4 Illahun, Kahun and Gurob: page 4
Title page


truth of work, since nothing can be corrected by removing more material. Taking the mean dimensions we see that they are all in even numbers of palms of the usual Egyptian cubit, as follows: -
inchespalmcubitmean scaleerror
Lengthtop out 106.116 +36 2.9477 20.634 1o6.056+.060
below 97.165 +33 2.9444 20.611 97.218 -.53
Width top 50.046 +172.9439 20.60750.082-.036
below 41.24+142.945720.62041.244.00
Lengthinside82.495+282.9463 20.62482.488+.007
Width26.549 -92.949920.64926.514+035
Depth23.56+82.945 20.61523.568 -.008
The outside height is 36.4 at N. end, 32.6 at S. end; or the bottom varies from 12.84 to 9.04 in thickness. These variations in scale between the parts are very small. Lumping together all the measures, and taking the average palm, it comes out 2.9460, or cubit 20.622. Then we can find what each dimension should have been on a mean scale, shewn in the last column but one, and the errors of the sarcophagus sides are given in the last column. Thus the mean error from a true scale averages only 28 thousandths of an inch on one dimension ; or less than one 2000th of the lengths ; that is to say, the scale by which the dimensions were laid out, and the errors of workmanship of size, together do not exceed a hundredth of an inch on the cubit length. This is indeed a brilliant piece of skill in such an untractable material. It would be desirable to level up the sarcophagus, and then measure it more accurately when the planes are as nearly vertical as may be; for doubtless some errors have come in the course of measuring it in its present slanting position. A few additional measurements may be noted here. The depth of the lip around is 5.977 with a mean error of 22 thousandths. The edges are all bevelled off to a width of .27 to .30 of an inch. This bevelling is very neatly done, and the planes of bevel all meet truly in a three-sided pyramid at the corners. io. In front of the red granite sarcophagus lay the white alabaster table of offerings for Usertesen II (PL III). This is of the usual style of the Xllth dynasty altars, and not like the elaborate array on the altar of Ptahnefru (" Kahun," PL. V); nor are the legs of the animals missing here, as they are on the altar, and on the funeral vases of Ptahnefru and Amenembat III. The inscription is simple, and of the usual formula. It is beautifully sharply cut, and quite perfect and fresh. Of course it is now in the Ghizeh museum, along with the finest of the other things that I found. It was standing turned up on its end, when Mr. Fraser went into the pyramid ; disturbed, but quite uninjured. He had heavy work to get it up from the well, as it weighs four cwt., and is of course a delicate stone to handle. Beside this some broken pottery was found strewn about in the limestone chamber (PL. IV, 7, 8, 11) all apparently of the Xllth dynasty, and therefore belonging to offerings made in the pyramid, and not to the Ramesside workmen. Also one fragment of alabaster, apparently the flat brim of a large circular vessel, was found in the passage leading from the limestone chamber round to the sepulchre. This passage was choked by falls of the roof in the N.W. angle of it ; but though we moved all that stuff and cleaned the place, no more of this alabaster vessel could be found. Doubtless the Ramesside workmen had carried off the alabaster vessels, though the table of offerings was too bulky for them to pilfer it.

11. Outside of the pyramid a shrine adjoined it on the east This had been all destroyed by Ramessu II ; and the ground was covered with some feet depth of chips. On turning over all this stuff we recovered many pieces of sculpture ; some giving the names of Usertesen II, and others shewing the various offerings with which the walls of this chapel has been adorned. The work was beautifully delicate; and the colours are as bright as when first laid on. The largest slab from here with a cartouche of Usertesen, is now at Ghizeh. On the north and west sides the hill rose up from the knoll, on which the pyramid was built. Here it had been cut away, so as to leave a clear space around the pyramid. The face of this rock scarp is covered with a thick watt of mud brick, which still rises to twenty feet high at the N.W. comer; originally it was probably much more, and retained a bank of chips behind it. Besides this scarp wall there was a built wall along the east side of the pyramid, of which the rock trench of the foundation remains; and also a wall along the south, which served as a retaining wall, being banked up along the inside with chips, so as to form a level platform around the pyramid.

12. These walls were interrupted at the N.E. corner of the area, and extended outward, to include a small pyramid which stood there. This pyramid was of rock in the lower part, like the large pyramid; and - also like that - the chamber is within the rock, without any open cutting above it The brick part of the pyramid has all disappeared ; and when I went to Illahun there was no trace of the pyramid to be seen. But during excavations we hit on the side of

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