Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
From Plunder to PreservationBritain and the Heritage of Empire, c.1800–1940$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Astrid Swenson and Peter Mandler

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265413

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265413.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Unholy Water

Unholy Water

Archaeology, the Bible, and the First Aswan Dam

(p.93) 5 Unholy Water
From Plunder to Preservation

David Gange

British Academy

The first Aswan Dam was the most controversial civil enterprise of the early British Mandate in Egypt. It was also one of the most ideologically loaded projects of a British-dominated government, which wished to be seen as both modernizing force and guardian of Egypt's heritage. In this conflicted situation, lobbies for and against the construction of the dam do not follow predictable patterns. Engineers, seeing themselves as modern parallels to the biblical Joseph, often expressed greater discomfort with the drowning of monuments than did those, including Egyptologists, whose professional concerns were with Egypt's ancient past. Initially centred around biblical imagery and the iconic temple of Philae, the debate was transformed by the emergence of concern for Egyptian prehistory and consequent attraction of new anthropological interests.

Keywords:   Egyptology, archaeology, engineering, irrigation, prehistory, Old Testament, imperialism, preservation, anthropology, Philae

British Academy Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.