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The Mystery Language and Its Keys
Helena P. Blavatsky

Few figures in nineteenth-century American Egyptomania were as scandalous or as popular as Madame Helena Petrovsky Blavatsky. Blavatsky was a Russian immigrant who founded a group known as the Theosophical Society in New York in 1875. A school of thought still in operation today, theosophy is a combination of religion, philosophy, linguistics, and the study of the paranormal, and was one of... [more]

Crania Americana; or, A Comparitive View of the Skulls of Various Aboriginal Nations of North and South America: To which is Prefixed An Essay on the Varieties of the Human Species
Samuel George Morton

Often thought of as the father of American scientific racism, Samuel George Morton casts a long shadow across American Egyptomania. A Philadelphia physician long recognized as an important figure in the history of American science, Morton was perhaps most famous during his lifetime for his collection of “crania:” hundreds and hundreds of human skulls collected from all over the world, sent to... [more]

History of the Red Race
Anonymous

African Americans were active and energetic participants in the culture of American Egyptomania. Often slighted in the history of nineteenth-century American interest in ancient Egypt, black Americans had what could be said to be the strongest interests of all: as debates in American Egyptomania swirled around issues of race, racial origin, racial capability, and the relation of Egypt to the... [more]

The Hollow Globe; or , The World's Agitator and Reconciler: A Treatise on the Physical Conformation of the Earth, Presented through the Organism of M.L. Sherman, M.D., and Written by Wm. F. Lyon
William F. Lyon

Nineteenth-century Egyptomania was one of the parents of early science fiction. In its combination of scientific revelations, imperial adventurers, exotic mystery, and outright speculation, Egyptomania opened the door for all sorts of fantasies about the course of time, the history of civilization, and the meanings of exploration. Even today, the mysteries of the ancient past as revealed... [more]

The Adamic Race: Reply to "Ariel," Drs. Young and Blackie, on the Negro
Anonymous

Early Egyptology was on very intimate terms with another nineteenth-century science, ethnology. A precursor to later fields such as comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology, ethnology was, as its name implies, the study of different “ethnic” differences between human groups. Nineteenth-century ethnologists, or “race scientists,” attempted to determine the inherent differences between... [more]

The Coming of the Europeans
Jacob Abbott

Most nineteenth-century Egyptologists were also race scientists. The study of the history of ancient Egypt was often seen as a way of explaining not only the history of “civilization,” but of the different cultures which related to that history. With the rise of race science, both professional and amateur intellectuals had ways of making large-scale generalizations about large-scale groups of... [more]

Constitution of the Indian Mind
Jacob Abbott

Most nineteenth-century Egyptologists were also race scientists, The study of the history of ancient Egypt was often seen as a way of explaining not only the history of “civilization,” but of the different cultures which related to that history. With the rise of race science, both professional and amateur intellectuals had ways of making large-scale generalizations about large-scale groups of... [more]

On the Physical Characters of the Egyptians
James Cowles Prichard

British ethnologist James Cowles Prichard’s was one of the most influential figures in nineteenth-century race science. His Researches into the Physical History of Man, which was published in three editions over a course of some 34 years, was Prichard’s life’s work – an explanation of what he called “the nature and causes of the physical diversities which characterize different races of men” –... [more]

"General Remarks on Types of Mankind"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Negro Types"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Introduction to Types of Mankind"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

"Egypt and Egyptians"
Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon

No single publication was more infamous or influential in the history of nineteenth-century American Egyptomania than Josiah Clark Nott and George Robins Gliddon’s 1854 Types of Mankind. Over 800 pages long, carefully compiled and lavishly illustrated, packed with data and provocative conclusions, Nott and Gliddon’s Types of Mankind was an instant classic, a best-selling scientific textbook that... [more]

The True Messiah; or, The Old and New Testaments, Examined According to the Principles of the Language of Nature
Guillaume C. L. Oegger

As much as American Egyptomania involved archaeology, science, and history, it also involved religion, scripture, and the Bible. And while this might be most clearly seen in the role of the Old Testament in the history of Egyptomania – Pharaoh and Moses, Hebrew bondage and the Promised Land – it can also be seen in the remarkable power of the concept of hieroglyphics. Originally and most... [more]

Ancient Egypt: Her Monuments, Hieroglyphics, History, Archeology, and Other Subjects Connected with Hieroglyphic Literature
George Robbins Gliddon

British-born George Robins Gliddon was one of the most important figures in nineteenth-century American Egyptomania. A one-time vice-consul at Cairo, Gliddon was singularly significant in popularizing Egyptology for American audiences: through his lectures, his publications, and his affiliations with both academics and showmen, Gliddon personified the sensationalizing popular intellectual of... [more]

Adamites and Preadamites: or, A Popular Discussion Concerning the Remote Representatives of the Human Species and their Relation to the Biblical Adam
Alexander Winchell

Early Egyptology was on very intimate terms with another nineteenth-century science, ethnology. A precursor to later fields such as comparative anatomy and evolutionary biology, ethnology was, as its name implies, the study of different “ethnic” differences between human groups. Nineteenth-century ethnologists, or “race scientists,” attempted to determine the inherent differences between... [more]

The Ancient Architecture of America
R. Cary Long, A.M.

The origins of American archaeology are far from a stately and orderly affair. The discovery of the remains of ancient civilizations in Egypt in the 1800s sparked enormous interest in similar remains all over the world, this was especially true in the case of ruins, those most visible of past cultures lost to the sands of time. Such ancient structures were often seen to challenge received... [more]