Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
- Belzoni, Giovanni Battista
▪ Italian archaeologist
born Nov. 5, 1778, Padua, Republic of Venice
died Dec. 3, 1823, Gwato, Benin
excavator of Egyptian archaeological sites.
Originally planning to join a religious order, Belzoni went to England in 1803 where he turned his powerful six-foot seven-inch physique to earning a living as a circus strong man. He also exhibited models of hydraulic engines and in 1815 he went to Cairo to offer to Muḥammad ʿAlī Pasha, the founder of modern Egypt, hydraulic engines for use in irrigation. Two years later he had embarked on a new career, excavating Egyptian tombs and temples for their treasures with scant regard for incidental damage to less desirable items. Many of his archaeological feats might today be regarded as pillage.
At Thebes he obtained the colossal sculpture of the head of Ramses II (“the Young Memnon”) for the British Museum; in the nearby Valley of the Tombs of Kings, he discovered the tomb of Seti I and removed the aragonite sarcophagus for the Sir John Soane's Museum, London. Though he managed to make off with an obelisk from the Nile island of Philae (Jaz
īrat Fīlah), near Aswān, it was taken from him at gunpoint by agents working for French interests. He explored Elephantine (Jaz
īrat Aswān) and the temple of Edfu (Idfu), cleared the entrance to the great temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, was first to penetrate the pyramid of Khafre at Giza, and identified the ruins of the city of Berenice on the Red Sea. He returned to England in 1819 and published an account of his adventures, Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries Within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs and Excavations, in Egypt and Nubia . . . ,
2 vol. (1820). He died in western Africa as he began a journey to Timbuktu. In 1825 his widow exhibited in Paris and London his drawings and models of the royal tombs of Thebes. Great Belzoni,
a biography written by Stanley Mayes, appeared in 1959.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Belzoni, Giovanni Battista — (1778–1823) Italian adventurer and excavator. He was born in Padua on 5 November 1778 and later joined a circus troupe in London. He went to Egypt in 1815 to seek work as a technical adviser but was unsuccessful. Belzoni was employed by Henry… … Ancient Egypt
Giovanni Battista Belzoni — (* 15. November 1778 in Padua; † 3. Dezember 1823 in Gwato bei Benin, Afrika) war ein italienischer Abenteurer, Ingenieur, Gewichtheber und Akrobat. Bekannt wurde er als … Deutsch Wikipedia
Giovanni Battista — Giovanni ist ein Vorname und Familienname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Vornamen 2.2 Nachnamen 2.3 Pseudonym … Deutsch Wikipedia
Giovanni Battista Belzoni — Pour la ville américaine, voir Belzoni (Mississippi). Giovanni Battista Belzoni Égyptologue … Wikipédia en Français
Giovanni Battista Belzoni — Grabado de Giovanni Battista Belzoni, ataviado al modo egipcio. Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778 1823) nace en Padua (Italia), de carácter aventurero, es un ilustre y singular personaje de la incipiente egiptología del siglo XIX. En 1803 viajó a… … Wikipedia Español
Giovanni Battista — Giovanni Battista, was a common Italian given name (see Battista for those with the surname) in the 16th 18th centuries, which in English means John the Baptist . Common nicknames include Giambattista, Gianbattista or Giovambattista. The Genoese… … Wikipedia
Giovanni Battista Belzoni — Infobox Scientist name = PAGENAME box width = image size = 150px caption = Giovanni Battista Belzoni [from his publication Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries Within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia … Wikipedia
Giovanni Belzoni — Giovanni Battista Belzoni Giovanni Battista Belzoni (* 15. November 1778 in Padua; † 3. Dezember 1823 in Gwato bei Benin, Afrika) war ein italienischer Abenteurer, Ingenieur, Gewichtheber und Akrobat. Bekannt wurde er als P … Deutsch Wikipedia
Giovanni Belzoni — Giovanni Battista Belzoni Pour la ville américaine, voir Belzoni. Giovanni Battista Belzoni … Wikipédia en Français
Belzoni — Giovanni Battista Belzoni Pour la ville américaine, voir Belzoni. Giovanni Battista Belzoni … Wikipédia en Français