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Howard Carter, real-life Tomb Raider, celebrated by Google

Howard Carter, the man who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, is celebrated by Google today.

Howard Carter, the man who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, is celebrated by Google today.

Carter was born on this day in 1874, and began his career of excavation and exploration in Egypt at the tender age of 17. He was the the first chief inspector of the Egyptian Antiquities Service, the government body overseeing the excavation and preservation of ancient Egyptian sites and treasures. The modern-day service is also responsible for recovering items stolen or illegally exported from Egypt -- watch out Lara Croft.

Carter's most famous find was the tomb of Tutankhamun, discovered on 4 November 1922. He opened the tomb with a chisel given to him as a teenager by his grandmother more than thirty years before. When his employer Lord Carnarvon asked "Can you see anything?", Carter replied: "I want my mummy."

Only kidding -- he said: "Yes, wonderful things." In fact the tomb was full of more wonderful things than any Egyptologist had ever seen, in one of the most perfectly preserved tombs ever found. Carter was the first man to set foot in the tomb for over 3,000 years.

Carter's discovery sparked a fad for all things Egyptian in the United States -- and also led to wild speculation about a deadly Curse of the Pharaohs when Carnarvon died shortly after.

Google depicts Carter studying the antiquities from the tomb of Tutankhamun, all neatly catalogued.

The Google doodle is a playful remix of the Google logo found on the search giant's otherwise pristine white home page. A splash of cheery art, an animated video or a fun little game, doodles celebrate public holidays, special days, and the birthday of famous folk from Michelangelo to Marie Curie. They're often informative too, helping us learn a little something about an unsung hero.

Recent doodles have celebrated pop artist Keith Haring, photographers Robert Doisneau and Eadweard J Muybridge, as well as the ZX Spectrum. Press play on our video to see the Google home page come alive in colourful fashion, as we count down our favourite five Google doodles.

Now playing: Watch this: Top 5 Google doodles