Lost Egypt, Volumes I-III. A Limited Edition Portfolio Series of Photographic Images from Egypt’s Past.
The Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Volume Pagination Date ISBN Price  
Volume I pp. i-viii + 10 plates 1992 0-918986-88-5 $2000.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume II pp. i-viii + 10 plates 1992 0-918986-89-3 $2000.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use
Volume III pp. i-viii + 10 plates 1992 0-918986-90-7 $2000.00 Purchase Download Terms of Use

The Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the publication of a series of limited edition photographs entitled Lost Egypt. These exquisite photographic prints recapture images of the Nile Valley at the turn of the century, revealing glimpses of an Egypt that no longer exists.

The images reproduced in the portfolios are from the Survey’s unique archive of over eight hundred large-format glass plate negatives, which were taken in Egypt between 1880 and 1930, and which provide an extraordinary impression of the land and people of the Nile Valley as they appeared before the onset of the modern era. These views include the ruins of ancient monuments still half-buried beneath the sand, exquisite details of carved and painted temple walls, fleets of feluccas on the river, palm groves reflected in the inundation waters, and formal salon poses and ethnographic portraits of Egyptians and Nubians.

The prints in Lost Egypt are of considerable interest as examples of photography produced for early travelers to the Nile Valley, and some bear the signatures of the well-known nineteenth century photographers Zangaki and A. Beato. The prints you will receive in your portfolio will resemble in every detail those that were bought as souvenirs by nineteenth century travelers. Each of the three volumes contains ten prints that include views of ancient monuments, landscapes, and human subjects. The portfolio may be kept as a treasured library item, or the prints may be framed individually for display or for very special gifts. Production of the series is limited to just 200 copies of each volume.

The Portfolio Prints

Modern portfolios that contain new prints of early glass negatives are often mass-produced using an artificial light source and standard development techniques. The prints of Lost Egypt, however, have been made individually, by hand, in the photographic studio at the field headquarters of the Epigraphic Survey, Chicago House in Luxor, Egypt, using the materials and methods that were employed by photographers of the nineteenth century and which are best suited for reproducing the fine details in glass negatives. The prints are produced on special printing-out paper imported from Paris by exposing the glass plates directly to the Egyptian sunlight. Exposure and toning have been carefully monitored to produce the most beautiful image possible. The printing-out paper imbues the finished prints with the rich, dark sepia tones of early photographs, and because the strength of the sun and the exposure time are both variable, each image will be unique. Finally, the prints are gold-toned for permanence and then dry-mounted and matted on archival board. Although the size of each image varies, each matted print measures 16” x 20”.

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III

The prints may be purchased independently or by volume. The price for each volume is $2,000. All proceeds support the work of the Epigraphic Survey. To order please contact:

Oriental Institute Suq
1155 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
773.702.9509 (phone)
773.702.9853 (fax)