Today marks the first day of the Summer Reading Program at my library. This year’s theme is Dig Into Reading. Underground and archeology are two major subcategories. It triggered my interest in 19th century archeology, what discoveries were made then? What caught the public’s imagination? How did it influence the world at large?
So I traveled back to Egypt. For better or worse, we have Napoleon to thank for reigniting the spark of the ancients back around the early 1800s with his conquests. His expedition published their findings of Egypt and its art in the 1820s and from there it exploded into obsession with the exotic culture. In Europe, whole buildings were constructed with stylized Egyptian motifs.