Anxieties about Race in Egyptology and Egyptomania, 1890–1960



I'd like to introduce our speaker tonight professor Donald Reed earned his doctorate in modern Middle East history at Princeton University he now lives in Seattle where his faculty affiliate of the Department of Near Eastern languages and civilization University of Washington and he's also a board member of the American research center in Egypt in the Northwest chapter and this follows a long career at Georgia State University where he's also professor emeritus of Middle East history he is uniquely qualified to talk to us tonight due to his expertise in Arabic French and German and his residence or travel in are you ready for this list Egypt Lebanon Israel Palestine Saudi Arabia Turkey Syria Jordan Tunisia Morocco Iraq United Arab Emirates Bahrain Sudan Oman Yemen and Cyprus are you exhausted professor Reed is the author of countless articles and many books including Cairo University and the making of modern Egypt lawyers and politics in the Arab world 1880 to 1960 and the Odyssey of Farah antoon Assyrian Christians quest for secularism but for our lecture tonight it's his most recent book that have been absolutely groundbreaking and for for the history of archaeology in modern Egypt and they are whose pharaohs archaeology museums and Egyptian national identity from Napoleon to World War one and then just about a year ago another classic instant classic came out called contesting antiquity in Egypt archaeology's museums and the struggle for identities from World War one to Nasser and you see the title of his lecture right on the screen there so I don't need to read that to you but please join me in welcoming professor Donald Reed thank you Peter good evening I'd like to thank everybody at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and ethnology and dr. Peter Manuelian for inviting me to participate in its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary lecture series race representation and museums and I've called my presentation anxieties about race in Egyptology and Egypt so mania 1890 to 1960 I do not approach this subject as an Egyptologist archaeologist classicist anthropologist or biologist but as a historian of the modern Middle East who has done research on archaeology and museums in Egypt in the context of colonialism nationalism and decolonization I start from the premise that races are not fixed scientifically verifiable identities but shifting social constructs which vary from time to time and place the place a person considered black in the US might be judged colored in the Caribbean and white in Brazil in 1924 some Virginians who thought they were white woke up Mort one morning to find that a change in the law had made them black in 1887 African American leader Frederick Douglass encountered a white American family at the pyramids who mistook him for an Arab and assumed that he did not speak English such confusions point up the artificiality of race but that does not mean that race and racial hierarchies are unimportant they have real consequences often disastrous for real people ancient Egyptians would have been bewildered by our debates over whether they were black or white like modern Egyptians they had a range of skin colors hair types and facial features they often depicted men as reddish brown and clean-shaven and women with pale yellowish skin new kingdom artists often stereotyped Africans to their South as black with broad noses and curly hair and Asiatics to their Northeast and Libyans to their West as lighter skinned and bearded on his footstool to an uncommon symbolically trampled Asiatic and new bein captives and Egyptologists could elaborate on the evolution of such artistic conventions and how they reinforced or differed from social realities but our focus tonight is on modern racial anxieties anachronistically projected back onto ancient Egypt my talk is organized around five vignettes each representing a theme with a long history whitening the Egyptians number one number two ancient Egypt as the founder of civilization with the question marks Western white number three blackening the Egyptians number four sons of the Pharaohs modern Egyptian perceptions of race and ancient Egypt number five Nazi anti-semitism Egyptology and Harvard's missed opportunity vignette one whitening the Egyptians centers on James Henry breasted influential high school textbook ancient times a history of the early world published in 1916 with a revised edition in 1935 I first encountered it in my ninth grade paint class in ancient history in 1954 one of two key founders of American Egyptology rested established the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute in 1919 and it still flourishes today the other founder was George Reisner a Harvard professor and Egyptian curator at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts wrested was born in the same year as iconic poet of imperialism Rudyard Kipling and the year the u.s. civil war ended 1865 in 1866 philanthropist George Peabody endowed peabody museums at both Harvard and Yale and in 1867 George Reisner was born breasted did his MA at Yale rice near his BA MA and PhD at Harvard in the 1890s both went on to study in Berlin under Adolf Airman Jeffrey apt wrote this fine biography of breasted and Peter Manuelian is writing a much-anticipated biography of Rice nur rice nur was a meticulous excavator in Egypt and Sudan who acquired much of the Egyptian collections of the museum of fine arts and the Peabody breasted in contrast believed that copying and publishing fast perishing inscriptions was more urgent than excavation these two founding fathers were fierce rivals as their body language in this 1935 photograph suggests in 1905 breasted wrote that studying early burials in Egypt had quote produced such a diversity of opinion among physical anthropologists as to render it impossible for the historian to obtain decisive results for their from their researches end quote in 1916 in ancient times sensibly he sensibly described modern peasants in the delta as both brown and as descendants of ancient Egyptians the brown label sidestepped the insistence of many white Americans that except for American Indians and East Asians you had to be there black or white in 1990 now ever breasted wrote home to his wife in Chicago comparing Egypt's anti British revolt that year in the US – and race red anti British revolt in Egypt to u.s. race riots that summer which left 23 African Americans and 15 White's dead in Chicago alone quote we reached Alexandria Thursday morning there had been rioting the day before the country people have had enough and are ready to settle down under British authority but the little Tarr booshed Effendi's in Cairo and Alexandria are still making trouble the outbreak in Cairo is likely to come at any minute you need not have the slightest anxiety the trouble will be confined to certain quarters just as was the Negro rioting in Chicago the authorities are quite ready and indeed are hoping that the lid may blow off very violently in order to show the agitators the strong hand at once and without mercy the country is full of British troops in quote the greater emphasis on race in the 1935 second edition of his textbook ancient times came in the wake of such popular works as law throbs roads 1920 book the rising tide of color against white world supremacy and in the wake of the u.s. 1924 Immigration Act which drastically reduced immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe and nearly banned it from Asia Stoddard had a Harvard PhD in history and was also a Klansman who warned that the quote Great Nordic race was under siege from all directions the preface to his book was written by Madison grant whose own book the passing of the great race or the racial basis of European history came out in 1916 the same year as rest as ancient times no marginal figure grant was chairman of the New York Zoological Society and trustee of the American Museum of Natural History in 1930 the US Census succumbed to the one-drop rule dropping the category of mulatto and classifying those with any fraction of Negro ancestry as Negroes when breasted 1935 textbook edition discarded the brown option however he annexed ancient Egyptians to his quote great I trace ignore the white patch here which represents the ice sheet in the last ice age maybe since this is a geology Hall here I shouldn't say to ignore that but concentrate instead on the sweep of his great white race from the Arctic through the Sahara and the Atlantic to the Urals and the Caspian the black race and the yellow the mongoloid or yellow race are reduced to small letters on the margin and of course not labeled great rested insisted quote the peoples of the Great Northwest quadrant as far back as we know anything about prehistoric man have all been members of a waste a race of white men who have well been called the great white race the men of this race created the civilization we have inherited the Mongoloids on the east and the Negro's on the south occupy an important place in the modern world but they played no part in the rise of civilization on the south lay the teeming world of black Africa as it does today it was separated from the great white race by the broad stretch of this arid desert sometimes the blacks of inner Africa did wander along the Nile Valley Road to Egypt but they came only in small groups thus cut off by the desert barrier and living by themselves they remained under influenced by civilization from the north the Negro peoples of Africa were therefore without any influence on the development of early civilization end quote drawing on decades of painstaking craniometry or craniology the measurement of skulls this diagram breaks breasted x' great white race into three subgroups number one the Nordics of the northern lands with long headed tall blue-eyed and blond number two round-headed Alpine's of central Europe's Highlands and number three long handed headed Mediterraneans whose southern branch included ancient Egyptians the note under the diagram concedes without elaboration that quote south of the Mediterranean the people of the great white race are darker skinned than elsewhere end quote Reston's 1935 edition did protest that the popular term Aryan should be applied only to the Indian and Iranian branch of indo-europeans but it also hailed quote the eventual the eventual triumph of Greece and Rome in the Near East as evidence that the indo-european branch of the white race triumphed over the southern Semitic branch the complete triumph of our ancestors end quote this not only conflated the indo-european and Semitic language groups with race but also implied the rejection of Semites which in the u.s. of the 1930s primarily meant Jews as part of his American we or or us even so for his day breasted was relatively moderate on race compared to some of his scholarly predecessors and contemporaries in the years leading up to the Civil War and the founding of the Peabody Museum the American ethnological School of Samuel Martin Josiah naught and George Glidden claimed that science proved that races had not changed since ancient times whites were big biologically superior and that ancient Egyptians were white but as in the southern US had blacks as slaves and servants not in glidden's 1854 types of mankind declared of ramses ii quote his features are superbly European as Napoleon's whom he resembles then they showed this qur'anic captive with collar and cord labeling it Negro 3200 years old flinders petrie breasted contemporary was an ardent eugenicist who attributed age of civilization to an invading superior race white of course Clarence Fisher in a labor dispute with his mentor George Reisner assumed that modern Egyptians were black and thus not to be trusted quote dr. rice news present attitude is an acknowledgment that he regards the word of a native black man as to be more relied on than that of two white men such as mr. Sanborn and myself the representatives of a sister University and quote to Reisner Fisher wrote quote it is usually accepted that the word of a white man is better than that of a native but I am sorry to say that several times during the past two years you have thought it best to think otherwise if you intend to support mahmoud el Myatt it is intended as an insult not only to us personally but to the University of Pennsylvania it will certainly destroy any other white man's authority over these people end quote vignette to ancient Egypt as the founder of civilization with the question marks Western life in the Dome of the Library of Congress in 1896 Edwin Blash fields mural evolution of civilization anticipated by two decades the outline of breasts it's textbook Egypt and America sit side by side in glass fields painting because Egypt is the origin of civilization which progresses around the dome to its climax in America glass filled who had studied painting in Paris new Egyptian antiquities hand through his marriage to Evangeline Wilbur the daughter of amateur Egyptologist Charles Wilber in 1890 the three wintered together for five months on her father's Nile da ha BIA the seven hath oars flash fields vision of the progress of civilization runs from Egypt to Judea to Greece to Rome only Mesopotamia and Persia were major emissions from breasted later textbook outline cresteds textbook grew out of an earlier outlines of European history co-authored from medieval and modern Europe with James Harvey Robinson Robinson's text loosely continued blasts fields sequence after the fall of Rome this is flash fields knurl around the dome here and after the Rome comes Islam the Middle Ages Renaissance Italy Gutenberg's Germany Columbus Spain Shakespeare's England revolutionary France and so on flash field scheme cries out for gender analysis – we don't have time for that tonight but Egypt Rome Islam Germany Spain and America are represented as men and Judea Greece the Middle Ages Italy England and France as women in the 1920s flash fields breasted and Robinson's world view crystal crystallized into the standard Western civilization course in u.s. colleges as for race there's no hint that blush Ville fields America or his ancient Egypt was anything but white indeed all his figures anticipate breast ERDs history of civilization as the triumph of this great white race flash field did interpose Islam between Rome and the Middle Ages in his painting this represents Western Civ SIVs usual nod to Islam for passing lost Greek learning on to Europe China India and sub-saharan Africa are off the mental map until Europe's age of discovery and Egypt under Islam drops out of sight into an alien Orient I took Western Civ as a freshman and taught it for a dozen years when I first started teaching sometimes it came close to its caricature in the late 20th century culture wars as chronicles of dead white men in 1980 I strongly supported the decision of my department at Georgia State University to replace Western Civ with world history vignette three blackening the Egyptians given the insistence with which scholars of breasted stature proclaimed ancient Egypt a white triumph counterclaims of it for black Africans should come as no surprise this debate captured national attention again in the 1980s as afro centrist such as sheikh anta Diop an older senegalese scholar and miletti Asante attacked Eurocentric histories head-on meanwhile white backlash against the civil rights movement and the 1960's radicalism had helped elect President Reagan in 1987 Martin bernal's black Athena the afro-asiatic roots of classical civilization made him a partial ally of the Afrocentric classicist Mary Lefkowitz soon rallied a conservative counter-charge the echoes of this raucous still reverberate sometimes with productive scholarly results vignette 3 centers on w eb de bois the negro published in 1915 the year before breast as ancient times the boys did not have to start from scratch this book by Scott draftin explores the voices 19th century predecessors to voice and breasted both saw Egypt as the fount of civilization and they also had other things in common born in the 1960s like breasted and Reisner Du Bois graduated from Harvard in 1890 a year after Rice nur while the voice was doing his MA at Harvard breasted was earning his at Yale German research universities were riding high as models for American higher education and all three men left at the chance to go on to the University of Berlin whether or not the boys ever met breasted and Reisner they might well have passed each other on unter den Linden in Berlin race however had dealt them very different hands breathitt came home with his Berlin Egyptology PhD to a career at the University of Chicago Dubois was only months away from his Berlin PhD in sociology when the trustees of the John F Leiter fund back home cut off his German fellowship hoping instead that quote you will devote your talent and learning to the good of the colored race end quote as the voices biographer David levering Lewis put it quote black PhDs from Germany were not a priority in Booker T Washington's America unquote passing the Statue of Liberty on his way home to voice wrote quote I dropped suddenly back into nigger-hating America he had to settle for a mere Harvard ph.d then divided his career between black between scholarship and political activism mainly at historically black Atlanta University and the n-double-a-cp a passing reference in breasted ancient times to quote our grandfathers in New England suggest that his envisioned high school readers were white anglo-saxon Protestants the voices publisher the home University of modern knowledge targeted self-improving greedy readers who had not been to college at a time when African history and geography hardly figured in college courses the Negro surveyed not only Africa but also North and South America it cited a specialized report by Reissner but had a complaint about breasted quote the works of breasted and Petrie Maspero budge and Newberry and Garstang are standard books on Egypt they mentioned the Negro but incidentally and often slightingly end quote in a statement that might have been written yesterday Du Bois declared in fact it is generally recognized today that no scientific definition of race is possible in quote although we sometimes identified himself as a mulatto by including all mixed groups in his definition of Negro he made Ancient Egypt a Negro civilization whether or not its people differed biologically from those for their self in 1948 he wrote quote one must remember that Egyptology starting in 1821 grew up during the African slave trade the sugar Empire and the cotton Kingdom few scholars during the period dared to associate the Negro race with humanity much less with civilization end quote in 1915 in the Negro he wrote a footrace then were the Egyptians they were certainly not white in any modern sense of that word neither in color nor in physical measurement in hair nor countenance in language nor social customs they stood in relationship nearest the Negro in earliest times and then gradually through the infiltration of Mediterranean and Semitic elements became what would be described in America as a light mulatto stock of octoroon x' and quadroons end quote Dubois also struck out at the school who asserted that all advanced civilization in pre-modern Africa was due to white Hemet rather than to Negroes from further south quote ancient and modern mingling of Semite and Negro has given rise to the term a might under the cover of which millions of negroids have been characteristically transferred to the white race by some eager scientists end quote for evidence of ancient Egyptians as negroes Du Bois through on Herodotus and bull neighs description of the Giza Sphinx as negroid he said that the 12 South dynasty pharaohs were quote were pharaohs quote whose negro descent is plainly evident end quote the Hyksos may have been black New Kingdom founder almost was mulatto and his queen most Nefertari a negress and Tut Moses the third and had Shep suit had quote a strong negroid countenance he made much of the black kite or Nubian Pharaohs of Egypt of the 25th dynasty whom the greeks called Ethiopians quote those with burnt faces from nepata in today's Sudan these Nubians conquered Egypt and ruled Thebes until driven south again by the Assyrians back in Napa and then further south that merrily their state lasted well into Roman times this 1911 cover of the n-double a-c-p s the crisis magazine which Du Bois edited featured quote one of the black kings of the Upper Nile the relief of this particular Nubian pharaoh is from this pyramid ruined pyramid here number 17 he's got the tops knocked off of them by treasure hunters some of them in pretty modern times the relief of this particular Pharaoh then that we just saw on from that pyramid the 60 rulers of ancient Egypt selected for listing on the Cairo Egyptian Museum of 1902 facade included other foreign pharaohs Libyans Persians the Greek ptolemies and the Romans but it skipped over the Nubian 25th dynasty Gaston Maspero the French director of Egyptian antiquities would have overseen this selection presses ancient times also admitted omitted this nubian dynasty from it's account which this dynasty is loom large for Du Bois and later for afro centrists and had it the egyptians designed the museum plaques in the late 1940s when they were campaigning for post independence egyptian Sudanese unification they would surely have included the 25th dynasty Nubian Pharaohs also note by the way that the inscriptions here are in Latin on this 1902 Museum and this naturally to Egypt's British and French colonizer but no state school in Arabic speaking Egyptian then taught Latin and its ruling family still spoke Turkish finally do boys's the Negro staked out racial claims as sweeping as breasted but in Reverse quote that Negro peoples were the beginners of civilization along the Ganges the Euphrates and the Nile seems proven early Babylon was founded by a negroid race the Assyrians showed distinct distinct negroid strain and early Egypt was predominantly Negro in quote vignette for sons of the Pharaohs modern Egyptians perceptions of race and ancient Egypt my title here is derived from this century-old book for most Egyptians asking if Egyptians are or were black or white is a non-starter religion has been far more critical than race in their debates about pharaonic heritage in the Quran as in the Bible Moses defy defies a tyrannical pagan Pharaoh to lead believers in the one true God in their exodus from Egypt this book cover Pharaoh in the Quran depicts the tyrant as aghast at the miracle of turning Aaron's staff into a serpent here the Quranic quotation lo Pharaoh aggrandized himself on earth accompanies apocalyptic lightning over the pyramids archetypical symbols of ancient Egypt for some Muslims paganism poisons all pre-islamic antiquity and denouncing any any ruler as Pharaoh is the ultimate in most Egyptians however take pride in fairness sibylla's in the pharaonic civilization that dazzled the world similarly african-americans under slavery and then under Jim Crow were torn between identifying with Hebrew bondage in Egypt tell ole Pharaoh let my people go and the lure of Egypt as a land of wisdom and wonders with which they felt in African kinship Egypt says in Arabic proverb is the mother of the world in the quran as in the bible egypt was where joseph rose up to become pharaoh's trusted vizier and where the world's most famous refugees marry Jesus and Joseph found welcoming asylum from King Herod this book cover even seems to suggest that the Holy Family enjoyed the sound and light show at the pyramid many modern Coptic Egyptians are proud that the latest form of the very language of ancient Egypt survives in their Coptic scriptures if the pharaohs were really are really the anatomy that some fundamentalists would like to make them would Egypt of government have dared put two in common on its one pound coin or to call their international teams in this football mad country the pharaohs so how do modern Egyptians deal with race Islam asserts the Equality of all believers until slavery's abolition in the late 19th century slaves in Egypt as in ancient Greece in Rome came in all colors and there was never a legal color line as in South Africa or the southern US yet although Egyptians often deny any color prejudice the experience of Sudanese and of Egyptian Nubians who often work in Cairo as Gorman and servants indicates otherwise Egypt's 19th century conquest of the Sudan was interrupted by Britain's occupation of itself in 1882 and by the modest revolt in the Sudan after Kitchener's reconquest of the Sudan in 1898 Britain dominated the anglo-egyptian condominium over it up to the very eve of student in Sudanese independence in 1956 Egyptians proclaiming the unity of the nile valley pushed for the union of the two countries back in 1910 rejecting comparisons with the european scramble that had carved up the rest of africa egyptian writer Achmed looked the aside downplayed racial differences quote who are the sons of the Nile they are those who live in that distant torrid region and whose color is black and those who live in the temperate zone and whose color as you see is somewhere between white and black it would be senseless with skin color to cut off blood relationships between two brothers or to cause the estrangement of two partners for the Sudanese is an Egyptian and the Egyptian is a Sudanese by virtue of their being brothers who owe their common Father the Nile their existence their proliferation and their wealth but behind this brotherly facade Egyptians asserted right of conquest going back to the Pharaohs and is an islam izing and civilizing mission in balada Sudan the land of the blacks where slaving raids were justified as jihad against pagans to Egyptian cartoons from an Arabic periodical of the 1920s illustrate racial prejudice here colonial ruler Lord Lloyd has a demure white aristocratic Egypt on one arm and a sexualized Sudanese Savage on the other here Sudan is a dark little urchin trying to escape British John Bull to join her big sister Egypt again a fashionable light-skinned perhaps Turkish lady in the background the pyramids proclaimed which side of the fence is civilized Egypt while thatched huts represent primitive Sudan the Arabic a bead for slaves is sometimes used as an insult to all blacks with all the sting of our English n-word last June and Egyptian diplomat in Nairobi caused an uproar with an alleged Arabic aside calling sub-saharan Africans dogs and slaves after 1945 Egypt campaigned at the UN to regain the Sudan opened an institute of Sudan Studies at Cairo University and published a book the unity of the Nile Valley in it Egyptologist Ahmed Badawi and classical historian ibrahim nasi recounted the pharaoh's southern expansion from the first dynasty on of the nubian 25th dynasty they wrote quote as this kingdom was built by Egyptians and was a reproduction of the ammonite theocracy at Thebes it is therefore justifiable to call it the Egyptian Kingdom of the South these rulers quote decided that the time was ripe to free the northern valley from its usurpers end quote the later Greek Ptolemies ruling from Alexandria in contrast may have issued nubian conquests out of fear that quote reviving the past glory of the great Nile kingdom might infuse in the nation of the eyal a new buoyant spirit that would uproot the Greek conquerors only months before the Egyptian army overthrew King Farouk in 1952 this postage stamp proclaimed him king of Egypt and Sudan with a map of the Nile Valley including Sudan Egypt and part of Ethiopia after the Revolution the new regime kept up Egypt's claim with a similar map and the inclusion of the Sudanese man on the right alongside the light-skinned Egyptian soldier and woman then yet five Nazi anti-semitism Egyptology and Harvard's missed opportunity during the 19th century anti-semitism once mainly religious became increasingly racialized not and gooden's 1854 types of mankind declared Thomas the first strikingly Hellenic but his queen absolutely Jewish 80 years later Dubois visiting Germany in the year of the 1936 Berlin Olympics wrote that to Nazis the Jew was the negro not the effects on Egyptology are finally getting the serious scholarly examination they deserve thomas gearson spoke here in 2015 at the Semitic museum on Queen Nefertiti in Berlin anti-semitism and the spoils of war my fifth vignette highlights the tragic last years of the big boar cart the discoverer of the famous bust of Nefertiti born in the same 1860s generation as breasted Reisner and Dubois Borchardt too studied in berlin under Adolphe airmen in 1907 he became the founding director in cairo of the Imperial German Institute for Egyptian archaeology in 1912 he uncovered at tell el-amarna the bust of Nefertiti queen of the so-called Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten in still controversial circumstances a French official of Egypt's antiquities service cleared the bus for export to Berlin when Bork Arts Institute in Cairo sequestered by the British during World War one reopened after the war the dispute over the return of the bust of Nefertiti blocked further German excavations until 1929 the cover of my recent book comes from a German cartoon on King Fuad the king of Egypt's visit to Berlin in 1929 it takes an Orientalist jab at both Egypt's demand for the return of the bust and Britain's holding Egypt in semi-colonial bondage despite having declared her independent in 1922 King Fuad pleads come back to Egypt with me beautiful Nefertiti and I'll make you my favorite wife in the harem nefertiti sniffs out of the question my little sad I'm better off in Berlin in a glass case than in Cairo as make-believe Queen by England's grace and favor temporarily sidestepping the Nefertiti dispute Egypt allowed Borchardt's successor as the reorganized German archaeological Institute Hermann Jonker to resume excavations Borchardt's retreated to the private Institute for architectural and archaeological research which his wife's fortune enabled him to found in Cairo as reported here Hitler later personally be towed a deal to return Nefertiti to Egypt but the German hero who had brought the bus to Berlin received no Frank thanks from the Fuhrer for Burkhart was Jewish this 1935 photo shows a meeting of Borchardt with his successor young Kirk and that other set of old rivals rested and Reisner Jonker to say the least cordially hosted nazi officials in cairo as with the americans the body language of the two germans here suggests anything but reconciliation in 1936 the university of berlin expelled a 81 year old adolf airman Borchardt's breasted and rice nurse professor and the Dean of German Egyptology because one of his grandmother's had been Jewish he's expelled from the University of Berlin by July 1938 Borchardt was pleading with Americans Britons and Swiss for immediate citizenship Reisner wrote home to harvard quote at the present time the German government is canceling all German passports held by Jews and making an attempt to confiscate all their possessions in Germany and in foreign lands thus Borchardt anticipates the wiping out of his private research institute the total impoverishment of his wife and himself they have no children he is now 75 years old end quote Reisner perceived an unexpected opportunity for harvard explaining quote i've tried all my life to get an endowment of a million dollars for historical research in egypt i was in sight of success with the help of an american millionaire when the depression broke in 1929 and the scheme went to pieces now the political events in germany and the persecution of jews has brought again a possible hope of an endowed American Institute for Egyptian architecture and archaeology preferably Harvard or the Boston Museum of Fine Arts end quote Borchardt's investments outside Germany and his land buildings and library in Cairo were worth nearly a million dollars in return for citizenship he would bequeath his estate after his and his wife's deaths to an institution in the rescuing country he stipulated that his assistant Herbert Ricca succeed him as director but that except for Ricka quote no so-called Arian German is to be employed in the Institute until twelve years after the restoration of equal rights to Jews in Germany de jure and de facto end quote oops rice Nura arranged it in an interview for the Bork charts at the American Embassy in Paris but the State Department ruled out ruled out citizenship without prior US residents or carts please the British colleagues alan gardner and norman de garis davis also fell through he died in Paris on August 12th 1938 his desperate Widow sent Reister in Cairo power of eternity power of attorney to transfer her property to a swiss corporation rice nur conceded that his bid had failed question quotation it appears that mrs. Borchardt cannot get citizenship anywhere with the possible exception of Egypt the poor woman is worried to death it would have been an irony of faith if war had been declared and she had been interned somewhere as a German subject I think we must give up the idea of taking over the borchardt Institute end quote George Reisner and Harvard had missed an unusual opportunity prowl Borchardt and Herbert Ricca wrote out the dirty war in Zurich after her death in 1948 her husband's Institute in Cairo became the Swiss Institute of our key architectural and archaeological research on ancient Egypt which Ricka directed until retiring in 1971 after the German Institute of archeology reopened in Cairo in 1957 it collaborated closely with this Swiss Institute a block of granite marks burkhardt's grave in the garden of the Swiss Institute in conclusion race was rarely far beneath the surface of 19th and 20th century America and Europe and the legacy of ancient Egypt became a high stakes racial prize the gypto mania revealed in flash fields mural affirming Egypt as the founder of civilization underpinned breasted sand reissner's pioneering of professional Egyptology in America the textbook ancient times helped shape standard college courses of Western Civ the 1935 editions insistence that early civilizations sprang from a great white race embracing both ancient Egyptians and quote our Indo European ancestors end quote was in tune with much scholarly and popular opinion of the day Du Bois lack the specialist authority on Egypt of his Ivy League and Berlin contemporary breasted but he understood far better the socially constructed nature of race his challenge to exclusive exclusivist white claims on the heritage of ancient Egypt still echoes today well beyond the ranks of Afro centrists in modern Egypt religion figures more prominently than in arguments over pharaonic heritage if Western debates about whiteness the whiteness or blackness of ancient Egypt Egyptians rightly strikes most Egyptians as off-key Egyptian racial prejudice sometimes does come through as in attitudes toward Nubians and the Sudanese ancient and modern anti-semitism Delta blow to Nazi Egyptology and left look big Borchardt the discoverer of the bust of Nefertiti to die a hunted man without a country in 1938 at least his wife and his Institute escaped the Holocaust and the Bork Arts legacy lives on in the Swiss Institute in Cairo I've closed by thanking the Peabody Museum for inviting me to speak and by complimenting the museum on its choice of theme which unfortunately is more timely than ever with white supremacy groups on the rise in Europe and barely cloaked racism being promoted from the very top of our government I hope these reflections on race in the history of Egyptology and Egypt Oh mania have provided some food for thought and for healing [Applause]

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