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The discovery of ancient Egypt and the development of Egyptology are momentous events in intellectual and cultural history. The history of Egyptology is the story of the people, famous and obscure, who constructed the picture of ancient Egypt that we have today, recovered the Egyptian past while inventing it anew, and made a lost civilization comprehensible to generations of enchanted readers and viewers thousands of years later. This, the first of a three-volume survey of the history of Egyptology, follows the fascination with ancient Egypt from antiquity until 1881, tracing the recovery of ancient Egypt and its impact on the human imagination in a saga filled with intriguing mysteries, great discoveries, and scholarly creativity. Wonderful Things affirms that the history of ancient Egypt has proved continually fascinating, but it also demonstrates that the history of Egyptology is no less so. Only by understanding how Egyptology has developed can we truly understand the Egyptian past.
The discovery of ancient Egypt and the development of Egyptology are momentous events in intellectual and cultural history. The history of Egyptology is the story of the people, famous and obscure, who constructed the picture of ancient Egypt that we have today, recovered the Egyptian past while inventing it anew, and made a lost civilization comprehensible to generations of enchanted readers and viewers thousands of years later. This, the first of a three-volume survey of the history of Egyptology, follows the fascination with ancient Egypt from antiquity until 1881, tracing the recovery of ancient Egypt and its impact on the human imagination in a saga filled with intriguing mysteries, great discoveries, and scholarly creativity. Wonderful Things affirms that the history of ancient Egypt has proved continually fascinating, but it also demonstrates that the history of Egyptology is no less so. Only by understanding how Egyptology has developed can we truly understand the Egyptian past.
Egypt; History; To 1881.
Egypt; History; To 1881.
James Henry Breasted (1865–1935) had a career that epitomizes our popular image of the archaeologist. Daring, handsome, and charismatic, he traveled on expeditions to remote and politically unstable corners of the Middle East, helped identify the tomb of King Tut, and was on the cover of Time magazine. But Breasted was more than an Indiana Jones—he was an accomplished scholar, academic entrepreneur, and talented author who brought ancient history to life not just for students but for such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Sigmund Freud. In American Egyptologist, Jeffrey Abt weaves together the disparate strands of Breasted’s life, from his small-town origins following the Civil War to his evolution into the father of American Egyptology and the founder of the Oriental Institute in the early years of the University of Chicago. Abt explores the scholarly, philanthropic, diplomatic, and religious contexts of his ideas and projects, providing insight into the origins of America’s most prominent center for Near Eastern archaeology. An illuminating portrait of the nearly forgotten man who demystified ancient Egypt for the general public, American Egyptologist restores James Henry Breasted to the world and puts forward a brilliant case for his place as one of the most important scholars of modern times.
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.
The discovery of ancient Egypt and the development of Egyptology are momentous events in intellectual and cultural history. The history of Egyptology is the story of the people, famous and obscure, who constructed the picture of ancient Egypt that we have today, recovered the Egyptian past while inventing it anew, and made a lost civilization comprehensible to generations of enchanted readers and viewers thousands of years later.

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