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Wonderful ThingsA History of Egyptology: 1: From Antiquity to 1881$
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Jason Thompson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165993

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165993.001.0001

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A Medieval Hiatus

A Medieval Hiatus

(p.43) 2 A Medieval Hiatus
Wonderful Things

Jason Thompson

American University in Cairo Press

The Arab conquest of Egypt in the seventh century AD ended the final phase of Egyptian antiquity and brought the advent of Islam, which eventually became Egypt's dominant religion. Until recently it was thought that this meant a complete lack of interest in Egyptian antiquity, but recent scholarship shows that travelers, writers, and geographers paid considerable attention to the remains of ancient Egypt. Significant if ultimately unsuccessful attempts were made to read the hieroglyphs, knowledge of which had been lost in Late Antiquity. Treasure hunters probed the ancient monuments. Although contact with Western Europe was difficult and intermittent, several intrepid travelers made their way to Egypt and recorded their observations.

Keywords:   medieval Egypt, Islam, Coptic language and script

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