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23.01.2016
PAINTING OF THE WEEK - Ruins of the Holyrood Chapel by Moonlight, oil on canvas, 1824, Louis Daguerre.
G+ #Read of the Day: The Daguerreotype - The daguerreotype, an early form of photograph, was invented by Louis Daguerre in the early 19th c. The first photograph (1826) - Joseph Niepce, a French inventor and pioneer in photography, is generally credited with producing the first photograph.
Easy Peasy Fact:Following Niepcea€™s experiments, in 1829 Louis Daguerre stepped up to make some improvements on a novel idea. Adafruit: The oldest street scene photos of New York City - Check out these incredible (and incredibly old) photos of NYC, via Ephemeral New York. The oldest street scene photos of New York CityCheck out these incredible (and incredibly old) photos of NYC, via Ephemeral New York. I still remember reading about Louis Daguerre's invention, the daguerreotype, in high school. The Making of the American Museum of Natural Historya€™s Wildlife DioramasFossil shark-jaw restoration, 1909.
Very old portrait of three men identified as (from left to right) Henry, George, and Stephen Childs, November 25, 1842.
In 1840, Hippolyte Bayard, a pioneer of early photography, created an image called Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man.
10 Times History Was Captured in Living ColorColor photographs go back to before you might think. A  We quickly outgrew our little house, so in 1986 we bought a bigger one closer to the beach with a bayou in back. In 1976 a vocational-technical center was built in Pascagoula, and Bobbie and I taught there until we retired.A  During those years I also taught evening classes at the vo-tech, community college, and for Ingalla€™s Shipbuilding apprentice program. During our time on the coast and my two there before Bobbie, we evacuated many times for hurricanes, tropical storms, and warnings, but in 1998 we made the mistake of staying for hurricane Georges as it was predicted to go west. In the fall of 1974 when Bobbie was ready to return to work, a new vocational business education program was started at Pascagoula High School.A  Because she had the required vocational business certification, Bobbie was hired to teach intensive business education, a position she held for about 15 years.
Life was good in Pascagoula and Johnny and Bobbie followed Mississippi State basketball while Jay was a player and Mississippi College basketball while Jeff was a player.A  They also were active in First United Methodist Church of Pascagoula and enjoyed activities with close friends. Talbot was active from the mid-1830s, and sits alongside Louis Daguerre as one of the fathers of the medium.
Niepcea€™s photograph shows a view from the Window at Le Gras, and it only took eight hours of exposure time!The history of photography has roots in remote antiquity with the discovery of the principle of the camera obscura and the observation that some substances are visibly altered by exposure to light. Again employing the use of solvents and metal plates as a canvas, Daguerre utilized a combination of silver and iodine to make a surface more sensitive to light, thereby taking less time to develop.
Half of the Limburg province of Belgium is added to the Netherlands, giving rise to a Belgian Limburg and Dutch Limburg (the latter being from September 5 joined to the German Confederation).June 3 a€“ Destruction of opium at Humen begins, casus belli for Britain to open the 3-year First Opium War against Qing dynasty China. Bayard had just perfected the process of printing on to paper, which would come to define photography in the following century, but the French government had decided to invest instead in the daguerrotype, a process invented by his rival, Louis Daguerre. I had already been called for my army physical and figured I would be drafted soon, so I just went ahead and enlisted in the Army for three years.A  I took my basic training at Ft.
I always thought it was pretty amazing that the letter got delivered to me on that ship in the middle of the ocean, from Neshoba to the Atlantic in less than nine days.A  We disembarked in Bremerhaven and boarded a train that took us to Kaiserslautern. Though he is most famous for his contributions to photography, he was also an accomplished painter and a developer of the diorama theatre.
As far as is known, nobody thought of bringing these two phenomena together to capture camera images in permanent form until around 1800, when Thomas Wedgwood made the first reliably documented although unsuccessful attempt. It didna€™t take long for others to seize the new technology and create daguerreotypes of New York City street scenes. Daguerreotypes are sharply defined, highly reflective, one-of-a-kind photographs on silver-coated copper plates, usually packaged behind glass and kept in protective cases. 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. My car was a welcome sight when I finally got to the docks where it was the next day, and after getting it, I found my way south and headed home.A  I had driven in Paris, Rome, and on the autobahns of Germany and thought I had seen the worlda€™s craziest and most reckless drivers, but New Yorkers were right in there with them. A daguerreotype, produced on a silver-plated copper sheet, produces a mirror image photograph of the exposed scene. The Government, which has been only too generous to Monsieur Daguerre, has said it can do nothing for Monsieur Bayard, and the poor wretch has drowned himself.
I was then sent to Germany, where I was stationed with the 32nd Artillery Brigade (became the 32nd Army Air Defense Command in 1966) in Kaiserslautern. Chemistry student Robert Cornelius was so fascinated by the chemical process involved in Daguerrea€™s work that he sought to make some improvements himself. A thirty year old semi-invalid of a distinguished English family, she had the rare good luck to ask for the concession to a site that seemed unimportant and a site that no one else wanted. It was commercially introduced in 1839, a date generally accepted as the birth year of practical photography.The metal-based daguerreotype process soon had some competition from the paper-based calotype negative and salt print processes invented by Henry Fox Talbot.
And in 1839 Cornelius shot a self-portrait daguerrotype that some historians believe was the first modern photograph of a man ever produced. For over two weeks in the summer of 2002, scientists and conservators at this prestigious facility subjected the artifact, its frame, and support materials to extensive and rigorous non-destructive testing. 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. The result was a very complete scientific and technical analysis of the object, which in turn provided better criteria for its secure and permanent case design and presentation in the lobby of the newly-renovated Harry Ransom Center.The plate also received extensive attention from the photographic technicians at the Institute, who spent a day and a half with the original heliograph in their photographic studios in order to record photographically and digitally all aspects of the plate. 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. The object was documented under all manner of scientific lights, including infrared and ultraviolet spectra.
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.
Long before the first photographs were made, Chinese philosopher Mo Ti and Greek mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid described a pinhole camera in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. In the 6th century CE, Byzantine mathematician Anthemius of Tralles used a type of camera obscura in his experimentsIbn al-Haytham (Alhazen) (965 in Basra a€“ c. 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. Wilhelm Homberg described how light darkened some chemicals (photochemical effect) in 1694.
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. The novel Giphantie (by the French Tiphaigne de la Roche, 1729a€“74) described what could be interpreted as photography.Around the year 1800, Thomas Wedgwood made the first known attempt to capture the image in a camera obscura by means of a light-sensitive substance.
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. As with the bitumen process, the result appeared as a positive when it was suitably lit and viewed. 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.
A strong hot solution of common salt served to stabilize or fix the image by removing the remaining silver iodide. 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". On 7 January 1839, this first complete practical photographic process was announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences, and the news quickly spread.
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. At first, all details of the process were withheld and specimens were shown only at Daguerre's studio, under his close supervision, to Academy members and other distinguished guests.
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.
Paper with a coating of silver iodide was exposed in the camera and developed into a translucent negative image.
Unlike a daguerreotype, which could only be copied by rephotographing it with a camera, a calotype negative could be used to make a large number of positive prints by simple contact printing.
The calotype had yet another distinction compared to other early photographic processes, in that the finished product lacked fine clarity due to its translucent paper negative. 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. This was seen as a positive attribute for portraits because it softened the appearance of the human face. 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. Talbot patented this process,[20] which greatly limited its adoption, and spent many years pressing lawsuits against alleged infringers. She was eighteen when she was enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a women's college founded only four years before.
He attempted to enforce a very broad interpretation of his patent, earning himself the ill will of photographers who were using the related glass-based processes later introduced by other inventors, but he was eventually defeated. 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.
Nonetheless, Talbot's developed-out silver halide negative process is the basic technology used by chemical film cameras today. Hippolyte Bayard had also developed a method of photography but delayed announcing it, and so was not recognized as its inventor.In 1839, John Herschel made the first glass negative, but his process was difficult to reproduce. 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. The new formula was sold by the Platinotype Company in London as Sulpho-Pyrogallol Developer.Nineteenth-century experimentation with photographic processes frequently became proprietary. 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.


This adaptation influenced the design of cameras for decades and is still found in use today in some professional cameras. 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. Petersburg, Russia studio Levitsky would first propose the idea to artificially light subjects in a studio setting using electric lighting along with daylight.
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. In 1884 George Eastman, of Rochester, New York, developed dry gel on paper, or film, to replace the photographic plate so that a photographer no longer needed to carry boxes of plates and toxic chemicals around. After Cairo and Giza she went on by stages as far as Aswan and the island temples of Philae. Now anyone could take a photograph and leave the complex parts of the process to others, and photography became available for the mass-market in 1901 with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie.A practical means of color photography was sought from the very beginning.
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".
Results were demonstrated by Edmond Becquerel as early as 1848, but exposures lasting for hours or days were required and the captured colors were so light-sensitive they would only bear very brief inspection in dim light.The first durable color photograph was a set of three black-and-white photographs taken through red, green and blue color filters and shown superimposed by using three projectors with similar filters.
By the end of January she was established in Luxor with a program of visits to the monuments set out. It was taken by Thomas Sutton in 1861 for use in a lecture by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who had proposed the method in 1855.[27] The photographic emulsions then in use were insensitive to most of the spectrum, so the result was very imperfect and the demonstration was soon forgotten. Maxwell's method is now most widely known through the early 20th century work of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii.
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!
Included were methods for viewing a set of three color-filtered black-and-white photographs in color without having to project them, and for using them to make full-color prints on paper.[28]The first widely used method of color photography was the Autochrome plate, commercially introduced in 1907. The ancient language and script she found fascinating but she was not as interested in reading classical Arabic. If the individual filter elements were small enough, the three primary colors would blend together in the eye and produce the same additive color synthesis as the filtered projection of three separate photographs.
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.
Autochrome plates had an integral mosaic filter layer composed of millions of dyed potato starch grains. By the time her first stay ended in March, 1894, she had already resolved to return in the fall. Reversal processing was used to develop each plate into a transparent positive that could be viewed directly or projected with an ordinary projector.
When Margaret returned to Egypt in November she had already conceived the idea of excavating a site and thus applied to the Egyptian authorities. The mosaic filter layer absorbed about 90 percent of the light passing through, so a long exposure was required and a bright projection or viewing light was desirable. Competing screen plate products soon appeared and film-based versions were eventually made. 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 complex processing operation produced complementary cyan, magenta and yellow dye images in those layers, resulting in a subtractive color image. A Margaret's physical condition at the beginning of the excavation was of great concern to the family.
Kirsch at the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed a binary digital version of an existing technology, the wirephoto drum scanner, so that alphanumeric characters, diagrams, photographs and other graphics could be transferred into digital computer memory. The lab was working on the Picturephone and on the development of semiconductor bubble memory. 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. The essence of the design was the ability to transfer charge along the surface of a semiconductor.
Michael Tompsett from Bell Labs however, who discovered that the CCD could be used as an imaging sensor. 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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