Page images
PDF
EPUB

Papyrus. On her head she wears the head-dress of Hathor, i.e., the lunar disk and two feathers. No cow of such beautiful workmanship and such size has hitherto been discovered, and it is probably the first time that a goddess has been found undisturbed in her sanctuary. Beneath her is a figure of the king as a boy, whom she is suckling, and under her head we see the king as a grown-up man. Behind the head of the cow is the cartouche of Amenhetep II, the son of Thothmes III, whose sculptures cover the walls. The authorities in Cairo were at once informed of this important discovery, and soldiers arrived the same night to guard the “find.” As soon as possible both the cow, symbol of Hathor, and her shrine were removed to Cairo, and the monument has been established in a suitable place in the Museum. The excavations mentioned above prove that the site which Prof. Naville has been clearing at Dêr al-Baharî is a most important one, and it is much to be hoped that the Egypt Exploration Fund will receive a sufficient number of subscriptions to make the complete examination of the temple of Neb-ḥap-Rā possible. This Fund has continued and completed Mariette's work on the temple at Dêr al-Baħarî, and it has laid bare the oldest temple at Thebes, namely that of Neb-hap-Rā, and it would be a sad pity if the remainder of the work on this ancient site had, for want of funds, to be left undone.

VIII. Dér al-Madinat. The temple built in this place owes its name to the Coptic Dêr, or Monastery, which stood near here when Thebes was the home of a flourishing Coptic community, and was dedicated to Saint Paul of Pikolol, of whom, however, nothing is known. The monastery must have contained a society of considerable size, for it is said to have possessed two stewards. The small Egyptian temple, which stands between the Colossi and Madînat Habû, was begun by Ptolemy IV., Philopator, and continued by Ptolemy VII., Philometor, and finished by

Ptolemy IX., Euergetes II. It is built of the ordinary sandstone of the district, and though in many respects it resembles most of the funeral temples built by the Ptolemies, it is a beautiful little example of its class, It appears to have been dedicated to more than one of the goddesses of the underworld, but Hathor was regarded as its tutelary deity. The capitals of some of the columns are Hathorheaded, and over the doorway of the large chamber are the heads of the Seven Hathors, who, in their forms of cows, supplied the deceased with food in the underworld. In one of the chambers is a relief representing the Judgment Scene, which forms the Vignette of the CXXVth Chapter of the Book of the Dead, and has been described above. (See pp. 269–276.) The chief interest of the scene here is that it proclaims the nature of the building, and proves how anxious the Ptolemies were officially to adopt and to maintain the principal religious views of the Egyptians.

The temple was much visited by travellers in ancient times, as the number of names written on the walls testifies, and by both Greeks and Copts it was regarded as very holy.

IX. The principal cemeteries at Thebes are :-(1) Drah Abu'l-Nekka, which lies between the Temple of Seti I. and the Temple of Dêr al-Baħarî ; graves were made here at the time when the princes of Thebes began to acquire power, i.e., so far back as the XIth dynasty, and many officials under the XVIIIth dynasty were buried here. The coffins of the Åntef kings (XIth dynasty), now in the Louvre and British Museum, were discovered here, and here was made the marvellous “find” of the jewellery of Åāhuḥetep, wife of Kames, a king of the XVIIth dynasty, about B.C. 1750.

A little more to the south is the necropolis of Asasîf, where during the XIXth, XXIInd, and XXVIth dynasties many beautiful tombs were constructed. Most of the tombs are in a ruined state, and do not repay a visit. (2) Shekh 'Abd al-Kârna, which contains a

large number of important tombs, chiefly of the XVIIIth dynasty. (3) Ķurnet Murrai, which contains the Tombs of the Queens, and the tombs of many of the officials of the XIXth and XXth dynasties.

The tombs of Shekh 'Abd al-Kûrna are extremely interesting, for in many of them are depicted events which took place under the rule of the greatest of the kings of the XVIIIth dynasty, and they illustrate scenes in the public and private life of some of the officials who played a prominent part in the development of Theban conquest and civilization. The tombs in their leading features resemble each other, and there is at times a sameness in the subjects represented, and even in the treatment of them. The scenes depicted comprise representations of agricultural operations, of the amusements of the deceased, of festivals and banquets, of official functions in which the deceased played a prominent part-e.g., in the receipt of tribute from vassal nations, and of funeral rites and ceremonies. The scenes are usually painted in tempera upon a thin layer of white plaster laid upon the bedding of mud, or perhaps very poor dark-coloured mortar, with which the limestone slabs that formed the walls were covered. Among such tombs may be specially mentioned :

1. The Tomb* of Rekhmårā, which is situated in the hill behind the Ramesseum called Shêkh 'Abd al-Ķūrna ; it is one of the most interesting of all the private tombs found at Thebes. The scenes on the walls represent a procession of tribute bearers from Punt carrying apes, ivory, etc., and of people from parts of Syria and the shores of the Mediterranean bringing to him gifts consisting of the choicest products of their lands, which Rekh-márā receives for Thothmes III. The countries can in many cases be

* No. 35, according to Wilkinson, and No. 15, according to Champollion.

identified by means of the article depicted. The scenes in the inner chamber represent brickmaking, ropemaking, smiths' and masons' work, etc., etc., superintended by Rekhmårā, prefect of Thebes; elsewhere are domestic scenes and a representation of Rekhmårā sailing in a boat, lists of offerings, etc.

2. Tomb of Nekht at Shekh 'Abd alKûrna This beautiful little tomb was opened out in the year 1889, but there is little doubt that it was known to the inhabitants of Ķûrna some time before. Though small, it is of considerable interest, and the freshness of the colours in the scenes is unusual; it is, more over, a fine example of the tomb

Theban View in the tomb of Nekht. (From a photograph by A. Beato of Luxor.) gentleman of the

Middle Empire. As the paintings and inscriptions are typical of their class, they are here described at some length. The tomb of Nekht consists of two chambers, but the larger one only is ornamented; the ceiling is painted with a wave pattern, and the cornice is formed of the khakeru pattern

[graphic]

of

a

9898. On the left end wall a granite stele is painted, RRRRR and upon it are the following inscriptions :A 1 IM A 7 suten hetep Åsår

Un-neferu, neter aa neb Grant royal oblation Osiris Unnefer, god great, lord

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ļā

Åbtu

f
āg

it of Abydos, may he grant a coming in (and) a going out

[ocr errors]

em

emi

Neter-khert an khesef

ba from the underworld, not being repulsed the soul

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

suten hetep (Heru-khuti] -f Grant royal oblation [Harmachis), may he grant a view

[ocr errors][merged small]

号。

neferu - f hru neb

pert of his splendours every day, and a coming forth yn eart

« PreviousContinue »