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Egypt Exploration Fund [Editor]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1895-1896

DOI article:
Griffith, Francis Ll.: Progress of Egyptology, [11]: Archeology, Hieroglyphic Studies, etc.
DOI article:
Kenyon, Frederic George: Progress of Egyptology, [12]: Graeco-Roman Egypt
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Gbaeco-Rohan Egypt.


tombs repeatedly ransacked and plundered, some scattered .remains of the floral
decorations of the mummy and of the vegetable products which once formed part
of the funeral offerings may almost invariably be found, and might well be collected
and preserved at the cost of some care and trouble that is at present withheld out
of sheer ignorance and contempt. In the all-prevailing hurry the soil from the
various strata of old cities and inhabited sites is rarely subjected to minute inspection,
and no attempt is made by sifting or otherwise to secure the smaller seeds or grain,
the authenticated discovery of which might supply material for far-reaching
demonstrations in historical problems as to the origins and intercourse of nations.
Consider the significance of a grain of rice or of sorghum, or of a bit oE chewed
sugar-cane fibre, dating from one of the earlier periods, or of a single shred of barley
or of wheat straw from one of the so-called pre-historic sites which Professor
Flinders Petrie has recently claimed to have discovered ! In them we should be at
once dealing with facts, since for him who can read such documents their contents
are independent of any guesswork or individual interpretation ; they present him
with tangible realities.

"The inconspicuous material for research into natural history is lost in the hunt
after big or showy objects and in the search for inscriptions, statues, ornaments,
scarabs, etc.; nay, it would even seem as though the disposition to attend to it
were altogether lacking. Excavators are rarely trained and equipped for securing
the preservation of these tiny and often most fragile treasures, and seem to have a
positive antipathy to pill-boxes, test-tubes, and the like, as well as to labels and
tickets. They are content to wrap up their ' finds ' in pieces of mummy cloth; and
for a desiccated flower wreath, for example, thousands of years old, such treatment
is about as effective for preservation as it would be to pack up the tubes of a
barometer in stiff hide." . . . (As to the labelling of objects) " A visit to any botanical
or zoological museum shows conclusively that such a course is not only practicable
but absolutely essential."

Dr. Schweinfurth proceeds to point out as highly characteristic of the condition
of affairs which he deplores, that no naturalist has been appointed to take part in
the Archaeological Survey of the region between the first and second cataracts in
view of the proposed submersion of that area, and concludes by recapitulating the
strong claims of natural history on all archaeologists, appealing with confidence to
the growing recognition among scientific Egyptologists that something must be
done to put a stop to the wholesale destruction of scientific material which is now
going on at the hands of the Egyptian excavator.


The publications relating to this subject during the past year are con-
siderable both in number and in importance. They include Mr. Grenf ell's
edition of the Revenue Papyrus of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and a smaller
volume of miscellaneous texts ; the first volume of the long-expected
Corpus of the Rainer Papyri; the first fasciculus of Prof. Nicole's edition
of the Geneva Papyri; four more parts of the Berlin Papyri; and Prof,