11 THE ANTIQUITIES OF KAHUN
 
Home
Title page
Contents
Search

 

That this pottery of Kahun could succeed the Mycenae pottery is in most cases apparently impossible in its very nature. Such pieces as (1, 8, 12 & 14) are all of styles which do not fall into any place in the historic development of pottery from Mykenae downwards, and yet which most certainly came from Greece or Italy. Finally, on the one hand we have a prepossession to deal with as to what is likely in a period as yet totally unknown, the pre-Mycenaean age. Prepossessions are often valuable, but very risky when dealing with the wholly unknown. On the other hand we have the external evidence of the early age of this pottery in the XII-XIII dynasties; and the internal evidence of extremely early features in it, and of such never being found in later ages) and its not falling into any part of the historic series of known pottery. For the present I feel compelled to conclude that we have here the products of the earliest Libyo-Greek civilization of the Aegean and Italy at about 2500 B.C. Many more of the strange signs scratched on pottery have been found ; but as I have not time to prepare copies of them all, I give a. hand list of the forms (PL. XV) for purposes of study.

23. Of stonework some curious figures have been found. The dwarf supporting a dish (VI, 9) is remarkable, as we have no clue to the meaning of such figures in Egypt This is one of the dish-stands, which are generally simple columns; and which, whenever they are found charged, have a cake of dough stuck in the dish. It seems reasonable to suppose that they are stands for household offerings of daily bread. Another such stand (10) is of ruder type, but carefully cut out in pierced work. The two figures back to back recall another rude stand with two figures found last year. Another unusual figure is a torso of a girl carved in a rough and gross style but solely naturalistic, and without any trace of the Egyptian canon; it is painted red, and bears marks of a black wreath around the waist Another figure of a little girl playing a harp, small and coloured, was also found, and is now at Ghizeh. A rough large figure of Taurt was found, as also a small one last year, shewing that her form was already fixed at this period. And a good statue of a man seated cross-legged, carved in limestone, but without any inscription. The inscribed statues will be noticed under inscriptions.

24. In wood there are some good little carvings. The lion (Vlll, 1) and the crocodile (VIII, 2) are each about as fine as they can be. And a most exquisitely carved ivory ape seated on a palm capital may be mentioned here: it is dated to Amenemhat II by a cylinder found with it in a burial : it is of the finest naturalistic work, shewing all the curious puckers of the face, and the half human intelligence of the animal. Of course it is now at Ghizeh. Another bowl with rams' heads was found, like that in "Kahun" (VIII, 3) but rather smaller, and not quite so well worked. The hawk's head in wood (VIII, 7) has garnet eyes inserted; what the use of this was is uncertain. The similar hawk's head in bronze (VIII, 8) has a rectangular hole through from breast to back, as if to fit on to some object The bases of both these pieces are quite flat and smooth. They might possibly be some pieces for a game. Among glazed objects we notice the star (VIII. 14.) the dragon fly (15), the cowry (18) and the cone shell (19) all of blue or green glaze.

25. We now pass on to the tools and fittings. The wooden blocks in which the door-bolts slid have been found and identified: they were let into the door near the edge by a tenon, and fixed with a pin in the edge of the door; the bolt slid through one such block and into the wall, if a single door, or through the two blocks on the edges of it double door. This double door, with a bolt shot, is often seen on representations of a door (see " A Season in Egypt," XX, 13, 20,21); and a bolt shot through two blocks is the regular hieroglyph J. A set of tent pegs was found, cut with heads, and with the ends of palm rope still around them. The fire sticks for drilling fire have been again found, both the lower pieces (VII, 25, 26) and also the upper rotating piece (24). One block (26) is not burnt in the holes, but is very deeply drilled; it suggests that it was a trial block for a learner, who had not yet attained the skill of fire-making. The other (27) is well used, all the holes being charred to a glossy charcoal face ; two places have been notched, but not yet drilled. The upper stick (24) is quite charred at the lower end, and ground down with a characteristic shoulder produced by the friction. It is of the XVIIIth dynasty, found with a scarab of Amenhotep III. How these fire drills were rotated we can guess on seeing the common figures of drill bows on the sculptures: such a tool could not be familiar without being used for the fire-drilling. Three examples of drill bows were found, one of which is figured here (22), and also an unfinished drill stock (23). The unsymmetrical form of the bow is to adapt it to hold in the hand by the near end, and the length of it is just suited to the swing of the elbow from the shoulder.


home - previous page - next page