11 INTRODUCTION
 
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giving them such a reward, I should either have had to spend the best part of a season watching their work daily, and hourly almost, or else to run the great risk of their getting out the mummy and pillaging it while I was not present. That all these amulets were afterwards taken at the Bulak Museum, without of course any payment or reimbursement whatever, does not affect the policy of dealing with the Arabs. By firm control, and paying the men so that your interest is theirs, it is possible to do a great deal with small supervision. In this case I left Hawara nearly two months before the prize was reached, and only went over when the men sent to fetch me to direct their work.

14. From Hawara I moved to Illahun, on 11th February, and took up the work there at Medinet Gurob, and the pyramid and tombs of Illahun. Gurob was a place which attracted me last season when I walked over from Hawara to see the neighbourhood. Everything I saw there was of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties, and the place had evidently been occupied for only a brief space of time. On clearing a great part of it, the period of the town proved to begin with Tahutmes III, and end with Ramessu II, or possibly Merenptah. Here the most important historical result was the discovery of Mediterranean pottery, and of signs of the Phoenicio-Greek alphabet, and the Kypriote alphabet, marked in single letters, as owners' signs on the pottery. Beside the town there is a cemetery, partly of the age of the town, and partly Ptolemaic. The work here was of the usual character at such places, the chambers being cleared and the earth thrown back into those already examined.

At Illahun the pyramid occupied some men all the season; and large clearances were made upon and about it. But as I hope to fully describe it next year, I will say nothing further concerning it in this volume. The other work at Illahun was much in the well tombs. To find these on the ground surface it is needful to look for the points of native rock cropping out through the sand at intervals, then, on tracking these rock-points areas will be found where they disappear. Such areas may be either natural hollows, graves, or deep tomb wells. But all the tombs of the Xllth dynasty had been rifled, as the mastabas on the surface would in all cases reveal their situation. In one instance, however, nearly the whole funeral stela - a large slab of about 6 cwt. - was found used in the rebuilding of a later age in the bottom chamber. As I had neither ropes nor men convenient then to take it out, I covered it, and left it till I should have a large party working there. Meanwhile a rascal, whom I had to dismiss for stealing from my other men's tombs, got some money from a Greek at Medineh, to draw out the stone, and take it to Medineh. He took seven or eight men at night, and got it from the deep well, carried it - slung from a pole - two and a half miles, to near the bridge of Illahun, and there buried it until they could quietly ship it. He also cut the face off a block at the temple of Illahun, which I had left buried until I could get my chisels, &c., from the Horuta tomb work. On his trying one night to get a boat to remove these, the reis of the fishings at the bridge - a very fine fellow, named M'haisin - heard about it and called the irrigation guards of the bridge, who had charge of my premises. They seized the smaller stone, and took it to the shekh; and next morning we all went and had unlimited talk over the subject. The larger stone the thieves had not unearthed again or revealed, and they wanted me first to pay them for it, then to at least give them something for having brought it over. But I stuck to my position that the only terms I would hear of were showing me the stone at once, and delivering it into my house ; otherwise I should call over the police to take all the men implicated. By actually taking a leaf from my notebook as I stood in the village, and giving it to a messenger to take to Medineh to the police, I cut short the discussion, and was led off to where the stone lay buried. In two or three hours the procession of thieves brought the slab up and placed it in my court-yard. It was most fortunate that I was thus able to recover the stones, and impose a penalty all in one ; and I thus had the hard work of raising the block from the well, cutting the face from the other, and bringing them two or three miles all performed for nothing.

15. The temple of Illahun and town of Medinet Kahun were worked by the method I usually adopt in such sites. On the temple area, beginning at one edge of the ground, a wide trench was cut down to the native rock , then the earth was taken from one side of the trench, and thrown back on to the other side behind the men. Thus every scrap of soil is turned over, and the ground is not encumbered with any large heaps of waste earth ; besides which the site is covered over again to prevent weathering and decay of the rock-cut foundation. Nearly all the stonework had been removed by Ramessu II for building his temple at Ahnas, eleven miles to the south : and the


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