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Sety I and Iousaas
Silver gelatin on glass
29 x 40 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
Village Scene, by Antonio Beato, Signed at lower left "A. Beato."
The location of this quiet village scene cannot be identified. Of Egyptian dwellings, E.W. Lane wrote in his Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836): "Very few large or handsome houses are to be seen in Egypt, excepting in the metropolis and some other towns. The dwellings of the lower orders, particularly those of the peasants . . . are mostly built of unbaked bricks, cemented together with mud . . . The chambers have small apertures high up in the walls, for the admission of light and air--sometimes furnished with a grating of wood. The roofs are formed of palm branches and palm leaves . . . laid upon rafters of the trunk of the palm, and covered with a plaster of mud and chopped straw. . . . Most of the villages of Egypt are situated upon eminences of rubbish, and are surrounded by palm trees, or have a few of these trees in their vicinity."

The signature of the artist has been partially scratched out of the negative, a not uncommon result of one photographer having purchased the plates of another.

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