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Lost Nubia - A Centennial Exhibit of Photographs from thert Ebook)






LOST NUBIA
A CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT OF PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 19051907
EGYPTIAN EXPEDITION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
John A. Larson



Library of Congress Control Number 2005939018
ISBN: 1-885923-45-7
2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Published 2006. Printed in the United States of America.
The Oriental Institute, Chicago
Oriental Institute Museum Publications No. 24
For Robert and Kenneth and in Memory of Neil
Front Cover Illustration: Photograph 45. Pyramid and Chapel of a Meroitic King
Decorative Design on Endsheets and Elsewhere: Painted Design on a Nubian Pot. OIM 22658
Back Cover Illustration: Photograph 17. Photographing from the Top of a Colossus
Printed by United Graphics Incorporated, Mattoon, Illinois.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information
Service Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984




TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................. .................................................. ................... v
INTRODUCTION: Lost Nubia: A Centennial Exhibit of Photographs from the
19051907 Egyptian Expedition of the University of Chicago .................................................. ............. vii
EPILOGUE .................................................. .................................................. ......................................... xi
MAP .................................................. .................................................. .................................................. .. xiii
THE PHOTOGRAPHS
1. The Cliff Tombs at Aswan from the Island of Elephantine .................................................. ..... 2
2. Looking toward the Nile along the Main Axis of Dakka Temple ............................................... 4
3. The Temple of Dendur from the Nile River .................................................. ............................ 6
4. Ruins of the Forecourt of the Temple of Ptah at Gerf Husein .................................................. 8
5. Osiride Pillars in the Hall of the Temple of Ptah at Gerf Husein .............................................. 10
6. Sand-filled Courts in the Temple of Ramesses II at El-Sebua .................................................. .. 12
7. The Beginning of the Avenue of Sphinxes at the Temple of El-Sebua ....................................... 14
8. Photographing at the Temple of Abahuda (Gebel Adda) .................................................. ......... 16
9. Interior of the Temple of Abahuda (Gebel Adda) .................................................. .................... 18
10. General View of Qasr Ibrim from the West .................................................. ............................. 20
11. Ruins of the Christian Cathedral on the Summit of Qasr Ibrim ............................................... 22
12. Graffiti of Elephants and Giraffes on Rocks at El-Egeba .................................................. ......... 24
13. A Royal Graffito of the Late Middle Kingdom, Found at Molokab ........................................... 26
14. The Famine Stela on the Island of Seheil .................................................. ............................. 28
15. General View of the Temples of Abu Simbel .................................................. ........................... 30
16. Photographing Rock-cut Stelae at Abu Simbel .................................................. ......................... 32
16a. The Rock-cut Stelae, as Photographed from the Mast of the Dahabiyah .................................... 33
17. Photographing from the Top of a Colossus .................................................. ............................. 34
17a. Colossus IV from the Head of Colossus II .................................................. .............................. 35
18. Photographing in the Interior of the Great Temple at Abu Simbel ........................................... 36
18a. Relief of the Battle of Kadesh .................................................. .................................................. 37
19. View from the Fort on Top of the Island of Uronarti, Looking North ...................................... 38
20. Copying Nile Level Records at Semna .................................................. ..................................... 40
21. Rock-cut Graffiti Recording the Heights of the Nile Flood .................................................. ..... 42
22. Room in the Temple of Khnum at Semna East (Kumma), before Clearance ............................. 44
22a. The Votive Stela of Nehi, Viceroy of Nubia .................................................. ............................. 45
23. The Temple of Amun and Amunhotep III at Soleb .................................................. ................. 46
24. Leaving the House of the Omdeh at Sarkamatto .................................................. ....................... 48
25. Hippopotamus Heads Hanging from a Tree at Sarkamatto .................................................. ..... 50
26. Caravan of the Expedition, Ready to Depart .................................................. ........................... 52
27. Furling Sail in the Upper Narrow of the Kagbar Cataract .................................................. ....... 54
28. Photographing the Great Stela of Thutmose I at Tumbos .................................................. ....... 56
28a. Upper Part of the Victory Stela of Thutmose I .................................................. ........................ 57



LOST NUBIA
iv
29. A Teacher Holding Class in a Village on the Island of Argo .................................................. ... 58
29a. In Line 223 of the Expeditions Photo Register Breasted Recorded the Name of the
Teacher in Arabic .................................................. .................................................. ................... 59
30. A Saqiya near the Town of Kareima .................................................. ......................................... 60
31. Men Eating in a Field near the Town of Hafir .................................................. ......................... 62
32. Fields and Village of Barkal from the Top of Gebel Barkal .................................................. ..... 64
33. Funeral Ceremonies in the Shadow of the Sacred Mountain .................................................. .. 66
34. Excavating in the Large Rock Temple at Gebel Barkal .................................................. ............. 68
35. Excavating in the Ruins of the Large Rock Temple at Gebel Barkal .......................................... 70
36. Inside the Large Rock Temple at Gebel Barkal .................................................. ........................ 72
37. Head of an Unfinished Granite Colossus at Gebel Barkal .................................................. ...... 74
38. Birds-eye View of Pyramids from the Summit of Gebel Barkal ................................................. 76
39. A Nubian Queen Receiving Homage in a Relief at Napata .................................................. ..... 78
40. Nubian Children from Barkal Village .................................................. ...................................... 80
41. Shooting the Amrahwa Rapids in the Fourth Cataract .................................................. ........... 82
42. Camp near the Fourth Cataract of the Nile .................................................. ............................. 84
43. A Bishari Camel Driver and His Sons .................................................. ..................................... 86
44. Breaking Camp at Meroe .................................................. .................................................. ....... 88
45. Pyramid and Chapel of a Meroitic King .................................................. .................................. 90
46. A Meroitic King Smiting Captives .................................................. ........................................... 92
47. A Meroitic Queen Receives Offerings .................................................. ...................................... 94
48. The Temples of Naga .................................................. .................................................. .............. 96
49. A Nubian King Smites His Enemies .................................................. ........................................ 98
50. Close-up of a Recumbent Ram from an Avenue of Sphinxes at Naga ....................................... 100
51. A Sudanese Family at Naga .................................................. .................................................. .... 102
52. Bisharin Tents near Naga .................................................. .................................................. ....... 104
INDEX OF GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES .................................................. ............................................ 109





ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Lost Nubia: A Centennial Exhibit of Photographs from the 19051907 Egyptian Expedition of the University
of Chicago was made possible because of the vision of James Henry Breasted, who organized the University of
Chicago expedition and realized the importance of producing a record of endangered monuments in what was
then an extremely remote part of the worldEgyptian and Sudanese Nubia. A century later, we can still appreciate
the foresight of Breasteds plan. To his name must be added those of the other participants of the expedition:
photographers Friedrich Koch and Horst Schliephack, engineer Victor Smith Persons, epigrapher Norman de
Garis Davies, Frances Hart Breasted, and Charles Breasted.
This catalog of the exhibit would not have been possible without the support of Gil Stein, Director of the
Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and the members of the Oriental Institute Publications Committee,
Janet H. Johnson, Theo P. J. van den Hout, and Geoff Emberling. The author would like to thank the following
for their comments, criticisms, and assistance at various stages along the way: Wendy Ennes, Stephen P. Harvey,
Thomas James, Carole Krucoff, Peter Der Manuelian, Robert K. Ritner, Emily Teeter, and Bruce Williams. Robert
Ritner deserves special credit for working with the curator of the exhibit to narrow down the list of more than
1,200 photographic images to a more manageable two hundred. Throughout the process, the Museum Director of
the Oriental Institute, Geoff Emberling, has created a positive working environment for the production of both
the exhibit and the illustrated catalog. The final selection of fifty-two images is due largely to his efforts.
The photographic enlargements from the original expedition negatives have been made especially for the
exhibit by Jean M. Grant in the Oriental Institute darkroom, and Markus Dohner has designed the installation
for the Marshall and Doris Holleb Family Special Exhibits Gallery of the Oriental Institute Museum. The digital
scans of the photographic images for this catalog were done from the original negatives by the author.
As the deadline for publication of the catalog approached, Thomas Urban and Leslie Schramer of the
Oriental Institute Publications Office brought their talents and experience to the process of designing, laying out,
formatting, and copy editing the text for publication, and the author would like to acknowledge their efforts with
special thanks.



INTRODUCTION
LOST NUBIA
A CENTENNIAL EXHIBIT OF PHOTOGRAPHS
FROM THE 19051907 EGYPTIAN EXPEDITION
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
NUBIA is the name of the land in northeastern Africa directly south of Egypt. It stretches along the banks of
the Nile River between the First and Sixth Cataractsthose rocky places in the channel of the river that make
navigation difficult. Only a short distance on either side of the river, Nubia is hemmed in by inhospitable
deserts. The place-name Nubia is almost certainly derived from the ancient Egyptian word nwb (pronounced noob),
meaning gold. Nubia was a plentiful source of the precious metal for the ancient Egyptians. At times, the territory
was under the political domination of Egypt, while at other times it was an independent rival state. From about 772 to
656 BC, Nubian kings ruled Egypt as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Today, the region is a sparsely populated area straddling
the border between Egypt and Sudan. Lower Nubia, between the First and Second Cataracts, lies in Egypt; Upper
Nubia, between the Second and Sixth Cataracts, is part of northern Sudan.
The earliest-known Nubian culture, called the A-Group, flourished from about 3500 to 3100 BC. The A-Group
people occupied villages in Lower Nubia between the First and Second Cataracts of the Nile, and our knowledge of
them comes primarily from archaeological excavations of their cemeteries in the area. It is believed that the A-Group
people served as trading partners with the Egyptians by transporting exotic products from tropical East Africa through
their territory to the Egyptian trading post at Aswan. The A-Group people seem to disappear from the archaeological
record about 3100 BC, during the time of the First Dynasty of Egypt.
Little is known about the people who lived in Lower Nubia following the end of the A-Group culture. Some
scholars believe in the existence of a B-Group in Lower Nubia during the period between 3100 and 2250 BC. From
about 2250 to 1550 BC, a people now known as the C-Group settled in the area of Lower Nubia formerly occupied
by the A-Group. Dwelling in scattered villages along the Nile, C-Group people built round houses, and their cemeteries
contain circular graves, as well. Attracted by Nubian gold, cattle, and slaves, Egyptian armies of the Middle Kingdom
built a series of forts in Lower Nubia, and the Egyptian kings of the Twelfth Dynasty exercised political control over
the territory by means of these garrison towns.
More or less contemporary with the C-Group are a people known as the Pan-Grave culture (about 2500 to 1500
BC), who were given the name because of their burial practices, which included a type of circular pan-shaped shallow
grave. The Medjaya tribe of nomads of the Eastern Desert, known from the Egyptian recordsmay have been the
group of people who buried their dead in the pan-graves. The Medjay were known for their skill with the bow and
arrow; they served with distinction in Egyptian armies and police forces. Pan-graves have been excavated in Egypt, as
well as in Lower Nubia.
About 2000 BC, a Nubian state based at Kerma, a town just south of the Third Cataract, began to expand northward
and southward along the Nile River. Between 1800 and 1550 BC, the armies of Kerma occupied the Egyptian forts in
Lower Nubia, which had been abandoned at the end of the Middle Kingdom. Near the end of the period, the prince
of Kerma nearly succeeded in establishing a military alliance with the Hyksos, the Canaanite rulers of northern Egypt.
Despite failure to gain a foothold in Egypt, Kerma became, for a time, the center of a trading network that included
tropical East Africa, the Red Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean. The principal town of Kerma became a bustling city


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