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Souvenirs and New Ideas (Paperback)

Travel and Collecting in Egypt and the Near East

Ancient History > Ancient Egypt & Egyptology Ancient History > Ancient Near East P&S History > Humanities

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: ASTENE Publications
Pages: 200
ISBN: 9781842178157
Published: 30th June 2013
Casemate UK Academic

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During the 18th and 19th centuries, many travellers aimed to record their travels through Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Levant and Turkey by collecting souvenirs and mementos of places they had visited. This natural inclination took many different guises: from innocent activities such as making diaries and sketches, gathering academic knowledge or taking photographs, to acquiring souvenirs, very often antiquities. Other, more unscrupulous, travellers undertook journeys specifically to ‘collect’ antiquities to form the basis of museum collections or to profit by re-selling them. Souvenirs and New Ideas explores the human desire to retain the memory of a journey by ‘collecting objects’ with a series of essays examining the motivation of a variety of different travellers ranging from intrepid female solo travellers to European royalty. The acquisitions of these individuals ranged from tales of folklore and academic knowledge to the wholesale looting of Egyptian antiquities. Although the habit of ‘collecting antiquities’ is deplored and condemned today, this volume sheds light on the attitudes behind the practice and seeks to strengthen our current beliefs about the value of cultural patrimony.

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