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The stronger groups tended to settle in the more desirable areas where there was an abundance of water, natural resources (wood, clay, iron ore, coal), and natural protection (hills, sea coast, rivers, lakes). And by the time the weaker finally arrived at a location to settle down, they were frequently so far removed from other groups that there was little contact, trade, or interaction. For these reasons while civilizations were forming in Mesopotamia, India, China, and North Africa, groups that had roamed as far as North and South America and islands in the Pacific developed little further in cultural organization than the tribal unit and possessed a technology that was far less developed than in the larger civilizations. About the early civilizations, the Apostle Paul, in Romans 1-3, states that they were created with a clear knowledge of God, but having rejected and twisted what truth they did possess, they worshipped the creature rather than the Creator. Sumer was a collection of over thirty city-states, each possessing its own patron deity, but sharing a common religion featuring the worship of Elil with a central religious center at Nippur.
Other innovations of the Sumerians were the wooden wheel, the wooden plow, and the wooden oar for their ships. The Sumerians developed (or recovered from their spiritual memory derived from Noah) an elaborate belief system that included many gods who possessed human characteristics, a concept of personal sin, that they had been created to serve the gods, a class system of sorts between major and minor gods, and an elaborate flood story.
On their tablets of clay they recorded the Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of a perfect, idyllic world into which the first created humans were placed, a world free from warfare, hatred, and one where everyone spoke the same language.
The Sumerians were weakened due to the salinization of their wheat fields and were overcome by an invading group of people led by Sargon, the Great. An Akkadian legend says that Sargon was abandoned by his mother in a reed basket which she placed in a river. Sargon developed an industry of bronze weapons making, and to secure an abundant supply of tin and copper with which to make the bronze, he extended his kingdom north into present day Syria. The growth of such an urban, economic empire (which is also known as the Babylonian Empire) required codes and laws to govern life generally and the economy in particular. Although the Babylonians absorbed much of the Sumerian worldview, they also developed a complex religion based upon astrology.
The Assyrians, located to the north of Babylon, revived and were able to fight off several other invading groups that came into the Fertile Crescent from Indo-Europe and Syria. The constant flow of invading peoples into the Fertile Crescent resulted in a blending of cultures, religions, and gene pools. After over 400 years as slave in Egypt, Abrahama€™s descendants, under the leadership of Moses, left Egypt miraculously under Goda€™s guidance around the year 1250 B.C. During this period of time God delivered to the Hebrews the religious system known as Judaism. After the 40 years of wilderness living, which resulted from their disobedience evidenced in worshipping the golden calf fashioned by Aaron, the brother of Moses, the Hebrews entered Canaan.
The northern section, Israel, was invaded, captured, and sent into exile by Assyria in 732 B.
During their centuries of development, God raised up among the Hebrews the ancient prophets, who were raised up by God to give warnings to both Israel as well as to their pagan neighbors.
They were chosen by God to be his covenant people, from among whom the Messiah was born of the virgin Mary. The Philistines were descendants of a sea people who originated from around the Aegean Sea area to the east of Greece.
The Philistines were a literate people who originally spoke the language of people living in Crete, Cyprus, and the Aegean area. This civilization eventually concluded that their ruler, the Pharaoh, was actually divinity in the flesh.
Perhaps the most famous of its rulers was Cleopatra who was the lover of both Julius Caesar and of Marc Anthony of the Roman Empire.
He restored Egyptian religious worship and traditions back to their state prior to the radical revisions introduced by Tutakamena€™s father, Pharaoh Akhanaten. Rameses ruled for over 60 years and died at the age of 93, an age far exceeding the average 35-year life span of Egyptians who were his contemporaries. The early Minoan settlers of Crete and southern Greece were descendants of Egyptians who first migrated to the island of Crete. They were the first to develop the skills necessary to build large stone columns for their many massive palaces, monuments, and temples. They were major importers and exporters of gold, silver, ivory, bronze, pottery, and animals from the continent of Africa to the south and developed extensive trade with Middle Asia, North Africa., and even East Asia.
They were master canal builders and specialists in highly developed agriculture and irrigation systems. It is speculated that they were extensive travelers, and that skills needed to build the pyramids constructed by the Mayans in South America may have been brought by Egyptians traveling in their reed boats.
They hosted the descendants of Abraham for over 450 years, first as guests and family members of the house of Moses, and later as slaves. Together with the Hittites after the Battle of Kadesh, the Egyptians pioneered a format for developing a long-lasting treaty between two powerful nations that numerous other subsequent civilizations followed.
The Gospel of Christ was brought to the Egyptians by the Apostle Mark who was martyred during his ministry in Egypt. The civilization that developed in the Indus River Valley rivals Egypt and Mesopotamia as the oldest known civilization. At the apex of its development, the Harappa population was about 10% of the known worlda€™s population, making it comparable to the Nile River civilization in Egypt and probably larger than that in Mesopotamia. The Harappa civilization developed when a large number of Aryan people descended into the Indus Valley from the northeast. A large, extensive sewage system to which all of the buildings in the cities were connected.
Agriculture was made possible by the annual flooding in the spring when the ice melted and in July and August during the rainy season. The Longshan Culture built large fortified towns along the Yellow River, fortified by large earthen walls and ramparts. There are indications that the early Chinese who settled along the Yellow River believed in the same God as the Hebrews, the God who was revealed to them in creation and in the stories received from Noah and his sons. The Sumerians, Amorites, Egyptians, Longshan, and Harappa were some of the earliest groups that formed civilizations. The Indo-European language group spread from the Black Sea area into the Indus River Valley and into Euro-Asia.
Civilizations emerged early and quickly after the Flood throughout the four major population areas of Europe, Euro-Asia, and Asia.
The Nile River Valley was home to the great Egyptian civilization that reached its zenith during the reign of Ramses II, the probable pharaoh reigning during the time of Moses and the Exodus. An advanced Harappa civilization existed in the Indus Valley of India that conducted trade with Egypt and Mesopotamia. Respond correctly to at least 80% of the questions based upon the nine big ideas found in the first section above, Whata€™s Worth Knowing? Be able to list several chief characteristics and features of each of the four major river civilizations. Create with your group ten test questions you believe all student should be able to answer after your groups presentation. Identify on a blank map the four major areas of civilization along the four river valleys and the items below. On their tablets of clay they recorded the Epic of Gilgamesh, the storyA  of a perfect, idyllic world into which the first created humans were placed, a world free from warfare, hatred, and one where everyone spoke the same language. Sargon developed an industry of bronze weapons making, and to secure an abundant supply of tin and copper with which to make the bronze, he extended his kingdom north into present day Syria.A  He also developed a library of several thousand clay tablets, built a vast network of roads, and established the first known postal system. The growth of such an urban, economic empire (which is also known as the Babylonian Empire)A  required codes and laws to govern life generally and the economy in particular.
From Moses was received the Pentateuch, or the Five Books of Moses.A  He also established the first representative government, a system of government, Peoplea€™s Law, that was carried across Europe into England by the Anglo-Saxons, and became foundational for the United States of America. After the death of Solomon, the nation of the Hebrews experienced civil war and separated into Israel in the north occupied by ten of the tribes, and Judah (from which the name a€?Jewa€? was derived) in the south occupied by two of the tribes. Rameses ruled for over 60 years and died at the age of 93, an age far exceeding the average 35-year life span of Egyptians who were his contemporaries.A  He was so revered by the nation (for three generations of Egyptians knew no other Pharaoh) that for generations after his death he was referred to as the Great Ancestor of the nation.
At the apex of its development, the Harappa population was about 10% of the known worlda€™sA  population, making it comparable to the Nile River civilization in Egypt and probably larger than that in Mesopotamia.
The major power in the Harappa society was the priestly caste that presided over a polytheistic religious system.
It has been my favorite place to get away to ever since it was built in 2005, even when it looks like a tornado has struck inside. Actually, what I really need is a full week at home with no one calling me needing me to do something else.
I have a boat load of orders I must get filled and I only have today and tomorrow off and tomorrow is filled with other responsibilities.
It includes 30 pages of step by step instructions with diagrams and links to helpful resources. LOL, you are so right, I do know where everything is and can put my hand on it within seconds of needing it. I know what you mean, I have not had time to really enjoy my space this year but it is always there for me when I do get a slip of time. I paid for the plans to build the shed, but could not figure out where and how to download them. Bummer about having a too small of a lot but living on the beach almost makes up for it….right??? Lane January 21 - 23, 1991 No sound files are available for the interview with Justice Coleman. Initially they were propelled to distance themselves from each other by major language differences. Because they settled in these areas and because they settled first, they had more time and resources to develop civilizations. One thing that is usually required for a culture to develop is interaction with other culture groups.
Hence, the imperialistic armies of Europe with canons, ships, and guns met tribesmen in parts of Africa armed with spear and bows and arrow. The Sumerians were a people who perhaps migrated from the Caspian Sea area into the Fertile Crescent, the fertile area lying between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Sumerian priests would climb these tall towers thinking that at the top they might encounter the gods who would descend from the sky to meet with them. Little is known about this period or people, but there are written records that indicate that there were kings who ruled Sumer during the antedeluvian period (period of time between Creation and the Flood). They utilized and brought to greater development a writing system on clay tablets, called cuneiform, borrowed from earlier groups in the area.
Sargon established the powerful and vast empire of Akkad that ruled over most of the Fertile Crescent.
Therefore, Hammurabi developed an extensive set of laws to govern the culture and the economy. They observed the movement of the stars through astronomy in an attempt to understand the behavior and will of the gods.
People in the area became known as a€?Mesopotamiansa€? rather than Amorites, Sumerian, Assyrians, or Babylonians. The growth of population created problems with sewage, garbage, overcrowding in urban centers, decreasing drinking water supplies, disease, and the constant threat of a new people group arriving to take advantage of the fertile soil -- even though salinization continued to be a constant problem. In a revelation from Elohim, Abraham was promised an inherited land that would remain the possession of his descendants. During a period of 40 years in the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan Moses received from God the Ten Commandments while communing with God on the top of Mount Sinai. Under the leadership of Joshua, the Hebrews systematically defeated all the people groups living in the land of Canaan and possessed the land promised to them by God. They gradually adopted the language of the Canaanites and blended their religion with that of the Canaanites and featured the worship of the god Baal. Therefore they could not corrupt the divine blood line through marriage with common people. The i??entire cultural and economic life of the nation was built upon the flooding of the Nile River. For one brief period, however, one of the Pharaohs, Akhenaten, promoted a form of monotheism.
Cleopatra was a descendant of General Ptolemy who was given governance over Egypt by Alexander the Great of Greece. When Ashkenaten became Pharaoh he banished the gods of Egypt, banished their priests, emptied their temples, and forbade their worship or sacrifices made to them. He (1) ended the worship of Aten, contrary to his fathera€™s policy, and (2) restored the worship of Amun. His wife petitioned the king of the Hittites, asking to be given as a wife to one of his sons. He was known as a war pharaoh, leading campaigns against the Hittites, Syrians, Libyans, Nubians, and other neighboring nations. They founded the Minoan civilization and their capitol city of Knossos on the island of Crete. They fell victim to the plagues brought by God against the Pharaoha€™s (likely Rameses II) stubbornness to refuse to allow over one million Hebrew slaves to leave Egypt peacefully. The Indus River civilization, known as the Harappa civilization, was located in present-day Pakistan, appearing about 1500 B.C. Modern excavations of skeletal remains suggest that the people were tall, with elongated faces and dark hair, similar to people in the Mediterranean i??area (Greece, Italy, Crete).They spoke a language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. The priests were both religious and military leaders and ruled from walled citadels in the major cities. The Chinese today consider this river basin to be the cradle of Chinese civilization and refer to the river as a€?the mother river.a€? It has an east-i??west extension of about 3,000 miles from the Kulun Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean on the east, and a north-south extension of 684 miles.
It is probable that they moved into the Yellow River area after the Tower of Babel event and retained the knowledge of God received from Noah and his offspring.
It had elaborate drainage and sewage systems superior to those in many parts of modern India today. They utilized and brought to greater development a writing system on clay tablets, called cuneiform, borrowed from earlier groups in the area.A  Cuneiform (from the Latin cuneus, three-sided wedge) used wedge-shaped markings made with bamboo pens on soft clay.
The entire cultural and economic life of the nation was built upon the flooding of the Nile River. Modern excavations of skeletal remains suggest that the people were tall, with elongated faces and dark hair, similar to people in the Mediterranean area (Greece, Italy, Crete).They spoke a language belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. Building this crafting cottage or some would call it a garden shed was so much fun and it gets constant usage. And it is so nice to be able to leave the studio cottage, shut the door on the work in progress when you have to go back to the house.
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.
There is nothing so uncomfortable as being around people who dona€™t speak your language, and nothing more comfortable than finding others who do! Those who were constantly on the move and being chased from place to place by the stronger had less opportunity to develop a civilization or to benefit from natural resources. The Spanish conquistadors, while few in number, were able to subjugate an entire Latin American continent due to their superior technology. They cultivated fields of wheat, groves of date palms, developed herds of cattle, manufactured pottery and woven baskets, and developed a wide-ranging trade system using their sea-worthy boats.


He ruled by means of a powerful military nobility that lived off of a vast taxation network extracted by those whom they subjugated. As with the Vikings much later in history, the sea people were ruthless, relentless in their attacks, and arrived at unexpected times. The history of the Hebrews after the Exodus from Egypt is a story of constant conflict with the Philistines, including the story of Samson and Delilah, and the numerous battles between the Hebrews and Philistines under the Hebrew king, David. The Nile provided a fertile valley carved out of hot, sandy desert that was able to sustain a large civilization extending along the narrow river valley from the Mediterranean in the north to Ethiopia in the south.
A variety of causes have been suggested for his early death, and for many years it was suspected that he was murdered.
He abandoned the new royal city built by his father at Akhanaten and moved the capitol back to the traditional capitol at Thebes.The royal celebrations and sacrifices to Amun were restored, winning him great favor with many of the people. He was also the most prolific builder of monuments honoring his rule, as well as pyramids for the burial of his many children.
The priests were intermediaries between the people and the numerous gods and goddesses discovered on clay seals and figurines.
This period is also credited with the development of the Chinese five-tone music scale, the five-stringed zither, and pan-pipes.
Persia is supplying rockets to Hezbollah, American troops are in Babylonia, and Assyria questions whether it wants to be part of the new Iraq. And Christian missionaries from Europe and the United States armed with computers, flashlights, and modern medicines, encountered stone age tribesmen in the islands of the Pacific as late at the end of the 20th century. They developed a system that divided a circle into units of sixty, from which we today get our minute composed of sixty seconds and a system of counting based upon the unit of ten.
Two of the consequences were (1) a confusion of languages, and (2) a huge flood that lasted for seven days and seven nights. But they were described as being primarily a nomadic people who were never conquered, refused to live in houses, and moved frequently from place to place. One of their number who had gained prominence in Egypt, Joseph, was able through his position to ensure their safe move into Egypt. Eventually they were controlled by the Egyptians who at times extended their control northward to Syria. This was not a monotheism that resulted from special revelation granted by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but developed from his angry response to all those who belittled him when he was a boy.
But more recent examination of his mummified remains indicate that he had severe scoliosis, a broken leg that had become infected, and probably died from several genetic diseases, caused by the fact that his mother was one of his fathera€™s sisters. He fathered at least 80 sons and 60 daughters, all with the purpose of leaving behind a royal line and a successor to the throne.
Central avenues were 30 feet wide with narrow streets running through the residential areas. Knowledge of the Aryans comes primarily from a series of stories called vedas passed down orally in India. Fertility was seemingly a major emphasis of the Harappa religion and was the cause of the veneration of sacred animals, especially bulls. The vast area of fertile soil and extensive forests was fueled by tremendous amounts of soil that annually washed down from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean. Recent studies now propose that it was a change in the path and frequency of typhoons that brought the decline of the Harappa civilization. It merges with the Yangtze River as it nears the Pacific Ocean to form a vast and fertile plain. Oracle bones were simply that: bones on which cracks in the bones were deciphered by oracles who added written pictographs for interpretation. He also developed vast wheat and barley fields, groves of date palms, and under his leadership Babylon became a central power in Mesopotamia.
Central avenues were 30 feet wide with narrow streets running through the residential areas.A  Large granaries were built to hold surplus wheat and barley. 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.
The weaker tended to move out farther, and the stronger tended to settle down more quickly and claim their space. Ur was a community of moon-worshippers and from among them God called out Abraham and his family to become the father of all who have faith (Romans 4). They practiced taxation, conquest of neighboring peoples, slavery, and developed an early monarchial form of government. A Sumerian king, Ziusudra, survived the flood in a large boat, in which he preserved the seeds of plants and life. There they were eventually enslaved by the Egyptians, and they remained slave for over 400 years. The southern section, Judah, with its capitol, Jerusalem, was invaded, captured, and exiled by Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.
Eventually, however, the sea people were able to settle along the Mediterranean coastline of the land of Canaan and were known as the Philistines.
They possessed a written language, but deciphering the script used is still in its early stages. Estimates now available from satellite imagery shows a ridge of fertile soil up to 20 feet deep, 10 miles wide and 100 miles long that straddles the Indus River.
The pattern of the annual typhoons gradually moved increasingly eastward and the people followed the rainfall in scattered, smaller groups.
Because only 10% of the Chinese land is productive for food, the Yellow River basin was crucial in the development and survival of the Chinese people. 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.
It was with Abraham that God made his redeeming covenant that resulted in the coming of Jesus into the world as Savior. But the Hebrews for the most part lived under a series of male and female Hebrews judges, and then a series of kings. Because they were viewed as gods in the flesh, they strove to keep the royal bloodline pure through marriage between brothers and sisters. In addition to the rich alluvial soil, water was plentiful from typhoons that annually dumped immense amounts of rainfall on the area. In addition, the fact that the Harappaa€™s bronze tools and weapons were inferior in design and quality to those manufactured in Egypt and Mesopotamia may also have resulted in invasions as the cities declined in population. The river gained its name from the color of the mud and silt that flows from the Kulun Mountains. 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.
Sumer was located near to where the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers merge and flow into the Persian Gulf. Both the veneration of bulls and the use of the lotus position were later developed further in Hinduism and Buddhism in India. 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. She was the daughter of Akhenaten and his favorite wife, Nefertiti The result was two daughters who both died in infancy. 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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