Egypt Lost & Found: Explorers and Travelers on the Nile

Alberto Siliotti, Author, Siliotti, Author Stewart, Tabori, & Chang $60 (376p) ISBN 978-1-55670-876-3
European--particularly French, Italian and British--exploration of Egypt, from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century, receives royal treatment in this spectacularly illustrated book from journalist and photographer Siliotti (Egypt: Splendors of an Ancient Civilization). The author follows successive waves of merchants, tourists and soldiers to the land that many once believed was ""the source of all human knowledge and science."" He shows how Napoleon's exploration in Egypt, to which he brought 162 scholars along with his armies, was a major triumph in Egyptology despite its failure as a military campaign. Siliotti also recounts the biographies and stealth of the major players of the ""war of the consuls,"" which marked the beginning of the ""systematic plunder of Egypt's archaeological heritage by the diplomats of various European nations"" who sought treasures for the greater glory of their national museums. Along the way, the author provides detailed histories of map-making and excavations. Though Siliotti's writing can be dry, but what's astonishing here are the magnificent, brilliantly reproduced illustrations. Every page of this large-sized book is graced by European drawings, etchings, manuscripts, paintings and maps of Egypt--1050 color plates in all--making this a volume eminently suitable for both the coffee table and the library. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
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