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In the year 1892, on the recommendation of J. H. Middleton, Slade Professor of Fine Art in the University of Cambridge, the Syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum commissioned me to make a Cataloguei of the Egyptian Antiquities preserved in that Institution. When the Catalogue was printed, Professor Middleton and Professor Robertson Smith were of the opinion that the detailed descriptions of the antiquities should be prefaced by an INTRODUCTION, of sufficient length to contain a summary of the history of Egypt, with a list of the cartouches of the principal kings and a series of short chapters, containing such information as would enable the student to use the Catalogue with advantage, and at the same time acquire the principal facts concerning Egyptian funerary archaeology. As a result of the suggestions as to what the INTRODUCTION should contain, the manuscript of it grew longer and longer, and when the question of printing arose the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press decided that the INTRODUCTION must be printed as a separate volume.
The collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Fitzwilliam Museum was in 1892 comparatively small, and many classes of funerary antiquities were not represented in it. When it was decided to print the Introduction in a separate volume Professor Middleton and Professor Robertson Smith asked me to include in it descriptions of the objects essential for an Egyptian funeral from good typical examples in the British Museum. I therefore added many paragraphs on the amulets and other objects which formed the equipment of mummies, on the various kinds of coffins, sarcophagi and tombs in which the mummy was laid, and on the furniture found in Egyptian tombs generally.
Whether the possibility of preserving the body for an indefinite period was suggested to the predynastic Egyptians by the sight of the unchanged forms of their dead after years of interment (which may have been due to the dryness of the soil, as some have thought), or whether they wrapped it in skins of beasts or reed mats, or, in dynastic times, embalmed it as the result of their unbroken and ineradicable belief in a future life and immortality, matters little. The fact remains that the preservation of the body was the chief end and aim of every Egyptian who wished to attain to everlasting life. And it is to the cult of the dead, the predominant feature of which was the preservation of the mummy, that we owe most of our knowledge of the Egyptians for a period of about 5000 years. The papyri buried with mummies instruct us concerning the Egyptian Religion; the scenes, sculptured or painted on the walls of the corridors and chambers in the tombs in which they were laid, enable us to reconstruct the history of the daily life of the Egyptians; and the inscriptions and objects found in the graves and tombs supply us with exact information as to their raids and wars, trade and commerce, professions and handicrafts, avocations and amusements, and their religious and social institutions. Egypt lives again through her dead, i.e. her mummies, and, as the INTRODUCTION which I wrote dealt chiefly with the equipment of mummies, it was decided to call it when in published form The Mummy, and to add as an explanatory title Chapters on Egyptian funereal Archaeology. The book was published by the University Press, Cambridge, in the early autumn of 1893. The first edition was exhausted in a few months, and a reprint was issued in the following winter; many of the Chapters were translated into Arabic and published in periodicals and newspapers in Egypt, and, if their editors could have obtained electrotypes of the illustration blocks, an Arabic translation of the complete work would have been printed in Cairo.
1 A Catalogue of the Egyptian Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Cambridge University Press 1893.
As years passed the discoveries of natives and Europeans in Egypt made the rewriting of the section of The Mummy that dealt with the history of Egypt necessary, and many of the purely archaeological paragraphs were found to need revision and expansion. I had collected much new material and was contemplating a new edition of the book, revised and enlarged, when the War broke out and so the idea was dropped. In 1923 I raised the question of a new edition with the Syndics of the Cambridge Press, and was rejoiced to hear from their Secretary, Mr. S. C. Roberts, that they were prepared to consider the matter favourably. I had thought of retaining all the illustrations in the first edition of The Mummy and as much of the letterpress as possible; but I learned that during the War the stereotype plates had been requisitioned by the Government and melted down for military purposes. Thus it became necessary to rewrite the book, and to supplement such illustrations as were worth reproducing with a series of new black-and-white ones and half-tone plates. Thanks to the friendly help and courtesy of Mr. Roberts and the technical assistance of Mr. W. Lewis, Printer to the University, arrangements were quickly made, and the present edition of The Mummy is the result.
The section dealing with the History of Egypt has been rewritten and the same may be said of the List of the royal Cartouches. Important discoveries have been made in Egypt during the thirty-two years which have elapsed since they were written, and it is now possible to give a nearly connected account of the history of the country from the late Neolithic to the Roman Period. Comparatively little has been done to clear away the difficulties that beset every attempt to formulate a system of Chronology, chiefly because the Egyptians were not skilled chronographers, and all the evidence obtainable from the inscriptions indicates that, under the New Empire at least, they possessed very little exact information about the early history of their country. It seems probable that the beginnings dynastic civilization are to be placed somewhere in the fourth millennium before Christ; when the Neolithic Period began and ended is unknown. No exact dating is possible before the seventh century B.C. And if we are to believe, as some authorities do, that the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations were related intimately and were derived from a common source, we must place the beginnings of the dynastic civilization of Egypt in the later rather than the earlier centuries of the fourth millennium before Christ.
As concerning the List of Cartouches given herein, the addition of the Horus names and Nebti names was considered to be unnecessary, for most of them are given in my Book of the Kings of Egypt, 2 vols., London, 1908, and also, with much additional information, in Gauthier's Le Livre des Rois d'Égypte, Paris, 1907-17. Many Nesubåti and Son-of-Rā names have been added, and thanks to the labours of the American excavators at Nûrî and other places near the ruins of Napata, the capital of the earlier native Nubian kingdoms in the Egyptian Sûdân, it has been possible to include those of the successors of Tanutámen. The history of the period of Dynasties XXII-XXIV is obscure, and the order of the succession of their kings is doubtful.
The somewhat lengthy Chapter on the Rosetta Stone has been reprinted with a few additions, for a handy summary of the facts connected with the history of the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphs is as necessary now as when the Chapter was written. The facts collected by Dean Peacock and printed in his Life of Thomas Young, London, 1855, and the extracts from contemporary letters and papers on the subject given by Leitch in his edition of the
Miscellaneous Works by the late Thomas Young, London, 1855, prove that the work of oung on the hieroglyphs and that of Åkerblad on Demotic were of far more importance than is usually attributed to them. Young was the first to realize the phonetic character of Egyptian hieroglyphs, and he was the first to obtain the correct values of several of them. Champollion adopted his methods and used his values, without acknowledgment, and those who were unacquainted with the facts assigned to him the honour and credit due to Young. Many modern writers on Egyptology seem never to have read the facts summarized by Dean Peacock, and therefore repeat the mistake made by their predecessors a century ago. In like manner the valuable service which Lepsius rendered to Champollion's system is usually ignored in modern times. By his "Lettre à M. le Professeur I. Rosellini sur l’Alphabet Hiéroglyphique” (see Annali dell' Instituto Archeologico di Roma, vol. IX, 1837) Lepsius gave to it the coherence which it lacked and set it on a sure foundation.
Many of the sections of The Mummy in which the various classes of antiquities are described have been either rewritten or expanded, e.g. the section on the Scarab. Thanks to the labours of Fabre and his study of the habits of the scarabaeus sacer it is now possible to harmonize the statements about it made by classical writers, and to show why some of the Fathers of the Church, and the Gnostics, both pagan and Christian, regarded it as a symbol of Christ. Many new sections have been added, e.g. Obelisks, Shrouds, Spirit Houses, Foundation Deposits, Wands, Draughts, Hypocephali, etc. During my years of service in the British Museum I kept a list of all the reasonable questions put to me by members of the public, who were seeking information about Egyptian “anticas” either as collectors or as students of Egyptology. Many of these I answered in the Guides to the various Galleries and Rooms, and the answers to a great many others are given in the present work. With two great branches of Egyptian Archaeology, viz. Art and Architecture, I have made no attempt to deal, because I possess no special knowledge of these subjects. It seems to me that, in order to discuss these subjects satisfactorily, a writer on them must posses not only a knowledge of Egyptian, Western Asiatic, and Mediterranean Island Art and Architecture generally, but also much technical knowledge. And he should possess naturally the intuition and sympathy that will enable him to understand and to interpret to others the effect that the ancient craftsman intended to produce on those who saw his work. The professional Egyptologist is far too busy with his texts
to deal adequately with Egyptian Art, even supposing that he is endowed by nature with the necessary qualifications. Much excellent work has been done for Egyptian Art and Architecture by Perrot and Chipiez (A History of Art in Ancient Egypt, 2 vols., London, 1883), by Prisse d'Avennes (Histoire de l'art Égyptien, Paris, 1878-9), by Maspero (Ars una species mille, Histoire générale de l'art. Égypte, Paris, 1912), and by Jean Capart (L'art Égyptien, Paris, 1909–11; Les Débuts de l'Art en Égypte, Brussels, 1904; Leçons sur l’Art Égyptien, Liége, 1920), but very much more remains to be done, especially in connection with proving or disproving the alleged relationship of the Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia with the Art and Architecture of Egypt. Mr. E. Bell's Architecture of Ancient Egypt, London, 1924, affords much solid information about Egyptian Architecture, and forms a useful introduction to Capart's great work L’Art Égyptien, of which the first volume has already appeared (Brussels, 1924); the section L'Architecture will be indispensable to every student.
In this enlarged edition of The Mummy seventy-five “black-andwhite” illustrations and thirty-nine plates, containing about 194 reproductions (from specially made photographs) of typical objects in the British Museum, are given. These objects, as well as those described throughout the book, have been chosen from the National Collection, because the British Museum is open to the public for several hours daily, to say nothing of Sundays, and collectors and students can see and study the objects exhibited there without let or hindrance.
My thanks are due to the Trustees of the British Museum for permission to photograph the fine series of Egyptian antiquities reproduced on the Frontispiece and Plates I-XXXVIII, and for the copies of some of the early funerary objects and stelae published by them in Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian Stelae, &c., in the British Museum, London, 1911-25. For lists of works dealing with Egyptian History and Archaeology generally, the reader is referred to the excellent classified Bibliography published in The Cambridge Ancient History, vols. I-III, Cambridge, 1923 f.
E. A. WALLIS BUDGE
48 BLOOMSBURY STREET, BEDFORD SQUARE, W.C. I
September 19, 1925