Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1911-1912

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The great event of the past twelve months in connection with Egyptology
lias been the official publication by Professor Sachau of the wonderful
collection of Aramaic papyri from Elephantine at Berlin. As is well
known, they belonged to the Jewish colony in Egypt of the time of the
Exile and afterwards, and are of the highest importance for the history of
the Jews and the Jewish religion, going far to confirm the authenticity of
the narrative in the Book of Ezra. This publication has been immediately
followed in Germany by a flood of articles and criticisms, and scholars in
other countries are beginning to take advantage of the new material.
Some, indeed, have impugned the authenticity of the MSS. on philological
and historical grounds ; but no expert in papyrus-lore, whether in Germany
or elsewhere, having seen the originals (like Dr. A. S. Hunt), or even
examined the photographic facsimiles, has any hesitation in pronouncing
the documents genuine, whatever surprises and difficulties their contents
may present.

In the second place, we may perhaps mention the opening up of a by-
way in Egyptology through the systematic publication of large collections
of Meroitic inscriptions by the present writer, with the support of the
Egypt Exploration Fund and Mr. Eckley B. Coxe of Philadelphia. The
values of the letters in the Meroitic alphabet are now known, and names
of deities, places, and persons (including Queen Gandace) are easily recog-
nized, as well as several titles borrowed from Egypt; but the Meroitic
language itself, apart from a very few words and grammatical forms, is
still a mystery. The condition now reached has been aptly compared by
Professor Maspero with that of Etruscan; but Etruscan decipherment
proceeded very slowly, while in view of the considerable additions which

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