Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1896-1897

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Archaeology, Hieroglyphic Studies, Etc.


amongst the Egyptians, illustrated by a new text from an ostrakon in
the Louvre (Gongr. Geneva, iv. 37).

Prehistoric Archaeology op Egypt.

The term prehistoric is generally understood to include the Palaeolithic
Age of Man, the Neolitbic, the Bronze Age, and the period of the first
introduction of iron. In some countries history begins before the
introduction of iron; in Egypt it seems to begin very early in the
Bronze Age. Por convenience, however, we may include under the term
Prehistoric Archaeology of Egypt not only what is truly prehistoric
there—and the limits of this it would be hard as yet to define, even
approximately—but also all matters bearing on the question which are
in other lands considered to belong especially to the domain of prehistoric
archaeology: the use of stone for weapons and implements, the gradual
substitution of metals, and the introduction of the potter's wheel. In
those countries civilization was less forward in all respects, writing was
unknown, and the remains of the early periods consist almost solely of
pottery, stone, and metal, and of rude earthworks for defence, for
dwellings, and for interments. Egypt, on the other hand, attained the
high watermark of culture for the time, and its unrivalled climate
preserves a fuller record to the archaeologist than even the lake
dwellings can show for certain localities in Europe.

In this department there has been during the past year a sudden
increase of interest. The late director of the Department of Antiquities
himself, having studied personally the prehistoric remains of Persia and
Armenia, was naturally disposed to enter upon the same field of research
in Egypt, on his arrival there in 1892. The results of his studies and
observations are now given in a volume well written and richly
illustrated by the hand of the author himself {Reeherchcs sur les Origines
de I'Egypte, VAge de la Pierre et des Metaux). Egyptologists have either
neglected the subject, or treated it with little appreciation and under-
standing of the work done elsewhere, while outsiders have had few
opportunities of making observations in Egypt, and havefeared to draw
conclusions regarding the Nile Valley from the analogy of other
countries. Up to a very recent date the question as to the existence of a
palaeolithic, or even of a neolithic age in Egypt has been answered very
doubtfully. Implements from Egypt of palaeolithic type-are now well
known, few disputing their extreme antiquity, and almost assuredly
imply the existence also of a later stone age prior to the introduction of
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