Graffiti in the Temples of Ancient Egypt

Check out the following.  N. Pearce and associates 1819, Dr P.Ruga 1841, Hill and Warden 1831, the author R.R. Madden 1826 who wrote of his extensive travels in Egypt and the near East in the 1820's.  Moving into the Temple proper, carved on a column you will discover the work of John Gordon 1804, a military man with great wealth in his time, he was the richest commoner in Scotland worth £millions.

On the same ancient column Captain A.L.Corry R.N.  January 1818 the Captain of the brig "Osprey" a vessel of 232 tons, boasting 14 guns manned by 32 seamen, there for the protection of Lord Belmore and his entourage as far South as the Nile would allow passage. (see In Search of John Gordon 1804).

The Luxor Temple, sadly feeling its age these days for whatever reason, salt incrustation brought on by the water table rising in modern times or plain over exposure to tourism, still has an attraction for me especially the Alexander the Great shrine, although after being crowded out by the throngs you struggle to gain the composure to re-live how it must have been in the time of the Pharaohs.  

The French poet Jean Arthur Rimbaud (1854/1891) who's work of a collection of poetry and prose "A Season in Hell" was published in 1873.  He led a colourful, if short life, in Abyssinia, which involved amongst other professions, slave trader and part time gun-runner.  His work is said to have influenced Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison of the Doors, that's some accolade!  The time spent researching Rimbaud will be entertaining, I can promise. 

The word 'eccentric' comes to mind with the next individual, Girolamo Segato (1792/1836), an Italian who's claim to fame in my eyes would be being the first person, along with Prussian Baron Von Minutoli in modern times, to enter the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. This almost pales into insignificance with the realization that he, as a scientist, formulated a procedure that would petrify human limbs.  This of course led him into conflict with not only the medical authorities in Florence, but more seriously for him, the Church took a dim view.  He not surprisingly died in poverty, taking his special secret with him to the grave.  Buried in the Santa Croce Church, Florence in 1836, Segato is quoted as saying "I, who am able to petrify other people's limbs, will have to rot".

Our next port of call on the great graffiti hunt is Dahshur, the Old Kingdom site given splendour by the burial of King Sneferu, the founder of the 4 th Dynasty Manetho places Sneferu as the first King of arguably Egypt's greatest epoch, the age of the pyramid builders. Sneferu's architects planned and his builders fashioned an immense necropolis that spanned at least a couple of generations C2650 bc. The area around his pyramids has only recently begun to sparingly give up its secrets.

The so-called Bent Pyramid or the southernmost pyramid of the two constructed by Sneferu at Dahshur was the unlikely recipient of the following gem of 19 th Century graffiti. I must admit the discovery of General Baron Auguste F.M. Colbert 1801 was a complete surprise as, at the time, I was studying Old Kingdom building techniques when, by accident, I came across the extremely weathered inscription. Auguste Colbert fought with Napoleon Bonaparte's' army in Egypt 1799-1801. He died after being shot by a British soldier at the Cacabelas Bridge near Villafranca in Spain on 3rd January 1809. (See Napoleon Guide)



Click to Enlarge Images


Alan Fildes, Graffiti in the Temples of Ancient Egypt
John Gordon
Jean Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Arthur Rimbaud
Girolamo Segato
Girolamo Segato
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