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silver, vases, and plates of pottery, offerings of birds and of beef, and four canopic jars with lids made in the likeness of human heads. Two or three scarabs are known with the name and titles of Nub-hetep-takrudit.
These XIIth dynasty princesses, buried in so regal a state, had passed their lives also under conditions of luxury and splendour, a fleeting glimpse of which is given in a contemporary record regarding the building of one of the royal palaces. This was described as a gold-adorned edifice, in which the shining blue ceilings were of lapislazuli, and the doors were of copper. It is perhaps to the same royal families that two or three other princesses belong, who are known to us at present only by name.
ANKET-NEFERT-UBEN, and NUB-EM-ANT, were two royal heiresses, each having the title, “The Hereditary Chieftainess." Both princesses are known from scarabs which are engraved with their names and titles.
PTAH-NEFERU. This princess is connected with the greatest king of the dynasty, Amenemhat III. She has been called by one authority, “ The Favourite Consort of the King " ; and by others is said to have been his daughter. Whatever relationship existed between them, it is certain that she was buried by his side, in the great pyramid of Hawara in the Fayûm Oasis. The pyramid was opened by Petrie, and found to be one of the most singular constructions in Egypt. The explorer describes it as entered from the south side, and says he “ descended a “ long staircase which ended in a dumb chamber. The “roof of this, if slid aside, showed another passage filled “ with blocks; this was a mere blind to direct attention “ from the real passage which stood ostentatiously open.
1 NEWBERRY, Scarabs, pl. xii, 26; xliv, 13.
5 P.'s H.E., vol. I, 195. • P.'s H.E., vol. I, 185-6.
“ A plunderer had, however, fruitlessly mined his way " through all these blocks. On going down the real
passage, another dumb chamber was reached; another "sliding trap-door was passed; another passage led to a " third chamber, a third trap-door was passed ; and now a
passage led along, past one side of the real sepulchre; “and to amuse explorers, two false wells open in the
passage floor, and the wrong side of the passage is filled “ with masonry blocks, fitted in. Yet by some means the
plunderer found a cross trench in the passage floor which “ led to the chamber. Here another device was met. The “ chamber had no door, but was entered solely by one of “ the immense roof blocks, weighing forty-five tons, being “ left raised, and afterwards dropped into place on closing “ the pyramid."
Such was the complicated arrangement by which Amenemhat sought to secure to himself and his princess a safe resting place for ever. But the winding passages which led nowhere; the dumb chambers with nothing in them; the false doors; the ponderous stone traps, sliding roofs, pitfalls and snares, were all of no avail ; for ancient plunderers had torn the secret out of the heart of the pyramid, and the modern explorer found only charred bits of diorite and lapis-lazuli, to testify to the original magnificence of the tomb furnishing
The pyramid is not more remarkable than the sepulchral chamber in its midst. This is hewn out of a single block of yellow quartzite, beautifully cut and polished. Within it is the stone sarcophagus of the king, and by its side a second coffin made of blocks of stone built in between the wall and the sarcophagus. It must have been in this that the body of Ptah-neferu reposed. Remains of an alabaster altar, and of a dish in the form of a duck, were found in one of the passages ; they bore the name of Ptah-neferu, and formed part of the tomb | Cairo M., Room H, 197 ; PETRIE, Kahun, V.
furniture of this queen or princess. Other records of her exist in a magical wand,' and on a headless sphinx of black granite, both of which are inscribed with her name.
The burial chamber of the royal pair was found partly filled with water. This may have been due to natural infiltration, or was perhaps introduced by some hidden channel as an additional safeguard. Græco-Roman explorers frequently found water in the recesses of pyramids, and thought it had been brought in by artificial means.
Perhaps Ptah-neferu was the princess referred to in a tale of this time, repeated by Diodorus. In his mention of the famous Lake Moeris, said to have been one of the achievements of Amenemhat III., Diodorus says:
" The revenue arising from the fish taken in this lake he (the king) gave to his wife to buy her dresses, which "amounted to a talent of silver every day. For there were "in it two-and-twenty sorts of fish, and so vast a number
were taken that those who were employed continually to “salt them up (though they were multitudes of people) could hardly perform it."
The brilliant period known as the XIIth dynasty apparently ends with a queen's reign,
“The Horus beloved of Ra ; The Living
' Pub. by DARESSY, Textes et Dessins Magiques, 49.
? Mr. NEWBERRY saw this sphinx in the shop of a Luxor dealer, and published it in P.S.B.A., 1903. : DIODORUS SICULUS, i, 4.
This queen was the daughter of Amenemhat III., and the sister of Amenemhat IV. She is by some authorities said to have been also the wife of the latter, and after his death to have reigned alone for three years, ten months, and eighteen days. The records of her reign, although slight, associate Sebek-neferu-Ra with the great building enterprises of her father at Hawara, where many fragments bearing her name have been found.
As Royal Heiress, she had, perhaps, some share in the kingdom during Amenemhat's life, or possibly it was she alone who had the energy to carry on the Hawara buildings after his death. It is certain that no record remains connecting her brother Amenemhat IV. with the great reign of his father. On the contrary, the name of the princess, Sebek-neferu-Ra, is the only other one found in the temple ruins of Amenemhat III. She probably added to that temple which lies south of the pyramid, adjoining it. Petrie has found in the ruins of this site proof of the former existence of an immense building, 1,000 by 800 feet in extent, “an area great enough to contain all the temples “of Karnak and of Luxor."?
The remains indicate a great central passage with two crossways, from which numerous halls and courts opened. All of the stone which formed the huge structure has disappeared, and the site has been complicated by a village of brick houses built in Roman times, over the temple area. In these scattered and extensive ruins, we doubtless have the remains of the famous " Labyrinth," which so astonished the ancients as to be called by them one of the seven wonders of the world. Herodotus, in his description of it, says: “The Labyrinth surpasses even the "pyramids, for it has twelve courts enclosed with walls "with doors opposite each other
It contains two “kinds of rooms, some under ground and some above ground over them, to the number of three thousand, “ fifteen hundred of each. The rooms above ground I "myself went through, and saw and relate from personal "inspection. But the underground rooms I know only “from report, for the Egyptians who have charge of the "building would on no account show me them, saying that " these were the sepulchres of the kings who originally “ built this Labyrinth, and of the sacred crocodiles."?
1 LEPSIUS, Auswahl, pl. 5, col. 7, 1, 2; M.'s D.C., 527. 2 P.'s H.E., vol. I, 188.
Wonderful tales of the marvels of this place are related by other writers, who agree that the number of rooms, passages, and courts was so great, that once in them no stranger could find his way out of them without a guide.? There is nothing to show what part of the building was due to Sebek-neferu-Ra. Besides the frequent recurrences of her name in the Hawara ruins, it again appears on a fine cylinder-seal* of a light-green glaze, in which the characters are filled in with dark-green paste. This seal supplies all of the queen's titles as given above. A rock sphinx at Khataaneh may possibly be ascribed to her. Her name connects her with the god Sebek, who was the chief deity worshipped in the Fayûm. Some significance may exist in the similarity of the names Sebek-neferu-Ra and of the Sebek-hetep family of the next dynasty. The Queen, however, is nowhere mentioned as Royal Mother, and there is nothing to prove her possible connection with the succeeding age of Sebek-heteps.
1 HERODOTUS, ii, 148.
· STRABO, xvii, 37. * L., D., ii, 140. P., H., xxvii, 12 ; P., K., xi. • B.M., No. 16,581, pub. by Birch in 1872. PETRIE, 1895.