Early Explorers in Egypt and Nubia

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!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Henniker's visit to Serabit el-Khadim, Sinai, around 1820

Sir Frederick Henniker, Notes During a Visit to Egypt, Nubia, the Oasis, Mount Sinai, and Jerusalem, John Murray, London 1823, pp. 244-45.
«I then turned my thoughts to Sarbat al Kardem, and having sent the camels forward, we proceeded thither on foot. After two hours’ march we arrived at a water-course, by this we ascended with much difficulty to the top of the mountain, and here we found a temple and a variety of upright stones; the tout ensemble resembling a church and church-yard. The temple was never remarkable for size, design, or execution; it has likewise not been spared by the evil genius of Egypt; its paltry remains are almost overwhelmed by sand; labour and curiosity have laid open the wrecks of a few small chambers, and uncovered the fragments of a statue, and the diminutive mimicry of an Egyptian pillar. The monumental tablets are only two feet wide, eight inches thick, and from six to nine feet high. On the eastern and western sides of all are hieroglyphics, and even on the four sides of some of them; but the destroying power has caused “the east wind to blow,” so that the hieroglyphics which were exposed to its effects are defaced. There is no beauty whatever on the spot, either in art or nature, but it is peculiarly interesting. This Egyptian stile of tomb-stones is unique. With the mummies at Sacchara are found small round-headed engraved tablets. The hieroglyphics in this place appear to me in some measure varying from those of Egypt, and intermixed with the Persepolitan character. The pillar, like those of Dendara, represents the head of Isis; but in this instance the hair forms a curl on either side of the neck; this is the more remakable [sic] as the volute of the Ionic order is said to be conceived from the same idea. We rejoined our camels, and made a good fire: it now commenced to rain, which, excepting a few drops at Cairo, is the first that I have seen for seven months; as long as it lasted I was wishing for a tent».

For Henniker's short biography see:

Here's the Hathor pillar:


"There is no beauty whatever on the spot, either in art or nature", so he thought well to deface one of the stelae with his signature: "F. Henniker A(nno) D(omini) [...]". It is below that of John Hyde (1819):

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