26 THE CIVILIZATION OF THE XIITH DYNASTY - KAHUN.
 
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XXXth dynasties, Ptolemaic, or Roman, which I have excavated; and the fact that Kahun was certainly inhabited by foreigners, probably Cypriotes ; and the similarity of this pottery to the Italian; - all these points agree in throwing the Italian black ware (at least in its origin) back to this early date, though doubtless it was also used in later times in Italy. Some other very strange bits of cups with rows of black and white dots, and a bird in red-brown pottery with white spots, are both unlike anything that I know of later times, and appear to be foreign in idea.

Wooden bowls were common in this time, though rare in later ages. They vary from 3½ to 10½ inches across, and sometimes have a handle carved on the edge. One wooden bowl is ornamented with rams' heads (VIII, 3) ; and though the style of it looks more as if of Roman times, yet the motive of animal-head handles is seen in the XVIIIth dynasty on the alabaster vase with gazelles' heads (XVIII, 16), so that the date of the bowl need not be in doubt.

44. A curious piece of furniture was a limestone stand, on which offerings of bread paste were made. These stands are usually in the form of a column with a saucer-shaped hollow on the top ; the columns are 18 to 21 inches high including a square base, usually with plain capital, but one has a lotus capital as at Beni Hasan (Pl. XVI). Two examples were found of these stands in the form of two men, standing back to back and supporting the cup with raised arms on their shoulders. These are rudely done, one being unfinished; and from the place of discovery may belong to the XIIIth dynasty, as the scarab of Neferhotep was found in the room with one of these. One example occurs of an arm supporting a cup, evidently intended to be built into a wall so as to project.

45. The bricks for the house building were made in a mould exactly like those of the present time (Pl. IX, 23); this mould is of wood, and produced a brick of 11.2 x 5.6 x 3.4 inches. We can now trace the form of brick moulds from this of the XIIth dynasty, the tomb of Rekhmara at Thebes of the XVIIIth dynasty, and the figure of Tahraka making bricks at Medinet Habu of XXVth dynasty. The plummets are of exactly the modern form, and are made of stone (VIII, 19).

After the building the next business was the plastering of the walls. For this the plasterers used tools almost exactly like those of the present time (Pl. IX, 9, 10). The larger float is for the rough coat, and the bevelled end of it projecting far out from the handle is evidently for the purpose of going into the corners of rooms without disturbing the coat on the adjoining wall. The smaller float is lighter and smoother for laying on the facing coat Both of these are smeared with the mud-plaster just as last used by their previous owner who left them behind. They are carved in one block, and their forms could scarcely be improved in any respect. Wooden cramps were used - as in later times - for stonework ; holes for such are seen in the pyramid pavement at Hawara, and the cramps are found at Kahun (IX. 29).

46. The woodwork and carpentry were mainly done with bronze tools and possibly some flints. The type of adze handle, so familiar to us in the hieroglyph sotep, is found (IX, 15). The various forms of flint tools are shown in Pl. XVI; and the influence of the forms of bronze tools upon the types of the flint is clear, as in Denmark. The hatchets and chisels are shown on Pl. XVII. the upper half of which gives the XIIth dynasty examples. The basket (fig. 8) was found in the corner of a chamber close to the floor; it is made of rush, and is still strong and sound. Within it was the copper bowl hammer wrought (7), the chisels (4) and (5) and another like (5), the hatchets (6) and (9); while by its side lay the large knife (21). Owing to being buried in dry dust, and without anything in contact with the bronze in the basket, the original polish and hammer marks on the bronzes are perfectly preserved, with scarcely a speck of rust. It is strange that the large hatchet should have been broken across, as there is no sufficient mark of any strain applied to it The traces of friction of the hafting can be seen on the backs of both the hatchets; but there is no mark of either hafting or hammering on the chisels. Another type of chisel (fig. 3), which has been well hammered on the head, was found with the rough bronze piece (1), probably intended to be hammered into a knife; a bronze mirror, 8.3 inches across, on which some polish is yet visible ; and a throw stick of wood (IX, 31) ; together with some net-work for jars, old sandals, &c. The other bronze tools were found isolated ; (2) is the broken-off tip of a chisel; (10) a piercer in its wooden handle; (11 - 13) fish hooks; (14) a needle, of which many were found; (15) a pin, probably from some fastening; (16) a netting bobbin ; and (17) to (21) knives.

The difference of type of the bronze tools of the early age from those of the XVIIIth and XIXth

 


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