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DESCRIPTION: Of all the maps in my collection and in these four books of monographs, this map is my overall favorite! This map was discovered in an antique shop and bought by Cardinal Borgia for his museum in Velletri.
It seeks to give the idea not only of the geography of the different countries, but also of their ethnography, natural conditions and religion, and of the most momentous periods of their history.
The orientation of the mappa mundi towards the South is perhaps the first aspect that surprises and intrigues the modern spectator who is used to North-oriented maps, and who is therefore disoriented by the effort required to identify landmasses which not only have 500-year-old outlines, but which are also turned a€?upside down,a€? thus losing their familiar shapes. One of the major attractions of the map are the myriad of miniature drawings reminiscent of much earlier maps such as the Hereford and Ebstorf mappamundi (#224, #226), as well as the 1448 world map by Andreas Waslperger (#245) and the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235). In the far east, within two square regions surrounded by mountains and oriental-looking towers or fortifications, are the captions: a€?The province of Gog, in which, at the time of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians, the Jews were encloseda€? and a€?Magog in these two [regions] are huge peoples, giants, full of all evil customs. Culturally, towns are represented by castellated symbols, a variety of ship-types can be seen in the circumfluent ocean, the Magi of the Gospel story is included and even the Mongolian invasion is illustrated. Nearby is a depiction of what was intended to be an elephant, but turned out to look more like a pig with a vuvuzela on its snout (right). As in all the best works of fantasy, the utterly surreal crops up next to the banal, giving a whiff of the Mad Hattera€™s tea party.
The map goes a long way towards explaining why there were no southern Germans among those who set off across the Atlantic or round the Cape of Good Hope. As you stare at the Borgia Map, it is not difficult to become intoxicated by dreams of a journey to Ergauil or Fudaur or the State of Cambalec, which appears to have a common frontier with Paradise.
Manoscritti Slavi Documenti e Carte Riguardanti la Storia Bulgara della Biblioteca Apostolica Vatacana e dela€™Archivio Segreto Vaticano (IX-XVII secolo), 1979, #24, Plate LVII, book jacket.
Wittkower, Rudolf, a€?Marvels of the East: A Study in the History of Monsters,a€? Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942), note 6 on p.
2.This region is mountainous and uninhabitable on account of the excessive cold, because it is under the North Pole. 36.These provinces are flat, and deserted on account of the fighting of the Pagans against the Christians. 38.Here dwell the Scythians or poor Tartars who through want sell their children and parents in the markets just as cattle amongst Christians.
57.Here in Alunnia in 432, Attila King of the Huns fought against the Romans and 180,000 were killed of both sides.
91.Battle of CannA¦ in which Hannibal slew 44,000 Romans, and collected from the soldiers three modia (bushels) of golden rings. Besides letting us save energy by living a comfortable walking distance from many of the things we do, human scale architecture helps us feel comfortable as we move through the city and experience the interiors of buildings. If our cities pinch, wea€™ve got problems that manifest themselves as increases in violent crime rates, respiratory illnesses, infant mortality rates, and school attrition rates. We live in a world of more than 6 billion humans and the concept of human scale cities becomes very important as the worlds populations continue to grow. Likewise, we cannot simply ignore human scale design issues by allowing everyone to sprawl their dwellings over the landscape.
When great cities fall, their failure extends deeply into the countryside and rural villages that depend upon them for supplies, tools and services. A noble goal for human scale cities is to make them operate entirely with renewable energy. As we minimize our need for energy, we begin to make it possible to derive that energy entirely from renewable sources. As a child, while visiting the city of New York, I was awe struck with the size of the buildings.
Billboards and advertising line our main thoroughfares in attempts to capture the attention of motorists who should be paying more attention to traffic conditions. In cities with high human population densities, elevators, buses, trains and bicycles become essential public transportation devices that allow human scale infrastructure to survive. If they are not thinking too much about it, people often try to sit a comfortable distance away from strangers. Cities with big parks and adequate organic spaces alleviate some of the feelings of compression resulting from loss of personal space.
There is value in allowing other animals to live with us within the boundaries of the city. Vanishing point perspectives achieved with line, form, and color add to the value achieved by having real vanishing points due to distant objects appearing small even though we know they are large. The receding wall effect induced by curving walls gives the impression a building is much smaller than it really is.
Based on the assumption people are basically gregarious, human scale design can actually improve the social interactions that make cities great places to live. George Bernard Shaw said a€?The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Though the early Church Fathers were inclined to reject the idea of a globular earth, there were not a few among who found the theory of a circular earth an acceptable one. In illustration of the doctrine of a circular earth, terrestrial globes certainly could not have been thought of as having any practical value.
The rejecting of a€?classicala€™ geography and the impetus and rationale for this theocratic trend, while not originating with Cosmas, was synthesized and exaggerated in his works. Unfortunately, the book which he devoted to a description of countries, and which would have revealed his fine powers of observation, has not survived, like all of his other works - his Astronomical Tables, Commentaries on the Psalms, on the Song of Songs, and on the Gospels.
The Christian Topography contains references to nearly seventy authorities selected from among philosophers, historians, travelers, doctors of the Church, soldiers, and statesmen.
In subsequent Books (II-XII) he fulfills his secondary objective, that of revealing the a€?true doctrinea€? of the universe and the eartha€™s place in it, as defined by Cosmasa€™ interpretation of the Scriptures, confirmed by the Church Fathers (Book X) and even non-Christian sources (Book XII).
The heavens come downward to us in four walls, which, at their lower sides, are welded to the four sides of the earth beyond ocean, each to each. This great dome is divided into two strata by the firmament; from the earth to the firmament is the present dispensation of angels and men containing the land, the sea and the inhabitants of the world, with the angels hovering close to the a€?roofa€? holding the sun, moon and stars which they controlled.
The sun, said Cosmas via Solomon, in rising, turns first toward the north, where it went down, and thence hastened to the place in which it arosea€?. In all this Cosmas passed beyond the position of most of the theologians such as Lactantius (the a€?Christian Ciceroa€? of the third century) who preceded him.
To illustrate this interpretive description of the earth and the universe, the Christian Topography contains, in all probability, the oldest Christian maps to have survived. The world, as expressed by Cosmas on one of his diagrammatic maps shown here, is of course rectangular and flat, and is divided into two parts: present and antediluvian. Concerning the dimensions of the world Cosmas writes: a€?for if, on account of a miserable trade, men now try to go to the Seres, would they not much rather go far beyond, for the sake of Paradise, if there were any hope of reaching it?a€? The Seric or Silk Land, indeed, lay in the most distant recesses of India, far past the Persian Gulf, and even past the island of Ceylon.
Cosmas, like all good Christian geographers, shrank from the idea of an inhabited part of the world in the Antipodes, separated from Christianity by an ocean belt near the equator. In support of the same truth, Cosmas quotes the added testimony of Abraham, David, Hosea, Isaiah, Zachariah and Melchizedek, who clenched the case against the Antipodes - a€?For how, indeed, could even rain be described as a€?fallinga€™ or a€?descendinga€™ in regions where it could only be said to a€?come upa€™?a€? Over against these disproofs of folly and error stands the countless array of evidences for the true tabernacle theory, for the flatness and immutability of earth, founded upon Goda€™s stability, and for the shape of heaven, stretched like a skin-covering over our world, and glued to the edges of it at the horizon. Yet, after all, the Christian Topography will always be remarkable for other than the intended purposes. Unknown artist, A sketch of Cosmasa€™ pattern of the universe, Codex Sinaiticus graecus 1186, fol. Unknown artist, A more detailed sketch of Cosmasa€™ pattern of the universe, Codex Sinaiticus graecus 1186, fol. The rejecting of a€?classicala€™ geography and the impetus and rationale for this theocratic trend, while not originating with Cosmas, was synthesized and exaggerated in his works.A  Both philosophically and cartographically Cosmasa€™ ideas were strictly dictated by his literal interpretation of the Bible. Of these the PheisA?n [Pison] is the river of India, which some call the Indus or Ganges.A  It flows down from regions in the interior, and falls by many mouths into the Indian Sea, enjoying all of the same products as the Nile, from crocodiles to lotus flowers .
Poole, inevitably, was also to take in a match – completing his set of grounds at the first three steps of the national Pyramid.
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NordenskiA¶ld, the Borgia map was probably composed for a secondary purpose to illustrate some instruction in the elements of the globe, or more correctly, in the geography, the natural conditions and ethnography of the earth disc. The Borgia map forms a singularly telling and valuable picture of the conception, in that respect, of the educated classes of Europe at the end of the 14th century and at the beginning of the 15th.
Most of the diagrammatic manuscript mappae mundi of the period 1150-1500 are oriented to the East.
The unknown author could not resist the temptation to tickle the palate of his readers, for he fills the empty, unexplored continental spaces with all manner of legendary and traditional characters.
Elsewhere, there are more accurate renderings of camels, a gazelle, horses and a representation of the distant Seres collecting silk from the trees. Between references, recognizable today, to Polonia and Bayveria, we get a€?The stag, when pressed by dogs, drinks water which it vomits upon them boilinga€?. They would have been all too uneasily aware of what awaited them: in India a€?huge men having horns four feet longa€? and serpents a€?of such magnitude that they can eat an ox wholea€?. Perhaps the most enticing thought of all, though, is that you might one day reach that part of Siberia marked on the map as being a€?The land formerly of illustrious women. An Account of a Copy from the 15th Century Map of the World engraved on metal, Stockholm, 1891. NordenskiA¶ld, An Account of a copy from the 15th century of a map of the world engraved on metal, which is preserved in Cardinal Stephan Borgiaa€™s Museum at Velletri, Stockholm, 1891 (copied from a€?Ymera€?, 1891).
Greece in which Basac conquered the Christians 1395, of whom he beheaded many French nobles. This race considers itself sacred, and they make of themselves a sacrifice, placing a particular head on a pole by the hair, and then they adore it on their knees until it falls.
The great district of Tartary, which the Tartars traverse with their beasts of burden and cattle as long as there is grass. Here they burn the bodies with the implements belonging to them, and the faithful wives cause themselves to be burned along with their husbands. Magog, in these two are races big as giants, full of evil manner, Jews whom King Artaxor collected from all parts.
The river Indus, where there elephants, gold and precious stones innumerable, and no one wants for gold ornaments. Here the Greeks, with the help of a part of the world during ten years, fought against the Trojans and the other part of the world, by whom bya€¦ they destroyed, from which Trojans were made many kingdoms and dominions.
Phoenix, the sole most beautiful and solitary bird in the world, burns itself in an aromatic fire, and in three days is recreated from its ashes.
In these mountains are many princes and kings and they dwell continually in tents, and fight against the Sarecens. The sea, or land, of sand, in which the way is found as at sea, and the people travel under cover lest the wind and sand should destroy them on the way. Abinichibel is king of the Ethiopian Saracens, with his people having the face of a dog, and they go naked on account of the heat of the sun. Nubia of the Chnstians, the seat of Prester John, whose empire extends from the mouth of the Gandis to the river of gold. The part of the earth beneath the torrid zone uninhabitable on account of the excessive heat of the sun.
With a rejection of the spherical theory of the ancients very naturally went the rejection of their globes. Some of his geographic descriptions are to be found as part of the Topographia, and a few fragments of the above writings do exist. Comasa€™ primary objective and motivation in writing the treatise was to discredit the a€?false and heathen doctrine of a spherical eartha€?.
Some of his fellow Christian writers openly declared that it did not matter so far as faith was concerned whether the earth was a sphere, a cylinder or a disc. There is little doubt among scholars that the numerous sketches - of the world, of the northern mountains, of the Antipodes in derision and the rest - which are to be found in the 10th century Florentine manuscript copy were really drawn by Cosmas himself (or under his direction) during the sixth century; and are thus contemporary with the Madaba mosaic map (#121, Book I) and at least two centuries earlier than the map of Albi (#206), or the original sketch of the Spanish monk Beatus (#207).
The theory of such a region, found in some of the pagan writings of the early Greeks and later by the likes of Macrobius (#201), Isidore (#205) and other perpetuators of pagan thought, was impossible, according to Cosmas, on two counts. For many centuries following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, there appears to have been in Christian Europe but little interest in the fundamental principles of geographical or astronomical science. Some of his fellow Christian writers openly declared that it did not matter so far as faith was concerned whether the earth was a sphere, a cylinder or a disc.A  But this sort of rationalizing was not good enough for Cosmas.
Cosmas undertakes, with much else, to explain the symbolism of that Tabernacle in detail.A  In calling it worldly, Cosmas explained, St. Predicated upon the concept of a a€?flat eartha€? and oriented with North at the top and Paradise in the East (right) where the human race dwelt until the Flood when they were transported across the now impassable Ocean.
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Takes credit for others work, which he is known for widely in the area, not just my observation.
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With regard to the designs and legends occurring on the map, one must look for further in Arnold Hermann Heerena€™s 1808 monograph and Santarema€™s work. Even more noteworthy, and in this respect it is almost unique among medieval maps, is the fact that it seems to have been drawn, not by some scholar through the study of older authorities, more or less classical, but by a much traveled and observant man, recording what he had seen and heard. But among the maps contemporary with that of the Borgia mappa mundi is the 1448 world map of Andreas Walsperger (#245), the 1459 Fra Mauro world map (#249), and the Zeitz mappa mundi (#251) of the last quarter of that century are all oriented to the South.
Zoologically, there are fauna in all three of Wilma Georgea€™s a€?regionsa€™: Ethiopian, Oriental, and Palearctic displayed on the Borgia map. The coasts of the Black and Mediterranean Seas follow ancient and medieval tradition; indeed, the map seems very medieval in form.
Surprisingly, unlike many other maps with this degree of illustration, little or no emphasis is given to Jerusalem, i.e. In fact, Attila did not become king until 434, and the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields, to which this seems to refer, took place 17 years later.
On the other hand, anyone with an adventurous spirit would surely be tempted by the prospect of finding, in Libya or thereabouts, the a€?fountain of the sun, boiling at night and tepid in the morninga€?. These were doubtless restored in uncertain cases according to the interpretation of Viscomte de Santarem, who, where variations occur, is probably more correct than Arnold Herman Heeren. What was contained in the Scriptures found a more ready acceptance than what was to be found in a€?pagan writersa€?. In the first place, the region, if indeed there was land there, would be uninhabitable because of the withering heat. The theories of the Greeks and the Romans respecting a spherical earth and a spherical firmament encompassing it, in illustration of which they had constructed globes, were not entirely forgotten, but such theories in general were considered to be valueless hindrances rather than helps to the theological beliefs of the new Christian era.
This extensive travel can be substantiated through examination of his detailed description of these areas.A  As a climax to this unusually broad and worldly experience Cosmas embraced Christianity, going so far as to become a religious monk to demonstrate the depth of his conversion. God had once explained to Moses on Mount Sinai exactly how the Tabernacle was to be built, and when it was found in the writings of Saint Paul that there was a passage which could be interpreted to mean that the Tabernacle was a picture of the world, it was quite natural for the Church Fathers to envision the world as a vast tabernacle: a tent with a rectangular base, twice as long as it was broad, and with an arched roof supported by four pillars. If Turkey would stop its bombardments and raids against the PKK in Turkish cities and return to peace talks, we could have a cease-fire on the same day.
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In a time of multiple protracted crises, the gap between humanitarian and development is naturally shrinking; how best to manage that relationship has been a talking point at several World Humanitarian Summit regional consultations.
This recipe calls for the larger yellow thing and, despite this intro proving otherwise, for brevity I’ve called it a swede.
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Its oil reserves are estimated at between 750 million and 1.1 billion tons (6-9 billion barrels) of recoverable oil. One of the first priorities of the work was a complete examination of all previous exploration and excavation in the precinct, particularly that of Margaret Benson carried out in 1895-7. Nothing is known about its origin except that it was purchased in Portugal by Cardinal Stefano Borgia in 1794.
It is this circumstance which bestows upon this, at first sight, a coarse and imperfect work, an entirely distinct significance for study of the development of geography and cartography during the period immediately preceding the great wave of geographical discovery. Thus it is not surprising that, around the mid-15th century, a mappa mundi was oriented to the South. In this respect Ms George states that it a€?formalized exuberance resembling the 12th century maps by populating the Oriental region with camels, jackals or hyenas, an elephant, a panther, lion, dragon and, marginally, in the region, some reptiles.a€? An elk or moose appears in Europe from behind some trees, with the tines on the opposing and upper edges of its antlers. Nonetheless, the shape of Africa and northern Asia suggests the influence of Catalan world maps, that is, the reception of new knowledge. Between it and better-known parts of the world, there is an inscription that reads: a€?From here to the ocean, a land uninhabitable on account of cannibalisma€?, which was presumably inserted to deter what is nowadays termed a fact-finding mission.
Somewhere around Gabon, we are informed that a€?Here women hairy and very savage bring forth without malesa€?. And who could resist the chance to look, near the headwaters of the Nile, for the Phoenix (below), which a€?burns itself in an aromatic fire, and in three days is recreated from its ashesa€?? It seems as if a palaeographist had copied the original itself for Santarem, while Heeren only had the a€?Apographona€? at his disposal. Here are an infinite number of precious amber stones, Here also are huge men having horns four feet long, and there are serpents also of such magnitude, that they can eat an ox whole. Isaiaha€™s statement, a€?It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth,a€? was regarded as one altogether adequate on which to found a theory of the form of the earth, and it was accepted by such biblical interpreters as Lactantius, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Diodorus of Tarsus, Chrysostom, Severian of Gabala, by those who were known as the Syrians, by Procopius and Decuil.
Both prophets and apostles, says Cosmas, agree that the Tabernacle was a true copy of the universe, the express image of the visible world.
The GeA?n [Gihon or Nile] again, which rises somewhere in Ethiopia and Egypt, and discharges its waters into our gulf by several mouths, while the Tigris and Euphrates, which have their sources in the regions of Parsarmenia, flow down to the Persian Gulf .
Isidore of Seville in the sixth century.A  Two hundred years later Virgil of Salzburg with Basil and Ambrose agreed that even though it was a delicate subject, it was not necessarily closed to the Church. These are complemented by all of the external accommodation suppliers who have to collect the students’ rent, maintain their buildings and receive their own supplies to do the same.
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According to map scholars such as Leo Bagrow, the Borgia map was modeled on some Catalan map, as a comparison with the Modena map clearly shows.
Some explanations also include the influence of all of the contemporary Islamic cartography, the cosmographical concepts of Aristotle, and, of course, the maritime commercial focus of the Indian Ocean and thus towards the South.
Also there is a polar bear emerging from an igloo in Norway, domesticated reindeer, foxes and wolves to be found. The Portuguese a€?discoveriesa€™ and the west coast of Africa (Cape Bojador, 1434) do not appear. Some of the other historical references are familiar (a€?Battle of Cannae in which Hannibal slew 44,000 Romans and collected from the soldiers three bushels of golden ringsa€?), others less so.
Men, however, such as Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and Philoponos inclined strongly toward the Aristotelian doctrine of a spherical earth.
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For others, because of its rather unusual orientation and its ornamentation, the Borgia map is not unlike a crude precursor to the more famous Fra Mauro mappamundi of 1459 (#249). The confusion of the monstrous and evil peoples Gog and Magog with Jews is typical for the time. How many of us knew that a€?Sinopa conquered many kingdoms and vanquished Hercula, Pampedo and Insipiaa€?? Isidore of Seville (#205) appears to have been a supporter of the spherical doctrine, as was also the Venerable Bede, who, in his De atura rerum, upholds the doctrine of a spherical earth on practically the same grounds as those advanced by Aristotle.
Prior to the beginning of each session, the agents were informed that providing false testimony to the body was unlawful.
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He assigns her to the island to research immortality, and she suspects the key to realizing it lies in the pre-teen Natalia, another prisoner.
Shapcott describes Golf Revolution as the “yoga model”—you join a club and drop in for as much or as little training as you want in a pay-as-you-go way. It was assumed that even an woman amateur with no experience could do little harm at the nearly destroyed Temple of Mut, in a remote location south of the Amun precinct at Karnak. Like other medieval cartographic specimens, the Borgia map has a limited geographical interest; and like other maps from this era, it is a treasure trove of information regarding the historical significance of all areas of the known world.
But, again, because of its purported decorative intent, the result is a very stylized representation in the contours of the major landmasses. It is worth noting that the exile of the Ten Lost Tribes is attributed (as in most medieval sources) not to Salmanassar (II Kings 17), but (incorrectly) to the Persian King Artaxerxes. The BND agents repeatedly insisted that the selectors provided by the US were precisely checked. It's also Natalia who greets Barry when he arrives on the island six months after Claire and Moira's escape attempt, searching for them. The name riffs on Matson's love of traditional folk textiles and patterns that inspire and become incorporated in her work. She worked there for only three seasons from 1895 to 1897 and she published The Temple of Mut in Asher in 1899 2 with Janet Gourlay, who joined her in the second season.
This king, according to the apocryphal fourth book of Ezra or Esdras (7,7) allowed the Jews of his realm to emigrate to the Holy Land, but did not collect them.
But should one wish to examine more elaborately the question of the Antipodes, he would easily find them to be old wivesa€™ fables.A  For if two men on opposite sides placed the soles of their feet each against each, whether they chose to stand on earth or water, on air or fire, or any other kind of body, how could both be found standing upright?A  The one would assuredly be found in the natural upright position, and the other, contrary to nature, head downward. The insurgents want to carve out a separate state governed by their strict interpretation of Islamic law, and some have links to the Islamic State group. In the introduction to that publication of her work she emphasized that it was the first time any woman had been given permission by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities to excavate; she was well aware that it was something of an accomplishment.
The entire southern part of Africa, which would have formed an ugly white excrescence, is omitted; and coastal outlines are either badly distorted for the period (especially well known areas such as Spain and Italy), or simply generalized.
This is the first map known to me to list the iudei inclusi - whom it implicitly identifies as Gog and Magog. We were frankly warned that we should make no discoveries; indeed if any had been anticipated, it was unlikely that the clearance would have been entrusted to inexperienced direction. 3 A Margaret Benson was born June 16, 1865, one of the six children of Edward White Benson. He was first an assistant master at Rugby, then the first headmaster of the newly founded Wellington College.He rose in the service of the church as Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, Bishop of Truro and, finally, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Benson was a learned man with a wide knowledge of history and a serious concern for the education of the young. He was also something of a poet and one of his hymns is still included in the American Episcopal Hymnal.
Arthur Christopher, the eldest, was first a master at Eton and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge. A noted author and poet with an enormous literary output, he published over fifty books, most of an inspirational nature, but he was also the author of monographs on D.
He helped to edit the correspondence of Queen Victoria for publication, contributed poetry to The Yellow Book, and wrote the words to the anthem "Land of Hope and Glory". Most important to the study of the excavator of the Mut Temple, he was the author of The Life and Letters of Maggie Benson, 4 a sympathetic biography which helps to shed some light on her short archaeological career.
He also wrote several reminiscences of his family in which he included his sister and described his involvement in her excavations.
He helped to supervise part of the work and he prepared the plan of the temple which was used in her eventual publication. His younger brother, Robert Hugh Benson, took Holy Orders in the Church of England, later converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in that rite. He also achieved some fame as a novelist and poet and rose to the position of Papal Chamberlain.
Her publication of the excavation is cited in every reference to theTemple of Mut in the Egyptological literature, but she is known to history as a name in a footnote and little else.A Margaret Benson was born at Wellington College during her father's tenure as headmaster. Each career advancement for him meant a move for the family so her childhood was spent in a series of official residences until she went to Oxford in 1883. She was eighteen when she was enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a women's college founded only four years before. One of her tutors commented to his sister that he was sorry Margaret had not been able to read for "Greats" in the normal way. 5 When she took a first in the Women's Honours School of Philosophy, he said, "No one will realize how brilliantly she has done." 6 Since her work was not compared to that of her male contemporaries, it would have escaped noticed.


In her studies she concentrated on political economy and moral sciences but she was also active in many aspects of the college. She participated in dramatics, debating and sports but her outstanding talent was for drawing and painting in watercolor. Her skill was so superior he thought she should be appointed drawing mistress if she remained at Lady Margaret Hall for any length of time.
She began a work titled "The Venture of Rational Faith" which occupied her thoughts for many years.
From the titles alone they suggest a young woman who was deeply concerned with problems of society and the spirit and this preoccupation with the spiritual was to be one of her concerns throughout the rest of her life.
In some of her letters from Egypt it is clear that she was attempting to understand something of the spiritual life of the ancient Egyptians, not a surprising interest for the daughter of a churchman like Edward White Benson.
A In 1885, at the age of twenty, Margaret was taken ill with scarlet fever while at Zermatt in Switzerland.
By the time she was twenty-five she had developed the symptoms of rheumatism and the beginnings of arthritis.
She made her first voyage to Egypt in 1894 because the warm climate was considered to be beneficial for those who suffered from her ailments. Wintering in Egypt was highly recommended at the time for a wide range of illnesses ranging from simple asthma to "mental strain." Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter's sponsor in the search for the tomb of Tutankhamun, was one of the many who went to Egypt for reasons of health. After Cairo and Giza she went on by stages as far as Aswan and the island temples of Philae.
She commented on the "wonderful calm" of the Great Sphinx, the physical beauty of the Nubians, the color of the stone at Philae, the descent of the cataract by boat, which she said was "not at all dangerous".
By the end of January she was established in Luxor with a program of visits to the monuments set out.
I don't feel as if I should have really had an idea of Egypt at all if I hadn't stayed here -- the Bas-reliefs of kings in chariots are only now beginning to look individual instead of made on a pattern, and the immensity of the whole thing is beginning to dawn -- and the colours, oh my goodness! The ancient language and script she found fascinating but she was not as interested in reading classical Arabic. Her interest was maintained by the variety of animal and bird life for at home in England she had been surrounded by domestic animals and had always been keen on keeping pets.
By the time her first stay ended in March, 1894, she had already resolved to return in the fall. When Margaret returned to Egypt in November she had already conceived the idea of excavating a site and thus applied to the Egyptian authorities. Edouard Naville, the Swiss Egyptologist who was working at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Dier el Bahri for the Egypt Exploration Fund, wrote to Henri de Morgan, Director of the Department of Antiquities, on her behalf. From her letters of the time, it is clear that this was one of the most exciting moments of Margaret Benson's life because she was allowed to embark on what she considered a great adventure. A Margaret's physical condition at the beginning of the excavation was of great concern to the family.
A Margaret Benson had no particular training to qualify or prepare her for the job but what she lacked in experience she more than made up for with her "enthusiastic personality" and her intellectual curiosity. In the preface to The Temple of Mut in Asher she said that she had no intention of publishing the work because she had been warned that there was little to find. In the introduction to The Temple of Mut in Asher acknowledgments were made and gratitude was offered to a number of people who aided in the work in various ways. The professional Egyptologists and archaeologists included Naville, Petrie, de Morgan, Brugsch, Borchardt, Daressy, Hogarth and especially Percy Newberry who translated the inscriptions on all of the statues found.
Lea), 10 a Colonel Esdaile, 11 and Margaret's brother, Fred, helped in the supervision of the work in one or more seasons. A It is usually assumed that Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay worked only as amateurs, with little direction and totally inexperienced help. It is clear from the publication that Naville helped to set up the excavation and helped to plan the work. Hogarth 12 gave advice in the direction of the digging and Newberry was singled out for his advice, suggestions and correction as well as "unwearied kindness." Margaret's brother, Fred, helped his inexperienced sister by supervising some of the work as well as making a measured plan of the temple which is reproduced in the publication. Benson) was qualified to help because he had intended to pursue archaeology as a career, studied Classical Languages and archaeology at Cambridge, and was awarded a scholarship at King's College on the basis of his work. He organized a small excavation at Chester to search for Roman legionary tomb stones built into the town wall and the results of his efforts were noticed favorably by Theodore Mommsen, the great nineteenth century classicist, and by Mr. Benson went on to excavate at Megalopolis in Greece for the British School at Athens and published the result of his work in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. His first love was Greece and its antiquities and it is probable that concern for his sister's health was a more important reason for him joining the excavation than an interest in the antiquities of Egypt.
13A It is interesting to speculate as to why a Victorian woman was drawn to the Temple of Mut. The precinct of the goddess who was the consort of Amun, titled "Lady of Heaven", and "Mistress of all the Gods", is a compelling site and was certainly in need of further exploration in Margaret's time.
Its isolation and the arrangement with the Temple of Mut enclosed on three sides by its own sacred lake made it seem even more romantic. 14 When she began the excavation three days was considered enough time to "do" the monuments of Luxor and Margaret said that few people could be expected to spend even a half hour at in the Precinct of Mut.
A On her first visit to Egypt in 1894 she had gone to see the temple because she had heard about the granite statues with cats' heads (the lion-headed images of Sakhmet).
The donkey-boys knew how to find the temple but it was not considered a "usual excursion" and after her early visits to the site she said that "The temple itself was much destroyed, and the broken walls so far buried, that one could not trace the plan of more than the outer court and a few small chambers". 15 The Precinct of the Goddess Mut is an extensive field of ruins about twenty-two acres in size, of which Margaret had chosen to excavate only the central structure.
Connected to the southernmost pylons of the larger Amun Temple of Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, the Mut precinct contains three major temples and a number of smaller structures in various stages of dilapidation. She noted some of these details in her initial description of the site, but in three short seasons she was only able to work inside the Mut Temple proper and she cleared little of its exterior. Serious study of the temple complex was started at least as early as the expedition of Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century when artists and engineers attached to the military corps measured the ruins and made drawings of some of the statues. During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the great age of the treasure hunters in Egypt, Giovanni Belzoni carried away many of the lion-headed statues and pieces of sculpture to European museums. Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphs, and Karl Lepsius, the pioneer German Egyptologist, both visited the precinct, copied inscriptions and made maps of the remains.16 August Mariette had excavated there and believed that he had exhausted the site. Most of the travelers and scholars who had visited the precinct or carried out work there left some notes or sketches of what they saw and these were useful as references for the new excavation. Since some of the early sources on the site are quoted in her publication, Margaret was obviously aware of their existence. 17A On her return to Egypt at the end of November, 1894, she stopped at Mena House hotel at Giza and for a short time at Helwan, south of Cairo.
Helwan was known for its sulphur springs and from about 1880 it had become a popular health resort, particularly suited for the treatment of the sorts of maladies from which Margaret suffered. People at every turn asked if she remembered them and her donkey-boy almost wept to see her.
A "On January 1st, 1895, we began the excavation" -- with a crew composed of four men, sixteen boys (to carry away the earth), an overseer, a night guardian and a water carrier. The largest the work gang would be in the three seasons of excavation was sixteen or seventeen men and eighty boys, still a sizable number. Before the work started Naville came to "interview our overseer and show us how to determine the course of the work". A A good part of Margaret's time was occupied with learning how to supervise the workmen and the basket boys.
Since her spoken Arabic was almost nonexistent, she had to use a donkey-boy as a translator. It would have been helpful if she had had the opportunity to work on an excavation conducted by a professional and profit from the experience but she was eager to learn and had generally good advice at her disposal so she proceeded in an orderly manner and began to clear the temple. On the second of January she wrote to her mother: "I don't think much will be found of little things, only walls, bases of pillars, and possibly Cat-statues. I shall feel rather like --'Massa in the shade would lay While we poor niggers toiled all day' -- for I am to have a responsible overseer, and my chief duty apparently will be paying. 18A She is described as riding out from the Luxor Hotel on donkey-back with bags of piaster pieces jingling for the Saturday payday.
She had been warned to pay each man and boy personally rather than through the overseer to reduce the chances of wages disappearing into the hands of intermediaries.
The workmen believed that she was at least a princess and they wanted to know if her father lived in the same village as the Queen of England.
When they sang their impromptu work songs (as Egyptian workmen still do) they called Margaret the "Princess" and her brother Fred the "Khedive". A PART II: THE EXCAVATIONSA The clearance was begun in the northern, outer, court of the temple where Mariette had certainly worked. Earth was banked to the north side of the court, against the back of the ruined first pylon but on the south it had been dug out even below the level of the pavement. Mariette's map is inaccurate in a number of respects suggesting that he was not able to expose enough of the main walls. At the first (northern) gate it was necessary for Margaret Benson to clear ten or twelve feet of earth to reach the paving stones at the bottom.
In the process they found what were described as fallen roofing blocks, a lion-headed statue lying across and blocking the way, and also a small sandstone head of a hippopotamus. In the clearance of the court the bases of four pairs of columns were found, not five as on Mariette's map. After working around the west half of the first court and disengaging eight Sakhmet statues in the process, they came on their first important find. Near the west wall of the court, was discovered a block statue of a man named Amenemhet, a royal scribe of the time of Amenhotep II.
The statue is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo 19 but Margaret was given a cast of it to take home to England. When it was discovered she wrote to her father: A My Dearest Papa, We have had such a splendid find at the Temple of Mut that I must write to tell you about it.
We were just going out there on Monday, when we met one of our boys who works there running to tell us that they had found a statue. When we got there they were washing it, and it proved to be a black granite figure about two feet high, knees up to its chin, hands crossed on them, one hand holding a lotus.
20A The government had appointed an overseer who spent his time watching the excavation for just such finds.
He reported it to a sub-inspector who immediately took the block statue away to a store house and locked it up. He said it was hard that Margaret should not have "la jouissance de la statue que vous avez trouve" and she was allowed to take it to the hotel where she could enjoy it until the end of the season when it would become the property of the museum. The statue had been found on the pavement level, apparently in situ, suggesting to the excavator that this was good evidence for an earlier dating for the temple than was generally believed at the time. The presence of a statue on the floor of a temple does not necessarily date the temple, but many contemporary Egyptologists might have come to the same conclusion.
One visitor to the site recalled that a party of American tourists were perplexed when Margaret was pointed out to them as the director of the dig. At that moment she and a friend were sitting on the ground quarreling about who could build the best sand castle. This was probably not the picture of an "important" English Egyptologist that the Americans had expected.
A As work was continued in the first court other broken statues of Sakhmet were found as well as two seated sandstone baboons of the time of Ramesses III.
21 The baboons went to the museum in Cairo, a fragment of a limestone stela was eventually consigned to a store house in Luxor and the upper part of a female figure was left in the precinct where it was recently rediscovered.
The small objects found in the season of 1895 included a few coins, a terra cotta of a reclining "princess", some beads, Roman pots and broken bits of bronze. Time was spent repositioning Sakhmet statues which appeared to be out of place based on what was perceived as a pattern for their arrangement.
Even if they were correct they could not be sure that they were reconstructing the original ancient placement of the statues in the temple or some modification of the original design. In the spirit of neatness and attempting to leave the precinct in good order, they also repaired some of the statues with the aid of an Italian plasterer, hired especially for that purpose. A Margaret was often bed ridden by her illnesses and she was subject to fits of depression as well but she and her brother Fred would while away the evenings playing impromptu parlor games.
For a fancy dress ball at the Luxor Hotel she appeared costumed as the goddess Mut, wearing a vulture headdress which Naville praised for its ingenuity. The resources in the souk of Luxor for fancy dress were nonexistent but Margaret was resourceful enough to find material with which to fabricate a costume based, as she said, on "Old Egyptian pictures." A The results of the first season would have been gratifying for any excavator. In a short five weeks the "English Lady" had begun to clear the temple and to note the errors on the older plans available to her. She had started a program of reconstruction with the idea of preserving some of the statues of Sakhmet littering the site. She had found one statue of great importance and the torso of another which did not seem so significant to her. Her original intention of digging in a picturesque place where she had been told there was nothing much to be found was beginning to produce unexpected results.A The Benson party arrived in Egypt for the second season early in January of 1896. After a trip down to, they reached Luxor Aswan around the twenty-sixth and the work began on the thirtieth. That day Margaret was introduced to Janet Gourlay who had come to assist with the excavation. The beginning of the long relationship between "Maggie" Benson and "Nettie" Gourlay was not signaled with any particular importance.
By May of the same year she was to write (also to her mother): "I like her more and more -- I haven't liked anyone so well in years". Miss Benson and Miss Gourlay seemed to work together very well and to share similar reactions and feelings. They were to remain close friends for much of Margaret's life, visiting and travelling together often.
Their correspondence reflects a deep mutual sympathy and Janet was apparently much on Margaret's mind because she often mentioned her friend in writing to others.
After her relationship with Margaret Benson she faded into obscurity and even her family has been difficult to trace, although a sister was located a few years ago. A For the second season in 1896 the work staff was a little larger, with eight to twelve men, twenty-four to thirty-six boys, a rais (overseer), guardians and the necessary water carrier. With the first court considered cleared in the previous season, work was begun at the gate way between the first and second courts. An investigation was made of the ruined wall between these two courts and the conclusion was drawn that it was "a composite structure" suggesting that part of the wall was of a later date than the rest.
The wall east of the gate opening is of stone and clearly of at least two building periods while the west side has a mud brick core faced on the south with stone. Margaret thought the west half of the wall to be completely destroyed because it was of mud brick which had never been replaced by stone. She found the remains of "more than one row of hollow pots" which she thought had been used as "air bricks" in some later rebuilding. Originally built of mud brick, like many of the structures in the Precinct of Mut, the south face of both halves of the wall was sheathed with stone one course thick no later than the Ramesside Period. During the Ptolemaic Period the core of the east half of the mud brick wall was replaced with stone but the Ramesside sheathing was retained. Here the untrained excavator was beginning to understand some of the problems of clearing a temple structure in Egypt. Mariette's plan of the second chamber probably seemed accurate after a superficial examination so a complete clearing seemed unnecessary.
Other fragments were found and the original height of the seated statue was estimated between fourteen and sixteen feet high. The following year de Morgan, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities, ordered the head sent to the museum in Cairo The finding of the large lion head is mentioned in a letter from Margaret to her mother dated February 9, 1896, 22.
In the same letter she also mentions the discovery of a statue of Ramesses II on the day before the letter was written. 23.Her published letters often give exact or close dates of discoveries whereas her later publication in the Temple of Mut in Asher was an attempt at a narrative of the work in some order of progression through the temple and dates are often lacking.
About the same time that the giant lion head was found some effort was made to raise a large cornerstone block but a crowbar was bent and a rope was broken. The end result of the activity is not explained at that point and the location of the corner not given but it can probably be identified with the southeast cornerstone of the Mut Temple mentioned later in a description of the search for foundation deposits. A Somewhere near the central axis of the second court, but just inside the gateway, they came on the upper half of a royal statue with nemes headdress and the remains of a false beard. There had been inscriptions on the shoulder and back pillar but these had been methodically erased.
The lower half was found a little later and it was possible to reconstruct an over life-sized, nearly complete, seated statue of a king.
The excavators published it as "possibly" Tutankhamun, an identification not accepted today, and it is still to be seen, sitting to the east of the gateway, facing into the second court.24 A large statue of Sakhmet was also found, not as large as the colossal head, but larger than the other figures still in the precinct and in most Egyptian collections.
It was also reconstructed and left in place, on the west side of the doorway where it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the temple. In the clearance of the second court a feature described as a thin wall built out from the north wall was found in the northeast corner. It was later interpreted by the nineteenth century excavators as part of the arrangement for a raised cloister and it was not until recent excavation that it was identified as the lower part of the wall of a small chapel, built against the north wall of the court. The process of determining any sequence of the levels in the second court was complicated by the fact that it had been worked over by earlier treasure hunters and archaeologists. In some cases statues were found below the original floor level, leading to the assumption that some pieces had fallen, broken the pavement, and sunk into the floor of their own weight. It is more probable that the stone floors had been dug out and undermined in the search for antiquities. A An attempt was made to put the area in order for future visitors as the excavation progressed. This included the reconstruction of some of the statues as found and the moving of others in a general attempt to neaten the appearance of the temple. Other finds made in the second court included inscribed blocks too large to move or reused in parts of walls still standing. The statue identified as Ramesses II, mentioned in Margaret's letter of February 9, was found on the southwest side of the court, near the center. It was a seated figure in pink granite, rather large in size, but when it was completely uncovered it was found to be broken through the middle with the lower half in an advanced state of disintegration. The upper part was in relatively good condition except for the left shoulder and arm and it was eventually awarded to the excavators.
A Mention was also made of several small finds from the second court including a head of a god in black stone and part of the vulture headdress from a statue of a goddess or a queen. The recent ongoing excavations carried out by the Brooklyn Museum have revealed a female head with traces of a vulture headdress as well as a number of fragments of legs and feet which suggest that the head of the god found by Margaret Benson was from a pair statue representing Amun and Mut. Another important discovery she made on the south side of the court was a series of sandstone relief blocks representing the arrival at Thebes of Nitocris, daughter of Psamtik I, as God's Wife of Amun.25A At some time during the season Margaret was made aware of the possibility that foundation deposits might still be in place.
These dedicatory deposits were put down at the time of the founding of a structure or at a time of a major rebuilding, and they are often found under the cornerstones, the thresholds or under major walls, usually in the center.
They contain a number of small objects including containers for food offerings, model tools and model bricks or plaques inscribed with the name of the ruler. The importance of finding such a deposit in the Temple of Mut was obvious to Margaret because it would prove to everyone's satisfaction who had built the temple, or at least who had made additions to it. A They first looked for foundation deposits in the middle of the gateway between the first and second courts. At the same time another part of the crew was clearing the innermost rooms in the south part of the temple. Under the central of the three chambers they discovered a subterranean crypt with an entrance so small that it had to be excavated by "a small boy with a trowel". This chamber has been re-cleared in recent years and proved to be a small rectangular room with traces of an erased one-line text around the four walls. In antiquity the access seems to have been hidden by a paving stone which had to be lifted each time the room was entered. A The search for foundation deposits continued in the southeast corner of the temple (probably the place where the crowbar was bent and the rope broken). Again no deposit was found but in digging around the cornerstone, below the original ground level, they began to find statues and fragments of statues. As the earth continued to yield more and more pieces of sculpture, Legrain arrived from the Amun Temple, where he was supervising the excavation, and announced his intention to take everything away to the storehouse.
Aside from the pleasure of the find, it was important to have the objects at hand for study, comparison and the copying of inscriptions.



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