This blog is intended both as an instrument for researchers on early explorers in Egypt and Nubia, providing useful tools in the On-line Resources section (On-line books, Archives, Map Collections, Photo Collections, etc.), and as a place to publish original documentation and research on the subject (i.e. List of travellers, Accounts, Letters, etc.). Anyone who would like to contribute with suggestions or articles is warmly welcomed!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Travellers and Early Sources Papers and Posters at the upcoming 11th International Congress of Egyptologists (23-30 August 2015, Florence)

August 25
C. Naunton
The Egypt Exploration Society’s Archives: a progress report
S. J. Allen
The Photographic Archives of the Excavations of George Andrew Reisner in Egypt and Nubia
G. Cafici
Bernard von Bothmer and Ptolemaic sculpture: Papers on Ptolemaic art from his archives held at the Università degli Studi di Milano
S. Cincotti
"Karnak is in peace": the european excavations in the manuscripts of Jean-Jacques Rifaud

August 26
P. Piacentini
News from the Serapeum: An unknown album by Auguste Mariette in the Egyptological Archives of the Università degli Studi di Milano

August 27
12:00 (POSTER)
C. Johansson
The first Swede in Nubia and the Collection that went up in Flames

August 28
M. Maitland
Servant in the Place of Truth: A.H. Rhind’s innovative Theban excavations and collections in National Museums Scotland
D. Salvoldi, S. Delvaux
The Lost Chapels of Elephantine. Methodology for a Reconstruction Study through Archival Documents

August 29
A. Stevenson, J. Baines, E. Libonati, S. Glover
Developing a resource to understand the international distribution of finds from British excavations 1880-1980: the Artefacts of Excavation project
F. Ugliano
The Predynastic collection of the Turin Egyptian Museum: an integrated study of artefacts and archives for a new exhibition

NEW BOOK: "American Travelers on the Nile. Early U.S. Visitors to Egypt, 1774–1839"

Andrew OLIVER, "American Travelers on the Nile. Early U.S. Visitors to Egypt, 1774–1839, The American University in Cairo Press
424 pages, 15 x 23 cm 
ISBN: 978-9-77416-667-9
44.95 $/200 LE

Monday, 6 January 2014

PLATES of Jomard (1823), Voyage à l’Oasis de Syouah

Jomard E.F., Voyage à l’Oasis de Syouah, rédigé et publié par M. Jomard, De Rignoux, Paris 1823.

Unfortunately, these are not really high quality because scans of photocopies of a reprint...

PLATE 1. Carte de l'Oasis de Syouah

PLATE 2. Vue du village de Garah

PLATE 3. [1] Vue d'un ancien edifice dans la plane de Mahaoueyn; [2]-[6] Plans et details de plusieurs edifices de Zeytoun

PLATE 4. Vue de ruines dans la plane de Zeytoun

PLATE 5. Vue d'un edifice antique a Zeytoun

PLATE 6. Detail de la porte interieure d'un edifice antique a Zeytoun

PLATE 7. [1]-[3] Trois edifices situes pres de Zeytoun; [4]-[5] Monument souterrein a Gebel Mouta; [6]-[12] Plans et details de plusieurs autres constructions souterreines

PLATE 8. Vue des ruines d'un temple appele Qasr Gacham

PLATE 9. [1] Vue du village de Gharmy; [2]-[5] Plan et details des ruines appelees Amondeyn

PLATE 10. Vue de la ville de Syouah, du cote du sud

PLATE 11. Plan topographique du temple d'Omm-Beydah et des environs

PLATE 12. Vue des ruines d'un temple a Omm-Beydah, prise du sud

PLATE 13. Vue des ruines d'un temnple a Omm-Beudah, prise du nord-ouest

PLATE 14. Decoration interieure du temple d'Omm-Beydah, a droit en entrant

PLATE 15. Decoration interieure du temple d'Omm-Beydah, a gauche entrant

PLATE 16. Decoration exterieure de la porte du temple d'Omm-Beydah

PLATE 17. [1]-[3] Sculptures de la porte et du plafond du temple d'Omm-Beydah; [4] Plan du temple

PLATE 18. [1] Fragment du temple d'Omm-Beydah; [2]-[3] Plan et coupe de Deyr Roum

PLATE 19. Vue de Deyr Roum

PLATE 20. [1] Vue d'un edifice antique aupres de Kamyseh; [2] Vue de la plaine de Chyatah, sur le chemin du lac Arachyeh

It might be useful to link here another important early book on Siwa, i.e.

Von Minutoli J.H.B.M., Reise zum Tempel des Jupiter Ammon in der Libyschen Wüste und nach Ober-Aegypten in den Jahren 1820 und 1821, nach den tagebüchern Sr. Excellenz herausgegeben und mit Beilagen begleitet von Dr. E.H. Toelken, Rücker, Berlin 1824.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Siwa, Two-Hundred Years Later (1820-2014)

In 1820 Drovetti set off to Siwa following the army sent by Mehmed 'Ali, Pasha of Egypt, to conquer the Oasis. He was accompanied by Louis Adolphe Linant de Bellefonds, Alessandro Ricci and Domenico Frediani. Linant and Ricci devoted themselves to epigraphy (Ricci) and landscape drawing (Linant); they handed over their drawings to Drovetti (although some high-quality copies were made and then given to William John Bankes, a patron to both Ricci and Linant, and are now at the Dorset History Centre, DHC). Drovetti gave the drawings to Jomard, who published them in 1823, with a map and a commentary. Nearly two-hundred years later, what they saw and recorded is almost completely gone.

1. Aghurmi, which is now believed to host the real temple of the oracle, was at the time an inhabited village. Villagers did not show Drovetti and his men the hidden temple and the drawing taken by Linant shows the mosque and the well, the platform beside the palace, but no trace of the temple (which lies to the left), as he was not aware of its existence. This is Jomard 1823, Pl. IX.1; the corresponding copy at the DHC is XIX.B.2:

And this is how it looks now:

2. Temple of 'Umm Beida. At the time it was believed to be the temple of the oracle. It suffered massive losses in the last two-hundred years. This is a depiction in Jomard 1823, Pl. XIII (DHC XIX.B.9); the temple is taken from the North-West:

And here how it looks now:

Another view from the South in Jomard 1823, Pl. XII (DHC XIX.B.8):

And a similar view in Minutoli 1824, Pl. VII:

This is how it looks now:

The East wall and blocks from the ceiling is all what is left. Here is the wall as in Jomard 1823, Pl. XV (DHC XIX.A.5-6; same in Minutoli 1824, Pl. VIII):

And here it is how it looks now (it is impossible to take an orthogonal photo since the blocks of the collapsed ceiling occupy the area):

This is the ceiling in Jomard 1823, Pl. XVII.2 (DHC XIX.A.8):

And how they look now:

3. Qasr al-Gashsham (al-Quraishat): the Roman village has recently disclosed many houses and oil presses. In 1820 the only visible thing was a stone temple, here in Jomard 1823, Pl. VIII:

And how it looks now:

4. To the West, one of the main attraction was Balad al-Rum, with the so-called "Doric temple". Until the 2nd half of the 19th century it used to be the best preserved monument of Siwa. Here as in Jomard 1823, Pl. XIX (DHC XIX.B.7):

And a similar view in Minutoli 1824, Pl. III:

And this is how it looks now, even after extensive work done by Liana Souvaltzi in the 1990s (in fact, the best preserved part is the one unearthed by the Greek archaeologist, i.e. the front part of the long building; the drawing published by Jomard and Minutoli shows the rear part, now completely destroyed):

5. Khamissa is a small village to the south of Balad al-Rum, also on the west side of the Birket Siwa. Drovetti's men recorded a stone-built structure, here in Jomard 1823, Pl. XX.1 (DHC XIX.B.3):

Now it is very difficult to recognize it since completely swallowed by the houses:

6. Shali Fortress (Old Siwa). There are two different views of it from the 1820s; this one is to be found in Jomard 1823, Pl. X (view from the South):

This is in Minutoli 1824, Pl. V (view from the North-East, despite Minutoli labelling it as a view from the East):

 And this is how it looks now (a view form the East):