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International Archaeological Reports since 1974

COMING SOON: Investigating Paper Squeezes

19th and 20th century records of Egyptian monuments in UK archives

Charlotte Booth
Publication Year:
181 pages, With additional material online
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This book provides a comprehensive history of squeeze-making in the discipline of Egyptology from its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century to the continued use of tin squeezes in modern archaeological practice. This is a relatively new practice in Egyptology whereas squeezes have been used in Mediterranean archaeology since the 17th century. In Mediterranean archaeology the skill is still being taught to epigraphists whereas in Egyptology the squeeze is long-forgotten and the products of the method are languishing, neglected in museums and archives. This research offers an analysis of the on-going value of these squeezes, which were produced more than a century ago. It also emphasises the importance of squeezes for conservation and archival work as well as historical interpretation of the monuments of ancient Egypt. The squeezes studied highlight a number of inscriptions which have disappeared or have been extremely damaged since the squeezes were taken, demonstrating the value of these documents in reconstructing the monuments of the past. However, their value does not stop there, as they hold not only epigraphic value but also social and informational value, and it is essential that they are studied in order to unlock their potential. The overall objective of this research is to encourage Egyptology scholars to identify the importance these squeezes hold. While acknowledging the damage caused in their production, this should not define how they are studied (or indeed not studied) in the modern era.

Charlotte Booth has a PhD from University of Birmingham, and a BA (Hons) and MA from University College London. She has worked for ARCE, Luxor and EAIS (SCA), Cairo and is the author of nearly 20 books and numerous articles about Egyptology. Her PhD research was on squeezes and her MA thesis was about foreigners represented in Egyptian Art and was also published by BAR (S1426 The Role of Foreigners in Ancient Egypt). Dr Booth has been a freelance Egyptologist for 20 years, and teaches Egyptology, archaeology and hieroglyphs, as well as presenting at conferences internationally.

‘It is the first dedicated study of the taking of squeezes, and as such is a significant contribution to knowledge. It also feeds into the wider study of the history of Egyptology and the reception of ancient Egypt, which is becoming increasingly important.’ Prof. Aidan Dodson, University of Bristol

‘The topic “squeezes” itself is methodologically new in the field of Egyptology. Also, the extensive discussions dealing with the people who made squeezes, historical background, and literature review enhance the value of this unique study.’ Prof. Dr. Tomoaki Nakano, Chubu University, Japan