The American Research Center in Eygpt

(CANCELLED) LECTURE: The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings

(CANCELLED) LECTURE: The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings

(CANCELLED) LECTURE: The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis's Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings

Date: Saturday, February 7, 2015; 7:00pm

Chapter: North Texas

Location: Southern Methodist University, Fondren Science Building, Room 123, 3215 Daniel, Dallas, TX (Map of campus & schematic of building)

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Contact chapter through the chapter website for more information and lecture details.

Presenter: John Adams, independent scholar, author, director emeritus of the Orange County Public Library, and former ARCE Board of Governors member

Description: At the start of the twentieth century, Theodore Davis was the most famous archaeologist in the world; his career turned tomb-robbing and treasure-hunting into a science. Using six of Davis’s most important discoveries—from the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s sarcophagus to the exquisite shabti statuettes looted from the Egyptian Museum not too long ago—as a lens around which to focus his quintessentially American rags-to-riches tale, Adams chronicles the dizzying rise of a poor country preacher’s son who, through corruption and fraud, amassed tremendous wealth in Gilded Age New York and then atoned for his ruthless career by inventing new standards for systematic excavation. Davis found a record eighteen tombs in the Valley and, breaking with custom, gave all the spoils of his discoveries to museums. A confederate of Boss Tweed, friend of Teddy Roosevelt, and rival of J. P. Morgan, the colorful “American Lord Carnarvon” shared his Newport mansion with his Rembrandts, his wife, and his mistress. The only reason Davis has been forgotten by history to a large extent is probably the fact that he stopped just short of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, the discovery of which propelled Howard Carter (Davis’s erstwhile employee) to worldwide fame just a few short years later. (Note: John's book has received rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal.)

About the Speaker: John M. Adams is director emeritus of the Orange County Public Library. He is a former member of the ARCE Board of Governors and was the first president of the Orange County California Chapter. He is a regular contributor to Kmt: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, and the author of The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis’s Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings (St. Martin’s Press, 2013). He lives on a farm in central Illinois with his wife and a varying number of dogs. Visit his website at

US Office: 909 North Washington St. Suite 320, Alexandria, Virginia, 22314 p: (703) 721-3479
ARCE Cairo Center: 2 Midan Simón Bolívar Garden City Cairo 11461 Egypt p: 20 2 2794 8239 

ARCE is a 501(c)(3) organization. Content on the ARCE website is available for personal use only. If content is downloaded, it must be for the sole purpose of viewing, or for "fair use" as defined in United States copyright law. Requests to publish ARCE images must be submitted in writing to

United States Agency for International Development   National Endowment for the Humanities   Council of American Overseas Research Centers   Network for Good   GuideStar"
Copyright 2020 ARCE