30 THE CIVILIZATION OF THE XIITH DYNASTY - KAHUN.
 
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stone, usually alabaster or basalt, of the dumpy vase form, sometimes with dwarf handles at the sides ; and almost always with the broad, flat neck-piece cut from a thin slab and fixed on separately. The tube type, single or compound, is not found at this age. Hair pins of ivory were common, and of various forms (VIII, 4 to 8), some with separate heads, such as (6). Some other upright vases of alabaster (VIII, 29) may also have been for the toilet. Vases and bowls of porphyry (VIII, 28), serpentine, black basalt, and alabaster are likewise found. And pieces of various small vessels in a fine grained bluish-grey marble, which seems to have been brought from the north of the Mediterranean, and which - like the black pottery, apparently of Italian origin - is only known in Egypt in the XIIth dynasty. The rectangular trays for rubbing up paint and ink were as well known as in later times; they are made of syenite, black granite, and basalt; one has a cartouche line around the hollow.

57. Not only was the civilization of Egypt in the useful arts already solidly established in the XIIth dynasty, but amusements were also well known. Of children's toys there was an abundance. Tipcats flew about in the streets merrily, for as many as 11 have survived (IX, 17). Whip-tops were even commoner, 20 having been found (IX, 18, 19, 20). Balls of solid wood, and of leather sewn in six gores, were made. Dolls of wood, with moving limbs, and painted (VIII, 15,16) consoled the girls ; and a large store of dolls' hair, ready to be made up, was left in one room. This hair is constructed just like that made for Theban dolls; five threads placed together, about 6 inches long, had pellets of mud rolled on them by the fingers, 12 or 14 in the length, and a conical lump at the end : this may have been somewhat copied from the actual dressings of girls' hair with pellets of mud at the ends, as in Nubia at present. Clay toys were made of many forms ; men (VIII, 23), pigs (21), crocodiles, and other monsters (20), as well as boats (24), little vases, &c., were modelled out of the universal Nile mud. One unique example of a flint toy was made, the hippopotamus (VIII, 22) being chipped in outline from a thin flint flake. Limestone toys were often painted, the hippopotamus was a favourite form, and there is one figure of a boy nursing a monkey. Dolls were also made of blue glazed pottery, curiously truncated at the knees, with the hands at the sides, and ornamented with tattoo marks of spots or lines on the thighs, and a girdle line round the waist.

58. A very remarkable carving, which may be a toy or a symbolic figure, is executed in hard wood (VIII, 14), and was found buried in a hole in the floor of a chamber (middle south side of rank A) along with the pair of ivory clappers (VIII, 13, 13A). This clearly represents a mummer or dancer in costume, with a head-dress or mask and a tail. Strange to say in the next room of the same house I found one of the actual masks which were so worn, made of cartonnage (VIII, 37); three layers of canvas are modelled into the Bes-like face, such as we see in the wooden figure, and painted black with grotesque arches over and under the eyes, spots on the cheeks, band across the head, and red lips. The nostrils and eyes are provided with holes, one eye having been torn larger to see more readily. The knocking about in use had taken off some of the stucco, and it has been repainted black on the canvas .base. In the sketch the damages are omitted and the black surface is left plain. This suggests that the head of Bes was intended for a mummer's mask ; and as the god is often figured as dancing, playing tambourines, pipes, &c.. this is the more likely.

59. A beautifully woven sling was found, 2 inches wide and 6 inches long, tapering to the cords; the cords are nearly 2 feet long, of two strands, each double twists of very thick threads : one cord has a loop at the end to keep it on one finger, while the other is plain, to let fly.

Of games there are two kinds. The well known 3 x 10 squares board is found painted on the inside of the lid of one of the boxes. Counting from the left hand along the top ten, the 2nd is marked 2, the 3rd 3, the 4th x,the 5th nefer, and along the top edge 2nd and 3rd have a line bracketing them, and another line curves round the 9th: the 7th in the bottom ten has a trace of hieratic writing. The squares average 113 inches. No pieces to play with have been found. A totally different game was played, or marked, with pegs in a board of pottery (Pl. XVI). Each of the symmetrical sides has 30 holes, every fifth of which is marked by a cross cut, and the 20th is a common pool at the end in which the lines join before returning; there being an up and down track for each party. No such game is known in Egypt as yet.

60. Turning now to the highest products, in literary work a considerable number of papyri was found ; and writing must have been in as common use as we see it represented in the tomb paintings, where scribes record every item of the estates. Many of the papyri are letters, others are accounts; and there is

 


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