Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

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works of art of historical value and specimens of sculpture of the
earliest and best period of Egyptian art. It is a remarkable
collection of objects of the kind and conveys an excellent im-
pression of their peculiarity and importance. The value of such a
collection of antiquities is that the remains of the works of art
of all nations convey to the mind a more definite idea of their
relative civilization than literary descriptions, however animated,
or essays, however detailed, for an examination of antiquities
reveals the manners and customs, and arts at once are perceived
and the excellence which each particular nation attained. In some
cases antiquities or works of art are all that remains to record
the History of the Past, and the absence of written language or
inscriptions limits the inquiry to induction and a comparison of
the products of the race with those of the more recent civiliza-
tion. The study then approaches that of ethnography or the
condition of existing races which are classed as uncivilized and
judged by their works of art, implements and attire.

The antiquities of Egypt closely resemble ethnographical objects
owing to the peculiarity of a climate which has not injured the
most perishable materials, that in other less favoured localities
have disappeared, and left only a mental conception of the ex-
istence of some races. But in Egypt objects of daily use and
domestic life which have been deposited in the sepulchres or
found in the soil have survived to the present day, whether such
objects have been made of stone, metal, animal or vegetable
material; while of other great civilizations of the past few objects
have survived the destruction of time except such as are of the
most fragile materials.

Besides the smaller objects of Egyptian antiquities numerous
inscriptions preserved on the walls of temples or tombs, and
painted representations of objects used in private or public life,
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