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Egyptologists’ Notebooks

Chris Naunton


A celebration of Egyptologists’ intimate diaries and journals, brilliantly capturing the excitement of the golden age of Egyptology

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For centuries the beguiling ancient ruins of Egypt have provided an endless source of fascination for explorers, antiquarians, treasure hunters and archaeologists. All, from the very earliest travellers, were entranced by the beauty and majesty of the landscape: the remains of tombs cut into the natural rock of hillsides and the temples and cities gently consumed by drift sand. These early adventurers were gripped by the urge to capture what they had seen in writings, sketches, paintings and photographs.

While it was always the scholars – the Egyptologists – who were in charge, they depended on architects, artists, engineers and photographers. Yet when we think of Petrie, we think of Sir William Matthew Flinders, not of his wife Hilda. Only through reading their diaries and letters has it come to be realized how important she and other partners were. Similarly the role played by Egyptian workers, digging on archaeological projects and maintaining relations with the local landowners, is only just coming to be appreciated.

Egyptologists’ Notebooks brings together the work – reproduced in its original form – of the many people who contributed to our understanding of ancient Egypt, offering a glimpse into a very different history of Egyptology. They evoke a rich sense of time and place, transporting us back to a great age of discovery.

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'This is a sumptuous volume and can be recommended without hesitation for those who are interested in Egyptology and also the history of the study of the subject as well. It is highly informative, well written, has beautifully reproduced illustrations and is a delight to read'
Timeless Travels

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 27.0 x 20.4 cm

Extent: 264 pp

Illustrations: 242

Publication date: 1 October 2020

ISBN: 9780500295298

Contents List

Introduction: These Rough Notes • An Untouched Antique Land: Athanasius Kircher; George Sandys; Frederik Ludwig Norden; Richard Pococke • Artists, Expeditions and Nationalist Competition: Dominique Vivant Denon; Pascal Xavier Coste; Frédéric Cailliaud; William John Bankes; James Burton; Edward William Lane; Robert Hay; Jean-François Champollion; Nestor l’Hôte; John Gardner Wilkinson; Hector Horeau; Karl Richard Lepsius • Archaeology Begins: Giovanni Battista Belzoni; Jean-Jaques Rifaud; Joseph Hekekyan; Luigi Vassalli; Tombs, Mummies and Treasure; Amelia Edwards; W. M. F. Petrie; Marianne Brocklehurst; Victor Loret; Percy Newberry; Howard Carter; Norman & Nina de Garis Davies • Temples, Towns and Cities: George Andrew Reisner; Ernesto Schiaparelli; Hassan Effendi Hosni; John Pendlebury; Walter Bryan Emery

About the Author

Dr Chris Naunton is an Egyptologist, writer and broadcaster. He has published a number of articles and books on the history of Egyptology, most recently Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt (Thames & Hudson, 2018), and presented many related television documentaries, including Tut’s Treasures – Hidden Secrets (Channel 5, 2018, National Geographic/Disney+), Egypt’s Lost Pyramid (Channel 4, 2019) and King Tut’s Last Mission (Channel 5, 2020). He worked for many years at the Egypt Exploration Society, London, acting as its director between 2012 and 2016. From 2015 to 2019 he was President of the International Association of Egyptologists and in 2016 he became director of the Robert Anderson Trust, a charity that provides support for young scholars visiting London to further their studies and research.