Historical Impact Of Egyptomania

746 Words3 Pages
The exaggeration and fantasization of certain histories has always been prevalent in Western society, however, nothing comes quite as close to being as diluted as the history of ancient Egypt. On a fundamental level, this phenomenon can be defined as Egyptomania: an obsessive interest by Westerners in ancient Egyptian culture, especially during the 19th century. While there is a lot of literature pertaining to Egyptomania in American culture, there is far less that addresses its impact on late 19th century British culture. Though the initial ancient Egyptian archaeological discoveries occurred during the time of Napoleon’s campaigns, most notably the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799, the early 19th century in Britain did not see the same spark in Egyptomania as the late 19th century. This, no doubt, is related to the period of time that Great Britain occupied Egypt. Indeed, the British presence in Egypt must have had an effect on the rise in Egyptomania at the time. Even in American literature, Egyptomania seems to be depicted in an incredibly British lense. This paper will address the historical context of late 19th century and early 20th century British Egyptomania, and argue that it was ultimately caused by British Imperialism in not only the archaeological field, but also in broader terms. Great Britain initially occupied Egypt in 1882, and didn’t officially withdraw all of their forces until 1954. While the claim was that this was for financial, rather than
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