London/Chicago: The Egypt Exploration Society/University of Chicago Press, 1933-1958. First edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folios. Vol.1: (xi) 40 plates. Vol.2: (ix) 46 plates. Vol.3: (xi) 65 plates. Vol.4: (xviii) 80 plates. Vol.1 still retains its brown paper dust jacket. Tan cloth boards with gilt-stamped hieroglyphic illustrations on the front covers, and gilt lettering on the spines. This is the complete four volume visual survey from the site of the King Sethos' (Seti I) temple at Abydos. The acclaimed publication remains a key resource for the study of the temple and of Egyptology in general, to this day.
The Temple (also known as The Great Temple of Abydos) is recognized as among the most significant structures in the area, as was primarily built as a memorial to King Seti I (father of Ramses II), and a place of reverence for the lineage of the past Pharoahs. The temple is well known for the "Abydos King List", a list of rulers of the principle dynasties, carved onto a wall. The site includes seven chapels dedicated to the worship of the pharaoh and the six gods Ptah, Re-Horakhty, Amun-Re, Osiris, Isis and Horus. These chapels provide an invaluable resource for the study of Ancient Egyptian religion as they contain the first complete form of the Daily Ritual, which was performed throughout Egypt during the the pharaonic period. The reliefs on the temple walls are acclaimed for their detail, technique and high artistic accomplishment.
Originally conceived by the Egyptian Exploration Society as a purely photographic survey detailing the content of the of the temple, it soon became clear that Amice Calverley's work in reproducing the hieroglyphs, merited a much more substantial publication. An advanced multi-step process was utilized by Calverley, that included hand tracing of the hieroglyphs from original photographs by Herbert Felton, and then competing them on site. The resulting four volumes are a testament to the tireless work she undertook during 1928-1929. The set includes:
Volume I: The Chapels of Osiris, Isis and Horus
Volume II: The Chapels of Amen-Re', Re'-Harakhti, Ptah, and King Sethos
Volume III: The Osiris Complex
Volume IV: The Second Hypostyle Hall
The publication includes a total of 231 plates, gorgeously printed in both b/w and colored photogravure (each measuring approximately 23x18.5") reproducing the hieroglyphs in detail, and of the architecture of the site itself. Other plates are illustrated reproductions of the hieroglyphics, printed lithographically. Also included are some detailed architectural plans providing insight into the spacial layout of the temple site. Many of the plates are double pages. Plate 11 of vol.2 is a large three page fold-out photographic reproduction in color, measuring approximately 19x44". The initial pages of each volume feature introductory text by renowned Egyptologist and linguist Sir Alan H. Gardiner. His work complements the visual work done, and gives historical, linguistic, spacial and technical context to each of the plates. This text is following by a detailed list of plates contained in each volume.
Bindings with some light bumping to corners, some light smudges to covers and/or creasing to extremities. Ex-library. Library stickers or adhesive residue at the tails of spines and top left corners of the covers. Spines of vols. 1, 2 and 4 with light water stains. Binding of vol.3 cocked. The front cover of vol.2 with a 0.5" nick. Interiors with some minor smudges throughout and/or minor water spots to the endpapers. Library bookplates at interior front covers. Vol.2 with some additional light foxing to the half-title, title and table of contents. Starting at the frontispiece plate. Vol.3 with some additional foxing and water staining to the endpapers and half-title. Vol.4 with starting to plates 63, 69 and 75. There are light 2" diagonal creases to the top and bottom right corners of the plates. All images throughout unaffected. Book block tight overall. Bindings in good- to good+, interiors in good to very good condition overall. g- to vg. Item #39741