Lecture: "Napoleon in Egypt: The Beginning of Egyptology"
When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt in 1798, along with his army he brought 150 artists, linguists, and scientists of all kinds to describe Egypt. It would be the first ethnographic study of its kind but also was the beginning of modern Egyptology. They discovered the Rosetta stone, the key to deciphering hieroglyphs. When the savants returned to France, they published the Description de L’Egypte, the first accurate representation of Egyptian antiquities written to the western world. It was a massive work, taking 20 years to complete, and started a wave of Egyptomania that continues today. The illustrated lecture traces Bonaparte’s Egyptian campaign and shows how much modern Egyptology owes to it.