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Ruins Of 7,000-Year-Old City Found At Site of "Mummy Portraits"- PICTURES

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Author Topic: Ruins Of 7,000-Year-Old City Found At Site of "Mummy Portraits"- PICTURES  (Read 5060 times)
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« on: January 30, 2008, 03:15:33 pm »

                                     Archaeological study: Flinders Petrie

In parallel, more scientific engagement with the portraits was beginning. In 1887, the British
archaeologist Flinders Petrie started excavations at Hawara. He discovered a Roman necro-
polis which yielded 81 portrait mummies in the first year of excavation. At an exhibition in
London, these portraits drew large crowds. In the following year, Petrie continued excava-
tions at the same location, but now suffered from the competition of a German and an
Egyptian art dealer. Petrie returned in the winter of 1910/11 and excavated a further 70
portrait mummies, some of them quite badly preserved.

With very few exceptions, Petrie's studies still provide the only examples of mummy portraits
so far found as the result of systematic excavation and published properly. Although the
published studies are not entirely up to modern standards, they remain the most important
source for the find contexts of portrait mummies.

                                     Late 19th and early 20th century collectors

In 1892, the German archaeologist von Kaufmann discovered the so-called "Tomb of Aline",
containing three mummy portraits, which are among the most famous today. Other important
sources of such finds are at Antinoopolis and Akhmim. The French archaeologist Albert Gayet
worked at Antinoopolis and found much relevant material, but his work, like that of many of his
contemporaries, does not satisfy modern standards. His documentation is incomplete, many of
his finds remain without context. Gayet's outspoken interest in occultism and clairvoyance also
tarnished his works.


Today, mummy portraits are represented in all important archaeological museums of the world.
Many museums around the world have fine examples of Faiyum mummy portraits on display,
notably the British Museum, the Royal Museum of Scotland, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in
New York and the Louvre in Paris.

Due to the fact that they were mostly recovered through inappropriate and unprofessional
means, virtually all are without archaeological context, a fact which consistently lowers the
quality of archaeological and culture-historical information they provide. As a result, their
overall significance as well as their specific interpretations remain highly controversial.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 06:53:59 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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