I just returned from a couple of weeks in Europe where I presented at FAIR conferences in Darmstadt, Germany and Milan and Rome, Italy, on the Book of Abraham. (Other presentations included topics like the Book of Mormon, race issues, polygamy, and Joseph Smith’s visions.) This was my first trip to Europe and I had a great time. Now that I’m back, I thought I would post my remarks on the BoA here for your interest and so that I can conveniently refer people to them in the future.
The Book of Abraham
Kevin L. Barney
When Napoleon invaded Egypt in 1798, he brought with him a small army of scientists and artists, whose published reports of the wonders of Egypt in the many volumes of the French series “Description of Egypt” published between 1809 and 1813 soon fueled a wave of Egyptomania among Europeans. This intense interest in all things Egyptian spurred a demand for Egyptian antiquities, which men like Antonio Lebolo, the excavator of the Joseph Smith Papyri, were all too willing to meet. The Italian Lebolo had been a gendarme during Napoleon’s occupation of the Italian peninsula. When Napoleon was defeated, Lebolo moved to Egypt in voluntary exile. There he was employed by Bernardino Drovetti, the former consul general of France in Egypt, to oversee his excavations in Upper Egypt. Lebolo also did excavating on his own. Some time around the year 1820, give or take a couple of years, Lebolo excavated 11 well preserved mummies from a pit tomb on the west bank of the Nile opposite the ancient city of Thebes (modern Luxor). These mummies were shipped to Trieste and consigned for sale through Albano Oblasser. Oblasser sent the mummies to New York, where they were purchased by an entrepreneur from Pennsylvania named Michael H. Chandler some time early in the year 1833. [Read more…] about The Book of Abraham