The long lost work of Frederic Cailliaud and its relevance today
Mon, November 15, 2010 • 4:30 PM • WAG 214
A lecture by Andrew Bednarski, Ph.D.
American Research Center in Egypt
In 2008 ARCE began a project to translate, edit, and publish the last great work of the pioneer Egyptologist Frédéric Cailliaud. A hero in his time, Cailliaud rediscovered the ancient emerald mines of Mount Zabora, explored both the Eastern and Western Deserts, traced routes to the Red Sea, and, most famously, 'rediscovered' the pyramids of ancient Meroe. Upon his return to France he brought, along with hundreds of objects for museums, an encyclopedic knowledge of the lands of the Nile. Capitalizing on this first-hand knowledge, Cailliaud published his important Travels to the Theban Oasis and Travels to Meroe. His third, great work, however, a sort of French blending of Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians and Manners and customs of the Modern Egyptians, fell afoul of technical problems and the pressures of other commitments. While a small number of volumes of the plates for this work were published the text meant to accompany it never saw the light of day. Upon Cailliaud’s death, the unpublished manuscript fell into relative obscurity, where it remained for more than 100 years. ARCE's goal of combining, for the first time, the intended text and published plates, along with supporting information, is gradually being realized. This lecture will discuss Cailliaud's life, adventures, and work, as well as explain the on-going value of his long-lost manuscript to the study of ancient and modern Egypt.
Dr. Andrew Bednarski is an Egyptologist specializing in the history of the discipline. He earned his Ph.D. at Cambridge University and currently works as the Assistant to the Director for Special Projects, ARCE. Along with his historiographical interests, he has excavated in Egypt at Hierakonpolis, Abydos, Tell el-Amarna, Dakhla, Mut Temple (Karnak), and Luxor Temple. His current research interests focus on the reception of ancient Egypt in general, and the reception of ancient Egyptian material culture in particular, in western civilization.