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Petrie, William M. Flinders  
A season in Egypt 1887 — London, 1887

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INTRODUCTION.

i. In rendering the present account of another
season's work in Egypt, it may be as well to say
that this volume does not profess to contain the
whole of the results. Much of my time was spent
on procuring the ethnographical casts from the
monuments; and these are only alluded to here, as
they require a photographic process to render them
effective, and such would have been too expensive
for a general publication. They have accordingly
been arranged separately, as we shall notice below.

When last autumn, to my great regret, it seemed
undesirable to co-operate further with the existing
administration of the Egypt Exploration Fund, I
found myself tied, by the acceptance of a small grant
from the British Association, to undertake the work
of ethnological, casts in Upper Egypt. That grant,
although sufficient for the mere cost of materials, left
to my own charge nearly all the expense of travelling
and residence for a season. I therefore considered
what subjects I could best take up, to render my stay
in Egypt of archaeological benefit. The general
examination of out-of-the-way parts of the Nile cliffs
was an affair that I had long wished for; the rock
inscriptions of Assuan were awaiting a copyist; and
the pyramids of Dahshur were a promising subject
for an accurate survey. Such were the subjects that I
accordingly selected to occupy- a season in Egypt,
in addition to the racial casts. That nothing here
appears of the work in the rock tombs, is due to
a partition of subjects which was agreed on between
my friend Mr Griffith and myself. I had the great
pleasure of his company up to Assuan, and the
benefit of our both working on each place, sometimes
separately, but more often each checking the other's
work, and consulting together. Thus it became im-
possible to separate our respective copies; and as he
had done more during the past season on tombs,
while I had attended more to rock inscriptions, we
agreed to divide the results, each taking in a share of
the other's work. Thus Mr Griffith will publish, in
Journals and otherwise, the tomb inscriptions, includ-
ing my copies; while here I have the advantage of

using his work on the rock inscriptions, and his
continual verification of my own copies. The
individual responsibility is, however, duly noted to
each inscription here. I should also acknowledge
the many occasions on which Mr Griffith has given
me most unreservedly the benefit of his reading and
study. It is a true pleasure to be able to co-operate
so freely with a student whose line of work is some-
what different to my own, and whose knowledge is
therefore all the more valuable in joint work.

2. Passing Middle Egypt, we went to Minieh by
train, and there sought for a boat. Happily we
found there a small open boat, which had had a cabin
built on to it that just sufficed to hold us ; this cabin
was only 12 feet long, and as it was but 7 ft. wide at
the most, with a cupboard taken out of it, there was
scarce room for a bench on either side to sleep on,
and a passage up the middle. A table was out of
the question; so hanging two loops of string over
nails in the roof, a box lid was laid in the loops, and
we had a swinging table. It kept up its character
well for swinging, and if there was any wind we had
continually to steady it, and save our plates. A
vigorous carver would have made short work of it;
but as we readily dissected our fowls in Arab fashion,
the firmness of the dinner table was not so needful.
We took up with us our old reises, Said and
Muhammed el Gabri; the first looked after our
property and did some cooking, the latter walked
with us everywhere, a regular shes. Two boatmen
and a boy made up our crew. The boy, little Abd
el Minm, was the best of them; possessing a remark-
able freedom of speech, he used to make the boat
lively in the evenings; his observations, generally
amusing, and sometimes, I fear, scandalous, serving to
keep the attention of the ship's company. He was
always ready for work, whatever it might be; if the
rudder swung, or the mast creaked, in the night, a
whisper would be heard outside, from the tent which
hung over the outer deck for our men, " Get up, oh!
Abd el Minm"; and with a little grunt, one soon

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