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Title: El Kab
Author: Quibell, James Edward, 1867-1935
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "El Kab" ***

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generously made available by Case Western Reserve University
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 Transcriber's Note:
 1) Spelling of Sneferu / Snefru left as in the original.
 2) [.a] = dot above a

       *       *       *       *       *









 SECT.                                         PAGE
  1. Course of work                               1
  2. Chance of inscribed tombs                    2
  3. Description of site                          2


  4. Mastabas and stairway tombs                  3
  5. Ka-mena mastaba                              3
  6. A mastaba                                    4
  7. Compound mastaba                             4
  8. Nefer-shem-em                                5
  9. Early black cylinder                         5
 10. Smaller mastabas                             5
 11. Stairway tomb with inscribed cylinder        7
 12. Open graves                                  8
 13. _Majūr_ and cist burials                  9


 14. Variety of names                            11
 15. First dating erroneous                      11
 16. Evidence from El Kab                        12
 17. From other sites                            12
 18. Doubtful points                             13


 19. Early XIIth dynasty tombs and the wall      13
 20. Tombs in detail                             14
 21. Later XIIth dynasty tombs                   14
 22. Beads                                       15


 23. Few XVIIIth dynasty remains                 15
 24. Temple of Amenhotep III.                    16
 25. Foundation deposits                         16
 26. Temple near the east gate                   17
 27. The date of the wall                        17
 28. Bronzes                                     17
 29. Pigeon-house                                17


 30. Plate I.                                    17
 31. Plates II-VI. Photographs                   17
 32.   "    VII-IX. Mastabas and tombs           19
 33. Plate X. Alabaster vessels                  19
 34. Plates XI-XII. Libyan and early pottery     19
 35.   "    XIII-XVII. XIIth dynasty pottery     19
 36.   "    XVIII-XIX. Marks on pottery          20
 37. Plate XX. Pottery, scarabs, and cylinders   20
 38.   "   XXI. Foundation deposits              20
 39. Plates XXII-XXVI. Plans                     21
 40. Plate XXVII. Contents of tombs              21


     I. Tomb plans.
    II. Old Empire stone vases, etc. (photographs).
   III. Sandstone statue of Nefer-shem-em, and group of objects
          from the tomb of Ka-mena (photographs).
    IV. Sandstone table of offerings and two stelæ (photographs).
     V. XIIth dynasty statuette and ushabti, a late bronze, etc.
    VI. Diorite, alabaster and pottery vessels of Old Empire
   VII. Sketches of mastabas.
  VIII. Sketch of a mastaba, and box of ivory and glaze veneer.
    IX. Views of a stairway tomb.
     X. Alabaster vessels, XIIth and IVth dynasties.
    XI. Libyan and Old Kingdom pottery.
   XII. Old Kingdom pottery.
  XIII. Pottery, early XIIth dynasty.
   XIV. XIIth dynasty water-jars.
    XV.   "      "    pottery.
   XVI.   "      "       "
  XVII.   "      "       "
 XVIII. Marks on Old Kingdom pottery.
   XIX.   "  Middle Kingdom pots.
    XX. Pottery, scarabs and inscribed cylinders.
   XXI. Foundation deposits.
  XXII. Plan of cemetery E. of town.
 XXIII.   "  mastabas N. of town.
  XXIV.   "  tombs in S.E. angle of the enclosure.
   XXV. Plan of gateway in wall.
  XXVI.   "  temple of Thothmes III.
 XXVII. Catalogue of small Libyan tombs.


1. It was on Mr. Somers Clarke's proposition that El Kab was selected
for last winter's work of the Research Account. Mr. Clarke has for
some years been interested in this site, and has published some of
the XVIIIth dynasty tombs there. He wished to see the smaller tombs
excavated, and the great area inside the town examined, so, with his
colleague, Mr. J. J. Tylor, he offered a considerable subscription to
the funds, on condition that El Kab should be the selected site. To
Mr. Jesse Howarth, equally with these gentlemen, we are indebted for
that support without which the excavations could not have been carried

We arrived at El Kab on the 1st of December, and within four days had
cleared out several of the uninscribed tombs in the famous hill, and
had made them into a most comfortable house. Nothing in Egypt makes so
pleasant a dwelling as a rock-tomb. In a house in which window and
door are one, and three sides and the roof are of solid rock, there
can be no draughts, and the range of temperature night and day is very
small. We had a room each, another for a dining-room, and in two more
I packed away my forty workmen. These were nearly all men known in
previous years at Kuft and Naqada, for the natives of El Kab are few
in number and of inferior physical strength, so that their labour at
two piastres a day was dearer than that of the picked Kuftis at four.
All the conditions of work were very pleasant, much better than I
have known in Egypt before. No crowd of loiterers and dealers' spies
haunted the work as at Kuft, no robbery by workmen threatened us as
at Thebes. Surveying poles were left out for weeks together; at most
villages they would have been stolen the first night for firewood.

There was some delay in getting the necessary permission for digging;
after a fortnight's waiting we received it, and began to work upon
the XIIth dynasty cemetery. Halfway through March the digging was
gradually brought to an end, and map-making and packing occupied the
time till we left in the beginning of April. Fifty-four boxes of
pottery and other objects were brought to England, were exhibited
during the month of July at University College, and were then
dispersed to various museums, Oxford, Philadelphia, Chicago and
Manchester, receiving the largest shares. I have to acknowledge much
help received both in Egypt and England. To Mr. Clarke, besides the
financial support mentioned already, we owe thanks for help in the
work of excavation, in plan-making, drawing, etc., and for his
untiring hospitality. To Miss A. A. Pirie, who was with us for the
later two-thirds of the season, we are indebted for several coloured
drawings of tombs, etc., now at University College, and to her, as
also to my sister, for constant aid in the varied daily occupations of
the digger, tasks in which their experience makes them most valuable
helpers, and which they cheerfully added to the labours of desert
housekeeping. In England, several friends have helped in the work of
unpacking, exhibiting, drawing plates, etc., notably Miss Griffith,
Miss Murray, Mr. Herbert Thompson and Dr. Walker. Few outside the
little ring of diggers and their friends know how much drudgery in
Egypt and in England is taken off our hands by friendly helpers,
working without a thought of reward.

2. The site of El Kab is a large one. The area inside the town walls
alone would have required to clear it five times the money we had at
our disposal; and besides that, there was the hill of XVIIIth dynasty
tombs, the cemeteries outside the walls, and the temples far up on the
desert. It was necessary to make careful choice of such spots as would
repay the labour expended on them. The most obvious place to search
would be the sandstone hill in which we lived, where the fine
inscribed tombs of Paheri and Aahmes are well known. But is there much
chance of finding inscribed tombs anywhere in Egypt except at Thebes?
We know that the tomb was left open for the visits of relatives, and
open it must always have remained, unless it got drifted up with sand,
or unless the quarrying of another tomb on a higher level sent down a
mass of chips which hid it. At the capital, tombs were often lost for
long periods in this way; in less crowded cemeteries the accident
would seem to be less likely to happen. Many traces in the existing
tombs at El Kab show that earlier tombs were quarried away in order to
make room for them. This would seem to minimise the chances of finding
anything valuable of early date; and if by chance some inscribed tomb
still remains hidden in the talus of chips in the lower part of the
hill, the business of making a thorough search there would be so long
and expensive that it will probably remain undiscovered.

3. The greatest monument at El Kab is the town wall, the huge mass of
which must arrest the attention of every passer-by on the river. It
encloses a great square of about 580 yards in the side; the walls are
40 feet thick, and in most places still reach a height of 20 feet. The
diagonal of the square runs, roughly, N. and S., and the S.W. wall is
parallel to the river. The S.W. corner has disappeared; indeed the
river now runs over the point where it must have stood. There is
evidence that the Nile has moved eastward at this point, but not to
any great extent, within the last 2000 years, for some remains of a
landing-stage, believed to be Roman, can still be seen a little south
of the town. About a quarter of the area inside the walls was cut off
from the rest by a curved double wall, and only inside this smaller
area are there many traces of buildings. Here, in the early part of
the century, was a large mound, but now the sebakhin have carried it
all away, and we look over a most desolate space, at one part red with
the broken pottery of all periods, thrown out from the sebakh-digger's
sieve, at another white with the salt that everywhere permeates the
soil. A few great brick walls remain, and the foundations of the
temple, but no part of the superstructure. Outside this town, but
inside the great square of the walls, the character of the ground is
quite different. There are no great masses of pottery, hardly any
brick walls; in the lower parts little parallel ridges in the soil
show that cultivation has been carried on there within the last few
years; for the rest, the ground is covered with pebbles, much like
the untouched desert, and here and there are fragments of pottery,
evidently of early date. These were most numerous on two or three
slight rises which, as we afterwards found, had contained groups of
tombs. Thus, on the day we arrived, was presented the first puzzle of
El Kab. The greater part of the enclosure had never been inhabited, at
least by people living in houses and using pottery. What, then, could
have been the purpose of the huge walls? The north wall (strictly, the
north-west, but called north for convenience) could be crossed by
walking up the great sand-slope, which reaches to its top on both
sides. This is driven up by the prevalent north wind. A similar, but
much smaller, heap has drifted against the north side of the south
wall. From the top of the north wall one has a good view of the whole
neighbourhood. The town lies at the mouth of a wide valley, flanked by
broken ranges of sandstone hills. An hour's walk up this valley is to
be seen the little square block of Amenhotep III's temple, the great
isolated rock of the graffiti, and, rather nearer, the small temple of
Rameses. The low hill to the left, half a mile away, is the hill of
tombs. The row of black dots sloping downwards to the east are the
doorways of the tombs; they follow the bed of soundest rock. Further
to the north is a rock looking, in the distance, like a huge mushroom.
This is a hill of which there remains only the upper part, resting on
great pillars; the flanks of the hill and all the inside of it except
these pillars have been quarried away, the stone being used probably
for the temples of El Kab. The strip of cultivated land is very narrow
at this part, often less than 500 yards wide.

Immediately to the east of the walls the ground has been disturbed,
being covered with small and equal rises and depressions; scraps of
XIIth dynasty pottery scattered over its surface showed that here was
the cemetery of the Middle Kingdom.

_Note._--I stopped for five hours at Kafr-es-Zaiat on the railway
journey from Alexandria to Cairo to examine a site, which may be the
Serapeum of the Saite nome. On the map, in the Description de l'Egypt,
some ruins are marked as the village of El Naharieh, north of
Kafr-es-Zaiat. I found, on talking with the people, that ruins had
existed there thirty years ago, but that now all the ground they had
covered had been brought into cultivation. Under the mats in the
mosques some blocks of granite of old Egyptian work may be seen, and
I noticed the cartouche of Necho twice. The sheikh of the village
had, too, a fine lintel, used as a gate-post. This he kindly had moved
for me, and on it I saw the name of the Serapeum of the Saite nome,
_Hat-biti_, again with the cartouche of Necho. (_Cf._ de Rougé,
Géographie de la Basse Égypte, p. 22.)

       *       *       *       *       *



4. The lower parts of the ground inside the enclosure had been very
thoroughly looted, chiefly by the natives of El Kab, when cultivating.
We found many small graves about 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and waist
deep, but containing no bones, and with so little pottery in them that
it took some time to determine their period. But in the two low mounds
to the north, and the larger one in the south, graves of several kinds
soon appeared. Of these one set were clearly later than the rest.
Their enclosure walls, within which several burials were found, were
at right angles to the great wall of the town, and cut through the
other graves (mastabas) which, though parallel to one another, were
skew to the town walls. These earlier tombs were of several types: (1)
mastabas with square shafts; (2) mastabas with sloping "stairways,"
both of crude brick; (3) burials in the kind of large earthenware pot
that our workmen call a _majūr_; and (4) burials of that now
well-known type which has been called New Race, Libyan, Neolithic,
etc., and which is distinguished by the contracted position of the
body with the head to the south, and by a very definite class of
pottery, paint slabs, beads, etc. The mastabas were found both within
and outside of the town walls, one group (PL. XXIII) lying quite close
to them. On three diorite bowls found in these graves (one inside the
walls, the others outside) the name of Sneferu appeared. As this is
the only king's name occurring in any of these tombs, it seems
probable that most of them may belong to the reign of Sneferu, or to
the period immediately following. And the town walls, being built
through the Old Kingdom cemetery, are, of course, the later in date.

About thirteen "stairway" tombs and thirty-seven mastabas were
examined. The precise number cannot be given, for when the walls of
the mastaba are entirely denuded, and only the well is left, one
cannot be sure that the grave was ever of the mastaba form. Of smaller
graves which yielded any evidence, there were about fifty-three; but
many more, which, from their position, orientation, and size, could be
assigned to the early period, were quite empty, or contained only a
few potsherds.

5. The most important mastaba was that of Ka-mena (PL. XXIII). It is
one of a group which we found under the great mound of drifted sand on
the north side of the wall. PL. VII gives two views of this group of
tombs during the process of excavation. The low walls are denuded near
the end of the sand-slope to a single brick's height; in the centre
they are a metre high, and they sink again towards the end under the
great wall. They are built with recessed panels, and were originally
plastered and painted white. Round the whole tomb runs a boundary
wall. The two small closed chambers at the end of the last passage
(corresponding to those which, in the tomb of Nefer-shem-em, contained
his two statues) were empty, but a few fragments of the legs of a
small sandstone statue were found near. In the E. wall itself there
are two niches; in and near them were found many small pieces of
worked limestone, some inscribed. They are copied in PL. XVIII, 49-53
and 55. The face in 49 retained a touch of green paint on the cheek,
an important piece of evidence for the dating of the Naqada tombs, the
occupants of which also used this method of adorning themselves. The
pieces, 53 and 54, seem to be parts of a stela; 50 and 55 are from the
bases of limestone statues.

The inscriptions give us Ka-mena's name, and show him as a king's
acquaintance and a priest.

The chambers inside the mastaba, left blank in the plan, were found
filled with brick earth; this was cleared out, but nothing save a
scrap of IVth dynasty pottery was found. The earth was doubtless
thrown in in this way to economise bricks; the cross walls would
serve only to keep this loose earth from falling down the well in the
centre. The well was about 15 feet deep, filled with thick, damp clay,
the bottom being, even in January, very near the water-level. The
chamber was to the south, closed by a rough-hewn slab of sandstone
three inches thick. It should be noted that the sandstone in the
neighbourhood breaks naturally into very flat plates, so that it is
easy to pick out slabs which, with very little dressing, will serve
for building; such pieces were found in many of the early tombs.
This slab being removed, the chamber was found to be full of a very
tenacious clay, much of which had to be cut away with a knife, for in
so tough a substance a light blow with an adze has no effect, and a
heavy one may damage some valuable object before it can be seen. The
whole chamber was lined with flat sandstone blocks, but the thin roof
slabs had given way under pressure of the earth above. The style of
building was irregular (_v._ PL. I), the blocks being fitted, but not
squared. The body had lain on the west side, with its head north; no
trace of a coffin remained, and the bones were a mere white paste,
only to be distinguished by scraping sections with a knife through
mud and bone. Under the whole body was a bed of white sand. Near
the entrance were six vases (XI, 12), of a shape and fabric
indistinguishable from a late Neolithic form common at Naqada, and
opposite the middle of the body was a group of important objects.
These were: a model granary in rough red pottery (PL. VI), each little
storehouse having an opening above, closed by a stopper; another
similar granary in fragments, three vertical alabaster jars, an
alabaster circular table, and the group of bowls and model tools shown
in PL. III. These last consist of--

(1.) A bowl and ewer, probably of copper, not of bronze.

(2.) A bowl of porphyry, a flat bowl of a beautiful light-coloured and
translucent diorite, and a flat dish made of a darker variety of the
same stone. This last is inscribed with the Ka name of Snefru, Neb
Maat, the chisel-like sign of the _maat_ being written on the convex
side of the sickle, and the door-frame of the name surmounted by a

(3.) A set of model tools, axe, knife, adzes and chisels, shown again
in outline on PL. XVIII, 56-65. These have been analysed by Dr.
Gladstone, who writes as follows:--

 "The largest fragment gave--

                            Per cent.
   Copper                     98·4
   Arsenic                     0·3
   Iron                        0·2
   Bismuth                    trace
   Lead                       trace
   Antimony                   trace?
   Oxygen as cuprous oxide    trace

It is, of course, essentially copper, the minute quantities of the
other constituents being due, in all probability, to impurities in the
ore. The total absence of tin is the most notable feature."

6. The small mastaba W. of Ka-mena's is of simpler construction.
The brickwork may have been recessed, though this could not be
ascertained, as its walls were only two bricks high, and the panelling
in the other mastabas does not reach so near the ground. There is no
enclosing wall, but there is a passage on the east side, with low
cross walls which I do not understand. The chamber at the bottom of
the well is to the south; it was not closed by a stone. Near the
mouth, to the east, was a small coffin of red pottery; its size showed
it to be that of a child buried in a contracted position. Between the
coffin and the side of the chamber was a diorite bowl; south of this
were two vertical jars and a circular table, all of alabaster. On the
west side of the chamber lay the body, on its left side, and with the
head north; the arms and legs were sharply bent, the heels being
brought close to the hips.

7. To the west of this is the compound mastaba marked C in the plan.
The southern half was built later than the northern, the panelling of
which can be seen inside the first well beyond the cross wall. The
spaces marked 1, 3 and 6 are only chambers filled with clay; 2, 4 and
5 are all tomb wells.

The well (4) was exceptional in that its chamber was to the west and
not to the south. It was 5·3 m. deep, and scattered through the earth
in it were coarse pots of the types in PL. XII (23, 30, 31, 33, 34,
40). Inside the chamber were two vertical alabaster jars, a circular
table, a diorite bowl, fragments of malachite, a small river shell
containing white paint, and one of the pots (XI, 12) like those in
Ka-mena's tomb.

At the bottom of the next well (5) stood one of the large
hemispherical pots (_majūrs_) which were used as coffins (XX, 5).
It was 60 cm. in diameter, but was empty and inverted. Against the
mouth of the chamber was a stone slab two metres high, one side of it
much broken away. The chamber was, as in all these tombs, filled with
thick mud, and scattered through this mud, or on the floor, lay the
following objects: a diorite bowl of the ordinary shape, containing a
small vase of alabaster inverted over a mass of green paint (malachite),
a smaller bowl also of diorite, an alabaster table upside down, and two
more alabaster vessels.

Below these lay what once had been a very curious box. The pattern of
the lid is shown in PL. VIII, 2. It is composed of small flat strips
of ivory, 1 mm. thick, and of pieces of glaze, blue and black; these
had apparently been glued on to a background of wood, but this had
entirely decayed, and the thin film of decoration was left in the mass
of heavy clay. After clearing it sufficiently to learn its nature and
size, we drove a piece of tinplate under it, and so lifted out the
whole lump of earth in which it was contained. Inside the house we
could at leisure scrape away the soil from one side, and pour melted
beeswax in its place, then turn the whole over and repeat the process
on the other side. In this way a large piece was brought to England
embedded in wax. This wax was afterwards removed, and replaced on the
inside by plaster of Paris. The size of the box was about 12 inches
long by 8 inches broad, and 5 inches high. It had been much crushed,
and the sides could not be saved. The contents were a small porphyry
bowl (X, 44), a shell, and some green paint.

8. The mastabas C, Ca, and D were contained in the same boundary wall.
C appears to be the earliest, then Ca, then D. The inner half of the
passage between C and D is lined with stone; at the end, bricked up in
a little chamber, were found the two statues of Nefer-shem-em; to him,
therefore, belonged the tomb D. The statue to the west was in
sandstone (PL. III), a standing figure, 1/3 life-size; the head was
missing, only a few fragments of it being found below the statue. The
surface of the stone had been covered with a fine layer of plaster,
reddened with haematite, of which some traces remained; the skirt was
painted white.

The other statue of limestone represents Nefer-shem-em seated. The
head is well preserved, and the whole statue is a good example of Old
Kingdom work, though not of the most finished style, and much damaged
by salt. It does not show the "Schminkstriche." The inscriptions
incised on the base of the standing figure, and on the right side of
the chair of the seated one, are the same:--

     _Suten rekh se hez neter hon Nefer-shem-em._

(Number in Ghizeh Catalogue, 650.)

The mastaba D of Nefer-shem-em is of the ordinary type, with two
niches on the east, two chambers filled with brick earth, and a
central well. This well was filled with bodies, not buried with
care, but thrown down in every contorted attitude. The position of
twenty-three skulls and bodies was noted, and then, as no plan or
arrangement appeared, the rest were left to be taken out by the men. A
scarab of Amen-ankh-as, found in one of the bodies on the upper level,
appears to give the late XVIIIth dynasty as the date for this mass of

9. The next mastaba (E) is of a curious form; the S. niche is over
one of the wells instead of being in the outer wall. Both wells were
cleared until we were stopped by water. From one came the fragments of
a pottery sarcophagus of the small type.

The small mastaba (301) nearer the town wall was of more interest. In
its well were found fragments of the rough early pottery (PL. XII), of
the short type of earthenware coffin, and of a _majūr_ (XX, 5),
also a piece of a diorite bowl, on which the name Sneferu had been
very roughly scratched, and a small (3/4-inch) black stone cylinder
(XX, 32). This is of a type already fairly well known from bought
specimens (there are twenty-one in the Edwards Coll.), and suspected
to be early, but not hitherto found by a European. The engraving shows
a figure seated before a table and wearing a huge wig.

10. The next mastaba (No, 288) was inside the town. Just to the south
of the tomb passage, as if thrown out from it, lay a great many pots
of coarse pottery of the shapes shown in the top of PL. XII. These
pots were also found in the passages between mastabas, and fragments
of them in very great quantities were scattered over the tombs,
especially over those of the "stairway" type. This suggests that the
coarse pottery was used, not in the interment, but for the offerings
brought by relatives to the tombs. They were placed, probably,
opposite the niches, and when they became inconveniently numerous,
were thrown away over the tomb wall. Several hundreds of these pots
were found, heaped together, behind two mastabas to the north of the
wall (PL. VII, C, D).

The tomb had been robbed. Fragments of one of the large, circular,
bowl coffins (XX, 5) were scattered through the earth all down the
shaft, and the great slab which had closed the door was thrown over
at the bottom of the well. The chamber was empty, but under the flat
stone were found fragments of a slate dish, of an alabaster table, and
of four diorite bowls. Of one of these, the largest I have seen (PL.
II, 1), more than two-thirds of the pieces remained; it was inscribed,
in neat, deep characters, _suten biti Sneferu_, the name of the king
being written without the cartouche. In this tomb was also one of the
coarse bars of pottery that I have found both in Old Kingdom and in
Neolithic tombs, the use of which is by no means clear. They were,
when complete, about 2 feet 6 inches long, and 4 inches thick; they
are flat on one side, rounded on the other. The sides of one Neolithic
tomb at Ballas were lined with bars of this kind. In another, the body
was sheltered by a large inverted dish resting upon several of them;
frequently fragments of two or three were found in a tomb. Perhaps
they were used as supports for the coffin.

In tomb No. 312, which was probably a mastaba, though the walls were
not observed, the well was but 2 metres deep. The chamber was at the
west, and was just large enough to contain the pottery coffin and a
few pots. The coffin was of the short type (3 feet long); the body lay
on its left side, crouched up, head to the N., and face E. One bone
from the foot lay outside the coffin at the foot end, where also lay
a small bowl of diorite, part of another in limestone, bracelets in
shell and horn, an ivory hairpin, and a shell containing green paint.
Through the earth in the tomb-shaft were scattered a large number of
coarse pots (PL. XII, two of 41, 45, 43, a hundred and four of 22,
more than a hundred of 31).

In tomb No. 318, the burial chamber lay to the west of the well, 2 m.
above the bottom of it, 3·7 m. from the top. The bones were scattered
and broken, but the chamber was so small that the burial must have
been a contracted one. There remained a diorite bowl (11 inches
diameter), a vertical alabaster jar, a smaller one containing green
paint, and part of a bowl in a good red ware, of the same open shape
as the bronze bowl of Ka-mena's tomb.

No. 315 contained a fragment of sculpture (XVIII, 55). No. 319 had the
regular group of alabaster table and small and large diorite bowl,
with two of the long egg-shaped pots (XI, 12), a vase with a spout
(PL. XII, 55), and one of the open red pottery bowls, as in No. 318,
and Ka-mena (PL. XII, 51).

Next comes a group of tombs with square wells, and chambers closed by
a large block of stone, which tombs are probably mastabas, although
the panelled brickwork was not found.

No. 42. A large square well, 200 m. to the N. of the town wall.
Scattered in the earth were fragments of all the common coarse
varieties of IVth dynasty pottery, and also of the bowl-like coffins
(XX, 5). The half of an ivory cylinder (XX, 33) and the small black
cylinder (XX, 31), with an inscription which is, apparently, not
Egyptian, were found amongst them; there was also a small slate dish,
and the egg-shaped pot (XII, 49).

No. 88, inside the town, was a well 2 metres deep. The chamber was
closed by a large stone (1·00 m. × ·65 m.), but an entrance had been
effected behind it. There remained in the chamber four stone bowls of
the shapes so often found together (X, 22, 39, 44, 48), and in the
shaft were part of a _majūr_, and twenty-five coarse pots (nineteen
of XII, 23, two of 37, four of 31).

No. 101. A well, 3 metres deep, with chamber to the south, contained,
with the regular coarse pottery, the less common shape XII, 26, and
also some fragments of the later Neolithic large vases (Naqada, XL, 40
or 46). Necks of these same vases were in No. 150 with the coarse
pottery, and also one of the yellow clay dolls, about 15 cm. long,
representing a woman with very long legs, and a great square-ended
wig. These dolls are well known, and were supposed to be of the Middle
Kingdom. There was no sign in this tomb of a secondary burial, so it
may be that the dolls are even of the Old Kingdom.

No. 185. At 2·10 metres below the surface were the pieces of a small
pottery cist, a _majūr_ (complete), under which lay the body, in
the contracted position, the head to the south, a stone bowl, and an
ivory comb, together with a few beads, felspar discs, and shell-shaped
beads of serpentine, apparently of Neolithic style. Forty cm. lower
were some cylindrical beads in green glaze, and shells with the stains
of green paint. In the earth above were scattered examples of the
regular series of coarse pots (XII, 23, 31, 35, 45).

No. 187, a well 3 metres deep, contained only an inverted pottery
cist, inside which was a body lying upon the left side, with the head
to the north.

No. 191, a well 2·50 metres deep, was peculiar in that it contained no
chamber; the body was protected from the earth above by a double roof
of sandstone slabs, supported on other slabs at the sides. The body
was sharply bent up, the knees being nearly opposite the mouth; it lay
on the left side with the head south. At the head stood an alabaster
vase (X, 31) of a late Neolithic shape. This tomb, but for its
exceptional depth, might be classed among the Neolithic interments.

In No. 192 the body was in an abnormal position, for while the arms
lay at full length, and the thighs in a line with the body, the knees
were so sharply bent that heels and hips were in contact. The head was
to the north, and the face east.

No. 204 was another square well with a chamber below, which had been
closed by a thin brick wall; it contained a square, flat, slate
palette, parts of a slate dish, and three pots of a Neolithic shape
(XI, 12).

No. 228 was a square well near a group of stairway tombs. In it were
two burials, the first in a pottery cist placed in one corner of the
well at 1·5 metres from the surface. The body was contracted, the head
to the north; the only object placed with the body was a shell near
the hips. Below this cist lay another body in a wooden box painted
white. This also was in the sharply contracted Neolithic position,
hands and knees both before the face; the head lay to the north, and
the body was on its left side. Lower still in the well were pots of
the coarse Old Kingdom types. Both these bodies, presumably, are
secondary burials.

No. 231 contained three pots of Old Kingdom types (XII, 23, 54, 31),
with fragments of a large _majūr_ (XX, 5), and one sherd of a thin
ware, black inside, and decorated outside with rows of pricked marks.
This cannot be distinguished from certain fragments obtained in the
Neolithic cemetery at Ballas.

No. 280, a well north of the wall, sunk below water-level, but in the
filling were found the regular group of coarse pots (XII, 31, 36, 35,

In 197 the coarse pottery occurred with chips of malachite, and in 233
with a vertical alabaster vase and fragments of a large vase identical
with a large late Neolithic shape.

11. We next turn to the other large class of tombs, those entered by
stairways. These may all have been mastabas. The characteristic
massive brick walls remain in several cases, in one, at least,
retaining the recessed panel work and niches. But it may be that these
stairway tombs are rather older than those mastabas which have square
wells, and it seems best not to group them together. The appearance of
these tombs may be seen in Miss Murray's black and white reproduction
of two sketches by Miss Pirie (PL. IX).

The first view shows the stairway, as seen from below, looking
northward; in the other view one is supposed to be looking southward
at the vertical end of the shaft, the tomb entrance and the stone

All these tombs were robbed, excepting, possibly, one. This (St. 2)
was the smallest tomb of the kind that I have seen. The stair was
reduced to a couple of roughly cut steps; the total depth was only 1
m., and though a large stone slab had been placed as a door to the
burial chamber, a robber had only to pierce 20 cm. of soil to get into
the chamber through the roof. The chamber, which was about a metre
square, was filled with a thick damp clay. The bones had decayed so
much that only a few parts could be identified but distinctive
fragments of the skull, the hip ends of the two femurs, a tibia, a
radius and ulna, enabled one to see that the body had lain on the
left side with the head to the north. Before the face was an ivory cup
(shape X, 44). Below the body was a little red dust with spots of
white in it, probably the remains of a wooden coffin painted white.

In and below the white paste, which was all that was left of the bones
of the hand, were two nuggets of gold (one 18 dwts. = 28 grammes) and
a handful of barrel-shaped carnelian beads mixed with very small beads
of gold. By scraping away the earth very gently, one could see that
the gold beads had been strung together to form bands 5 or 6 mm.
broad, alternating with bands of carnelian. A gold bar, 2 cm. long,
pierced with five holes, had clearly served to hold the strings on
which the beads were threaded. There was also a bracelet of a single
thick gold wire. The total weight of gold was about 4 oz. (125
grammes). In the N.W. corner of the tomb, behind the head, were five
vessels of ivory, two very coarse vertical jars (14 and 19 cm.), two
bowls (23 and 26 cm. diameter), one with a spout (X, 26), and a bowl
of the spreading shape of Ka-mena's bronze (XII, 51); there was also a
small double vase of limestone (X, 15). A little steatite plaque with
the inscription Neb.ra was stated by the workmen to have come from
this tomb, and there is no reason to doubt them; but I did not
actually see it in place. The name Neb.ra is one of the three Ka names
on the shoulder of the famous archaic statue No. I at Ghizeh, and the
name on the plaque may perhaps be the same, though it is not written
in the square Ka frame.

In the side of the tomb were two small balls of limestone and one of
carnelian, in shape and size like playing marbles, and some fragments
of malachite. By the door were some chips of diorite bowls. The
marbles were clearly part of a set for a game (_cf._ Naqada, PL. VII),
and the fact that the set was incomplete, and that the stone bowls
were broken, makes it probable, in spite of the presence of the gold
nuggets, that the tomb had been partially plundered. The early robbers
may easily have passed over the gold, for the moist and tough clay
hides small objects only too well; it was only the weight of two small
lumps of clay that betrayed to me the presence of the nuggets inside.

The quantity of gold remaining in so small a tomb shows how rich the
large interments may have been, and how strong was the temptation to
rob them.

In Stairway 1 the lines of the surrounding mass of brickwork were
traced, but the walls were not high enough to show the recessed
panels, which probably once existed.

In Stairway 6, a large tomb, coarse shapes of pottery (XII, 23, 35)
were found, and also vertical alabaster jars, fragments of an
alabaster table, and of bowls, hairpins of ivory, and an oblong slate
palette with two stone rubbers. This was of one of the later shapes of
Naqada. There was also a large pot (of the shape XII, 49, but larger),
similar to the later pottery of the New Race.

Stairway 5 must be counted in this group of tombs, though it differed
from the common type in three respects. It was much larger, the
brickwork being 41 metres long by 20 wide; instead of an open stairway
it had a small shaft opening into a long inclined plane which led down
to the burial chamber; the chamber, too, was very large (7 m. square).
The recessed brickwork remained on the west side, and the passage
which led to the niche on the east side can still be traced. The
clearing of this tomb formed a tedious task for six men during three
weeks, and nothing important was found. A pot (X, 29), found inside
the great chamber, suggested that it had been entered during the
XVIIIth dynasty, and three alabaster vases (28 cm. high) were most
probably canopic jars from some late burial. This tomb is a prominent
object to anyone looking north from the El Kab wall, and has the
appearance of a natural mound.

Another stairway tomb was remarkable for the great number of coarse
limestone and alabaster vertical jars which were piled at the bottom
of the stair. There were 150 of these, but nothing else in the tomb,
except a few pieces from a bowl of brown incised ware (XX, 1),
somewhat like the rare incised pottery found at Naqada.

Staircase 8 contained a stand of coarse pottery and a small coarse
saucer (XII, 31, 44), the rough handmade vase (XII, 23), fragments of
large water-jars of better ware, and two alabaster bowls, one of the
sharp-edged type (XI, 33), the other of the common shape, drawn in at
the mouth (XI, 44); there were also two mud jar-seals of flat
saucer-like shape.

In Stairway 9 the sides of the shaft had been plastered with mud. The
stone door of the burial chamber was still standing, the robbers
having apparently found it easier to force their way through the
comparatively soft earth above the great slab. We were frequently able
to trace their mode of entrance, and found that they sank their shafts
at the deep end of the stairway, never clearing the long flight of
steps. This would seem to show that the robberies took place while
this method of burial was remembered. This tomb contained fragments of
one of the large hemispherical pots used as coffins (_majūrs_), and
pieces of a large jar of polished red ware, the lines of polish on
which run lengthways; this ware again cannot be distinguished from
the Libyan. There was also a vertical jar of veined marble, the
horizontally-pierced handle of a typical Libyan stone vase, an
alabaster bowl and a vase (X, 43), with a couple of coarse pottery
bowls of IVth dynasty type (XII, 37).

Stairway 10 contained only the coarse pottery, but the common jars
(XII, 23) bore a series of simple marks made before firing (XVIII,
21-4, and a triangle).

Stairway 12 had been robbed, though the sandstone door had not been
moved. The body had been laid in a wooden box (80 cm. long), which
nearly filled the chamber. The wood had disappeared, but the thin
layers of paint still kept their place. The body lay on the left side,
contracted, the head to the north. A small diorite bowl stood near the
head of the coffin, and a common alabaster vase in the earth above it.
Round the bones of the arm were carnelian beads of short barrel shape.

No. 226 was exceptional in the position of the entrance to the tomb
chamber. On descending the stairway, one found oneself at the base of
a large well, in the east side of which, and not visible from the
stairway, stood the great door. In the filling was found a good flint
knife, of the usual early type, with small handle, but much inferior
to the finer Neolithic work.

The contents of this series of tombs have been given thus in detail,
in order to show that the same grouping of objects occurs over and
over again, and that they can therefore be with confidence attributed
to the original burials, though if only a single tomb had been
examined there would be no proof of the contemporaneousness of any
object in it. It will be observed that the contents of the stairway
tombs are very closely similar to those of the mastabas with square
wells, but that objects characteristic of Neolithic tombs--green
paint, double vases, marbles, etc.--are rather more numerous in the
stairway tombs. This makes it seem likely that the stairway tombs here
at El Kab are earlier in date than the mastabas with square wells.

12. Next we may describe the small graves, generally about 3-4 feet
deep, in which there is no chamber for burial, but the body is laid in
the shaft or open grave. These were found chiefly inside the fort of
El Kab, though a few were outside the walls. Some were distinctly of
Neolithic type, but of that later variety in which the fine black and
red pottery is not found. Of the earlier type, only one small group of
twenty graves was discovered; these were well outside the town, on the
west side of the railway, and so thoroughly cleared out that only half
a dozen chips of pottery remained to show their real nature. But of
the later kind many examples were found, and still more numerous were
the empty graves which, by their size and position, seemed to belong
to the same class.

This type is characterised by the contracted position of the body, the
vertical jars with cordage pattern, the square slate palettes, the
flat alabaster dishes, and four shapes of alabaster vases (X, 22, 44,
48, 31), two of which often occur also in the mastabas. The first
group obtained were inside an oblong brick building, which showed red
in the distance, the colour being due to the great number of broken
pots of the Old Kingdom (XII, 20, 23) scattered over it. The earth
within its walls was found to consist largely of these pots, of which
there was an unbroken layer, two feet thick. Below this we came upon
the Neolithic tombs. The walls were of the small bricks which we soon
learnt to associate with the work of the Old Kingdom in El Kab. It is
not probable that the walls had any relation to the tombs, for they
were not quite parallel to one another, and there were more tombs
outside these walls. But it is important to observe that a thick layer
of the coarse pottery of the Old Kingdom here overlies Neolithic
tombs. It is just possible that the pottery may have been thrown by
cultivators upon this mound, but the probabilities against this seemed
to me very strong. In one of these tombs (L, 2) the body was found
complete, lying on the left side, with the head to the south. At the
head end were one wavy-handled pot of a late type (XI, 3), two
vertical jars (as XI, 5), with cordage pattern, a square slate
palette, and above these a pot (XI, 9), with decoration in wavy red
lines; also an alabaster cup (X, 38), containing six finger-bones. At
the other end were a bowl, and two vases of well-known forms.

The middles of the graves were generally empty, and bones were rarely
found; the stone bowls, which formed the bulk of the finds, were at
the north and south ends. It does not seem worth while to transfer
from the notebooks the full description of each of these small tombs,
for they have been so thoroughly robbed and turned over that the
position of the different objects in the tomb has no particular
meaning, but it may be well to give a short catalogue of the objects
found (_v._ PL. XXVII). Each of the tombs is about 1·50 m. to 2·00 m.
long, ·90 m. wide, and 1·50 deep.

In one tomb (No. 237) the body was laid in a wooden box (length not
seen, ·40 m. broad, wood 3 cm. thick), in a contracted position, with
the head to the south, but the bones were disturbed, and the pottery
lay at various levels, not all on the floor of the tomb. There were
traces of mat-work at the north end.

No. 241 was lined with four stone slabs, and another that lay near had
served for roof. In the filling was a head of some animal (? antelope)
made of the coarse red pottery of the early period.

No. 206 had a fragment of a square Neolithic palette, an alabaster
bowl with a spout (X, 19), a taller bowl, also of alabaster (X, 30),
and a lot of beads--felspar discs, long cylinders of copper (?) and

13. The only untouched small tomb (No. 166) lay to the north of the
town. The plan of this tomb is given in PL. I, 7, and the objects in
collotype in PL. II, 2. The tomb was cut in the hard black mud, of
which the ground north of the wall is formed, to a depth of ·9 metre.
The northern half was occupied by an inverted large hemispherical bowl
(_majūr_ XX, 5); though inverted, it was quite full of thick black
mud, in which the bones of the deceased were embedded. The head lay to
the north and the face east, the body of course contracted. South of
this a tall alabaster jar lay on its side, and at the end of the tomb
a squat alabaster jar, a smaller one of the same type, and two pots
(XI, 7, 8) of a rather smooth pink ware, with red lines and dots
painted over it. The smaller pot is really a lid, and is pierced at
the top for suspension. Between the _majūr_ and the side of the
tomb were some pieces of ivory (1 inch by 3/16 inch), probably the
veneer from a box like that in PL. VIII, 2. From the mud in the
decorated pot the following small objects were picked out: two ivory
hairpins, three bracelets, a disc of ivory with a grooved rim, a
polished brown pebble, a small alabaster cup (X, 44), two shells, both
with green stains inside, with beads of ivory, green felspar, gold,
carnelian, blue frit, and serpentine, and, most important of all, an
inscribed cylinder of translucent steatite. The inscription given in
PL. XX, 29, is perhaps a name compounded with that of a king, the
latter being in a cartouche. If this reads ka-ra, it may be
conceivably En-ka-ra of the VIIIth dynasty (though I do not think this
likely), or, as Professor Sayce suggests, Manetho's [Greek: Chairês]
of the IInd. The first column seems to give the Hor.nub name of the
king as Nefer, or Nefer-Ka.

The beads are nearly all of known Neolithic types; one form is
noticeable, a blue frit cylinder with gold caps at the ends. It is
convenient to mention here the other cases of burial under the large
hemispherical pots or _majūrs_.

Two (No. 186) were found, each in a small hole west of Ka-mena's
mastaba; the first lay mouth upwards and contained the much-decayed
bones of a child; the second was inverted and contained no bones, but
a bowl of a rather coarse red ware, two of the very coarse IV dynasty
saucers and a common pot of the same period. Another _majūr_ lay at
the bottom of a well in one of the great groups of mastabas which have
been already described.

Another (No. 249) lay at the bottom of a long open grave (3·70 m.)
with two burials in pottery cists. The arrangement of the bones in it
could not be made out.

Another (in a well 1·5 m. deep) contained a sharp-edged bowl (XII,
53), wheel-made, covered with a wash of haematite. This was above the
skeleton, which lay on its right side, doubled up, the knees before
the face, the head north; below the body were traces of wood; in the
bowl was a short cow's (?) horn.

Near to this was another small well (1·30 m. deep), and at the bottom
of it a small _majūr_, in which the position of the bones could be
but partly made out. The head was to the north, the body lay on its
back, with the thighs spread out wide, and one hand by the hips.

Another of these burials was in a small hole covered by a flat stone.
Two shells were under the left arm. _No head was found._ The shoulders
were on the east, humeri pointed downwards, forearms prone; the legs
were bent, the knees up and south of the backbone. The last three
burials were close to the large group of mastabas.

A much disturbed group of _majūr_ burial (178) is important as
giving a dated object together with one of these _majūrs_, the
copper (?) cylinder of User-kaf (PL. XX, 30). These _majūrs_ were
probably within the area of a mastaba, but so little of the brickwork
remained that it was not possible to say whether the mastaba was made
over the graves containing the _majūrs_, or the graves cut through
the brickwork of the mastaba. On the floor of the square well lay a
fragment of a flint bracelet, and some pieces of green felspar,
alabaster, and malachite. In the filling were fragments of Old Kingdom
pottery, of a broken pottery cist, and of the rude pottery bars. In
the small chamber to the south were three alabaster vessels of the
usual shapes (X, 16 and 44), and a skeleton, contracted and lying on
the left side. This well was presumably that of the mastaba of which
the few patches of brickwork near were the remains. Just to the south
of it lay the irregular grave in which the cylinder was found. Close
to the surface lay two skeletons and a _majūr_, the pot was to the
north; the two skeletons, both in the contracted position, and with
heads to the north, faced one another. Below these was another
skeleton, lying upon its right side, with head to the east; below it,
and to the west, another, the skull of which lay crown downwards, the
line of the body north and south. This was the only skull that could
be got out unbroken; it was very weak, and in spite of very careful
packing, was broken before it reached England. Below this were parts
of two more skeletons, and there was another in the large _majūr_;
further, leaning in the south-west corner at the bottom of the grave,
was a sandstone slab, behind which was yet another contracted burial;
the skeleton was on its left side, with the head to the north. The
cylinder was below the first pair of skeletons. The other objects in
the tomb were a IVth dynasty pot (35), an ivory comb and spatula, a
shell and some green paint. This grave had evidently been to some
extent disturbed, and it is just possible that the cylinder and the
burials are not contemporaneous, but the simplest explanation is that
they are, and that the grave was cut through the early mastaba. When I
was clearing this tomb, Mr. (now Sir William) Richmond was sitting on
the edge watching me, and we were both struck with the singular shape
of the unbroken skull, the strong projection of the cheekbones
reminding us of the Mongol type. No great weight can be attached to
this observation, as measurements of the skull could not be taken, but
I mention it as showing how important it may be that any unbroken
skeleton found in a _majūr_ should be preserved. The early date
of these burials can hardly be doubted, but it has not yet been
determined whether they belonged to the same race as do the ordinary
Neolithic graves, the _majūr_ being a cheap substitute for the
wooden roof of the earlier time, or whether they belonged to some
other element in the population, as the presence with them of the
two illegible black cylinders would suggest.

The burials in pottery cists, not hitherto mentioned, may now be
taken. These cists were found at Ballas both in "stairway" tombs and
in open Neolithic graves. At El Kab they have been already mentioned
as occurring in mastaba wells. The cists are short coffins, about 3
feet in length, made of a coarse and porous red ware, and are
generally without lids.

In one instance (174) the cist was found between walls and beneath a
roof of sandstone blocks. The skeleton, which was young, as the
epiphyses were not united, lay on its left side, facing east, the head
north. A small shell, with chips of malachite, was before the face. In
another, the cist lay at the bottom of a square well, the body again
on its left side, with the head to the north, the knees brought up
before the face; the left elbow was by the side of the left hand
before the face, while the right arm lay over the head. There was a
little decayed linen cloth in the cist, and, near the hips, a shell.

In tomb No. 249 a _majūr_ and two cists lay upon the sloping bottom
of a long (3·70 m.) well; the _majūr_ was at the southern end,
which was lower by 60 cm. than the northern. In both cists the body
lay as in the two last-mentioned graves; one contained a sharp-edged
shallow bowl of red ware.

Another cist (316) lay at the bottom of a shallow well near the large
group of mastabas (1·50 m. by 1·10 m. by 1·60 deep). The sides of the
cist were broken down, and many of the bones were disturbed, but a
part of the spinal column and the legs sufficed to show that the body
had lain with the head north, but on its right side.

No. 312 has been already mentioned among the mastabas. The cist lay in
a small chamber, the body on its left side, with head to the north.



14. The greatest interest of El Kab lay in the light that it shed on
the same civilisation which had been disclosed two years before at the
cemeteries of Naqada and Ballas. In these we had examined 3000 graves
of a type till then unknown, and as different from the graves of the
historic Egyptians as if they had come from China or Peru. The most
obvious characteristic of these burials was the position of the body,
which always lay in a contracted attitude, with the head to the south,
never at full length, as in all other Egyptian interments. All the
furniture of the graves--beads, slate palettes, green paint, ashes,
flint knives and pottery--were of novel types, and without any
admixture of the mirrors, ushabtis, scarabs, or any of the other
furniture of ordinary tombs. Hieroglyphic inscriptions were also
absent. The results of the excavations were published in "Naqada and
Ballas," and the main conclusions there set forth were that these
graves were the interments of a foreign race, differing from the
Egyptians of the dynastic periods in physical features and in habits;
that they were probably a white race akin to the modern non-Semitic
inhabitants of North Africa; and, further, that they invaded Egypt at
the close of the Old Kingdom, and were again expelled by the rising
strength of the Xth and XIth dynasties.

[These people were at first called by Dr. Petrie "the New Race," but
they have received other names. M. de Morgan, in his Ethnographic
Préhistorique, has attributed this class of monuments to the Neolithic
period, and called the men of the contracted burials "les indigènes."
The name "Libyans" has also obtained some vogue; it emphasises the
undoubted distinction of race between this people and the historic
Egyptians, and may perhaps be used as a general name for the people
of the contracted burials until a clearer distinction than is now
possible be made between (_a_) the Neolithic period before the advent
of the dynastic Egyptians; (_b_) the time between the Egyptian arrival
and the consolidation of the kingdom under Menes; and (_c_) the first
three dynasties.]

15. The conclusion that these people differed from the Egyptians has
not been much disputed, but the above dating has been opposed, and the
evidence from El Kab convinced me that we were wrong, and that M. de
Morgan was right in attributing the bulk of this civilisation to the
praedynastic period. Of this dating, the remarkable finds of M.
Amélineau at Abydos, and those of M. de Morgan himself at Naqada, have
given very strong proof; but the more fragmentary evidence of El Kab,
which led me independently to the same conclusion, may retain still a
certain interest.

M. Amélineau's excavations at Abydos began at the end of 1896--the
winter after our Naqada campaign--and many of the objects he found
are already exhibited at Ghizeh, others are at Paris, and a few have
found their way to England. Among them are many pots and stone bowls
of undoubted late Neolithic type, with whole classes of objects which
did not occur at Naqada, stelæ, inscribed scarabs of limestone, and
clay seals stamped with the Ka names of kings. The long pots on which
these inscribed clay seals still fit are of a type found once at
Ballas, and so prove some connection of the Ka names with the
contracted burials.

This year Sethe's important paper (A. Z. XXXV, 1) identifying three of
Amélineau's names with known kings of the Ist and IInd dynasties, has
brought a new precision into the whole question, but this, of course,
was not known to us at El Kab. Yet Amélineau's association of the
Libyan pottery with inscriptions of an archaic style, which would most
naturally be dated long before the IVth dynasty, made our later dating
of the pottery improbable, and necessitated a re-examination of the
evidence. The crucial case at Ballas was the secondary burial of a
Libyan found in one of a group of stairway mastabas. The mastabas were
believed to be of the IVth dynasty, because the fragments of pottery
and of alabaster bowls found in them were similar to IVth dynasty
objects from the cemetery of Medum.

16. This dating of the alabaster was, as we now think, rather too
late, but the interment certainly proved that one Libyan died when
a tomb of the early Old Kingdom had already been plundered, and lay
open, affording an easy means of burial. But not only was this
intrusive burial found in one stairway tomb; green paint and stone
vases with horizontally-pierced handles, were found in others of the
same group. These Libyan traces were also interpreted as the remains
of secondary interments, but when at El Kab, I saw the same Libyan
remains in the stairway tombs there, it immediately became clear that
the malachite, vases, etc., more probably belonged to the original
interments, not to secondary ones, that the stairway tombs (perhaps,
also, the other mastabas) were but another form of Neolithic burial,
and that the earlier Neolithic tombs were anterior to the Old Empire.
As the digging went on, other scraps of evidence came to support this
view. The coarse pottery which lay in heaps over and near the mastabas
of the IVth dynasty is identical with that found in some of the small
Neolithic graves.

A vase of hard red ware found in Ka-mena's tomb, which was certainly
of Sneferu's time, was almost indistinguishable from a Libyan form
common at Ballas.

One of the incised bowls--a rare but distinctive species of Libyan
pottery--was found in a stairway tomb at El Kab.

The small late-Libyan graves lay between the mastabas of the time of
Sneferu, not interfering with them, or dug through them, giving the
impression that all were approximately of the same date.

In one tomb there was found, with undoubted Libyan pottery, a green
steatite cylinder of a type known in the Old Kingdom.

In a walk taken one day over the cemetery of Kom el Ahmar, opposite to
El Kab, I observed again the same mixture of Old Kingdom and Libyan
pottery near a group of mastabas.

17. To this evidence must be added some considerations about the first
cemetery of Naqada and Ballas, which were felt by us from the
beginning as difficulties in the way of accepting the later dating to
the VII-X dynasty.

The entire absence of distinctly Egyptian objects from so large a
series of tombs, and even from the villages of the same period, was
difficult to explain on the supposition that the Egyptians were
already in the land.

The Libyans, too, as lovers of fine pottery, would surely have learnt
the use of the wheel from the Egyptians, if they had come in contact
with them at all; yet all the Libyan pottery (with the rarest
exceptions) is handmade.

The Libyans habitually placed green paint among the other toilet
articles buried near the head. The Egyptians of the early Old Empire
are sometimes represented with green paint upon the face. It is more
natural to suppose that this was a fashion inherited from the
praedynastic times, than to suppose that so peculiar a mode of
ornamentation was practised at two independent periods in the history
of the country.

Lastly, there is the negative evidence from the mound of Nubt. Here
Dr. Petrie found on the surface walls of the XVIIIth dynasty, with
inscriptions and dated pottery; below them walls of the XIIth dynasty,
with pottery again, and lower still, walls and layers of pottery of
the Old Kingdom. But between these last two, no scrap of the Libyan
pottery occurred, though a Libyan town lay but a quarter of a mile

On an examination, then, of the whole evidence from our two cemeteries
of Naqada and El Kab, I came to the conclusion that our first dating
had been not early enough, that the latest type of tomb at Naqada
was contemporary with the mastabas of the Old Empire, and that the
earliest type (characterised by dissevered skeletons, very fine flint
knives, great quantities of ashes, and a small number of red and black
pots of good quality) must be attributed to a much earlier period.

Since then much more information has come to light. M. de Morgan's
second volume of "Recherches sur les Origines de l'Égypte" contains a
summary of the discoveries made by M. Amélineau at Abydos, together
with an account of the great royal tomb found by M. de Morgan himself
at Naqada. M. Amélineau's finds are recognised as being chiefly of the
first three dynasties, and on an ivory plaque from the royal tomb of
Naqada, Dr. Borchardt has pointed out the name of Menes himself.

The objects from this tomb are now exposed in the museum at Ghizeh,
and it is interesting to observe that the pottery, the slate palettes,
and the flint knives are distinctly of the _later_ type of Ballas.

It has, then, become now fairly clear that the earliest known
inhabitants of Egypt were a tall, fair race akin to the modern
Kabyles. They buried their dead in a contracted position with the head
to the south, and in the earliest times either mutilated the dead
before burial, or kept the bodies for a long time before the final
burial. The relative dates of the different varieties of their tombs
can be made out, and the graves with mutilated bodies found at Naqada
are much earlier than those at Abydos containing the names of I-II
dynasty kings. At some period which we cannot yet date, even on the
rough scale of Libyan pottery, another race or races entered the
country, bringing with them writing, the practice of mummification,
the art of building in brick with recessed panels, and perhaps, as M.
de Morgan suggests, metals. Thus was formed the Egyptian people of
historic times.

18. A point that has not been explained is the different position of
the bodies in the open graves and in the stairway tombs. In the
former, the head lies south; in the stairways and in the graves of
Medum, it is to the north.

The burials, too, under the large pots which we call _majūrs_, are
not understood, nor is their exact period known. As they were found in
the later cemeteries of Ballas, El Kab, and Kom el Ahmar, but not at
Naqada, it seems likely that they belong to the later division of the
Libyan period, viz., after the Egyptian invasion, perhaps even after
the time of Menes. But to which race, if to either, is not clear.



19. Inside the town walls, never outside, were found a few examples of
a distinct type of tomb, with underground brick arches, pottery akin
to that of the usual XIIth dynasty, but not identical with it, and
stone vases of distinctive shapes. The types of pottery are shown in
PL. X, 1-28, the alabaster vases in X, 1-6.

In PL. XXIV some walls in broken line are seen which cut through the
walls of three mastabas, which last are shown in dead black. The tombs
in question lay parallel with these walls, some within the square
chambers, some also outside; and the walls are, roughly, parallel with
the great walls of the town. The method of construction seems to have
been as follows: An oblong excavation, about 6 m. long by 2 wide and 3
m. deep, was made in the gravel. About half the length of this was
needed for the tomb; the other half formed a rough sloping staircase
for the workmen. The sides of the grave were built of brick walls, and
these were covered by an arch of brick about 1·50 m. high. In this the
body was laid at full length, on the left side, the head to the north;
in front of the body was a great mass of pottery. The interest of this
set of tombs lies in the bearing they may have on the question of the
date of the wall, for if it be granted that these are probably of the
early XIIth dynasty (as the pottery suggests), then we have early
XIIth dynasty tombs inside, and tombs of the reign of Amenemhat III
outside the walls. (There were, however, two tombs inside the walls in
which the remains of the pottery were much like those in the tombs
outside.) Now there is a stela from El Kab, to which Dr. Spiegelberg
calls my attention (published in Stobart, Egypt. Antiq., PL. I), which
states that Amenemhat III restored the walls at El Kab which Usertesen
II had built. What walls these were the stela does not state, but the
evidence from the pottery would support the idea that they were the
great town walls. And if this be so, the common pottery of the Middle
Kingdom can now be split into two sections, between which the reign of
Usertesen II will form the dividing line.

20. _The tombs in detail._

In No. 203 there were only two pots and a marble vase. Traces of the
roofing arch were found. The skeleton as it lay measured 1·80 m. long.

No. 205 contained pottery of shapes XIII, 2, 12, 27, 24, 20.

No. 216 contained four examples of XIII, 5, one each of 2, 19, 4, and
about fifty of the small saucer, 12a.

No. 242 contained 26, 2, 3.

No. 255 contained a great mass of pottery of nearly all the shapes (2,
5, 4, 12, 9, 17), much of which lay at a higher level than the two
bodies; of these, one lay upon its back, the other in the regular
position. Before the face of the northern body was an alabaster vase
(X, 4), a small shell and a fragment of bronze rod. Another alabaster
jar (X, 3) stood by the hips of the southern skeleton.

No. 264 was in better condition than most, and contained a great
number of pots, including more than fifty of the shape XIII, 22, and
many of XIII, 20. Nearly all were, however, broken, for, as in all
these tombs, the arch had fallen in. This tomb contained also a string
of beads, barrel beads of lapis lazuli, carnelian and gold foil, and
small discs of gold.

In No. 265 were found more than two hundred pots scattered in all
directions; a few were nested in a recess halfway down the side of the
tomb. All the shapes XIII, 1-28, except 16 and 22, were found in this
tomb. There was no skeleton. A hole had been pierced in the base of
every pot after baking.

One group of tombs of this period (_v._ PL. XXIV) had apparently been
made at one time. In three of them the skeletons remained with two or
three coarse pots laid before the face. Outside the enclosure wall of
another of these groups of tombs was a heap of saucers (like XIII,
12), painted inside with a rough cross of white paint. These are, by
the fabric, probably of the same period as the tombs.

21. In the great XIIth dynasty cemetery outside the town the graves
were of different construction, consisting of a long and narrow shaft
from which, at both the north and the south ends, opened a chamber.
But two, or perhaps three, tombs of this form were found inside the
walls. This cemetery was well known to the Arabs, and a few years ago
a party of the Qurneh dealers, armed with a bogus Museum permit,
dug there for several weeks. The tombs they had rifled could be
distinguished from tombs that were intact or had been plundered in
early times by the sharper edges of the depressions left. Time has
rounded over the traces of the earlier robberies, so that anciently
robbed tombs look much like those which are intact, but in which the
roof has fallen in causing a dip in the ground not unlike the top of
a tomb-shaft. The cemetery lies in a shoal in the dry stream-bed, at
whose mouth El Kab was placed. This shoal is a great bank of gravel
and a fine clay-like detritus, the beds of which lie alternately, the
thickness of each varying in different parts. The practice in the
XIIth dynasty was to sink the tomb-shaft until a layer of gravel was
reached sufficiently strong for a chamber to be safely cut out of it.
The chambers were about 2 m. square and probably rather less than 1·50
m. high, but they were made flat-roofed, and in most cases the roof
had fallen in, crushing the bones and often also the pottery below.
Even if the roof was complete when we opened the tomb, it would
usually fall before we could examine and clear out the interment. With
only the warning of the fall of a single pebble, or just a little
gutter of sand, a mass of perhaps two tons would suddenly drop with a
thud. On two occasions a man was caught by some part of the fall, and
once, just as the helpless man was being dug out, a clumsy helper
dislodged a few more hundredweight and buried him again. These are
anxious moments, for when this shifting ground has once begun to slip,
the whole side of a tomb may fall at once. Happily we had no serious
accident, though there were many narrow escapes. It is necessary in
such work to watch the men very carefully, and to insist on their
taking reasonable care, for they will, if left alone, burrow beneath
dangerously overhanging masses of soil rather than take the trouble of
removing them. The method in which the door of the burial-chamber was
closed was not at first clear; but four or five of the large jars (PL.
XIV) were so often found just inside the entrance that it seemed
probable they had been used as a building material, just as the
peasants near Keneh now use the spoilt water-jars from the potteries
there. Later on two of the doorways were found actually blocked up in
this way--three jars in the lower tier, two more above them, and the
interstices filled with mud. Probably, then, these large pots were the
common water-jars of the Middle Kingdom. Other tomb-doors were blocked
with bricks, very roughly laid. Coffins were very rare; there was one
of unbaked clay, long and narrow; and a trace of wood (No. 121) in
another grave may have been part of a coffin. But the soil of El Kab
is so damp and full of salt that unpainted wooden coffins may have
disappeared without leaving any trace. The same causes have doubtless
removed the clothes in which the dead were buried, for of these I
saw no trace. The most remarkable fact was the entire absence of
mummification, at least, of any effective kind. In the ground near the
good XVIIIth dynasty tombs, mummies were found, perhaps the servants
of the great men of the inscribed tombs. There seemed no great
difference in the conditions to which these mummies and the bodies
of the XIIth dynasty people had been exposed. Yet no trace of
mummy-cloth, dried skin, hair, or bitumen was ever met with in the
earlier cemetery. Nor in the early burials that I opened at Ballas
were any mummies found, and certainly most of the mummies known belong
to the XVIIIth dynasty or later. Is it possible that mummification was
confined to the upper classes until the great increase of wealth in
the XVIIIth dynasty led to the wider adoption of the custom?

Some of the later Neolithic bodies were, however, dried, either by
artificial means or by some property of the soil, so that the whole
body could be lifted out without any of the limbs snapping off. It is
reported that the body of an engineer, who, not many years ago, died
and was buried at Assuan, and afterwards exhumed to be sold as a
mummy, was dried up in this way.

A chamber generally contained more than one body; four was a not
uncommon number, and in one chamber eight persons, probably women,
lay side by side. This fact certainly agrees badly with the idea just
expressed of the absence of mummification. The objects found in the
graves were of well-known types. Bottle-shaped vases at the head and
feet, alabaster kohl pots, kohl sticks of ivory, bronze mirrors
without handles, paint-slabs with their pestles and spatulæ of
serpentine and basalt, with beads of green glaze and various kinds
of hard stone, were the regular staple of our finds. And the date of
these was already well known from Kahun and other places; indeed the
date of this cemetery could be seen at once from the chips of pottery
lying on the surface. This conclusion was confirmed by the two
private stelæ (PL. IV), and a cylinder of Amenemhat III, found in one
necklace. Inscriptions were extremely rare; there were few scarabs,
and perhaps the most interesting object was the plain alabaster
statuette (PL. V, 2), which was found close to the skull of its owner.
This was the only figure of the kind found in the cemetery, and is
probably the earliest dated ushabti. It represents a mummy-shaped
figure; no hands, hoe, or basket can be seen, but the face is well

The tombs were, of course, often robbed, how often, it was difficult
to decide, for the destruction caused by the falling roof is very
similar to that caused by early robbery. But it was very seldom that a
skull could be preserved, or that the exact position of the bones in
the body could be worked out. There had been very little re-use of the
shafts; in one occurred pottery and a mirror of the XVIIIth dynasty,
in another a Roman lamp; but these were exceptions; it was purely a
Middle Kingdom cemetery.

22. A fine collection of beads was obtained, chiefly in hard stone. In
one tomb alone (No. 156) I spent most of two days trying to recover
the order in which the beads had been strung on the necklaces. Seven
people had been buried in one chamber of this tomb; a great mass of
pebbles had fallen from the roof, smashed the bones and pottery, and
so scattered the beads that some care was needed to keep together
those from one string. Some of the bodies were adorned with necklace,
bracelets, and anklets, and had also a string of beads round the

The commonest beads were spherical and barrel-shaped, of carnelian,
haematite, and amethyst, and discs of shell, these last the commonest
of all. In green felspar there were small flat discs, hawks, and
hippopotamus heads. Sphinxes with human heads are generally of
amethyst. Uninscribed scarabs, in carnelian, amethyst, and jasper,
were not uncommon.



23. Singularly little is left in El Kab of any period later than the
Middle Kingdom, unless, indeed, the great walls be of later date than
we have supposed. The broken pottery inside the town enclosure, that
is the south-west corner of the great square, seems to be of various
periods, but to contain a large quantity of a fabric most like that
of the XXVIth dynasty. As Nectanebo rebuilt the temple here, it is
natural to suspect that this late pottery is of his reign or near it.
Masses of similar pottery are to be found thrown out from several of
the large tombs, in and behind the hill of Paheri. These tombs are
probably of the XVIIIth dynasty, and were re-used for piles of poor
burials at the later date. Of poor burials of the XVIIIth dynasty only
two were found. These were in the long coffins of that coarse red
earthenware, fragments of which may be seen by the tourist on his way
to the tomb of Paheri. There are a few robbed tombs near the foot of
the hill, but no large cemetery is known. It is possible that El Kab
was not a very large town at this period; the family of Paheri and
Aahmes may have been the only great house of the district.

24. Some examination was made of the beautiful little temple of
Amenhotep III, which lies an hour's walk up the desert, not with the
view of copying it, for that work had already been undertaken by Mr.
Clarke, but in order to discover, if possible, where the original
temple was. It seems more than probable that all the VIth dynasty
inscriptions on the great detached rock near the temple were made by
pilgrims visiting a shrine; many fragments of Old Kingdom vases also
are to be found lying near. It at first occurred to me that a cemetery
of the Old Kingdom might lie here, and a search was made in all
likely, and some unlikely, places, but nothing was found, except a
broken water-jar with a late Greek inscription. The early pottery near
the temple was then turned over; it appeared to be a mere rubbish
heap, with no sign of tomb or of brick building. It lies on the slope
of the bank of loose detritus, on which the temple itself is built.
The torrent which, from time to time, sweeps down the old river-bed,
is, at this point, wearing away its southern bank. Below the heap of
old pottery is a little vertical cliff, 4 m. high, in so soft a rock
that it is clear the steep face has been recently formed, and the
temple itself is threatened by a small stream bed behind it. It may
be, then, as Professor Sayce first suggested, that the original temple
stood on the northern part of the shoal which is now washed away; this
idea is confirmed by our finding in the stream bed opposite the
present temple the early table of offerings shown in PL. IV, 1, with
many more small fragments of inscription on pieces of sandstone. The
original temple, then, has gone, the pile of pottery thrown out from
it will be carried away too; even the temple of Amenhotep may be
undermined within no very long period. The effects of sudden storms in
the desert are greater than might be supposed. There is no vegetation
to stop and absorb the rain, the ground is excessively hard, and all
that does not immediately sink into the soil runs rapidly down into
the larger watercourses, and forms in a few hours a deep and broad
stream. Such a storm occurred three years ago at El Kab, and the
inhabitants tell us that, for two days, a tributary stream entered
the Nile there. The railway engineers have had to provide for the
recurrence of such spates.

25. The foundation deposits may be considered together. They came from
two temples--the large one within the walls, and the small temple of
Thothmes III, which lies to the north of the town, and west of the
hill of Paheri. In the latter the deposits were very numerous for so
small a temple (_v._ PL. XXVI). Under each corner of the main wall was
one of the little pits filled with sand, which have now become so
familiar, and at a metre's distance along the side wall was another
and larger deposit. The pits were about ·60 m. in diameter; in two,
there was at the bottom a recess, filled with the small cups of brown
clay. The objects are all closely similar to those found in the other
deposits of this reign at Koptos and Nubt. One shape of pot, however
(XXI, 14), has not been seen in a foundation deposit before, and the
flat tiles (15 cm. long) of blue glaze, one in each deposit, must be
mentioned. All the deposits were carefully unearthed, and the position
of the different objects noted, but there was no obvious design in the

The deposits found under the great temple are of more interest; those
of Amenhotep II, under walls covered with inscriptions of Rameses II,
give one more instance of the latter's usurpations. Deposits of two
other distinct classes contained no inscriptions of kings' names, and
cannot be dated. Their position is shown in the very rough sketch of
the plan of the temple in PL. I.

The contents of the different deposits is given below:--

N. 1. A polygonal sandstone mortar (XXI, 46), twenty small cups (43),
three small round dishes, three taller pots (44), flat tablets of red
and green glass, a bronze pan (30), five long glass beads (38), the
green glaze figure (29) like a small ushabti, a small green glaze
model of an ox with the legs tied together, the bronze models (33, 34,
35), a tile of dull green glaze, a model clay brick, a small piece of
bitumen, and a piece of resin which burns with a smell like myrrh.

N. 4. Sandstone mortar, eye in green glaze (28), the other objects as
in N. 1, but with the addition of tablets of calcite and lead.

N. 5. contained the glaze block (40), a bronze knife, a little brick
of myrrh, and pottery, as in the others.

N. 2. and N. 3. consisted each of a single object, one a small oblong
block of iron 1-1/2 inch long, and the other a tablet of blue frit
(like 37).

These last two deposits clearly do not belong to the same builder as
the rest.

The deposits of Amenhotep II contained alabaster models, the
inscriptions identical with those of Thothmes III, excepting the
change of cartouche.

26. The temple to the east of the central eastern gate of the town
was excavated, and a XIIth dynasty tomb was found beneath it. The
walls had been carried away, but the floor of the temple was nearly
complete, and from the scratches made upon it by the masons the plan
was recovered. This will be published by Mr. Clarke. No foundation
deposits were discovered, and the only scrap of inscription was a part
of the cartouche of Nectanebo.

27. No certain solution can be given of the question of the date of
the great wall. Reasons for thinking it to be the work of Usertesen II
have been already given, but several attempts were made to test this
hypothesis. The base of the wall was cleared at several points to
search for any accumulation of rubbish left by the builders, and all
the gateways were examined for foundation deposits. In the east gate,
at a height of 3 feet above the stone pavement, there was a layer of
potsherds, painted with a rough decoration of comma-shaped dashes, and
with them were some fragments of an ostracon written in late demotic.
This would show that the gateway was already partly ruined and blocked
in Roman (?) times. And between the row of mastabas to the north and
the great wall were found the foot of an ushabti, perhaps of the
XXVIth dynasty, and a pot (PL. XX, 13), probably Roman. The first was
on the ground level, the second 5 feet above it. But the position of
these objects only shows that the sand-heap had not reached its
present level when they were dropped, and I observed nothing quite
inconsistent with the early date suggested. It should be added,
however, that the stonework of the gates and the arch in the north
wall seem, to Mr. Somers Clarke's experienced eye, to show some
features of a much later style. These he will describe in his own
work on El Kab.

28. A group of late bronzes were found at one point in the south of
the great enclosure. They were 800 in number, each mounted on a little
wooden base. One (PL. V, 3) was a fine piece, representing Nekheb
adored by a kneeling figure. The rest were Osiris figures, except one,
which represented Imhetep. About a hundred were 5 inches high, or
upwards, of fair workmanship, made in thin bronze cast on a core.
They were all piled together in a space 1·1 m. by ·6 m., not near to
any tomb.

29. Near the south-east corner of the town (PL. XXIV) was a peculiar
brick building, consisting of four rows of brick pillars, six in each
row, enclosed in a surrounding wall. The pillars were about 2 m. square,
the passages between them only about ·80 m. wide. The actual height of
the brickwork was 1·50 m. or less, but the building may have been a high
one, for the base of a brick staircase remained between two of the
pillars. Throughout the building were great numbers of pots, chiefly
broken, of a long bottle-shape with a wide mouth, and pierced at the
bottom, with a hole an inch wide (XX, 14); these pots exactly fitted
certain holes left at regular intervals in the brickwork. Pots nearly of
this shape, but shorter, are still used in Egypt, being built into the
walls of pigeon-towers to serve as nesting-places for the birds. So far
as the pottery guides us, the building might then be of Arab times, but
the large size of the bricks (34 cm. × 17·5 × 11), part of a stone
window found on the south side, and the smooth surface of the site
before we began to dig, make it unlikely that the structure is recent.



30. PL. I--Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are the plan, elevation, and longitudinal
section of one (264) of the sunk arch tombs believed to belong to the
early XIIth dynasty.

No. 4 gives the plan of the chamber in the IVth dynasty tomb of
Ka-mena; 5 and 6 are rough notes of the stone walls on the east and
south sides of the same chamber.

No. 7 gives the plan of the important tomb in which an inscribed
cylinder was found in association with Neolithic pots (No. 166, § 13).

No. 8 is a rough-sketch plan of the great temple of El Kab, inserted
to show the position of the foundation deposits.

31. PL. II.--1. The stone vessels of the Neolithic period and the Old
Kingdom, as they were shown at University College. Only one was perfect;
even those that look most complete were picked out in small pieces from
the gravel or mud, and were put together by the help of our friends in
England. On the right hand are five slate paint slabs of the later
Neolithic type; nearer the wall are diorite bowls, alabaster tables,
flat dishes of limestone and alabaster, a bronze ewer (from Ka-mena),
and a pottery model of a granary.

No. 2 shows all the small objects from the important tomb with a
_majūr_ burial (166)--shells, ivory disc, ivory hairpins, a flint
flake, a steatite cylinder, beads, ivory bracelets, two pots and two
stone bowls. (For inscription on the cylinder _v._ PL. XX, 29).

No. 3 represents the objects from Ka-mena's tomb as photographed in
front of our house soon after being found (larger size in PL. III, 2).

No. 4 shows a mastaba wall when just excavated.

No. 5 is a view of our house with the stacks of pottery before it.

PL. III.--No. 1. The sandstone statue of Nefer-shem-em.

No. 2. The bronze and stone objects from Ka-mena of the time of
Sneferu, with whose name the flat diorite bowl below was inscribed.
The central bowl is of very light-coloured, translucent diorite, and
the deeper one of porphyry. Below are model tools in copper. (These
are given in outline, PL. XVIII, 56-65.)

PL. IV. (Note by Dr. Spiegelberg.)

1. Table of offerings from dry stream bed on desert near Amenhotep's
temple, dedicated with the usual formula addressed to Anubis, Osiris,
and Nekhbet, by "the confidential friend of the king, the treasurer,
chief prophet, destroying the evil (?) [Kfau? asf?]" ... and to his
father "deserving well of his god, the confidential friend of the
king, the treasurer,[A] chief prophet, privy councillor of the royal
treasure Shema[.a]."

  [A] For _ḍasuta_, see Spiegelberg in a forthcoming paper
      of Aeg. Zeits.

This is the person mentioned in a rock inscription of El Kab,
published by Stern (Aeg. Zeitschr., 1875, PL. I r.). By this
identification we can claim this tablet for the VIth dynasty.

2. The inscription of this XIIth dynasty sandstone stela from the
cemetery must be divided in the middle. The right half--"the
well-deserved of Anubis, Usrtsn, son of Srtuy (?)"--relates to the
chief personage holding a _nabút_ in the left hand and the well-known
sceptre of command in the right.

The person behind, who carries a long Nymphaea caerulea, is "his
beloved son, Khuy, son of Mryt-[[.a]]tfs," and may be the dedicator
of this stela. So we have the following genealogy:--

    Srtuy (?)

3. Limestone stela of the end of the XIIth dynasty, from the cemetery,
dedicated by a certain Sabna to his father, who had the same name and
was a prophet of Amon.

In the first line we have the formula of offering addressed to Osiris,
the next contain this genealogy:--

                  Ankht[.a]t I
    Ankht-[.a]t II = Sabna I = Mrt-[.a]ts
              |              |
             Ḥny         Sabna II

PL. V.--No. 1. A figure of blue-glazed ware from a XIIth dynasty tomb
(No. 1). It represents a very flat-headed deity, with the youthful
side-lock, the body in mummy form, the darker lines representing a
bead network.

No. 2 is the alabaster ushabti of the XIIth dynasty.

No. 3 is the fine bronze (height 19 cm.), now at Ghizeh, representing
a man adoring Nekheb; his hands are side by side before him, palms
down. This is by far the finest of the 800 bronzes found together; of
these 700 were worthless, the rest ordinary Osiris figures.

No. 4. A group of the peculiar pots in which the characters of a table
of offerings and a model of a house seem to be combined. They are only
known in the Middle Kingdom, occurred at Ballas as well as El Kab, and
are common in museums. The offerings inside can be seen in good
examples to be the head and legs of an ox, bread (?), and jars of
water. One model shows the roof of a hut made of logs of wood, and the
outside staircase.

No. 5. A group found together, consisting of a _sa_ amulet of bronze,
a dark steatite cylinder, and a little glazed steatite draughtsman
with a human head and traces of some sign inscribed below. The
inscription on the cylinder is copied in PL. XX, 28, and is rather
puzzling. The name in a cartouche seems to be Ka-kau-ra, which is not
that of a known king. As the pottery in the tomb is of the XIIth
dynasty, and the tomb is in the cemetery of that period, one might
read Kha-kau-ra, Usertesen III, but his Ka name, Neter-kheperu, is
known, and cannot be read in the other name on the cylinder. The
cylinder is of a type known in the IVth and Vth dynasties, and Dr.
Petrie suggests that it may be Men-kau-ra, and that his Ka name was
Men-maat, the _maat_ being read with the straight sign only. If this
be so, we must suppose that the owner of this grave had found the
cylinder in some ancient site.

No. 6 shows one of the small clay figures of Nekheb found behind the
stone work of the east gate.

PL. VI.--No. 1. A group of the finest stone vases. The upright dish is
of diorite; rather more than two-thirds of it was recovered, all in
small pieces. It is inscribed _suten biti Sneferu_. The jar on the
left is of green slate, the central bowl of porphyry, and the rest
alabaster. All are probably of the IVth dynasty or earlier.

No. 2. On the left, in the back row, the commonest coarse pot of the
IVth dynasty, on the right, a less known type (XII, 29); in the centre
one of the pots of Neolithic type from Ka-mena's tomb. In front is the
inscribed piece of _majūr_ and the model of a granary, the latter
from Ka-mena.

32. PL. VII.--The upper of these two sketches by Mr. Clarke shows the
two mastabas, C and D, in course of excavation, the great wall of El
Kab behind. The lower view is between D and E (_cf._ PL. XXIII). It
shows the two boundary walls in the centre, the steep face of sand in
front, and (piled on the walls) a lot of the coarse pottery, which was
here found in great quantity. The measuring rod is the 2-metre pole
used in assessing the men's work.

PL. VIII.--No. 1 is a view of another mastaba. The brickwork, which
blocks up the northern (_i.e._, the nearer) niche, is of later date.
The two niches, or false doors, the passage or chapel, the two hollows
in the brickwork that were filled with earth, and the well, in this
case a very large one, are indicated in this view much as in a plan.

No. 2 is a copy made by Miss Murray of the lid of a toilette-box found
in a mastaba. It is made of a veneer (? on wood) of ivory, and blue
and black slips of glazed ware.

Nos. 3-9 are ivory fragments of another box.

PL. IX.--Copies of water-colour sketches of a stairway tomb, both
taken from below (by Miss Murray from Miss Pirie's sketches).

33. PL. X.--Stone vessels. 1-5 are of alabaster, and, with 6, come
from the sunk arches, believed to be of the earlier XIIth dynasty,
_i.e._, some time between the Old Kingdom and the reign of Usertesen
II; 7-12 are of the later XIIth dynasty; Nos. 7, 8 and 10 are the
common ones, the shape 7, when in stone, being, of course, not
decorated. The vertical alabasters of the XIIth dynasty are very
similar to some (as 23) of the earlier periods, but a slight swell
near the mouth (seen well in 47) and a greater spreading at the foot
(as in 23, 25) seem to me often to distinguish the early forms. The
shapes from 15 onwards belong to the Neolithic and Old Kingdom graves,
but 14 was in a XIIth dynasty grave (36); 15 is from a small stairway
tomb, 26 also. All the shapes are of alabaster, unless otherwise
marked. A rough example of No. 44 was found at Ballas, used anciently
as a lamp with floating wick.

34. PL. XI gives the distinctly Neolithic forms of pottery. Nos. 1, 2,
4, 12, 16, 18 are of coarse brown ware, 5-9, with 11, 13, 14, good
drab. No. 10 is a red pebble-polished ware, 15 is a dark red. Nos. 17
and 18 were found in a mastaba with Old Kingdom pots, and are probably
also of that period. No. 13 is the important type of hard brick-red
pot which was found in Ka-mena's tomb.

PL. XII.--The upper half of the plate (20-46 and 50) gives the forms
of the very coarse pottery found in great quantities above and in the
mastabas, and also near the temple of Amenhotep III on the desert.
Most were well known before, but 26 and 32 are new. The common forms
are 21, 22, 23, 32, 31, 34. No. 47 is the pot from Ka-mena's tomb,
much like a Neolithic form. Nos. 48, 49, 51, 55, and the three
sharp-edged bowls, are of a good ware, washed with haematite. The two
little pots 56 (from mastaba C, PL. XXIII) are unlike any others of
this period--pink inside, yellow out, with decoration in black line.

35. PL. XIII.--Nos. 1-28 are the types found in the sunk arch tombs
inside the walls, and are believed to be later than the Old Kingdom
pottery of the last plate, but earlier than that of the plates which
follow. Most of these pots are of a rather hard light red ware, and
can be distinguished by their material alone from most of the XIIth
dynasty pottery found outside the walls. But the forms 8-16 are of a
soft brown ware, and are very thick and heavy. All these pots are
wheel-made, but scraped over by hand in the lower half. The forms from
28a to 35 are XVIIIth and XIXth dynasty, from secondary burials in the
Middle Kingdom cemetery.

PL. XIV.--All but No. 3 are water-jars, 5, 6, 7, and 8 being the
common forms. No. 4, with the four ears, is in a fine hard drab ware,
and No. 1 is painted, but the rest, which were by far the commonest
forms, are of a rather coarse, soft pottery, varying in colour from
dull brown to pink; the brown ware is the softest and most liable to
flaking. In the last two can be seen the marks of the string by which
they were held together before being baked.

PL. XV continues the catalogue of XIIth dynasty pottery. Down the
centre are two large stands and a large bowl, each drawn from one
example, all of a hard, drab, polished ware. The bowls 11-14 and 16,
in a light-red, rather soft material, were common forms. The
hemispherical cup (18, 22) is still commoner, and was known from two
XIIth dynasty sites before. The dish in a soft red ware (21) was very
common, occurring in nearly every tomb. The cup and stand combined
(33, 34, 35) shows that the bowls in the upper part of this plate (11,
etc.) were generally placed upon the ring-stands (38-46). The compound
form is made in a weak material, and is seldom found unbroken. The
ring-stands are generally of red ware, more rarely (as 38) of the
better drab ware.

PL. XVI.--The bottle shapes at the top are generally in red clay, but
47 and 62 are of hard drab ware.

No. 57 may be noticed as being like a Neolithic form, with a common
Neolithic mark. The small forms, 63, 64, 67, and 68, are often found
together. When a tomb contains one of these small varieties, it
generally contains a great many. They perhaps mark some definite

No. 60 is an ordinary water-jar. Nos. 58, 70, 71, 72 are the rare drab
jars, of which less than a dozen occurred in a hundred graves.

PL. XVII.--Common forms are 76, 77, 79, 84, 86. Some of the shapes, as
116, 131, also occur as the early XIIth dynasty pottery inside the

36. PL. XVIII contains the marks made while yet soft upon coarse pots
found in stairway tombs, mastabas, etc. Marks recur (as 7 and 9, 40
and 41) in different tombs. Hieroglyphs are not common, but occur (25,

The name No. 44 occurs on a _majūr_, and confirms slightly the
early date given for those pots. Below are inscribed fragments of
limestone, 49-53 and 55, from Ka-mena's mastaba, 54 from a
neighbouring one. Nos. 56-65 are the copper models of tools from
Ka-mena's tomb.

PL. XIX gives the marks from XIIth dynasty pots, chiefly made after
baking, and therefore presumably due to the owners and not the
potters. Similar signs sometimes recur in different tombs (44 and 48,
45 and 46, 37 and 38, 29 and 30, 32 and 33). Can they be notes of the
contents of the jars?

37. PL. XX.--No. 1 is a piece of a bowl of incised ware found in a
stairway tomb.

Nos. 2, 3 and 4 are also fragments of an incised ware found in some
irregular holes on the north side of the hill of Paheri, and not
before mentioned. With them were a few very late blue glaze beads, and
two pots that were probably Roman, but these three fragments are
evidently much older.

No. 5 is the outline of a _majūr_, the large pot used as a coffin
in the Old Kingdom.

No. 6 is a fragment of Neolithic pottery from one of the small graves
inside the town (_cf._ Naqada, XXXV, 74).

Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 are from intrusive burials in the XIIth
dynasty cemetery. No. 13, perhaps Roman, has a certain importance in
the question of the date of the great wall (_cf._ § 27).

No. 14 is one of the pots from the pigeon-house in the south of the
town (PL. XXIV).

After the scarabs come six cylinders.

No. 28, in black stone, perhaps Men-kau-ra, but from the XIIth dynasty

No. 29, in green steatite, from a stairway tomb.

No. 30, probably copper, not bronze, found with a _majūr_ burial.

Nos. 31 and 33, black stone and ivory respectively, from another Old
Kingdom well.

No. 32, a well-known type of black stone cylinder, found in a mastaba
with a scrap of diorite, on which the name of Sneferu was scratched.

38. PL. XXI gives the objects from the different foundation deposits.
The first sixteen are from the small temple of Thothmes III. Nos. 1, 2
and 4 are of blue glaze. The spiral mark on the bead is noteworthy; it
is common in the XIIth dynasty, and is also known in the XVIIIth at
Deir-el-Bahri. Nos. 3 and 8 are sandstone corn-rubbers, with
inscriptions in blue paint; 5 and 9 are alabaster models of the head
of a fire-drill (?) and of a double shell. The inscriptions are all
the same: "The good god, Menkheper-ra, beloved of Nekheb." No. 10 is a
little wooden girdle-tie; 6, 7 and 11 are bronze tools. The five pots
below are on a smaller scale.

Nos. 17 to 24 are the pots from the deposits of Amenhotep II, found
under the great temple inside El Kab.

From No. 25 onwards all are from the later deposits (PL. I, 8 N), also
under the great temple. Of green glaze are Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28, 29,
38, 39 and 48; of bronze are Nos. 31, 33, 34, 35, 32; of clay, 41 and
47. No. 42 is of bone, No. 37 of calcite, Nos. 36 and 39 of red
glass. Nos. 43 and 44 (scale 1/6) are the typical shapes of pottery.
Nos. 45 and 46 show the coarse sandstone mortars found in these

39. PL. XXII is a plan of the XIIth dynasty tombs found outside the
east wall of the temple.

PL. XXIII gives the large group of mastabas found under the heap of
sand north of the town wall.

PL. XXIV shows a group of buildings in the southern half of the town
enclosure, mastabas, small open graves of the Libyan period, and
arched graves of the XIIth dynasty.

PL. XXV gives drawings of a stone gateway in the great wall, under
which a vain search was made for foundation deposits.

PL. XXVI gives the plan of the small temple of Thothmes III north of
the town, from which the numerous foundation deposits were obtained.
The deposits are indicated by circles.

40. PL. XXVII is a catalogue of the small Libyan tombs showing the
groups of alabaster and pottery vessels that are commonly grouped

       *       *       *       *       *



 Alabaster vases, etc      4-6, 8-10, 13, 14, 18, 19
 Amen-ankh-as, scarab of                           5
 Amenemhat III, cylinder of                       15
 Amenhotep III's temple                        2, 16
 Analysis of copper tools                          4
 Arching, brick                               13, 14

 Balls of limestone and carnelian                  7
 Beads, amethyst                                  15
   "    blue frit                                  9
            "   with gold caps                    10
   "    blue glaze                                20
   "    carnelian                        7-9, 14, 15
   "    copper                                     9
   "    felspar                                    9
   "    glass                                     16
   "    gold                                7, 9, 14
   "    gold foil                                 14
   "    green felspar                              9
   "    green glaze                            6, 15
   "    haematite                                 15
   "    ivory                                  9, 15
   "    lapis lazuli                              14
   "    serpentine                              6, 9
   "    shell discs                               15
   "    steatite                                   9
 Blue-glaze figure                                18
 Box for burial                                  7-9
 Bracelets                           6, 7, 9, 10, 18
 Bronze figures, late                         17, 18
 Burial, headless                                 10
   "     irregular                                 5
   "     contracted                      6, 7, 9, 10
 Burials, number in chamber                       15

 Canopic jars                                      8
 Cists, pottery                       4-6, 8, 10, 11
 Clarke, Mr. Somers                                1
 Comb                                          6, 10
 Copper, bowl and ewer of                      4, 18
   "   _sa_ amulet                                18
   "     tools, analysis                   4, 18, 20
   "     rod                                      14
 Corn-grinders                                    20
 Cylinder of Ka-ra                            10, 20
   "      of Men-kau-ra                           19
   "      of User-kaf                         10, 20
   "      Usertesen III                           18
   "      of Amenemhat III                        15
   "      black stone                       5, 6, 20
   "      ivory                                6, 20
   "      steatite                    10, 12, 18, 20

 Dating of New Race                           11, 12
 Diorite bowls                               3-8, 18
 Distribution of antiquities                       1
 Dolls, rude pottery                               6
 Doors, slabs for                            3, 7, 8
 Draughtsman, glazed steatite                     18

 Ewer, copper                                  4, 18

 Felspar, discs of                          6, 9, 15
 Fire-drill, model                                20
 Flint, knife                                      8
   "    flake                                     18
 Foundation-deposits                          16, 20
 Foundations of temple                             2

 Girdle-tie, wooden                               20
 Gold                                       7, 9, 14
 Graffiti, rock with                               2
 Granary, models of                        4, 18, 19
 Graves                                        9, 10
 Green paint                                    4, 5
   "     "   on face                           3, 12
   "   glaze beads                             6, 15

 Hairpins                                6, 8, 9, 18
 Haworth, Mr. Jesse                                1

 Inscriptions                                 16, 18
   "          on corn-grinders                    20
 Incised pottery, black                 7, 8, 12, 20
 Ivory box                                         4
   "   cup                                         7
   "   jars                                        7
   "   bowls                                       7
   "   disc                                    9, 18
   "   veneer                                  9, 19

 Jar, marble                                   8, 14
   "  green slate                                 19
 Jars, cylinder with cordage pattern (lattice)     9
   "   wavy-handled                                9
   "   blocking doorways                          14

 Kab, El, description of site                      2
   "   "  wall of                                  2
   "   "  Roman landing-stage                      2
   "   "  temple foundations                       2
   "   "  evidence for dating New Race            11
 Ka-mena, mastaba of                               3
 Ka-ra, steatite cylinder of                  10, 20
 Kohl-pots                                        15
   "  sticks, ivory                               15

 Libyan burials                                    3
   "    or New Race                               11
   "    race, relation to Old Kingdom             12
 Limestone bowls                                   6
   "       vases                                7, 8
 Linen cloth                                      11

 Majūr burials                   3-10, 13, 19, 20
 Malachite                              4, 7, 10, 11
 Mastaba of Ka-mena                                3
 Mastabas with square shafts                     3-7
   "      with sloping stairways              3, 7-9
 Mastabas with sloping stairways,
               neolithic character of              8
 Matwork                                           9
 Mena's tomb, later New Race                      13
 Men-kau-ra, cylinder of                          19
 Middle Kingdom tombs                             13
 Mirror, XVIIIth dynasty                          15
 Mirrors without handles                          15
 Model of shell                                   20
   "   tools, copper                           4, 18
 Mummification, absence of                        15

 Neb.ra, steatite plaque                           7
 Nectanebo, cartouche                             17
 Nefer-shem-em                                 5, 18
 Neolithic burials                                 3
   "      _see_ Libyan                            11
   "       relation to Old Kingdom                12
 New Race, burials                                 3
   "      _see_ Libyan                            11
   "       absence of Egyptian types              12
   "       relation to Old Kingdom                12
   "       characteristics                        13
   "       pre-dynastic                           11

 Palette, slate                              6, 8, 9
   "      rubbers for                              8
 Paint-slabs with pestles                     15, 17
 Permission, delay in receiving                    1
 Pigeon-house (?)                             17, 20
 Pirie, Miss A. A.                                 1
 Plaque, steatite, Neb.ra                          7
 Porphyry bowl                          4, 5, 18, 19
 Pottery, Neolithic or New Race              4, 6, 8
   "      of IVth dynasty           7-10, 16, 19, 20
   "      of XIIth dynasty                         3
   "      of XVIIIth dynasty                      15
   "      of New Race, handmade                   12
   "      bars of                              5, 10
   "      coffins                     4-6, 8, 10, 11
   "      marks                                8, 20
   "      coarse, animal head                      9
   "         "    dolls                            6
   "      wheel-made                          10, 19

 Rameses II, temple of                             2
 Recurrence of groups                              8
 Rock-inscriptions                                16
 Roofing of tombs                       4, 9, 11, 14
 Roman landing-stage                               2

 Saucers, with cross of white paint               14
 Scarabs                                          15
 Seals, jar                                        8
 Serpentine beads                                  6
 Shell with white paint                            4
   "   with green paint                      6, 9-11
 Slate, dish of                                    6
   "    palette                              6, 8, 9
 Sneferu, diorite bowls of                      3, 5
   "      Ka-name on diorite dish              4, 19
 Soul-houses                                      18
 Spatula                                          10
 Spatulæ, serpentine and basalt                   15
 Sphinxes, seated                                 15
 Stairway tombs                               3, 7-9
   "        "   XIIth dynasty                     13
 Statues of Nefer-shem-em                      5, 18
 Statuette, alabaster                         15, 18
 Steles, XIIth dynasty                        15, 18

 Table of offerings, early                    16, 18
 Thothmes III's temple                            16
 Tombs, rock, living in                            1
   "    types of                                   3
 Tylor, Mr. J. J.                                  1

 User-Kaf, inscribed cylinder of              10, 20
 Usertesen III, cylinder of                       18
 Ushabti, alabaster                           15, 18

 Workmen, from Quft                                1


       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: PLAN OF MAGUR BURIAL NO. 166.]

[Illustration: KAMENA CHAMBER, PLAN.]





[Illustration: CYLINDER, BEADS, &c., FROM ONE TOMB. (§ 13.)]

[Illustration: FROM TOMB OF KAMENA. (§ 5.)]

[Illustration: PART OF A MASTABA WALL.]



[Illustration: NEFER-SHEM-EM.]

[Illustration: FROM TOMB OF KA-MENA.]



[Illustration: XII. DYN. STELA.]

[Illustration: XII. DYN. STELA.]


[Illustration: GLAZE.]

[Illustration: ALABASTER USHABTI.]

[Illustration: BRONZE].

[Illustration: XII. DYN.]

[Illustration: SA AMULET, ETC.]

[Illustration: GATE DEPOSIT.]



[Illustration: POTTERY OF OLD EMPIRE.]






[Illustration: LID OF A BOX, OLD EMPIRE.]














































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