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of solid mud steps. The corn was ground and the bread baked in the courtyard, where also were kept the large porous earthenware jars, like the modern zîr, containing the supply of water which was brought to the house from the Nile each morning and evening. The house and yard were enclosed by a strong mud wall, with one door in it; in times of danger the cattle of the farm were driven from the fields into the yard. A good model of this kind of house is exhibited in Standardcase C, in the Fourth Egyptian Roon. Here are seen the master sitting in the chamber on the wall, or roof, with a plate of food before him, and the wife rolling the dough for the bread-cakes of the evening meal. The house of the peasant labourer was a mere hut made of mud, the roof of which was
formed of layers of palm branches or straw. Small huts were made of reeds or palm trees bound together with twigs, and perhaps daubed with mud in the cold weather, and in the northern districts of mud; in the summer a shelter of reed mats probably sufficed.
Furniture.— The Egyptians did not fill their houses with furniture like Western Nations. Their bedsteads were made of wood, which usually came from the Sûdân, and consisted of a strong rectangular framework, about 15 or 20 inches high, across which was stretched plaited palm fibre, or rope ; the ankarîb of the Sûdân is the modern equivalent. The covering of such beds was formed of thick padded linen sheets, and the pillow was a support made of wood, or ivory, more or less ornamented, with a curved top for the neck to fit into. (See Wall-cases Nos. 97,98, in the Third Egyptian Room.) Carpets were unknown, but plaited palm leaf or straw mats took their place. Chairs (see Standard-case H in the Fourth Egyptian Room) and tables were found in the houses of the wealthy, but only low stools were known in poor abodes. (For examples of a painted table, chairs inlaid with ivory and ebony, a couch-frame, stools, inlaid box, etc., see Standardcase L in the Fourth Egyptian Room.) Men, women, and children squatted or sat on the floor, or reclined upon mats, and in later days upon cushions made of padded linen. In houses of moderate size there was probably a raised mud bench, covered with mats in the receiving or eating room, for the use of the male members of the house, or their guests. There was also, probably, a raised mud bench built against the outside of one of the walls of the house for the use of friends who sat there in the cool of the evening and for the Ivory head-rest, or pillow, of ķua-tep. men of the house to [No. 69, Wall-case 98, Third Egyptian Room.]
XI)th dynasty. sleep on during hot nights. Niches, or square cavities cut in the walls, served as cupboards, and in one of these the lamp (see Wall-case No. 176 in the Fourth Egyptian Room), usually made of earthenware, stood.
The stores of clothing, etc., were kept in a very small room provided with a stout wooden door with a bolt-lock and key of simple pattern. (For examples of bolts and keys, see Wall-cases Nos. 180, 181, in the Fourth Egyptian Room. The mistress of the house usually possessed a small strong box in which she kept jewellery, ornaments, and amulets, and perhaps also her toilet requisites; in some cases the latter were kept in a special toilet box, which held eyepaint (stibium, or antimony, kohl), comb, hair-tweezers, pumice-stone, unguents and pomades, both scented and plain. (See Standard-case L in the Fourth Egyptian Room.) Kitchen utensils were comparatively few in number. Fresh and sour milk (or curds), soft cheese, sheep-fat, etc., were kept in earthenware pots, some of which were undoubtedly glazed ; bowls made of earthenware or gourds were common, as were large open saucers. The cooking pots were usually of earthenware, or, among well-to-do people, of metal. Knives made of flint, stone, or metal, were common, and rough flesh forks; in the later period spoons were used. Plates, in the modern sense of the word, were unknown; the thick breadcake served as a plate for those who squatted round the bowl of cooked vegetables with pieces of meat on the top, and the thin flat cake was frequently used as a napkin. A stone corn-grinder and a kneading-stone were found in every house. The stock of grain for the family was kept in large earthenware jars, or in a kind of bin made of mud. Every house contained a figure of the god under whose protection the family lived, and to this adoration was offered at regular intervals; it took part in the family councils, its lot was bound up with that of the family, and it prevented wandering spirits of evil disposition from entering the house. There being no chimney to the house, the fire was lit wherever it was most convenient, and the smoke went out through the roof and the aperture in the wall which served as a window. The fuel was animal dung, and such refuse from the straw as could not be eaten by the cow or goat of the house, and, occasionally, pieces of wood. As matches were unknown, care was taken to keep a small amount of fuel smouldering under the ashes, so that whenever it was necessary to boil lentils, etc., the fire could be revived ; if the fire was out, recourse was had to the striking of Aints, or to some neighbour, or to the temple fire. In primitive times the Egyptians seem to have used a fire-stick, like some of the tribes of Central Africa.
Agriculture and Cattle-breeding.-By far the larger part of the population of Egypt and the Egyptian Sûdân has been for many thousands of years past connected with the cultivation of the soil and the rearing of cattle, and on the success of the farmer and the cattle-breeder the prosperity of the whole country has always depended. In remote ages, before the estuary of the Nile was filled up by the mud which came down in flood-time from the mountains of Ethiopia and Nubia, and while still the sea flowed up the Nile as far as Esna, the primitive Egyptians were shepherds and herdsmen. The great cattle-breeding district was situated in the neighbourhood of the country now called Dâr Fûr, or the “ Home of the Fûrs," and even to the present day the exportation of the beautiful cattle of the district forms a very important item of Sûdân trade. The natives who lived by breeding cattle were called by the Egyptians “ Menti,” i.e., “cattle-men," and their modern descendants are called “Bakkârah,” which also ineans “cattlemen.” In all times they have been a wild and lawless folk,
The bull Hāp (Apis), with the triangular blaze on his
forehead, and the scarabs, etc., on his bach. [Table-case H, Tbird Egyptian Room.]
ferocious, blood-thirsty, and cruel. The early cattle-men worshipped the bull, and this animal played a prominent part in later Egyptian mythology. Several kinds of bulls were worshipped in Egypt: Apis at Memphis, Mnevis at Heliopolis, and Bachis at Hermonthis, and one of the greatest of the titles of Osiris was " Bull of Amentet,” or “Bull of the Other World.” The cow also was worshipped under the name of Hathor, and a flint cow-head in the British Museum (Tablecase M in the Third Egyptian Room) proves that her cult dates from the latter part of the Neolithic Period. The paintings on the walls of early tombs show that several kinds of cattle were known to the Egyptians, and the inscriptions make it clear that the old feudal lords and gentry of Egypt devoted much attention to cattle-breeding, and that
The bull Mer-ur (Mnevis). [Table-case II, Third Egyptian Rooin.] they made a regular trade of it. (See the models of cows in the Wall-cases on the Landing of the North-West Staircase, No. 140, and the wall painting in Standard-case I in the Third Egyptian Room.) Oxen and cows were fattened like the smaller animals and geese, and, before they were turned out for the season into the deserts to browse upon the growth which followed the rains, they were branded, or marked in some way with their owner's name,