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Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....


(b London, May 9, 1874; d London, March 2, 1939).

English archaeologist, epigrapher and copyist. Howard and his sister Amy (later Walker), a miniaturist, and brother William (1863–1939), a society portrait painter, were taught to paint by their father, Samuel John Carter (1835–92), who was a successful animal painter and watercolourist in Norfolk and London. Between 1889 and 1891 Howard Carter drew and catalogued the Egyptological collection of William Tyssen-Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney (1835–1909), whose influence enabled him in 1891 to join the Archaeological Survey of Egypt, for which he drew reliefs and inscriptions from the Middle Kingdom tombs at Beni Hasan and Deir el-Bersheh. His work on the temple reliefs and inscriptions of Deir el-Bahri (see Thebes §IV) established his reputation as the finest Egyptological copyist and epigrapher since Achille Prisse d’Avennes (1807–79). The six volumes of Carter’s drawings at Deir el-Bahri were reproduced between 1893 and ...


L. Glynne Davies

(b Amsterdam, Feb 24, 1897; d London, July 16, 1954).

Dutch archaeologist and cultural historian. After studying at the University of Amsterdam and under Flinders Petrie at University College, London, he directed the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at Akhenaten’s city of Amarna, (Tell) el- and elsewhere (1925–9). He was Field Director of the Iraq Expedition of the Oriental Institute of Chicago from 1929 to 1937 and conducted excavations at the Assyrian site of Khorsabad and in the Diyala region; the latter made an important contribution to knowledge of the art of the Sumerians, particularly of their architecture and of the Early Dynastic period (c. 2900–2500 bc). He held professorships at Chicago, Amsterdam and London and was Director of the Warburg Institute from 1949 to 1954. In 1954 he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and he was also Corresponding Member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.

Frankfort was a scholar of immense range, insight and artistic sensibility, with an abiding concern for the interrelations of the cultures of the ancient Aegean, Egypt and Mesopotamia, and he was instrumental in defining a structure for the integrated study of early Near Eastern civilizations. It was characteristic of his approach to see artefacts as works of art that could lead to a deeper understanding of ancient cultures, rather than merely as sources of historical data: his ...


Barry Bergdoll

(b Cologne, June 15, 1790; d Paris, Dec 31, 1853).

French architect, writer and archaeologist of German birth. In 1810 he left Cologne with his lifelong friend J. I. Hittorff for Paris, enrolling at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 under the tutelage of the ardent Neo-classicists Louis-Hippolyte Lebas and François Debret. But from the beginning Gau was exposed to a wider field of historical sources, first as assistant site architect under Debret on the restoration of the abbey church of Saint-Denis (1813–15) and then from 1815 in Nazarene circles in Rome, where he met the archaeologist and philologist Barthold Nieburh (1776–1831), who arranged a scholarship for him from the Prussian government and a trip through the eastern Mediterranean. In Egypt Gau undertook an arduous trip down the Nile to visit and record the monuments of Nubia, which he published as the lavish folio Antiquités de la Nubie. He noted assiduously every trace of colour on the remains, just as he was to do in ...


Gordon Campbell


A. Wallert

[Lat.: ‘Little key of painting’]

Medieval compendium of recipes. It possibly originated in northern France or Germany. Like the Compositiones variae, it can be related to knowledge of ancient Egyptian origin and early Greek alchemist texts. Some of its recipes are literal translations of texts in the Leiden papyrus (3rd century ad; Leiden, Rijksmus. Oudhd., MS. X). The Mappae clavicula has descriptions of the nature and preparation of various minerals, herbs, woods, stones, and chemicals. It contains recipes for making glues, solder, and pigments and many recipes of a metallurgical nature. It also has instructions for dyeing both textiles and skins for parchment in purple, for writing in gold and silver and for making gold leaf.

The most complete copy of the Mappae clavicula is in a 12th-century manuscript (Corning, NY, Mus. Glass, Phillipps MS. 3715), which was published in transcript in 1847. An earlier copy is dated to the 10th century (Sélestat, Bib. Human., MS. 17), while the earliest fragments of the ...


[Mariette Pasha]

(b Boulogne, Feb 11, 1821; d Cairo, Jan 19, 1881).

French Egyptologist. His interest in Egypt may date from 1837, when a hieroglyphic inscription in the Musée Municipal in Boulogne aroused his curiosity and he began to learn to read hieroglyphics, using the grammar and dictionary compiled by Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832), who in 1822 had deciphered the Rosetta Stone. Mariette’s first Egyptological task was to order some papers left him by a cousin, Nestor Lhôte (1804–42), a former pupil of Champollion. In 1849 he was offered a junior post at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. He taught himself Coptic and wrote a Bibliographie copte (1849) of texts in the Louvre.

In 1850 Mariette was sent by the Ministry of Public Instruction to acquire ancient manuscripts from Coptic monasteries in Egypt; when admission to the monasteries was delayed, he diverted his resources to excavations at Saqqara. From November 1850 to November 1851 he uncovered the avenue of sphinxes leading to the Serapeum, the burial place of the sacred Apis bulls of Memphis. The tombs yielded rich finds, and in ...


Robert S. Bianchi

[now Kawm al-Gi‛eif]

City in ancient Egypt that flourished during the 26th Dynasty (664–525 bc) in the north-western Delta. Discussions about the links between the Aegean and Egypt during the late orientalizing and Archaic periods of Greece focus erroneously on Naukratis, which was not occupied by the Egyptians before the 7th century bc. Tradition maintains that Psammetichus I (reg 664–610 bc) introduced the eastern Greeks into Egypt as a resident class of foreign mercenaries in the service of the pharaoh. Before Amasis (reg 570–526 bc), Naukratis was allegedly the only trading post in the whole of Egypt in which an alien merchant might conduct business. It is best regarded as an Egyptian establishment of no earlier than the 26th Dynasty (rather than as a Greek foundation in the literal sense) in which alien merchants from eastern Greece were obliged to reside. During the course of the 4th century ...


(b Charlton, Kent (now in London), June 3, 1853; d Jerusalem, July 29, 1942).

English archaeologist and writer. He was educated at home by unconventional parents, inheriting from his father (a chemical engineer and inventor) his mathematical ability and manual dexterity and from his mother (the daughter of Matthew Flinders, the explorer and circumnavigator of Australia) his interest in antiquity. As a young man he surveyed and recorded many earthworks and prehistoric monuments in southern England; he made the first accurate survey of Stonehenge and from 1880 to 1882 measured the pyramids of Giza. Once in Egypt, he found his life’s work: to extract from the soil not only inscriptions and objets d’art but all the information about an ancient civilization that could be gleaned from the study of its artefacts. He realized the significance of pottery, hitherto discarded by excavators, as dating evidence and emphasized the importance of recording together all associated finds, such as grave groups. Excavating in the Faiyum in 1887–9...


Dominic Montserrat

Site in the Faiyum, 35 km north-west of Medinet el-Faiyum in Egypt. Polish excavations in the 1970s revealed evidence of occupation at the site from the Predynastic Period (c. 6000–c. 2925 bc) onwards. The principal monument is a well-preserved temple, built from large, irregular blocks of local limestone, probably dating from the late 12th Dynasty (c. 1938–c. 1756 bc); it was cleared by Georg Schweinfurth in 1884. It is undecorated, and it may never have been completed: the dedication is uncertain but was probably to a local form of the crocodile god Sebek, chief deity of the Faiyum. The general plan of the temple is comparable with contemporary sanctuaries at Hierakonpolis and Medinet Maadi, with an enclosure and pillared exedra opening on to a rectangular hall and sanctuary. However, the arrangement of seven shrines in the form of statue niches abutting the rear wall is paralleled only in the 19th Dynasty temple of Sethos I (...