British Egyptology (1882-1914)
The period from 1882 – 1914 has been called the “Golden Age” of Egyptology, but that term is problematic in light of the fact that it was a Golden Age only for Europeans and Americans. In Britain, the founding in 1882 of the Egypt Exploration Fund (EEF, now Egypt Exploration Society [EES]) and the beginning of the Great War in 1914 bookend this tumultuous period of Egyptology. During this period, political, religious, economic, and institutional structures impacted the intellectual development of British Egyptology as practiced both in Britain and in Egypt. The establishment of Egyptology as a university-taught subject was crucial to the field. By 1904, the signing of the Entente Cordiale between France and Britain meant that France recognized diplomatically that Britain occupied Egypt. In turn, the French had control over the direction of the Antiquities Service; however, that service was ultimately under the control of the British.