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flaps over the shoulders, as seen in the early prints; but later investigations of the monuments and paintings of Egypt have corrected this notion, and prove the variety and elegance of their coiffure. Of these, till recently, we had mere representations, but palpable evidence of the skill employed is now to be found in various cabinets. Among the Egyptian treasures in the British Museum, is an actual wig, perhaps once worn at some of Pharaoh's conversazioni; which, from its size, glossiness, and high antiquity, is truly interesting. From an examination of the statues of Isis, Count Caylus thinks that the women did not only retain all their hair, which was often cut square on the neck, but added thereon flocks of wool, one row above the other. In the following wood-cut a specimen is given of the braided tresses, the net-cap, and crescent of, perhaps, the age of Amenoph the Third (B.C. 1,400).
In poring over these knotty subjects, I could not but be struck with their resemblance in taste to some of those of Mexico; and will therefore give two heads with the tiara and drops appended thereunto, which I place by the side of a female of the Tlascaltecas, copied from Lord Kingsborough's great work on the Antiquities of Mexico; and it is curious that Dr. Lee has two fine little applicable examples in stone resembling the latter in feature, which were brought to England by the Duke of Northumberland. In the representation here submitted, the heads-jugata are Egyptian, and the other Mexican
There are some very curious specimens of head-dress among the Hartwell sculptured stelæ; and some of no small moment to the antiquary. Thus the female choristers who attended Pharoah's daughter, on the occasion of her marriage with Solomon, have been clearly identified by comparing the Scriptural record with the Egyptian monuments. The title of the forty-fifth Psalm - To the
the chief musician upon Shoshannim—had long and sorely baffled the commentators, Jewish as well as Christian. The word Shoshannim signifies lilies, which seemed to have nothing to do with the subject-matter of the Psalmist, whose meaning was freely misinterpreted. But this epithalamium, or hymeneal ode, was intended to be sung by the female attendants of the Egyptian princess; and they are called the lilies, in direct allusion to the lotus-lily being a conspicuous ornament of their head-dress. Shoshannim, then, instead of being a prophetic rhapsody, or the name of an unknown air, as asserted, is a poetic allusion at once to the country, the beauty, and the attire of the songstresses. The lotus has given rise to much controversy among the learned, like the pale violet of Horace, and the Pæstum rose, and the hyacinth of the Greeks and Latins; but the mode of wearing this lily will be seen in Rosellini's plates; as well as in Sir Gardiner Wilkinson's “ Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians,” volume the second, pages 191, 291, 299, and 312. Vestiges of the fashion still exist in the Levant, in the fez, or scarlet-cloth cap, being often adorned with a flower pendant on the forehead.
Besides what has been advanced on the cultivation of astronomy and geometry, the Egyptians must have made a great advance in practical mechanics, or they could never have raised their columns and obelisks. They knew the principles and practised the art of constructing the arch, which, although used in Etruria with many other Egyptian customs, were not geometrically understood by the architects of early Greece. The papyri prove that they were masters of arithmetical book-keeping, three thousand years before the Italians had thought of such a science. The manufacture of linen, paper, ropes of leather thongs, glass, and porcelain, were ably executed; in agriculture they employed the plough, the hand-plough, the harrow, and the sickle; and they also worked wine-presses in primæval times. It is fortunate that they dabbled largely in the fine arts, but for which, many of the assertions here made could not have been sustained.
The practice of portrait-sculpture has been carried back to two thousand years B.C., and its origin is even then untraceable: this assertion is based on a fact insisted on by Champollion, namely, that the faces of the Pharaohs of Egypt, graven on temples, are all boná fide likenesses of the individuals represented.
The sculptures on public monuments were mostly coloured : yet the tints given to each symbol were not arbitrary on the part of the artist, but applied agreeably to a systematic regulation,-as, the heavens azure, the earth and men of Egypt red, the women yellow, and the Asiatics and Negroes proper, in the nearest approach to their true complexions. Portraitpainting seems also to have been practised immemorially, as indeed would naturally be expected if the above position be granted. Upon a mummy in the British Museum, which was sent to England by Consul-General Salt, is a portrait which has excited much attention : it is painted on a plank of cedar, and it is found that the colours are all vegetable, being fixed by a strong gluten,—the several tints are brilliant, and the light upon the features artistically managed. As to the knowledge and skill of the Egyptians in fresco-painting, they must be deemed most extraordinary, whether as referring to the multiplicity of their compositions, or the imperishable nature of their pigments. Belzoni told me of his astonishment, amounting to awe, at the freshness and vivid hues of the representations in the tombs of the kings which he opened at Thebes : and Mr. Henry Beechey, my former shipmate, who was with Belzoni, on seeing the galleries at Biban al Moluk, said,“One would think that Titian, Giorgione, and Tintoretto had here acquired all that vigour and magic of effect which distinguishes them so remarkably from all other painters in point of arrangement, and principally in the happy distribution of their darks.”!
It is not the least extraordinary fact connected with our subject, that, while jewels, gold necklaces, ivory ornaments, ear-rings, seals, glass beads, spangles, rings, and almost all other articles of bijouterie have been exhumed in abundance, no coined money was ever found with the mummies of archaic Egypt; nor has any been discovered there of a date anterior to the reign of Alexander. It seems that their commerce was conducted by exchange, and we can trace in their pictures the manner of barter : rings of gold or silver having been used in the larger trading transactions, and nuts in the smaller. Now it is truly singular that, on the conquest of Mexico, the Spaniards found the precious metals profusely employed for domestic purposes, but there was no coined money; which, combined with many other striking analogous customs, opens a curious field for both antiquaries and ethnologists.
The art of beating out gold leaf must have been well known, for specimens now lodged in our cabinets unequivocally evince that gilding was largely practised by the Egyptians. Among Dr. Lee's relics is the hand of a female, the nails of which are gilt ;* and it is not unusual to find
; mummies with large patches of gold leaf, on various parts, from the crown of the head to the feet. Signor Passalacqua is of opinion, that all the mummies found to have been gilt on the flesh are Greeks, who either in
* In a mummy which I was invited to see opened at Lord Londesborough's last suminer (1850), and which proved to be the remains of a priestess of Isis, the finger-ends were discovered to be tipped with silver, fitted to their shape over the nails.
the time of the Pharaohs or Lagides were living in Egypt : an ethnological examination is necessary to decide such a question, and also to establish whether most mummies do not afford indications of the time in which the individual lived. In one of those opened by Passalacqua in 1829, one of the eyes proved to be false, being very capitally made of glass.
Through the zealous offices of Consul-General Salt, the Basha of Egypt had promised me a hearty reception in his dominions : but when I repaired thither in the spring of the year 1822, the bellicose state of the Levant, and the presence of the Turkish, Egyptian, Algerine, Tunisian, and Tripoline squadrons in the harbour, compelled me to remain in Alexandria for the protection of the flag. This was a source of considerable regret to me, since I had obtained the permission of the Admiralty, and hoped, with the aid of Messrs. Salt, Briggs, Lee, and Thurburn, to give a satisfactory settlement to several contested points, while the secondary details of my survey were being filled in ; an office for which my means, superior instruments, and practical experience, pretty well qualified me. Among other matters, his late Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex-who was greatly interested in Belzoni's operations-drew my attention to the necessity of an absolutely accurate measurement of the angle of inclination of the newly discovered passage into the pyramid of Cephrenes, usually termed the second pyramid of Gheezah ; thereby to ascertain whether any philosophical relation could be drawn from it, in conjunction with the monstrous edifice being erected exactly to the cardinal points of the compass, with the entrance in the true meridian. Now there are few points of Egyptian story more generally conceded, than the vast antiquity of the Mizraimitish scientific observations and computations, a demonstration of which exists in their early sothic and civil periods, and their exact establishment of the year and its parts. But though astronomy had unquestionably advanced among them, and was even connected with the ceremonials of their religion, it is highly improbable that a structure should have been raised merely for an observatory, which is four hundred and fifty-six feet high and six hundred and ninety