Scene, by Antonio Beato, Signed at lower left "A. Beato."
The location of this quiet village scene cannot be identified. Of Egyptian
dwellings, E.W. Lane wrote in his Manners and Customs of the Modern
Egyptians (1836): "Very few large or handsome houses are to be seen
in Egypt, excepting in the metropolis and some other towns. The dwellings
of the lower orders, particularly those of the peasants . . . are mostly
built of unbaked bricks, cemented together with mud . . . The chambers
have small apertures high up in the walls, for the admission of light
and air — sometimes furnished with a grating of wood. The roofs are formed
of palm branches and palm leaves . . . laid upon rafters of the trunk
of the palm, and covered with a plaster of mud and chopped straw. . .
. Most of the villages of Egypt are situated upon eminences of rubbish,
and are surrounded by palm trees, or have a few of these trees in their
The signature of the artist has been partially scratched out of the
negative, a not uncommon result of one photographer having purchased
the plates of another.
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