Bible & The Arts
Biblical Commentaries
Biblical Languages
Hebrew Bible / Old Testament
History of the Biblical Period
Literature of the Bible
New Testament
Theology of the Bible
Bible Bibliographies
Bible in the Modern World
Biblical Reception
Classic Reprints
Dictionary of Classical Hebrew
Dictionary of Classical Hebrew Revised
Earth Bible Commentary
Hebrew Bible Monographs
Journal of Greco-Roman Christianity and Judaism
New Testament Monographs
Readings: A New Biblical Commentary
Recent Research in Biblical Studies
Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies
Text of the Hebrew Bible
The Social World of Biblical Antiquity, First Series
The Social World of Biblical Antiquity, Second Series
Click here for titles coming soon...
Click here to view the latest titles
Click here to view the complete catalogue
Search Books & Journals
About Us
For Authors
For Customers
Contact Us

xxv + 423 pp.

£30 / $47.50 / €40
Scholar's Price

£60 / $95 / €80
List Price

The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations.
II. Collecting, Constructing, and Curating
Kevin M. McGeough

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and classical literature. By the end of the nineteenth century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways that non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of ‘othering’ and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds.

Volume II examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged ‘real’ artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world’s-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.

Kevin M. McGeough is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography (Archaeology), University of Lethbridge, Alberta.

Series: Hebrew Bible Monographs, 68
978-1-909697-66-9 hardback
Publication May 2015

Part I: Experiencing the Ancient Near East

1. Collecting the Ancient Near East: Between Commodity and Fetish

2. Exhibiting the Near East: Mummies, Panoramas,
and Costume Shows

3. Displaying the Near East: Class and Connoisseurship
at the British Museum

Part II: Manufacturing the Ancient Near East

4. Reviving the Ancient Near East: The European Sources
of Nineteenth-Century Egyptomania

5. Constructing the Ancient Near East: From Denderah
to the Egyptian Hall

6. Designing the Ancient Near East: From Sèvres to Selfridges

7. Re-creating the Ancient Near East: The Crystal Palace
at Sydenham

8. Industrializing the Ancient Near East: Antiquity
at the World’s Fair