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What Egypt looked like at the Turn of the 20th Century

At the turn of the 20th century, Egypt was a British Protectorate. Egypt was administered by the British and the French, and the Egyptians had very little say in the matter. The dual-control system was intended to oversee the Egyptian economy so that the Europeans could make sure that its debt was paid. The Europeans repeatedly promised to leave Egypt once affairs were in order, but the promises were never kept.

In 1906 a group of British soldiers decided to use a small village in the delta called Denshawai as a forum for engaging in pigeon shooting. Villagers raised pigeons for sale and depended on the profits for their livelihood. Previously, the soldiers had done this sort of thing many times, so the villagers attacked them with sticks when they returned. However, one of the British soldiers died of heatstroke after running back to camp to tell his officer what had happened. Four of the villagers were hanged, two were sentenced to life in prison, and most of the rest were forced to be flogged in public in front of their entire village. In villages across Egypt, there was an outcry against the occupation. Liberals governed the British Parliament, and they allowed the creation of an Egyptian parliament elected by the people. Many parliamentarians opposed the occupation, and they started calling for a British withdrawal from Egypt, which was now twenty years overdue. This Incident prompted many neutral Egyptians to join the nationalist movement.

In 1908 Prince Yusuf Kamal founded Egypt’s first school of fine arts initiating the region’s first contemporary art movement. Several other schools and institutions were also opened, focusing on academic, Renaissance-based training; the Orientalist. The British occupation of Egypt ended with Hussein Kamel’s installation as sultan in 1914, but the British military presence there persisted until 1956.

Here are some stunning historical photos that will take you back to Egypt in the early 1900s.

#1 Scene in Wady Feiran, Sinai, Egypt, 1900

Scene in Wady Feiran, Sinai, Egypt, 1900

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#2 Church of the Transfiguration and the mosque [Monastery of St. Catherine], Egypt, 1900, Egypt

Church of the Transfiguration and the mosque [Monastery of St. Catherine], Egypt, 1900, Egypt

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#3 Pyramids with palm grove, Egypt, 1900.

Pyramids with palm grove, Egypt, 1900.

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#4 Bitter spring in Wady Taiybeh, Egypt, 1900.

Bitter spring in Wady Taiybeh, Egypt, 1900.

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#5 Scene at the Springs of Moses, Egypt, 1900

Scene at the Springs of Moses, Egypt, 1900

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#6 Near view of one of the Springs of Moses, Egypt, 1900.

Near view of one of the Springs of Moses, Egypt, 1900.

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#7 Well at el-Buweib, Egypt, 1900.

Well at el-Buweib, Egypt, 1900.

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#8 Greek inscriptions in Wady Mokattab, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

Greek inscriptions in Wady Mokattab, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

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#9 The wilderness of Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

The wilderness of Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

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#10 Scene at el-Wad, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

Scene at el-Wad, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

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#11 Suez Canal at the Gulf of Suez, 1900

Suez Canal at the Gulf of Suez, 1900

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#12 General view of Ras Safsaf, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

General view of Ras Safsaf, Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

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#13 Suez Canal dredger at work, Egypt, 1900.

Suez Canal dredger at work, Egypt, 1900.

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#14 Italian workers engaged in the embankment construction of the Aswan Dam, Egypt, 1902

Italian workers engaged in the embankment construction of the Aswan Dam, Egypt, 1902

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#15 Italian workers in granite quarries during the construction of the Aswan Dam, Egypt, 1902

Italian workers in granite quarries during the construction of the Aswan Dam, Egypt, 1902

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#16 C. Rhodes, L. Starr Jameson and C. Metcalfe, 1902

C. Rhodes, L. Starr Jameson and C. Metcalfe, 1902

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#17 The facade of the Graeco-Roman Museum of Alexandria in Egypt, 1902

The facade of the Graeco-Roman Museum of Alexandria in Egypt, 1902

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#18 The Aswan Dam, which was built with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, 1901

The Aswan Dam, which was built with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, 1901

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#19 Laying the last stone of the Aswan water reservoir, Lord Cromer receiving the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II and the Duke of Connaught, Egypt, 1903

Laying the last stone of the Aswan water reservoir, Lord Cromer receiving the Khedive Abbas Hilmi II and the Duke of Connaught, Egypt, 1903

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#20 Inauguration of the Aswan water reservoir Egypt, 1903

Inauguration of the Aswan water reservoir Egypt, 1903

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#21 Construction of the Aswan Dam with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, 1908

Construction of the Aswan Dam with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, 1908

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#22 Inauguration of the Umberto I hospital in Cairo, Egypt, 1903

Inauguration of the Umberto I hospital in Cairo, Egypt, 1903

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#23 Construction of the Aswan Dam with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, from L’Illustrazione Italiana, 1908

Construction of the Aswan Dam with the contribution of Italian labour, Egypt, from L'Illustrazione Italiana, 1908

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#24 City of the Dead, Cairo, 1900s

City of the Dead, Cairo, 1900s

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#25 Water tower in Faiyum Oasis, Egypt, 1900s

Water tower in Faiyum Oasis, Egypt, 1900s

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#26 South face of Turkish fort on top of Hagag el Sollum, Egypt, 1907.

South face of Turkish fort on top of Hagag el Sollum, Egypt, 1907.

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#27 Water tower in Faiyum Oasis, filtration system for Nile water, 1900s

Water tower in Faiyum Oasis, filtration system for Nile water, 1900s

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#28 Necropolis of tebe, deir el-medina, the site of the discovery of the tomb of Kha and his wife Merit, 1906

Necropolis of tebe, deir el-medina, the site of the discovery of the tomb of Kha and his wife Merit, 1906

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#29 Necropolis of tebe, deir el-medina, the site of the discovery of the tomb of Kha and his wife Merit, furnishings funeral, 1906

Necropolis of tebe, deir el-medina, the site of the discovery of the tomb of Kha and his wife Merit, furnishings funeral, 1906

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#30 National Bank of Egypt at Khartoum, 1906

National Bank of Egypt at Khartoum, 1906

Exterior view of the fa ade of the National Bank of Egypt in Khartoum. The two-storey building, built in 1901, features a colonnaded verandah and a walled garden.

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#31 Karnak: Gate of Khonsu, 1903

Karnak: Gate of Khonsu, 1903

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#32 Archduke of Austria-EsteCrown Prince of Austria-HungaryWith baron Rummerskirch at the ascent of a pyramid in Gizeh- 1903

Archduke of Austria-EsteCrown Prince of Austria-HungaryWith baron Rummerskirch at the ascent of a pyramid in Gizeh- 1903

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#33 Inauguration of the Aswan dam in 1902.

Inauguration of the Aswan dam in 1902.

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#34 Embankment work, shortly before the Aswan dam was completed.

Embankment work, shortly before the Aswan dam was completed.

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#35 The Aswan Dam at the Start of the Century, 1902

The Aswan Dam at the Start of the Century, 1902

The Aswan Dam (Built Between 1898 And 1902), An English Colonist, A Young Egyptian Man And The Nile Valley Pictured Around 1902-1920. The Dam is made of Granite Blocks coming from the Quarries of Aswan, which were used during the Construction of The Pyramids. It Is Over 2Km Long And 50M High.

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#36 Several men and women stand around a large stone sarcophagus, still in the rock quarry near Aswan, where it was left unfinished thousands of years ago, 1900

Several men and women stand around a large stone sarcophagus, still in the rock quarry near Aswan, where it was left unfinished thousands of years ago, 1900

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#37 A large group of Egyptian people gather together for the Feast of Bairam near the city of Aswan, 1900

A large group of Egyptian people gather together for the Feast of Bairam near the city of Aswan, 1900

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#38 Alexandria of Egypt

Alexandria of Egypt

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#39 Street barber, 1900

Street barber, 1900

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#40 Temple of Horus, Edfu. Entrance to temple 1900, Egypt,

Temple of Horus, Edfu. Entrance to temple 1900, Egypt,

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#41 Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Egypt, 1900.

Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Egypt, 1900.

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#42 Temple of Hathor, Dendera, Great vestibule, Dandara, 1900

Temple of Hathor, Dendera, Great vestibule, Dandara, 1900

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#43 Kasr En-Nil, bridge over the Nile, Cairo, Egypt, 1900.

Kasr En-Nil, bridge over the Nile, Cairo, Egypt, 1900.

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#44 Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

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#45 The pyramids of Gizeh. Caravan of Bedouins arriving at pyramid 1900, Egypt.

The pyramids of Gizeh. Caravan of Bedouins arriving at pyramid 1900, Egypt.

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#46 Village near the pyramids of Gizeh, Jizah, Egypt, 1900.

Village near the pyramids of Gizeh, Jizah, Egypt, 1900.

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#47 Temple hypetre (cote ouest) a Philoe

Temple hypetre (cote ouest) a Philoe

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#48 Denderah, Egypt, 1906

Denderah, Egypt, 1906

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#49 Inner view of the East side of the Second Court at the Palace of Rhamses Meiamoun, 1900s

Inner view of the East side of the Second Court at the Palace of Rhamses Meiamoun, 1900s

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#50 Colonnade a l’extremite Sud (Philoe), 1900s

Colonnade a l'extremite Sud (Philoe), 1900s

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#51 Dahabiehs, Cairo, 1900s

Dahabiehs, Cairo, 1900s

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#52 The Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, Thebes, 1900s

The Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, Thebes, 1900s

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#53 Merchants of Glass Beads and Trinkets, 1900s

Merchants of Glass Beads and Trinkets, 1900s

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#54 Temple of Ouadi Esseboua.

Temple of Ouadi Esseboua.

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#55 Medinet Habu. View taken from the entrance of the Palace of Ramses Meiamoun

Medinet Habu. View taken from the entrance of the Palace of Ramses Meiamoun

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#56 The Kiosk of Trajan, 1900s

The Kiosk of Trajan, 1900s

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#57 The Pyramids of Giza from the Southwest.

The Pyramids of Giza from the Southwest.

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#58 Group of columns in the palace, Luxor, 1900s

Group of columns in the palace, Luxor, 1900s

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#59 Karnak Palace, Thebes.

Karnak Palace, Thebes.

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#60 Arabian dance, Cairo, 1900s

Arabian dance, Cairo, 1900s

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#61 Water carriers collected by the Nile.

Water carriers collected by the Nile.

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#62 Oranges sellers in Cairo

Oranges sellers in Cairo

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#63 Group of musicians, Cairo

Group of musicians, Cairo

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#64 Young Arab dancers in Cairo.

Young Arab dancers in Cairo.

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#65 Group of musicians in Cairo.

Group of musicians in Cairo.

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#66 Shoeshine, Cairo.

Shoeshine, Cairo.

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#67 Tea seller in Cairo

Tea seller in Cairo

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#68 Street vendor in Cairo.

Street vendor in Cairo.

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#69 Water carrier in Cairo.

Water carrier in Cairo.

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#70 Young Arab dancers in Cairo

Young Arab dancers in Cairo

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#71 The ritual of tea in Cairo.

The ritual of tea in Cairo.

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#72 Street vendor in Cairo

Street vendor in Cairo

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#73 Sellers of oranges.

Sellers of oranges.

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#74 The Great Pyramid and Sphinx at Giza, Egypt.

The Great Pyramid and Sphinx at Giza, Egypt.

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#75 Wady Esh-Sheikh, Sinai.

Wady Esh-Sheikh, Sinai.

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#76 The great bridge over the Nile, 1900

The great bridge over the Nile, 1900

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#77 View looking down the Nile, Cairo, 1900

View looking down the Nile, Cairo, 1900

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#78 Egyptian characters, etc. Women carrying fuel, 1900s

Egyptian characters, etc. Women carrying fuel, 1900s

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#79 Summit of Jebel Mousa, Sinai, Egypt, 1900

Summit of Jebel Mousa, Sinai, Egypt, 1900

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#80 The Nilometer on Elephantine Island, Egypt, 1900s

The Nilometer on Elephantine Island, Egypt, 1900s

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#81 The harbor of Alexandria 1900, Egypt.

The harbor of Alexandria 1900, Egypt.

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#82 Near view of Mount Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

Near view of Mount Sinai, Egypt, 1900.

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#83 Statue of de Lesseps at entrance to Suez Canal, 1900

Statue of de Lesseps at entrance to Suez Canal, 1900

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#84 Statue of de Lesseps at entrance to Suez Canal, 1900

Statue of de Lesseps at entrance to Suez Canal, 1900

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#85 Port Said harbor and entrance of Suez Canal, 1900

Port Said harbor and entrance of Suez Canal, 1900

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#86 Kasr En-Nil, bridge over the Nile, 1900

Kasr En-Nil, bridge over the Nile, 1900

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#87 Egypt Alexandria Occupations Vendor, 1900

Egypt Alexandria Occupations Vendor, 1900

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#88 Victorian/Edwardian.Social History. An expidition in Cairo boys carrying their beds from base camp, 1900s

Victorian/Edwardian.Social History. An expidition in Cairo boys carrying their beds from base camp, 1900s

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#89 Mausoleum of Sultan Al Zaher Barquq and sons at the complex of Al Nasr Farag Ibn Barquq complex located at the city of the dead, Cairo, Egypt.

Mausoleum of Sultan Al Zaher Barquq and sons at the complex of Al Nasr Farag Ibn Barquq complex located at the city of the dead, Cairo, Egypt.

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#90 The avenue of the Spinxes,the Pylon of Yemple Ammon,Karnak, Egypt.

The avenue of the Spinxes,the Pylon of Yemple Ammon,Karnak, Egypt.

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#91 An expidition in Cairo boys carrying their beds from base camp, 1900

An expidition in Cairo boys carrying their beds from base camp, 1900

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#92 Mausoleum of Sultan Al Zaher Barquq and sons at the complex of Al Nasr Farag Ibn Barquq complex located at the city of the dead, Cairo, Egypt.

Mausoleum of Sultan Al Zaher Barquq and sons at the complex of Al Nasr Farag Ibn Barquq complex located at the city of the dead, Cairo, Egypt.

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#93 The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is an important New Kingdom period structure in the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt, 1900

The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu is an important New Kingdom period structure in the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt, 1900

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#94 The Sphinx of Memphis is a stone sphinx located near the remains of Memphis, Egypt, 1900

The Sphinx of Memphis is a stone sphinx located near the remains of Memphis, Egypt, 1900

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#95 Avenue of sphinxes in front of 1st pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900

Avenue of sphinxes in front of 1st pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900

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#96 Women carrying fuel, Egypt, 1900.

Women carrying fuel, Egypt, 1900.

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#97 The barrage. Near view of the barrage from the E. 1900

The barrage. Near view of the barrage from the E. 1900

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#98 Statues of Rameses, Temple of Luxor, 1900

Statues of Rameses, Temple of Luxor, 1900

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#99 Cattle at a watering place, Memphis, Egypt, 1900.

Cattle at a watering place, Memphis, Egypt, 1900.

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#100 Native women and child, Egypt, 1900

Native women and child, Egypt, 1900

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#101 Temple of Rameses, Abydos, Egypt, 1900

Temple of Rameses, Abydos, Egypt, 1900

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#102 Assuan Dam, general view looking W.S.W, Egypt, 1900.

Assuan Dam, general view looking W.S.W, Egypt, 1900.

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#103 Main street of Port Said, Egypt, 1900.

Main street of Port Said, Egypt, 1900.

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#104 Entrance to Temple of Nektanebos, Medinet Habu, Egypt, 1900.

Entrance to Temple of Nektanebos, Medinet Habu, Egypt, 1900.

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#105 Looking across the Nile from Assuan, showing Elephantine Island, Egypt, 1900.

Looking across the Nile from Assuan, showing Elephantine Island, Egypt, 1900.

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#106 The pyramids of Gizeh. Site of ancient Memphis, 1900.

The pyramids of Gizeh. Site of ancient Memphis, 1900.

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#107 Typical village, Egypt, 1900.

Typical village, Egypt, 1900.

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#108 Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

Statues of kings behind 8th pylon, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

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#109 The Lybian desert, Thebes, Egypt, 1900.

The Lybian desert, Thebes, Egypt, 1900.

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#110 Interior of Mosque of Mohammed ‘Ali Pasha, in Cairo, 1900.

Interior of Mosque of Mohammed 'Ali Pasha, in Cairo, 1900.

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#111 Primitive way of irrigating, Eygpt, 1900

Primitive way of irrigating, Eygpt, 1900

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#112 Great hypostyle hall of Temple of Sobk and Horoeris, Egypt, 1900.

Great hypostyle hall of Temple of Sobk and Horoeris, Egypt, 1900.

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#113 The pyramids of Gizeh. Summit of the Great Pyramid, Egypt, 1900.

The pyramids of Gizeh. Summit of the Great Pyramid, Egypt, 1900.

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#114 Native women with jars carrying water from the Nile, Egypt, 1900.

Native women with jars carrying water from the Nile, Egypt, 1900.

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#115 Road leading to the pyramids of Gizeh, 1900.

Road leading to the pyramids of Gizeh, 1900.

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#116 Mummy coffins in Cairo Museum, 1900

Mummy coffins in Cairo Museum, 1900

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#117 Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt, 1900

Temple of Horus, Edfu, Egypt, 1900

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#118 View of Pyramids with native village in foreground, Egypt, 1900.

View of Pyramids with native village in foreground, Egypt, 1900.

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#119 The sacred lake, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

The sacred lake, Karnak, Egypt, 1900.

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#120 Colossal statue of Rameses [i.e., Ramses] II, Memphis, 1900.

Colossal statue of Rameses [i.e., Ramses] II, Memphis, 1900.

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#121 Kiosk at Philae, looking S.W., taken from a boat. 1900, Egypt.

Kiosk at Philae, looking S.W., taken from a boat. 1900, Egypt.

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#122 The Great Temple of Ammon, Egypt, 1900.

The Great Temple of Ammon, Egypt, 1900.

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#123 Assuan and Philae. Kiosk at Philae, looking N. 1900, Egypt

Assuan and Philae. Kiosk at Philae, looking N. 1900, Egypt

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#124 Donkey market in Cairo, 1900.

Donkey market in Cairo, 1900.

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#125 Cairo from the Mokattam Hills, 1900

Cairo from the Mokattam Hills, 1900

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