martes, 22 de febrero de 2011

The Archaeological Record: Flinders Petrie in Egypt



The Archaeological Record: Flinders Petrie in Egypt

William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853-1942) first went to Egypt in 1880 at the age of 26, to survey the Great Pyramid. For the next five decades he was at the forefront of the development of archaeology in the country, before turning in the 1920s to the archaeology of Palestine. He worked at a much higher number of sites, and with much greater speed, than an archaeologist would today; he saw his life as a mission of rescue archaeology - to retrieve as much information as possible from sites that were shrinking dramatically in size as Egypt modernized.

The following table offers a year by year guide to his main archaeological activity.

Note on the column 'sponsors'
During the Petrie decades there was no government grant to fund excavation - money was needed to pay for travel, accommodation and food, packing costs, labour costs, photography, drawing, publication. Excavators had to seek funds, or work for societies that raised money for archaeological work in Egypt. In England, the principal society then as now was the Egypt Exploration Society (founded as Egypt Exploration Fund in 1882 - the name changed to Society in 1914). Petrie worked for the EEF until 1886, and again from 1896 to 1905. From 1887-1892 he relied on his own resources and the sponsorship of two wealthy enthusiasts - Jesse Haworth and Martyn Kennard. In 1893 Petrie became the first Edwards Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology at University College London, and was able to form his own Egyptian Research Account to support excavation in Egypt. As in the case of the Egypt Exploration Fund/Society, the excavator was permitted by the Egyptian Antiquities Service to reward public museums sponsoring excavation by distributing to them a share of the finds allowed out of Egypt - the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, retained anything it wished for the national collection. From 1905 the Egyptian Research Account supported a new institution founded by Petrie, the British School of Archaeology in Egypt.

After the death of Flinders Petrie in Jerusalem in 1942, his widow Hilda sought to keep the School alive, but postwar conditions in London made this difficult, and the BSAE formally came to an end in 1954. The UCL Department of Egyptology continued to excavate in Egypt, for the Egypt Exploration Society and with government funding, and the division of finds continued to the 1980s, including substantial shares in the finds from work by Professors Emery and Smith at Buhen and Qasr Ibrim in Nubia, and at the Sacred Animal Necropolis of north Saqqara.

Table of Petrie seasons 1880-1938 (compare the map)
year site type of site sponsors finds distribution publication
1880-3 Gizeh pyramid field (survey) Petrie 1883
1884 Tanis town and temples EEF mainly British Museum Petrie 1885, Petrie 1888
1885 Naukratis town and temples EEF mainly British Museum Petrie 1886
1886 Nebesheh
Defenna
town and temples
fortress
EEF mainly British Museum Petrie 1888
1887 Aswan
Dahshur
quarries, inscriptions
pyramid field
(no sponsors) (no excavation) Petrie 1888
1888-9 Biahmu
Medinet el-Fayum
Hawara

temple site
town
pyramid field, cemetery

Haworth, Kennard Egyptian Museum Cairo, and to Petrie (now UCL), Haworth (now Manchester), and Kennard (dispersed) Petrie 1889, Petrie 1890
1889-90 Lahun
Gurob
pyramid field, town
town
Haworth, Kennard Egyptian Museum Cairo, and to Petrie (now UCL), Haworth (now Manchester), and Kennard (dispersed) Petrie 1890
1890-91 Meydum pyramid field Haworth, Kennard Egyptian Museum Cairo, and to Petrie (now UCL), Haworth (now Manchester), and Kennard (dispersed) Petrie 1892
1891-2 Amarna town and temples Haworth, Kennard Egyptian Museum Cairo, and to Petrie (now UCL), Haworth (now Manchester), and Kennard (dispersed) Petrie 1894
1893-4 Koptos town and temples various distribution list Petrie 1896
1894-5 Naqada town, temples, cemetery various distribution list Petrie/Quibell 1896
1895-6 West Thebes temples, cemetery various distribution list Petrie 1897
1896 Oxyrhynchus town EEF
1897 Deshasheh cemetery EEF distribution list Petrie 1898
1897-8 Denderah cemetery EEF distribution list Petrie 1900a
1898-9 Hu cemetery EEF distribution list Petrie 1901
1899-1904 Abydos town, temple, cemetery EEF distribution list
1903-4 Ihnasya
Sedment
Gurob
town and temple
cemetery
town, cemetery
EEF distribution list Petrie 1904, Petrie 1905
1904-5 Sinai quarries, temple EEF (no distribution list in Petrie Museum) Petrie1906
1905-6 East Delta towns, cemeteries BSAE distribution list Petrie 1906
1906-7 Gizeh
Rifeh
pyramid field, cemeteries
cemeteries, monasteries
BSAE distribution list Petrie 1907
1907 Athribis
White Monastery
temple, cemetery
monastery
BSAE distribution list Petrie 1908
1908-1913 Memphis town and temples BSAE in other distribution lists various
1908-9 West Thebes cemeteries, temples BSAE distribution list Petrie 1909
1909-10 Meydum pyramid field BSAE distribution list Petrie/Mackay/Wainwright 1910
1910-11 Hawara
Gerzeh
pyramid field, cemetery
cemetery
BSAE distribution list Petrie/Mackay/Wainwright 1910
1911 Shurafa town, fort, cemetery BSAE distribution list Petrie/Mackay 1915
1911-12 Tarkhan cemetery BSAE distribution list Petrie 1913
1912 Heliopolis temple BSAE distribution list Petrie/Mackay 1915
1912-13 Tarkhan
Riqqeh
cemetery
cemetery
BSAE distribution list Petrie 1914
1913-14 Lahun
Harageh
town, pyramid field
cemetery
BSAE distribution list Petrie/Brunton/Murray 1923
Engelbach 1923
1919-20 Lahun
Gurob
town, pyramid field
cemetery
BSAE distribution list Petrie/Brunton/Murray 1923, Brunton1920
1920-1 Gurob
Sedment
cemetery
cemetery
BSAE distribution list Brunton/Engelbach 1927
Petrie/Brunton 1924
1921-2 Abydos cemetery BSAE distribution list Petrie 1925
1922 Oxyrhynchus town BSAE distribution list Petrie 1925
1923-4 Qau-Badari cemetery BSAE Petrie 1930
1926-1938 Palestine towns, cities various
1938 Jordan (survey)

Notes:
1886: the work of Petrie at Naukratis was continued by Ernest Gardner: 'we found the site of the city already somewhat altered by the destructive operations of the Arabs, who are continually carrying off the earth from the ancient sites to spread it upon their fields. In this way the walls of the Great Temenos or Hellenion had almost disappeared, and the appearance of the mound that takes the place of the ancient city had in several respects been altered. But though, on the one hand, this process is destructive, it is also, on the other, of great service to the excavator, for the digging of the Arabs is constantly laying bare new strata and disclosing new sites, and a careful watching of their work and the objects they find will often supply far more information than large and numerous trial pits or trenches' (Gardner 1888: 10).

1890: Petrie excavated at Tell el Hesy in Palestine for the Palestine Exploration Fund: this was one of the first digs in which the different layers of a large city mound were recorded to reveal the sequence of occupation layers and so the history of the ancient city (stratigraphy).

1920s: by this time Guy Brunton was supervising much of the work of the British School of Archaeology in Egypt. For the seasons at Qau and Badari, Petrie contributed by excavating and recording one of the many cemeteries in the Qau area, and by examining the large rock-cut tombs of Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC) governors at Qau. Most of the finds of those seasons come from the work of Brunton and Gertrude Caton-Thompson, including the Badari cemeteries of the earliest farmers known from Upper Egypt, now designated the 'Badarian culture'. After Petrie moved to excavate in Palestine in the mid-1920s, Brunton and Caton-Thompson continued to work in Egypt for the BSAE and then for the Royal Anthropological Institute and the British Museum. The finds from the Petrie excavations in Palestine were also distributed widely; the Petrie share went not to the collections of the Department of Egyptology, University College London (now Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology), but to form a separate Petrie Palestinian Collection in the Institute of Archaeology.


Copyright © 2002 University College London. All rights reserved.

Sites in Egypt, excavated by Petrie and the British School of Archaeology

On the map below, a click on a place-name takes you to an entry in the list of sites, with the dates of the Petrie or BSAE (British School of Archaeology in Egypt) excavation, a short summary of main features of the site, and some highlights among finds from the Petrie or BSAE excavations. Where the site is covered in greater depth in Digital Egypt for Universities, there is a link from the entry in the list (rather than directly from the map).



 

Copyright © 2003 University College London. All rights reserved.


















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