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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Pjrogress of Egyptology.

metal. lu a country like Egypt, the seat of an advanced civilization
which threw out arms of communication and trade in all directions, som
of the materials and some of the secrets of the metal-worker must have
been early known. But the country itself was poor in metals, and until
the time of the Middle Kingdom they were used for articles of ornament
and luxury, or for tools of exceptional quality and cost. Gradually they
were put to commoner use, but it was not until the XVIIIth Dynasty that
bronze was cheap enough to oust stone; and although iron is the most
abundant of African metals, and now is freely used by the natives of the
interior, the difficulty of smelting and working it so long prevented its
employment that the first examples known to exist in Egypt date from
the XXIIud Dynasty. By the time of the XXVIth Dynasty iron had
become common.

M. de Morgan begins with a chapter explaining how North Africa
rose out of the Eocene seas, and after various vicissitudes the Nile
valley was formed. Egypt, as we know it, came into existence in the
Pleistocene epoch, and then began the alluvial deposit to which the richness
of the soil is due. But before the formation of the Nile valley, palaeolithic
man was on the ground, and he has left us, both on the surface of the
desert and among the gravels, records of his presence in well formed
axes of flint of the same type that are met with in England as far north
as Yorkshire, in Erance, in Germany, and even in India and South

Of the obscure period of transition from palaeolithic to neolithic man,
nothing as yet can be recorded from Egypt; and in dealing with the
neolithic period it is difficult to know what to exclude as belonging to
the bronze period. . M. de Morgan boldly gathers the whole mass of the
later stone implements together, attributing them to the Stone -Age, and
would apparently deny that any but a very exceptional survival of flint
is to be found in the historic period and contemporary with bronze.
This is a high-handed proceeding, and one hardly to be expected of a
professed student of prehistoric times. It must, however, be admitted
that in Egypt stone implements have as yet rarely been discovered in
tombs even of the earliest historic age, and this is a fact which lends
some colour to M. de Morgan's hypothesis. On the other hand, flint
knives are regularly figured in Xllth Dynasty scenes of sacrifice, and
flint-headed arrows are found in tombs of about the XIth Dynasty.
The observations of explorers are distrusted by M. de Morgan, but these
at least are facts that he cannot ignore. And Mr. Petrie's observations,
referred to in a complimentary manner on more than one page of the
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