Pkogkess of Egyptology.
objects which, during the past forty years and more, have been assembled
in the galleries of Boulak and subsequently at G-izeh by the care of the
Egyptian Government. Towards the close of 1896, when Herr Ludwig
Borchardt, at the request of M. de Morgan, undertook to make a complete
catalogue of the royal statues of the Old Kingdom, he was struck by the
prevailing uncertainty as to the provenance of many of the monuments.
Some of them had never been entered in the register of acquisitions begun
by Mariette and continued by his successors; some were described so
curtly as to be identified only with hesitation; others had lost their
numbers, and were without any indication whatever as to their place of
origin; others again were missing from the galleries, whether because
they had never been removed thither from the ruins amid which they had
been found, or had perished from exposure after excavation, or had been
lost sight of during the different removals and changes through which
the collection has passed both at Boulak and at Gizeh. Often the gaps
could only be supplied by vague and contradictory recollections of old
officials, which, in the nature of things, would necessarily pass away with
them. The ordinary staff of the Museum was too much overtaxed by
the continuous inflow of antiquities to make any general revision of the
Catalogue, and on April 15th, 1897, Herr Borchardt proposed to entrust
this task to an international commission of four, elected for a term of three
years, and to work in co-operation with himself. At the expiration of
that time the commission was to have drawn up a complete inventory of
the contents of the Museum, and to have compiled a catalogue by which
the civil status (etat-civil) of each object should be finally settled. To
this end, in May following the Caisse de la Dette made a grant of
£E 6000, of which £4800 was to go in payment of the cataloguing staff
during the three years, £300 for office expenses, and £900 for printing.
"The commission met in October and November, 1897. The official
members were—Herr von Bissing (German), M. Chassinat (French), Mr.
Cruin (English), and Mr. Keisner (American). Herr Borchardt remained,
as before, provisionally attached to the Service des Antiquites in order
to proceed with those parts of the Catalogue undertaken by him in the
previous year. Work was begun in November, 1897, on a large scale from
the outset, thanks to Herr Borchardt's knowledge of the collections.
Herr von Bissing undertook the vessels of pottery, stone, and metal; M.
Chassinat the coffins of the high-priests of Amon; Mr. Crum the Coptic
stelae and MSS.; Mr. Keisner the amulets and votive barks. Herr
Borchardt retained as his own province the monuments of the Old
Kingdom and the statues in general. Mr. Crum, having finished his