The Italian son of a barber. A failed hydraulic engineer. A giant who performed feats of strength and agility in the circus. Giovanni Belzoni (1778–1824) was all of these before going on to become one of the most controversial figures in the history of Egyptian archaeology. A man of exceptional size with an ego of comparable proportions, he procured for the British Museum some of its largest and still awe-inspiring treasures. Today, however, the typical museum visitor knows nothing of Belzoni, and many modern archaeologists dismiss him as an ignorant vandal. In this captivating new biography, Ivor Noël Hume re-creates an early nineteenth century in which there was no established archaeological profession, only enormous opportunity. Belzoni landed in Egypt, where he was unsuccessful in selling a hydraulic machine of his own invention, and came under the patronage of diplomat Henry Salt, who convinced him to travel to Thebes in search of artifacts. Among the many treasures Belzoni would bring back was the seven-ton stone head of Ramesses II, the "Young Memnon." The book includes gripping accounts of Belzoni’s wildly productive, and physically brutal, expeditions, as well as an unforgettable portrait of his wife, Sarah, who suffered the hardships of the Egyptian deserts and later bore the brunt of the disillusionment that came with the declining popular perception of her husband. Including numerous illustrations, many in color, this volume brings one of archaeology’s most fascinating figures vividly to life.
The Circus Strongman Who Discovered Egypt's Ancient Treasure
Author: Stanley Mayes
Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
The truly extraordinary life story of Giovanni Belzoni: engineer, barber, monk, actor and strongman in a circus, where he earned his title, ‘The Great Belzoni’, who became one of the giants of 19th century Egyptian archaeology. Sometimes maligned as a tomb robber, Giovanni Battista Belzoni is perhaps the most important and yet least remembered explorer and archaeologist of the last two hundred years. After a failed business venture in Egypt, attempting to sell a patent water wheel to the Pasha, he undertook one of the most ambitious archaeological projects ever. Under seeming impossible conditions, Belzoni transported the colossal granite head of Ramesses II from Thebes to England, where it is now one of the treasures of the British Museum. He went on to excavate the great temple of Abu Simbel, discover six major royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, including that of Seti I, and provide the British Museum with a spectacular collection of Egyptian antiquities. Giovanni Belzoni was the first person to penetrate the heart of the second pyramid at Giza and the first European to visit the oasis of Siwah and discover the ruined city of Berenice on the Red Sea. His exhibitions and best-selling memoirs made him a major celebrity in Regency London where he was a huge influence on the vogue for Egyptian style in art, design and architecture. In 1823, at the age of forty-five, Belzoni died of fever trying to reach the mysterious city of Timbuktu.
Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nubia
Author: Giovanni Battista Belzoni
Republished for the first time in unabridged form, Belzoni's travel journal recreates the magical atmosphere of Egypt in 1815 to 1819. Belzoni was the first to enter and describe monuments such as the temple at Abu Simbel, and the tomb of Seti I.
Tomb Robbers, Tourists, and Archaeologists in Egypt, Revised and Updated
Author: Brian Fagan
Publisher: Basic Books
Category: Social Science
The scandalous rape of Ancient Egypt is a historical vignette of greed, vanity, and dedicated archaeological research. It is a tale vividly told by renowned archaeology author, Brian Fagan, with characters that include the ancient historian Herodotus; Theban tomb robbers; obelisk-stealing Romans; Coptic Christians determined to erase the heretical past; mummy traders; leisured antiquarians; major European museums; Giovanni Belzoni, a circus strongman who removed more antiquities than Napoleon's armies; shrewd consuls and ruthless pashas; and archaeologists such Sir Flinders Petrie who changed the course of Egyptology.This is the first thoroughly revised edition of The Rape of the Nile - Fagan's classic account of the cavalcade of archaeologists, thieves, and sightseers who have flocked to the Nile Valley since ancient times. Featured in this edition are new accounts of stunning recent discoveries, including the Royal Tombs of Tanis, the Valley of Golden Mummies at Bahariya, the Tomb of the Sons of Ramses, and the sunken city of Alexandria (whose lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). Fagan concludes with a clear-eyed assessment of the impact of modern mass tourism on archaeological sites and artifacts.
Cited in virtually every colonial-era site study of North America, A Guide to Artifacts of Colonial America holds a place of honor among historical archaeologists. It is a classic, highly sought-after handbook for the professional archaeologist, museum curator, antiques dealer, collector, or social historian. Though first published more than thirty years ago, Ivor Noel Hume's guide continues to be the most useful and accurate reference on the identification of artifacts recovered from Anglo-American colonial sites. This edition contains a new preface, updated references, and corrections based on recent scholarship, in addition to the original 102 photographs and line drawings. With a list of forty-three categories, including buttons, cutlery, stoneware, and firearms, collectors and curators of early American artifacts will find this book insightful, informative, and indispensable. An acclaimed archaeologist and historian, Noël Hume understands the interests of both professionals and enthusiasts. He manages to combine out-of-the-ordinary information with a lively presentation. His extensive knowledge and experience make this richly detailed text communicate something beyond the facts—the reality of other times, places, and cultures.
No study of the modern exploration of ancient Egypt is complete without the extraordinary work of Giovanni Belzoni. Once a circus strongman, trained as an engineer, he spent many years abroad in Egypt and Nubia studying the ancient ruins and shipping antiquities back to Europe. Though once considered a tomb robber, recent re-evaluations of Belzoni have given him credit for his remarkably keen powers of observation and, for his time, careful excavation methods and recording. A larger-than-life character, Belzoni was a true adventurer-explorer during a time of nationalist competition between the European powers for the best antiquities. This exciting and detailed account of his two journeys to Egypt and Nubia is a treasure of Egyptology. For the first time, this long out-of-print volume is available as an affordable, well-formatted book for e-readers and smartphones. Be sure to LOOK INSIDE by clicking the cover above or download a sample.
Bernardino Drovetti was the French consul in Egypt for most of the early 19th century. After an important career in the Napoleonic army, he came to Egypt in 1803 where he was to play a leading role in many fields: diplomacy, politics, archaeology and exploration, amassing no fewer than three collections of antiquities.
The Life of James Henry Breasted and the Creation of His Oriental Institute
Author: Jeffrey Abt
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
James Henry Breasted (1865–1935) had a career that epitomizes our popular image of the archaeologist. Daring, handsome, and charismatic, he traveled on expeditions to remote and politically unstable corners of the Middle East, helped identify the tomb of King Tut, and was on the cover of Time magazine. But Breasted was more than an Indiana Jones—he was an accomplished scholar, academic entrepreneur, and talented author who brought ancient history to life not just for students but for such notables as Teddy Roosevelt and Sigmund Freud. In American Egyptologist, Jeffrey Abt weaves together the disparate strands of Breasted’s life, from his small-town origins following the Civil War to his evolution into the father of American Egyptology and the founder of the Oriental Institute in the early years of the University of Chicago. Abt explores the scholarly, philanthropic, diplomatic, and religious contexts of his ideas and projects, providing insight into the origins of America’s most prominent center for Near Eastern archaeology. An illuminating portrait of the nearly forgotten man who demystified ancient Egypt for the general public, American Egyptologist restores James Henry Breasted to the world and puts forward a brilliant case for his place as one of the most important scholars of modern times.
A Research Guide to the Ancient World: Print and Electronic Sources is a partially annotated bibliography that covers the study of the ancient world, and closes the traditional subject gap between the humanities and the social sciences in this area of study. This book is the only bibliographic resource available for such holistic coverage.
And of a Journey to the Coast of the Red Sea in Search of the Ancient Berenice, and of Another to the Oasis of Jupiter Ammon
Author: Giovanni Battista Belzoni,Mrs. Belzoni (Sarah)
After briefly studying hydraulics in Rome, the young Belzoni spent several years leading a vagabond existence and eventually ended up in London as a professional muscleman. Traveling with a troupe of entertainers, Belzoni was on his way to Constantinople when he learned there was a need for hydraulic engineers in Egypt. While there, he befriended the British consul, who eventually offered him a position working in archaeology for the British government. Belzoni's discoveries, many of which are now housed in the British Museum, made him a celebrity in England. Over time his interest turned from the recovery of individual objects to the excavation and recording of monuments. Upon his return to Europe in 1819, Belzoni wrote of his archaeological discoveries in his "Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries within the Pyramids," which was published along with a set of forty-four images that he faithfully copied from various Egyptian tombs. The book was a tremendous success and was soon translated into French and Italian as well as edited into a smaller edition aimed at a more popular audience. -- MMA website.
This book identifies a strand of what it calls "Accidental Orientalism" in narratives by Italians who found themselves in Ottoman Egypt and Anatolia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through historical accident and who wrote about their experiences in Italian, English, and French. Among them are young woman, Amalia Nizzoli, who learned Arabic, conversed the inhabitants of an Ottoman-Egpytian harem, and wrote a memoir in Italian; a young man, Giovanni Finati, who converted to Islam, passed as Albanian in Muhammad Ali's Egypt, and published his memoir in English; a strongman turned antiquarian, Giovanni Belzoni, whose narrative account in English documents the looting of antiquities by Europeans in Egypt ; a princess and patriot, Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso, who lived in exile in Anatolia and wrote in French condemning the Ottoman harem and proposing social reforms in in the Ottoman empire; and an early twentieth century anarchist and anti-colonialist, Leda Rafanelli, who converted to Islam, wrote prolifically, and posed before the camera in an Orient of her own fashioning. Crossing class, gender, dress, and religious boundaries as they move about the Mediterranean basin, their accounts variously reconfigure, reconsolidate, and often destabilize the imagined East-West divide. Ranging widely on an affective spectrum from Islamophobia to Islamophilia, their narratives are the occasion for the book's reflection on the practices of cultural cross-dressing, conversion to Islam, and passing and posing as Muslim on the part of Italians who had themselves the object of an Orientalization on the part of Northern Europeans, and whose language had long been the lingua franca of the Mediterranean.
An Encyclopedia of Mummies in History, Religion, and Popular Culture
Author: Matt Cardin
Perfect for school and public libraries, this is the only reference book to combine pop culture with science to uncover the mystery behind mummies and the mummification phenomena. • Includes photographs, reproductions of ancient art, images from films and television, and a bibliography to encourage further research • Features profiles of famous archaeologists and key figures who have been instrumental in bringing the mummy to modern consciousness • Contains various timelines tracing the exploration of the Egyptian tombs, the birth of modern genetic and radiologic methods of study, the evolution of mummies in film and literature, and the history of mummies around the world • Highlights key facts and interesting trivia related to mummies in helpful sidebars • Offers an extensive bibliography to encourage further reading
"A rich, quietly artful novel that is bound for deep water, with questions of beauty, power and spiritual navigation as its main concerns. The title refers not to the right side of a boat but to the right course through life, and the immense difficulty of finding and following it."--Janet Maslin, The New York Times A powerful first novel about life and death, friendship and love, as one young man must navigate the depths of his emotions. JASON PROSPER grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship. When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason's life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends. Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.
Roanoke to James Towne : an Archaeological and Historical Odyssey
Author: Ivor Noël Hume
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
In The Virginia Adventure, Noel Hume turns his attention to the two earliest English settlements in Virginia, Roanoke and James Towne, with fascinating results. Combining information gathered through excavations of the sites with contemporary accounts from journals, letters, and official records of the period, the author illuminates the exploits of Sir Walter Raleigh, Captain John Smith, and Powhatan; the life and death of Pocahontas; and the dissapearance of the Roanoke colony.
Ferdinand Ward, the Greatest Swindler of the Gilded Age
Author: Geoffrey C. Ward
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Documents the story of Gilded Age con artist Ferdinand Ward, recounting how his large-scale pyramid operation and other sensational schemes triggered one of the greatest financial scandals in American history.
A History of Egyptology: 1: From Antiquity to 1881
Author: Jason Thompson
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press
The discovery of ancient Egypt and the development of Egyptology are momentous events in intellectual and cultural history. The history of Egyptology is the story of the people, famous and obscure, who constructed the picture of ancient Egypt that we have today, recovered the Egyptian past while inventing it anew, and made a lost civilization comprehensible to generations of enchanted readers and viewers thousands of years later. This, the first of a three-volume survey of the history of Egyptology, follows the fascination with ancient Egypt from antiquity until 1881, tracing the recovery of ancient Egypt and its impact on the human imagination in a saga filled with intriguing mysteries, great discoveries, and scholarly creativity. Wonderful Things affirms that the history of ancient Egypt has proved continually fascinating, but it also demonstrates that the history of Egyptology is no less so. Only by understanding how Egyptology has developed can we truly understand the Egyptian past.
The True Story of the Original Tom Sawyer--And of the Mysterious Fires That Baptized Gold Rush-Era San Francisco
Author: Robert Graysmith
Publisher: Broadway Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Traces the lesser-known story of a volunteer fireman, marine engineer and poker buddy of Mark Twain who inspired the character of Tom Sawyer, describing his pivotal contributions to the hunt for a serial arsonist in 1850s San Francisco. 30,000 first printing.
A life of adventure and military daring on violent frontiers across the American West, Africa, Mexico, and the Klondike. Frederick Russell Burnham’s (1861–1947) amazing story resembles a newsreel fused with a Saturday matinee thriller. One of the few people who could turn his garrulous friend Theodore Roosevelt into a listener, Burnham was once world-famous as “the American scout.” His expertise in woodcraft, learned from frontiersmen and Indians, helped inspire another friend, Robert Baden-Powell, to found the Boy Scouts. His adventures encompassed Apache wars and range feuds, booms and busts in mining camps around the globe, explorations in remote regions of Africa, and death-defying military feats that brought him renown and high honors. His skills led to his unusual appointment, as an American, to be Chief of Scouts for the British during the Boer War, where his daring exploits earned him the Distinguished Service Order from King Edward VII. After a lifetime pursuing golden prospects from the deserts of Mexico and Africa to the tundra of the Klondike, Burnham found wealth, in his sixties, near his childhood home in southern California. Other men of his era had a few such adventures, but Burnham had them all. His friend H. Rider Haggard, author of many best-selling exotic tales, remarked, “In real life he is more interesting than any of my heroes of romance.” Among other well-known individuals who figure in Burnham’s story are Cecil Rhodes and William Howard Taft, as well as some of the wealthiest men of the day, including John Hays Hammond, E. H. Harriman, Henry Payne Whitney, and the Guggenheim brothers. Failure and tragedy streaked his life as well, but he was endlessly willing to set off into the unknown, where the future felt up for grabs and values worth dying for were at stake. Steve Kemper brings a quintessential American story to vivid life in this gripping biography.
"In the 25 years since [Stern] published his first book, younger Jewish writers have run with a similar shtick . . . But Stern was there first." —The Toronto Globe and Mail The Book of Mischief triumphantly showcases twenty-five years of outstanding work by one of our true masters of the short story. Steve Stern's stories take us from the unlikely old Jewish quarter of the Pinch in Memphis to a turn-of-thecentury immigrant community in New York; from the market towns of Eastern Europe to a down-at-the-heels Catskills resort. Along the way we meet a motley assortment of characters: Mendy Dreyfus, whose bungee jump goes uncannily awry; Elijah the prophet turned voyeur; and the misfit Zelik Rifkin, who discovers the tree of dreams. Perhaps it's no surprise that Kafka's cockroach also makes an appearance in these pages, animated as they are by instances of bewildering transformation. The earthbound take flight, the meek turn incendiary, the powerless find unwonted fame. Weaving his particular brand of mischief from the wondrous and the macabre, Stern transforms us all through the power of his brilliant imagination.