Report by Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge to the Trustees of The British Museum
8 February AD 1899
Exploring the pyramids of the upper Nile
Between December 1898 and January 1899, Wallis Budge visited the Sudan on behalf of The British Museum, despite the fact that a British military campaign was in progress there. The Battle of Omdurman had been fought in that region only two months earlier. Budge travelled first to Aswan in Upper Egypt. Then he made his way up the Nile Valley to the pyramids of Meroe and spent some time studying them there.
At Meroe the local people told Budge of yet another group of pyramids 'away in the mountains', but '... in view of the convoys of men sick with fever which were coming down by every steamer ...', he decided to do no more exploring. The main reason for his visit was to buy objects for The British Museum, and at the end of his report he says that he has purchased (among other things) six prehistoric mummies, several coffins, twenty Arabic manuscripts and 400 scarabs.
Budge writes here in the third person (referring to himself as 'Mr Budge'). This custom was always followed by Keepers when making their formal reports to the Trustees.
Budge made several visits to Egypt and Sudan, and many of the objects he purchased there are now displayed in the Museum's Egyptian galleries. The most famous is a group of mummies from a family grave at Akhmim, Upper Egypt. This can now be seen in Room 62, together with a photograph of Budge. The report was written at The British Museum after Budge's return to England.