|25||ILLAHUN IN THE TWENTY-SECOND DYNASTY|
a large wooden door was found in Kahun; it is 86 inches high, and 43 wide, and 1½ inch thick; the planks are all tongued together. Along the top and bottom a strap of bronze has passed round the hinge, as if to bind the cross bars on to the back-post ; this was punched with the cartouches and titles of Usarkon I, and the wood was thus so impressed that it can be read though the bronze was removed. On the middle of the side was a large carved scene 20 inches square of Usarkon offering to Neit and Horus; this has been all scraped and cut away, so as to be hardly traceable. The door was covered with linen, and found lying flat in a chamber of the fourth north mansion at Kahun (see plan, "wooden door"). It must therefore have - been removed from some building of Usarkon, and probably sold as old material, having the royal scene erased. Hence some large building of Usarkon I probably stood somewhere in this district. This door was kept for the Ghizeh Museum.
47. The objects from these tombs on PL. XXIX are of about the XXIInd dynasty; and represent well the characteristics of that age. The prevalent colour is pale yellowish green or light blue; the rich blues of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties, and the yellows, reds, and violets of the end of the XVIIIth are nowhere seen. But the compensatory quality of the Bubastite school was in modelling rather than in colour. The glazing, though tame and flat in tone, is very skilfully applied ; the surface is just sufficiently coated, but not at all disguised, and the most minute details are not choked. The skill of modelling is seen in the delicate smooth figures (XXIX, 12, 14, 20), and the pierced work (21, 22), which is sometimes astonishingly fine (24). Similar open-work rings are found in a cemetery of the XXIInd dynasty at Zuwelein, near Tanis.
Amulets we also see here appearing for the first time on the burials of the XIXth dynasty but little is on the body, perhaps a ring, or a single figure which was valued; and around the body may be a wooden headrest, used in life, a ka-figure, two or three food vessels, and some ushabtis. But in the XXIInd dynasty the placing of funereal amulets on the body seems to have arisen to the exclusion of all else but ushabtis. In a burial which I should assign to the XXIst dynasty (see further on, sect. 49) there are scarabs but no amulets. But on later bodies are found some large coarse amulets; on one was a large plain beryl scarab on the chest, and a large lazuli bead on the neck ; and an inscribed scarab of lazuli (suten du hotep, &c.) and two headrests of haematite (XXIX, 48) were found in the dust. These early amulets seem to be always coarse and clumsy; and it is not till the XXVIth to the XXXth dynasties that the love of funeral amulets reached such a pitch of development. The grand series of about 120 on Horuta (now arranged in the original order in the Ghizeh Museum) mark perhaps the highest range of the practice.
The scarabs of this period are different from all earlier ones. The designs are poor and rude, kings' names are scarce, and the colours are all of the poor light greens of this age, the glaze generally perishes. The most marked point in them is the use of long straight lines (see XXIX, 7, 35, 44, 46, 47, 50, 55); and the border line, which graces all the early scarabs, is sometimes omitted (as in XXIX, 46, 47, 49). Several classes which are well known in general collections can now be dated from the Illahun examples of the XXIInd dynasty. Such are the rude square plaques (XXIX, 1, 2, 44) ; the only examples known of kings are of the XXIst and XXIInd dynasties. The solar bark scarabs, (XXIX, 51, 55), the flat pottery ovals with a plain back (49, which has been broken and ground down on the edge) ; the rude deep-cut figures, (2, 28) ; and the groups of circles (1, 29), all appear to characterise the Bubastite time. Another peculiarity is in the use of stone beads (XXIX, 17, 26) of alabaster or calcite. The harder stones, carnelian, jasper, &c., seem to have disappeared altogether from use; and only these soft bulky, unsuitable beads are found, in harmony with the poor style of the other work. Strange beads of iron pyrites, and of antimony (XXX, 56), also occur. When made of pottery the larger beads are commonly ribbed, or cut into knobs all over, (57). The smaller glazed beads are very poor in colour; but they tried to make up for that by incongruous uses of them for decoration, threading them into patterns. The mummies of this age are sometimes covered, not only with a diagonal network of beads, but with designs done in coloured beads threaded closely together. The labour of thus producing an ungainly face or scarab must have been immense, and the taste of it is as defective as the colouring. When opening tombs of this age I always cut or drew the pegs, which fastened the coffin lids, as gently as possible. Then, looking in, I saw if there was any pattern beadwork on the body. If there were, the coffin was moved without the slightest shake, as all the threads were rotted out, and the beads lay loose. I then fetched a petroleum stove, and pot of wax; melting the wax down in the tomb I then slopped out spoonfuls of it over all the heads.
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