PRINT Summer 1966

Ancient Egyptian Art at the Lowie Museum

DURING THE HUNDRED YEARS between the acquisitions gathered by Napoleon’s expeditions in 1799 (and ceded to the British after the French defeat at Alexandria in 1801) and the University of California’s excavations at Gizeh in 1899, Egyptian archaeology had been almost exclusively a European pursuit, and except for the Cairo Museum after 1858, the principal, or at any rate ultimate, beneficiaries of both private and institutionally sponsored excavation had been the great national museums of Europe, with the British Museum, the Louvre and the Berlin Museum definitely in the lead.

It is to Auguste Mariette, the great French Egyptological scholar of the mid-19th century, that Egypt owes the supremacy of her own Cairo National Museum among the world’s Egyptological collections. For it was Mariette who in 1858 negotiated the institution of the Service of Egyptian Antiquities as a bureau of the

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