Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1897-1898

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Archaeology, Hieroglyphic Studies, Etc.


berichte of the Berlin Academy (1898, p. 291), on the corrosive effects of
the salts derived from ancient habitations, as observed in the temples of
Luxor, Karnak, &c, with the results of experiments. The paper is
illustrated by photographs, and by a sketch showing how the evil may be
combated at Kai-nak. The present system of pouring a stream through
the temple is no preservative, as it cannot effect a complete washing
out of the salt. The best thing will be to keep the site as dry as
possible. At Philae the temples are at present absolutely dry ; no
scheme of damming should be allowed to raise the water above a certain
height, specified by Borchardt. Much of what is here stated has been
apparent to all observers for many years past, but it is excellent to have
this authoritative statement as the result of special investigation.

According to a report furnished in March last to the Society of Anti-
quaries by Mr. Somers Clarke, of which he has kindly allowed me to
see the MS., the question of the Philae dam seems to have been settled.
The old scheme would have submerged Philae entirely, and the Nubian
temples and sites for 100 miles south partially. The new scheme, which
is immediately to be carried out, is for a dam that shall raise the water
over 6 metres above present high Nile level. From Philae the dam
will hardly be visible, but the cataract itself will be completely dis-
figured. The temples on the island will stand almost clear of the water:
according to the old scheme only the tops of the pylons would have
remained uncovered. The surface of the island and the foundations of
the temples will be submerged and the floors be under water for part of
the year, with the exception of parts of the temple of Isis, which stands
the highest of the buildings. The brick walls of houses and temple
enclosures will melt away, the interesting early Christian Church and
the ruins of the earliest temple (that of Nekhtnebef) will be submerged
or disappear. In short, of the remains upon the island the temples
alone will be preserved. Where these are touched by the water any
paintings will of course disappear, but any insecure foundations will
be made good, and it is hoped that the Nile waters .will not injure the

According to Borchardt, however, even the temples will be exposed
to considerable danger. It is true that such foundations as are now
reached by the high Nile along the quay remain at present uninjured.
Here there is a strong current. But when the dam has been con-
structed, the water will partially stagnate on the nitrous earth of ruined
habitations in the island; and although most of the earth has now
bee n removed by excavation, the stone that was in contact with it is
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