Dorothy Eady | work with selim hassan and ahmed fakhry

Work with Selim Hassan and Ahmed Fakhry

In 1935, Dorothy Eady separated from her husband when he took a teaching job in Iraq. Their son Sety stayed with her.[21] Two years after the marriage broke down she went to live in Nazlat al-Samman near the Giza pyramids, where she met the Egyptian archaeologist Selim Hassan of the Department of Antiquities, who employed her as his secretary and draughtswoman. She was the department's first female employee and a boon to Hassan.[22] According to Barbara Lesko, "She was a great help to Egyptian scholars, especially Hassan and Fakhry, correcting their English and writing English-language articles for others. So this poorly educated Englishwoman developed in Egypt into a first-rate draughtswoman and prolific and talented writer who, even under her own name, produced articles, essays, monographs and books of great range, wit and substance."[8]

Through her keen interest in antiquities, she met and befriended many of the famous Egyptologists of the era.[23] Omm Seti made such a significant contribution to Hassan's work that upon his death she was employed by Ahmed Fakhry during his excavations at Dashur.[24] Hassan's magnum opus, the ten-volume "Excavations at Giza", gives "special mention, with sincere gratitude," to Dorothy Eady for her editing, drawing, indexing, and proofreading work.[25] She learned from these scholars the techniques of archaeology, whilst they benefited from her expertise in hieroglyphs and drawing.[24]

During this time she prayed, made frequent offerings to the gods of ancient Egypt, and would often spend the night in the Great pyramid.[26] Eady became the object of village gossip because she would make night prayers and offerings to Horus at the Great Sphinx.[27] Yet she also was respected by the villagers for her honesty in not hiding her true faith in the Egyptian gods. She was sensitive to the religious observances of others, and would fast with the Muslim villagers during Ramadan and celebrate with Christians at Christmas.[28]

Her associations with the workers and their families gave her first-hand experience of contemporary Egyptian life. She saw a common thread joining all periods of Egyptian history; the Pharaonic, the Greco-Roman, the Christian, and the Islamic. This thread was the Nile, which animated people's lives on many levels.[29]

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العربية: دوروثي إيدي
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