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An Artist in Abydos


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Foreword by Peter Lacovara Introduction 1. The Early Years 2. Qaw al-Kebir 3. On My Way! 4. Settling In 5. All Creatures Great and Small 6. Mad Dogs and Englishmen 7. Merry Christmas 8. Ancient Zar Ceremonies and Modern Dams 9. The Festival at Qena 10. Alone Again! 11. Still Alone-But Not for Much Longer 12. Kharga 13. Guests Again 14. Ramadan and My Turn to Be a Visitor 15. Comings and Goings 16. Preparations for Home 17. Miscellany Conclusion Appendix: The Egypt Exploration Society at Abydos A Note on the Letters Acknowledgments Index

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The first book to reveal the private life of an Englishwoman whose contribution to the recording of Egypt's ancient past has long been overlooked

About the Author

Lee Young is an independent researcher and lecturer in Egyptology specializing in the artists and epigraphers who have worked in Egypt through the years, focusing on the women. She has been a research volunteer for the Griffith Institute Archive at Oxford University and has also worked on a project for the Egyptian Exploration Society.


"An Artist in Abydos explores Myrtle Broome, one of the greatest copyists to work in Egypt during the twentieth century. Lee Young expertly reconstructs Broome's life, using her detailed and engaging letters that captured everything about her life while in Egypt. Along with Amice Calverley, Broome spent eight seasons at Abydos, copying the exquisite painted reliefs in the Temple of Seti I. The resulting four-volume publication, The Temple of King Sethos I at Abydos, edited by Alan H. Gardiner, is devoted to the superb copies of the painted wall reliefs and remains one of the finest records of Egyptian temple art. An Artist in Abydos is a brilliant chronicle of an under-recognized female artist pursuing her dream during the golden age of excavation in Egypt."--Melinda Hartwig, author of The Tomb Chapel of Menna (Tt 69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb

"Lee Young has skillfully compiled, edited, and narrated a captivating selection of Myrtle Broome's letters home, written during her employment as an archaeological artist in Egypt of the 1920s-1930s, just after the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb. Through Myrtle's intimate correspondence, the reader is quickly drawn into her fascinating daily life, work, and adventures in the Egyptian desert. Moreover, what shines through most in Myrtle's observations, seen from her English middle-class perspective, is her humanity and deep affection for the ordinary people of Egypt."--Reg Clark, author of Securing Eternity: Ancient Egyptian Tomb Protection from Prehistory to the Pyramids
"An Artist in Abydos is a step toward rescuing a 'minor character' from oblivion and according Myrtle Broome the significance she deserves in the history of Egyptology."--Jason Thompson, Bibliotheca Orientalis
"[A] remarkable account. . . Broome. . . ranked among the greatest of the copyists working in Egypt in the twentieth century who left us an invaluable record of some of ancient Egypt's most beautiful monuments."--Peter Lacovara, from the Foreword

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