Carter did much work in Egypt, starting in 1891 at the age of 17. There he worked on the excavation of Basi Hassan, the gravesite of the princes of Middle Egypt, c. 2000 BC. Later he was to come under the tutelage of William Flinders Petrie.
After several hard years, Carter was introduced, in 1907, to Lord Carnarvon (George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon), an eager amateur who was prepared to supply the funds necessary for Carter's work to continue. Soon, Carter was supervising all Lord Carnarvon's excavations.
Lord Carnarvon financed Carter's search for the tomb of a previously unknown Pharaoh, Tutankhamun, whose existence Carter had discovered. On November 4, 1922 Carter found Tutankhamun's tomb, the only unplundered tomb of a Pharaoh yet found in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor, Egypt. On February 16, 1923 Carter opened the burial chamber and first saw the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun.
After cataloguing the extensive finds, Carter retired from archaeology and became a collector. Carter died in England in 1939 at the age of 65.