a century of excavation in the land of the pharaohs

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PREFACE IT is somewhat remarkable that, in spite of the considerable, if spasmodic, interest which is taken in the results of research in Egypt, no adequate account of the work of evcavation has ever been written. The student who wishes to learn how, when, and where the facts and objects which interest him were discovered, has himself to excavate the desired information from the innumerable volumes of reports issued by the various exploration societies. It is much to be desired that someone who is master of the subject, and preferably, someone who has had actual experience of the work of excavation, shouId tell the story, not in a manner suited only to the ears of experts, but so that the educated public on whom in the long run excavation must depend for its resources, could appreciate and enjoy a narrative which ought to bc as fascinating as any story of scarch for buried treasure. This volume makes no pretension to the discharge of such a task. All that it attempts to do is to outline the story of certain aspects of the great work which has givcn us back so many of the wonders of the ancient civiIisation of Egypt. Its omissions are, doubtless, many but two will be at once conpicuous to, anyone who has the slightest acquaintance with the subject. nothing is said of the Search for the Cities, which in the closing years of the nineteenth century created so much interest, and resulted in so many identifica- tions of sites and nothing is said of the great work of Papyrus-hunting which has added so much to our knowledge of ancient life. These two matters were left untouched for reasons vllich scemed valid. In the case of the Cities, many of the identifications of the nineties are at present being questioned, and it seemed better to leave the matter till something like agreement is reached. In the case of the Papyri, the subject has become so specialised, and has developed so large a Iiterarure of its own as to render impossible any attempt to dcal with it, on the scale which it deserves, in such a volume as the present. It may be that at some time In the not far distant future, when controversy has rcsulted in more or less general agreemcnt as to the sites, these two aspects of Egyptian excavation may be dealt with in a volume which Inay be a sequel arid companion to this.....
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