|25||THE CIVILIZATION OF THE XIITH DYNASTY - KAHUN.|
(22), the wavy lines incised (39 to 45), the strange dishes with incised patterns (103 to 111), and the trays of offerings (102). None of these types ever occur in the XVIIIth - XIXth dynasties, excepting a very few bits of the incised dishes.
The jars are often washed over with red ochre or rouge wash, especially those with black neck bands (22). These necks are very largely found in the masons' pottery heap just north of the temple outside the town wall. The little dishes (62) are also found there, thus certifying their age. These small dishes and cups (67) are found by the hundred at Gizeh. There I had thought them to be of late date, as I had no opportunity of tomb or town excavation there to prove their age. But having found similar cups and saucers in a heap on the east side of the south stone pyramid of Dahshur, in a similar heap on the east side of the pyramid of Illahun. and now in the masons' rubbish, it is evident that they belong to the XIIth dynasty, if not to earlier times.
Among the peculiar objects there is the pot (12), closed below ; this seems to be for a drum like the modern darabuka : the jars with spoutless holes (19): the long pipe-like objects, closed below (34), which were also found in the foundation deposit (XIV, 14): the dish with a partition (49) and a peg on the outside : the dishes with two loops in the bottom (58), which are like a large class of roughly cut stone objects, which have similarly two loops (or occasionally only one) in the bottom; the lids (54) which resemble those of the XXVIth dynasty, but are quite unknown in the XVIIIth: the plain cone (92); and the incised dishes, which seem as if intended to serve up food in, judging by the example with a raised centre (107) : the patterns of these apparently are derived from basket work.
The regular method of supporting the jars was on a ring stand (28 - 30, 36 - 8, 85 - 8, 99 - 101) ; and though anyone not accustomed to Egyptian life may object that such a support was a needless complication, and ask why a flat bottom was not made to the jars, yet the reason of the arrangement is quite clear. If a jar of porous pottery containing any liquid is set on the ground, it picks up dust and grit on its damp surface, and soon looks loathsome ; but by placing it on a ring stand it remains always clean. Other forms of supports were used, particularly stone stands, cut in soft limestone. These were generally rectangular slabs with four feet, for one or two jars, with a raised rim, a conical hole for each jar with raised edge, and often a groove to catch and lead away the water which exuded from the jar. Occasionally they were circular, with three feet. Also solid stone blocks were made of a cup shape, like fig. 63 in outline, or rather more upright: with a small hemispherical hollow in the top and a groove around that. Four of these I found in the pyramid of Hawara, and several in the town of Kahun.
43. The material of the pottery differs much from that of any later age. There is not much of the rough red tile stuff common in late times, none of the fine drab of the XXVIth dynasty, and very little of the hard face polished light drab and light brown of the XVIIIth dynasty. A coarse, rough, hard body of brownish-grey is common, also brown softer pottery. The thin cups (1 - 3) are the finest clay, a smooth brown, rather reddish, and often washed over with red. A very special point in this pottery is the streaking of the inside upward by the fingers, instead of turning it. Some few vessels which were found under special conditions may be noted as positively of the XIIth dynasty beyond any question, namely, the foundation deposit pottery (Pl. XIV), the pottery found in a box with cylinders of the XIIth dynasty (XIV, 18—30) and pottery of the masons' rubbish (XII, 22, 62). The rest of the pottery has the general authority of being found on the town, generally in rooms which had been deserted, and filled up with the rubbish of neighbouring houses.
Some pieces, of eight or nine vases, of the black pottery were found (Pl. XXVII, 399-202) in various parts of the town. One vase is plain; most of the pieces bear the chevron pattern, with the alternate spaces filled with rows of dots ; or a double chevron blank, with dots on each side of it. One fragment has figures of three pairs of goats, standing upright, face to face, with a palm or vine between each pair. The design of this is scarcely Egyptian, but looks more Phoenician or Assyrian. This black ware is just what was found by M. Naville with scarabs of the XIIIth dynasty at Khataneh near Fakus, in graves many feet deep beneath accumulations of the time of Seti I, and hence certainly early. Here it is again found associated with objects of the XIIth or XIIIth dynasty, and its date therefore is almost beyond question. The difficult point now is to determine whether we are to throw back to such a date the Italian black pottery with chevron pattern and dots so closely like this. The fact that such pottery is quite unknown in Egypt at any other age, none having been found in the towns or graves of the XVIIIth, XIXth, XXth, XXIInd, XXVth, XXVIth,
home - previous page - next page