of history.
“It was sometime before one could see, the hot air escaping caused the candle to flicker, but as soon as one’s eyes became accustomed to the glimmer of light the interior of the chamber gradually loomed before one, with its strange and wonderful medley of extraordinary and beautiful objects heaped upon one another,” Carter wrote in his journal of the moment when they were able to open the tomb’s second door and step inside for the first time.
Burton’s photographs not only show the wealth of objects—from animal-shaped statues and vases to garments and musical instruments—but also the working environment of the archeologists. Some photographs show how the objects were tagged and arranged meticulously, while others picture the team carefully wrapping and conserving these precious treasures.
Thirty-three years ago, on April 26, 1986, a series of explosions destroyed Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4, and several hundred staff and firefighters tackled a blaze that burned for 10 days and sent a plume of radiation around the world. More than 50 reactor and emergency workers were killed in the immediate aftermath.
The workers and emergency responders were not the only ones to risk their lives—a handful of photographers went to the scene as well, managing to capture images of some of the chaos and acts of heroism that took place in the weeks and months that followed.
Liquidators clean the roof of the No. 3 reactor. At first, workers tried clearing the radioactive debris from the roof using West German, Japanese, and Russian robots, but the machines could not cope with the extreme radiation levels so authorities decided to use humans. In some areas, workers could not stay any longer than 40 seconds before the radiation they received reached the maximum authorized dose a human being should receive in his entire life.
Igor Kostin / Sygma via Getty
Photography has influenced society since its inception in the 11th century. The oldest photographs depict fascinating details about life before pictures were common. From historical war photos to amazing images of space, the earliest surviving pictures known to humans have a profound and engaging aura.
The very first camera was invented by an Iraqi scientist in the 11th century. Called the “camera obscura,” the device only projected images onto other surfaces, and upside down at that. However, in the early 19th century, photography as we know it was born. French photographer Joseph Nicéphore Niépce used a portable version of the 11th-century device “to expose a pewter plate coated with bitumen to light.” This became the first incarnation of permanent photography.
The images in this list are some of the oldest photographs, and most of them are the first of their kind.
These images capture the development of permanent photography throughout the course of the 19th century!
Many of history’s most famous photos are burned into our brains whether we realize it or not — even if we don’t know the stories behind them.
Take “Tank Man,” the iconic image of a man standing in the middle of the road as an entire row of tanks heads toward him. We understand the power of this image even if we know little of its circumstances. The whole article is about powerful photos that show us the very best that humanity is capable of as well as the very worst, and everything in between.
Check out these incredible photos that shocked our world!
Did you know the first “unofficial” tree ever to take its place in the Rockefeller Center was erected by workers just after the Center’s construction in 1931? Right in the midst of the Great Depression, the construction workers were so grateful for their jobs that, as a token of their appreciation, they spontaneously put up a twenty-foot balsam fir and decorated it with tin cans, cranberries, and paper garlands.