Pkogkess of Egyptology.
Catalogue will consist when completed; it may be twenty or thirty.
Each volume will include descriptive text containing all indications as to
the origin of any given monument, its history, and all further particulars
concerning it. It will also contain reproductions in hieroglyphs of the
more important inscriptions, with some translations where desirable. All
monuments, whether stelae, statues, amulets, ostraca,, articles of domestic
or religious use, which are of any interest to the student of art, religion,
archaeology, or history, will be reproduced in phototype. It is the desire
of the Egyptian Government that, even were the Cairo Museum to perish
with all its contents, the whole collection might be, as it were, recovered
from the Catalogue by means of the descriptions and the plates.
" The price of each volume will be fixed by the cost of production at
as low a' figure as circumstances will admit. They may be bought
separately either at the Museum or at the establishments of any one of
the three booksellers who have undertaken to supply the publications of
the Service des Antiquites in Germany, in England, and in Erance,
namely Hiersemann, 3, Konigstrasse, Leipzig; Bernard Quaritch, 15,
Piccadilly, London; Ernest Leroux, 28, rue Bonaparte, Paris."
Two volumes of the Catalogue are already issued. These are " The
Ostraca," by Daressy (sketches and hieratic texts on limestone, &c.), and
von Bissing's Catalogue of the bronze vessels. Both are of great value
and augur well for the series. It is, however, only too true that the
information as to the provenance of the objects acquired by the Cairo
Museum, even in recent times, is very imperfect. In the volumes before
us I have noted only two cases in which my own recollections afforded
some guide as to the facts of discovery; in both cases the information in
the Catalogue is wrong. An ostracon, No. 25223 ter, of the style and
subject of those found by Petrie at Thebes in 1896, is said to be from his
excavations at Dendereh in 1899. Mr. Petrie tells me that he found
nothing of the kind at Dendereh, and that the ostracon in question must
have come from the Eamesseum in 1896. Secondly, two fine bronze dishes
Nos. 3533 and 3539, are rightly stated to have been found together at
Gurob, but the Catalogue proceeds to quote the words of the official record,
" trouves . . . sur un tas d'ordures," surely a rather exposed situation fox-
valuable objects. On referring to Kahun, p. 36, we learn that they were
found by Mr. Petrie " under a mass of rubbish against a wall." These
casual examples do not inspire one with confidence in the official informa-
tion with regard to provenance. Nevertheless, the information of this
class on the whole is evidently valuable, though we must always bear in
mind that the source from which it is obtained is not fully trustworthy.