Auguste Mariette Bibliography Template

Works of Modern Egyptologists

Ernesto Schiaparelli
Due to Egypt’s dry sand and natural climate, for centuries, the magnificent tombs, crafts and villages of Ancient Egypt were spectacularly preserved and hidden from the eyes of man. Deir el medina is a perfect example of this and provides historians and archaeologists with some of the richest sources of information describing all facets of life, from discovered ostraca, buildings and other artefacts. From the 1840’s many renowned archaeologists worked on this exquisite specimen of ancient Egyptian history and successfully brought forth many answers and information on one of mankind’s greatest civilizations. The following people are renowned Egyptologists, whose input on the discovery of Deir el medina impacted immensely on the knowledge of Ancient Egypt and particularly that of the period of the New Kingdom.

Auguste Mariette:

The French Egyptologist Aguste Mariette (1858-1881) , is credited with  the name He is known as “the father of Egyptian Archeology”. This came from his creation of the Egyptian museum in Cairo and the Antiquities service, which stemmed from his belief that the artifacts that he uncovered should not be sold for private collection, but stored in a safe location instead. From a young age, he was taught ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as Coptic and from there was accepted into the Egyptian department of the Louvre who sent him then sent him to Egypt where he pursued Archeology.   In 1862, Mariette carried out the first excavations in Deir el medina.

Gaston Maspero
The renowned French Egyptologist Gaston Maspero (1846-1916), was the first person to receive a doctorate in Egyptology. On the death of Mariette in 1881, Maspero was placed as Director of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where he continued Mariette’s work of collecting and preserving artefacts. He too worked at the site of Deir el medina where he oversaw the continuation of the projects carried out by Mariette. He also worked in various other archaeological site in Egypt including the uncovering of the Sphinx. Being a linguist as well as an archaeologist, Gaston studied the ancient hieroglyphics and on the discovery of four old kingdom tombs, he found over 4000 lines of hieroglyphics aiding his understanding of burial and religious beliefs and also the Ancient Egyptian language and linguistics during the periods between the old and New Kingdoms.   

Ernesto Schiaparelli
The Italian archaeologist Ernest Schiaparelli(1856–1928), was the curator of the Egyptian museum in Turin, Italy. He looked over the first major excavations at Deir el medina and found many discoveries during his work there. Along with his archeological  excavations in Medina, he also worked on the northern area of the Valley of the kings and in 1906, he hired five hundred workers to aid him. It was that year at Medina, that Schiaparelli mad one of the grandest discovers, that of the intact tomb of the couple Kha and Meryt, who lived around 1400 BC. This discovery was one of a kind as its full furnishes which were discovered within the tomb provide much information on the eating habits, hobbies and funeral customs of well off, ancient Egyptian families.  All of the contents of the tomb are now kept at the Egyptian museum in turin where they are studied by many historians.

In 1904, whilst excavating in the neighbouring valley of the Queens, Ernesto discovered the tomb of Queen Nefetari (1290-1224BC), the wife of Ramesses II. The discovery of her tomb gave way to the discovery of the best burial paintings in all of Egypt. This allowed for a great study of burial practices within the royal family during the period of the New Kingdom.

Bernard Bruyere
The French Egyptologist Bernard Bruyere was a director at the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in Cairo and is best known for the excavation of the whole area of Deir El Medina  between 1922and 1951. He is also recognized for the investigation of community life he carried out during this time , where he  explored all aspects of community including social interactions between the villagers and the living and working conditions of the tomb workers. Various things that Bruyère discovered included the number of working days, the average persons pay, and even their reasons for having a sick day (illness and  family matters)Evidence for all these  were found in the thousands.  Bruyere was leading the major period of systematic excavating of the village. One of the most important of his finds was the great rubbish tip at Medina where  he discovered thousands of ostraca (broken pieces of pottery with written information on them) as well as many house hold items and papyrus, which gave information on the villagers who resided at Medina during its 500 years of occupation as well as the changing technology, religious beliefs, craft work and medicinal/culinary which were used in the town of Medina. Most of the known information on Deir el medina as well as the tomb workers was found under the direction of Bernard Bruyere, however his findings coincided with Howard Carters’ discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb which drew attraction from the findings taking place at Medina.

Jaroslav Cerny
The Czech Egyptologist Jarsolav Cerny was a professor of Egyptology at Oxford University, where he became a specialist in hieratic script, late Egyptian literature as well as all aspects relating to the ancient Egyptian period of the New Kingdom.  In 1929, he joined Bernard Bruyere and assisted him with his excavation at Deir-el Medina. His main aim at the site , which he worked on till the end of his life was to record and publish all that was found at the Site of Deir El Medina and the surrounding areas including the Valley of the Kings.

Today much of the historical evidence found has either been lost due to to theft and uncarfeul preservation or is in numerous museums across the world including the British museum in London, Turin Museum in Italy  and the Louvre in Paris. Much of the written record evidence has been found on papyrus and ostraca and over 1500 literary works have been in collected from medina including the famous Satire of the Trades, boasting about the greatness of the work of the scribes. Also many non-literary works have been found including sketches, legal documents and economic matters, all giving a greater understanding on Anceint Egypt during the New Kingdom.

The Work of Egyptologists: Recap

Auguste Mariette, in full Auguste-Ferdinand-François Mariette, (born Feb. 11, 1821, Boulogne, Fr.—died Jan. 19, 1881, Cairo), French archaeologist who conducted major excavations throughout Egypt, revealing much about the earlier periods of Egyptian history.

Mariette joined the Egyptian department of the Louvre in 1849 and in the following year traveled to Egypt to obtain ancient manuscripts. Instead, he began excavating at Ṣaqqārah, an area that included part of the burial grounds of ancient Memphis. There he unearthed the Avenue of the Sphinxes and the Serapeum, a temple containing the tombs of sacred bulls, making Ṣaqqārah a focus for archaeological study. He remained in Egypt four years, continuing excavations and dispatching most of what he found to the Louvre, where he became curator upon his return to France.

Accepting the position of conservator of monuments from the Egyptian government, Mariette in 1858 settled in Egypt, where he remained for the rest of his life. He eliminated unauthorized excavation, thereby securing a virtual monopoly on archaeological investigation, and he restricted the sale and export of antiquities in order to preserve new discoveries for the Egyptian nation. In 1859 Mariette succeeded in persuading the Ottoman viceroy of Egypt to establish a museum at Būlāq, near Cairo, to house what became the world’s foremost repository of Egyptian antiquities, the Egyptian Museum.

Among his discoveries was one of the finest examples of Egyptian temple architecture, the temple of Seti I. He also studied the pyramid fields of Ṣaqqārah and the burial grounds of Maydūm, Abydos, and Thebes. He unearthed the great temples of Dandarah and Edfu and carried out excavations at Karnak, Dayr al-Baḥrī, Tanis, and, in the Sudan, Jabal Barkal. Under his direction the great Sphinx was bared to the rock level; the wall paintings found in a tomb at Ṣaqqārah provided a detailed panorama of life in the Old Kingdom (c. 2575–c. 2130 bc).

His published works include Abydos (1869), Aperçu de l’histoire d’Égypte (1874; “Survey of the History of Egypt”), and Les Mastabas de l’Ancien Empire (1889, ed. by Gaston Maspero; “The Mastabas of the Old Kingdom”). Mariette also suggested the plot for Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Aida.


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