« PreviousContinue »
XXXIII Cippus of Horus. Ptolemaïc Period
XXXIV Wooden sepulchral stele, with a figure of the soul
XXXV 1. Sepulchral stele of Plêïnôs, a "Coptic reader."
2. Green stone statue of an official wearing a gold
XXXVII The Kher-heb performing the ceremony of "Open-
XXXVIII 1. Model of a boat with sail hoisted. XIth or
2. Model of a funerary boat with mummy lying on
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE TEXT
Green stone object of Nārmer
Wooden tablet. Semti dancing before his god
The Funeral Procession, from the Papyrus of Ani.
Amen-Ra, king of the gods
The Apis Bull (Ḥāpi)
The Mnevis Bull.
The upper chamber, the pit and the sarcophagus chamber of a
Maṣṭabah at Gîzah with double pit
Section of the Tomb of Seti I in the Bibân al-Mulûk
god through the Other World
Rectangular libation vessel.
Stone tablet for offerings
False door of Uashka.
Plan of the tomb of Seti II in the Bibân al-Mulûk
Vignettes and texts illustrating and describing the journey of the Sun
Sepulchral stele of Teḥuti
Sepulchral stele of Nekht-Ảnḥer .
Painted limestone stele of Sebek-hetep
Sepulchral stele of Tațaȧ.
Sepulchral stele of Th-Imḥetep
Statue of Ti
Statue of Ra-Nefer
THE LAND OF EGYPT
EGYPT lies in the north-east corner of the continent of Africa, and is joined to Asia by the Isthmus of Suez. It is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea, on the east by a barren desert and the Red Sea, on the south by the Sûdân, and on the west by the Libyan Desert. The Peninsula of Sinai and the Oases1 were not parts of Egypt proper, and were only acquired by conquest. Egypt, in fact, consists of nothing but the Nile and the lands that are watered by its main stream and branches. The soil of Egypt is a thick layer of sedimentary deposits which have been laid down upon the surface of a great mass of crystalline rocks. In the deepest part of it this layer has a depth of 110 feet, and authorities on Nile irrigation think that it has been deposited at the rate of 4 inches in a century.2 Attempts have been made to date objects by the depths at which they have been found in it, but all such calculations are useless, because stone and metal objects work their way through the mud more easily than those made of pottery and lighter materials. Some bronze figures in the British Museum, which when dredged up were assigned to a period several thousand years B.C., are now known to belong to the Saïte or Ptolemaic Period. In early dynastic times Egypt was that portion of the Nile Valley that lay between the Mediterranean Sea and Sun-t (Syene) and Abu, the Elephant Island; to-day the northern boundary of Egypt is the Island of Faras, a few miles to the north of Wâdî Halfah. The Egyptians gave many names to their land, but the commonest was Kam-t,
i.e., the "Black," because of the dark colour
1 The Principal Oases were Sîwah (Jupiter Ammon), Al-Khârgah (Great Oasis), Dâkhlah (Little Oasis), Farâfrah, Bahariyah, Uah-t, Sekhet-hemam. 2 I.e., the layer has taken 33,000 years to make.
of the soil; the deserts on each side of the Nile were spoken of as
i.e., the “
i.e., the "Red," because of the lighter colour
of the sand and stones. Another old name for Egypt was Ta-merà,
the country between Syene and Memphis was called "Land of the South," , i.e., Upper Egypt, and that between Memphis and the Mediterranean Sea was called "Land of the
North," † ✪, i.e., Lower Egypt. The Delta is, strictly
speaking, the triangular island enclosed by the Rosetta and Damietta arms of the Nile and the Mediterranean Sea. These two Egypts are referred to frequently in the inscriptions as Taui,
Two Lands. The Hebrews called the whole country Mizraim (Gen. x, 6), and many think that this dual form refers to the Two Lands, i.e., the South and the North. The Greek name ALYUTTOS is probably derived from an ancient native name of
in Coptic eken†å. From
this Greek form came the Latin Aegyptus, and later our Egypt. Naville suggests that the name Egypt is derived from Ageb,
and that the country was the "land of the flood," i.e., the Inundation, which was poured out over the whole land by the Flood-god Ageb,
Masr, the Arab name for
Cairo, means to many Muslims all Egypt, and it is probable that Ḥekaptaḥ did the same to the old inhabitants of the country.
From the earliest times Egypt was divided into a series of districts, which the Egyptians called hesp & and the Greeks
vóμos, ro Nome. Each nome had its own god, or totem, its chief νόμος, city, its chief temple, and its own worship and feasts and sacred objects, animate and inanimate; and the portions of it that were cultivated regularly, or at intervals, and the canals, were all carefully watched over by the central administration in the capital of the nome. The boundaries of these nomes remained practically unchanged for thousands of years. The number of the nomes given in Egyptian lists is forty-two, like that of the Assessors in the Judgment Hall of Osiris-twenty-two in Upper and twenty in Lower Egypt. Classical writers give varying numbers. Diodorus,