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The Rock Tombs of El Amarna; Archaeological Survey of Egypt edited by F. Ll. Griffith: Thirteenth-Eighteenth Memoir: Parts I....[through] Part VI
London: Archaeological Survey of Egypt / Egypt Exploration Fund, 1908. First Edition. Cloth over boards. Near Fine. Norman de Garis Davies. Folios (12 1/2" x 10 3/8"), VI volumes [of VIII]; grey paper covered boards with tan cloth spine; numerous engraved plates of scale plans, line drawings, and B&W photos: Part I--The Tomb of Meryra (56pp. & 42 plates); Part II.--The Tombs of Panehesy and Meryra II (1-48pp. & 47 plates); Part III.--The Tombs of Huya and Ahmes (1-41pp. & 39 plates); Part IV.--Tombs of Penthu, Mahu, and Others (1-36pp. & 45 plates); Part V.--Smaller Tombs and Boundary Stelae (1-37pp. & 44 plates); Part VI.--Tombs of Parennefer, Tutu, and Ay (1-44pp. & 44 plates). 16 lbs. 4 oz. Rare, magnificently and accurately illustrated, indispensible original edition with detailed and exceptionally clean plates of the earliest excavations by Norman de Garis Davies of El Amarna--the city built in the desert by the controversial monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaten near the end of the 18th Dynasty. Because of the widespread destruction of records and artifacts relating to the Pharaoh Akhenaten, his beautiful wife Queen Nefertiti, and his son Tutankhamon--caused by centuries of erosion, robbers, and recently by religiously-inspired vandals at a museum directly across the Nile from Amarna, this series of excellently executed records has even greater importance now than when it was initially published. Norman de Garis Davies, (1865-1941) was a wealthy Englishman and former Unitarian minister who gave up being a pastor for his love of archaeology and associated artistic renderings. Davies was initially active at Tell el Amarna from 1903 to 1907. There, he worked various non-royal and royal grave groups a few miles from the Central City, as well as the royal necropolis of the royal grave (no. 26) and graves no. 27-30. These graves were located in the northern limestone mountains nearly 100-feet up on the steep slope of the desert mountain edge. In his capacity of Field Director / Survey Project of the Archaeological Survey, Davies published layouts of the graves of officials at Tell el-Amarna in the Archeological Survey in 6 "Memoirs" from 1903 to 1908, which we offer here. Between 1905 and 1907, Davies also worked for George Andrew Reisner in Geza and James Henry Breasted in Nubia. In 1906, Norman became engaged to Anna (nick-named "Nina") Macpherson Cummingson, and they married on October 8th, 1907. She is noted for the quality of her architectural drawings and recreations. In 1912, Norman de Garis Davies was awarded the Leibniz Medal of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. The husband-&-wife archaeological-and-artistic studies of ancient Egypt continued throughout their lives. Among their subsequent famous publications, we note Nina's drawings for the MMA from the grave of Djehuty kt 45 (1908). When Egyptologist Alan H. Gardiner saw Nina's work, he became so impressed that he agreed in 1909 to buy as many pictures of her work as he could afford. Thereafter, considerable acclaim attended their Thebes Tomb Series (TTS) in five editions of the "Memoirs" of the EDF from 1915-1933. In addition, for the 1926-27 archaeological excavation season, Norman and Nina received permission from the MMA to help the Egypt Exploration Society in Tell el-Amarna. Their work followed excavations begun by Henri Frankfort in November 1926. Charles K. Wilkinson, who had belonged since 1920 to the graphic department of the Metropolitan Museum, made a series of preliminary drawings, while Norman and Nina made color copies. This work resulted in the book: The Mural Painting of el-'Amarna, which Henri Frankfort issued in 1929 and to which Norman contributed a chapter. Nina also published color copies of the frescoes in the northern palace, and together they were represented by other drawings. Because of thievery, the frescoes were removed later and the fragments brought to the museum in Cairo. Her drawings became an important source for reconstructing the entirety. Norman De Garis Davies died in his sleep of heart failure at Oxford on 4 November 1941. Continuing to work on their unfinished projects throughout the Second World War, Nina prepared Norman's work on the Temple of Hibis. She put together the material and let the drawings photographed. Finally, she sent everything to the Metropolitan Museum. Unfortunately, in their publication of 1953, her earlier work found no mention: see, Part III, The Decoration. Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York. 1953. Nina & Norman's Egyptian collection was bequeathed to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and his books to the University College, London. His written documents went to the Griffith Institute. According to Martin Fitzenreiter: Contemporary Art, 2002: "The works by this artist-Egyptologist belong without question to the best that can be achieved by the art of copyists. The accuracy of the strokes, especially the delicacy of color rendering their work of many years of empathy with the nature and art of ancient Egyptian paintings are still unmatched by any technical recording method of the "soul" to mention. " Pharaoh Akhenaten's almost 20-year-long controversial reign appears in Egyptian history as a "cultural revolution" in theology and art. Typically, the pharoah was represented stylistically with an elongated face with feminized features: full lips, a narrow waist, wide hips, a bulbous belly and thighs, and developing breasts. A few statues also show him sexless. The pharaoh and his wife were also depicted with peculiarly long thin fingers and toes. The king was often accompanied by his family as a tender father and lover of his wife Nefertiti whom he embraced. Other scenes depicted him with his children, six princesses, with whom he played. The royal figures of Akhenaten and his wife were often slightly clothed, sometimes naked. A central reference point of Akhenaten's new religion was the light, represented by the sun. In most pictures, one finds representations of the Aten, the sun god, depicted as a stylized sun disk, whose rays flow in life-giving hands. Nefertiti and various high officials are also shown receiving the presence of the Aten. As high priest and embodiment of the Aten, Akhenaten also wrote a solar hymn, which he dedicated in the grave of Eje (Ay). His sun hymn was identified by the French Egyptologist Urbain Bouriant by closely comparing the Davies' engravings with the archaeology (published 1884; rev. 1908). In addition, five shorter hymns to Aton were identified in the graves of Meryre I, Tutu, Mahu, Ipi (Apy) and No. 23. Seymour de Ricci (1881-1942) was a bibliographer and historian--often of French subjects--who collaborated with Davies' on the text of The Rock Tombs of El-Amarna: The tomb of Meyra (1905) and its continuation with the Tombs of Parennefer, Tutu, and Ay (1908). (Some referenes: Obituary of de Garis Davies by Alan H. Gardiner in "The Journal of Egyptian Archeaelogy, Vol. 28, Dec. 1942; Nigel Strudwick: Nina de Garis Davies; Obituary in "The Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art"; N. de Garis Davies at the Metropolitan Museum; Alan H. Gardiner: N. de Garis Davies In: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 28, 1942, pp 59-60: Wikipedia article on Norman de Garis Davies in German.).
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Last Found On: 2017-06-22           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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