Luxor
Archaeology with Thomas Cook
in Tea on the terrace
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The fourth chapter uses the sites and spaces in and around Luxor as the culmination not only of the long journeys of the travellers in this book, but also of the ideas presented throughout these pages. Truth spots, sites of knowledge creation, network creation, the intellectual landscape all peaked in the activities of archaeologists in Luxor. Luxor’s many sites, tombs, and artefacts drew both archaeologists and tourists and, therefore, offered a variety of lodging options. Smaller hotels like the Grand Hotel, Karnak Hotel, and the Savoy, were significant only as meeting places for social events and holiday meals, such as those that took place on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, or New Year’s Eve. From the time it was built in 1907, the Winter Palace became the chosen lodging of many archaeologists, including Carter and Breasted before their houses were built, and Davis when he wanted to get off his boat. The Luxor Hotel, older than the Winter Palace and only a short walk away, was favoured by less generously funded archaeologists and tourists on a budget. This chapter is much longer than the others because there are two major hotel sites to discuss, and, because there exist far more sources for these events, the stories are more complex. The stories of Margaret Benson, Janet Gourlay, Emma Andrews, and E. Harold Jones are detailed here. I also argue for a new view of the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

Tea on the terrace

Hotels and Egyptologists’ social networks, 1885–1925

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