Jules Couyat (alias Jules Barthoux) and Pierre Montet Egyptian Hieroglyphics at Wâdi Hammâmât
Medium Cyanotype from glass plate negatives
Photo Date 1911 Print Date 1911
Dimensions 9-5/8 x 7-1/16 in. (245 x 180 mm)
Photo Country Egypt
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
There is some handwriting in pencil on verso. The Wadi Hammamat is a former ancient river that winds through the eastern desert from east to west, from the Red Sea to the Nile. The pharaohs, from the earliest times, organized expeditions to Wadi Hammamat order to extract the precious metals from nearby mines. Egyptian caravans were composed of men of all trades: workers, artisans, architects, sculptors and scribes, who were also responsible for scribing on the walls of this valley the details of their campaign. In essence, the Wadi Hammamat is a huge stone book, which was known to Egyptologists from the early twentieth century. The archeologist Jules Couyat returned to the site in March 1911 accompanied by Pierre Montet, a French specialist in hieroglyphs. They carried the equipment necessary to photograph the inscriptions on the walls of schist and reported on their finding upon their return to France. It was the first time that these walls were photographed. The photographs were used to help translate the inscriptions. Couyat's and Montet's collection of documents was essential to the publication of their ground-breaking book in 1912: "The Hieratic and Hieroglyphic Inscriptions of Wadi Hammamat" (Les inscriptions hiéroglyphiques et hiératiques du Wâdi Hammâmât).
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