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In the Balkhi-Istakhri-Ibn Hawqal set of writings, there are four distinct recessions of what is basically one set of maps.
The main difference between the work of Ibn Hawqal (#213) and that of al- Istakhri is in the formera€™s discussion of the western (formerly Byzantine) part of Islam. The maps accompanying the geographical texts from what is termed the a€?Balkhi Schoola€? of geography seem at first sight to be an unnecessary supplement to the texts, the text being so complete in itself. The thirteen maps that represent the Persian-speaking provinces of the Islamic empire are fairly consistent in form throughout all the manuscripts. The maps of each of these regions consist of an area that is roughly rectangular and usually, although not always, surrounded by a line representing its boundary with the surrounding areas. This set of maps also does not cover the whole world as do the sectional maps of al-Idrisi that follow in the 12th century and the texts of the earlier geographers like Ibn al-Faqih or Ibn Khurradadhbih. Besides this policy of portraying only the areas of the Abbasid caliphate at its greatest extent, it is further obvious that there is a bias toward things Iranian: so much so that Kramers has suggested there may have been old Iranian maps that are the basis of these Balkhi maps. The second recession (Istakhri II) is not so symmetrical, and the mountain and three islands become much smaller (as they also do in the Mediterranean).
The basic purpose of the maps (especially those of the Persian-speaking areas) seems to be to incorporate the caravan routes across the province, with all the stages marked. All the manuscripts in what is called the Ottoman Cluster [al-Istakhria€™s Kitab al-Masalik wa-al-Mamalik - Book of Roads and Kingdoms, henceforth KMMS] are written on thin, highly polished paper in tight, late, naskhi script with few diacritical marks.
As Karen Pinto points out it is through the distinctive delineations in the maps that one can most easily identify the KMMS Ottoman Cluster as part of a single group.
As on world maps in other KMMS manuscripts, the interior of the three continents on the Ottoman Cluster world map, which are always outlined in red ink, are left uncolored. A final but crucial aspect identified by Karen Pinto that individualizes all the maps in the Ottoman Cluster manuscripts is their unsophisticated execution and lackluster painting technique.
Part of the cause of this ballooning is to be found in the simple fact that the maps of the Ottoman Cluster are on a larger size of paper, 19 cm compared with 13.2 cm in TSMK A. The Slavic tribal belt on the western flank of the Black Sea, composed of (in order of occurrence) Sarir, the Khazar, the Burtas and the Rus, has also expanded and now presses into territory assigned to Bilad al-Rum. Of particular interest is the way in which the space accorded to the al-Ard al-Kabira min al-Rum [the Land of Greater Byzantium] on the European flank has grown to take over almost the entire European triangle. Noticeable too are the sizes of the landmasses in the Ottoman Cluster versions of the world map.
The world map of the Ottoman Cluster was adroitly re-proportioned to impress upon the viewer the greatness and expanse of the Bilad aI-Rum and al-Ard al-Kabira min al-Rum - and the Ottoman Empire as successor to Byzantium - in comparison with all other territories of the world.
This world map is from al-Istakhria€™s manuscript copy of Kitab al-masalik wa-al-mamalik [Book of Routes and Realms], which is kept in Iran Bastan Museum in Tehran. The name of Armenia should be on the map, since it appears in the text as well as in the regional map entitled Surat Arminiya, Arran va Adharbeijan of the same manuscript. This is a world map drawn in line with the Islamic traditions, taken from al-lstakaria€™s original manuscript entitled Kitab al-masalik wa-al-mamalik [Book of Routes and Realms], a geographical treatise on the whole of the inhabited world.
The large sea shown on the left is a combination of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean shown with four circular islands. The map shows Arminiya [Armenia] located southwest of the Caspian (or Back Sea), next to Azerbaijan. An Arabic wheel-map, that of Abu Ishaq al-Farisi al-Istakhri and Abu al-Qasim Muhammad idn Hawqal (950-970).
A  In the Balkhi-Istakhri-Ibn Hawqal set of writings, there are four distinct recessions of what is basically one set of maps. DESCRIPTION: The world maps made by the European Church Fathers were a legacy taken over from the ancient world, and they were gradually expanded and adapted in accordance with the texts which they accompanied. Maps gradually came to stand on their own as independent works, instead of mere supplements to texts. Among the first maps in Christian Europe to reveal a new character are those by Pietro Vesconte (fl. These maps of Italy use the coastal outline from portolan charts as the basis for a general map of the area, showing mountains, rivers and inland towns. The world map included in this volume was made by Vesconte who used his knowledge of sea charts in the crafting of this work. Pietro Vesconte, in his mappamundi drawn for Marino Sanudoa€™s Secreta fidelium crucis, tried to combine the two types into one image.
The Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, with (in the east) the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, are no longer an unrecognizable pattern of shapes that can be identified only by names attached to them; instead they are drawn just as in a normal portolan chart.
The map however cannot be considered as a T-O type but akin to the Ptolemaic model of the world, having been rotated 90 degrees. Northern Europe is show as a densely populated area with many legends of towns and provinces. The flat-bottomed circular sea enveloped by mountains is named Mare Caspiu [the Caspian Sea]. The unnamed mountain range running between the Black Sea and the arrow-like Caspian Sea can only be the Caucasus Mountain range. To the left of the red inscription Asia there is a vertically standing rectangle resting on the mountain range, bearing the label Archa Noe [Noaha€™s Ark]. To the west of Armenia, south of the Black Sea the region is divided into various strips of land starting at the top with Persida, Asia Minor and followed by Bitia [Bithynia]. Africa occupies most of the southern hemisphere and does bear the basic geographical features such as the Gulf of Guinea and the Cape despite its inaccurate shape. From Rouben Galichiana€™s Countries South of the Caucasus in Medieval Maps: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan the text surrounding the map provides explanatory comments about various provinces and their features. The map sees the first mention of the name Georgia, though there is a reference to Colchis (or Abkhazia), indicating that the latter may not yet have been entirely annexed with the kingdom of Georgia.
The chronicle compiled by the Minorite friar Paulinus dates from about the same time (ca.1320). Besides his world map, the most interesting of the medieval maps of Palestine was also drawn by Vesconte in about 1320. Fine example of this rare portolan map of the World, the earliest surviving printed evidence of Pietro Vescontea€™s world map created circa 1311, generally considered to be one of the earliest surviving examples of a modern map of the world. This mappamundi is, in essence, a portolano of the Mediterranean world combined with work of pre-portolan type in remoter regions. Its basic form also conforms to fundamental medieval conceptions of geography, in that it is oriented with East at the top and shows Jerusalem at the center of the World.
The present printed version of the map shown above appeared in Germany in the early 17th century. Vescontea€™s portolan of the eastern Mediterranean (1311), is the oldest known signed and dated map. Twenty-three surviving examples of Sanudoa€™s manuscript work are known to exist, all of which date from the 14th Century. Vescontea€™s most important sea chart atlases were produced in 1313, 1318, 1321 and 1322 and are kept in Bibliotheque National de France, Rel. Brincken, Anna-Dorothee van den, a€?Das geographische Weltbild um 1300,a€? in Peter Moraw (ed.), Das geographische Weltbild um 1300. Vesconte world map, 1320, 35 cm diameter, oriented with East at the topa€?British Library, Additional MS. This world map is painted using colors fairly typical of the medieval period.A  The oceans, seas and rivers are in green, the saw-tooth mountains in brown, the major cities represented by crowns and castles are in red, and the landmasses are in white. Vesconte world map, 1320, 35 cm diameter, oriented with East at the topBritish Library, Additional MS. DESCRIPTION: Medieval European cartography reflected the arrest and decline in, or the expression of, their knowledge of world or local geography following the collapse of the Roman world.
In Macrobiusa€™ maps the entire eastern hemisphere of the earth is shown, divided into five zones: two polar or frigid zones, two temperate, and one equatorial, torrid zone. Macrobius was a late Roman neoplatonic grammarian and philosopher who wrote several eclectic works that were much read in the Middle Ages. Macrobian maps have little space for geographical details, as the northern temperate zone is relatively small. Macrobius preferred Eratosthenesa€™ more accurate calculation for the circumference of the earth (252,000 stadia = ~25,000 miles, vice Ptolemya€™s 180,000 stadia = ~18,000 miles). According to an essay by Michael Andrews (see his diagram in the Introduction), the majority of medieval world maps of the Hemispherical Family were constructed in accordance with what is known as the oceanic theory, attributed to a fifth century B.C.
Andrews further divides the Hemispherical Family of medieval maps into two main branches: the Oceanic or Quadripartite Division and the Non-Oceanic or Non-Quadripartite Division.
In the Somnium Scipionis of de Republica and elsewhere, Cicero makes clear his belief in the theory of a southern continent or Antipodes.
The story of the origin and the persistence of the belief in that continent, of the controversies which grew out of that belief, of the centuries of exploration in search of the elusive shores of the Terra Australis, is one of the most curiously interesting in the record of human thought and action. The long controversy was settled, so far as the western Antipodes were concerned, when America was discovered and its great extent revealed on maps. As mentioned earlier, the orientation is relatively unique for medieval mappaemundi, in that Macrobian maps are oriented to the North, vice the East, where Jerusalem was often reflected as the center of the world. The map illustrated on the left is characteristic of the later medieval versions of the Macrobian world-picture, although some examples preserve richer nomenclature. Africa, intercepted by the equatorial Perusta zona just below the Mediterranean edge, finally tapers off against the impassable stream which cuts the known world off from the bowl-shaped continent at the south of the circle, Temparata Antipodum, and below, the Frigida Australis Inhabitabilis. The work of Macrobius experienced tremendous popularity throughout the time period loosely termed the Middle Ages, even considering the inherent distributive limitations of hand-copied manuscripts. According to Chet Van Duzer, only one Macrobian map that has sea monsters, namely a 12th century mappamundi in Leiden. A rare 12th century Macrobian map which has sea monsters, a a€?sea doga€? and what appears to be a faded a€?sea beara€?.
In the library of the University of Salamanca there is a 15th century manuscript probably made in Utrecht that contains a miscellany of works on mathematics, astronomy, computus, geography, and medicine. For that reason, in that place where the wide extent of water precludes every desire to gaze upon it and every sentiment of boldness to sail thereon for the sake of gain, there the whale is said to have his lair.
Ambrose does not specify which ocean he is describing, but the cartographera€™s choice to place this legend in the remote southern ocean is appropriate. Summary: In the early fifth century, Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius presented a global view of the Ocean in his Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis.
The medieval Macrobian maps show two of these four a€?islandsa€? in the eastern hemisphere. 201E Macrobian world map in Petrus Alphonsusa€™ Dialogus Contra Judeos Petrus Alphonsus, 15th century, Bodleian Library, MS.
201E1 Macrobian world map in Petrus Alphonsusa€™ Dialogus Contra Judeos Petrus Alphonsus, 15th century, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, MS. 201G Macrobian world map in Commentarium in somnium Scipionis, 15th century, 12.5 cm diameter, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ottob. 201X Macrobius Map, 10 th-11th century, Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 14436, fol. ABSTRACT: The subject of this article is the tradition of world maps that illustrate Macrobiusa€™ Commentary on the Dream of Scipio in manuscripts produced before 1100. A A  According to an essay by Michael Andrews (see his diagram in the Introduction), the majority of medieval world maps of the Hemispherical Family were constructed in accordance with what is known as the oceanic theory, attributed to a fifth century B.C.
He does not appear in any of the standard Arab biographies, and all we know about him personally was his meeting with the more renown Ibn Hawqal (#213), which is related in the lattera€™s own book. Their form was stereotyped by the time of the first al-Istakhri recession, and Ibn Hawqal seems to have found no need to change these maps. These two maps are built up by what might be called a€?academic conjecturea€?a€”an armchair attempt to see all the provinces set down relative to each other. In the world map, the islands disappear altogether in the second recession but are there, very large, in the first. Neither do they mention longitude and latitude in any form, or any sort of map construction. This is most noticeable on the map of the Khurasan Desert, where the boundary of the desert is given with the bordering villages and oases marked around it. In the northwestern quadrant (lower right) of each world map, is an elongated, tear-shaped Mediterranean Sea, with two outstretched arms representing the Nile (at right angles to the Mediterranean) and the Bosphorus (at 45 degrees).
Consequently it is the blueness of the surrounding water that directs attention to the land, whose stark whiteness on the folios also serves to heighten the visual conflict between the threatening Persian Gulf and the placid Mediterranean.
The area accorded to the Bulgars, designated Bulghar al-Dakhil, namely the Inner Bulghar, has been reduced in keeping with the fact that by this point Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II had incorporated most of Bulgaria into the Ottoman Empire. The semi-circular areas assigned to the Ifranja [the Franks] and Andalus [Muslim Spain] has shrunk considerably.
The message is reinforced by the space accorded to the lands designated al-Saqaliba and Bulghar al-Dakhil, creating the impression of Ottoman control almost to the territorially voluminous northern steppes (Barari al-Shamal) and the lands of the Turksa€™ eponymous ancestors who, in the 11th and 12th centuries, as we know from the history of Turkic migrations from Inner Asia, made their way westward to Anatolia. The Nile is the vertical blue strip descending from Habashe to the Mediterranean, where it arrives between Misr and Maghrib. However, part of the map, which should have borne this name, is in the fold of the paper and has been damaged and the writing partially obliterated. The map has South at the top and as per the Balkhi School of mapmakers, includes the Mediterranean and Indian Seas, with other standard features of the Islamic world maps.
The sea on the right is the Mediterranean, with the downward curving Aegean Sea leading to the Black Sea, depicted as the bulge at the end of the curved line (though could conceivably be the Caspian Sea, which is not shown separately).
Countries around the Caucasian Mountains are Arminiya, Azerbaijan, Khazar, Vilayet Rum and Saqaliba.
Re-oriented with North at the top, it clearly shows the strong tendency to geometrical stylization characteristic of the second period of Arab cartography.
The set consists of a world map, maps of the three seas: the Mediterranean, the Persian Sea [Indian Ocean] and the Caspian Sea, and maps of seventeen a€?provincesa€? of the Islamic empire. The Iranian area is divided systematically into areas for mapping, whereas the areas the Arabs conquered from the Byzantines were treated in a much less systematic way.A  This may, however, reflect the administrative situation in the two empires that preceded the Islamic empire at the time when the Arab conquest took place. Towns are sometimes squares, circles, or four-pointed stars or, if they are stopping places on a straight route, resemble small tents or perhaps doors to caravansaries.A  Thus much of the drafting is ruled with either a straight or a curved edge. The commentaries and learned notes (scholia) added to the texts formed the basis of further alterations to the maps. They became an essential part of the collections in monastic libraries, in whose catalogues we commonly find, from the ninth century onward, at least one such independent map.
A A copy was also offered to the King of France, to whom Sanuto desired to commit the military and political leadership of the new crusade. On this copy he even drew rosettes, which are standard feature in the portolan sea charts but are scarcely used outside the sea chart tradition. The maps were in fact long thought to be the work of Marino Sanuto [also spelled a€?Sanudoa€?] himself. Notwithstanding its raison da€™etre (urging the European rulers to organize a new crusade) it stands bereft of any religious content.
Norwegia is a peninsula and Anglia, Scotia and Hybernia are shown as islands in the North Sea.
Situated between this and the Black Sea [Mare Pontos] there is another arrow-like lake, which bears the legend a€?marea€? only.
At its intersection with the second mountain range the vignette of a large gate reads Porte Forree [Iron Gates, the name given to the Caspian Gates by the Persians, Turks, Armenians and others]. The eastern end of this mountain range is called Montes Caspii [Caspian Mountains] while towards its western extremity it is identified as Taurisius or Taurus mountain range. Calcedonia, Licaonia, Galatia, Lidia and Frigia minor [Phrygia], Cilicia lies to the south of this region, over the mountains and between the two vignettes of castles. The Nile River has its source in unspecified mountains and flows northwards to the Mediterranean flowing through Egyprus, past numerous castellated towns located on its shores. At the top right of the map, lines two to five and twelve to fourteen from the top describe the peoples, features and location of Armenia. It too contains a world map and a map of Palestine, which closely resemble the work of Pietro Vesconte.
Vescontea€™s map, in its earliest form, survives in a 14th century manuscript work by Marino Sanudo, which was reproduced for the first time in print in Johann Bongarsa€™ Orientalium expeditionum historia. A The ocean surrounds the known landmasses of the world, while the outer parts are largely conjectural. A Notably, this map, along with Vescontea€™s other work, features the first broadly accurate conceptions of the Mediterranean and Black Seas. A It was produced as part of the greater intellectual movement that flourished in Europe, and in Germany in particular, roughly from 1450 to 1650, during which scholars, heavily influenced by the enlightened ethic of Humanism, sought to acquire, preserve and learn from the most progressive elements of Classical and Medieval thought. As evident on the present map, Vesconte was the first mapmaker to accurately maps the Mediterranean and Black Seas, and his depiction of Great Britain was a marked improvement over his predecessors. Ptolemya€™s Geographia remained known only to Byzantine scholars, and thence it came to influence the early students of Arabic geography, but not European cartography for another one thousand years. Macrobiusa€™ commentary on Ciceroa€™s work includes geographical theories that were to some extent based upon Ptolemy, but with certain differences. The maps belonging to the first division, which, to judge by the numerous examples remaining to us, was by far the most popular in medieval times, are further classified as Simple and Zone. Omer and some in the works of William of Conches, which depict the whole hemisphere bisected by the equatorial ocean, but do not indicate any division by zones. Macrobiusa€™ fifth century commentary carries further the statement of Cicero concerning the habitable character of this southern zone, specifically known as the Antichthon. The maps in which the theory found delineation are of much more than incidental interest in the present discussion. The desire to discover the southern Antipodes, or the Antichthon, became thereafter one of the impelling motives of exploration and cartography, as can be evidenced in the work of such people as the late 18th century English geographer Alexander Dalrymple and the continual efforts at Antarctic exploration that has persisted to the present day. It is doubtful how soon the Macrobius plans were altered by medieval copyists into the uncertain orientation that we find in other manuscripts. In the ocean to the left of Europe are two large islands labeled Horcades Insulae [the Orkneys].
By the 12th century the work of Macrobius had become standard textbook material in the schools, eight centuries after his initial work.
There is one clear sea dog in the northwestern part of the circumfluent ocean, portrayed simply as a dog in the ocean rather than as a hybrid creature; in the northeastern part of the circumfluent ocean there is another creature, very faded, which is probably intended to represent a marine bear, but again it is portrayed simply as a bear rather than as a hybrid creature. This manuscript contains a little-known mappamundi which, though quite simple and schematic, has a prominent legend about sea monsters. There, too, live a huge species of fish, reported to be mountainous in size by those who have ventured to approach and see them. This material from Ambrose is not cited on any other map, which demonstrates again how cartographers chose material about sea monsters from eclectic sources. In many surviving medieval manuscripts of this work, starting in the ninth century, we find maps that illustrate the following geographical ideas. Examination of the maps in manuscript context reveals that the primary purpose of the image was to illustrate the direction of ocean flows, the formation of seas, and the relationship of the known world to unknown but hypothesized regions. Examples of various Species of this Genus are to be found mainly in the Commentarius in Somnium Scipionis of Macrobius, the Philosophia and Dragmaticon of William of Conches, and less frequently in other works.A  In the Macrobian maps, the Cratesian scheme is usually more fully illustrated by the inclusion of inscriptions dealing with the oceanic tides. Macrobiusa€™ fifth century commentary carries further the statement of Cicero concerning the habitable character of this southern zone, specifically known as the Antichthon.A  Like Crates, Macrobius affirms that it is reason alone that permits us to assume its habitable character, for the intervening torrid zone prevents us from ever knowing what the truth of that matter may be. Even his work Kitab al-masalik wa-al-mamalik can be dated only from internal evidence, to the middle of the 10th century A.D. Kramersa€™ example who refers to the four types as: Istakhri I, Istakhri II, Ibn Hawqal I, and Ibn Hawqal III. Even Azerbaijan and al-Jazirah, of which Ibn Hawqal produced good versions approved by al-Istakhri, do not seem to have changed much through Islamic cartography recessions. Measurements are attempted; thus the width from the Encircling Ocean in northwestern Africa to the ocean in China was 400 daysa€™ journey. Straight lines then join those places on opposite sides where traffic flows, and the name of the route is written on the line so drawn. The Red Sea on the Persian Gulf maps has a distinctive sharp-toothed shape, while its shape on the Mediterranean maps also stands out for its pronounced oblong appearance. Africa, which always sweeps across the top of KMMS world maps, has a pronounced pointed dagger or crescent-like shape. The paintwork, too, is patchy and unevenly applied, while the colors tend to be watered-down and pale.
2830, but a free-hand copy, which was subsequently faithfully traced in the other manuscripts of the Ottoman Cluster. Territorial boundaries on the Cluster maps are marked with the same shapes as those employed by TSMK A. The swathe of land assigned to the Slavs (al-Saqaliba) along the northern end of the Bosphorus crossing over from Asia to Europe has been significantly elongated in A.S.
This change, more than any of the others, bears the mark of Mehmeta€™s territorial ambitions in Europe. What matters, according to the world map of the Ottoman Cluster, is that the Ottoman Empire dominates the image of the world as the new Byzantium with its nominative implication of a neo-Roman Empire. People in these two halves get blacker as you go south and whiter as you go north etc.a€? a€? The main kingdoms are listed together with the kingdoms that adjoin them. The Black Sea seems to be the waterway connecting the Mediterranean with the surrounding ocean, but the Caspian and the Aral Seas are shown as circular inland lakes, with wide rivers flowing in. In Asia, which occupies the bulk of the map, there are many countries and provinces shown from Sham [Syria] in the west to Chin [China] in the east and Khuzestan in the south, to the land of Gog and Magog in the north.
The Mediterranean is bereft of any islands here, and the blue circle at bottom left is the Aral Sea.
This map tends towards the more decorative rather than true representation of Islamic geography, a truer sample of which can be seen in the other illustrations herein. Maqbul Ahmad has a theory that this Islamicization of the maps and geography was a deliberate policy developing independent of the work of the earlier al-Maa€™mun type of geographer, which, based mainly on Ptolemy, covered the whole of the known world.


Al-Balkhi and al-Istakhri were both patronized by the Samanid rulers of Persia, and the emphasis is very much on the Iranian area. It therefore does not seem that the authors envisaged any kind of formal scale at all in constructing these maps. He was a Genoese cartographer and one of the earliest creators of portolan [nautical] charts. This is large propaganda volume, was written on vellum and includes many miniatures and vignettes of the Crusaders and their battles with the Saracens. The region of the Mediterranean, whose accurate portolan charts already existed, is depicted in true detail but the rest of the world is shown in very approximate form and shape. Later, however, a copy of the Liber secretorum was discovered with the signature of Pietro Vesconte and the date 1320, and he is now considered the author of the maps in place of Sanuto, who was not known as a cartographer. While much of his production is conventional, his world map for Sanudoa€™s crusader manuscript departs dramatically from earlier examples, seeking to combine the mathematical system and new land-shapes of the portolan charts with the contained, circular, Jerusalem-centered format of most mappaemundi. On this map we do not see mythical and Biblical creatures or other Christian features such as the Earthly Paradise or the rivers of Paradise and here, for the first time in medieval world maps the Red Sea is not colored red and does not standout. This should in fact be the Caspian Sea, since to its south the legends read Caspia and Yrcania, two provinces located south of the Caspian Sea. For the first time in medieval western maps this passage, also known as the Caspian Gates, has been shown in as correct position, namely on the western shore of the Caspian Sea.
Two lines further down there is a description regarding Georgia beginning with: Kingdom of Georgia has a large white mountain at its east, and to its south lies Armenia. Some differences in detail occur; for example, though both the Vatican copy and the Paris copy have two Caspian Seas, in the Vatican copy they are the same shape, while in the Paris copy the western Caspian corresponds to the later form of the Catalan maps.
1450): it illustrated a book by Marino Sanuto that urged a new crusade to re-conquer the Holy Land, now entirely lost to the Christians. A True to the medieval conception of the world, the landmasses are about equally balanced between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
A These scholars sought to go ad fontes, or a€?to the original sourcea€™ of the knowledge, or as close to it as possible. Vescontea€?s world maps were circular in format and oriented with East to the top, although most of the fabulous elements so common to early world maps have been omitted, Prester John, the mythical Christian king occasionally located in Ethiopia, does manage to appear on Vescontea€™s map and has been a€?re-locateda€? to India.
One of the first priorities of the work was a complete examination of all previous exploration and excavation in the precinct, particularly that of Margaret Benson carried out in 1895-7.
Only in one type of medieval Christian European map does there survive, in very simple form, some concept of Greek geography.
Macrobius wrote his Expositio In Somnium Scipionis ex Cicerone [Commentary on the Dream of Scipio by Cicero] in the early fifth century, basing it on the last part of Ciceroa€™s De Republica, in which the Roman general, Scipio Aemilianus [Africanus the Younger], is transported to the heavens by the spirit of his famous grandfather. Here, for example, we have the Orkney Islands (farthest northwest), the Caspian Sea (northeast), Indian Ocean (southeast), and the Red Sea (south), while Italy indicates the centre.
The a€?truea€™ ocean encircled the earth sphere equatorially, while the popularly accepted ocean which passed through the poles was regarded as subsidiary. The northern habitable parts in these maps are often divided in tripartite fashion, but there are also examples that have no formal divisions (see #217 and #225.1). It is certain, however, that Macrobius himself definitely put North at the top, for in one place he states that the upper temperate zone was inhabited by men of our race. Other islands and landmasses are reduced, in Ciceroa€™s words, to the position of mere a€?specksa€™ upon the water.
There is also a large fish in the equatorial ocean (labeled verus oceanus) in the middle of the map. The map below follows Alfraganusa€™ Rudimenta astronomica, and is accompanied by some geographical notes on the climatic zones of the earth. This huge fish lives tranquilly there, remote from islands and uncontaminated by the nearness of port towns. It is interesting to compare and contrast this cartographera€™s view of the southern ocean with that of Andrea Bianco (#242). There are four relevant legends around the circumference of the Ocean: the Ocean turns from the east to the north, the Ocean turns from the east to the south, the Ocean turns from the west to the south, and the Ocean turns from the west to the north. The image was not static: it was adapted in several different waysa€”at times simplified, at others made more complex. The manuscripts of Ibn Hawqal III, though all undated, are much later than the other texts, probably from the late 13th or early 14th century A.D. It is therefore appropriate to describe these maps of the Iranian area and then use them as a standard for the rest of the set. The surprising difference is that the western tip of the Indian Ocean, which represents the Red Sea (Sea of Qulzum), points to the west in the ocean map, but in the world map it turns back on itself to almost touch the southeastern corner of the Mediterranean Sea. At the other, left or eastern, end of the map, the combined Persian Gulf-Indian Ocean sweeps in as if threatening to hook onto the Mediterranean, a distinctive characteristic of this group of maps. The color palate is limited: on the world maps it is restricted to the blue of the sea, the white of the paper, and the red of the outlines and rubrication.
For instance, the territory marked Bilad al-Rum [Byzantium] has been allocated disproportionately more space in the world maps of the Ottoman Cluster than it had in the mother map. As a result India, Tibet, China, and especially the northern wastelands, Barari aI-Shaman, have been given more space. These should have been inscribed in the area between the Caspian, shown as comma-shaped, and the Back sea, which is the slanted blue band connecting the Mediterranean, located below center-right, to the ocean below. The large lip-like features on top of the map are the Mountains of the Moon, thought as being the source of the Nile, while the five parallel lines are the five sources, thereafter combining to form the Nile, flowing north into the Mediterranean. That Ptolemy represented the inhabitable world as occupying 180 degrees of the earth supported this idea.
The map of the Persian Sea is an enlarged version of a portion of the world map, although there are enough differences in the shape of the ocean in the two maps to necessitate some explanation. He operated primarily out of Venice, and greatly influenced Italian and Catalan mapmaking throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.
One of the paintings on folio 7r is that of the Crusader forces meeting King Leo of Armenia (Cilician Armenia) and the prisoners of the Armenian king.
As mentioned above, Sanutoa€™s work was written to induce the kings of Europe to undertake another crusade against the Turks, and so the following maps accompanied it: a world map, maps of the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the western coast of Europe and Palestine, plans of Jerusalem, and Ptolemais [Acre and Antioch]. In this map, the influence of the portolan charts can be seen at a glance: in contrast with the amorphous forms of Asia and southern Africa (familiar in many other medieval mappaemundi), the Mediterranean world is instantly recognizable and proportionate, clearly copied directly from the outlines of a portolan chart.
In fact the map has rather more Islamic religious content, such as in Arabia, the Islamic religious centers of Mecca [Mecha] and Baghdad [Baldac], all shown red.
The river Tanay [Tanais = Don] is shown flowing from a northern mountain range into the Sea of Azov.
It follows that the true identity of the flat-bottomed sea above should have been the Sea of Aral, situated in western central Asia, with Bactria shown on its shores. In southwest Asia the following toponyms stand out Arabia (red), Mecha [Mecca red], Baldac [Baghdad.
Cartographically, however, it was far more sophisticated than Hardinga€™s map, though more than a century older.
A The Arabian peninsula, Black Sea and Caspian Sea are in a recognizable form, and the name Georgia appears above the Caucus Mountains. A As is the case with the antecedent of the present map, most of these sources existed only in manuscript form, available in a single or with very few examples. The hemispheric maps of Macrobius, drawn in Spain and later reproduced in the works of the Venerable Bede, Lambert of St. From this vantage point he is able to look down upon the earth and he saw the eartha€™s different climatic zones, from cold at the poles to hot at the equator. Occasionally a larger and more detailed map was made on this plan, but mostly zonal maps happily coexisted with other forms of world maps.
These two streams, flowing at right angles to one another, divided the world into four equal landmasses. This theory of the Antipodes, therefore, has haunted geographical thinkers with a persistence bridging not centuries but millenniums. To the right is a vaguely formed Asia with the words Mare Caspian, set down at random, below which are areas intended to depict Arabia and India. These artistically primitive monsters seem to have been the whim of the artist, as Macrobius says nothing about the sea creatures depicted on the map, and there was no tradition of depicting sea monsters on Macrobian maps. It is oriented with East at the top and is a zonal map, showing the regions near the poles uninhabitable because of the cold, the equator uninhabitable because of the heat, and the inhabitable zone in the northern hemisphere as a rectangle on the left, with open ocean in the southern hemisphere. Both indicate that the southern ocean is a location of sea monsters, but while the maker of the Salamanca mappamundi cites a text which speaks of the monsters living tranquilly, Bianco suggests that the monsters come from an entrance to Hell. The evidence of pre-twelfth-century manuscripts suggests that it is possible to identify sub-groups within the corpus of Macrobius maps, but that it may not be possible to establish lines of descent from the original fifth- century map. Printed copies of the Macrobius text and derivative maps can be found at least well into the 16th century, one reprint appearing as late as 1560. In the lower right corner of the image, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Encircling Ocean, is a triangular European land mass.
On the regional maps the blue and white monotony is broken only by an occasional red-brown mountain or a pale pink or oxidized copper-green desert.
Hence, the distinctive angle of the Mediterranean in the Ottoman Cluster maps as against those of TSMK A. The space on the Ottoman Cluster world map Maghrib, Egypt and the Saharo-Sahelian sector lying to their south and to the Iranian territories in the east are visibly reduced, whereas the area accorded to Abyssinia has been increased. Stretching across all of Anatolia and Syria, and incorporating almost the whole of the Levant, it can be read as synonymous with a desire to expand the, of the Ottoman Empire. This too is a telling change, because by 1474 Mehmet had overrun most of the lower Danube region and had designs on all of it, up to and beyond Buda.
This is precisely what the boundaries of Rum can be read as representing on the world maps of the Ottoman Cluster.
Only the names of Khazar and Adharbeijan, which are above the damaged area (south), are partially legible. The world map of Ibn Hawqal III, however, is so different from the other world maps that it warrants special consideration.A  Kramers finds that the texts presumed to be by al-Istakhri can be divided into two groups, and he regards one as earlier in origin. Thus al- Istakhri represented the world as a circle surrounded by the Encompassing Sea, with the two main seas reaching in from the east and the west toward the center, where they would join except for a small, narrow land barriera€”the barzakh of the Qura€™an . Three large islands, Kharak, Awal [Bahrain] and Laft [Qishm Island], are set symmetrically in what is the Arabian Sea, with the Tigris to the left and the Indus to the right. Some consider him as the first professional cartographer to sign and date his works regularly. The king himself is shown surrounded by symbols of various rulers neighboring Cilicia, namely the Lion in the north (Mongols), the Wolf in the west (the Turks), the Serpent in the south and the Leopard in the east. Even more striking is the network of lines that are drawn in a sixteen-point wind-rose that encircles the whole earth. For the first time in western medieval cartography, the region of Georgia appears entitled as such.
These differences of detail between the maps in contemporaneous manuscripts of Marino Sanuto and Paulinus can only be explained by assuming that two scribes copied Vescontea€™s map, adding to it from different sources.
The ocean surrounds the whole of the known world, the outer parts of which are represented by conjecture. A SomeA idea is also shown of the great continental rivers of the north, such as the Don, Volga, Vistula, Oxus and Syr Daria. A The great achievement of this period was to preserve and liberate this knowledge through the printing press.
A thirty year old semi-invalid of a distinguished English family, she had the rare good luck to ask for the concession to a site that seemed unimportant and a site that no one else wanted. Omer and others, show the habitable world of the northern hemisphere and the uninhabited world of the southern, marked with climatic-zones derived from Ptolemya€™s clima, and, unlike many other European medieval maps, they are oriented with North at the top instead of East. Ciceroa€™s theme is the transience of human glory and the importance of ruling justly, but Macrobiusa€™ lengthy commentary expands on its cosmic vision. Some groups of maps, however, give no indication of any equatorial ocean, or of any quadripartite division.
The concept was continually debated in a€?printa€™, often vehemently, by the Church Faithful such as Cosmas Indicopleustes (#202) and the influential and respected scholar St. Not all Macrobian maps display only five zones, some depict seven zones or belts; the division of the world into climate-zones or belts can be traced back to Marinus of Tyre and Ptolemy (Book I, #119). The scribe has mis-located the caption for the Red Sea and Indian Ocean: Mare Rubrum Mare Indicum. In the east and in the west each of the currents divides into one northbound and one southbound stream.
The only exceptions are mountains, which are drawn as a collection of peaks or perhaps piles of rocks, though even here the base, which probably represents the position of the range on the map, is a straight line or a regular curve. The world maps have a consistent diameter of approximately 19 to 20 cm, while the map of the Persian Gulf is approximately 24 x 17 cm. The stark, unadorned stylistic simplicity of the maps and the dramatic shapes of the lands and seas are among the most visually striking features of the world maps in this group.
The bulbous head of the Arabian peninsula has become smaller, significantly reducing assigned to the Arab tribes as well assigned to Iraq.
However, the hint of European contact with the westernmost tip of North Africa present in the TSMK A.
Oriented with South at the top, just as in the T-O maps of contemporary Latin Europe, but instead of the Earthly Paradise the Arab scholars knew enough to place in the furthest East both China and Tibet. The Mediterranean is shown with three large islands, westernmost of which is Cyprus, the others being Eqrites [Crete] and Saqalia [Sicily].
In this earlier group (Istakhri I), the maps are more geometric than the later ones (Istakhri II), while the text that goes with the later maps appears more complete and refined. He uses an exact copy of one of the rhumb-line networks that covered half of a portolan chart to grid the space of the entire world, rather than just one part as in the portolan charts.
The region of Albania, which should have been near Georgia, is shifted to the upper left corner of the map, near the surrounding ocean, which is outside the area cowered by the detail map.
The rivers and mountains were drawn in with less precision and they differ somewhat in the seven surviving copies of the book. The authorship of Marino Sanudo is not definitively established and the original manuscript map has also been attributed to Pietro Vesconte.
A The portolan tradition was perhaps the most technically advanced element of medieval geography, and early modern scholars held it in high esteem.
It was assumed that even an woman amateur with no experience could do little harm at the nearly destroyed Temple of Mut, in a remote location south of the Amun precinct at Karnak. One of a group of energetic encyclopedists of the late empire, Macrobius transmitted to future generations some part of classical science when the original works were lost. Isidore of Seville (#205); and expounded graphically on maps by Macrobius, Beatus (#207), Lambert of St. Gouache pigments tend to be the same: dull blue washes for the seas, reddish -browns for the mountains, and pale pinks or oxidized copper greens for the deserts, with red ink as the preferred color for the outlines of the land masses and the territorial demarcations. The Indus River (marked Mehran on the world map) is sometimes squiggly as in the mother map - and sometimes straight. There were 210 daysa€™ journey through inhabitable lands, but the extreme north was uninhabited because of intense cold and the extreme south because of intense heat. On the other hand, it is the earlier texts that mention the name al-Istakhri, so that the cartographic historian Konrad Miller attributes the anonymous (Istakhri II) texts to al-Balkhi (#214.2), presuming wrongly that they are earlier than the others.
The grid, however, no longer holds any indexical significance outside of the small corner of the map that has been drawn from the portolan charts. This may seem to us an entirely normal and rational way to set out a map, but in the 14th century it represented an enormous conceptual leap, and confirms that Vesconte was a man of skill and imagination. She worked there for only three seasons from 1895 to 1897 and she published The Temple of Mut in Asher in 1899 2 with Janet Gourlay, who joined her in the second season. Despite these concerns, Macrobiusa€™ book and map circulated throughout the Middle Ages in hundreds of manuscripts and was a basic text of medieval science. There is no evidence that Macrobius was a Christian, but the neo-Platonist ideals to which he subscribed were easily comprehensible to his readers. Omer (#217), the Venerable Bede, William of Conches (#205.1), and others, for more than 2,000 years.
Our known world thus becomes one of the four a€?islandsa€? on the globe, which corresponds to the ideas of Crates of Mallos (the second century BC, #113, Book I). This can be explained on the basis of later Ottoman KMMS Cluster manuscripts being traced from an earlier exemplar in the cluster rather than directly copied from the mother manuscript; lines and shapes tend to be straightened out or further exaggerated in the process of transmission. Note how the tip of Africa points eastwards, a mistake that the Chinese geographers were the first to correct.
The seas were described briefly, and the fact that the Khazar [Caspian] Sea and the Khwarazm [Aral] Sea were landlocked is mentioned, as well as the sea connection between the Encircling Ocean and Istanbula€”that is, the Baltic joins up to the Bosporus. Hence India also has a large mountain (Adama€™s Peak) to match the Jabal al-Qilal near the Strait of Gibraltar. His work falls within the period 1310-30; the name a€?Perrino Vescontea€™, which appears on one atlas and one chart, may be his own, using a diminutive form, or that of another member of his family. The rest is a strange hybrid that would have provided little navigational assistance to any traveler. Where he (or Sanuto) got the necessary information, the list locating the towns, we do not know; both this and the grid may derive from Arab sources, and a more remote connection with grid-based maps in China is not impossible.
A While the present printed edition of the map is uncommon, it is nevertheless responsible for creating and maintaining the scholarly awareness of this important map throughout Europe and beyond. In the introduction to that publication of her work she emphasized that it was the first time any woman had been given permission by the Egyptian Department of Antiquities to excavate; she was well aware that it was something of an accomplishment. The two inland seas, the Caspian and the Aral, retain their keyhole appearance with minor variations. Vesconte was one of the few people in Europe before 1400 to see the potential of cartography and to apply its techniques with imagination.
The rhumb lines claim for this new map a kind of symbolic empirical authority, when in actuality the points on the rhumb-circle do little more than indicate the positions of the winds (much like the circular wind-faces depicted along the edges of the world in a work like the Psalter map, #223 Book II). The word was used first to translate the Persian kishvar, which was a specific geographical region, and hence comes the present usage.
3349 and BL Oriental [Or.] 5305, the last manuscript in the series, represent departures from the strict color code. As can be seen in the world maps he drew around 1320 he introduced a heretofore unseen accuracy in the outline of the lands surrounding the Mediterranean and Black Sea, probably because they were taken from the portolan [nautical] charts. What the map actually shows varies little from a traditional mappamundi; what has changed is its implied claim to be modern and accurate in a different sense. The maps in these two manuscripts are unpainted; instead they are outlined in either red or gold. The map shows the Indus in the lower left, with the Indian Peninsula, Tibet and Chinese Empire and The Red Sea colored in red.
We may suspect that his influence lay behind the maps of Italy in the Great Chronology by Paolino Veneto during the years of 1306 to 1321 that was copied at Naples not long after, for other maps in the same manuscript are related to maps from Vescontea€™s workshop that illustrate Marino Sanudoa€™s book calling for a new crusade.
Vescontea€™s map offers a glimpse of the currency that empirical geometry carried at this transitional moment. We were frankly warned that we should make no discoveries; indeed if any had been anticipated, it was unlikely that the clearance would have been entrusted to inexperienced direction.
The Euphrates noticeably does not meet up with either major sea but hangs almost as a frontier between them, reduced to a pronounced crescent shape. Vesconte clearly saw in the geometry of the portolan charts an iconic, modern power that could be combined with the forms of a traditional world map to create a new kind of picture.
3 A Margaret Benson was born June 16, 1865, one of the six children of Edward White Benson. In both the mother world map and the world maps of the Cluster, the Euphrates acts as the boundary separating the Arabian peninsula from the rest of the world. The manuscript is a cosmology, not meant to be accurate geographically, but only to present the reader with a systematic overview of the existing knowledge about the world at the time.
A He is best known for his lifelong attempts to revive the crusading spirit and movement.A  He wrote his great work is entitled Liber secretorem fidelum Crucis, sive de Recuperatio Terrae Sancta [Secret book of the loyalty to the Cross or the Recapture of the Holy Lands], also called Historia Hierosolymitana, Liber de expeditione Terrae Sanctae, and Opus Terrae Sanctae, the last being perhaps the proper title of the whole treatise as completed in three parts or a€?booksa€?.
He was first an assistant master at Rugby, then the first headmaster of the newly founded Wellington College.He rose in the service of the church as Chancellor of the diocese of Lincoln, Bishop of Truro and, finally, Archbishop of Canterbury. Benson was a learned man with a wide knowledge of history and a serious concern for the education of the young.
He was also something of a poet and one of his hymns is still included in the American Episcopal Hymnal.
Arthur Christopher, the eldest, was first a master at Eton and then at Magdalen College, Cambridge. A noted author and poet with an enormous literary output, he published over fifty books, most of an inspirational nature, but he was also the author of monographs on D.
He helped to edit the correspondence of Queen Victoria for publication, contributed poetry to The Yellow Book, and wrote the words to the anthem "Land of Hope and Glory". Most important to the study of the excavator of the Mut Temple, he was the author of The Life and Letters of Maggie Benson, 4 a sympathetic biography which helps to shed some light on her short archaeological career. He also wrote several reminiscences of his family in which he included his sister and described his involvement in her excavations.
He helped to supervise part of the work and he prepared the plan of the temple which was used in her eventual publication. His younger brother, Robert Hugh Benson, took Holy Orders in the Church of England, later converted to Roman Catholicism and was ordained a priest in that rite. He also achieved some fame as a novelist and poet and rose to the position of Papal Chamberlain. Her publication of the excavation is cited in every reference to theTemple of Mut in the Egyptological literature, but she is known to history as a name in a footnote and little else.A Margaret Benson was born at Wellington College during her father's tenure as headmaster. Each career advancement for him meant a move for the family so her childhood was spent in a series of official residences until she went to Oxford in 1883.


She was eighteen when she was enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a women's college founded only four years before.
One of her tutors commented to his sister that he was sorry Margaret had not been able to read for "Greats" in the normal way. 5 When she took a first in the Women's Honours School of Philosophy, he said, "No one will realize how brilliantly she has done." 6 Since her work was not compared to that of her male contemporaries, it would have escaped noticed. In her studies she concentrated on political economy and moral sciences but she was also active in many aspects of the college. She participated in dramatics, debating and sports but her outstanding talent was for drawing and painting in watercolor. Her skill was so superior he thought she should be appointed drawing mistress if she remained at Lady Margaret Hall for any length of time. She began a work titled "The Venture of Rational Faith" which occupied her thoughts for many years.
From the titles alone they suggest a young woman who was deeply concerned with problems of society and the spirit and this preoccupation with the spiritual was to be one of her concerns throughout the rest of her life.
In some of her letters from Egypt it is clear that she was attempting to understand something of the spiritual life of the ancient Egyptians, not a surprising interest for the daughter of a churchman like Edward White Benson. A In 1885, at the age of twenty, Margaret was taken ill with scarlet fever while at Zermatt in Switzerland. By the time she was twenty-five she had developed the symptoms of rheumatism and the beginnings of arthritis. She made her first voyage to Egypt in 1894 because the warm climate was considered to be beneficial for those who suffered from her ailments. Wintering in Egypt was highly recommended at the time for a wide range of illnesses ranging from simple asthma to "mental strain." Lord Carnarvon, Howard Carter's sponsor in the search for the tomb of Tutankhamun, was one of the many who went to Egypt for reasons of health. After Cairo and Giza she went on by stages as far as Aswan and the island temples of Philae. She commented on the "wonderful calm" of the Great Sphinx, the physical beauty of the Nubians, the color of the stone at Philae, the descent of the cataract by boat, which she said was "not at all dangerous". By the end of January she was established in Luxor with a program of visits to the monuments set out.
I don't feel as if I should have really had an idea of Egypt at all if I hadn't stayed here -- the Bas-reliefs of kings in chariots are only now beginning to look individual instead of made on a pattern, and the immensity of the whole thing is beginning to dawn -- and the colours, oh my goodness! The ancient language and script she found fascinating but she was not as interested in reading classical Arabic. Her interest was maintained by the variety of animal and bird life for at home in England she had been surrounded by domestic animals and had always been keen on keeping pets. By the time her first stay ended in March, 1894, she had already resolved to return in the fall. When Margaret returned to Egypt in November she had already conceived the idea of excavating a site and thus applied to the Egyptian authorities.
Edouard Naville, the Swiss Egyptologist who was working at the Temple of Hatshepsut at Dier el Bahri for the Egypt Exploration Fund, wrote to Henri de Morgan, Director of the Department of Antiquities, on her behalf.
From her letters of the time, it is clear that this was one of the most exciting moments of Margaret Benson's life because she was allowed to embark on what she considered a great adventure.
A Margaret's physical condition at the beginning of the excavation was of great concern to the family. A Margaret Benson had no particular training to qualify or prepare her for the job but what she lacked in experience she more than made up for with her "enthusiastic personality" and her intellectual curiosity. In the preface to The Temple of Mut in Asher she said that she had no intention of publishing the work because she had been warned that there was little to find.
In the introduction to The Temple of Mut in Asher acknowledgments were made and gratitude was offered to a number of people who aided in the work in various ways.
The professional Egyptologists and archaeologists included Naville, Petrie, de Morgan, Brugsch, Borchardt, Daressy, Hogarth and especially Percy Newberry who translated the inscriptions on all of the statues found. Lea), 10 a Colonel Esdaile, 11 and Margaret's brother, Fred, helped in the supervision of the work in one or more seasons.
A It is usually assumed that Margaret Benson and Janet Gourlay worked only as amateurs, with little direction and totally inexperienced help.
It is clear from the publication that Naville helped to set up the excavation and helped to plan the work. Hogarth 12 gave advice in the direction of the digging and Newberry was singled out for his advice, suggestions and correction as well as "unwearied kindness." Margaret's brother, Fred, helped his inexperienced sister by supervising some of the work as well as making a measured plan of the temple which is reproduced in the publication. Benson) was qualified to help because he had intended to pursue archaeology as a career, studied Classical Languages and archaeology at Cambridge, and was awarded a scholarship at King's College on the basis of his work. He organized a small excavation at Chester to search for Roman legionary tomb stones built into the town wall and the results of his efforts were noticed favorably by Theodore Mommsen, the great nineteenth century classicist, and by Mr. Benson went on to excavate at Megalopolis in Greece for the British School at Athens and published the result of his work in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. His first love was Greece and its antiquities and it is probable that concern for his sister's health was a more important reason for him joining the excavation than an interest in the antiquities of Egypt.
13A It is interesting to speculate as to why a Victorian woman was drawn to the Temple of Mut. The precinct of the goddess who was the consort of Amun, titled "Lady of Heaven", and "Mistress of all the Gods", is a compelling site and was certainly in need of further exploration in Margaret's time.
Its isolation and the arrangement with the Temple of Mut enclosed on three sides by its own sacred lake made it seem even more romantic.
14 When she began the excavation three days was considered enough time to "do" the monuments of Luxor and Margaret said that few people could be expected to spend even a half hour at in the Precinct of Mut.
A On her first visit to Egypt in 1894 she had gone to see the temple because she had heard about the granite statues with cats' heads (the lion-headed images of Sakhmet). The donkey-boys knew how to find the temple but it was not considered a "usual excursion" and after her early visits to the site she said that "The temple itself was much destroyed, and the broken walls so far buried, that one could not trace the plan of more than the outer court and a few small chambers".
15 The Precinct of the Goddess Mut is an extensive field of ruins about twenty-two acres in size, of which Margaret had chosen to excavate only the central structure. Connected to the southernmost pylons of the larger Amun Temple of Karnak by an avenue of sphinxes, the Mut precinct contains three major temples and a number of smaller structures in various stages of dilapidation.
She noted some of these details in her initial description of the site, but in three short seasons she was only able to work inside the Mut Temple proper and she cleared little of its exterior. Serious study of the temple complex was started at least as early as the expedition of Napoleon at the end of the eighteenth century when artists and engineers attached to the military corps measured the ruins and made drawings of some of the statues.
During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the great age of the treasure hunters in Egypt, Giovanni Belzoni carried away many of the lion-headed statues and pieces of sculpture to European museums. Champollion, the decipherer of hieroglyphs, and Karl Lepsius, the pioneer German Egyptologist, both visited the precinct, copied inscriptions and made maps of the remains.16 August Mariette had excavated there and believed that he had exhausted the site. Most of the travelers and scholars who had visited the precinct or carried out work there left some notes or sketches of what they saw and these were useful as references for the new excavation.
Since some of the early sources on the site are quoted in her publication, Margaret was obviously aware of their existence. 17A On her return to Egypt at the end of November, 1894, she stopped at Mena House hotel at Giza and for a short time at Helwan, south of Cairo.
Helwan was known for its sulphur springs and from about 1880 it had become a popular health resort, particularly suited for the treatment of the sorts of maladies from which Margaret suffered. People at every turn asked if she remembered them and her donkey-boy almost wept to see her.
A "On January 1st, 1895, we began the excavation" -- with a crew composed of four men, sixteen boys (to carry away the earth), an overseer, a night guardian and a water carrier.
The largest the work gang would be in the three seasons of excavation was sixteen or seventeen men and eighty boys, still a sizable number. Before the work started Naville came to "interview our overseer and show us how to determine the course of the work". A A good part of Margaret's time was occupied with learning how to supervise the workmen and the basket boys. Since her spoken Arabic was almost nonexistent, she had to use a donkey-boy as a translator. It would have been helpful if she had had the opportunity to work on an excavation conducted by a professional and profit from the experience but she was eager to learn and had generally good advice at her disposal so she proceeded in an orderly manner and began to clear the temple.
On the second of January she wrote to her mother: "I don't think much will be found of little things, only walls, bases of pillars, and possibly Cat-statues. I shall feel rather like --'Massa in the shade would lay While we poor niggers toiled all day' -- for I am to have a responsible overseer, and my chief duty apparently will be paying. 18A She is described as riding out from the Luxor Hotel on donkey-back with bags of piaster pieces jingling for the Saturday payday. She had been warned to pay each man and boy personally rather than through the overseer to reduce the chances of wages disappearing into the hands of intermediaries. The workmen believed that she was at least a princess and they wanted to know if her father lived in the same village as the Queen of England. When they sang their impromptu work songs (as Egyptian workmen still do) they called Margaret the "Princess" and her brother Fred the "Khedive". A PART II: THE EXCAVATIONSA The clearance was begun in the northern, outer, court of the temple where Mariette had certainly worked. Earth was banked to the north side of the court, against the back of the ruined first pylon but on the south it had been dug out even below the level of the pavement. Mariette's map is inaccurate in a number of respects suggesting that he was not able to expose enough of the main walls.
At the first (northern) gate it was necessary for Margaret Benson to clear ten or twelve feet of earth to reach the paving stones at the bottom.
In the process they found what were described as fallen roofing blocks, a lion-headed statue lying across and blocking the way, and also a small sandstone head of a hippopotamus. In the clearance of the court the bases of four pairs of columns were found, not five as on Mariette's map. After working around the west half of the first court and disengaging eight Sakhmet statues in the process, they came on their first important find. Near the west wall of the court, was discovered a block statue of a man named Amenemhet, a royal scribe of the time of Amenhotep II. The statue is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo 19 but Margaret was given a cast of it to take home to England.
When it was discovered she wrote to her father: A My Dearest Papa, We have had such a splendid find at the Temple of Mut that I must write to tell you about it.
We were just going out there on Monday, when we met one of our boys who works there running to tell us that they had found a statue. When we got there they were washing it, and it proved to be a black granite figure about two feet high, knees up to its chin, hands crossed on them, one hand holding a lotus. 20A The government had appointed an overseer who spent his time watching the excavation for just such finds. He reported it to a sub-inspector who immediately took the block statue away to a store house and locked it up. He said it was hard that Margaret should not have "la jouissance de la statue que vous avez trouve" and she was allowed to take it to the hotel where she could enjoy it until the end of the season when it would become the property of the museum. The statue had been found on the pavement level, apparently in situ, suggesting to the excavator that this was good evidence for an earlier dating for the temple than was generally believed at the time. The presence of a statue on the floor of a temple does not necessarily date the temple, but many contemporary Egyptologists might have come to the same conclusion.
One visitor to the site recalled that a party of American tourists were perplexed when Margaret was pointed out to them as the director of the dig. At that moment she and a friend were sitting on the ground quarreling about who could build the best sand castle. This was probably not the picture of an "important" English Egyptologist that the Americans had expected. A As work was continued in the first court other broken statues of Sakhmet were found as well as two seated sandstone baboons of the time of Ramesses III. 21 The baboons went to the museum in Cairo, a fragment of a limestone stela was eventually consigned to a store house in Luxor and the upper part of a female figure was left in the precinct where it was recently rediscovered.
The small objects found in the season of 1895 included a few coins, a terra cotta of a reclining "princess", some beads, Roman pots and broken bits of bronze. Time was spent repositioning Sakhmet statues which appeared to be out of place based on what was perceived as a pattern for their arrangement. Even if they were correct they could not be sure that they were reconstructing the original ancient placement of the statues in the temple or some modification of the original design.
In the spirit of neatness and attempting to leave the precinct in good order, they also repaired some of the statues with the aid of an Italian plasterer, hired especially for that purpose. A Margaret was often bed ridden by her illnesses and she was subject to fits of depression as well but she and her brother Fred would while away the evenings playing impromptu parlor games.
For a fancy dress ball at the Luxor Hotel she appeared costumed as the goddess Mut, wearing a vulture headdress which Naville praised for its ingenuity. The resources in the souk of Luxor for fancy dress were nonexistent but Margaret was resourceful enough to find material with which to fabricate a costume based, as she said, on "Old Egyptian pictures." A The results of the first season would have been gratifying for any excavator. In a short five weeks the "English Lady" had begun to clear the temple and to note the errors on the older plans available to her.
She had started a program of reconstruction with the idea of preserving some of the statues of Sakhmet littering the site. She had found one statue of great importance and the torso of another which did not seem so significant to her. Her original intention of digging in a picturesque place where she had been told there was nothing much to be found was beginning to produce unexpected results.A The Benson party arrived in Egypt for the second season early in January of 1896. After a trip down to, they reached Luxor Aswan around the twenty-sixth and the work began on the thirtieth. That day Margaret was introduced to Janet Gourlay who had come to assist with the excavation.
The beginning of the long relationship between "Maggie" Benson and "Nettie" Gourlay was not signaled with any particular importance.
By May of the same year she was to write (also to her mother): "I like her more and more -- I haven't liked anyone so well in years". Miss Benson and Miss Gourlay seemed to work together very well and to share similar reactions and feelings. They were to remain close friends for much of Margaret's life, visiting and travelling together often. Their correspondence reflects a deep mutual sympathy and Janet was apparently much on Margaret's mind because she often mentioned her friend in writing to others. After her relationship with Margaret Benson she faded into obscurity and even her family has been difficult to trace, although a sister was located a few years ago. A For the second season in 1896 the work staff was a little larger, with eight to twelve men, twenty-four to thirty-six boys, a rais (overseer), guardians and the necessary water carrier. With the first court considered cleared in the previous season, work was begun at the gate way between the first and second courts. An investigation was made of the ruined wall between these two courts and the conclusion was drawn that it was "a composite structure" suggesting that part of the wall was of a later date than the rest. The wall east of the gate opening is of stone and clearly of at least two building periods while the west side has a mud brick core faced on the south with stone. Margaret thought the west half of the wall to be completely destroyed because it was of mud brick which had never been replaced by stone.
She found the remains of "more than one row of hollow pots" which she thought had been used as "air bricks" in some later rebuilding. Originally built of mud brick, like many of the structures in the Precinct of Mut, the south face of both halves of the wall was sheathed with stone one course thick no later than the Ramesside Period. During the Ptolemaic Period the core of the east half of the mud brick wall was replaced with stone but the Ramesside sheathing was retained. Here the untrained excavator was beginning to understand some of the problems of clearing a temple structure in Egypt.
Mariette's plan of the second chamber probably seemed accurate after a superficial examination so a complete clearing seemed unnecessary. Other fragments were found and the original height of the seated statue was estimated between fourteen and sixteen feet high. The following year de Morgan, the Director General of the Department of Antiquities, ordered the head sent to the museum in Cairo The finding of the large lion head is mentioned in a letter from Margaret to her mother dated February 9, 1896, 22.
In the same letter she also mentions the discovery of a statue of Ramesses II on the day before the letter was written.
23.Her published letters often give exact or close dates of discoveries whereas her later publication in the Temple of Mut in Asher was an attempt at a narrative of the work in some order of progression through the temple and dates are often lacking. About the same time that the giant lion head was found some effort was made to raise a large cornerstone block but a crowbar was bent and a rope was broken.
The end result of the activity is not explained at that point and the location of the corner not given but it can probably be identified with the southeast cornerstone of the Mut Temple mentioned later in a description of the search for foundation deposits. A Somewhere near the central axis of the second court, but just inside the gateway, they came on the upper half of a royal statue with nemes headdress and the remains of a false beard. There had been inscriptions on the shoulder and back pillar but these had been methodically erased. The lower half was found a little later and it was possible to reconstruct an over life-sized, nearly complete, seated statue of a king. The excavators published it as "possibly" Tutankhamun, an identification not accepted today, and it is still to be seen, sitting to the east of the gateway, facing into the second court.24 A large statue of Sakhmet was also found, not as large as the colossal head, but larger than the other figures still in the precinct and in most Egyptian collections. It was also reconstructed and left in place, on the west side of the doorway where it is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the temple.
In the clearance of the second court a feature described as a thin wall built out from the north wall was found in the northeast corner.
It was later interpreted by the nineteenth century excavators as part of the arrangement for a raised cloister and it was not until recent excavation that it was identified as the lower part of the wall of a small chapel, built against the north wall of the court. The process of determining any sequence of the levels in the second court was complicated by the fact that it had been worked over by earlier treasure hunters and archaeologists. In some cases statues were found below the original floor level, leading to the assumption that some pieces had fallen, broken the pavement, and sunk into the floor of their own weight. It is more probable that the stone floors had been dug out and undermined in the search for antiquities. A An attempt was made to put the area in order for future visitors as the excavation progressed.
This included the reconstruction of some of the statues as found and the moving of others in a general attempt to neaten the appearance of the temple. Other finds made in the second court included inscribed blocks too large to move or reused in parts of walls still standing.
The statue identified as Ramesses II, mentioned in Margaret's letter of February 9, was found on the southwest side of the court, near the center. It was a seated figure in pink granite, rather large in size, but when it was completely uncovered it was found to be broken through the middle with the lower half in an advanced state of disintegration. The upper part was in relatively good condition except for the left shoulder and arm and it was eventually awarded to the excavators. A Mention was also made of several small finds from the second court including a head of a god in black stone and part of the vulture headdress from a statue of a goddess or a queen.
The recent ongoing excavations carried out by the Brooklyn Museum have revealed a female head with traces of a vulture headdress as well as a number of fragments of legs and feet which suggest that the head of the god found by Margaret Benson was from a pair statue representing Amun and Mut.
Another important discovery she made on the south side of the court was a series of sandstone relief blocks representing the arrival at Thebes of Nitocris, daughter of Psamtik I, as God's Wife of Amun.25A At some time during the season Margaret was made aware of the possibility that foundation deposits might still be in place.
These dedicatory deposits were put down at the time of the founding of a structure or at a time of a major rebuilding, and they are often found under the cornerstones, the thresholds or under major walls, usually in the center. They contain a number of small objects including containers for food offerings, model tools and model bricks or plaques inscribed with the name of the ruler. The importance of finding such a deposit in the Temple of Mut was obvious to Margaret because it would prove to everyone's satisfaction who had built the temple, or at least who had made additions to it. A They first looked for foundation deposits in the middle of the gateway between the first and second courts.
At the same time another part of the crew was clearing the innermost rooms in the south part of the temple. Under the central of the three chambers they discovered a subterranean crypt with an entrance so small that it had to be excavated by "a small boy with a trowel".
This chamber has been re-cleared in recent years and proved to be a small rectangular room with traces of an erased one-line text around the four walls. In antiquity the access seems to have been hidden by a paving stone which had to be lifted each time the room was entered. A The search for foundation deposits continued in the southeast corner of the temple (probably the place where the crowbar was bent and the rope broken). Again no deposit was found but in digging around the cornerstone, below the original ground level, they began to find statues and fragments of statues. As the earth continued to yield more and more pieces of sculpture, Legrain arrived from the Amun Temple, where he was supervising the excavation, and announced his intention to take everything away to the storehouse.
Aside from the pleasure of the find, it was important to have the objects at hand for study, comparison and the copying of inscriptions.



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