egypt exploration society

“Papyrology and the EES: Riches from Rubbish Tips” Margaret Mountford (EEG Meeting Talk)

At the beginning of November Margaret Mountford came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about the Egypt Exploration Society (EES) (of which she is Chair of the Board of Trustees) and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri (on which she did her PhD). She began by talking about the history of the EES, which she framed as a very early exercise in crowd-funding! In 1873 Amelia Edwards visited Egypt for a cruise down the Nile, and when she came back wrote a best selling book about her trip. She was appalled at the state of the Egyptian antiquities at the time, and at how they were deteriorating rapidly due to both neglect and vandalism. Mountford told us that Amelia Edwards was one of those rather formidable Victorian spinsters who when they saw something that needed done went out and did it. And so rather than just write letters about how… Read More »“Papyrology and the EES: Riches from Rubbish Tips” Margaret Mountford (EEG Meeting Talk)

“Up the Nile with Amelia” Clive Barham Carter (EEG Meeting Talk)

On Sunday Clive Barham Carter came to the Essex Egyptology Group to talk to us about Amelia Edwards. She was a rather formidable Victorian woman who was the driving force behind the founding of the Egypt Exploration Fund (which became the Egypt Exploration Society). Carter told us about her life, frequently reading from Amelia’s own writings and illustrated by her own watercolour paintings (as far as possible). Amelia was born in the 1830s in Islington, the only child of rather older parents. She described her father as having “indifferent health” and Carter pointed out that this was probably due to her father’s days as a soldier. He’d been a lieutenant in Wellington’s army in the 1812-1815 campaigns which were particularly harsh. Amelia was a multi-talented child – she painted watercolours, she was a musician and she also liked to read. I think Carter said she was educated by tutors, and… Read More »“Up the Nile with Amelia” Clive Barham Carter (EEG Meeting Talk)

EEG Trip to the EES

Last Wednesday a group of us from the Essex Egyptology Group went to visit the Egypt Exploration Society‘s offices in London. Once we’d all arrived Jo Kyffin started off with a half hour talk on the history of the Society & an overview of what they do nowadays. The Society started life as the brainchild of a formidable Victorian woman called Amelia Edwards. She was (among other things) a novelist & travel writer, and in the 1870s she visited Egypt in part for the warm weather and in part to write a book about travelling through the country. This book was called “A Thousand Miles Up The Nile” and was written in an enthusiastic (and very Victorian) style – Jo read us a couple of excerpts from it. Although Amelia Edwards never returned to Egypt she became very passionate about the country. While she was there she’d noted what poor… Read More »EEG Trip to the EES

EES Trip to Oxford

On November 10 the Egypt Exploration Society (of which J is a member) organised a guided tour round 3 Egyptian collections in Oxford. The first of these was the archives in the Griffith Institute (no photography permitted in this one) – they have a large collection of the notes, photographs, drawings etc of several important Egyptologists, including all of Howard Carter’s documents. As this is not normally open to the public it was particularly exciting to be shown some of the collection. Two of the staff, Elizabeth Fleming and Catherine Warsi, gave us an hour’s talk. First they gave an overview of some of the prominent Egyptologists associated with the Institute and then moved on to a biography of Howard Carter concentrating on his work in Egypt and the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in particular. They showed us several of the watercolours and line drawings he did in his initial… Read More »EES Trip to Oxford