For about 3-4 months in 1886-87 Flinders Petrie took photographs and casts of different ‘racial types’ on Egyptian monuments, mainly in and around Luxor and Thebes at Karnak and tombs in the Valley of the Kings. This panel (02_04_V3) describes what Petrie did and how the ‘types’ were chosen.
Tracking down these images in their original form was not easy. The Petrie Museum has all the images as glass negatives, but they are in many cases too cracked to be safely scanned in. The copy of the report at UCL was ‘missing’ – 4 different librarians and curators looked for it – and fortunately the Palestinian Exploration Fund had a copy and were kind enough to let us reproduce the images. This copy was also donated by Petrie himself and has notes underneath the images updating or further describing their ‘racial type’
Since putting this exhibition together, we have found about 30 of the photographs in the Petrie Museum archives. Our curator Stephen Quirke spotted them when transferring a folder from the archives from one drawer to another.