In preparing a fourth edition of Ancient Egypt the illustrations have been thoroughly revised. Worn-out cuts have been replaced by fresh views of familiar objects while occasionally the emphasis has been shifted to other important pieces. A number of objects placed on exhibition since 1952 seemed to demand illustration. Some of these have been selected from new acquisitions coming to the Museum through gift or purchase but others are the result of the study of material long in storage which has now been restored to a sound condition by our technical services. We have by no means completed the lengthy task of dealing adequately with the objects in fragile condition from the excavations carried on by the Museum for some forty years in Egypt. Over the years we have had reason to be grateful to Mr. William J. Young's laboratory for the expert collaboration upon which so much depends. It is a pity that there is no space for pictures of the condition before treatment of such things as the electrum sheaths (Fig. 109) or the toilet spoon (Fig. 88). The recently acquired painting of a lady on linen (Fig. 127) presents a vastly improved appearance after it had been cleaned and mounted by Mr. John A. Finlayson of the Department of Paintings. Miss Suzanne Chapman has also succeeded in flattening out and mounting another large painting on linen (No. 72.4723) which had remained rolled up since 1872 when it came to us with the gift of the Way Collection. The panel of Ramesses III with a court lady, an early example of the elaborate use of glass inlay (Fig. 98) is again the result of studying what at first appeared to be rather unpromising pieces that had been held in reserve.
Except for the addition of new material and revisions made necessary by recent discoveries which have affected the historical background, the text remains substantially the same as in earlier editions. The study of our expedition records in connection with the publication of the Museum's excavations continues to increase our information about this collection. The reader will find a number of alterations in the text which have resulted from this, for example in regard to the chronology of the Sudan in the Meroitic Period.
It is hoped that the map of Egypt and Nubia will prove a helpful addition. The following more compact and up-to-date bibliography has been substituted for that in the introduction to previous editions.
Opposite: The Judge Mehu. End of Dyn. V