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Flinders Petrie has been called the “Father of Modern Egyptology”—and indeed he is one of the pioneers of modern archaeological methods. This fascinating biography of Petrie was first published to high acclaim in England in 1985. Margaret S. Drower, a student of Petrie’s in the early 1930s, traces his life from his boyhood, when he was already a budding scholar, through his stunning career in the deserts of Egypt to his death in Jerusalem at the age of eighty-nine. Drower combines her first-hand knowledge with Petrie’s own voluminous personal and professional diaries to forge a lively account of this influential and sometimes controversial figure. Drower presents Petrie as he was: an enthusiastic eccentric, diligently plunging into the uncharted past of ancient Egypt. She tells not only of his spectacular finds, including the tombs of the first Pharaohs, the earliest alphabetic script, a Homer manuscript, and a collection of painted portraits on mummy cases, but also of Petrie’s important contributions to the science of modern archaeology, such as orderly record-keeping of the progress of a dig and the use of pottery sherds in historical dating. Petrie's careful academic methods often pitted him against such rival archaeologists as Amélineau, who boasted he had smashed the stone jars he could not carry away to be sold, and Maspero and Naville, who mangled a pyramid at El Kula they had vainly tried to break into.
The challenging and exciting life of James Henry Breasted spanned the most important years of the early western exploration of ancient Egypt. He was at the center of turbulent and world-changing events, including World War I and the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun by Howard Carter. An immensely talented scholar, he explored the Nile Valley and its antiquities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, recording inscriptions and participating in digs with men like Petrie. At his side was his wife, as well as his son Charles, who wrote this admiring work about the life and times of his father. James Breasted was consulted with by such men as General Allenby during WWI. When Howard Carter discovered Tut's tomb in 1922, one of the first men he and his patron, Lord Carnarvon, contacted was Breasted. He not only saw the tomb shortly after its discovery, his effort to mediate between Carter and the Egyptian government when Carter was later locked out of the tomb is detailed here. You cannot understand ancient Egypt or modern Egyptology without knowing about Breasted's remarkable life. He was the founder of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. For the first time, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers, tablets, and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
Now available in paperback, this rigorous and challenging book questions the Hellenistic dating of many famous monuments, based on careful examination of evidence. "Fluently written, clearly organized, and thoroughly and impeccably documented. Anyone who has a serious interest in Hellenistic art will want to read it and refer to it."--Jerome J. Pollitt, Yale University
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