Image: Brooklyn Museum
This photograph from the 1900s encapsulates just about everything most outsiders who lived at the time knew about Egypt: pyramids, camels, sphinxes and sand. To them, it was a mysterious place of ancient cultures and exotic people. Yet in fact, compared to preceding centuries, Egypt had actually opened up a lot to the West.
The French and British were colonial powers in the region, and railroads made sites of interest more accessible to Egyptologists, artists and tourists alike. By the 1860s, travelers could sign up for package tours of the Middle East, including visiting the monuments of Egypt.