ARCEAbs.

DISCOVERING AND RESEARCHING THE ONLY FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF AMERICA'S PALEONTOLOGIC EXPLORATION OF FAIYUM PROVINCE IN 1907. MORGAN, Vincent L., The Granger Papers Project, 16 Valentine Hill Road, Durham, NH 03824-3017, USA Existing histories of paleontologic exploration in the Faiyum Province of Egypt typically misstate the year in which the first American fossil hunt in the region took place and omit many of its details. Indeed, the event itself is barely mentioned. This oversight is especially interesting since the expedition garnered considerable attention at the time. Not only was it the first American transoceanic fossil-hunt, political significance was attached to it as well: it was accompanied by a warm letter of introduction from expansionist US President Theodore Roosevelt to Lord Cromer, the British governor of Egypt. Published accounts of the 1907 expedition were given only by Henry F. Osborn, head of vertebrate paleontology at the AMNH and soon to become president of the AMNH itself. Historians have followed Osborn, although it isn't clear why some have held that the expedition occurred in "1906" or in "1906-07" (eg., E.L. Simons in Early Cenozoic Mammalian Faunas, Fayum Province, Egypt, 1977, at p. 9, and E.H. Colbert in The Proboscidea: evolution and palaeoecology of elephants and their relatives, 1996, at p. xxiv), or misidentify the collector of a small piece of fossil primate forehead bone in the AMNH Faiyum collection (E.L. Simons in Nature, April 1993, at p. 58). Few histories question Osborn's popular account of the expedition in Century magazine (October 1907 at pp. 815-835). None cites expedition leader Walter Granger's formal report on file at the AMNH. Only paleontologist-historian George Gaylord Simpson, a junior colleague of Osborn's and Granger's in later years, expressed subsequent puzzlement about the event (G.G. Simpson in Concession to the Improbable, 1977, at p. 139). In 1977, Granger's handwritten day-by-day account of the expedition was found among his papers stored in the attic of his youngest sister's home. This 72-page document was later verified as the only firsthand account made of the 1907 American expedition, and it has illuminated the event anew. Expedition photographs were found as well and the result is that a significantly better understanding of the 1907 expedition, its participants, its results, and its place in Egyptian and American history is now possible. The event no longer will be forgotten, misunderstood, or hazily understood. One intrigue raised by the diary is why Granger created it, never used it, but let Henry Osborn construct his popular account for Century magazine from it. Another is why Henry Osborn in New York suddenly telegraphed Granger on his way back to Cairo ordering him back into the Faiyum until further notice. Granger's 1907 Faiyum diary and photographs are now in the possession of The Granger Papers Project, an independent research and writing project. In 1997, the Project posted an abridged version of the diary on its website at http://www.nh.ultranet.com/~granger/FaiyumCover.html. Presentation will examine this Faiyum element of The Granger Papers Project through slides and narration. Scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2001, at 2:10 p.m. - 52 Annual Meeting of American Research Center in Egypt (Brown University).

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