|22||THE CIVILIZATION OF THE XIITH DYNASTY - KAHUN|
the front. Within the building there was - probably in the façade - a flight of steps leading to the parapet, of which a portion still lies in the ruins, like the flight of steps at Khafra's temple at Gizeh. The greater part of the area appears to have been open, with probably a colonnade around it. while at the W. end or back, of the enclosure stood a highly decorated chamber. Some sandstone objects stood in the enclosure, and also a seated statue of the king in dark grey basalt, rather over life size. Probably in the back chamber there was a smaller statue in black granite. One piece of each of these statues was found. There was also a large amount of fine wall-sculpture in red granite; and the space where the masons wrought this stone lay on the north of the temple where the ground is still covered with granite chips and dust, and strewn with broken hammers of horn stone.
36. In the middle of the temple area a hole 31 inches square was excavated in the rock about four feet deep, to contain the foundation deposits. Into this the four sets of objects were thrown, without any arrangement or order. Each set of models consisted of a small chisel (PL. XIV, fig. 1), long chisel (fig. 2), wide chisel (fig. 3), long knife (fig. 4), large pointed knife (fig. 5), small pointed knife (fig. 6), and hatchet (fig. 7), all of bronze ; a pair of corn rubbers of brown sandstone (fig. 11 ); and two strings of carnelian beads (fig. 8), averaging about a foot in length. Two or three pieces of green carbonate of copper ore, and a piece of galena were also thrown in. Over these a quantity of pottery vessels was placed, of which types are shown in figs. 13 - 17. And some baskets, and straw or fibre, accompanied the deposit. Sand and earth were then thrown in among the pottery. Over all a block of stone was let down by ropes (which passed along grooves in its sides), thus crushing most of the pottery; and on this :a second block was let down, each block almost filling the hole, and being about 15 inches thick. Thus the excavation was filled up, and remained undisturbed through all the destruction that ensued ; the blocks were noticed in our clearing of the area, broken up and removed by myself and my men, and all the pottery and objects carefully taken out - and their position marked - by my own hands.
The contrasts between this early deposit of the XIIth dynasty, and the later ones of the XXVIth dynasty and Ptolemaic times (which are all that were yet on record) are remarkable. The model tools and corn rubbers continued to be made in later times, and the ores were also deposited. But the carnelian beads quite disappear in after times; while the model mortars which are always found in the later deposits do not occur here, nor any of the inscribed plaques. The reason for burying such objects is yet unexplained ; but it seems not unlikely that they were intended for the use of the kas of the builders, like the models placed in tombs for the kas of the deceased. Whether each building had a ka which needed ghostly repair by the builders' kas is also to be considered. The carnelian beads are as nearly uniform as may be, of fine translucent stone, well polished; their purport seems mysterious in such a place, and the absence of any variety of size, form, or material shows that they could scarcely be for ornament. It may be that they formed a medium of exchange, or bead-money, at that early period: and if so we may see an explanation of the use of beads for burial with mummies.
37. After the Hyksos times and the XVIIIth dynasty the temple was still standing, probably more or less injured. But the covetous requirements of Ramessu II proved its destruction; and the royal masons removed the materials both of the temple, and of the ka shrine adjoining the pyramid, for building the temple of Ramessu II at Heracleopolis (Ahnas el medineh) about ten miles to the south. They removed the granite in almost entire blocks, as very few chips of destruction are found on the site; and the statues appear to have been also carried away whole, since only one fragment of each was found. The limestone was more flaked up in redressing it, and one cartouche of Ramessu in hieratic was found, scrawled on a joint surface in the temple, beside a brief hieratic inscription of his roughly painted on a block at the shrine. Scattered about among the chips were many beads, bits of glazed pottery, rings, &c, of the beginning of the XIXth dynasty, evidently left by the destroyers. While over at Ahnas I saw lying on the surface a drum of a granite column of Ramessu II, with the ka name of Usertesen II remaining upon the joint surface of it. After another interval, of slightly longer duration, the place was again visited, in the 7th cent. A.D. by the Copts, who used it an a burial ground: from their interments a great quantity of woollen garments, with woven and embroidered patterns, were found in fine condition, when - after a third interval - we came on the ground, and recovered all that could be traced of its past history.
At the north end of the temple façade stood the
home - previous page - next page