Royal Cache Valley, 1919–20 season
Harry Burton (English, 1879–1940)
The Egyptian Expedition of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Gelatin silver print; 9 x 6 3/4 in. (23 x 17.1 cm)
In the first full-scale excavation season after the end of World War I, the workmen were set to clear the floor of a valley to the south¬west of the temples at Deir el-Bahri. This was the same valley where a major cache of royal mummies had been discovered some forty years earlier.
From the surrounding cliffs, Burton photographed the activity of clearing sand and rubble—lines of Egyptian workers shouldering baskets full of dirt in one direction and hurrying back in the other. Remarkably, many of the figures, clad in dark robes and white turbans, have a specific character—tiny glyphs for rest, movement, or labor.