Unknown Old Photos of Karnak Monuments

Keywords: O. Alesho, D. Shcherbakivsky, Karnak, Egyptology, History of Ukrainian humanities


The article introduces a set of photos capturing monuments and sites of the Karnak Temple Complex (Egypt) in 1907. These visual documents are held in the archival fond of D. Shcherbakivsky, in the Scientific Archive of the Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Together with other visual materials, these photos appear to have been visual illustrations for lecture course on the history of ancient art by D. Shcherbakivsky. Investigation of the archival materials and study of the related textual documents from the Archive give reason to conclude that Ukrainian ethnographer and anthropologist O. Alesho seems to have been the author of these photos. He visited Egypt in winter 1907; Helwan and Luxor were among the sites which he visited, and the survived photos appear to have been a part of the photographic recording of his trip. He sent a postcard to his professor D. Shcherbakivsky with a note from Helwan, this note attests his trip to Egypt.

At present, the Institute of Archaeology of the NASU has eight black-and-white photographs capturing sites, objects and views of Karnak Temple Complex, as they were in 1907. So the photos of the Institute record one of the earliest known cases of the photographic recording of the Ancient Egypt sites and monuments made by Ukrainian scholars.


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