THE FIRST COMPLETE MAP OF THE ROYAL NECROPOLIS OF THEBES, 1830, MEASURING 56 BY 64 INCHES
WILKINSON, John Gardner. Topographical Survey of Thebes, Tapa, Thabe, or Diasopolis Magna. London: [Royal Geographical Society], 1830. Large linen-backed folding map, measuring approximately 56-1/2 by 64 inches; housed in a custom cloth slipcase. $4000.
First edition of this important survey map of the royal necropolis of Thebes by noted Egyptologist Wilkinson, including an insert map of the pyramids of Giza.
Considered by many to be the "Father of British Egyptology," "Wilkinson arrived at Alexandria in 1821, and, making Cairo his base, spent 12 years in Egypt and Nubia… He twice ascended the Nile as far as the second cataract, and many times as far as Thebes, where he spent much of the years 1824, 1827, and 1828, and where in 1827 he carried on elaborate excavations and caused many of the tombs to be uncovered" (DNB). Wilkinson was "a pioneer in the decipherment of hieroglyphs, the first to recognize several royal names and first to make detailed surveys of all the major sites in Egypt, single-handedly, and to make a complete plan of Thebes. His contribution was enormous" (Clayton, The Rediscovery of Ancient Egypt, 46). The draft manuscript of this map is housed, along with Wilkinson's other papers, at the Bodleian Library of Oxford. Map includes the Western Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, Karnak, and El Assaséef, as well as a small diagram of the subterranean chambers under the tomb of Assaséef II. Insert map of the pyramids of Giza measures 16-1/2 by 18 inches. Small red ink cross near the palace of Rameses II. Bookseller paper title label to front of slipcase; private library label to spine.
Map fine with some light foxing, in a toned slipcase. A fine copy of a most scarce resource.