Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1907-1908

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Progress of Egyptology.

the necropolis, is a very notable event. It is to be hoped that ample funds
will be at Prof. Petrie's disposal for the prosecution of his courageous and
eminently important undertaking.

The first instalment of Dr. Eeisner's record of the early cemeteries at
Naga el Deir may be put by the side of the first livraison of Prof. Sethe's
edition of the Pyramid Texts, these promising solid and final results in
departments of archaeology in the one case, and of ancient religion and
philology in the other, which had already been examined in a preliminary

Towards last midsummer the scientific world was startled by an
announcement that two large scarabs of the reign of ISTecho, engraved
with inscriptions to commemorate the circumnavigation of Africa from the
Eed Sea and back by the Mediterranean, had been discovered in a private
collection and brought before the French Academy. Here was another
corroboration of Herodotus ; the feat of Vasco da Gama had then indeed
been anticipated by the Egyptians 2000 years before. It was astonishing;
but surprises are frequent in Egyptology, and eminent Egyptologists
to whom photographs had been submitted were ready to accept the
pieces as authentic. At the same time it was reported that the
authorities at Berlin denied their genuineness. A paper by Profs. Erman
and Schaefer, read before the Berlin Academy on July 30 and printed in
the SitzungsbericMc, explained their attitude to the discovery; it not merely
threw doubt on them, but absolutely and finally disposed of their claims
to be authentic. It is a very clever unmasking of the sham, and it came
most opportunely, for the texts had deceived the very elect and might by
this time have gained full credence but for the exposure. The two Berlin
professors had recognised the imposture at first sight of the originals ; but
the proof lay in showing that the inscriptions were compounded of phrases
taken from all kinds of texts in which expeditions were concerned, cleverly
transformed and unified, but not without some fatal misunderstanding. It
has been further stated that the material of which the scarabs are made
is lithographic slate, a stone unknown to the Egyptians. It is a pity that
the ingenuity of the fabricator was turned to such unworthy ends.

Egypt is a land in which the quest of hidden treasure has been followed
from the earliest days, with dire results to the monuments (not to mention
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