I did say, when I first began working on the “Dreams of Amarna” panels, that I did not intend to become an Egyptologist. I still don’t, but at the same time, my interest in the Egyptology of the thirties, and in what Mary Chubb might have known or had access to, has extended somewhat as I have discovered more.
Recently BBC4 showed a documentary called The Man Who Discovered Egypt, so of course I pricked up my ears. When I realised that the presenter was the current director of the Egypt Exploration Society, Dr Chris Naunton (@chrisnaunton for the Twitterers among you), and his subject was Flinders Petrie, I made absolutely sure to record the programme so I could watch at my leisure. It was fascinating, and I may very well get further ideas for scenes on my edge panels from looking at it again.
For those in the UK that missed it and are interested, the programme is being rebroadcast on Tues 15 May at 10pm, on BBC4.
As it happens, Chris Naunton was the first person I spoke to at the EES when I started my research, so I emailed to say how much I’d enjoyed the programme. He replied, and added that the digitisation of the archive (which gave me the original picture for the Felucca, above) has been continuing apace. The EES now has its own YouTube channel:
Furthermore, some of the film shows JDS Pendlebury, the Director of Excavations in Mary Chubb’s time, not just working, but playing – organising a sports day for the worker’s children, having a spoof argument with colleagues – and, very importantly for me, there is film of an incident which is described in the book, of bringing back a heavily carved and coloured door-lintel from the site to the Expedition House. Whether I will be able to create a feasible embroidery design from that welter of imagery remains to be seen – but it will be really worth a try, won’t it!