Labib Habachi: The Life and legacy of an Egyptologist

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American Univ in Cairo Press, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 344 pages
A new biography of a pre-eminent Egyptian archaeologist. Labib Habachi, Egypt's most perceptive and productive Egyptologist, was marginalized for most of his career, only belatedly receiving international recognition for his major contributions to the field. In Labib Habachi: The Life andLegacy of an Egyptologist, Jill Kamil presents not only a long-overdue biography of this important scholar, but a survey of Egyptian archaeology in the twentieth century in which Habachi's work is measured against that of his best-known contemporaries - among them Selim Hassan, Ahmed Fakhry, AbdelMoneim Abu Bakr, and Gamal Mokhtar. The account of Habachi's major discovery, the Sanctuary of Heqaib on Elephantine in 1946, was shelved by Egypt's Antiquities Department for thirty years. When it was finally released for publication, it became the subject of a heated controversy between Habachi and a western scholar that was neverresolved. To construct her picture of Labib Habachi, Jill Kamil draws on a wide range of sources, including a long personal acquaintance with the subject. Tracing the arc of Habachi's career, Kamil sets his life's work in its full context, providing a valuable perspective on the development ofEgyptian Egyptology and the sometimes fraught relationship between Egypt's scholars and the western archaeological establishment. In this fresh look at Habachi's contributions to Egyptology are examples of academic and social elitism, rivalries between scholars, cultural arrogance, anddiscrimination. Offering new insights into the issues and tensions that have shaped the modern discipline of Egyptology, Labib Habachi: The Life and Legacy of an Egyptologist recounts the life story of a pre-eminent scholar of Egypt's ancient past.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Egyptology in the Early Twentieth Century
25
Between Two Worlds
41
Bridging the Gap
69
A Turning Point
91
Excavation and Discovery
115
The Cult of Heqaib
147
Labib Habachi and Ahmed Fakhry
177
The Salvage of Nubia
217
Changing Times
237
Picking Up the Reins
257
Professional Discord
273
Racing against Time
287
Epilogue
305
Index
327
Copyright

A New Era
189

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About the author (2007)

Jill Kamil is the author of Christianity in the Land of the Pharaohs: The Coptic Orthodox Church and numerous guidebooks to Egypt's pharaonic and Christian antiquities. She is the heritage editor of Al-Ahram Weekly, Cairo's leading English-language newspaper. Resident in Egypt since 1956, shestudied Egyptology under Abdel Moneim Abu Bakr and field archaeology under the guidance of Labib Habachi.

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