33 MEDINET GUROB
 
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but some foundation stones) before the close of the XVIIIth dynasty: and it is therefore almost certain that it was thus cleared away by Khuenaten, in the general religious revolution which he effected. Where the stone was removed we have now no clue; Ahnas (Herakleopolis) would be the most likely place, or Medineh (Crocodilopolis), as these lie on the canal ; but no buildings of Khuenaten are yet known anywhere in this region. Over the remaining blocks of the temple some houses were irregularly built, beginning doubtless with the habitations of the masons who destroyed the temple. In these houses rings of Khuenaten are found (XXIII, 16-18); and the silver ring (XXIII, 15) can hardly be attributed to any king but Amenhotep IV by the attitude of the monarch crouching before Ma and Ra ; this was found with the ring of Amenhotep III (XXIII, 10).

65. From the time of Khuenaten to the reign of Ramessu II the town appears to have been continuously occupied ; only there is a dearth of objects of Seti I (see Chronology, Pl.XXIV), which is not in accordance with the probable length of his reign. That the inhabitants were principally foreigners we shall see further on, from the names, the foreign weights, the abundance of Greek and Kypriote pottery, the Kypriote alphabet, and their light hair; here we need only mention this alien race in connection with the history of the town. We find that the reign of Ramessu II is the last age of this settlement, his long rule providing nearly 30 examples of his cartouche. But here the history suddenly stops. Of his successors there is but a single trace coeval with the town; of Merenptah but one scarab was found, and that probably an early one, as it honours Tahutmes III, merely adding the title of Merenptah, Hotep hi ma, apparently as claiming his descent from the great ancestor Meri-kheper-ra. The only later object is a ring of Seti II, which was found on the top of the ruins of a chamber, the walls of which had fallen in and filled it up: over the middle of this large chamber, above all the fallen débris, lay this ring; conclusively showing that the town was ruined and the walls overthrown into shapeless heaps, within a generation after the close of Ramessu's reign. When we look to the foreign character of the inhabitants, and then see that the evidence of the cartouches discovered dates the fall of the town to about the beginning of the reign of Merenptah, the cause of this ruin is at once manifest in history. In his fifth year Merenptah led his great campaign against the Lebu, the Libyans or Riff people, who headed the alliance of foreigners which had gradually eaten their way into Egypt from the West, during the closing years of Ramessu II. Merenptah records in his triumphal inscription that the foreigners - the Tursha among them - "stand and remain in Egypt days and months, seated in the country. They reach the mountains of the land of Ut (i.e., just south of the Fayum), ravaging the circuit of Taahu." Their slaughter, however, was complete and the spoil vast, when Merenptah drove them out of Egypt ; and "the whole land shouted to heaven, the villages and homes were delighted at the prodigies which had happened." This expulsion precisely accords with the statistical result of the chronology of this foreign settlement, as fixed by its remains.

From the time of Merenptah this site has stood desolate, and no man has dwelt there. But somewhere in the cultivated land a town existed in the Ptolemaic times ; and the inhabitants were buried in this same region, though at a little distance from the old town and the old cemetery.

66. Leaving the historical outline we will now turn to the details of the objects. The town differs wholly from that of Kahun ; without regular order, casually built amongst and over the ruins of the temple, it shows none of the precision of the architect's style, in which the earlier dwellings of the XIIth dynasty arose. No granaries are found, no coloured dados, no stairs leading to the roofs. Of furniture there is none ; neither chairs nor boxes remain, and only a sort of fire-box or stove of very rude pottery has survived.

The pottery is of the quality and style so familiar to any one who has wandered over the great area of the town of Khuenaten, at Tel el Amarna. All the characteristic features of that series, which is certainly of the end of the XVIIIth dynasty exclusively, are found here at Gurob. The same blue paint and chocolate lines (XXI, 41, 42, 43, 46) the same smooth polished, drab-white surfaces (42-44), the same very flat, conical base to the jars, produced by the palm of the hand while the pot is upside down on the wheel (XX, 32; XXI, 42, 43, 56); the same thick, very hard, light paste, with spiral lines inside dragged out in the turning on the wheel when closing in the base of the jar; the same long jars (33, 56), which also lasted to the time of Ramessu II as No. 32, with its inscription is identical with the inscribed pieces of jars, so common at the Ramesseum barracks; all these very characteristic tokens, which are never found in the pottery of the XIIth, or the later ware of the XXIst and onwards, are found at Gurob in common with Tel el Amarna.

 


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