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INSCRIPTIONS IN A DOUBLE SENSE: THE BIOGRAPHY OF AN EARLY SCIENTIFIC PHOTOGRAPH OF SCRIPT

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<title> ABSTRACT </title>In 1846 a photograph of a drawing of an Egyptian inscription in hieroglyphics was printed in the workshop of William Henry Fox Talbot who had not only invented the Calotype, but was also an ambitious Antiquarian. Even though the photograph did not render the original Egyptian inscription but only a drawing, the so-called "The Talbotype applied to Hieroglyphics" became a landmark as a scientific image. It was the first instance of the use of photography in the field of Egyptology. Despite Talbot's earlier attempts to convince scholars to use photography in the field, the archaeologists and trustees of the British Museum were not immediately convinced. This paper will explore the early debates about the use of photography for archaeological research and explain why "The Talbotype applied to Hieroglyphics" stands out in a period which could be described as the delayed career of the photographic image in archaeology.

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/content/journals/10.1163/182539109x00615
2009-01-01
2017-12-16

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