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To the extent that it is based on the portolan [nautical] chart tradition, there are rhumb-lines (thirty-two out of each of sixteen centers) and two unlabeled scales; also the map features shields and flags over Europe and kings in tents elsewhere. The language of the fifty-two legends, apart from the one in Latin on the Canaries, is Catalan.
The oldest of the portolan charts to survive are of Italian origin, made at Genoa and Pisa; those dating from the latter half of the 14th century are mainly Catalan. Scarcely less valuable and certainly more interesting for the student of geographical theory, are the Catalan speculations concerning the unexplored territories of the earth.
However, on one matter the mapmaker could hardly refrain from speculating, for this reason: land exploration had for a long time now outrun oceanic discovery, and so, concerning Africa, for example, much more was known of the Sudan by the end of the 14th century than was known of the oceanic fringe in the same latitudes. The shape of Africa on this map is unique, and it is much enlarged in relation to Europe and Asia.
That the great western gulf reflects some knowledge of the Gulf of Guinea is more probable. Some surprise has been expressed that a map of 1450 should contain relatively up-to-date details coupled with antiquated ideas in other areas, and this has produced some rather involved explanations.
The merit of the Catalan cartographers lay in the skill with which they employed the best contemporary sources to modify the traditional world picture, rarely proceeding further than the evidence warranted.
In the case of the Catalan-Estense map, whose date was earlier conjectured to be 14th century, the determining area would appear to be the west coast of Africa.
Further south, no discoveries are evident in the Gulf of Guinea later than a friara€™s journey, ca.
A prominent feature of this map is the very long extension of the Gulf of Guinea eastwards, linked apparently by a river to the Indian Ocean, which is given a gulf south of the Horn of Africa.
Africa contains half a dozen reigning monarchs, from Musamelli to Prester John, sitting in splendor in their royal tents. The course of the Atlas Mountains is very similar to that on the Catalan Atlas of 1375, even including a curved northern prong in the central area.
With the development of Portuguese seafaring in the 15th century and the subsequent widening if the southern horizon, the a€?harmonizinga€™ problem became increasingly acute. The circular Catalan-Estense map, measuring 113 cm in diameter, is very colorful with a large number of princes shown throughout Africa (where Prester John has been placed), 52 legends, castellated towns for major settlements, loxodromes, ships, mermaids, domesticated reindeer and horses.
The northern portions of Asia and Europe on the Estense map, which lay outside the limits of the Catalan Atlas, significantly, contain very little detail. Recollections of medieval maps include the Earthly Paradise with Adam and Eve and the tree, here not in Mesopotamia but in Abyssinia, between the eastern branch of the Nile and the Red Sea, at a spring from which the four medieval rivers of Paradise flow. In the hinterland of Asia the most prominent feature is the Caspian Sea, orientated northwest-southeast as in the Topkapu Siray fragment, but similar in shape to Ptolemya€™s.
The account of China is also derived from Marco Polo, who mentions charts and gives occasional bearings, and from whose voyages the map that existed in 1459 in the Palace of the Doges, Venice, was drawn. To the generally good delineation of European coasts there are exceptions, especially in more northern areas.
In the 14th century the Catalonia-Valencia-Majorca region was a flourishing center of trade and culture where Arab and Jewish elements blended with Christian culture. The far north in Europe and Asia is more frightening than Africa, showing a naked giant pursuing a fox, a nine-headed idol being adored by two worshippers, and a strange hanging head, which appears on several other 15th century world maps. The entire map has been shifted to the east in its circular frame, thus making more room in the Atlantic for its islands. The combination of archaism and modernism is an outstanding characteristic of this map, and it is interesting to note that the cultured and humanistic Duke of Ferrara, Ercole da€™Este, the owner of this map, also had in his library a copy of Ptolemya€™s Geography, edited by Nicholas Germanus. According to Chet Van Duzer, a legend that says that there are three types of sirens in the Indian Ocean on the Catalan Estense mappamundi. Destombes, M., a€?Fragments of two Medieval world maps at the Topkapu Saray Library,a€? Imago Mundi 12 (1955), pp.
Stevenson, Edward Luther, Marine chart of Nicolo de Canerio Januensis, 1502 (circa) (New York: American Geographical Society and Hispanic Society of America, 1908). Andrews, Michael Corbet, a€?The boundary between England and Scotland in the portolan charts,a€? Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Edinburgh, ser.
Andrews, Michael Corbet, a€?The British Isles in the nautical charts of the XIVth and XVth centuries,a€? The Geographical Journal, London, LXVIII (1926), pp. Crone, Gerald Roe, Maps and their makers, an introduction to the history of cartography (London: Hutchinsona€™s University Library, 1953), pp. Destombes, Marcel, a€?Fragments of two medieval world maps at the Top Kapu Saray Library,a€? Imago Mundi, XII (1955), p. Taylor, Eva Germaine Remington, a€?Pactolus, river of gold,a€? Scottish Geographical Magazine, Edinburgh, pp, 129-144.
Uzielli, Gustavo and Amat di Filippo, Pietro, Mappamondi, cartenautiche, portolani ed altre monumenti cartografici specialmente italiani dei secoli XIII-XVII, 2nd ed. Winter, Heinrich, a€?The changing face of Scandinavia and the Baltic in cartography up to 1522,a€? Imago Mundi, XII (1955), p. Located near the territory of Prester John between Nubia and the city of Arin [Civitasarim], the latter prominently marked and centrally placed in the Horn of Africa, not far from the Indian Ocean in which six islands of various sixes and colors are depicted. The circular Catalan-Estense map, measuring 113 cm in diameter, is very colorful with a large number of princes shown throughout Africa (where Prester John has been placed), 52 legends, castellated towns for major settlements, loxodromes, ships, mermaids, domesticated reindeer and horses.A A  Although almost a hundred years later, it is clearly related to the pivotal Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235). Items ship out the same day or next business day and arrive in 2-3 business days after that. 1) ALIGNMENT: For accurate alignment, square the putter blade parallel with the squaring lines at each putt length.
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Unlike many medieval scholars the draftsmen of Majorca showed a praiseworthy restraint in this respect.
The earlier draftsmen insisted upon cutting the continent short just beyond the limit of coastal knowledge, that is, in the vicinity of Cape Bojador. Below the Gulf of Guinea, which nearly cuts the continent in two, is a large crescent-shaped appendage extending to the east and forming a southern shore for the Indian Ocean.
The continent ends in a great arc, conforming to the circular frame of the map, and extending eastwards to form the southern boundary of the Indian Ocean. The design of the northern half of the continent in general resembles that of the other Catalan charts, but the northwestern coast embodies some details of contemporary Portuguese voyages as far as C. Taking into consideration the lack of details and names in the southern regions of Africa, we may plausibly conjecture that, as an exception to the usual conservatism, the draftsman, in Africa at least, had removed all the detail for which he had no evidence, to obtain a framework on which to insert the latest Portuguese discoveries. In the same spirit they removed from the map most of the traditional fables which had been accepted for centuries, and preferred, for example, to omit the northern and southern regions entirely, or to leave southern Africa a blank rather than to fill it with the Anthropagi and other monsters which adorn so many medieval maps.
The map names Cape Verde, which was discovered by Dias in 1444 and whose first recorded mapping is by Andrea Bianco in 1448 (#241). 1350, recorded in a book called Libro del conoscimiento de todos los reynos y tierras [Book of knowledge of all kingdoms and lands].
A waterway linking east and west Africa is reminiscent of the tradition going back to Crates of Mallos (168 BC, Book I, #113) and Macrobius (AD 400, Book II, #201), according to whom northern and southern Africa were separated near the equator by a body of water.
The mapmaker omits the usual array of monsters in Africa, and the only animal depicted is a camel with a rider, sedately proceeding along the caravan route to the sea. The continent widens out again enormously, and the peninsula presents a curved south coast roughly parallel to a surrounding sea. Kimble calls a€?harmonizinga€™ established facts with long-held a€?traditionsa€™; a practice which became very popular from the 14th century onwards. On the southern coastline of Asia there are some differences, generally slight, between the two maps. A legend of the Genoese world map of 1457 (#248) in the Central National Library of Florence (Port.
Southern Asia, separated from Africa by a Red Sea colored red, has a flattened and too northerly coastline.
This refers not to Sri Lanka which appears as Silan (so is not the Ptolemy Taprobane) but to Sumatra, called by the Genoese world map of 1457 Taprobane and Ciamutera and by Fra Mauro Siomatra or Taprobana. The Catalan Atlas of 1375 is the earliest still surviving to incorporate material from Marco Poloa€™s text.
Britain, as in many medieval maps, is shown split in two, or almost so, by a stretch of water, which may or may not reach the east coast between Scardenburgh [Scarborough] and Bernie [Berwick]. Countless maps by this cartographic school have survived, including the Estense world map featuring characteristics typical of portolans - rhumb lines, and flags and coats of arms to identify kingdoms and cities - but not obviously this map was made a€‹a€‹as a navigation aid.
On the edge of the Gulf of Guinea, a river or strait connects the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans and an enormous land mass emerge to fill the base of the map. As mentioned above, Jerusalem is not in the center and has no city vignette; it is simply marked San Sepulera and located on the River Jordan. Circular in shape, with different religious and legendary motifs along with certain Arab influence, it retains the rigor of portolans. The three types of sirens are half-woman half-fish, half-woman half-bird, and half-woman half-horse, and all three types of sirens are depicted below. Heinrich, a€?Die katalanische Weltkarte der Biblioteca Estense zu Modena,a€? Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fA?r Erdkunde zu Berlin, Berlin, XXXII (1897), pp. Heinrich, a€?Die katalanische Weltkarte der Biblioteca Estense zu Modena,a€? Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fA?r Erdkunde zu Berlin, Berlin, XXXII (1897), no.
This resemblance in the content of the two maps strengthens the contention that the latter was derived from a circular prototype. The SKLZ Accelerator Pro Putting Mat with Ball Return let’s you practice three key putt lengths with perfect strokes on a high quality true-roll putting surface.
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The map aims at covering all the lands of the Old World, but including the whole of Africa.
Textually comparable are the legends on the Catalan map at the Central National Library, Florence Port. It is more than that; for while the latter is essentially a sailing guide concerned with coastwise navigation, the Catalan map is really a world map built up around the portolan chart.
Thus we may look almost in vain for those fanciful creatures with which the cosmographers of that age filled their empty continents. A thin canal across its narrow waist implies a passage between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. On the west, a long narrow gulf from the circumfluent ocean almost severs this southerly projection from northern Africa. It must remain debatable whether the outline of the southern extremity represents some knowledge of the Cape.
Though drawings of men and animals still figure on their works they are in the main those for which there was some contemporary, or nearly contemporary, warrant; for example, Mansa Musa, the lord of Guinea, whose pilgrimage to Mecca created a sensation in 1324, or Olub bein, the ruler of the Tatars. The Cape Verde islands, which although discovered in 1444 also appear cartographically in Benincasaa€™s map of 1468, are not featured on the Catalan-Estense map. Nevertheless it is interesting that his islands Gropis and Quible reappear on the Catalan-Estense map in the west-east order of the friara€™s navigation (the cartographer does not change the order to east-west as Kimble implies).
South of the narrowest point, rather irrelevantly, is a legend which may be translated: Africa begins at the R. The Saharan cities that appeared on the Catalan Atlas also appear here; among them are Siguilmese, Tenduch, Tagort, Buda, and Melli. 1) tells us that some have put Paradise in this part of Africa, while others have said it is beyond India.
The description of its alleged cannibals comes from Marco Polo (III,10), as does the similar description of Java, here named as Jana. The Catalan-Estense map not only incorporates no new material, but some omission and corruption have occurred. One may wonder if this originated as a misunderstanding of Hadriana€™s Wall or of a line of hills, for example the Cheviots. It can be considered to be a paradigm of the artista€™s technique, logical extensions of historical vision extending beyond the Mediterranean to the frontiers of the known world. Stylistically speaking, the most noteworthy characteristic of the Catalan school is the series of portraits of the lords of the desert in their tents, some of whom are actual sultans and others legendary figures. Other than the coastal cities, only the Dead Sea (Mar Gomora), Judea, and the Jordan are mentioned. Next to the Canaries, a long Latin text, drawn from Isidore and the voyage of Saint Brendan, describes the Fortunate Islands of antique fame. The duke owned a copy of Mandevillea€™s Travels as well, which he must have treasured, as there survives a letter he wrote demanding its return from a borrower. The half-woman half-fish siren holds a mirror, symbolically indicating beauty but also vanity. On the contrary with real but heedless enthusiasm they set about the task of pouring the new wine into the old skins, an occupation offering more and more difficulties as exploration extended the known world. The nomenclature and the numerous legends on the Catalan-Estense, mostly in Catalan with a few in corrupt Latin, are often very similar to those of the 1375 Atlas. The back and through-stroke alignment guides ensure perfect acceleration and distance control, while maintaining a square face to the target. SKLZ is known around the world for delivering durable, high-performance training products used by professional and amateur athletes as well as their coaches and trainers seeking to improve on a sport-specific skill or a performance-focused goal such as speed, agility, balance or core strength.
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. The central point is not Jerusalem but near the abode of the mythical Christian king Prester John [Presta Iohan], placed in Nubia between the two branches of the Nile.
It is true that in some cases the term a€?worlda€™ connotes simply the habitable, or known earth as conceived by the author, nevertheless, in others, as the Catalan-Estense map, it is interpreted to include lands not yet discovered, but only posited. At the same time, these men saw nothing strange about a belief in the Terrestrial Paradise, or in a hydrographical system stretching from sea to sea.
The southern landmass, which may be intended for a separate continent, has no place-names or pictures, demonstrating remarkable restraint on the part of the artist.
The southern interior is blank save for the legend Africa begins at the river Nile in Egypt and ends at Gutzola in the west: it includes the whole land of Barbaria, and the land in the south.
The outline may be entirely imposed by the frame of the map: at the most, it may reflect the kind of report that we find on Fra Mauroa€™s map (#249). In this spirit of critical realism, the Catalan cartographers of the 14th century threw off the bonds of tradition, and anticipated the achievements of the Renaissance.
This coastline looks in the Modena map rather similar in its outline to Biancoa€™s 1448 chart.
Nor can we prove a date from the legend to a mountain near the same gulf, which may be translated as This mountain is called by the Saracens Mt Gibel Camar, which in our language means Mountain of the Moon; this mountain is on the equator. A pass in the eastern part of the range is called a route of Islamic pilgrims, another piece of evidence of Arab sources. The Catalan-Estense map also gives a short caption on diamond mountains, said to be guardians of the Earthly Paradise. Thus the capital [Beijing] of Cathay is said to be Cambalec and to have had an ancient city called Garibalu nearby.
Of the northern islands, the furthest northwest is Islanda [Iceland], one of eight in an archipelago.
The anonymous artist of the Estense world map combines details from literature of certain regions of the world with empirical facts about the Mediterranean area.


These are the earliest European maps to acknowledge and record the presence of Islamic power in the Mediterranean. To the south the Indian Ocean is greatly enlarged and full of brightly colored islands, but only three are named: Silan, Trapobana, and Java. Platoa€™s tale of Atlantis is recalled near an island labeled illa de gentils; it was once as large as all Africa but now, by the will of God, is covered with water. Such a map implies several highly complex unknown factors as regards the level of realism aimed at by the artist.
The sirens on the Catalan Estense mappamundi are of particular interest because they provide insight into the techniques for making sea monsters in a cartographic workshop. The single river originates in the middle of the Garden before flowing out of it into a lake, there after to separate into four streams.
In some instances the legends are more complete, in others they are less detailed; they suggest, therefore, not direct copying but possibly a common source. The SKLZ Accelerator Pro putting mat with ball return enables golfers to practice three key putt lengths at home or in their office on a high-quality, true-roll putting surface.
The map belonged to the collection of the Dukes of Ferrara, who since 1452 had also been Dukes of Modena and Reggio.
The abandonment of Jerusalem as a central point is found on several other European mappaemundi of the 14th and 15th centuries. There are also linguistic and topographical similarities with a fragment of a Catalan world map in the Topkapu Sarav Library, Istanbul. This aggravated the cartographera€™s task very considerably for it meant that he was continually being faced with the problem of choosing between scanty and often poorly substantiated fact on the one hand, and plausible and often well-attested theory on the other.
Five rivers are shown flowing north from it, one of them a river of gold, flowing through a lake not connected with the Nile. A legend on the island of Meroe on the White Nile claims this as the place where there is a deep well, on the bottom of which the sun shines; similar ones on the Pizigano map of 1367 (Parma) and the Florence Catalan map mentioned give the month when this happens as June. The northern coast of the Gulf continues east almost straight, the whole coast of India being much foreshortened.
As a result, details from the tales of Marco Polo, known centuries before, can be seen in the descriptive outline of China, with details about the Portuguese recent explorations of Cape Verde, circumnavigated for the first time in 1444 by Dias too.
A Chinese junk, identified in a legend, sails through the water, menaced by three half-human figures: one part fish, one part bird, and one part horse.
In the north is a group of colorful islands marked, These islands are called a€?islandesa€™, which may be a reference to Iceland.
It is, for example, inconceivable that contemporary seafarers believed that a large expanse of land actually existed in the south of Africa.
The wavy lines representing the water are discontinuous at a rectangle around each of the sirens, indicating that a blank space had been left for each creature, and that the sirens were painted by a different artist, no doubt a specialist in decorations such as sea monsters. These Mountains of the Moon are stated to be on the Equator, and the streams are called the riu de lor.
But as they were predisposed to eschew wild guesses and to be skeptical of travelersa€™ tales, their maps do not afford the best illustrations of this characteristic.A  As a single example, at the beginning of the Catalan period the Rio del Oro [River of Gold], a heritage of classical geography, was made to debouch into the Atlantic immediately south of Cape Bojador.
This similarity is also evident in the delineation of the main features, most of those in the 1375 Atlas are to be found on the Estense map.
The nine-foot mat is equipped with back and through-stroke alignment guides to ensure perfect acceleration and distance control while maintaining a square face to the target. 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.
Many of them had collections in more than one place and the Estense library is very rich in their collections of different periods. Africa, to which the cartographera€™s attention was clearly directed as new discoveries were incorporated, is enlarged, crosses the equator, and reaches a southern coast. As these Catalan maps developed, some of them aimed at including the latest information available from European navigators and compilers.
It is a tribute to the integrity of these men that their work contains so much that subsequent investigation has proved true. Later draftsmen, in order to escape the embarrassment caused by indicating the great trans-Saharan caravan routes within these narrow limits, began to speculate on the course of the African coast, south of Bojador.
Differences in ink and supposed linguistic variants caused earlier scholars to wonder if two different periods of composition were involved, but George Kimble (1934) pointed out that the handwriting had been judged the same throughout. This river of gold is different from the Riu del Or reported in the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235) as having been discovered in 1346; that is an inlet in the former Spanish protectorate of Rio de Oro. Near Cape Verde we are told, a€?At this cape is the end of the land of the west part of Africa.
There is nothing corresponding to the Malay peninsula, only a gentle bend leading north-westwards to surrounding Ocean.
The circumference of the capital in Marco Polo is 24 miles, in the Catalan-Estense map 24 leagues.
But south of it is inssula [sic] destillant, whose inhabitants are said to be Norwegian-speaking Christians. The same discontinuity in the wavy lines is visible around the two ships on the map, and given the similarities between the faces of the sirens and those of some of the sovereigns painted in Africa, it is tempting to conclude that one specialist painted all of the more artistically sophisticated decorative elements on the map: the sirens, the ships, the sovereigns, and so on. It is a tribute to the integrity of these men that their work contains so much that subsequent investigation has proved true.A  In fact it is this careful sifting of evidence that constitutes one of the chief merits of the Catalan school of cartography, in an age when intellectual honesty was none too common. We may therefore assume that the headwaters of the Niger marked the approximate limit of contemporary knowledge in this region, and it is not improbable that reports of the sea to the south had been received.
With the extension of trans-Saharan commerce in the 14th century, and, along with it the enlargement of geographical knowledge, the Rio del Oro was pushed, little by little, farther south until at length in the Catalan-Estense map it is located approximately in the latitude of the Senegal-Niger system, which no doubt, it is intended to represent.
The mat features an uphill grade at the end that trains golfers to putt 18 inches past the hole in order to prevent short putts. 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 map was taken there in 1598 by Cesare da€™Este who was the illegitimate son of Duke Alfonso I.
A Mons Lune [Mountain of the Moon] is also found by the Gulf of Guinea on the Medici Atlas (#233), whose world map is now thought to be 15th century.
The island of Trapobana is much enlarged, and is placed on the southeastern margin of the map. Despite this primitive cartographic approach to Asia, the evidence given above from West Africa seems conclusive on the dating.
This island is surely not a misplaced Estland [Estonia], as Kretschmer gives, but Shetland [Hjaltland], for which compare Ilia de Scillanda, near Archania, in the 1375 Catalan Atlas. Or that theologians could accept that Paradise, which ceases to appear in Asia following Marco Poloa€™s travels, could be relocated to Ethiopia.
The legends about sirens on the Catalan Estense mappamundi derive ultimately from the so-called Tuscan bestiary, perhaps by way of a Catalan bestiary. The value of the Catalan maps, as commentaries upon the state of contemporary knowledge at once becomes apparent and we are hardly surprised to find that the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235) has the finest delineation of Asia Europe had seen up to that time, or that, in its knowledge of Cathay [China] and the Sudan, the same map is surpassed in the Middle Ages only by the 1459 Fra Mauro map (#249). These may have induced the cartographer to accept the western gulf of Ptolemy, but to enlarge it considerably.A  Again, the name Rio del Oro [River of Gold] recalls the inscription on the Catalan Atlas and the classical tradition.
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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. In the interior the Catalan-Estense map has the land of the King of Melli said, as on the Paris and Florence maps, to be rich in gold, to which the Modena map adds that it is poor in salt, which comes to be worth its weight in gold. So the Pillars of Hercules have slipped down the coast and will eventually disappear completely. The surrounding ocean, the Mar deles indies is filled with numerous nameless and featureless islands. It is also difficult to imagine that they believed that the laws of God and nature ceased to apply beyond the frontiers of Europe and that it was possible anything was there. The quality mat surface is design not to fray and provides a stimpmeter rating of 10 on a firm rug and 11 on linoleum surface.
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.
Therefore, apart from a small portion of the coastline, the map owes nothing to Portuguese exploration. Maritime exploration had hardly begun to yield fruit while the land explorations of the Poloa€™s and their contemporaries had not yet produced a systematic revision of current ideas.
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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