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Extra info for A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs'
Petrie had seen the results and had continued to watch the operations of the Antiquities Service under subsequent directors. Mariette died in 1881, and had been succeeded by the great Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, then by Grébaut, Loret, and an engineer called de Morgan. Maspero had taken over again in 1899, to continue until 1916. The directorship was the exclusive preserve of France, a fact which inevitably restricted the field. The French engineer de Morgan, for example, had been appointed only because there had not been a French scholar available for the job.
Immediately the number of men was doubled, an army of village boys was drafted in to carry away the sand and rubbish, and gradually a rectangle of walls, eight or nine feet broad, was revealed, with a shallow stairway leading between the remains of storage chambers, via a causeway and a platform, up to an entrance. Excavations were made in the cliff to see if there was a rock tomb there, but in vain, so the mounds outside the courtyard were tried. These turned out to be fascinating constructions, labyrinthine passages designed to foil the ancient thieves.
Then he had them sorted into rims and bases and middles, and examined for joins. The angle of each fracture was tried against every other of the 29 A PASSION FOR EGYPT same angle in the same group, and in this way he was able to find or deduce five hundred different shapes of vessel. These he then drew. The forms thus recorded were seen to evolve one from the next, and by dating them from duplicate references, he traced ‘the changes of work and of fashion in each reign’. He did similar work with the clay sealings of jars, sorting and fitting, and then drawing two hundred different designs.