|31||THE CIVILIZATION OP THE XIITH DYNASTY - KAHUN.|
part of a medical papyrus, written with rubrics, and carefully backed with some fresh papyrus pasted on, where it had become worn and split in ancient use. The account of some of these will be found in Mr. Griffith's chapter, VI. The letters were many of them folded up in vertical folds, about 1½ inches wide ; then the folded strip was bent over in half, and the two ends tied round with a slip of papyrus, or string, and sealed with a clay seal impressed by a scarab. These seal impressions have given us the name of the town Ha-usertesen-hotep, as in (X, 23, 24). The cylinders found in the town are all of the XIIth dynasty (Pl. X, 2 to 14), and the historical range of them will be seen in the chronological diagram at the outer side of Pl. XXIV. The worn fragment of Usertesen I was doubtless old when left here, and does not require us to date the town before the building of the temple of Usertesen II. The latest object belonging to the original town is a scarab of Neferhotep, which was found in a room near the middle of the town, with some papyri. The much later scarabs of the XVIIIth dynasty belong to intrusive burials of subsequent times. The scarabs usually found are of the scroll patterns, and we now know that such belong to the XIIth dynasty. One (fig. 30) was dated to the time of Usertesen II, being found in the masons' spoil bank of chips, against the pyramid platform.
61. Of fragments of peculiar materials may be noticed black fibrous haematite; obsidian; large pieces of red oxide of iron, for paint ; green carbonate of copper ore ; ivory, both in mirror handles, carvings, and a lotus capital ; hippopotamus tusk in the rough; and ibex horn.
The manufacture of beads was well developed, but judging from the small numbers of any one kind they were made to order and not in large quantities commercially. The quality is in general finer than in any later time, but not so varied. No glass beads are yet known. The hard stones were more generally used than afterwards: and amethyst, garnet, blue glazed quartz, and green glazed steatite beads, though all of them common here, are never found in the town of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties at Gurob. Hence they may be accepted as distinctive and characteristic signs of the middle kingdom. Other characteristic types are the thick blue cylinder beads with spiral black lines, the purple beads rolled in chips of light blue glaze, green beads with impressed chevron pattern, small blue and green barrel beads rolled between the finger and thumb, the blue glaze cone-shell beads, and the large class of very rudely cut out hawks and other small figures in green glaze, distinguished from all later types by the sharp angular outlines. All of these varieties are distinctively of the middle kingdom, and are never found in the XVIIIth or any later dynasty so far as I have worked. The animal figures of blue glaze covered with black or purple markings are also characteristic. The hippopotami of the XIth dynasty from Drah abul Negga at Bulak are well known, similar figures somewhat worn are found at Kahun, and also lions (VIII, 1), a rabbit (VIII, 2), Bes, a boy playing double pipe (VIII, 9), dolls cut off at the knees, a crocodile, and other fragments. The blue bowls with black or dark purple lines, differ from those of the XVIIIth dynasty (largely found in the temple at Deir el Bahri) by the fineness of the lines, and the clean bright colour of the glaze. The blue glaze of the XIIth differs from that of the XVIIIth and later ages in its thinness, clearness, and even spread. It is needless to detail the varieties of beads more closely, as specimen sets of all the kinds will be placed in several collections, and perhaps also published in colours.
Similar to the finer ware of the glazed pottery we find also a finer quality of the blue painted earthenware which was so common in the XVIIIth dynasty. Only a few chips have been discovered, so that it was evidently a rare novelty in the XIIth dynasty. One piece is part of a scene (VIII, 26) painted in blue and chocolate lines on a pale red-brown wash, representing a boat on waves, the steersman handling the steering oar, and a kilted man walking down towards it This pictorial use of the colours itself suggests their greater rarity and novelty, as such paintings are unknown later.
62. During the latter part of the XIIth dynasty, and beginning of die XIIIth, the inhabitants of the town ransacked the tombs for materials and brought away many slabs of offerings, some of them inscribed (XI, 14), also stelae (XI, 10,11,13), statuettes (X, 65, 66 ; XI, 12), and parts of tombs (XI, 15).
There is no sign of the town having been occupied after the XIIIth or XIVth dynasty (the latest name being that of Uah-ab-ra, Pl. X, 72), and none of the characteristic pottery or beads of the XVIIIth dynasty have been found among the remains of the inhabitants of the town.
63. At later dates, however, some intrusive burials took place, mostly about the XVIIIth dynasty. The bronze Bast pendant (XI, 77) was found with some scarabs which appear to belong to the end of the
home - previous page - next page