In my post from last week I stated how sad it was that looters and antiquarians were carting off so much of the history and culture of ancient Egypt. I believe that much of this history would be lost forever if it were not for August Mariette. His passion for the history of Egypt developed before he had ever even been there. After he arrived in Egypt and became a rouge excavator, I was thinking he was going to be like every other treasure hunter and wanted to find “the next big thing” so he could “get rich quick”. But then I learned all the work he did was for the love of the artifacts and the history they held. By pointing out that the Egyptians had a right to keep their cultures history within the country, he led the way for new laws to be put in place. By helping create these new cultural heritage laws Egypt was able to keep their artifacts from leaving the country, made sure the credit went to Egypt and also ensured the Egyptian government would be able to conserve antiquities so others could not destroy them. This guaranteed the Egyptian past was safe for Egyptians and also others in the world to learn about. The Egyptian Service of Antiquities, which August Mariette also oversaw, contributed to Egypt managing its cultural heritage as well.
As I said last week, I think we know quite a bit about this ancient civilization compared to others which their history has been completely lost and that is mostly thanks to August Mariette. He did so much for the country simply because he loved the history. I am happy to see that his efforts have lasted as long as they have. Because of them the museums have kept growing and expanding its collections, needing to move to bigger and greater museums. Hopefully one day I will be able to see one of them.