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represented hunting or fishing, taking part in pleasure excursions by water, and listening to music played before him accompanied by the dancing of women ; he is also represented as overseer of a number of building operations in which many workmen are employed. It is tolerably certain that these scenes are not fictitious, and that they were painted while the person who hoped to occupy the tomb was still alive, and could direct the labours of the artist. The prayer that the deceased might enter his tomb after a
Winnowing Wheat. From a Vth dynasty Tomb at Şaşkârah.
Netting Wild Fowl. From a Vth dynasty Tomb at Sakkarah.
long and prosperous life has a significance which it could not possess if the tomb were made after his death. The sepulchral scenes refer to the passage of the mummy in a boat to Amenta. The scenes relating to sepulchral gifts
Endowment of tombs.
represent the deceased, having colossal proportions compared with the other figures, sitting or standing with a round table before him, upon which fruits, flowers, vegetables, ducks, haunches of beef, etc., etc., are placed. These offerings are sometimes carried in before the deceased on the head or hands of servants and others, who often lead beasts appointed for slaughter; they were brought into the tomb in an appointed order, and an endowment to ensure their presentation in the tomb on the specified festivals and seasons was specially provided. The scenes in the tombs which represent agricultural labours, the making of wine, etc., etc., all have reference to the bringing of funereal gifts; and it seems that certain estates
nut ent pa t'etta,
1 “estates of the house of everlasting” (i.e., the tomb), were set apart to supply palm branches, fruit, etc., for the table of the dead. The act of bringing these gifts to the tomb at the appointed seasons was probably connected with some religious ceremony, which seems to have consisted in pouring out libations and offering incense, bandages, etc., by the joy cher heb or priest. The Egyptian called the tomb Ta pa t'etta, “ the everlasting house." and he believed that the ka ” or “genius” of the deceased resided there as long as the mummy of his perishable body, cha, was there. The ka might go in and out of the tomb, and refresh itself with meat and drink, but it never failed to go back to the mummy with the name of which it seems to have been closely connected;' the ba or soul, and the
chu or intelligence did not live in the tomb.
THE PYRAMIDS. The royal tombs of the early dynasties were built in the form of pyramids, and they are, to all intents and purposes, merely mașțabas, the greater parts of which are above
1 Herz und Leib vereint bilden das L oder die Persönlichkeit des Menschen, das dem Individuum eigenthümliche Wesen, die ihn von andern unterscheidet und mit seinem Namen in engster Verbindung steht. Brugsch, Die Aegyptologie,
ground; they consist of the chamber in which funereal gifts were offered, the passage and the sarcophagus chamber. The Pyramids
are tombs. actual pyramid contained the passage and the sarcophagus chamber, but although the chamber, sometimes called temple or chapel, in which funereal gifts were offered, was a building separate from the pyramid, it nevertheless formed an integral part of the pyramid plan. On the western bank of the Nile, from Abu Roash on the north to Médûm on the south, is a slightly elevated tract of land, about twenty-five miles long, on the edge of the Libyan desert, on which stand the I
The Great Pyramid and the three Small Pyramids.
pyramids of Abu Roâsh, Gîzch, Zâwyet el-Aryân, Abuşir, Şakkârah, and Dahshûr. Other places in Egypt where pyramids are found are El-lahûn in the Fayyûm, and Kullah near Esneh. The pyramids built by the Ethiopians at Meroë and Gebel Barkal are of a very late date (B.C. 600-100) and are mere copies, in respect of form only, of the pyramids in Egypt. There is no evidence whatever to show that they were built for purposes of astronomical observations, and the theory that the Great Pyramid was built to serve as a standard of measurement is ingenious but worthless. The significant fact, so ably pointed out by Mariette, that pyramids are only found in cemeteries, is an answer to all such theories. Tomb-pyramids were built by kings and others until the XIIth dynasty. The ancient writers who have described and treated of the pyramids are given by Pliny (Nat. Hist., xxxvi. 12, 17). If we may believe some of the writers on them during the Middle Ages, their outsides must have been covered with inscriptions; these were probably of a religious nature. In modern times they have been examined by Shaw (1721), Pococke (1743), Niebuhr (1761), Davison (1763), Bruce (1768), Denon and Jumard (1799), Hamilton (1801), Caviglia (1817), Belzoni (1817), Wilkinson (1831), Howard Vyse and Perring (1837–38), Lepsius (1842–45), and Petrie (1881).
It appears that before the actual building of a pyramid was begun, a suitable rocky site was chosen and cleared, a mass of rock if possible being left in the middle of the area to form the core of the building. The chambers and galleries leading to them were next planned and excavated. Around the core a truncated pyramid building was made, the angles of which were filled up with blocks of stone. Layer after layer of stone was then built round the work, which grew larger and larger until it was finished. Dr. Lepsius thought that when a king ascended the throne, he built for himself a small but complete tomb-pyramid, and that a fresh coating of stone was built round it every
The build. ing of a pyramid.
1“...... their surfaces exhibit all kinds of inscriptions written in the characters of ancient nations which no longer exist. No one knows what this writing is or what it signifies.” Mas'ûdi (ed. Barbier de Meynard), t. ii. p. 404.