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AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST

Photography in Archaeological Research.


Elmer Harp, Jr., ed. School of American
Research Advanced Seminar Book. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press,
1975. xxiii + 380 pp. $20.00 (cloth).
George J. Gumerman
Southern Illinois University
This volume, by both archaeologists and
photographers, emanated from a seminar at
the School of American Research in Santa
Fe. It is aimed primarily, as Harp says in his
preface, at the do-it-yourself archaeological
photographer rather than the archaeologist
with a large professional staff which includes
a full-time photographer. The over-all thrust
of the work according to Harp is to provide
practical assistance to the average archaeologist who is perhaps a below average photographer.
The setting for the ten papers and numerous appendixes is provided by the initial
chapter on the various objectives of archaeological photography, in which Harp discusses
photography and the acquisition of data, the
recording of data, analysis and interpretation
and finally, communication. The volume is
divided into four parts. The first part,
General Purposes, consists of two introductory statements, Harps mentioned
above, and one by Martin Scott of Eastman
Kodak. Scott discusses films, cameras, etc.,
in an elementary and general way divorced
from any archaeological context, examples
of which can be found in any number of
standard photography manuals. The inclusion of Scotts paper in this volume is
difficult to justify unless the editor desired
all the basics of photography between two
covers. Part 2, Expedition Planning and
Exploration, includes a chapter on photography in the field by 0. Imboden of the
National Geographic Society and J. Rinker
of the Army Engineer Topographic Laboratories. The article is a good basic, common
sense approach to the photographic problems of coping with field conditions. Harps
article on aerial photography in this section
is thorough, even including comparative
costs of different types of aerial photog
raphy. He is rightfully cautious about being
overly enthusiastic about aerial remote sensing and he evaluates it objectively. Rinkers
second article is on environmental analysis
using air photos. It is outstanding, providing
a solid background for archaeologists who
have strong interests in the recording of
environmental factors and in environmental
reconstruction. In short, Rinkers paper
could be used to great profit by almost any
archaeologist.

[79,1977]

The third section, In the Field, contains a


short but practical and straightforward article by DiPeso on the problems of site
photography, especially valuable in his discussion of the organizational potential photography holds for the field and laboratory.
A long article by Rosencrantz on underwater
photography and photogrammetry covers
every aspect of the subject. I t is well
illustrated, clearly written, and an intriguing
introduction to the subject of underwater
recording. J. Hampton maintains the strong
British tradition of innovation with remote
sensing in archaeology, with a rather technical paper on multispectral aerial photography. J. W. Whittlesey describes in a chatty
way three ground fixed photographic systems (the bipod system, balloon systems,
and the airfoil), in which he describes their
advantages and disadvantages for low level
verticle site photographs.
Part 4 consists of a single article by D.
Sanger on photography in a laboratory, with
an especially good section on close-up photography.
Several papers in the volume have appendixes which do not always seem appropriate.
This is especially true for the two appendixes for the volume itself. Appendix A, for
example, by P. Deckert is on the concept of
photography, communication and the
archaeologist. With a little less philosophical
orientation, the article would have made an
excellent addition to the body of the volume
rather than the appendix it is.
All in all, this book provides a tremendous amount of data and descriptions of
methods for collecting or recording data by
photographic means. The advanced archaeologist-photographer will probably find
many of the articles too simplistic, but it
will serve well as a basic technical manual
and reference for most archaeologists.

The Rape of the Nile: Tdmb Robbers,


Tourists, and Archaeologists in Egypt. Brian
M. Fagan. New York: Charles Scribners
Sons, 1975. xiv + 399 pp. $14.95 (cloth).
Karen Polinger Foster
University of New Haven
This account of the early investigation of
the Nile Valley has as its thesis that Ancient Egypt has effectively been destroyed,
both by the Egyptians themselves and by a
host of foreigners.
(p. 11).To support
his thesis, Fagan has assembled a fascinating
melange of historical information, anecdotes, and numerous black and white illustrations.

. .

ARCHAEOLOGY
The first of three parts, entitled Tombs,
Tourists, and Treasure, outlines the exploration of Egypt from the time of Herodotus to the age of Napoleon, One learns, for
instance, of the itineraries of Roman tourists, of the uses and prices of mummies, and
of the dealings of collectors with Egyptians
and patrons. A somewhat lengthy Part Two
is devoted t o the many projects undertaken
in Egypt by Giovanni Belzoni, styled the
greatest plunderer of them all. Ten chapters
describe in detail Belzonis Egyptological
activities, among them the clearing of
Ramses 11s Abu Simbel temple, the discovery of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of
the Kings, the finding of the entrance to
Chephrens pyramid, and the journey to the
Red Sea in search of the ancient port city of
Berenice. Part Three, Assault on Antiquity, documents the steady rise of European interest in Egypt and the growth of
Egyptian commitment to a national museum
and a government-regulated Antiquities Service. The contributions of such Egyptologists
as Richard Lepsius, Gaston Maspero, and Sir
Flinders Petrie are described, along with the
work of travelers, diplomats, and adventurers.
An epilogue philosophizes on the ramifications for Egypt and its ancient monuments
of the collectors urge to possess, whatever
the motivation or means. Paradoxically,
Fagan points out, it was the display of
Egyptian treasures in foreign museums, exhibition halls, and private collections which
. . . made possible a heightened awareness
of the need to learn about Ancient Egypt
and to save it for posterity before it all
vanished forever (p. 364).
The text is complemented by an interesting selection of old photographs and prints
and contemporary views. Occasionally the
juxtaposition is puzzling, as on pages 38-39
where a photograph of a seated statue of
Amunhotpe I11 appears with paragraphs
describing the medieval Arabic guide to
treasure hunting entitled The Book of
Hidden Pearls and Precious Mysteries. For
further reading an annotated list of sources
is provided; there are no notes on the text.
What one misses here is some documentation of the considerable positive efforts of
20th-century Egyptologists and archaeologists to recover new evidence, synthesize,
and reconstruct pharaonic and Predynastic
Egypt. Nor does the author mention the
ways in which creative modern scholarship
often may deal with Egyptian artifacts
whose archaeological context and provenance are either unknown or sketchily defined.
In addition there is no acknowledgment

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of the codified condemnations of the international antiquities trade. These include the
measures recommended and resolutions
adopted by UNESCO since 1950 with regard
to preserving cultural property and safeguarding the rights of individual countries t o
enjoy their heritages, and the formal policy
statements adopted by 29 American museu m s (as of 1970) to ensure that these
museums do not acquire illicit antiquities
and to promote the reduction of the antiquities trade.
Though one may not share Fagans conviction of the near-annihilation of Egyptian
history, there is no doubt that much has
sadly been lost. The authors fluidly written
narration of the acquisition of Egyptian
artifacts and the destruction of archaeological evidence up and down the Nile Valley is
a compelling argument for renewed efforts
to eliminate the antiquities trade, not only
in Egypt, but in the rest of the world.

Editors Note: At its 1972 annual meeting the Council of the American Anthropological Association unanimously endorsed
the UNESCO convention on the illegal traffic in antiquities, the U.S.-Mexico treaty on
illegal export of sculpture from Mexico, and
the actions of the Society for American
Archaeology against the trade in antiquities
and associated destruction of archaeological
sites (AAA Annual Report, 1972, p. 60).

Radiocarbon and Indian Archaeology. D. P.


Agrawal and A. Ghosh, eds. Bombay: Tata
Institute of Fundamental Research, 1973.
xxiv + 526 pp. $10.00 (cloth).
Prehistoric Chronology and Radiocarbon
Dating in India. D. P. Agrawal and Sheela
Kusumgar. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1974. xii + 170
pp. Rs.35.00 (cloth).

Radiocarbon Dates and Indian Archaeology.


D. Mandal. Allahabad: Vaishali Publishing
House, 1972. xvi + 273 pp. $6.00 (cloth).
Jerome Jacobson
City College, City University of New York
Despite their similar titles, only the latter
two of these books concentrate specifically
on chronometry, but all three testify to
recent advances in scientific archaeology in
South Asia. The large volume edited by
Agrawal and Ghosh resulted from a 1972
conference in Bombay that marked the
tenth anniversary of the founding of the
radiocarbon laboratory of the Tata Institute
of Fundamental Research. Covering topics