|24||THE CIVILIZATION OF THE XIITH DYNASTY—KAHUN.|
Their centres are either three or four cubits apart, 62 or 83 inches. The columns were about 10 inches diameter, or rested on base plates of that size. In the middle of the town some stone building formerly existed, which was finally cleared away and burnt to lime in the Vth century A.D., late Roman pottery and a coin of Theodosius being found on the surface there. Adjoining this on the east was a building about 24 x 27 feet (285.8 x 333.3 inches), with the roof supported by a square of columns, three one way and four the other, leaving an open space in the midst. Here a square trough sunk in the floor, 16 inches square inside, has a slab of stone sloping down toward it on each side, evidently for ablutions.
In many of the chambers granaries are found. These were of the well known conical form shown in the paintings. They are from 67 to 76 inches across inside, and 5 or 6 inches thick, formed of single bricks laid on their sides, and mud plastered inside and out. These generally stand in chambers, often two together, with just enough space to walk past them. In one case, a grain-floor was laid out by the side of a granary, with slabs of stone and a raised border.
The doorways mostly had wooden doors, and often also door cases. The door bolts found are shown in Pl. IX, fig. 21. The thresholds were of wood also; and the door was pivoted in a socket of stone or a hole in the threshold. Dust and dirt were kept out of the pivot hole by a quadrant of stone placed around it; and as the door wore down the surface was raised by laying pieces of leather, generally old sandals, in the socket.
Around the walls in the best rooms there is often a painted dado. Usually this is black or dark around the lower part, with black and red lines on a white ground at about 3 or 4 to 5 feet up, and yellow wash above that. The walls are always smoothly plastered with mud. In some cases paintings have been done in red, yellow, and white. One shows four jars on wooden stands ; another is of a house front In one room a cellar had been made ; the opening was just large enough to pass the shoulders through. Inside it was 40 inches high with a vault roof of brick, 40 inches wide and about 60 long. But in many of the rooms there were burials of objects in the floor, and I always carefully sounded all over the floors and especially around the edges, by striking with my measuring staff, in order to search for any buried things. Many boxes were thus found in which babies had been buried. The boxes were evidently intended for domestic uses, to hold clothes, tools, &c., but babies were put in them, sometimes two or three together, and buried in the rooms. The infants were often of some months old apparently, to judge by the size of the skulls, and by the beads and amulets with which they were sometimes ornamented. The details of the boxes, and the beads, will be described further on.
41. Of furniture there was not much. A stone seat was formed by cutting a large hollow beneath a block, so as to leave two legs, and slightly hollowing the top for sitting on. Wooden chairs were also used, with carved legs. One beautifully made chair is formed of dark wood with ivory pegs in the back. The back part was curved, and formed of vertical slips joined together in a top and bottom bar; this all slanted somewhat backwards, and was maintained in place by two upright strutts behind it which joined it at the top, thus forming an acute triangle in side view. The angles of this, as of other chairs, were strengthened by L angle-pieces cut out of selected curve-grained wood, and carefully pinned on with a large number of wooden pins.
The small articles in use were kept in boxes, the largest of which were about 22 x 17 x 10 inches outside. They were generally made of hard wood ; the corners cut diagonally, except at the top, where usually the sides cross over the ends. The bottom is of strips lengthways, placed between the sides, and held in by a cross ledge near either end. The lid is of strips lengthways, secured by two ledges across the inside. One ledge has pegs along its outer side, which fit into holes in the end of the box, thus the lid cannot be raised at one end. The other end of the lid has a knob on it, which could be tied down to another knob on the end of the box when it required fastening. The only boxes preserved are those which had been used to bury babies in: these sometimes contain beads, which serve to prove their age, by the names of Usertesen II and Amenemhat III (Pl. X; 9, 10, 11).
42. A great variety of pottery was made for domestic purposes. But the styles here used had almost entirely changed by the time of the XVIIIth dynasty: and in only a few cases, such as the pilgrim bottles (Pl. XIII, 61) and the blue painted bands, which very rarely occur here, can be seen the beginnings of the later styles. The most characteristic points of this age are the hemispherical cups (1 to 3), the very short necks (11, 22, 33), the spouts (23, 24). the scollop beaks (89, 90) the double and triple curves (42,43, 50, 52), the black bands on the neck
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