Edouard Naville and the EEF at Deir el-Bahary (1893-1907)
This lecture will highlight the excavation and restoration activities undertaken by the Swiss archaeologist and Egyptologist Edouard Naville (1844-1926) and his team at the site of Deir el-Bahary. The excavation was funded by the Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF). Much of the information is based on Naville’s own publications, EEF (EES) reports, and images taken by Naville, his wife Marguerite, and the EEF photographer.
Edouard Naville first visited Egypt when he was 21, where he copied the Horus texts in the temple at Edfu. In 1882 he was invited to work for the newly founded EEF. From 1893 onward he excavated at the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahary where he was assisted by David George Hogarth, Somers Clarke and Howard Carter. In 1903-06 he returned to Deir el-Bahary to excavate the Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep II, assisted by Henry Hall. Naville was an archaeologist of the old fashioned school that concerned itself with large scale clearance of sites and little regard for the detailed evidence possibly to be found in the course of excavation. In his lifetime he was criticized by Flinders Petrie for his archaeological methods. Hogarth therefor was sent by the Egypt Excavation Fund to observe and report on the nature of his work at Deir el-Bahary. His published reports are evidence of the lack of detail, but this is also typical of much of the archaeological practice of the time.
The talk is the foundation of a more comprehensive forthcoming one, in which additional information from the Naville archives in Geneva will be added.
Marcel Maessen is the founder of t3.wy Projects and a history expert of the first archaeologists in Egypt.