FRENCH EGYPTOLOGIST’S HANDWRITTEN QUOTE FROM A DIALOGUE OF AN EGYPTIAN WITH HIS SOUL
SIR GASTON CAMILLE CHARLES MASPERO HANDWRITTEN QUOTE SIGNED, “G. Maspero”, on a card 4.5 x 3.5, 18 February 1909, Cairo, by the French Egyptologist known for popularizing the term “Sea Peoples” and an associated migration theory in the late 19th century. He was an expert in Sanskrit and hieroglyphics and led the first excavation at Lisht that resulted in the discovery of the eroded Pyramid of Amenemhet 1. In 1899, at Karnak, he unearthed a hoard of almost 17,000 statues. Sir Maspero was also responsible for encouraging anti-looting laws and establishing a network of local museums throughout Egypt to encourage Egyptians to take greater responsibility for the maintenance of their heritage. He was the author of a 3-volume, History of the Near East, and other books. Of note, his work at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities (originally the Bulak Museum) and the increasing work load of the Antiquities Service, led to an expansion of staff at the Museum, including the 17-year old Howard Carter. It was Maspero who recommended Howard Carter to George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1907, when the Earl approached him to seek advice for the use of an expert to head his planned archaeological expedition to the Valley of the Kings, where in 1922 Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut.
The handwritten quote in French, translated, in full:
“Death is to me today like the smell of a lotus, like resting on the shore of a drunken land!
Death is to me today like a calming in the sky, like a man who goes hunting in a land he does not know!
Death is to me today like the desire that a man has to see his home, after long years of captivity!
(Extract from a Dialog of an Egyptian with his soul)”
It’s a wonderful find for the person interested in Egyptology and it is in fine condition with a bold signature.