9 THE ANTIQUITIES OF KAHUN
 
Home
Title page
Contents
Search

 

Though the modern fowl does not appear to have been known in early times in Egypt, yet artificial hatching was followed in Roman times, and may perhaps have been the custom for duck and goose eggs from a much earlier period. This coop was found broken in the rubbish heap of the XIIth dynasty, north of the town. It had been partly broken while yet used, as a handle is missing- from the top, and one hole has been choked with plaster in some repairs to it.

Several pottery stands were found, both of the form for holding dry food on a raised dish (IV, 18), and also for holding the porous water jars. Probably the jars oozed more quickly than the surface evaporated, as jars do now in Egypt; and a pan was needed to catch the filtered water which came through. These stands (IV, 15, 19) with rings set in them would serve this purpose. One piece of pottery has a fine smooth face applied to it, and clouded with black intentionally to imitate marble or serpentine.

The pottery trays of offerings have been again found (IV, 20, 23) ; and the latter one is unusually complete. The bull's head at the top, the bird, the haunch, and the two jars for wine, are distinct ; while below are various flat and conical cakes) and the large radishes so well known still in Egypt. The spaces in front are for pouring out the drink offerings.

Of glazed pottery there is a fine vase (XIII, 19), with a network pattern in purple on a rich blue ground. This was found in one of the long passages of the south mansions. There is also part of a blue glazed doll like those found before (XIII, 20). The fancy beads are also curious (VIII, 14,15, 18, 19).

18. The most important pottery is that on PL. 1. This is called Aegean in general, without meaning that every piece is necessarily from the Aegean ; but the majority are so, to judge by their material and decoration. The term Aegean is used to imply the Greek islands, and the coasts of Peloponnessos and Asia Minor, without the limitations of place and age implied in the name Greek.

We will begin with those pieces which are distinctly foreign, (1) is a black ware throughout, with a smooth surface; on that are bright yellow, red, and white patterns. At the top is the circle of dots and lines in white;(see footnote 1) then yellow lines with red across them; then discs surrounded with dots, the regular Aegean design, in yellow ; and below that yellow lines with red across. The colouring is very bright, without much binding, and easily rubbed off. It is quite different from any known on Egyptian pottery , and the characteristic disc and dots, and the rest of the pattern, are also quite un-Egyptian. In (3) we see the well-known wave pattern of the Aegean, which is unknown on Egyptian pottery. (4) is a fragment of regular Aegean paste, fine smooth hard brown, with a black iron glaze, and applied lines of red brown and white. (5) is decorated with white on smooth red pottery, like (3); it also appears to be foreign, (6) has the regular iron glaze of the Aegean, with a spiral blocked out by a white ground, and a line of soft bright red applied. (7) is a short spout from a dish, painted with white on an iron glaze. (8) is red pottery stamped in relief, and painted white and red. (10) is another piece of Aegean paste with black iron glaze and applied white. (12) is a similar pottery, part of a peculiar vase without any neck or lip, a round hole being cut for the mouth without even a thickening of the material at the edge. All of these pieces are non-Egyptian ; and all were found in the rubbish heaps of the XIIth dynasty. So far we shall be all agreed.

19. But when we come to consider the age of these there is great difficulty. The external evidence seems clear enough, and some very strong proofs will be needed to contradict it. The rubbish heaps where this pottery was found are entirely of the XIIth dynasty. Not only every piece of pottery which I saw there is clearly of that age, but from their position no later people would have accumulated the heaps. The town of Kahun was built by the architect for the pyramid workmen; and when the pyramid and temple were finished the town was mostly deserted, and the people of the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties heaped up their rubbish in the deserted rooms. A large part of the rooms which we cleared were filled up with broken potsherds and rubbish. When therefore rubbish could be shot inside of the town so readily, who would have taken the trouble to carry it outside ? The external rubbish heaps must belong to a time when the town was full. And their contents agree to that early age. But this Aegean pottery is found in and under these rubbish heaps, and therefore the evidence unmistakably shews that it must be of the time of Usertesen II. That foreigners were living here at that time is implied by the fact that the greater part of the weights, and two of the three measures, found here are foreign weights and measures of Phoenicia and Asia Minor. And historically we know that the Ha-nebu or "lords of the north," who certainly mean Greeks in the later monuments, were

 


Footnotes
1)   Where in details the description differs from the colouring on the plate, the latter is in error.

home - previous page - next page