Barnsley: Blue plaque unveiled at birthplace of Egyptologist

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A blue plaque has been unveiled at the home of a Barnsley Egyptologist who uncovered some of the first clues to the location of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Ernest Harold Jones, who died in 1911, “made significant archaeological discoveries that have largely been forgotten”, Barnsley Council said.

The town’s civic trust said he sparked interest in finding the pharaoh’s tomb after finding objects bearing his name.

The plaque was unveiled on Sackville Street, where he lived, on Thursday.

Tutankhamun’s tomb was famously discovered by Howard Carter, a friend of Jones’, in a 1922 dig inside the Valley of the Kings.

Prof Joann Fletcher, an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of York, believed it is highly likely that he would have found the tomb before Carter had Jones not died young from tuberculosis.

“In many ways he was way ahead of Howard Carter,” said Prof Fletcher, who has studied the Egyptologist and artist’s life.

“His funeral in Egypt was arranged by his friends Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, who were able to follow the clues Jones had found to finally discover the tomb in 1922.”

Born to Welsh parents, Jones’ father was appointed the first headmaster of Barnsley School of Art and moved his family to the South Yorkshire town.

Councillor Robert Frost, council cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “It is fascinating to discover the strong links between Barnsley and ancient Egypt – particularly around the research conducted by Ernest Harold Jones.

“It is important that his achievements are recognised and remembered.”

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