Progress of Egyptology.
the future. The most obvious danger that menaces the buildings on Philae
lies in the salt which is drawn by capillary attraction just above the highest
level of the water. This will never be washed out, but will alternately
melt and re-crystallize, loosening the texture of the stone and eventually
destroying it entirely.
Since the date of M. Maspero's report, however, it has become probable
that the dam will be heightened by six metres. The water which now
reaches only to the floor-level of the great temple will then rise nearly to
the capitals of the columns. So far as the stonework is submerged it
should be safe (unless the weight of soaked stone bi'eaks down the roof
and its supports), but above that height much damage will be done, and
the fine colouring of the capitals will have to go. It is to be hoped that
the Egyptian Government will do what it can to survey and safeguard the
archaeological remains above Philae which are now threatened.
At Edfu Mr. Carter repaired some of the great roofing slabs which
were found to have cracked. They weigh about twenty-five tons each.
Ann. iv. 171. At Kum Ombo part of the brick girdle wall at the back of
the temple was overthrown by the weight of the sand drifting against it,
and in turn displaced the corresponding portion of the sandstone enclosure
wall. In repairing and safeguarding this Mr. Carter uncovered a stela of
At Abydos Mr. Quibell and Mr. Richmond have repaired roofing slabs,
architraves and doorways in the Sety temple, which were in a more or less
dangerous condition. It was ascertained that the main cause of injury to
the temple, besides quarrying, must have been the collapse of the under-
ground passage which passes under the main axis. This passage was
discovered in the work of the Research Account last year.
Lord Cromer's profoundly interesting report on Egypt—Parliamentary
Reports, Egypt No. 1 (19U4)—contains several paragraphs relating to
archaeological matters. It is gratifying to find the discoveries of Messrs.
Grenfell and Hunt regarding the condition of Egypt under Ptolemaic
rule made the subject of a section. We fear that archaeologists, while
gratefully acknowledging the care which has been expended by the
Government on the monuments at Philae, will hardly acquiesce in the
opinion expressed that " the interests of archaeology have gained rather
than suffered from the construction of the Assouan dam," except only in
regard to the clearance of rubbish from the temple buildings and their
safeguarding from gradual ruin. The mere fact that the Nile now soaks