Introduction Periodicals Journal of the National Museum. History Series 2015/184/3-4 Daguerrotypie, archeologie a mizející krajina: případ chrámu v Táfě / Daguerreotypes, archaeology and a disappearing landscape: the case of the temple at Tafah
Daguerrotypie, archeologie a mizející krajina: případ chrámu v Táfě / Daguerreotypes, archaeology and a disappearing landscape: the case of the temple at Tafah
Hana Navrátilová, Libor Jůn
|Citation||NAVRÁTILOVÁ, Hana a JŮN, Libor. Daguerrotypie, archeologie a mizející krajina: případ chrámu v Táfě / Daguerreotypes, archaeology and a disappearing landscape: the case of the temple at Tafah. Journal of the National Museum. History Series. Prague: National Museum, 2015, 184(3-4), 3-14. ISSN 1214-0627. Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/jotnmhs/184-3-4/daguerrotypie-archeologie-a-mizejici-krajina-pripad-chramu-v-tafe-daguerreotypes-archaeology-and-a-disappearing-landscape-the-case-of-the-temple-at-tafah|
An active and mutually beneficial relationship between photographic media and scientific disciplines is not just something which has been occurring for many years, but also an immensely interesting cultural and social phenomenon. This is evidenced particularly well in the use of photography and photographic images in archaeology and historical sciences in general. This mutual interaction between scientific efforts and photography in history and archaeology was born in the memorable year of 1839 when the world was introduced to the daguerreotype as the first practical usable photographic process. And it was certainly no coincidence that Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences, Francois Arago, gave an enthusiastic demonstration of the advantages of the daguerreotype and the options for its use to support Egyptological research. Thus, in 1839 the first daguerreotypists appeared in Egypt, and gradually the whole of the Middle East, and the whole of this attractive region became a huge and inexhaustible source of photographic inspiration. At the same time, the names of other photographers began to appear – to begin with mainly French and British. These included Maxime Du Camp and Félix Teynard, whose daguerreotype and calotype prints of Ancient Egyptian sites in Tafah, Nubia, helped in the rediscovery of the (still extant in the 19th century and later completely dismantled for construction material) so-called Southern Temple at the site during the 1960s. At the time, this represented a phenomenal success for youthful Czechoslovak Egyptology and its then head – Zbyněk Žába. Today, the almost notorious case of the southern temple in Tafah is one of the excellent and illustrative examples of the informative value of photographic images, with photographs suitably applied (if necessary in combination with other image or written sources) able to become a key artefact for historical or archaeological research, interpreting as such a whole archaeological location or landscape.