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3 1162 04538887 4 



The Third 
Egyptian Dynast) 




1 'ormerly Scholar of Jo, i, Oxford; Reader in Egyptiau Archaeology at the University 0/ Li. :rpoot 






Stephen Chan 



Fine Arts 


A privMe university in the public service 


n/^r\I^H>-(<-. ouMTi^b.cxv V' 


AT REQAQNAH 190 1-2 


The Third 
Egyptian Dynasty 





Formerly Scholar of Jesus College, Oxford; Reader in EgypUan Archaeology at the Universily of Liver/'ool 
Author of *^ Ei Artil'ah" ^^ Mahasna and Bet Khallaf" *' Roman Ribchester" 






NEW yosK WiiiVERsinr 





Butler & Tanner, The Selwood Piii.ting Works, Frorae, and Luiidon. 





Title; Dedication; Contents; List hk Illustkations I-IO 

Chapter I. lNTRi)iJU(.'TnRv. With Plates I-III ll-lo 

Site of excavations, \<\k 11, 1'2. Nature nf results, p. i:-5. Relation to History, p. 14. Biblio- 
graplij' and list of references, p. T5. 

Chapter II. On the Continuity of Early History 10-20 

Place of the Third Dynasty in Ancient History, p. IG. Sequence of development, p. Ki. Two 
suggested breaks, p. Iti. Evidence aiiplicable to the problem, p. 17. Race of the Monarchy, p. 17. The 
question of writing, p. 18. The natural conclusion, p. lit. Growtli of the Pyramid Age, \<. VJ. Con- 
tinuity of Historj- natural to Egj'jit, p. 20. 

Chapter III. Construction of Stairway Tombs. With Plates IV, V, VI 21-23 

General description, p. 21. Superstructure, p. 21. Substructure, p. 21. Masonry and architec- 
ture, p. 22. 

Chapter IV. Ou.jects from the Stairway Tumbs. With Plates VII-XIII 24-27 

Nature of the objects, p. 24. Iniijoitance of stone and pottery forms, \i. 24. Materials employed, 
II. 25. Desci-iption of stone vases, p. 25. The type-series, p. 25. Description of pottery vessels, pji. 20,27. 

Chapter V. Special Features of Stairway Tombs. With Plates XIV, XV 28-30 

Arches : their construction ; evolution in Egypt, p. 28. Use in other countries : Chaldsea, Khors- 
abad, Persia, Tiryns, Judaea, Italy, p. 29. Other constructional details, p. 30. 

Chaptek VI. The Larhe Mastab.\s or Platform Tombs. With Plates XVI-XVIII .... 31-33 
Relation to stairway tombs, p. 31. Mastaba of Third Dynasty, p. 31. Mastaba of i^ourtli Dy- 
nasty, p. 32. Mastaba of Fifth Dynasty, pp. 32, 33. 

Chapter VII. The Evolution of Stairway Tombs. With Plates XIX, XX 34-37 

Relation between stairway tombs and mastabas, the evolution and .selection of illustrations, p. 34. 
Development in plan, p. 35. Development in section, p. 30. 

Chapter VIII. The Necropolis. With Plates XXI, XXII 38-44 

Position of the smaller tombs, p. 38. Growth of the Necroix)lis, p. 38. Details of architecture and 
orientation, p. 39. Construction of the smaller tombs, p. 39. Vaulted tombs, unencdosed, pp. 39-41. 
Plain rectangular tombs, p. 41. Enclosed tombs, p. 41. The panel-recess, p. 41. Classification of 
tombs : (a) Vaulted tombs, enclosed, p. 42 ; (b) Inverted pots, enclosed, p. 42 ; (c) Square shafts, solid 
superstructure, [i. 43 : (rf) Square shafts, merely enclcsed, p. 43. Other cases, summary and analysis, 

p. 44. 




Chapter IX. Burial Customs. With Plates XXII-XXV 45-50 

(a) ButiaJ types in general.- — -Classification : (i) Burials in quadrangular enclosures, p. 45 ; (ii) 
Burials under large pots, p. 46 ; (iii) Burial.s in vaulted tombs, p. 46 ; (iv and v) Burials in pit tombs, 
p]-). 47, 48 ; (vi) Exceptional cases, p. 48. Summary, p. 49. 

{n\ The Tomb of Shejises. — Description and details of burial, p. 4i). 

Chapter X. Burials under Pottery Vessels. With Plates XXVT, XXVII 51-57 

Continuity of the custom, p. 51. Description and characteristics, p. 51. Cases at Reqaqnah ; 
their position and relation, ]>. 52. Imitations of the custom, ]>. 53. Illustrations of the<-,ustom: at 
Kawamil, p. 53 ; at Ballas and EI Amrah, p. 54 ; at El Kab, p. 55. Summary and conclusion, p. 56. 

Chapter XL Objects from the Smaller Tombs. With Plates XXVIII-XXXII 58-GO 

(a) Inacrilied nhjeefs: (i) Stelae : (ii) Door frame or shrine, p. 58; (iii) Claj' balls, p. 5!l. 

(b) Smaller objicfs : (ivj Pottery and stone vases and their forms, p, 59; iv) Inventory of the 
tomb deposits, p. 60. 

Chapter XII. Archaeology of the Third Dynasty: A Sumniar}- iil-65 

Historical aspect ; Character; Metal and Stone, p. 61. Pottery; Inscriptions on wood and on stone; 
Miscellaneous, p. 02. Sealings ; Names of Divinities; Per.sonal names, p. 62. Names of Places and 
Vineyards; Titles, p. 63. Localities; Industries, p. 64. Architecture, p. 65. 

Appendlk a. Note on Some Objects of L-vier D.vtk. With Plate XXXIII 66 

Appendix B. Chaniometrical Analysis 67 

Index 69, 70 


Chapter I. Sites of Excavations : — 
I The great tomb of Neterkhet at Bet Khallaf 
II Third Dynasty sites at Mahasna and Bet Khallaf . 

III Views of sites excavated ........ 

Chai'ter II. On the Continuity of Early History : — 
Pre dynastic vase inscribed (.sketch) ..... 

Chapter III. Construction of Stairway Tombs : — 

IV Tombs R 1, R 40, plans and sections ..... 
V Stairway tomb R 1, architectural features .... 

VI Stairway tomb R 40, architectural features .... 

Chapter IV. Ob.jects from the Stair\vay Tombs : — 
VII Stairway tomb R 40, stone vases (photographs) 
VIII-XII Types of stone vases. Third Dynasty (diagrams) 

XIII Common pottery forms. Third Dynasty (diagrams) . 

Chapter V. Special Features of Stairway Tombs ; — 

XIV Arches of the Third Dynasty ....... 

Diagrams showing origins of simple arch and off-set arch 

XV Miscellaneous architectural tomb featiu-es. Third Dynasty 

Chapter VI. The large Mastabas or Platform Tombs 
XVI Mastaba tombs R 75, R 50 (photographic views) 
XVII Mastaba tomb R 70, external features ..... 
XVIII Mastaba tomb R 70, internal features ..... 

Chapter VII. Evolution of Stairway Tombs : — 
XIX Evolution of stairway tombs — in plan ..... 
XX Evolution of stairway tombs — in section .... 

Chapter VIII. The Necropolis :— 
XXI Necropolis of smaller tombs and mastabas, jilan (double) 
XXII Smaller tombs R 54 and R G8 (views) ..... 

Chapter IX. Burial Customs ; — 

XXIII Burial types, R 80, R 06, R 110 (photos) .... 

XXIV Burial types, R 88a, R 89 and R 03 (photos) .... 
XXV Tomb and burial of the royal scribe Shepses, R 04 

Chapter X. Burials under Pottery Vessels:^ 
XXVI Burials under pottery vessels, R 55, R 70a .... 
XXVII Burials under vessels and imitations, R 87, R 69, R 250, R 251 , 

Chapter XI. Objects from the smaller Tombs: — 
XXVIII Inscriptions; Stela R 88a, Shrine R 04, Slab R 70, 
XXIX Decayed wooden shrine of Shepses (diagram) 
XXX Inscribed clay balls from tomb, R 50 
XXXI Groups of pottery and stone vases . 
XXXII Diagrams of smaller objects .... 

Appendix A. Objects of Later Date :— 
XXXIII Stelae, D. 1, B. 103 : Pyramidion and obelisk, B. 101 

To face p. 




To face 



















To face 







































Prehistoric Period, remote, suggested ouly bj- rough stone implements.' 

Archaic Period: — 

(fli Pre-dynastic (sometimes called prehistoric). 
.„ , I B.C. 3(Xrj 
[Betoiej^ to 2500] (h) Protn-dynastic (First, Second and Third Dynasties). 

Old Kingdom : — 

I B.C. 2500 Tlie Early Pyramid Age (Fourth to Sixth Dynasties). 
Before - to 

[ 2000 [Transition (Feudal) Period, so called Seventh to Teuth Dynasties.] 

Middle Kingdom :— 

I B.C. 2(XkJ The First Theban Period (Eleventh and Twelfth DynastiesX 

Before - to 

lOOi) [The Hyksos Period ; so called Thirteenth to Seventeenth Dynasties 

New Kingdom or New Empire : — 

Beo-ins : B.C. 1(300 The great Theban Period (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynastiei?). 


•"■•*M»,^ .vv'i^V) 'i,';'.„ ■^-'■'■,•1 \.-. ^>^W'' 


Uk\ii. \Vm. MAuGiiKdOR, of Taniwoilli. 

RaIJ'II lilJnOKLKDANK, Ks(\., of 1 vi VC'VpOol. 

H. Mautyn Kenxakh, Esq., of London, S.W. 
F. Hilton Price, Esq., Dii-. S.A. (Hon. Treas. 

Di;. Artiiiu; J. P^vans, F.R.S. (the Aslimolean Museum). 


With Plates I, II, III. 

EXCAVATIONS made during the previous 
season, for the Egyptian Research Ac- 
count, had resulted in the discovery of the first 
identified monument of the Third Egyptian 
Dynasty, the great toml) of King Neterkhet at 
Bet Khallaf : this called attention to the desira- 
bility of continuing the exploration of that 
region, and so led directly to the formation 
of this expedition, the fruits of which are 
described in the following pages. But the 
description of new observations is not alone the 
object of the present volume. The earlier ex- 
cavations ' had already led to the identification 
of certain objects of art, forms, and customs, as 
characteristic of the period ; to the determina- 
tion, that is to say, of a series of arclutological 
types, recognizable when or wherever they 
shoiild be found, ready at once to serve as a 
basis upon which to build with this newer 
material. So much, too, has been done of 
recent years to illuminate the prehistoric ages 
and the first two dynasties, that these new 
results fall naturally into place as a link with 
the comparative light of the Fourth Dynasty 
and the Pyramid Age which followed. It is, 

' " Maliasna and Bet Khallaf": Scrcnth Memoir (if the 
Egyptian Research Account. 

indeed, now possible to trace, imperfectly 
maybe, but with some certainty, the story of 
this remarkable civiHzation, to follow to some 
extent its development, and to illustrate, how- 
ever incompletely, its cnstoms, from its remote 
origins in the fifth and fourth millenniums B.C. 
through all its earliest stages, till it stands 
more clearly revealed by the monuments 
and literature of the Ancient Empire. It 
is with this story, so far as it is illustrated 
by these researches, that the following pages 
ai'e concerned. 

The chief scene of excavations lay 
near to Reqaqnah," an unimportant 
semi-Coptic village situated at the edge of the 
desert about two English miles northwards 
from Bet Khallaf. It was thus some ten miles 
from Girga, the seat of the magistrate, filled 
at that time by Abdullah Bey, to whose good 
government and unfailing courtesy this ex- 
pedition and others are indebted. But the 
place that ultimately absorbed most attention 
was only come upon in pursuance of a definite 
purpose, the exploration of the whole region 

- Pronounced Re£frt(/ueh (Ai-abicj: ^^Jj'^^').• the Q re- 
presenting the letter Qaf, a guttural e/ or /,-. 

Site of Ex- 



northwards frmn tlio point where the Egyp- 
tian Research Account had left it in the pi'e- 
ceding winter. In that year an examination 
had been made of the district lying northward 
of El Arabah (Abydos) as far as Bet Kliallaf ;' 
but attention had centred chiefly on the village 
of Mahasna and the necropolis to its south, and 
on tlie excavation of the royal and semi-royal 
tombs found isolated in the desert above Bet 
Khallaf. It therefore seemed desirable in the 
search for a general necropolis of the Third 
Dynasty, suggested l)y these larger monuments, 
to return to Mahasna and re-examine the whole 
tract from that point northward beyond Bet 
Khallaf so far as the limited season would 
allow. Camp was thus fixed at the outset 
more centrally near to Sararwah, a small 
village attached for administrative purposes 
to Bet Khallaf, where the good influences and 
hospitality of the head man or Omda, Mahmoud 
Effendi, produced a friendly attitude on the 
part of the inhabitants which was pleasant to 
recognize. It was thus found expedient not 
to move camp from this spot even when work 
had passed considerably to the north. 

The region traversed in this exploration in- 
cludes some of the best examples of the Egyptian 
desert. Wide as it is at Bet Khallaf, yet more 
northwards where the edge of the Libyan 
plateau, its natural boundary, falls westward, 
it stretches out vast and impressive, in its 
upper reaches broken by numerous sand-dunes 
and undulations, which lower down give way 
to a seemingly unending waste of sands. 
Though much of the higher tract was scoured 
in following up the village tales, without fruit, 
the lower plain fringing the cultivated land 
was naturally the ground in which most work 
was done. The map on Plate II shows the 
disposition of the villages along its edge with 
the sites of excavation enclosed in a double 
line. Excavations of a sporadic character 
were made, however, further north, where the 
' See Map. G.M.K., PI. I. 

hills creep down on to the cultivation near 
Kawauiil, outside the limits of the map, and 
even beyond as far as Ari'iba(t)-abu-dahab, 
in the province of Sohag, which formed the 
limit in that direction of the exploration. It 
may be useful to summarize In-iefly the results 
of these two seasons' examination of this tract, 
from ArAba(t)-El-Madfuna (Abydos) on the 
south to El Araba(t)-Abu-Dahab in the north. 
These places themselves are separated by 60 
kilometres or 38 miles. In the following 
account the distances in kilometres will be 
given from Abydos. The reference to the 
year in which the e.xamination took place will 
be indication also of the memoir in which 
further accounts may be sought, for the season 
1899-1900 was confined to El Arabah (Abydos) 
exclusively, 1900-1 extended thi'ough Ma- 
hasna to Bet KhallAf, and 1901-2 resumed 
from Mahasna and extended to El Arabah in 
the province of Sohag. The map published 
in the report for " Mahasna and Bet Khallaf," 
1902, Plate I, will be found continuous with 
that which illustrates this exploration. 

0*^ El Arabaft i-El-Madfuna [Ab3-dos], ancient bmying 
places frequeutlj' through 
5 El Kherbe to Alavvnah. 

7 El Alawniyeh, near, at 

8 Bet Allain [L, 1900-1] : (a) Predynastic cemetery 
early period ; (h) Roman tombs in upper desert. 

11 Maslahet [enclosed garden and houses]. To the 
north, site M, l'J0<J-01. i«) Pre-dj-nastic Settlement of 
date L above. (&) Necropolis of VI-XI Dynasties, &c. 

14.5. El Mahasna [N. 1900-01]. in) Few tombs of 
Old Empire. 

IG Bet, Bet Dawd. [D. 1901-2]. Remains of 
Roman houses. (From one of these the stela D. I.) 
Traces of Greco-Roman burying jilaces hidden by this 

20 Bet Khallaf [K 190(_MJ1). Royal Tombs of 
III Dynasty. 

21. Sararwah, to the N. (,B. 1901-2). (rt) Tombs of 
XIX Dynasty. [h) Necropolis probably VI-XI 

22. Sa 'Alkah [S. 190L-2]. Un instructive tombs, 
probably VI-XI Dynasties, between this and 

22. .o. Shawahin. Beyond this the same class of tombs 
was continuous. 

24. Reiiaqnah. To the N. [R. 1901-2] (a) Stairway 







Upper Egypt 

n Sites or excavations H 

Eng/ish Miles 

3 / 


Lower Desert 










Lower Desert 

ILG f\ 



EL-MA'HASNAH ^f^Y*^fJ-o, 



tombs of early III Dyuast\'. (h) Necropolis of III 
to IV Dynasties. 

28. From Hallah to (30i Awlad Salanuili. No visible 

m. El Arabat. To the N. [1901-2]. A pUmdered 
stairway tomb of II to III Dynasties. M. De Morgan 
tells of traces of pre-dynastic age. 

38. El Kawamil S. Sites explored by M. De Morgan, 
now completely overturned. 

41. El Kawamil N. To the N., 3 kilos, the cliffs 
come down to the cultivation. On the S. of this 
point are some cave-tombs, partly inhabiteil, of uncertain 
date. On the mound above, the signs of tombs and 
burials, possibly of Old Empire. 

45. Bej'ond this point is an extensive Roman village 
in ruins, with rock-out tombs in the cliffs above. 

46. Shekh Hamed [Naga Abu Hamed]. From here 
to the White Convent (41, Der El Abiad) and beyond to 
the Red Convent i53, Der El Ahmar) very extensive 
cemeteries of Roman and Coptic times, with some tombs 
of earlier date. 

[54. Idfa. Aphrnditojiolis, lying in the cultivation.] 
60. El Araba(t)-Abn-Dahab. On the S. non-e.xca- 
vated tombs of XIX Dynasty. To the N., signs which 
have been taken for a pre dynastic burying place. The 
graves may have been all plundered, but the appearance 
may be caused entirely by salt sifting. 

It was not until after a few months' work that 
the main quest was rewarded by the discovery 
that the site which M. de Morgan had recorded 
as totally ravaged by the country people was 
indeed that which was sought. It was difficult 
at first to realize that the numerous small 
tombs, furnished for the most part so poorly 
that the native people had declined to plunder 
them further, constituted in fact the necropolis 
which the expedition had come to seek and 
examine. But first the analog'ies of some larsre 
stairway-tombs with those of Bet Khallaf, and 
then the co-relations between these and the 
smaller tombs, at length gave the clues which 
led to the correct conclusion. 

The necropolis was found to begin about 
half-a-kilometre from Eeqaqnah, and to ex- 
tend northward about that distance. The 
space lying nearer the village was occupied 
chiefly with Coptic l)urials. The site was 
divided naturally Ijy an ancient watercourse, 
in which a scanty cultivation still persevered. 

Tlie southern portion was a faii'ly even tract, 
somewliat higher than its surroundings. In 
its south-east corner was a siiekh's tomb much 
revered by the women of the locality. There 
was little indication on the surface of the 
numerous tombs lying below — the existence of 
No. 40, for instance, was not betrayed or sug- 
gested in any way. The great majority of the 
toiu])s, more than thirty in number, were of a 
late and uninstructive character. 
Nature of There were found, however, three 
^""""- large stairway tombs, Nos. 1, 2, 40, 
of first importance, and fruitful in objects 
carved in stone; while some numlter of similar 
tombs of smaller size, and differing in details, 
supplied a special interest. To judge from the 
analogies they provided, these tombs seem to 
have been contemporary, or nearly so, with 
those of Bi't Khallaf, leading in type from the 
Second Dynasty into the Third, to which they 
chiefly belonged. The northern mound was 
found to cover a necropolis more systematically 
constructed. It liad sprung up in its earlier 
stages, during the Third and Fourth Dynasties, 
from a series of small tombs placed in definite 
relation to one another, or adjoining, with 
pathways lying between the rows in which 
they had been built, as the photograph of it 
in Plate HI, at the bottom, shows. Just 
later, but belonging to nearly the same epoch, 
two great mastaba tombs, with internal 
chapels and passages, and some elaboratiou of 
architecture, were constructed seemingly at 
its southern limit. A great mastaba enclosing 
a stairway-tomb had been already laid down 
among the first, and serves by its character as 
a useful and reliable link in form between the 
different types of the period. The extreme 
northern portion, slightly separated by a fall 
in the ground, was occupied by pit tombs en- 
closed with low walls, belonging apparently to 
the Fourth Dynasty. The mutual relations 
of these tombs and their disposition will 
be studied in connexion with Plate XXI, 



Chapter VIII. To the north, east, and south 
this mound was limited by steeply falling 
ground; to the west it lay open to the Desert, 
and seemed to be continuous with, and related 
to, a series oP tombs and burials of early 
character. These had been, most unfortunately, 
much disturbed, and the evidence they yielded 
was not satisfactory. In some of them were 
found fi'agments of pottery of the. kind 
familiar in the latest prehistoric period, and 
this fact tends to support the story of the 
villagers that the pieces of pre-dynastic pottery 
bought at Reqaqnah (figured on Plate XXXI) 
came from that vicinity. In other cases 
burials were found, in the same area, of a type 
analogous to those of the better preserved 
portion of the necropolis. These seemed to 
suggest a mutual relationship, about which, 
however, there was no real evidence ; but it 
seemed possible that the burials and the black- 
topped pots were related either by accident or 
by design. In the former case the beginnings 
of the site would be taken back a stage further 
than was otherwise suggested; in the latter 
case the burials were a little earlier in date, 
the pottery a little later, than might have 
been supposed, and the two would thus have 
been contemporary. In either case they pointed 
definitely to continuity in custom. But being 
as it were in a new field, dealing with a pre- 
viously unknown period, problems daily arose 
which at the time could not be solved. It was 
only possible to make a record of observations, 
in the hope that later a patient comparison 
of these with one another, and with the re- 
cords of others, might point to a conclusion. 
The next chapter will include a comparison 
and jjre-summary of the evidence thus ad- 
duced, while the details of the excavations 
from which they are derived, vfith occasional 
summaries, follow severally in the subsequent 

Relation to ^^^^ problem whieli they open up is 
History, ouc wliicli in the study of early 

Egyptian history is now of the first import- 
ance and supreme interest. It is concerned 
directly with the origin of the Egyptian 
people — not, indeed, with the ethnological 
question of their parent stock, for that is 
necessarily associated with the study of its 
early prehistoric period, but with a historical 
point not less important, as to the continuity 
or otherwise of the people, as revealed by the 
prehistoric culture, through and into the period 
when with the definite introduction of writing 
the historic age, known by the name of the 
First Dynasty, began. That there should be 
in either case some overlap in art and customs 
is not unnatural. But if no special innova- 
tions are to be seen, and if continuity of racial 
or essential characteristics can be traced beyond 
and living through the early historic times, and 
merging naturally with the gradual changes of 
a later period, then there is evidence of con- 
tinuity of race. And the measure of that con- 
tinuity will be determined by the proportion of 
those characteristics which survive to those 
which are discontinuous, and the extent to 
which those which are continuous prevail over 
or are predominated by any new ones which 
may appear at the suspected break. 

Naturally the difficulties and limitations 
to the problem are great, but the evidence 
scientifically collated of recent years by dif- 
ferent explorers is now sufficient to warrant 
an attempt to solve it. A list of references 
to the essential materials is appended to 
this chapter. Those sober records of exca- 
vations i-ecently published by the Egypt 
Exploration Fund form a necessary prelimi- 
nary, but the difficulty of tracing the series of 
early archaeological types through the pages of 
different volumes has led to the inclusion in 
this book, both in the plates and in occasional 
summaries in the text, of the evidence bearing 
upon the period of this excavation. 

As having a direct relation in time and 
in character willi tlio monuments of Reqaq- 





V IL;V rnOM N.E, 





nah, the careful records of excavations at El 
Kab made by Mr. Qiiibell, Iiisj)ector- General 
of the Service of Antiquities of Egypt, though 
done at a time when the comparative evidences 
were not accurately determined, yet viewed by 
the light of more recent discoveries becomes 
of great importance. The scholarly account, 
too, given by Mr. Randal 1-MacIver, of the ex- 
cavations whifli he and the late Mr. Anthony 
Wilkin made at El Amrali, resulting in the 
linking up, partially at least, of the later pre- 
historic with the early dynastic period, is a 
contribution to the subject not merely of direct 
application to the problem of this book, but 
also essential to all serious study of early 
Egyptian history. 



P.N. Petrie : Negdda ] Neydda and Ballas, Petrie 
Q.B. Quibell : Ballas j and Quibell, 189G. 


1896. De Morgan : 

1897. De Moman 


f(iri(/uc, (if. 

I'.D.P. I!K)1. Petrie and Mace : Diospnlis Parva. 


L'A;/c dr la Pierre ct les 
Efli iiO(/raj>h if Prefi is- 

It'fhifidii of Prf-Dynasfif fa I)i/riasfic. 

S.B.A. 1902. Sclulfer: £//( /Iniflisfiirli .Mtii;/i//,tis- 
flnr Annalcn. 

N.P.P. 1903. Naville: Pierre df Palcriuf. 

R.M.A. 1902. Randall-Maclver : El Amrali {El 
Aiiirali and Abydos, Randall-Maclver and Mace). 

P.A. 1902. Petrie: Ahydos I. 


M.T.R. 1897. De Morgan : Tumheau Royal de Neya- 
(lah, in M.E.P. 

A.F.A. 1898. Amelineaii : Fouilles d'Abydos. 

P.R.T. 19(X)-1. F&trie: Royal Tondis of First Dy- 
nasty, I, IT. 

Q.H. 1900-2. Q,mhe\\: Ilifrahwjiol is I, II. 

Q.K. 1893. Quibell: El Kab. 

G.M.K. 1902. Garstang: Bet Elialldf {Mahdsna 
and Bet Khalldf, Garstang and Sethel. 



THE Third Dynasty takes its place 
in Egyptian History at a date 

Place of the 
Third Dyn. 
in Ancient 

History, somewliere in the fourth millennium 
B.C., when the country was emerging from 
infancy iiato a vigorous boyhood. It follows 
directly in time and in character the archaic 
culture of the earliest dynasties, and leads on 
towards that brilliant epoch in the life of the 
country to which custom has sanctioned the 
name of tlie Old Empire. It was with this late 
period that until recent years all histories of 
Egypt commenced : it is therefore well known ; 
its characteristics have been familiar from the 
beginnings of Egyptology, and its archaeology 
has been the subject of much independent 
study. In this way it has become separated 
from association with the earlier periods. To 
any one noting only the individuality that 
distinguishes the Pyramid Age, it might indeed 
seem hopeless at first glance to attempt to trace 
it back to any relationship with the primitive 
character of earlier days. 

Yet now that the details of the 


of Develop- earlier period are scientifically re- 
'"^"'' corded, it must appear, from the 
links of evidence which the Third Dynasty 
provides, that the features of individuality 
which have astonished the later world mark 
but a stage in the natural development of an 
earlier promise. It will be seen that it was 
due to no extraordinary influences from with- 
out, but essentially to the natural evolution of 
national character, that this development was 
manifested. Indeed the separate term " Old 
Empire " alone remains to imply any disunion 
with the culture ])y which it was preceded. 

This application of distinguishing names to 
successive stages of historical movement is 
equally objectionable and misleading in con- 
sidering the earlier times. It is the custom for 
convenient reference to apply to certain periods, 
which seem now to be divided as arbitrarily as 
were the dynasties themselves, a terminology 
which unhappily suggests periodical breaks in 
the continuity of the early history. A nomen- 
clature somewhat as follows has been freely 
used to signify various chronological stages — 

(/. Pre-dynastic period [Sequence dates 30- 

b. Proto-dynastic period [Dynasties I, II, 
and III]. 

c. Old Empire or Old Kingdom [Dynasties 
IV, Y, and VI]. 

Subsequent periods are denoted 

Two . ... Ill 

Suggested HI a Similar manner ; and though 
Breaks. j.j^j^ series of names is perhaps the 
best that has been suggested, it is still open to 
the fundamental objection that it implies a dis- 
continuity between stages a and b, b and c. 
The latter of these implied breaks is removed 
now by the archaeological evidences which the 
Third Dynasty provides, but in connexion with 
the earlier division between the pre-dynastic 
and the early dynastic periods, or, as some may 
prefer to call it, the prehistoric and early 
historic times, there exists a problem which has 
been exaggerated and indeed largely bases its 
origin on a point of terminology. 

Since the time when the discoverers in an 
error of identification applietl the terra New 
Race to the people whom Dn MoRfiAN sub- 
sequently proved to be the veritable pre- 



dynastic stock of t]ie coiinti-y, that name has 
continued to some extent in nse,tiionwh deprived 
of its original signiiicance. Originally used to 
define a race which was thought to appear be- 
tween the |)eriods i<no\vn as the Old and Middle 
Empires, it remains to imply a difference of race 
between the pre-dynastic and the dynastic 
people to the minds of those English-speaking 
Egyptologists who have used it. That the 
tei'm alone is largely tlie Sdurce of the pi'(:)bk'in 
that lias arisen around it ajipears from the 
attitude of many distinguislied archaeologists of 
the Continent, who fail to see any difficulty, 
maintaining that it is unnatural to pre-suppose 
any change of race, and that the Ijurden of 
proof must rest upon those who believe the 
dynastic rulers to be a distinct people. Yet 
that a prolilem of material difficulty does exist 
appears from the words " dynastic conquerors " 
and " invasion of dynastic |)eople"' fi'om the 
pen of an equally prominent English Egyptolo- 
gist, who acctqits the matter as proved so far 
that he is able to define the features of the 
conquerors. Neither side to this unwritten 
controversy will admit the existence of a prol)- 
lem, though opposed upon a fundamental 
Evidence In the aljseuce of contein])orary 

'to'th'e '^ literature, any evidence wliich may 

Problem. ]^q applied to the problem must 
necessarily be of an archaeological character. 
Even the king-lists and early inscriptions of 
sorts can hardly be introduced as liistorical 
records : but these monuments supply archaeo- 
logical evidence of definite importance, which 
though less direct is also less liable to error. 
The continuity of early history must rely then 
mainly on three such features as these — 

(i. ) The Permanence of Maimers and Cus- 

(ii.) The Sequence of Archaeological Types. 

(iii.) Anthropomctrical Analogies — and the 

1 Petrie ; .1 llistonj of Egypt, i. (1903), pp. '2, 3. 

It may indeed be urged with some reason that 
from the examples which history affords, it 
rests with the upholders of discontinuity to 
establish their case by the deliberate destruction 
of these and similar items of evidence ; to 
illustrate the disappearance of old and the 
introduction of new customs ; to indicate breaks 
in the sequence curves iFhicli represent the 
development of archaeological types, and so on; 
yet from a neutral standpoint, as an ilhistration 
of method applicable to other instances, it is of 
interest to pursue the problem further. 

At first, in general, the character of tlie 
evidence is to be examined and the doubtful 
elements eliminated. In the third branch of 
evidence, for example, the methods of 
anthi'opometry, it is necessary to provide a 
sufficient series of measures from each of the 
two periods to be compared. This initial 
difficulty of material, apart from others arising 
from intrinsic difficulties of the method, pre- 
vents its application in the present instances. 
In the other branches, again, an element of 
doubt rests in the assumed contemporaneity of 
equivalent forms in different localities. It is 
obvious that a seqiience illustrated by a series 
of isolated examples can only be typological ; 
and that it can only be made chronological by 
consideration of all elements of evidence both 
exclusive and inclusive. Such a series of 
observations can only be made by examining 
the whole history of each locality. 

With a hundred such considerations it would 
be necessary in the application to analyse the 
contents of as many volumes for evidence that 
might bear upon the possible discontinuity 
or break of race between the pre-dynastic 
Race of the period and the First Dynasty. But 

onarc y. £^^. ^^^^ present purpose the results 

of the excavations made at El Amrah,' with 
evidences introduced into later chapters of tlie 
volume, will be a sufficient illustration. There 
the explorers found that the site represented a 
■■^ R.M.A. 



period which actually bridged over in date the 
pre-dynastic to the dynastic ; that continuity 
was shown alike in the burial customs, in the 
evolution of tomb construction, in the develop- 
ment of worked stone vases, in the survival of 
" later " forms of pottery, and that discontinuity 
nowhere suggested itself. It will be shown in 
subsequent chapters describing the burial cus- 
toms, tomb construction, and funereal furniture 
how this archaeological continuity is further 
demonstrated by direct survival or evolution of 
pre-dynastic types even through the Third 
Dynasty. On the other hand, two chief argu- 
ments may be raised against the continuity of 
the early race in dynastic times, which it may 
be well to examine more closely — 

i. The disappearance of the fine polished- 
red, and black-topped, and decorated pottery, 
characteristic of the pre-dynastic period, and 
the appearance in its place of a rough pottery 
suggesting little knowledge of ceramic art. 

ii. The sudden appearance of writing as a 
known art with the First Dynasty. 

Both of these objections have, superficially, 
a show of weight. But in regard to the former, 
it may be seen by any one studying the changes 
that took place in the pottery fashions of the 
pre-dynastic age,' how even before half that 
period had passed, the finer " decorated " and 
" black-topfied" ware was rapidly disappearing, 
and how in the latter half there appears the 
increasing popularity of many of those classes 
which became the characteristic types of the 
First Dynasty. The art of pottery making was 
already declining, in favour of the working of 
stone vases, before the close of the pre-dynastic 
period : it was by no means a sudden change 
contemporary with the first monarch. That the 
art was not forgotten appears from tlie sporadic 
instances of the finer red pottery occurring 
here and there in later times, as the illustra- 
tions of this volume testify. But Egypt is 
naturally a country of stone. 
' P.D.P. 

The Question I^ regard, too, to what has 
of Writing, seemed an insuperable objection to 
continuity, namely, the sudden appearance of 
writing with the foundation of the monarchy, 
it would seem from a close study of monuments 
unearthed in recent years that an explanation 
is forthcoming. The carved objects from El 
Kab^ seem to depict the closing stages of tribal 
fusion which led directly to the uniting of 
Upper and Lower Kgypt and the founding of 
the monarchy.^ There is reason to believe 
that under the nearer influences of Western 
Asia the culture of the Delta had advanced 
considerably beyond that of the South, and the 
palettes which record the victories of the Hiero- 
konpolite princes suggest from their very style 
that these earliest monuments of Upper Egypt 
were the result of the culture thus assimilated. 
The Palermo Stone shows that a record of 
pre-dynastic princes of Lower Egypt was pro- 
vided from earliest times. It is reasonable to 
believe that writing had already to some extent 
developed in the Delta before the union, especi- 
ally as here and there signs of the art are found 
creeping into the upper country. In the tombs 
where those pre-dynastic rulers lay buried, whom 
Professor Petrie assigns to Dynasty 0, what- 
soever may have been their 
precise sphere, there also was 
familiarity with writing illus- 
trated. Certain vases, un- 
questionably of early pre- 
dynastic times, one of which is 
here pictured, are inscribed 
with definite hieroglyphic 
characters. The inscription 
has been stated to be a for- 
gery, but an accumulation 
of expert evidence has passed it as with- 
out intrinsic evidence of being false. A 
slate palette of the period from El Amrah 

' Q.K. Plates XXV, XXVI b, c, XXIX. 
^ Newberry, etc. : A Short History of Egypt. 



has oil it signs not strictly hieroglyphic, 
but directly analogous. 

A piece of shell in the possession of the 
Professor of Assyriology at Oxford is inscribed 
with a name of simple form and is associated 
with objects of archaic character. Yet in few 
private tombs indeed, and in none of the com- 
mon tombs of the First or Second Dynasty, is 
any trace of writing to be found ; how much 
less, then, may it be expected in the poor graves 
of the pre-dynastic people ! The introduction 
of writing, unaccompanied by any change of na- 
tional customs, is no evidence of change of race. 
Even the tombs of the kings themselves fell natu- 
rally into place as a phase in a natural evolution. 
The Natural There is ill fine a lack of those 
Conclusion, foreign or new elements distinctively 
associated with the early kings which would 
give them a character foreign to their surround- 
ings. 'I' hey were buried in tombs naturally 
evolved from those of pre-dynastic times, and 
furnislied largely with objects elaborated from 
those in common use. The testimony of these 
early writings unites most forcefully with the 
evidence of each branch of archaeology, to indi- 
cate the natural development of the people 
through tribal stages, and the formation of 
a monarchy with the fusion of the tribes. It 
is but an instance of that natural constitutional 
growth which the history of nations in the 
East and in the West, in the ancient and the 
modern world, has since illustrated by many 
striking examples. If the evidence of the El 
Amrah excavations has been correctly read,^ 
it would appear, too, that the First Dynasty 
was well begun before the pre-dynastic period, 
as it is defined, had come to its end. The two 
periods merge so completely that there is no 
join discernii)le. 

Growth of '^'^"^ appearance of any gap 

the Pyramid between the proto-dynastic period 

and the OM Empire is at once 

removed by the link which the Third Dynasty 

' R.M.A., pp. 12-13. 

supplies. That which, for instance, seemed a 
sudden change from mastaba to pyramid is 
now seen to be a process of evolution through 
successive stages. The huge mass of the mas- 
taba of King Neter-Khet recalls at once, in ap- 
pearance, the lowest step of the first pyramid at 
Sakkara : the two monuinents, it seems, were 
built during the same reign. The analogy is 
further borne out by the long stairway which 
descends into the interior, protected at intervals 
by doors of stone let down from aliove. The 
mastTiba itself is found to be merely an elabora- 
tion of the familiar stairway tomb which traces 
back its origin to the graves of pre-dynastic 

The sites which have chiefly supplied the 
material for this volume are themselves con- 
tinuous through the Fourth Dynasty, and the 
same was the case at El Kab also. It will be seen 
that in each branch of archaeological evidence, 
in architecture and tomb construction, in 
pottery-making and the working of stone vases, 
in the art of inscribing and the forms of names 
and titles, there is definite sequence, marked 
sometimes as an evolutioii or development, to 
be traced through the earliest dynasties into 
the light of the pyramid age which followed. 
Continuity To any one familiar now with the 
of History conservative condition of the Nile 

Natural to 

Egypt. valley, any sudden change of con- 
stitution or radical change of race must seem 
violent and most unnatural to primitive condi- 
tions. In a country so exposed, a constant 
stream of immigration, Avith the influences 
which that brings, may be expected. But 
there is no present proof of discontinuity 
of racial history at any stage, little even to 
suggest it. 

On the other hand, what seems true of its 
origin is true also of the whole. The history 
of ancient Egypt from its beginning to the end 
is that of a continuous people. There is the 
unique picture from the old world of the whole 
life of a nation. Its birth took place in the 



dimmest distance of present histovical vision, 
when first those stone and copper-using people, 
coming from no certain direction, found their 
habitation on the marshy banks of the Nile. 
Subject always to the same unvarying in- 
fluence of nature, they grew into a na- 

tion ; and, receiving from time to time 
new strains and fresh impulse from the 
numerous arteries of the country, developed 
a strength and a character that are with- 
out parallel in the history of the ancient 







-7^ ; C H A m;b E R S g, 




R.40- PLA N 






R40Axis of Passage 



With Plates IV, V, VI. 

THE large tombs at Reciiiqniih were entirely 
similar in gener;i,l design to the royal and 
semi-royal tombs of Bet KliallAf. 'I'his fact, 
coupled with the position and analogous 
character of the tomb furniture from within, 
led to their ready identification as a further 
series of monuments of the Third Dynasty. The 
feature characteristic of this tomb is the stair- 
way which descends in each from the ground 
level to a series of subterranean chambers. 
There is in each case also some superstructure, 
in the form of a rectangle, which encloses 
entirely the position occupied by the stairway, 
and usually the area of the underground 
chambers also. 

The superstructure is not, as a rule, found 
in sufficiently good preservation to enable any- 
thing more than its position to be determined. 
In the plan of toml) R 1, for example (Plate 
IVa), the foundations of the stout enclosing 
wall alone remained, though doiibtless some 
building had occupied the southern portion of 
the enclosure. The only tomb of this date that 
was preserved above ground, that of Neter- 
Khet, showed no trace of any chambers in its 
superstructure, or anything other than solid 
brickwork, except where shafts for receiving 
the door-stones and a few wells for offerings 
above the chambers appeared at intervals along 
the middle line. This one tomb, however, was 
somewhat exceptional. Among the others in 
both sites there seems to have been uniformly 
a space provided above the burial cliambers, 
within the enclosure, for a special bi;ilding. 

which was pr()l)alily a, sliriue or small chapel 
for offerings and ]>rayers. In some of the 
tombs at Bet Kliallaf,' there was trace of stone- 
work on the eastern side at this end, as though 
the door or some other featui'e of the archi- 
tecture liad lieen specially embellished in this 
way. In the present plan of tomb R 40 also 
(Plate IVr,), there is sign of two inner walls at 
risht angles to the east face. These seem to 
be the remains of a narrow doorway or entrance 
hall which opened out (at the extremity of the 
wall on tlic left or southern side) to a chamber 
within the enclosure. It is not clear where the 
entrance to the enclosure was placed, nor to 
what height the walls were built up. To judge, 
however, by the analogy of the tombs K4, 
K5, at Bet Khallaf,- it seems probable that the 
tomb was entered from the eastern side, that 
the chapel or shrine stood over the position of 
the burial chambers, and that the outer wall 
enclosed the whole, including the long stairway, 
which was itself probably roofed or covered 
over in some manner. 

The substructure of the tombs for the most 
part exhibits a similar uniformity. Differences 
of detail are determined for the most part by 
the varying character of the desert gravel in 
which the passage and chambers were dug. 
Normally a stairway descends between walls on 
either side to a series of chambei-s cut in the 
o-ravel at a considerable depth. If the desert 
gravel is hai-d, then little brickwork is retpured 

> G.M.K. Plates VII, XVIII, XXV. 
2 See also Plate XXI, ch. VIII. 



in support, as in the case K 3, at Bet KhallAf. If, 
however, the gravel is yielding, then the sides 
of the passage are strengthened with brick 
walls on either hand to a sufficient depth. 
These walls are themselves built with a batter, 
leaning outward from the passage. They are 
also of considerable thickness, and their luiseen 
outer sides are left rough,with many projections, 
to bind more freely with the desert sand and 
gravel around. These side walls are also 
restrained from yielding to the outer pressure 
by cross walls built at intervals between them. 
The strength of these buttress walls seems to 
have been determined also by local or special 
considerations. Its variability may be seen by 
a comparison of tlie section of tombs R 40 and 
R 1. It will be seen in a subsequent chapter 
that this feature is of peculiar moment in the 
evolution of these stairway tombs. But the 
interposition of tliese buttress walls leads at 
once to another feature of interest ; for the 
passage being thus stopped, it becomes neces- 
sary to avoid this difficulty by some means, and 
so the arch is introduced as the most ready 
solution. If the cross wall is thick, as in tomb 
R 1, then the simple arch becomes a sloping 
barrel roof, of which an elaborated instance 
occurs in the tomb of Neter-Khet. The photo- 
graphs on Plate V, showing the architectural 
features of tomb R 1, illustrates these details 
more clearly. 

The picture of the stairway looking upwards 
from the bottom, shows how at the lowest 
stages the desert gravel has been found suffici- 
ently strong in itself, and how nearer the 
surface it has been walled with brickwork on 
either hand. This picture looks under the 
cross wall supports, but that to the left of it, 
which shows the arches and doorstone 
from above, illustrates with clearness the 
methods of masonry employed, the bonding of 
the arches and their construction, and also the 
widening of the passage walls at the top. In the 
upper photograph, a view of the shaft-mouths 

from the south-east, the positions of these cross 
walls and their appearance from above are indi- 
cated, in correspondence with the plan on Plate 
IV. At the foot of the passage, and closing the 
doorway of the chambers, was found the slab 
of stone shown in the photograph. The 
positions of the underground chambers are 
marked in the plan with black line upon the 
cross-hatching of the surface. It seems 
probable from several indications that, as in 
the cases at Bet Khallaf, the burial had lain in 
the large room to the west of the series. The 
chambers and passage ways were cut simply in 
the gravel, unsupjjorted by masonry ; and 
owing to subsidence it was found necessary to 
excavate them by means of a hole cut down to 
them from the surface above. 

The other of the two great tombs. No. 40, 
was evidently already partly collapsed before 
the excavation was begun. The passage-way was 
strengthened by stout props placed from side 
to side as the excavation descended. The 
chambers, however, had been previously 
reached by a hole forced from above, and it 
was found necessary to dig away for safety all 
the superimposed weight. In removing the 
props after the excavation had been completed, 
the treacherous sand and gravel again collapsed, 
falling through the roof of the em])ty chaml)ers 
and carrying away a portion of the stairway, 
as may be seen in the photograph. The section 
thus exposed shows somewhat uniquely how 
the tomb was built. It seems that in this 
instance the whole space for the passage was 
first hollowed out; the brickwork was then laid, 
and the space without filled up with loose sand 
and stones. When this upper sand had thus 
been walled back, the work proceeded through 
a harder stratum below, the brickwork being 
discontinued even on the stairway, which was 
continued by steps cut in the desert. The 
construction of the tomb had probably been 
faulty from the outset, or too great I'eliance 
had been placed upon the strength of the 












natural bed of gravel, which failed to hold the 1 tirely collapsed before the excavation reached 
weight of the side walls, bulging as that point, and it was with great diflBculty 
they were from the pressure of the loose and some danger that the chambers were 
sand without. Tiie lower archway had en- ] reached and the previous deposit rescued. 


a. Vases (Plates VII-XII). b. Pottery (.Plate XIIIj 

THE various forms in stone working and 
pottery characteristic of the Third 
Dynasty are gathered together in the seven 
following plates. The selection has been made 
with a view to illustrating the varieties and 
variations of form, and to avoiding redundancy; 
but several considerations have necessarily 
interfered in the arrangement. To illustrate 
this subject properly it would be necessary to 
reproduce many of the objects several times 
under different heads, their shapes, their 
materials, their relation to other forms anterior 
and posterior, and in general their position in 
the development of such. But some of the 
objects are exceptionally large, and it is found 
convenient to group these together. The 
excavations at Reqaqnah, again, while supply- 
ing or illustrating a great proportion of the 
types, required supplementing by the results 
ol)tained at Bet Khallaf in the previous winter 
to complete the series. These additions have 
therefore been placed together on Plate XII. 

In proceeding to a consideration of these 
forms, it is well to note the extreme value and 
at the same time the limitations of this branch 
of archseological evidence. 

It may readily be seen by turning over the 
pages of excavators' memoirs, that certain 
forms in stone working and in pottery are 
characteristic of certain periods. In this way 
it is possible to define a certain number of 
arch^ological types for each period. But it is 
not possible, except in special cases, to say 
that the individual forms are exclusively char- 
acteristic of that time, for the range of use of 

eacli form is generally various, and may not be 
the same as that of others with which it may be 
found associated. The truth might be illustrated 
in this way, if it were possible to represent an 
average of equivalent forms by means of a 
graph, then each point on the curve would 
correspond to some place in history, and its 
position would be co-ordinated with the sequence 
of time. While it is not possible, then, as a 
rule, to define narrowly the jseriod of any 
particular form, yet the associations of certain 
forms, or otherwise certain groupings of objects, 
may often be readily assigned to a definite date. 
It is this principle which Professor Petrie used 
in his "sequence dating" of predynastic forms ; 
but in regard to the early dynasties, the problem 
is more complex, and the material involved 
more copious and less definitive. 

On Plate VI., the vessels, knife and spoons 
of copper illustrate the metal forms of the age. 
But the working of stone bowls is specially 
characteristic of the early dynasties. In pre- 
dynastic times, this art shared with that of 
pottery-making an important place in the early 
Egyptian culture. But with the decline of pot- 
tery, towards the approach of the First Dynasty, 
the working of stone vases assumed a new char- 
acter and stimulus. The royal tombs of the First 
Dynasty at Abydos have furnished numerous 
examples of the height which this art rapidly 
attained. At Hierakonpolis and El Kab 
excavations have shown the forms familiar in 
these localities at a slightly later period. 

The accompanying Plate, No. VII., illustrates 
a number of vases characteristic of the Third 





\Jviins I 8 i/iicflv in Diorilc. Nos. i and 4 in Porphyry also.\ 

K. 40. 


' K. 40. 


_/ A'. 1, 

A'. 1. 



A'. 40. 


A'. 40. 

A 6 


A'. 40. 



K. 1. 

K, 40. 



R. I. 



[Forms y ami lo in Dioritc and Brcuia ; ii, iS, 21 in Brmia ; 12 /// Sachyrine Marble: 13-16 in Alabaster?^ 


K. I. 




/i'. 40. 


A'. 40. 




R. I. 



i?. 40. 


A'. 40. 

A'. 40. 

\For pholos of types, see Plate VII. : for additional types, Plate A'//.] 


\Fonin 28- ,^3 /// Alabastei\\ 

R. I 


[Forms 34-37 /// Alalmstcr. Photo of No. 37, Plate VII.\ 

a: I. 


A'. 40. 

/.'. 40. 


\J''orm 38 /;/ Syoiite : 41, 42, 43 in Dioritc : 45 /// Porpliyry ; 39-50 /// .li'a/>astci'.\ 







Dynasty. The material of wliicli they are 
made is vai'ioiis. The Egyptian ahibaster (in 
reality a limestone of special ({uality) was the 
favourite stone of the country, being found 
used for various purposes throughout its his- 
tory. Of the hard stones, diorite is most fre- 
(juent, and is often worked down with wonderful 
skill until translucency is obtained. Breccia, 
porphyiy and steatite are other varieties less 
frequently employed. Sachyrine marl)le, a 
beautiful stone, of which one large bowl is 
pictured in the plate, is found somewhat rarely. 
In this instance a table of offerings of the same 
material accompanied the deposit. 

A group of special interest pictured on Plate 
VII comprises a number of models of vases 
and other objects in limestone and diorite. 
They are called models because they are .so 
unusually small and delicate, as the scale of 
the illustration (1 : 2) shows. In tlie upper row 
are two tiny vases, thin as paper, with a dimin- 
utive standing vase in the centre, all of lime- 
stone. Below, on tlie left, is a limestone vase, 
with narrower neck, and of somewhat larger size 
than the others. The central object of the row 
is the most remarkable. It is seemingly a 
mace head carved in alabaster, of balloon 
shape and appearance. The neck tapers 
with a small mouldino'. The different 

segments of the surface ai'e bounded 1)y a 
whip-cord pattern in relief, converging to the 
centre at the top, where a small cap of ivory is 
neatly inlaid. Next to this object is a small ; 
model of a shell, carved in diorite; it is of the 
finest (juality of work, and translucent in final 

The whole group just described was found 
in a single deposit within the burial chamber of 
the great tomb, R 4U, where they had evidently 
escaped the plunderers who had previously 
robbed the burial of its treasures. It was a 
source of much disappointment that in none of 
these large stairway tombs of Reqaqnah could 
any seal impressions be found, nor the names of 

tlu^ deceased persons recovered. The tombs 
were placed near the edge of the cidtivation, 
and in each case the stairway descended .so 
deeply that tlie chambers were found to have 
been filled from time to time with water, which 
slowly accumulated in them even during the 
excavation. Though sometimes pieces of clay 
of the kind used for jar sealings were come 
upon, yet from this cause probably the signs 
upon them had been hopelessly obliterated. 
There can be little doubt, however, in consider- 
ing th(^ proportions and furnitureof these tomlis, 
comparing them on the one hand with those of 
Bet KhallAf, and on the other with the small 
tombs of officials and others in the necropolis 
described in the ensuing pages, that these 
lai'ger tombs were themselves of royal or semi- 
royal importance. It seems very possible that 
these were the burial places of the kings of the 
Third Dynasty. 

The five plates, numbered VIII to XII 
which follow, contain the outlines and sections 
of all the typical or exceptional forms in stone 
vases and bowls of the Third Dynasty. The 
series has been made as complete as possible by 
the inclusion in the last plate of the series of 
tliosc forms which occur in the royal tombs at 
Bet Khallaf, but are not fully represented from 

The chief use of such a series is practical; 
for the excavator determines largely by as- 
sociation with dated objects the period of his 
otherwise undated deposit. In tlie early dyn- 
asties tlie forms and character of stone vases 
and ])ottery ai"e naturally the most reliable 
criteria. This series will in due course be 
found incomplete, indeed but a nucleus ; but 
it may be hoped that this publication may lead 
readily to the identification of further tombs 
and objects of the Third Dynasty. As the 
first volume devoted to the subject it will then 
have served its chief purpose. 

The groups of objects themselves re(iuire 
little explanation. Notes are added to the 



plates, explanatory of the materials, and giving 
the numbering of the tombs to which the 
objects belong, as well as a running sequence 
number for reference and quotation. The 
student will find it interesting and instructive 
to compare these forms with those of earlier 
times, published, for example in l^eqadah and 
Ballufi (Petrie and Quibell), El Amrah and 
AhydoH (Randall-Maclver and Wilkin), Boiinl 
Tumh.s of First L)//iia.^fi/ (Petrie), Hicnthmpolis 

It is noticeable, in conclusion, how definitely 
separated is the stone working of the earlier 
dynasties from that of the Old Empire by the 
absence as yet of any forms with pointed 
bases. But the archaeology of the period im- 
mediately following that which this site repre- 
sents has not yet been separately summarised 
in convenient form, though well known in 

The series of pottery reproduced 

„f°"^^^;,. in outline on Plate XIII has been 
(Plate XIII). 

selected with a view to minimising 
the number of types, by omitting those 
numerous forms which may be considered to 
be mere variations of these few. By this 
means a small series is isolated, which may be 
more readily borne in mind in the course of 
excavation or research. The variations may 
be seen by reference to " Mahasna and 
Bet Khallaf ," and the few forms found in the 
smaller tombs at Reqaqnah are shown by 
photograph and in outline on Plates XXXI, 

The form. No. 1 , which is somewhat rare, is 
found in a good quality of polished red pottery. 
An analogous shape may be seen on Plate 
XXXII. The form is not an early one, and 
the material, while it suggests the good pottery 
of pi-e-dynastic times, is best known from cer- 
tain examples of the Fourth Dynasty and Old 
Empire in general, though it also survives that 

Nos. 2 and 3 are both of thick rough pottery, 

with dull brown surface. In this particular 
form they are seemingly characteristic of 
the Third Dynasty, but they are essentially 
variations of the somewhat earlier and still 
persisting form No. 4. The prototype of this 
dates back to the earliest beginnings of the 
dynastic period, linking even with the pre- 
dynastic. (See, for example, Uiospolis I'urra 
PI. II, where it is dated s.d. 70-80.) In the 
royal tombs at Abydos also it is known (as seen 
in B. T. I. PI. XLIII), and it is, indeed, one of 
the common forms of the early dynasties. It 
survives in the Sixth Dynasty, as it appears 
from more recent excavations in the necropolis 
of Beni Hasan, in a diminutive form suggestive 
of No. 3. 

No. 5 is of the same rough material and 
appearance as the foregoing, while tlie shape 
is natural, and hence common to several 

Nos. T) and 7 are varieties of dishes in a 
better class of ware, made probably from the 
same clay as the polished red pottery, but not 
so highly finished. 

No. 8 is another example of the polished red 
pottery, and also is found in the same simple 
shape at an early period. A prototype is 
pictured in Diospolis Pawn, where it is 
numbered 23a, with the long sequence-date 
range of 38-73. It does not, however, seem to 
have really died out, but rather persevered 
through some stage of change iintil it appears 
in its present form. 

No. !• is a somewhat unusual variety of this 
unpolished pottery of red clay. It seems to 
be specially characteristic of this period, 
though its prototypes of a slightly differing 
shape are well known at an earlier date. 

No 10 may be placed almost in tlie same 
category with No. 8. The material is much 
the same, and it suggests equally the polished 
red ware of prehistoric times. 

Nos. 11 and 12 are rough pots of the same 
material and appearance as Nos. 2 and -i, with 


\_Notcs : d is dull : p, polished ; r, rou^lt : s^sinootli : /ir, linnvii : i7, xelltnv : rd, ird.\ 

d, r, yl'ln 

s, yt-hr. 



wliich they are equally characteristic of the 
early dynasties. The surface is generally quite 
without finish, being dull and rough, with 
yellow-bi'own or dark brown colour. Its 
appearance is well shown by the photogra])h of 
pottery types on Plate XXXI. Pots of this 
character occur often numerously in gi-oups, 
as, for example, in the tomb deposit No. 68, 
illustrated on Plate XXII. 

The remaining varieties call for little com- 
ment. Nog. 14 and 15 are tall pottery stands, 
hollow but substantial, of unpolished yellow- 
brown appearance. The spouted bowl. No. 16, 
and the globular vessel, No. IS, are the better 
class of dull red pottery. No. 1 7, another 
form with spout, is of the same material, 
though not so well made. No. 19 is another 
example of an early form which dates liack to 
the middle of the pre-dynastic period. 

In No. 20 there re-appears a form common 
in the First Dynasty tombs of Abydos ; but this 
vessel is unusual in the high polish, suggesting 
almost a varnish, which has been imparted to 
its brown surface. 

Nos. 21 and 22 are both forms which have 
persisted from the later j^re-dynastic period ; 
the latter might be regarded as a standard 
form from which Nos. 11 and 12 are derived. 
Nos. 23 and 24, whicli are variations of the same 
model, are made in the best style of the period, 
with smooth surface of yellow-brown appear- 
ance. The form witli variations is well known 
and characteristic of the early dynasties, and 
it occurs quite plentifully in the royal tombs 
of the First, Second, and Third Dynasties, 
as well as in some of the larger tombs 
with similar range. These twenty-four 
selected forms really illustrate the couunon 
varieties of pottery during the Third Dynasty. 
It is very noticeable how in this period, as in 
the earlier dynasties, the art of pottery making 
had declined from the high standard of the 
early and middle pre-dynastic period ; how it 
nevertheless preserved some of the elements of 
its character, and how here and there a 
specimen of finest quality appears to show 
that the art was not really forgotten, but 


a. Arches of the Third Dynasty. PI. XIV. b. Miscellaneous Features. PI. XY. 



N the royal tombs of the Third 
Dynasty at Bet Khallaf, and in 
other large stairway tombs of that period 
in the vicinity, a noticeable feature of each 
is the barrel vault or series of arches under 
wliich the stairway descends. The oldest 
dated arch hitherto discovered in Egypt is 
that in the tomb of Neter Khet, K 1, Plate 
XIV ; and the other arches shown on the same 
plate, which ai'e dated by corelation with 
this, as also those on Plates V and VI, show 
by the variety of use and construction a per- 
fect familiarity with the principle of arch- 
building even at tliis early date. The arches 
are built for the most part with bricks of usual 
size and shape placed on edge, and the inner 
spaces between adjoining bricks are packed 
with mud and broken chips. 
Construe- Approximately true roitusoirs, hovv- 
tion. ever, were not unknown. They were 
obtained from the ordinary bricks in one of 
two ways, either by the trimming down of 
one side (or of the two sides) to the required 
wedge-like form, or by tiie addition of an extra 
piece of mud to one side, which was allowed to 
dry on before it was used in the building, and 
so gave the required shape. The best example 
figured in which vdiiKxoir.'i were freely employed 
is shown on Plate V, in the photograph of the 
arches and doorstone fi'om above. The bricks 
are fashioned in this case by the latter of the 
two processes, namely, the affixing of an extra 
piece of mud. In another examj)le on Plate 
XI V, from the tomlj of Hen-Neklit, tlie same 

rriethod is comljined freely with that in which 
the bricks are trimmed down to a smaller size. 
The employment of any form of keystone is not 
customary, and- probably occurs only by acci- 
dent. An illustration of some interest is af- 
forded by tomb K 110 (Plate XIV) in which the 
bricks placed lengthwise did not give the exact 
span, and so caused the space to be filled by a 
smaller shaped piece in the centre. The photo- 
graph is shown somewhat tilted, owing to the 
difficulty of position : the stick seen in the left 
is really vertical. It is doubtful whether the 
upper arch in this case woidd have stood by 
itself : it seems to have been designed 
merely to give Ijalance and thickness to the 

Evolution in The cvolutiou of the arch in 
Egypt- Egyptian architecture seems to 
have been spontaneous, natural, and local. 
From the absence of any such feature in the 
pul)lished plans of earlier tombs, it seems to 
date its origin to the early Third Dynasty. In 
the necropolis of Reqa(|nah a number of smaller 
tombs illustrate the development of the cor- 
belled or offset vault (e.g. Tomb oG, PI. XIV), 
from which the true arch seems to have natu- 
rally evolved in Egypt as in Chaldasa. The 
seiies of sketches which show this has no 
chronological significance, for the form seems 
to have developed spontaneously, as stated, but 
they are drawn from actual examples of the 
Third Dynasty at Reqaqnah. 

Previous to this discovery the earliest dated 
arch of Egypt had been found in the tomb of 









Dia;4ranis showing origins of Simple Arch (2a) and Oft-set Arch (3). 

Ada I at Dendereh/ of the Sixth Dynasty. 
M. Mariette, also, in a letter to MM. Perrot and 
Chipiez, cited by them in their History of 
Egi/ptian Art, II. p|). 77, 84, gives a rough 
diagram of an arch of the Sixth Dynasty, which 
he had observed at Abydos, and says : " Speak- 
ing generally, I believe that the Egyptians 
were acquainted with the principle from the 
earliest times." In Egypt, as at a later date 
in Phoenicia, there was no natural cause for the 
use of vaults or ai'chos on an elaborate scale. 
Long slabs of limestone for roofing the temples 
and larger buildings could always be obtained 
at hand throughout the country, hence prob- 
ably it arose that the use of the arch and barrel- 
vaulting originated and chiefly developed as the 
most practicable means of I'oofing the sub- 
terranean passages and chambers of the early 
tombs. The application of the principle on a 
larger scale in later dynasties shows it to have 
been properly understood. The vaulted i-oofs 
and spans suppoi'ted by columns intherockhewn 
tombs at Beni Hasan, are examples of engineer- 
ing skill in the Middle Empire ; while the 
vaulted roof in the temple of Seti, at Abydos, 
and the Ramesseum, the elliptical vaults, too, 
at Thebes, show the further elaboration of the 
New Empire. 

In other The Same natural and spontaneous 
countries, gyoi^tion of the arch whicli took 
place in Egypt in the early Third Dynasty seems 
to have occurred at a corresponding period in 
Chaldtea also. In the al)sence of any early 
relative chronology, and the uncertainty of the 
actual dates of these early events, it cannot be 
said in which country the principle first devel- 
oped. Present evidence points to Egypt, but 
the earlier sites of CJhalda^a have still to be 

' Petrie : Deudereh. lOOU. 

scientifically described. In any case the devel- 
opment was probalily independent. The 
same series of primitive attempts and " make- 
shifts " found at Reqaqnah have been observed 
also in the necropolis of Mugheir, the Ur of the 
Chakhvans. In Lower Ghahhva in general the 
use of the off-set arch and the methods suitable 
only to smaller buildings are frequent. The 
practical construction, too, seems to have been 
effected in many instances by the same simple 
contrivance as is found in ancient and modern 
times in Egypt. For example, the method of 
supporting a small barrel roof, as described in 
Chapter VIII, during the process of building, 
by inclining the bricks, seems to have been 
equally prevalent in Ohald^a. The domed 
roofs of ftheiklis' tombs and the houses of Nubia 
are erected with similar saving of trouble. In 
Chaldaja, too, the system elaborated with time 
for decorative purposes. From the accounts of 
Strabo and Diodorus it seems that the hanging 
gardens of Babylon must have been supported 
by real centred arches. Sargon's palace at 
Khorsabad also exhibited some of the finest 
examples of this use. 

In these countries the use of the arch begins 
at a much later time, and it is correspondingly 
less probable that it developed locally. In 
Persia at any rate the system was apparently 
copied, often rudely and without interest, from 
Chalda^a. At Tiryns there is a galleiy with a 
pointed arch ; and though the principle seems 
to have )jeen understood by the Greeks even 
before the Trojan war, yet it cannot l)e traced 
back in their architecture to a spontaneous 
beginning as in Egypt. In Judaja the arched 
aqueducts of Herod are the best known 
examples, but this belongs to a day when the 
Romans, aided by necessity, had long brought 



the use of the arch to its perfection. It may 
be surmised that tlie Etruscans had brought 
with them from tlieir Lydian home a know- 
ledge of the principle derived by contact 
through the Hittite with the Nile and the 
Euphrates valleys. 
Tomb R 2, (b.) In addition to the two large 
Plate XV. j^Qj^^ijg ^vliicli have been described 

in the foregoing chapters, there were found 
and excavated several others with stairways 
and other features of interest. One of them, 
No. R 2, had been not less imjaortant than they. 
The small proportion of objects found within it, 
and the poor state of its superstructure, alone 
keep it out from a place among the chief results 
of tlio excavation. Some details of its con- 
struction, however, are of special interest. 
Above the ground only the outer wall could l)e 
definitely traced, often being pi-eserved only in 
its lowest course of bricks. It was two metres 
tbick, and enclosed the usual large rectangular 
space. From the nortli end, at the middle, the 
stairway led down as usual to a depth of about 
ten metres, when the doorway to the chambers 
was reached. After pidling l)ack the great 
slab of stone which served as usual for a door 
a serious subsidence occurred, necessitating 
the excavation to be renewed from above the 
chambers, by removing all the superimposed 
weight of gravel. It was then found that a 
small plunderer's hole had already been forced 
in the same direction. Finally the clearing of 
the interior showed that the chambers were of 
simple character, consisting mainly of a passage 
some eight metres in length leading on the 
right (to the west) into a square room, which 
from an analogy may be called the burial 
chamber. The few objects, fragments of 
pottery, stone vases and copper implements, 
found within the tomb seemed to be of some- 
what earlier character in general than those 

from the other stairway tombs which have been 
described. It seems probable, considering all 
things, that No. 2 was indeed the earliest of 
the large stairway tombs on the site, dating to 
the Second or early Third Dynasty. It is thus 
of special interest to note that its stairway was 
not supported at any point by cross walls, 
though it descended somewhat deeply. Its 
angle too was steep, almost one in two. The 
sides were strongly bricked, and the stairway 
also, as seen on the photograph of Plate X^", 
was laid with bricks in two coui'ses. 

No. 14. A number of steps, the beginning 

Plate XV. ,jg -^ seemed of an incompleted 
tomb, were found near to the position of tomb 
No. 1 . They were numbered 14, and a picture 
of them appears in the plate. The chief interest 
in this is a hint of a curious constructional 
method. The side wall of the stairway is 
completed only so far as the excavation was 
proceeded, the courses ending irregularly pend- 
ing completion. The' indication is that the 
building of these retaining walls, the chief 
purpose of which was to keep back the falling 
sand, proceeded from the top. The bricks were 
added one at a time as space was cleared for 
them. This method was certainly not always 
used, but other indications of it in special cases 
have been noted. 

No. 19. Other small stairway tombs pre- 

piate XV. (tented features of interest in con- 
nexion with the history of this form of 
sepulchre. In the case numbered I'J, the 
staircase descends for a metre and a half, and 
leads only to a small sijuare space at tlie foot, 
where presumably the burial had been laid. 
This is the type of construction numbered 4 
on Plates XIX, XX. Other instances were 
observed at El Kab. At the latter place, too, 
as here, the same form with tlie addition of 
a small subterranean chamber is noteworthy. 












TiiH lai;i;k mastahas m; rLA'iTiu;Ai-Ti)Mi;s. 
With Plate XVI (R 75, R50) ; Plates XVII, XVIII (R70); au.l Plate XXI (Plans). 

'T~^HB foregoing chapters have described 
-*■ those tombs which are characterized by a 
descending stairway, leading to a series of sub- 
terranean chambers. Tiie present chapter is 
concerned with those large tombs of which the 
conspicuous feature is rather the architecture 
and general plan of the superstructure — hence 
called mastabas. In these there is a noticeable 
change in regard to the burial chamber and its 
a]iproaches. In one instance, the earliest, a 
stairway survives, but in others it is supplanted 
by square shafts merely. It is found by 
analysis that this change is, to some extent, 
chronological, and that the evolution of one 
form from the other may be traced through 
various stages. This sequence lias a definite 
importance, and the chapter which follows this 
will be devoted accordingly to its considera- 

In the present instance there are three 
great mastaba tombs to be considered, num- 
bered respectively R 50, R 70 and R 75, the plans 
for which are shown to a scale of 1 : 2(»0 on 
Plate XXI. Of these it appears at once, from 
their positions, that R 70 is of later date than 
R 75. There are indeed reasons, which aviII be 
made evident, for believing that R 75 belongs to 
the Third Dynasty, R 50 to the Fourtli, and 
R 7(» to the later Fourth or Fifth. 
Tomb R 75. Thetomb R 75 is of Special interest. 
Plate While preserving the plan of an exten- 


sive superstructure, it also provides 
the feature of a descending stairway. It thus 
serves as a bond in type between the stairway 
tombs, R 1, R 2, and R 40, described in the fore- 
going chapters, and the mastaba tombs R 50 

and R 70, which are analogous to it in [tlan, 
but without any staircase. A comparison of the 
tomb plans on I'hite XXI. will show also that 
R 75 is more clearly related to No. 50 than to 
No. 70, and there are other evidences that this 
indication is correct. 

In the excavation of this tomb (No. 75), 
there was nothing found to reveal the name of 
the personage for whom it had been built. In 
the burial chamber, which was cleared with 
some difficulty owing to the weakness of its 
sides and the constant accumulation of water, 
there were found only some pottery vessels and 
fragments of stone vases, similar in character 
to those from the stairway tombs of the Third 
Dynasty. In the upper building, of which 
only the wall foundations remained, there were 
no small objects found. The entrance seems 
to have been through a small porch on the 
eastern side, leading at once to a doorway with 
stone threshold, which is shown in the photo- 
graph on Plate XVI. This approach leads 
directly to a long passage, running in either 
direction, north and south ; and almost oppo- 
site is a large false door or panel of three 
recesses. The photograph shows the pre- 
served portion of this passage, looking south- 
ward along its length, with the door to the 
left. It may be seen that traces of white 
stucco remain adhering to the walls. Here and 
there a close inspection suggested that the stucco 
had been covered with hieroglyphs in columns, 
painted on ; but the portions were aggravat- 
ingly small and the signs indistinctly pre- 
served, so that nothing except the fact could 
be recorded. At the southern end of this passage 



a door leads westwaixl to a smaller passage or 
chamber, from which an inner door again pro- 
vides a way to the interior of the tomb. This 
inmost portion is not in sufficient preservation 
to show what were the further details of the 
plan. From the northern portion of the enclo- 
sure, a stairway led down, southward as usual, 
to the single chamber below. It seems prol)- 
able that here, too, as in the case of the stair- 
way tombs, the space over the burial chamber 
was devoted to the inner chapel or sanctuary. 
The supplementary passages above ground, in 
this instance, seem to take the places of those 
which in the earlier instances were cut out, 
also below, on the eastern side of the burial 
chamber. Against this tomb there were built 
subsequently the series of tombs, 88, 89 of the 
Third Dynasty, the vaulted tomb No. 68, and the 
great mastaba tomb No. 70. There is a notice- 
able absence in the plan of No. 75 of any external 
panels or recesses, such as those which eml)el- 
lish the face of No. 70. But this does not 
prove necessarily that they were absent from 
the architecture of the building, inasmuch as 
only the lowest courses of the outer walls were 
preserved, and these panels, in the earlier 
instance, No. 50, did not reach down nearer 
than half a metre, or two feet, from the 

Tomb R 50. rpijg mastaba tomb, No. 50, presents 
xx[, ' some general affinities with the fore- 
going as well as some marked differences. 
The form, rectangular and oblong, with face to 
the east, is similar. There are in this instance 
two doorways, both leading directly into the 
passage running along the length. The inner 
walls were plastered, as before, and were pre- 
served (as the photograph shows) to a consider- 
able height. The eastern side was furnished 
with three of the false doors, or small shrines, 
the middle one being larger than the others. 
The most northerly seemed to have been care- 
fully prepared for the reception of some 
standing object, possibly a statue. From the 

southern end of tliis passage, as in the previous 
instance, a door leads westward into the in- 
terior, from which there descend two square 
pits. The one was a shaft leading down to a 
chamber on the south side, which was found 
empty ; the other was probably a well of 
offerings, but it descended to a great depth, 
and could not be excavated owing to accumu- 
lation of water. These pits were placed (as 
seen on the plan) centrally within the inner 
enclosure : it could not be determined whether 
there had been any roof, whether partial or 
covering the whole. Externally the western 
wall was preserved to the exceptional height 
of two metres ; it had also been plastered with 
white stucco, as the photograph shows. The 
northern and southern walls were found 
panelled above a certain height, as the photo- 
graph shows ; probably also the eastern face 
was similarly decorated, but it was not pre- 
served to the course of brickwork at which 
embellishment began. In the excavation of 
this tomb several small objects of interest were 
discovered. The burial chamber itself was 
found quite empty, but near the door of the 
tomb, at the southern end of the passage, 
some fragments of stone were found nicely 
inscribed with hieroglyphs in relief and 
painted. Unfortunately they gave little in- 
formation, with the exceptioia of one piece 
having the reference snffu rekh (Friend of the 
King). In a small hole, again, bored into the 
top of the wall near the north-west corner, 
were found a number of small round balls of 
tenacious and seemingly foreign clay, inscril)ed 
with incised marks (as shown in Plate XXX) 
in some manner, which is not readily construed. 
Tomb R 70. jj^ ^jjg tomb numbered E 70 in the 

Plates XVII 

XVIII, xxi' plan there is seen to be a building of 
greater size and architectural elaboration than 
those which have been previously described. 
Here the whole of the eastern face may be 
seen from the photographs of Plate XVII 
to have been decorated with double panels 











* ■^. V, 


"-, EG' 'TJ [I I N N C i 




I'eaching almost to tho ground. The walls on 
the other side are plain ; the outer wall on the 
west is preserved in parts to the height of 
nearly two metres. The plan shows that in 
this instance there are two long passages 
running parallel with one another, and with 
the eastern face. The curious way in which 
this tomb is built up to No. 7-5 at its north- 
east corner suggests a possibility that the 
eastern wall, and with it the easterly passage, 
was an addition to the original design of the 
structure. There is no reason to suppose, on 
the other hand, that it was not contemporary. 
There are in this case also two entrances, both 
from the east, which lead directly through the 
outer and into the inner passage. The analogy 
of detail with tomb No. 50 is further borne 
out by the threefold shrine or recess on the 
eastern side of the inner passage, correspond- 
ing almost in position to the main shaft of 
the interior. Unlike the two mastabas pre- 
viously described, the inmost portion of the 
tomb was an entirely solid mastaba, or platform 
of brick. From this two pits descended simply 
from its surface. They seem to have been 
approached by a flight of steps leading as 
usual from the southern end of the inner 
passage. These pits were probably, as before, 
the one for access to the burial chamber, the 
other merely a well of offerings. They both 

descended to a great depth, and being unsound 
at the lowest levels, a great excavation of the 
whole interior was necessitated. The progress 
of this (shown in Plate XXVI) resulted in the 
discovery of an interesting pot-burial below. 
The result of this cleai-ance was to find the 
burial chamber broken, robbed and empty; l)ut 
before the southern pit could be cleared out 
some serious subsidences during successive 
nights, threatening the upper walls of the 
tomb, made it necessary to leave that portion 
of the excavation not completed. 

Apart from its architecture, the chief in- 
terest of this great tomb thus devolves upon 
a discovery made during the early stages 
of its excavation. This was a large slab 
of limestone placed as a jamli in the outer 
southern door, as seen on Plate XVII. 
It is inscribed with hieroglyphs in relief, 
arranged in seven columns, giving the names 
of a number of scribes. Tht* inscription 
itself will be found described in Chapter XI, 
with Plate XXVII 1, where the pliotogra})h 
shows better the (juality of the work. The 
carving was of such clear character that the 
authorities of the Cairo Museum retained it as 
an example of the work of the time. It 
'seems to Itelong to the best period of the 
Old Kingdom, and to this date probably the 
tomb itself Tuay be assigned. 


With PlatLS XIX, XX. 

IN the four preceding clmpters the character 
of the larger tombs of the Third Dynasty 
has been examined in detail. It has been seen in 
Chapter III that the class of tomb most 
familiar to the period is characterized by a 
stairway descending from the north to its sub- 
terranean chambers, and in Chapter VI that a 
later class, distinguished by greater elaboration 
of the superstructure, seems to have gradually 
supplanted the former. 

These two classes were related. The one 
seems to have evolved directly from the other, 
and to have followed it closely in time. 
Ti)ougli distinguished from one another by 
names suggested l)y their leading features, 
yet even from the drawings which have illus- 
trated the foregoing chapters it may be seen 
that forms occur which combine to some extent 
the features of each class, to which the names 
stairway tombs or mastaba tombs would he 
equally or jointly ap])ropriate. But the stair- 
way tombs have a direct relation with the 
earliest form of Egyptian grave. In a site 
jointly representative of the pre-dynastic and 
earliest. dynastic periods, such as El Amrah, it 
is possible to trace the origins of the stairway 
tomb from the simple grave made as a mere 
hole in the ground. The later mastAba tombs, 
on the other hand, link directly with the 
structures characteristic of the Pyramid Age 
and the elaborate architecture of the Old 
Kingdom. There is therefore to be found in 
the evolution of these tomb structures a definite 
bond of continuity which links the earliest pre- 

dynastic period with the full light of historic 
times. This element of evidence is associated 
so closely with the conservative customs of a 
people's history, that it must be regarded as of 
first importance in the pi'oblem of Egyptian 

In the diagrams which illustrate this evolu- 
tion, the examples have been chosen so far as 
possible from the locality of Bet Khallaf and 
Eeqaqnah. Occasionally for some special pur- 
pose an isolated example of the elaboration of 
certain features has been introduced from else- 
where. It might have been possible, indeed, 
by adding to these series a number of extra- 
neous intermediate forms which the site itself 
supplies only indirectly or imperfectly, to have 
illustrated a secpience of tombs changing 
gradually and uniformly from stage to stage. 
By this process the sand holes which served 
for graves in prehistoric times would be found 
linked in sequence, for instance, with the 
pyramids themselves. A result seemingly so 
incongruous demands caution against any 
error of generalization. ISmall changes seem- 
ingly in sequence are not necessarily consecu- 
tive in time. Forms may spontaneously recur, 
or even revert ; or a whole series illustrating 
the development of an idea may prove to be 
contemporary. In the' same way, analogous 
types of different localities are known in 
general to belong to the same period ; but the 
fact cannot be used alone as evidence in par- 
ticular instances. It is only when the whole 
history of a site is known in detail and in 





I, 2. Simple pn-dynastic Graves. 



- '^■^ J-^-rJ-- '> ,=^ 


3, 4. Deeper pre-dynaslic Graves, tvitli steps. 

Stainvay Tomb of First Dynasty. 

% B 

7. StainiHiy Toinl> oj Tliird Dynasty, 'with 
subterranean chambers. 

6. Elaborated Stainvay Tomb (of Qa) First Dynasty. 

8. Deeper Stairway 'Fond' of Third Dynasty, 
-with supporting cross 'Walls. 



Elaborated Stair'way Tomb of Third Dynasty. 

10. Final Form of Stainvay Tomb, Sixth Dynasty. 



general, horn independent sources, that it 
becomes possible to trace the evobition of the 
forms it ilhistrates. Fortunately two years' 
work in this region have made it possible in 
this instance. 

The diagrams which illustrate this evolution 
are grouped separately under plans and sec- 
tions. So far as it was found desirable for the 
purpose, the sections are those of tombs whose 
plans appear on the preceding plate. Except 
in the cases numbered 1 -4 of each, these 
drawings are made to scale from measurement 
of oliserved instances. 
„ , The first four represent the simple 

Development ^ ^ 

in Plan, gi'avcs of prcliistoric times. At 
first there were holes dug in the 
sand, either round ( 1 ) or oldong (2). Instances 
of this class are numerous, as at Negadah and 
El Amrah, and locally at Alawniyeh. Stage 
(;^) shows the deeper grave to have suggested 
as a convenience a way down to it, provided 
by a roughly cut out step or steps. This also 
was observed at Alawniyeh. The next stage 
is important, being the first form of stairway 
tomb, where the chamber and stairs are more 
truly constructed, and the former probably 
covered by a roof of timber and mud. In- 
stances occur at Beqa(inah and at El Kab. 
The whole development up to this point is 
natural and gradual. Another diagram might 
at this point have been introduced from 
instances observed at El Kab, where the stair- 
way descends as here, but the desert surface 
having been found sufficiently strong, the small 
chamber at the foot was cut out, leaving a roof 
of gravel above it. The effect in appearance 
is the same exactly as that in which a roof is 
artificially supplied ; but the link is important 
as leading directly to the subsequent develop- 
ment, which it may be easier to follow sepa- 
rately from this stage in plan and in section. 

On Plate XIX the diagram numbered -5 
shows the plan fora tomb found at Mahasna.' 
1 G.M.K, Plates XXXIII, XXXV. 

It was dated to the First or Second Dynasty on 
the evidence of objects found in its excavation. 
It illustrates a further development of the 
motive in No. 4. The stairway is more decided, 
the chamber is more true and lined with l)rick- 
work. One end of the room is divided by 
partition walls, providing a number of recesses 
or ante-rooms. The origin of this subdivision 
has been traced at El Amrah-'- to a desire for 
small recesses wherein to place the different 
kinds of offerings, and this development is seen 
to be in progress at the beginning of the First 
Dynasty. As a fiu-ther illustration showing 
the elaboration of this motive during the First 
Dynasty, the tomb of King Qa at Abydos^ is 
of interest (No. 6). Here the stairway descends 
as usual to the chamber, but the provision of a 
number of recesses about the main room is 
already accepted as so necessary that they have 
been built as separate chambers around the 
central one. 

It has already been mentioned that these 
tomb chambers were roofed over with timber 
and earth, covered with mud ; and that the 
experiment of excavating the chamber entirely 
below the surface, leaving a natural roof, was 
already being tried. All further development 
seems to have been prompted by a striving 
after greater security for the body of the 
deceased. Hence the subsequent deepening of 
the stairway, and the placing of a large stone 
against the door of the Ijurial chamber, as it is 
found in a simple example (No. 7) of the late 
Second or early Third Dynasty. The depth of 
the chambers below the surface now compels 
their excavation, and the same desire for ante- 
chambers finds expression in a number of small 
rooms or recesses leading from the main 
chamber in various directions. The stairway 
tomb is now fully developed. 

In No. 8 the same principles are illustrated; 
only in that case the deeper stairway or the more 

= R.M.A. Plate IV. 
= P.R.T. (1). Plate LX. 



yielding cliaractei' of the gravel through which 
it is dug has introduced the necessity for cross 
walls and buttresses to support the sides. The 
chambers are subterranean, and their door is 
closed by a large stone as before. It is natural 
that on tlie surface above the tomb, within its 
area, there should develop a chapel or shrine 
for the making of offerings and jtrayers after 
the usual custom.' 

The remainder of tliis evolution will be 
clearly illustrated by the diagrams in section. 
It is important to notice in regard to the plans 
9 and 10 a continual approximation to- 
wards the familiar appearance of mastaba in 
the Old Empire, as exemplified by the further 
series R 75, R -50, and R 70 on l^late XXI. 

This change is indicated l)y the gradual 
widening of the cross walls in the passage, and 
the conse(juent closing of the open spaces 
above the stairs until these assume the form of 
mere shafts at intervals, utilized in the elaborate 
tomb (No. 9) as guides for lowering the stone 
doors. The stairway appears next, in the Sixth 
Dynasty tomb, completely roofed over, and so 
almost disappears from the surface plan. At 
the same time the visible structure above 
ground has been developing, and has already 
assumed the form in plan and the appearance 
characteristic of the mastaba (e.g. No. R 75, 
Plate XXI; No. 10, Plate XIX). The dis- 
appearance of the stairway at this stage 
consetjuently involved no visible change. The 
sliaft leading directly down to the bottom of the 
passage, which seems always to have been 
found indispensable, served equally well for 
access to the chambers, when with this pro- 
cess of changes the necessity for a stairway 
was no longer ap])arent. The plans of these 
tombs thus ilhistrate a continual develop- 
ment, prompted by a visible slow cliange of 
purpose, linking tlie simple pre-historic grave 
with the elaborate mastaba of historic times. 

' Maspero : Manual of £t/i/jif/((ii Arc/idioldi/i/ i litO'2), 
p. 342. 

Tlie sections of these tombs nre- 

Development i 

in Section. Sent this cvolution from a different 
Plate XX. ^gppg^^ ajjfi illustrate at the same 
time some points of analogy more clearly. The 
development of a stairway with the deepening 
and elaboration of the earliest graves (seen in 
diagrams 1-4) is natural, and leads directly to 
the form of stairway tomb in the First Dyn- 
asty, No. 5. It seems to have been an early 
custom to roof these small graves with twigs 
and nnul, at the level of the surrounding sands. 
The appearance when covered over must have 
been the same as that of a small chamljer 
excavated in the desert, leaving the natural 
roof of gravel above. That this method was 
actually in use has been shown by observed 
instances at El Kab" and at Reqaqnah. But 
until the stairway deepened considerably it 
must have been the simpler method to supply 
a new roof to replace the yielding surface sands. 
In the Tliird Dynasty, however, when the deep- 
ening of the stairway, in an effort to gain 
greater security for the burial, led down to 
harder strata of desert gravel, it became not 
merely possible but expedient to excavate the 
chambers entirely below the surface, leaving for 
protection as great a thickness of desert gravel 
as possible above them. This change marks a 
definite stage of development : the perishable 
timber roof gives way to the more desirable 
super-stratum of gravel. 

The diagrams numbered G and 7 show well 
the stage of evolution reached at the beginning 
of the Third Dynasty. But these tombs (K 3 
and K 4) at Bet Khallaf happen to have been 
placed where the desert gravel was remarkably 
hard in the lower strata. It was only under 
such conditions that it was possible to excavate 
the stairway to any great depth without sup- 
porting the sides. At Reqaqnah, for instance, 
as the next diagram (No. 8) shows, it was 
found desii'able in tomb R 40 to line each side 
with a brick wall, mutually supporting each 
2 Q.K., p. 7, etc. 


■-- a 



1, 2. Sim/'/i' Gritvi's of /he 
pre dynastic Period. 


3. Deeper Grnve, 'vitli Step down 
{Ala'tsniiyelt, eti.) 

4. Deeper Roofed Grave, ivitli Steps 
(Reijaqnali, etc.) 

5. Simple Stainvay Tondt of First 
Dynasty (A/a/tas/ia). 

6, 7. Staif~i>ay Toint's of Early Tliird Dynasty, witli Sul'terraiieait 
CJiamliers {Bit KliallAJ). 

iJ chambers;""" 


— -y-^. ^'.-^ 

8, g. Large Stairjcay Toniln of TJtird Dynasty, with Cross Wall Supports to sides of Stairway and Sii/'terranean Chambers (Reipi<inah). 



IT. Pinal Porm oj Stainvay Tomb (Adu II., 
at Dendereh), Sixth Dynasty. 

10. Elaborated Stainvay Tomb of Third Dynasty {Bet Khallaf). 



other by slight cross walls placed from side to 
side. The passage below was kept clear by 
means of an archway. In a further instance 
{No. '.»), the supporting cross walls are made 
wider and stronger; the spaces between them 
appear more as shafts or air holes, and the 
archways below them take the form of a series 
of short Ijarrel vaults. 

Thougli exceptional in many ways, the great 
tomb of Neter-Khet provides an interesting 
study in section (No. 10) of the elaboration of 
the ]n^inciple of construction in stairway tomlss 
at this stage of their evolution. The whole 
motiv^e for this remarkable structure was 
security for the burial chamber. 'I'he passage 
leads down continuously to so great a depth 
that the shafts, which occur at intervals, 
appear as mere interruptions to an otherwise 
continuous tunnel. After serving their pur- 
pose as guides for the enormous stones which 
barred the way at six successive points, these 
shafts were closed up, and, like the stairway 
itself, tlieir position was concealed by masoni'y 
built solidly above it. In these doors there 
may be seen the prototypes of those familiar 
in the pyramid passages : only in the latter 
case, after the stone had been supported in a 
position from which it could be readily dropped 
across the way as required, the remainder of 
the pile was built upwards, leaving the door in 
readiness to be closed from the interior. It is 
an elaboration of the principle just demon- 
strated in the tomb of Neter Khet. The whole 
mass which constitutes the superstructure of 
this tomb, again, guards against the possi- 

bility of forcing a way, as was common, into 
the chambers below. It recalls at once, in 
appearance, the lowest stage of the step pyra- 
mid at Sakkara, of wliich the king who was 
buried here is reputed to be the ))uih1er. It 
would seem, in any case, that the same motive 
prompted the engineers in each case. 

But this solid supei'structure was not charac- 
teristic of the trend in tlio development of 
smaller tombs. By a glance at Plate XXI, 
the plan of tomb R 75, and the other large 
mastilbas, it may be seen that already the 
custom was coming into vogue in the Third 
Dynasty of erecting some form of a shrine 
above the site of the tombs. The iirecise form 
which this took was probably dictated by ritual: 
the door is uniformly on the east ; the eastern 
wall is often elaborately decorated, and there 
is a passage-way or chapel coming along the 
eastern intei'ior. Tiie principle of the mas- 
tAba tomljs was thus already well developed. 
The stairway might give way, through difficulty 
of construction, to tiie simpler tomb shaft 
ffivina: access to the chambers. In more im- 
portant tombs, as in that of Adu I or Adu II, 
at Dendereh, the stairway might survive, or 
recur, as a continuous tunnel. But from a glance 
at the tomb plans of Plate XXI, or at those 
mastabas which have been found elsewhere, it 
is seen that the disappearance of the passage, 
the original feature of the stairway tomb, no 
longer seems a matter of importance at a time 
when the superstructure of the mastaba tomb 
was receiving the whole attention of the archi- 
tects in the Old Empire. 



With Plates XXI, XXII. 

' I MIK picture of a portion of the northern 
-*- necropolis in Plate III has already 
shown the smaller tombs to have been arranged 
Position, in it with some show of system. In 
Plate XXI. ^\y^<^ photograph twonarrow ways are 
seen lying between the parallel rows of tombs, 
and in the plan on Plate XXI, two other divi- 
sions, less regular but more lengthy, are trace- 
able in a similar direction. The preservation 
of the mastnbas numbered 50, GO, and 61, 
indeed, gives to the way between them the 
appearance of a long walled passage, as shown 
by the jjhotograph in Plate XVI of the west 
wall of R 50. 

It is ap|)arent, too, from tlie plan, that both 
the smaller tombs have been placed with due 
regard to the positions and directions of the 
others, and also bear some relation to the three 
larger mastabas. There are suggestions in 
these positions with regard to one another of 
the general scheme by which the necropolis 
grew ; but it may be well first to examine what 
is more distinct, the evidence of the appro.xi- 
mations of adjoining structures. On Plate 
XXV, for example, the general view of the 
shrine of Shepses, just shows on the left hand 
how this tomb had been completed, with the 
usual batter to its walls, liefore that numbered 6:5 
was built up to it. In other cases the evidence 
is even more clear, where a wall of an existing 
tomb has been made to serve also for one 
placed against it with only three sides new. 
For illustration. No. 55a was built against 
No. 54, No. (56 against No. 67 ; No. 70 was 

built later than 75, and No. ^S was subse- 
quently placed in the corner formed by them. 
In this way certain definite relations between 
adjoining tombs are established. Bearing in 
mind also other matters of observation, such 
as the character of the tombs and the objects 
deposited with them, other relations between 
the groups may be inferred. The pre-position 
of No. 67, for instance, seems to have deter- 
mined tbe somewhat symmetrical position of 
64. No. 54, again, was probably earlier than 
the mastaba 50, because the smaller tomb is 
not placed in symmetry with the larger. 

Combining all branches of evi- 
dence, the following seems to have 

Growth of 

been the order in which this site 

developed — 

Early III Dyna.sty. 
Mastfiba Nn. 75 : followed by ^roap 88-89, and airou]) 

Later III}'. 
No. 54 : Nos. .50 a.b, followed by 55 a.b. 
Nos. 53, 58, 57 : Nos. 52, .59 ; the tomb, 08. 

III-IV Dynasty. 

No. 04, followed by 03, (i'i, 01, in .succession. 

R'-V Dynasty. 
Mastaba No. .50 : the walls, No. 51 and OO. 

V Dynasty. 
The Mastaba 70 ; the outer walls of tomb, 08. 
Independently : III-IV D.ynasty : The series 91-99 to 
the north. 

The foregoing talnilation pre-surraises some 
of the evidences which have not been described 
in detail. Some other details may be of 
interest. The slope of the walls, or angle of 



1200. REQAQNAH. NECROPOLIS of Smaller tombs and Mastabas. 




batter, was tested in sevci-al cnses, iiinong them 
the following — 

Au^le of J5iitter. 

K 1 .sliipe: ") ill H( I, oi' mie-sixth. 

RoOW. „ : loin iJ-4, nr one-ninth (—). 

R 54 W. „ : 23 in V22, or one-fifth { -). 

R54N. „ : 17 in 122, or one-seventh (-). 

R Gl „ : 8 in 80, or one-tenth. 

R 62 „ : ") in 7U, or one-fourteenth. 

Ill the better construeted and better pre- 
served walls, the average batter lies between 
one-fifth and one-sixth. 

The degree of orientation, too, 

Orientation. . , . 

though generally determuied in great 
measure by the average direction of the Nile 
Valley, lacks uniformity. In the larger tombs 
it is as follows — 

E, L (West wall of [.assage) : 14i,° W. 
R 2 • V° W 

E 40. (Central line) : 10.|° W. 

R .54. (West wall) : 17° W. 

R 64. ^Continuous face) : 231° w. 

R 70. (East face) : 13° W. 

The correction to be applied is about 4° { + ). 

Though actually losing the effect by differ- 
ences of preserved height, there is a general 
similarity between the tombs as seen in the 
plan. This effect arises from the characteristic 
feature of early architecture, the panel-recess, 
used in some cases with great elaboration, but 
here occurring only once or twice, upon the 
eastern face, in all cases towards the southern 
end. The tombstone or other object is some- 
times found within, as at El Kab and Hiera- 
konpolis, and the evolution into a shrine or 
chapel is seen in the two instances numbered 62 
and 64 of this necropolis.' The architectural 
development of tliis feature is not traced : it 
occurs highly developed in the so-called tomb 
of Mena at Negada ' of the First Dynasty. Nor 
is it peculiar to Egyptian architecture, being 
familiar in the early monumental works of 
Chaldffia ; and it disappears from common 
use in Egypt after the time of the Old Empire. 

' Cf. Maspero: ArcJiacologi/ (1902), p. 342. 
' M.T.R., p. 157. 

The character and construction of this feature 
in its simple form is seen in the next plate, No. 
XXII ; and its elaborate use as an architectural 
embellishment appears in the face of the large 
Old Kingdom mastAba No. 7(t on Plate XVII. 
The effect of similarity which it gives to the 
outline plans of the smaller tombs, though it 
illustrates a common custom, is not carried out in 
furtluT detail. Otlier differences may be found 
Construction, ill the coiistructioii of the tomlis 
Plate XXII. tliemselves. Excavation shows that 
the boundary wall may enclose variously a 
vaulted chamber or a large earthenware bowl, 
or that the interior may be Ijiiilt up solid with a 
square shaft descending in the centre. The 
character of the burials themselves varies little, 
and there is equal uniformity between the 
objects deposited with them. It thus appears 
at first glance that several modes of tomb con- 
struction are found co-existing at this period, 
superficially resembling one another, but differ- 
ing in some details, hence tending from or 
merging towards a common form. It would 
be convenient to consider first those tombs 
which are not enclosed uniformly with the 
others, that is to say, with a brick wall panelled 
with recesses upon its eastern face. 

Vaulted tombs, Of thesB there are two chief 
unenclosed kinds of present interest : the one 
is a vaulted burial chamber, built simply in 
a hole dug in the groinid, and found like all 
the smaller tombs, covered with sand and hidden 
from sight. There is no picture here to show 
the first appearance of one of these ; but on 
Plate XXIII the burial No. 110 is seen lying 
under the ])artly opened roof, while the details 
of this double arch are seen more clearly on 
Plate XIV. 

It is of singular interest to notice that in 
appearance and construction this class of tomb, 
though here covered by nearly two metres of 
deep desert gravel, is exactly similar to a form 
commonly to be seen standing above ground in 



many Arab cemeteries of to-day. Four or five 
thousand years have changed it not at all : for 
common use in Moslem burial it is the same now 
in character, in construction, and in appearance 
as it was then in the Third Egyptian Dynasty ; 
only that now the direction of the graves tends 
towards the focus of Islam, whereas then it lay 
parallel with the Nile. Whether indeed its 
use has been continuous tlu'oughout the inter- 
vening ages cannot be said, it may seem doubt- 
ful ; but it is of that simple design, coml)ining 
ease of building with cheapness of material, 
which in a country where Nature suggests no 
change, is most likely to persevere. The hole 
being dug, two low brick walls of the required 
length are raised parallel to one another : at 
one end they abut upon the desert, or are joined 
there by a cross wall. The first bricks of the 
vaulted roof are laid against this, leaning to 
it, and supported thus, by friction and mud- 
mortar, even in the process of construction 
before the span is completed. The next course, 
which extends the vault though like an inde- 
pendent arch, leans similarly back against 
that which was just completed, to which it is 
bonded. In this way the barrel roof extends 
the length of the wall, leaving to the eye the 
effect, from the slant of the successive spans, 
of a vault that has partly collapsed in the 
dii-ection of its length. It is a common Oriental 
method ; its use is found alike in the ruins 
of ancient Khorsabad and in modern buildings 
of the Upper Nile. 

The exposed end may then be closed l)y 
an independent piece of walling, either ex- 
ternal or just inside the aperture. Another 
method of building the root was equally 
familiar, and of possibly earlier origin. The 
side walls being made sufficiently strong to 
support the thi-ust, either by their thickness or 
by pressure of sand outside, a course of bricks 
is laid along them so that the ends of the bricks 
project uniformly a little way over the interior 
on either hand. The exterior ends of this 

course are supported by weight of brick or other 
means. A second course is then laid upon the 
first, similarly projecting inwards beyond the 
course l^elow, further closing tlie top. The 
process is repeated and carried up until the 
two sides meet, and being solidly built tend 
mutually to support one another further. Com- 
monly only two or three courses were used in 
a roof of this character, like that of tomb -jti 
shown on Plate XIV ; but this principle was 
common and might be put to elaborate purpose, 
as in the case of the roofed passage to the burial 
chamber of N^zem-Ankh at Bet Khallaf. ' 
Cases at EI Toml)s of this kind have been 
Amrah. found in othcr sites, and seem to 
be of eai'lier origin. At El Amrah they were 
observed and their construction carefully de- 
scribed." The roof there seems in all cases to 
have been the false arch : and the furniture 
of the tombs, chiefly pottery and stone vases, 
was all of that character which is found to 
appear at the close of the jire-dynastic period. 
The conclusion to which the excavator came 
from his consideration of the class in which he 
would include this form of tomb is not a little 
significant, though it refers more closely to the 
form of tomb next to be considered. His com- 
jjarison of the forms of bowls and pottery, de- 
posited in these tombs at El Amrah and those 
of Abydos, definitely assign the class to the 
First Dynasty, without excluding the possibility 
that they may have extended a short way into 

the Second. 

The vaulted tombs of this char- 
acter found at El Kalj are de- 
scribed, owing to reasons already explained, 
as belonging to the Middle Kingdom.' The 
definite relative dates now assigned to the 
archaeological types which formed the basis 
for this conclusion, enable the period to lie 
defined with j)recisiuu from the complete and 

' u.M.iv. ri.xxiv. 

^E.M.A., 3-5. p.p. 28, 34. 
■' Q.K., pp. 13, 14. 

At El Kab. 



At Ballas. 

scientific record which the excavator gave 
of his observation. It must appear that the 
majority of these tombs at El Kab pertain 
to the same period as those of Reqaqnah, 
namely the early Old Kingdom or the Third 
and Fourth Dynasties. One or two toml)s, in 
particular No 264, seem to suggest a date in 
the Second or early Third Dynasty from its 
accumulation of pottery forms, which may be 
classed under Nos. 12 and 22 on Plate XIII, 
and other associated ol)jects ; but none of them 
apparently reach beyond that period in the Old 
Kingdom where the class of objects familiar to 
the early dynasties is gradually replaced by 
the newer forms. 

That the custom was continuous 
however, appears from its occur- 
rence at Ballas in an association which must 
assign it in this instance to the early Middle 
Empire from the Sixth to the Eleventh 
Dynasties.' The vases and pottery were an- 
alogous in form and character to those 
found in sites of this date at Dendereh 
and at Mahasna. Bead necklaces, too, were 
common, made variously of shell, glaze and 
cornelian. In one case a " button " lying, it is 
said, upon a man's jaw, and in another a 
scarab without inscription, are significant evi- 
dence. From what has since been learnt of the 
period of these objects, the general date of these 
cases may be definitely inferred/^ It is of 
interest to find them here as elsewhere in de- 
finite association with graves of the recognized 
pre-dynastic character, though the excavator 
himself came to the independent conclusion 
from their relations that these tombs were 
clearly of a period posterior to that of the 
" foreign " (really the prehistoric) race. 

It is thus seen that this class of tomb, the 
vaulted chamber (unenclosed) is familiar from 
before the First Dynasty till the dawn of the 
Middle Empire, and that its use was probably 

' Q.B. p. 2. § 4 C2). 

continued. The class occurs also at the Re- 
qaqnah within an enclosure, as mentioned 
below. The other form of tomb superficially 
unlike the majority at Reqaqnah, and occin-ring 
Plain itself but rarely, is that of a plain 
Rectangular rectangular enclosure. Of this 
simpler type the group of tombs 
88a, b, and 89, seen on Plate XXIV, is the only 
example. As shown in the plan, it is built up to 
an early stairway mastaba,and the pottery found 
in it (XIII, 2, 5), is of the character familiarly 
met with in the stairway tombs of the locality. 
The date of the group is thus plainly of the 
early Third Dynasty, and the association with 
it of a limestone stela of Se-Mery, inscribed and 
carved in low relief, makes the result of special 
interest. A style of tomb so simple and 
elementary can hardly claim a separate history ; 
yet its origins are carefully described in tlie 
pages of El Amrah, and its early analogies 
noted. It may Ije that this was in fact the 
forerunner of the well-tomb so familiar in the 
later times. In the present instances the graves 
88a and n, with the small svu'face inclosure, 
in which the stela was found on the eastern side, 
seem to have been built first ; then 88c and 89 
seem to have been added successively, though 
there is nothing to suggest any interval of time 
between the beginning of this group and its 

With the exception of the two 

Enclosed i . ■ i i i -i 1 

relatively rare classes described 

tombs. •' 

above, the tombs of this necropolis 
were rendered uniform in outer appearance by 
the character of the wall which enclosed them 
on every side. However dissimilar in the 
interior, they presented to the eye a walled 
superstructure, plain on three sides, but 
panelled on the eastern face with a recess 
similar to that shown in the photograph of 
R 54 on Plate XXII. 

The same motive carried along 
e pane ^|^^ ^^^^ cousecutively is the familiar 


decoration of the walls of large 



mastabas (e.g. Tomb 75, Plate XVII). Some- 
times the recess is represented in depth by a 
single brick, as in the enclosure of the pot- 
bnrials which adjoined the above (No. SSa, on 
Plate XXYII). More commonly it is donljle, 
as seen on Plate XXII in the photograph of 
pottery deposited against the side of No. 08. 
In other cases more elaborated it reaches a 
depth of three bricks, or even more. Usually 
in these smaller tombs there is one recess only, 
eastward from the position of the body in the 
burial chamber. In cases where the tomb 
consists of several separate portions there is 
commonly one to each division, as in the 
larger tomb of Shepses, Plate XXV. In other 
cases two are found, either dictated by a length 
of plain wall (e.g. R .56) or to add to an 
otherwise poor effect (e.g., R 55). In no case 
in the smaller tombs are more than two recesses 
found on a wall, nor do they appear on any 
other than the eastern face. Even in the 
largest mastabas the western face (which was 
also towards the desert) is always plain. 

With this general similarity in their outward 
appearance, the enclosed tombs resolve them- 
selves into four classes, distinguished by 
differing forms of their interiors. 

(/. Vaulted chambers within an enclosed area. 

h. Large inverted pots within an enclosed area. 

c. Square shafts through solid superstructure. 

d. Square shafts within an enclosed area. 
(a) The first of these sub-divisions, the 

cases of burials under inverted pots, will form 
the subject of a subsequent chapter. It will 
be seen that the custom is of early, possibly 
pre-dynastic, origin, and that it continued into 
the early days of the Fifth Dynasty. The two 
or three cases here in which they are enclosed 
with a panelled wall, Nos. 55.\-b on Plate 
XXVI and 250 on Plate XXVIl, may have a 
local peculiarity suggested by the pre-existing 
character of the surrounding tombs. It will 
be seen that these instances, from their 
associations mid furnitui-e, must be assigned to 

some period shortly after the time of Seneferu, 
and, therefore, in the early Fourth Dynasty. 

(b) With regard to the age and origins of 
the vaulted chamber, there is little more to add 
to the description given in a preceding section 
of this cha])ter. The addition of an enclosing 
wall seems to be hei-e a development which is 
also chronological. That is to say, the vaulted 
tombs which are enclosed seem also to be the 
earlier and original practice. As in tlie case of 
the enclosures of pot-burials, it may be that 
here the surrounding walls were built to 
harmonize witji the general architecture of the 
necropolis, which was also characteristic of the 
age. That this was probably the case appears 
from the case of tomb No. 68 shown in the 
plate (No. XXII), and in the plan preceding. 
Here the vault seems to have been constructed 
at some time just subsequent to the date of the 
early masti\ba, No. 75, to the west, which it 
adjoins, and a numerous deposit of pottery 
vessels (chiefly of the forms 11 and 12 of 
Plate XIII and their analogies) was placed 
near it on the eastern side. At a somewhat 
later date, when the mastaba No. 70 was 
constructed or completed, in order seemingly 
to protect this tomb and at the same time to 
preserve the harmony of appearance, the 
panelled wall was built around it in the corner 
formed by the adjoinment of the two mastabas, 
upon and al)ove the pottery vessels which the 
photograph shows to be lying under and 
around the wall on either side. The examples 
of this class are plentiful. No. 56a, which is 
seen in the photograph of Plate XV, is a good 
example, and No. 560 is similar to it. No. 80, 
shown in detail on Plate XXIII, is deeper 
within, and some of the offerings of pottery 
remained in the enclosed recess of its eastern 

A further case, No. 72, may be seen from the 
photograph of Plate XV. to be less usual. 
Here the vault is placed at the foot of a 
square shaft of iirickwork abont two metres in 



depth. This seems to \>e a definite link witli 
the sub-division next to be described. 

(c) The pit-touibs or toml)S designed essen- 
tially with a vertical shaft leading down to a 
burialchaniberbelowthe ground, were uniformly 
similar in these features. They differed in the 
character of the superstructure, which was in 
some cases solid, and in other cases merely an 
enclosure or enclosing wall. Those which 
were solid were related to one other and to the 
general necropolis ; those which were hollow 
were confined to a mound apart in the 
extreme north of the site. This distinction is 
also one of time ; for the former were homo- 
geneous and dated approximately to the age of 
Seneferu ; while the latter were a slightly later 
growth dated by a cylinder seal of Khaf-ra. 
The solid superstructures are in effect mastabas, 
and their tombs are models in miniature of the 
greater structures which are more familiar by 
that name. In the plate (No. XXII) the 
photographs of the nameless tomb No. 54 
show that it was nevertheless a well-finished 
and imposing building. It had a length of 
7 metres, and is pi-eserved to a height of 
1 1 m. The walls have a uniform batter of 
one-seventh, and the panel recess is constructed 
with some elaboration. The shaft is lined with 
bricks to a depth of 2 m., and leads down 
to a small chamber situated, as in all cases, to 
the south. In this the burial was found 
undisturbed, as described in the ensuing 

Still larger, and more elaborate, was the 
tomb structure of Shepses, royal scribe of 
Seneferu. In this case the building was 10 m 
(33 feet) long, and, as may be seen in the 
plan, consisted of three portions, continuous 
but distinct. The northern end was solid, and 
was furnished with a threefold panel in its 
eastern face. The central portion enclosed the 
shaft which led down to the undisturbed Irarial 
chamber. The southern end consisted 
essentially of a small chapel over the burial 

chamber, in the eastern interior wall of which 
was a wooden shrine of striking interest. 
This was composed of wooden jambs, recessed 
in the usual way, with lintels above, the upper 
and outer one s(|uared, the lower one rounded. 
On the central panel was the figure of Shepses 
with staff and baton, and the jambs are 
inscribed in relief in an early manner (Plates 
XXTX, XXX). It is prototype of the 
false door of later times. The end of the 
mastaba, just seen on the left of the photo- 
graph of the general view of the shrine on 
Plate XXV, is completed with the usual batter 
and finish. It thus apjiears that buildings 
which abut upon it to the south, Nos. 03, 62, 
()1, 60, are of consecutively later work. 

In the first of these cases, tomb No. 03, no 
chamber had been made, and the burial lay, 
therefore, in a usual attitude at the bottom of 
the shaft, as shown in Plate XXIV, and 
described in the ensuing chapter. The other 
pit-tombs were normal ; some, however, were so 
deep that though the excavation of them was 
continually postponed as water was come to, 
yet at the end of the season, with the approach 
of summer, their depth had not been fathomed. 
It was certainly greater than 13 metres. 

(d.) The pit-tombs enclosed merely 

Shafts merely i i n i_i i 

, , by an outer wall were themselves 

enclosed. ^ 

similar. In some of them the 
chambers were very small, and the burial 
consequently lay partly protruded into the 
bottom of the shaft. A weakness of the 
gravel bed at this jxjiut may have been the 
cause. In some cases,' as may be seen in the 
plan, the enclosure was comparatively large, 
while its wall was only one or two bricks 

In addition to these four chief 

Other cases, i ■ i i; 

classes, tombs or graves ot excep- 
tional character were occasionally met with. 
The small and simple enclosure. No. 6i^ on Plate 
XXIII, with its cover of large bricks, is an 
instance, and being apparently a hasty expe- 



dient, hardly constitutes a type. Possibly the 
imitation of round pot forms illustrated on 
Plate XXVII should Ije included under this 
category. A more striking case is that 
numbered 71 on Plate XV, where the design 
of a rectangular enclosure is combined with 
that of the familiar form of recess, which is 
accordingly built on the eastern interior face, 
that is, of its western wall. 

Such was the disposition and 
character of the smaller tombs con- 
stituting the necropolis at Reqaqnah, repre- 
sentative probably of the middle classes 

of the district at the close of the Third 
Dynasty and the beginning of the Fourth. Their 
general co-relation with regard to date may 
more suitably belong to the general problem of 
burial customs of the period, and will 
accordingly be considered in tlie ensuing 
chapter. In this main question the evidence 
of tomb construction is naturally of first 
importance, and may be used as a basis for the 
discussion. It is, therefore, convenient to 
tabulate in some way suitable for reference the 
different classes into whicli the tombs have been 
seen to group themselves. 




Dated Examples. 


Eange of Use in General. 


Rectangular Enclosures. 

No. 88a. Ill Dynasty. 
Nos. 88 B-c. Analogous. 


Before I-[ ? IV]. 

Variant : 

No. 71 


[not evident]. 


Inverted pots. 

a. Not enclosed. 
h. Enclosed. 

Nos. 70a, 87. 
Nos. 5.5a, b, 250. 

} XX VI- VII. 

) Before I 
• J to V Dynasty. 


Vaults not enclosed. 

No. 110. ?pre-in. 


] Before I through O.E., 
j and possibly continuous. 

„ enclosed. 

Nos. G8, 80, 56A-B, 80, III. 
57, 58, 66, 67, etc. 


-V. Analogous. 


Square shaft : solid 


No. 64. End III. 

Shepses temp. Seneferu. 
Nos. 54, 63. II. 


About III and continuous. 


„ enclosed. 

No. 92. IV. Temp. Khafra. 
Nos. 91-99. 


Common foi'm later 
without panelled wall. 


Exceptional cases. 

Nos. 66, &c. 


With the exception of Class 2 of burials 
under inverted pots, which on account of its 
more definite range will form the subject of a 

separate subsequent chapter, the burial types 
of these smaller tombs will be described in the 
pages next ensuing. 






UUFilAL Df.i.,A>ED' f; 

.:^!$^^'; ^^■■ 





a. liurial Types in General. Plates XXII-IV. b. The Tomb of Shepses. Plate XXV. 

ri^HE previous chapter has considered the con- 
-A- struction of the smaller tombs found in 
tlie necropolis of the Third Dynasty at Reqaq- 
nali : this and the subsequent chapter will be 
concerned rather with tlie burial ciistoms of the 
period, the method of interment, and the furni- 
ture placed with the dead. The differences 
between them, distinguished here as types, 
will be found chiefly in tlie character of the 
tombs themselves, and their relations one to 
the other will thus depend in great measure 
upon the evidences already considered. 

By turning over the plates of illustrations it 
may be seen that the first appearance of the 
burials present many differences, and it will Ije 
the object of the present chapter to see whether 
these bear any relation to the character of the 
tombs, and so farther advance the general 

In the preceding chapter it was seen that 
the tombs of the site group themselves into six 
classes, and it will be convenient to follow the 
order of tabulation with which tliat chapter 
concluded — 

(i.) Burials with rectangular enclosures, 
(ii.) Burials under inverted pottery vessels. 
(iii.) Burials in vaulted tombs, 
(iv.) Burials in pit-tombs with solid super- 
(v.) Burials in pit-toml)s with enclosing 

(vi.) Exceptional cases. 
(i.) Burials (i-) The siuiple class of burial 
in Quadran- -^Yitliin a rectangular enclosure has a 


Enclosures, naturally early origin. They have 
been observed at KawAmil and El Amrah, 

and in their earliest form followed a separate 
ohiss in the catalogue which Mr. Maclver 
gave of the tombs from the latter site.' There 
they appear to have come into use in the First 
Dynasty, and to have continued during the 
latter growth of the necropolis. The form 
evolves naturally from the unl>ricked grave of 
similar shape, Avhich is again related back 
directly with the oblong, oval and round graves 
of the prehistoric character. It appears to 
have been roofed in various ways, as for in- 
stance in the case of the small grave No. 66, 
Plate XXIII, roofed with a flat cover of brick ; 
but in its essential character of a four-sided 
enclosure of lirick walling, it seems to have 
lieen roofed with boughs and twigs plastered 
over with mud. 

No. R 88a. In the plates (XXIV and XV) only 
Plate XXIV. ^ pgggg Qf t-]ae Third Dynasty 

are illustrated, but they include some features 
of special interest. In the case of that num- 
bered R 88a, Plate XXIV, the chamber was 
about one metre in depth, with the same width 
and a slightly greater length. Within, the 
burial lay with the knees sufficiently bent to 
admit the body to the grave. ' The original 
presence of a decayed wood cotfin or lining to 
the tomb, was suspected by certain indications, 
l)ut could not be proved. The face was towards 
the east, as the photograph shows, and behind 
the head was a pot of the form No. 2 of Plate 
XIII. Against the tomb on its eastern side, 
within a brick enclosiu'e, was a limestone stela, 
in somewhat poor condition, bearing a name 
which may be that of " Se-Mery," a royal 
' R.M.A., pp 11-12. 



No. R 1 
Plate XXIV. 

" Uab." The hieroglyphs are in relief, as also 
is the carved figure of the deceased, who is 
represented in the earlier style, with staff and 
baton. This is one of the earliest private stela 
known : it is now in the Ashmolean Museum 
at Oxford. 

In another tomb of the same 
group, No. 89, Plate XXIV, the 
grave is longer, and the l)ody consequently 
extended. In this case the face looked towai-ds 
the east, and no pottery or furniture of any kind 
were placed with the deceased. The inner face of 
the wall which enclosed the tomb was plastered 
with mud, and even the outer wall of No. 88f', 
against which it was built, thus forming its 
north end, was similarly treated. Tlie other 
compartments of this group contained little. 
No. 88 1!, which was attached to 88a, contain 
fragments of characteristic early pottery, chiefly 
the form Type 12 of Plate XIII. The chamber 
88c, which was distinct but not separated from 
the two former, was quite enqity. 
No. R71, A variant of these forms appears 
Plate XV. jjj ^jjg exceptional case of tomb 
R 71, which lay on the western side oF the 
large mastaba 75. Here the enclosure was 
somewhat large, but shallow, being, as may be 
seen in the photograph of Plate XV, but five 
courses deep. In the eastern face of the 
western and therefore inner wall, a panel-recess 
had been constructed as described in the pre- 
ceding chapter. Along the eastern side, and 
towards the south end of the enclosure, the 
burial lay extended on its back. No other grave 
was found analogous to this, 
(ii ) Under ("') ^'^^ class of burials underlarge 
Large Pots, inverted pottery vessels presents so 

[Chapter X.j r j. i> • i ^ i • 

many features of interest, and is re- 
presented both here and elsewhere in a series so 
complete, that a separate chapter, which follows 
this, is devoted to its description. The burials 
themselves were necessarily always violently 
contracted ; and it seems })robable that the dead 
was squeezed first into the vessel, which was 

then overturned in its appointed place. In 
this way there is a total disregard of cardinal 
points. Some examples occur within a masoned 
enclosure, others lie unattended in the desert 
sand. In the case of brick tombs built in 
imitation of this form, the lower course or 
courses seem to have first been laid, and the 
hodj then placed within. The building was 
then completed above it. The graves of this 
kind are accompanied commonly by the familiar 
forms of rough pottery. Types 2, 3, 11, 12, 
Plate XIII. 

(iii.) In (iii.j The evolution of this class of 

Vaulted i . i • ■> -, ^ t- ^ 

Tombs, brick tombs with vaulted roots has 
Plate xxiii. jjggjj described already in the pre- 
ceding chapter. The chamber is sufficiently 
long to enclose a full size coffin ; and its roof, 
originally an imitation made on a principle of 
compensated projection, became in the Third 
and Fourth Dynasties a real arch constructed in 
different ways. This seems to be a class 
definitely separable from that of simple quad- 
rangular enclosures, though included in that 
category by the excavator of El Amrah.' It 
may, indeed, have evolved typologically from a 
small enclosure covered by slabs of brick 
placed across the top : the present excavation 
disclosed both that character of roof and a 
further stage in which the grave being some- 
what wider the bricks were brought into ap- 
proximation at the top from either side. In 
this relation the earliest Ijurials were necessarily 
compressed or contracted, as in the case 
No. R 66 on Plate XXIII. But the matured 
custom, as it seems preferable to separate it from 
the introduction of a new principle of con- 
struction, shows a certain uniformity. The 
burial lies in nearly every case extended, the 
head north and face eastward, with some 
contraction at the knees as determined I)y 
the size of the tomb. There seemed, in most 
cases, to be indications of wood coffins, hope- 
lessly decayed, in which they had been enclosed. 
'K.M.A., p. 11. 

REQAQNAH. BURIAL TYPES, R 80, R 66 AND R 110, 111"° DYN. 


. — - ' * 

.iJ!i^*>-_ .-*^^\ 


,. ^^ 

^^^Kt*'' ' I^IRm^^B 

^^^^^kJ* '* 

y y, * 







BLin.AL. FROM s. 

REQAQNAH. BURIAL TYPES, R 88a, R 89 AND R 63, \\\^° DYN. 24. 





Pottery characteristically of tlie Tiiird Dynasty, 
both the rougher elements and the recurring 
finely polished red pieces (e.g. Types 1, 2, 11, 
12, l-l, 22 on Plate XIII), was placed com- 
monly in the grave, either within the vault or 
outside the door, or against the place of 
offerings on the eastern face. In one case a 
wooden head-rest, with fluted column, lay near 
the head (Plate XXXII). 

Perhaps no better illustration of this method 
of interment could be found than that num- 
bered R 80. In Plate XXIII may be seen 
three photographs : the first shows the offering 
place and recess on its eastern face (at the 
south end, as usual) ; the second, a general view 
of the enclosure with the top of the vault based 
below ; the third, a view from above of the 
burial itself, after partially removing the roof 
for the purpose. (The left frmiir is seen to 
have been broken and badly joined.) The 
character of the pottery is shown l)y photo- 
graph on Plate XXXI. The appearance of 
other burials of this class was very similar, 
differences occurring only in construction of 
the tomb. The burial R 110 on the same plate, 
for instance, shows a similar general character. 
Other burials conforming directly with the 
type were Nos. 50a-e (Plate XV), Xo. 22 
(Plate XV), No. 68 (Plate XXII), and others, 
Nos. 57, 58, 67, 97, 98, 99 not illustrated on 
the plates. A catalogue of the separate tomb- 
deposits will be found appended to Chapter XI. 

(iv.) Pit It has been found convenient to 
pia°^ XXII, distinguish typologically between the 
XXIV, XXV. i^Q classes of pit-tombs at Reqaq- 
nah, namely those which are covered by a 
solid superstructure through which the shaft 
descends, and those which are merely enclosed 
by a surface wall. Their features are described 
in the preceding chapter. The examples of 
each kind are plentiful : the burying places of 
the mastilba tombs themselves fall into 
one or other of these divisions. Of the 
former kind illustrations occur on Plates 

No. 54. 

XXII, XXIV and XXA\ numbered 54, 63, 64 

The burying place itself is usually a s mall re- 
cess under the southern end, at the bottom of 
the shaft which leads vertically down through 
the gravel. The chamber itself is not masoned 
in any way, but about the mouth of the shaft 
there is commonly a supporting wall which may 
extend deeper than the general mass of the 
superstructure. The whole series of this type 
is referred by analogy and position to the tomb 
of Shepses (No. 04), in which was found a bowl 
inscribed with the name of Seneferu, kiner 
at the close of the Third Dynasty. 

In No. 54 (Plate XXII) the burial 
lay fully contracted in the small 
chamber, with head north and face east, as the 
photograph somewhat indistinctly shows. In 
the chamber on the east side of the liurial were 
three pieces of pottery, two of them examples 
of the Type No. 2, Plate XIII ; and one of 
them a finely polished standing spouted vessel 
of best red pottery and finish, the form of 
which is outlined on Plate XXXIT, No. 4. Both 
pots are shown in the photographs of Third 
and Fourth Dynasty pots and Plate XXXI, 
being the first and third of the upper row. 

Burial No. 64 was even more con- 
tracted , and seemed to have been set 
in hard mud. It lay in the same relative posi- 
tion as the above. As seen in the photograph 
of Plate XXV, it was accompanied by a deposit 
of two alabaster pieces, both broken — the one 
a table, the other a bowl in which, as stated, 
was the graffito of Seneferu. 

The burial numbered 63 was not 
No. 63. ., ,, 

([uite tne same in appearance or 

position. The gravel bed in which the shaft 

was dug was vei'y yielding, and no chamber 

had been cut under the end for the reception 

of the burial ; the Ijody therefore lay in a less 

contracted attitude at the bottom of the shaft. 

A birds'-eye view taken from a difficult 

position shows the features of the burial on 

No. 64. 



Plate XXIV. The outline of the decayed 
bones is seen in the dark earth, and at the 
head are a number of objects of stone and 
shell. The deposit rested undisturbed, as seen 
in the photograph, and the adjoining picture 
shows its character. It comprises a table, a 
standing vase of alabaster, and a bowl of the 
same material, a small vase of diorite and 
another of breccia, two shells, the one an 
oyster, the other a common species found in 
the Red Sea, and a bracelet seemingly of bone. 
By reference to Plate XXXII, where the forms 
of these objects are shown in outline, it may 
be seen that the bowl of alabaster is of an un- 
usual and interesting character. It seems to 
represent directly a form better known in 
copper, with an inner ridge all round to imitate 
the joining of two portions of different curva- 
ture which compose it. The object is exquisitely 
wrought : the central basin which on its out- 
side preserves the general straightness of 
outline and flat bottom, on the inside is worked 
down in a curve to the thinness of paper. [It 
remains, witli the group, at the Ashmolean 
(V.) Pit Burials in the second class of pit 

Tombs (b). tombs wcro entirely analogous, but 
owing to an accident of situation it was not 
possible to obtain good photographs of them. 
In some cases water stood in the bottom of the 
tombs for some weeks after they had been 
cleared, and it was only after this had dried away 
that the burial could be traced with difficulty 
from the position of the decayed bones. These 
shafts were uniformly somewhat deeper, aver- 
aging six to seven metres, against four to five of 
the former class. The most important of these 
burials was No. 92, with which was a deposit 
shown by photograph on Plate XXXI. It 
consists of two small standing vases of ala- 
baster, a finely worked bowl of translucent 
diorite, and a small glazed cylinder seal of 
Khafra, king of the early Fourth Dynasty. 
The inscri])tionon the latter object lln., 

Nefeni vwr (Khafra), beloved of the Gods, is 
shown on Plate XXXII. Another burial of 
this class. No. !•'.), was accompanied by a well- 
worked bowl of steatite, shown in the same 
photograph. Other bi;rials e.g., Nos. 93, 95, 
9G, were furnished with pottery of the tyyjes 
2,3,11, 12, Plate XIII, as shown in the in- 
ventory at the end of Chapter XI. Proliably 
owing to the damp character of the ground 
the chambers for these tombs had not been 
properly excavated ; and sometimes the burials 
lay partly protruding into the shaft, l)ut they 
preserve nope the less their uniformity of 
appearance, being all fully contracted, with 
head generally north, and face toward the east. 
It thus appears that the distinction between the 
two classes of pit-tombs is entirely one of 
super-construction, and that they are otherwise 
related by character of the burials and tomb 
furniture, and by dated objects almost con- 

(vi.) It has already been seen that the 

Exceptional ij^'jals occurriug here and there in 
Plates x'v. the necropolis at Reqaqnah are 
XXIII, allied ultimately in character and 
in tomb structure to one or more of the pre- 
ceding classes, of which they are local variants. 
Thus the burial No. 71 shown on Plate XV, 
within an enclosure somewhat differing in 
features from all others, still falls under (llass 
(i.) of quadrangular enclosures. The burial 
itself, extended and with head south, is excep- 
tional — indeed, unique. Another case, No. Q^^ 
on Plate XXIII, is similarly to be allotted to 
Class (iii.) of vaulted tombs, being indeed but a 
simple reversion to the original motive of such. 
The burial itself is accordingly contracted. 
Other exceptional cases occur, though early 
(e.g.. No. 100, allied to No. GO, but not roofed) 
but all may be included ultimately in the fore- 
going classes ; the type of burials may thus 
be summarized, following the classification of 
their tombs, with which the preceding chapter 






/. R<cfringi(liir Eiirlosiircs. — Burials f^enerally ex- 
tended, or contracted to suit the size of f;rave. The head 
is usually north, but face either east or west, while au ex- 
ceptional case has the head to the south. Though not 
found with any special furniture, these are not necessarily 
the burials of poor persons. One stela of a Royal fJnl) (an 
une.xplained title). 

//. Pnttcr;/ Vessiix. — Burials fully contracted; no 
definite |)osition. Here as usual not accompanied by objects 
other thau rough pottei'y, but elsewhere (e.g. El Kab) 
found richly furnished. 

iii. Vaulted Chamlicm. — Burials generally extended, 
with head invariably north and face east ; accompanied 
with rough and also with polished pottery vessels. 

ir. and v. Pit !roHi6.s. — Burials invariably contracted, 
with head north and face east. Furnished variously in 
cases with vases and deposits of good quality, or with the 
rougher pottery. Two objects inscribed with kings' 
names, and one inscribed and panelled Shrine of 
" Shepses, Royal Scribe." 

vi. Exceptional cases are generally referable to one or 
more of these classes. 


The foregoing pages and the preceding 
chapter have given a description of the smaller 
tombs at B-eqaqnah and the l)nriiil cu.stoms 
which they exemplify. It may be fitting at 
this stage of the work to single out as a basis 
for comparison this tomb of Shepses, Royal 
Scribe, for special description, to illustrate the 
kind of burial accorded at the close of the Tiiird 
Dynasty to a somewhat important minor 
official. It is not alone on account of the 
identification possible in this case that it seems 
worthy of special mention, but because also of 
certain architectural features peculiar to its 
superstructure, as well as the completeness and 
preservation of its interior. 

The building itself is seen in the photograph 
on Plate XXV to have the appearance of an 
oblong rectangular block of masonry, standing 
rather more than a metre high above the 
original level of the desert. Until the clearing 
seen in the picture was made it was entirely 
hidden from view, and the regular surface of 
the ground was covered, as the interior is seen 

to be, with brown pebbles and flints which 
betrayed no indication of any building 

The eastern side is just ten metres in length, 
and the walls as they rise slope inwards with a 
uniform batter of 1 in (i. Near the northern 
end of this face (Plate XXI) is a small recess of 
the kind already familiar, and in the place 
more usual near the southern end is a further 
elaboration of the same motive. Here, as the 
photograph shows, a doorway leads into a 
small chamber or chapel, in the opposite wall 
of which, facing the east, is a panel recessed 
between two pre-posed jambs on either side, 
with a rounded lintel, all of wood. It is in fact 
a prototype of the false doors common in a later 
period. The picture shows that tlie grave is 
inscribed with hieroglyphs in relief, and that the 
panel bears a figure of the deceased in civil 
dress, holding his staff and baton. The inscrip- 
tion was unfortunately most difficult to follow, 
the whole surface having been destroyed by 
the insidious woodworms so that the whole 
crvimliled away to the touch. So much as could 
be made out is further shown in detail on Plates 
XXVIII-XXIX. But beyond giving the 
name, Shepses, of the deceased, with his title, 
Seten Se.'^h (Royal Scribe), and some indication 
of one formula known in the Old Empire, 
little more can be made out. 

The surface of the tomb being cleared of 
sand and stone, it was found to be structurally all 
solid, with the exception of a central shaft, two 
metres square at its mouth, whicli descended 
to a depth of four metres. At this point the 
entrance to the burial chamber was reached on 
the south, showing the door closed up with 
brickwork and imdisturbed. Opening this the 
almost empty chamber revealed the simplicity 
of the burial. On removing a small accumula- 
tion of rubbish fallen from the hollowed roof, 
the bones of the dead were found in a fully con- 
tracted and huddled-up position on the western 
site, with a deposit of one bowl and one table 



of alabaster on its eastern side, both broken. 
On freeing the bowl it was found to be incised 
on the inside with the graffito shown in the 
plate by photographic enlargement, twice the 

natural size. It is the name, " Seten biti 
Se-nefer-u, " of Heneferu, the king of Upper 
and Lower l^gypt, with whose death the Third 
Egyptian Dynasty came to a close. 


With Plates XXVI, XXVII. 

i^ONTINUITY of custom through the 
^^ earliest dynasties seems to be further 
illustrated by a mode of burial more strange 
but not less significant than tliose which have 
been described. From the latter end of the pre- 
dynastic ]ieriod, continuing through the First, 
Second, and Third Dynasties, so far as those 
can be distinguished, tlie crude method of 
interment in a large inverted bowl seems to 
have survived, and become possibly moi'e com- 
mon, at the dawn of the Old Kingdom, when 
other traces of the earlier manners were already 
fast disajjjjearing. 

The custom was never general : the recorded 
instances are few, and though doubtless others 
have been observed, yet it seems clear that this 
method was more generally familiar than 
practised. Whetlier, indeed, it was reserved for 
some special class or caste cannot be asserted 
upon pi'esent evidence, though it may reason- 
ably be conjectured. That it was generally 
known is suggested by the diversity of the 
sites from Kawamil, north of Reqaqnah, to El 
Kab in the south. The persistence of this 
custom while others changed, too, in view of its 
comparative rarity, seems further to suggest 
a special raisoii (.Vtire. From the nature of 
some instances which will be adduced, it does 
not seem likely, as supposed by the explorer of 
EJ A II) rail, ^ that it is explained by the sub- 
stitution of a cheap ready-made receptacle for 
the more elaborate cist or coffin. Some burials 
' R.M.A., p. 11. 

of this class, on the other hand, particularly 
those at Bl Kab,' are more elaborately furnished 
than those of other kinds which are more 

The associations of these graves are fairly 
clear. In the early stages, at the close of 
the pre-dynastic period, they are found here 
and there, with the graves familiar to that time, 
and as the early stairway tombs begin to evolve 
and the period merges with the early dynasties, 
they are found with these, too, sometimes as 
separate burials, and sometimes in small 
chambers occupying the chief position in the 
tombs. liater again, with the advent of tlie 
Old Kingdom, and the gradual disappearance of 
the stairway tomb in favour of the large mastaba, 
these pot graves are found again in relation, 
sometimes in the centre of a special small 
building, at others placed in one of the main 
burial places of a large mastaba which includes 
some of the more general customs also. Before 
trying to establish any co-relation, it may be 
well to examine first both the new instances 
observed in this e.xpedition, illustrated on 
Plates XXVI, XXVII, and to glance also 
through the accounts of other previously 
recorded examples. 

The burials of this class throwing most light 
upon the present problem are those two illus- 
trated on Plate XXVI. The burials them- 
selves were much as usual. On inverting the 
pots the bones of the buried were found entire, 
1 Q.K. pp. 4, 0, 9. 



in the one case, numbered 55a, with the head 
towards the north-east, in the other (70a), which 
is plainly shown, with the head directly south. 
The former were black with the adhesion of 
some resinous substance, as in a case recorded 
at El Am rah", and accompanying the burial 
was a rough pot shown in the photograph of the 
type No. 2 on Plate XIII, which is known to have 
persevered from the late pre-dynastic period 
through the early dynasties to the beginning 
of the Old Empire.- In the latter case the 
bones lay vividly white and undisturbed, and 
tlie large bowl, which was itself somewhat 
rough, was not accompanied by any furtlier 
examples of pottery. In the details of burying, 
as in general, there is to be seen no conformity 
in these two cases with any defined custom. 
The positions of the two coffins, again, were 
equally dissimilar, and it is of moment to com- 
pare them in detail. 

The tomb R 55 forms part of the general 
necropolis of the late Third Dynasty. By refer- 
ence to Plate XXI, it may l)e seen that this 
tomb lies between and abuts upon those num- 
bered 54 and 56. No. 55 is also subsequent 
to either of these, because it is merely 
built up to tlieir walls, which serve at its 
south and north ends respectively. The plaster 
which originally covered the northern wall of 
No. 54, as may be plainly seen in the 
photograpli of its east face of R 55, Plate 
XXVI, is continuous, not only between the 
two walls of No. 55, but also behind the joins 
or abutments of these walls, showing that they 
had been Ijuilt up to an already completed 
structure. The case is similar at the junctions 
with R 56. R 55 is thus latei' than either R 54 
or R 56. Now of these. No. 54 is an example 
of the class of small masti'dja with eastern 
panel-recess, and with central shaft a few 
metres in depth, giving place to a burial 

' R.M.A., p. 11. 
-Tor examples, see P.N., xli., 7G : P. A., xxix., CO-G'2 ; 
Q.H., Ixix., 15. 

chamber towards the south, which has already 
been assigned in this necropolis to the period 
of Seneferu at the very end of the Third Dynasty. 
The pottery deposited with this burial was 
accordant with this date. The mastaba No. 56 
was of a possibly earlier but nearly contem- 
porary form, enclosing in a thin wall, with 
small panels on the eastern face, a burial vault 
covered with an imitation arch. It is thus 
clear that the tomb R 55 is of date subsequent 
to the end of the Third Dynasty. But that it was 
not widely separated in date from the tombs 
which it adjoins is probable, both from its 
position in the necropolis, the analogous panels 
in its eastern face, and from the types of pots 
found within it. It is safe to say that it is of 
date just subsequent to the end of the Third, and 
therefore of the early Fourth Dynasty. 

As seen in the plan on Plate XXI, and in 
the photogra{>h of the Positions of Enclosures, 
Plate XX\'], the tomb R 55 consists itself of 
two separated portions, lettered A and B. Of 
these A was the later, being built up to B ; but 
as the tombs are identical in character with 
similar pot-burials, similarly furnished, they 
were probably contemporary, or nearly so. It 
is also immaterial which one be selected for 
illustration. Inside the enclosure, in the 
middle, at the depth of about one metre in each 
case, the inverted large pot was come upon as 
seen with photo (Plate XXVI), accompanied 
with the small pot of type No. 2 (Plate XIII). 
The pot tui'ued over revealed the burial as 
found shown in the next picture. This is all 
that can well be said in description : the pot 
A was rather smaller than usual, and was 
seemingly made to contain the remains of a 
small man. 

The other burial under a pottery vessel pic- 
tured on this plate (No. 70 a, Plate XXVI) 
was not accompanied by any masonry or other 
pottery. It was come upon in course of ex- 
cavating the great mastaba No. 70, under the 
foundations, lying in an older stiatuni of earth. 


E /> S T F A C F '"' F R n -^^ n 




The mastAba itself is dated to about the Fifth 
Dynasty. We thus have two cases of pot 
burials (in all, three examples), to each of which 
one limit of date may be assigned. The one 
was not before the Third Dynasty (and probably 
not much after) ; the other was not later than 
the Fifth Dynasty, with no limitation at the 
superior date. Since, as has also been seen in other 
instances, the tendency in so small a site must 
be towards co-relation, and a consequent limi- 
tation of periods represented, the natural con- 
clusion, so far as it is warranted by consideration 
of three cases, is that on this site the class of 
burial pertains to the Fourth Dynasty or just 
eai'lier: it is thus synchronous, or nearly so, 
with the general period of the necropolis. 

Upon the next plate (No. XXVII) are some 
interesting examples of the uses of this custom, 
and the imitation of it. The burial No. 87 is 
illustrated in a series of three photographs ; 
the first shows the large pot as found without 
relation to anything at hand, in the desert, about 
one metre deep. Still, viewing from the west, 
the second picture shows the bones revealed 
by the up-turning of the pot; while the tliird 
picture shows in more detail the head towards 
the east, and the partial adherence of the skin, 
particularly to the thigh-bone and forearm, 
preserved by application of some thin bitumin- 
ous liquid. 

No. 250 was found isolated just to the south 
of the mastAba No. 50. The surface was pro- 
tected by a strong retaining wall, with eastern 
panel, and the large pot was within at a depth 
of nearly two metres. The burial presented no 
unusual feature. 

The imitation of this form in brick is of 
pecidiar interest. The best example is that 
numbered 59. The photograph on Plate 
XXVII is taken from above, looking down 
upon the rounded construction, the top of which 
only had been broken, or had fallen in. Within, 
the burial lay in the fully contracted 
position, without accompanying deposit, the 

bones themselves being those of a person not 
yet adult. The method of construction is illus- 
trated by the picture below, in which is seen 
the lowest course of bricks standing upon end, 
and the beginning of the second course laid 
horizontally upon them. The bricks on the 
outer surface had been partly smoothed, and 
the spaces between them roughly tilled with 
broken pieces, and possibly with sand. It is 
of special interest to note that this construction 
must have been built, in its upper courses at 
least, after the burial had been placed in its 
destined position. 

In anotlier case (No. 251), also pictured, the 
masonry was better and on <a different prin- 
ciple. The lowest three courses alone were 
found preserved, built of bricks placed horizon- 
tally, upon a definite scheme of masonry well 
shown in the photograph. 

The six instances of burials under large pots 
described above have been selected as illustrat- 
ing both the characteristics of this mode of 
interment, and those special features which are 
either peculiar in themselves, or throw some 
light upon the nature and period of this strange 
custom. It seems plain tliat the method of 
procedure was simply to scpieeze the body, in 
these cases unadorned, into a conveniently large 
pot, and to overturn it on the sand, either sunk 
between lightly-constructed walls, or without 
any further indication of the place of burial. 
In this site, too, the custom seems to have been 
contemporary with the period of the suiTOund- 
ings, the overlap of the Third and Fourth Dynas- 
ties. This does not, however, prescribe the limits 
to its use. It does not seem, indeed, to have 
lasted beyond the Old Kingdom ; if so, the exca- 
vation of early Middle Empire sites, such as are 
found at Dendereh', Mahasna^, must have 
disclosed cases of its survival. But of its 
earlier usage there seems to be definite evidence. 
At KawAmil, some 20 kilometres 


northwards of this site, where a 
i^M.E.P., p. l-KJ. 




span of the western hills abuts and looks down 
upon the cultivation, there seem to have been 
cases found in association with pre-dynastic 

At Ballas' the explorer came to 

the conclusion after observing, but 
not recording, several instances, that " these 
" burials occurred both inside and outside the 
" stairway tombs, and the mouth of the pot 
" was sometimes upwards, sometimes down. 
" No grave was found certainly undisturbed, 
" but some Old Kingdom pottery was found in 
" each of them, and it is probable that the 
" original mastabas (staircase tombs) were of 
" the Old Kingdom, and also the large round 
jjots." It is necessary to note with regard to 
this statement that observations at other sites 
agree to demonstrate that the large pots 
originally were placed mouth downwards, and 
that disturbance accounts for the finding of 
them in other positions." It is interesting to 
notice that while the date of the necropolis in 
general was misplaced, yet the excavator's 
independent observation of these instances led 
him thus eai'ly to conclusions, now seen by the 
light of newer evidences to be so nearly 

At El Amrali, just south of 

Abydos, the excavator's scientific 
examinations of this class of burial led him, 
from his experience, to record^ that " whenever 
" these burials have not been disturbed, the pot 
" is always inverted over the body, which is 
" laid in a violently contracted jjosition." 

The nature of these burials at El Amrah 
seems to have been similar to those already 
described * ; but, unfortunately, none of the 
burials there of this class was accompanied by 
any deposit. In one case only the traces re- 
mained of a reed mat which had covered the 

' Q.B., p. 4. 
=i3R.M.A., p. 11. 

El Amrah. 

' R.M.A., Plate II, No. 3. 

bones. At Abydos,' however, the same writer 
records his observations of several cases of in- 
terest. In one case, numbered X 8, a cylindrical 
flat-bottomed jar of pottery, of a type- supposed 
to have come into use at the close of the pre- 
dynastic period, was found with the burial 
below the round pot. Outside, but within the 
grave, were three other pots, one specimen of 
the prototype to No. 20, on Plate XIII, and 
two of a pot ■■' similar, but longer and thinner. 
These three are found to appear late in the 
pre-dynastic ]ieriod, and to range also to its 
close. In a- third case, numbered X 45, 
another pot ' with flat bottom and decorated 
with simple wavy lines, was included with the 
burial. This pot also is known in the later 
pre-dynastic period. Two other graves, 
unfortunately distm^bed (X GO and X 72) con- 
tained pottery of the same time in which the 
prototype of No. 22, Plate XIII is included, 
and with one was a slate palette also of 
jjre-dynastic character. From this site, as well 
as from El Amrah, it appeared that these 
burials under round pots were co-i'elated with 
those within elementary coffins of pottery. 
The excavator in fine was able to decide, from 
consideration of the two sites, that the use of 
this mode of burial began in the late pre-dynastic 
period and continued (at least some way) into 
the First Dynasty. 

While interesting in itself as a first example 
of the application of scientific method to this 
inquiry, the evidence of this result is also of 
great moment in its bearing on the question of 
continuity. It shows in a scale clearly defined 
with regard to its surroundings, the origin of 
this custom in the late pre-dynastic history of 
the locality, and its history continues with and 
possibly through the First Dynasty. In the 
earlier part of this chapter it was seen that at 

1 R.M.A. Abydos, p. 54. 
2 P.N., xxxii, 85. 
' P.N., xl., 3Ga, 38. 
•> P.N., xxxiii, 21. 


REQAQNAH. BURIALS UNDER POTTERY VESSELS, R 87. R 59, R 250 & R 251. examples and imitat 

lOMO Ci-? 




Si-- .A. 

<>5 ..wiiife '-'- 










iTi-!F_r, t / ' MPLL 




Reqaqnali the same custom was maintained at 
the close of the Third and during the Fourth 
Dynasties. Tlie interval also is represented 
by examples ecjually significant and individually 
of greater interest. 

In examining the records of obser- 
vations at El Kab, with due resrard to 
the series of ai'chaeological types moi'e recently 
established from the early dynasties, it becomes 
plain that at this site the cases of this method 
of interment link at once the limits to its range 
that have been found in the other places 
mentioned. It is of singular interest to note 
that in the case of the same excavator's work 
at Ballas, while the true archaeological relation 
of these early forms^ was still completely 
donbtfnl, yet his observations were such that 
they now become evidence of first value. 

The analogies in detail between the sites of 
Eeqaqnali and El Kab have been already 
illustratetl ; but the origins of the latter are 
considerably earlier. The round hollow graves 
of pre-dynastic character ' are frequent, and 
others of the earliest customs find numerous 

Cases of burials under large pots at El Kab 
seem also to occur at the earlier dates, and to 
be from that time continuously represented. 
Tliat numbered 231,- for instance, with its 
sherds of incised ware and early pottery cannot 
well be later than the earliest dynasties. No. 
166,' again, is more definitely dated, as it 
seems, by a cylinder of Ka-Ea, to the Second 
Dynasty. In this case, too, the burial pre- 
served entirely its original furniture. Under 
the large round vessel in an o])long grave, 
nearly a metre in depth, the body lay packed 
with mud in usual contracted position, with 
head to the north and face east. Outside were 
same alabaster jars, the remains of an ivory 
veneered box, and two pots with line and dot 

' Q.K, p. .S3. 
2 Q.K., p. 7, Plate XII. 
■' Q.K., p. !l, Plate 1-7. 

decoration. From one of these there were 
taken out several objects of ivory, a small 
alabaster cup, two shells stained green with 
malachite, as well as beads of ivory, green 
felspar, gold, cornelian, l)lue grit and serpentine. 
There were included beads of cylindrical form 
made of blue grit, with gold caps at the ends. 
The whole character of the deposit is 
reminiscent of the pre-dynastic character, yet 
the cylinder of translucent steatite found with 
it seems to give the name of ka-ra [nefer-ka], 
probably the Xaipri^ of Manetho, King of the 
Second Dynasty. The character of the deposit 
is accordant with this reading. 

In a third case, numbered 185,^ accompanied 
by an ivory comb, stone bowl, beads of various 
patterns and material, the head of the l)urial 
was to the south, and the forms of the pottery 
found with it seem to assign it in date to the 
Second or Third Dynasty. Two further 
instances of burials accompanied by consider- 
able funereal deposits, bowls of diorite, tables of 
alabaster and the like, approach more nearly 
the Reqaqnali period. With the one,' No. ;^0l, 
was a black stone cylinder ,with the other a piece 
of diorite bowl, both inscribed with the name of 
Seneferu. A seventh example belongs to the 
same time. In this case," C 5, the burial was 
placed in one of several shafts of a mastilba, 
and was accompanied by diorite and porphyry 
bowls, alabaster vase and table, a shell with 
green paint, and an interesting ivory inlaid 
box, The other burials in the mastaba seem to 
have been nearly contemporary. Tlie eighth 
instance, No. 42,'' belongs also the Fourth 
Dynasty, being furnished with a typical series 
of vases and pottery, which form a group of 
some interest. A last illustration, though from 
a disturbed buriaV No. 178, shows a copper 

' Q.K., p. 0. 

'- Q.K., p. 5, XX, 32, ii, I. 

' Q.K., p. 4. § 7, xxiii. viii 2, X 44. 

' Q.K., p. 6, X, 22, 39, 44, 48, xii, 23, 27, 31. 

5 Q.K., p. 10, XX, 30. 



cylinder of User-Kaf, first king of the Fifth 
Dynasty, the date at which the whole series 
comes to an end. The excavator's impressions 
of these burials at El Kab led him to remark' 
that " the early date of these burials can 
" hardly be doubted, but it has not yet been 
" determined whether they belonged to the same 
" race as the Neolithic graves, or whether they 
" belonged to some other element in the 
" population." 

The selection of these examples 
^^^' of burials under large pottery 
vessels has been made chiefly with a view to 
illustrating the range and continuity of this 
custom. The series has thrown light incident- 
ally upon two other associated problems. The 
same sites which indicate the range of time 
delimit also in great measure the extent of 
country in which the use of this method has 
been chiefly observed. It is not to be concluded 
that the custom was confined to the country 
lying between Thinis and Hierakonpolis. Cases 
have been observed in rock-hewn tombs north 
even of Beni Hasan. Yet up to the present 
the sites which most numerously represent this 
class are those districts of the upper country 
which are now best known from excavations. 

The association of this custom indeed, with 
other burial customs of early origins, however 
they might change, is not a little remarkable. 
Through all the gradual changes by which the 
early simple grave gave way to the early 
stairway tombs, and these merged with the 
commoner mastAba, the instances of these pot- 
burials are foiuid in association not numer- 
ous, but unvarying and persevering. And 
conversely their associations are in all cases 
those which are uni(|uely of early origins and 
natural development. In this way a small 
evidence becomes of importance, though but a 
single thread in the bond of continuity it is 

'Q.K., pp. 10, 11. 

yet unbroken and without a flaw. The second 
question answered is that of the relative 
importance of these burials. So many of 
them are found without furniture that they 
have been regarded in part as a cheap form of 
other allied classes with which they are found 
associated. But that does not seem to be 
correct. The examination of this necropolis 
at Reqaqnah has shown that nameless and 
unfurnished graves at this age are no proof of 
poverty. The tomb of the royal scribe Shepses 
of the time of Seneferu was not furnished at 
greater cost than the graves of some nameless 
persons at El Kab whether of the same age or 
earlier, whose bodies rested simply under an 
inverted bowl. 

A third point arises, in conclusion, and 
requires a short consideration. Much of what 
has been demonstrated, particularly with regard 
to the dates of the various graves, relies for its 
truth upon the assumed contemporaneity of 
early types in different localities. That this is 
a safe hypothesis for the later times of the 
New and Middle Empires is known by 
numerous examples. In the early days, too, 
there is no reason to suppose that it was 
otherwise. The common forms of the pre- 
dynastic types in different and often widely 
separated places, the signs of a similar course 
of development both at different sites, and on 
the same sites at different epochs, and, more 
conclusively, the remarkable dated analogies 
between burying places so far removed as 
Reqaqnah and El Kab, go far to establish the 
probability of this supposition. 

It may then be concluded upon 
Conclusion, ^j^^ pi-gseut evideucc of observed 
cases that the custom of interment under 
large round pots appears in Upper Egypt at the 
close of the pre-dynastic period, and is 
uniformly continuous through the early 
dynasties to the advent of the Fourth. It is 
associated with other early modes of burial, at 



tii-st only by proximity, and later also by 
co-relation. As a practice it is not common, 
Init it is constant ; nor it is not demonstrably 
representative of poorer or richer people or of 
a differing element of race. But the latter 
possibility is suggested also by the intrinsic 

appearance of the burial, which though not 
uniform as to orientation, invariably recalls the 
modes of Inu'ial familiar in the earliest 
origins, and it often appears to be furnished 
with objects themselves seemingly of earlier 
character than the period to which it belongs. 



With Plates XXVIII-XXXII. 

a. Inscribed Objects : (ii Stelie (xxviii) : (ii) Door frame (xxix) ; (iii) Clay balls (xxxL b. Smaller Objects : 
(iv^ Pottery and stone vases (xxxi) : (v) Forms of same (xxxii\ c. Inventory of Tomb Deposits. 

' I "*HE present chapter contains a description 
-*- of the smaller objects individually. Their 
associations and their bearing on the general 
subject of this volume have been examined in 
the chapter dealing with the tombs and de- 
posits with which they were found. At the end 
is an appendix giving a list of these smaller 
tomb groups arranged in numerical (working) 
order of the tombs themselves after classifica- 

Inscribed (i) On Plate XXVIII the first 
Objects. photograph is that of a limestone 
stela, about 20 inches or -50 cms. in height. 
It was found as described in Chapter IX 
(Plate XXIV) against the eastern face of a 
small wall-enclosed tomb. Its condition was 
poor, and the surface was so weathered that 
this photograph of it after restoration of the 
body at the Ashmolean Museum is preferable 
to those taken at the time of discovery. The 
figure is represented in the old style, with 
staff and baton, facing left ; and in front are 
offerings including the leg of an ox, a goose, 
bread, and wine jars. All the carving and the 
hieroglyphs are in relief. The inscription is 
partly lost in the centre, but refers to a Royal 
Vab, whose name may have been Se-Mery. 

On the same jilate the second photograph is 
that of the inscribed slab found in the south- 
ernly entrance to the great mastaba No 70, as 
described in Chapter VI (Plate XVII). It is 
made of limestone, and about 30 inches in 

height. The carving is in relief in the best 
style of the Old Empire. The hieroglyphs are 
arranged in seven columns, with vertical 
divisions. The portion preserved seems to give 
a list of names of scribes, arranged symmetri- 
cally in columns as follows : 

(a) -, — ■ , Tlieiif-thi, 8enez-em-ab, 

Ka-nefer, , TJa-san-es, Am-Klicnt. 

(h) Mesa, iSa-mery, Aii-qem-mu, Y-Kau, 
Ih-vr, 8eref-Ka, Sliepsex-Tui. 

(ii) Following the stela on Plate XXVIII 
are two views showing details of the in- 
scribed wooden shrine of Shepses, R 64. 
Other pictures are given on Plate XXV in 
connexion with the description of the tomb in 
Chapter IX (b) ; and a scale diagram occurs on 
the next plate, X^o. XXIX. The wood was 
entirely rotted by the action of wood worms, 
and though strengthened in every possible way 
before removal became dust before its journey 
was completed. The surface too had suffered 
greatly by the action of this pest, and it was 
with the greatest difficulty that anything of the 
inscription could be made out. Such as it was 
the diagram shows : it contains some features of 
interest, the drawing of the SH in the right 
column, and the spelling out of the word SeSH 
with the letters S and SH, determined also 
pictographically with the usual sign. The for- 
mula is part of one usual in the Old Empire 
texts, and at the bottom there is plain 
the name of Shepses, Royal Scribe. [Un- 




V->' '~r(' '--'..■* ; 






|6Vv //,«/-«, PiaUs XXV., .V.V /'///.] 







; 31 

,.- y 

■^>y -■<. ,„,^ 

,'.* ''■■^^. 


f / 

7 '' 



/ 0(^1 :> 





/r ' 

C ..'^', 

msm I 




f ^/,T S/i-/'. 

Lmver step. 



/;/ I rsJ S C Ri PT IONS ON THREE. CL/\^ B/\LLS Fi.SO. 

U /// 






1 :8 














BOWL. R 94. 





fortunately, the right oohimn has Ijeen placed 
in the diagram a little too high : the photographs 
show that the two letters SS really end the in- 

(iii) The next plate, No. XXX, illustrates 
some of the deposit of inscribed clay balls of 
unusual character. They were found in a deep 
non-masoned hole in the north west corner of 
mastaba No. 50. The photographs show two 
of them, each from two points of view, at two- 
thirds of their natural size ; and the diagrams 
below describe the incisions with which they 
are inscribed, necessarily distorted by the joro- 
j action. 

The substance of these balls is much harder 
and more tenacious than the clay made chiefly 
of Nile mud, from which bricks were familiarly 
made. There is noticeable on most of them a 
reticulated pattern, the interstices depressed, 
which is a conspicuous marking. Otherwise, 
the inscription is confined to incised scratch- 
ings, more or less uniform in general design as 
the drawings show. Possibly there may be made 
out, if indeed the inscription is hieroglyphic, the 
words Seten rckh ; and the form of a crocodile 
is visible on all. They have greatly puzzled 
all who have seen them. 

At the bottom of the plate is a cursive 
inscription written in ink upon a large 
two-handled jar of the Twenty-second Dy- 

Smaller (iv) On Plate XXXI are shown 

Objects. some groups of pottery and stone 

vases. The deposit of pre-dynastic pottery 
is comprised of a number of vessels found 
together in the northerly mound of the necro- 
polis. These are nearly all standing flat- 
bottomed tops with black tops assigned in 
Sequence Dates to the late pre-dynastic period. 
Near them were two vases of the tall polished 
forms swelling below the middle shown in the 
photograph below. Similar vessels and numer- 
ous fragments of them were foi;nd plentifully 
on the western portion of the site ; and many 

others had already been found and carried 
away by the villagers. 

The right hand photograph illustrates some 
of the characteristic types of pottery of the 
closing Third Dynasty. The two central pieces 
of the upper row are of polished red ware 
(56i; and 53) ; below, the tall stand is from 
tomb R 80. The remaining five specimens illus- 
trate the rough character of the familiar forms 
numbered 2, 4, 11, 12, 22, on Plate XIII. 
Below is a group of later pottery, probably 
from the necropolis lying between the Shawahin 
and Sarawah (sites B and S), mostly of the 
Nineteenth to the Twenty-second Dynasties. 

At the bottom is a photograph (to two-thirds 
scale) of an exquisite vase of alabaster worked 
to translucency. It is of oval section, and the 
body of the vessel rests upon a central leg. 
The lid is shaped to the form of a swan, with 
returned neck. This object was bought from 
dealers from Abydos visiting tlie camp, and 
hence its locality is uncertain. It was said to 
come from the vicinity of Assiout. In date 
it cannot be earlier than the Eighteenth 
Dynasty. It is now in the MacGregor collec- 

To the left of the latter is a small group of 
vases, with seal of Khafra, from tomb K 02, 
the description of which has already been given 
in Chapter IX. The objects include two small 
standing vases of alabaster, and a well finished 
dish of diorite. The inscription on this small 
cylindrical seal is reproduced on the next plate. 
Adjoining is seen a well worked bowl of diorite, 
with somewhat unusual chai'acter of form at 
the rim, which is quite plain. This is probably 
of the early Fourth Dynasty, from tomb R 94. 
Below are shown four objects of alabaster from 
site B, chiefly of the Nineteenth Dynasty. 
Many tombs were opened and examined in this 
site B, and some other objects found within 
them, for which see Plate XXXIII ; but the 
details of this excavation yielded few results of 
special interest. 



(v) On the next plate, No. XXXII, are 
given the outlines of various forms of special 
character. This includes the whole of the 
group to E 63, of the Third-Fourth Dyn- 
asties, which has been separately described 
in connexion with Plate XXIII in Chapter IX. 
The feature of most interest is the form of the 
alabaster dish No. (i), seemingly made, as has 
been mentioned, in imitation of copper forms. 
The small breccia vase No. (iii) is also un- 
common. The group of polished pottery in- 
cludes the outlines of three pieces, numbered 
1-3, bought in the locality. Nos. 5, 6, have 
been seen in the photograph on the preceding 
plate. It is impossible not to see in these some- 
what rare examples a direct survival of the 
method of burnishing employed in the pre- 
historic times. Lower down in the plate are 
copies on an enlarged scale of the graffito 
inscription of Seten bifi Soieferu, from within 
the bowl R (34, and of the Ba-Kha-ef, 
neteru mer on the small glazed seal of group 
R 92. 

The last object to be mentioned is the wooden 
head-rest from tomb and burial R 72, which 
was found in a decayed condition. Being pro- 
bably of the Third or Fourth Dynasty in date, 
it must rank as one of the earliest examples 
of the fluted column, and also shows the use 
to have been familiar at this period. 
Inventory of (c) This chapter closes with an 
Tomb Deposits, apj^eudix giving the grouping of 
pottery and other objects found in the smaller 
tombs. This list excludes the great tombs Nos. 
1, 2, 40, 50, 70, 75, for which see the special 
description and plates. The forms of pottery 

occur mostly on Plate XIII, and the stone 
vases on Plate XXXII. 























Pottery form XIII, 2. Polished standing pot with 
spout, XXXI. Fragments of polished red 
pottery with black tops. 
Chamber, pottery form XIII, 2. 
large pottery vessel ; pottery form XIII, 3. 
As 55a. 

Pottery type XXXII, 5. 
Pottery form XIII, 12. 
Pottery forms XIII, 12 (6 pieces), XIII, 2. 
Fragments of form XIII, 1, or XXXII, 5. 
Vases of alabaster, diorite, breccia, alabaster table, 

shells, bracelet ; XXIV, XXXII i i-vi ). 
Table and bowl of alabaster, XXV. 
Pottery form XIII, 15 ; XIII, 12. 
Pottery form XIII, 11 anore than 40 pieces). 
Large pottery vessel. 
Pottery forms XIII, 14 ; XIII, 11, 12 ; fragments 

XXXII, 5, and black topped. 
Fragments XIII, 12 ; fragments black topped red 

Pottery form XIII, 11, 12; some fragments of 

blacked topped pottery. 
Excavation not completed. 
Pottery form XIII, 12 : fragments. 
Pottery forms XIII, 4, 12 ; and fragments of 

XIII, 1 ; or XXXII, 5. 
Large pottery vessel. 

Pottery forms, XIII, 3. Stela, Plate XXVIII (i). 
Fragments of ])ottery form XXXII, 5. 
Pottery form XIII, 12. 
Deposit of black topped standing pottery vases 

XXXI, (i). 
Pottery forms XIII, 3, 11. 

Pottery form XIII, 2. Vases of alabaster, and 
diorite, XXXI. Seal of Khafra, XXXI — 
Excavation not completed. 

Pottery form XIII, 21. Bowl of diorite, XXXI. 
Pottery forms XIII, 12, XIII, 2. 
Pottery forms XIII, 3, 11, 12. 
Pottery forms XIII, 2. 
Pottery forms XIII, 12. 
Fragments of pottery forms XIII, 1 ; XXII, 6 ; 

XIII, 11. 
Large pottery vessel ; form XIII, 3. 


r i 




13 DfOPtr TE /? 65'{0 

I i 4iA fl A3rf /? 

R 6i('") 

2 3 BRECCIA f 63 (") 

/ 3 




/f 63 ('") 

/? 63 d") 

l-i ryPS 5 f POLiSHCD' PorrcRt flSbm 

4 urn 




3 I StAL or KHAFRA Fi 9% 

2 3 






Historical ' | ^HE Third Dynasty lies histori- 
Aspect. A cally ill a lull between two 
waves of national progress. It follows the 
first influx that attended the foundation of the 
Egyptian monarchy, tending to fall back to its 
earlier level even while being gathered by 
newer forces to rise to the height of the 
Pyramid Age. Its archaeology is fully accord- 
ant with its place in history. In all forms of 
art and technical skill, so far as they can be 
separated, the earlier styles prevail, not, indeed, 
much decadent and degraded, but become in 
some manner conventionalized and shorn of the 
freshness of original motive. Yet a newer 
spirit is sensibly growing up, as yet without 
power ; not foreign, but arising from the old, 
yet imbued with so much individuality that it 
seems almost to be stimulated by an extraneous 
influence. The motive which largely underlies 
this early development, itself arising also from 
naturalistic origins, namely, the striving after 
grandeur of effect, is now emerging with new 
vigour and character, as may be seen from the 
elaboration and adornment bestowed even at 
this early period upon the abodes of the dead. 
The first lesson which this archaeology enforces 
is that of continuity in development. Just as 
modern investigations all tend to show that 
the civilization which attended the earliest 
monarchy evolved naturally from the prehistoric 
conditions, so now it is clearly .seen that the 
Third Dynasty links naturally, if unassumingly, 
the spontaneous culture of the early dynasties 
with the more determined character of the Old 


Empire. It might have seemed otherwise, that 
the builders of the pyramids must have heen 
as a race of giants compared with those who 
made round holes in the earth wherein to 
double up the bodies of their dead. This was 
indeed an old view which recent investigation 
has done much to dispel. 

The culture of the Third Dynasty 
is that of the proto-dynastic period 
in general. The characteristics of a stone age 
remain strongly marked, evidenced by the 
numerous and often lieautiful vases of stone 
and the other monuments. Flint imple- 
ments, too, survive, though retained probably 
for sj^ecial uses of a religious character. One 
special form of flint, shaped like a crescent, 
seems to have been common.* But side by 
side with these usages there appears a perfect 
familiarity with the working of copper. At 
first, in the earliest pre-dynastic period, a 
scarcity of specimens suggests that this was 
an incipient art, but the objects of the early 
Metal and dynasties, though not numerous, 
^'°"^' attest by their quality that the use 
must have been more known than practised. 
Of the Third Dynasty there are large copper 
vessels like buckets, with riveted handles ; 
smaller vessels with riveted spouts, as well 
as a knife and spoons ; while the imitations 
of the metal forms in the stone working 
of the period « shows that it was probably 
only tlie comparative scarcity of material 

1 G.M.K., Plate 15. 
See Plate XXXII. 




On Stone 

that accounts for the rarity of existing ex- 
amples. As a word indicating the mergence 
of two strains of culture, this metal-stone 
age has been defined not altogether satisfac- 
torily by the term calcolithic. 

In Egypt pottery making never 
attained during dynastic times a high 
standard as an art. Probably the difficulty of 
obtaining a suitable clay is the natural expla- 

Inscribed objects of the Third 
Inscriptions. Dy^^sty are not common. The 
doorway of glazed tiles from the step-pyramid 
of Sakkara, now at Berlin, is thought by some 
to belong to this period. If the surmise be 
correct this must rank as the finest example, 
but it is not at all characteristic. 

From the funeral stela, and portions | 
of others that have been found, it ! 
would seem that the style of the period, as 
before and after, was in low relief both for 
hieroglyphs and figures. The stela of Se-mery 
(now at the Ashmolean), taken from a small 
tomb (R 88), suggests an archaic, or primitive, : 
rather than a decadent style ; but some frag- 1 
ments taken from a large mastaba (R 50) of 
slightly later date, are finely carved, and show 
traces of paint. Some fragments from the 
tomb of Neter-Khet are of uncertain association, 
though similar in general character. 

A false door, or shrine of wood, 
enclosing a panel from the tomb of a 
royal scribe (R 64), was carved in similar 
fashion. The hieroglyphs were in relief, and 
though much decayed showed traces of clean 
cutting; the text is naturally of the earliest 
style. The figure of the scribe was also in low 
relief : he is represented as clad with a skin, 
holding staff and baton. 

In addition to these excavated 

cellaneous, objects, there ai*e others known 

which have been descriljed in published works. 

Among them a certain number of scarabs bear 

the names of kings of this period, but they are 
not contemporary. The names of kings (chiefly 
Seneferu) occur also as graffiti on bowls of 


As in the case of the earlier 

Sealings. ^ . .-, ■ ■ r i 

dynasties, the impressions of seals 
rolled upon the mud caps of pottery and stone 
seals, are the most fruitful source of contem- 
porary inscriptions. From those found at Bet 
Khallaf the following names and titles are 
collected, chiefly from the researches of Professor 

Sethe :— 

A goddess ia human form, holding the 
sonages. ' symbol of life and of happiness in her hand, 

appears on a sealing of Neter-Khet. 
Hot-, "Horus."' 

Hovakti, " Horus of the horizon."' 

UjJ-uat, the name of the jackal god, applied as title to a 


Arep-Dua-Hor-Khenti-pet, name of a wine from King 
Neter-Khet ".s vineyard; found as late as the Nineteenth 
Dj'nasty in the temj)le of Abydos. 


AiipK l«itcji, a name appearing on fragments 
of seals. 

Ary-><t')), name of a private individual. 
Hapi-n-maat, see Xi-maat-H(tp. 

Hotcp-{uy)-n, " We are satisfied," which expresses the 
feelings of the parents. Name of a scribe. 

Mentu-ein-sa-ef, or Ahy-em-m-ef, " The god Neter-Khet 
is his protection (cursive -writing). 

Mery-nb, name of a scribe. 

Mery-Sekhmet-inaat, " Sekhmet loves truth," or Mcry- 
her-en-Sekhmct, " Loved is the face of Sekhinet." 

Ne-ankh-Sckhmct, " Life belongs to Sekhmet," appar- 
ently the meaning of a seal in archaic writing giving the 
name of a scribe. 

Nekhf, "strong," the last two signs of an inscription 
giving a Horus-name hitherto unknown. The first sign 
is destroyed, and may be either " hen " or " xa.'' If the 
latter, which is more probable, the name would be Nekht- 
sa-es, " Strong is her (i.e. the mother's) protection." 
Probably the name of one of Zeser's immediate successors, 
perhaps that of King Neb-ka. 

Xc-maat-Hap, " Truth belongs to the Apis." The name 
of a Queen. 

Neter-Kltct, the Horus name of King Zeser (?); on 

Nezemaukh, "sweet life," name of a priest. 

Nez-netcrn, name of an official. 

Ra-kJiii/] name of an ofWcial. 

liudef, a woman's name meaning "sound" i cursive 



Sa-ef, a rare personal name or part of a name like 

Sebctij-hcs, "Scribe of the Mem[iliite nome," connected 
with Ne-ankh-Sekhraet. 

.... oru-cf, jjrobably the end of a name (cursive 

Se-menj, name of a royal inili. (Stela, Reqaqnah.) 

Shepses, name of a royal scribe (wooden shrine). 


Place Atmntiuf, " the western Nomes,'' of the 

Names. Delta ; on a sealing of Neter-Khet. 

As-svfaii, " provision office," to which the public vine- 
yards were subject. 

Dun-IIdv-khcnti-pit, the name of a vineyard of King 
Neter-Khet, meaning "Praised be Hnrus who i.s in the 
front of heaven." 

Het-imb, name of the place near which were the 
alabaster quarries ; E. mid-Egypt. 

Kami, vineyards ; of two public vineyards. 

Keru-tani, "The terror of the two lands." Name of a 
fortress of Neter-Khet. 

Per-ab-a, either a place name or the name of a building 
connected with King Pcv-ab-iicn. 

Pev-xcUm pcr-dcshcv katiii, "king's house, red house, 
vineyard," the name of a government vineyard. 

Scbcti/ii-lu'zu, old name of Memphis : in cursive 

Scnpu (?), probable name of a place; also Second 

Si' li-Dua-IIi ir-khf lit y-pct , the fellow vineyard to that 
named Diia-Hor-klioif y-pct . 

Zci't, " wall," where the public vineyards were 

_. Amy ab," favourite," connected with Neru- 

taui as a title of official. 

Ary Nckhcm, guardian of Hierakoupolis. Title of 
Nezem Ankh . 

Avy-pr, guardian of Buto. Title of Nezem Ankh. 

Da-cf ankh, ttas, dedct, " he gives, life, happiness, 
and stability." Title of the god Horakhti. 

Dua nctcr ra iirb, " he who praises i,or thanks) the 
god (or king) every day." Title of official. 

En sesheiR upt . . . ntj ? Unexplained titles on 
official seal bearing Horusname of King Neter-Khet three 
times. Probably titles of an official. 

Er-neb-ary, a sign from an une.xplained sealing. 

Ifcn shell lit Xcbka, ■' servant of King Nebka's 
granaries," a title on seal of King Sa-nekht. 

Hety-a " prince," and ary Xekhvii, " guardian of 
Hierakoupolis. Titles of priest Nezem Ankh. 


Hiir, " small, little, weak," a fragment of cursive 
writing. Naaii, " young men, adolescents," also a frag- 
ment of cursive writing. 

Khn, " to appear," " to rise," " to be crowned as king," 
"festival," or -'crown," and the word nhciiity, "to 
accompany, to follow," appears in seal of Sa-nekht. 

Khrr-hch, " lector-priest," and nezcr ? or akch ? ains, 
an obscure title of which only the word ams, " sceptre," 
is known. A title applied to the priest Nezem Ankh. 

Khei'p ShcmsK, " leader of the servants," a title 
following an obscure title on seal of Zoser. 

Klicry-a, " assistant." Title of priest and of official. 

Khct-ekh, iinexplained sign on official seal of King 
Neter Khet. 

Mer shoit Anpu "chief of the shent (^hundred ?j of 
Anubis, found on fragment of seal of Anpu-hotep. 

Mt'vy-seten, " beloved of the King." Title of official. 

Muf mcsii. siten, "mother of the King's children.'' 
Title of Queen Ne-maat-Hap. 

Mut-nctcii-liafi, " mother of the King of Upper and 
Lower Egypt." Title applied to Queen Ne-maat-Hap. 

Nfhfi, a title of Neter Khet signifying his identity with 
the " two mistresses '' of the united double Kingdom, the 
vulture goddess El Kab and the uroeus goddess of Buto. 

Ki'fcr ankh, " good in life, a god in commanding," 
applied to the official Nez-neteru. 

Xcfcr medii, maa, " truly beautiful of speech." Title of 
private man, " Ary-sen." 

Xi'kht khciii, " strong of voice," a title frequently borne 
in the (_)ld Kingdom by officials of the granaries ; occurs 
in seal of Sa-nekht. 

Xcti-r uz nefcr ankh, "a god in commanding, good in 
life." A title of Ampu-hotep. 

Xezcm, "pleasant," with an illegible termination. In 
seal of King Neter-Khet. 

Xeza, a form of verb, " nez," 
conjunction with " Ren nezem " 
teacher when asked for advice." 

Xnb ''yold,'' a title of Neter-Khet, but as his name is 
placed over the Nub-sign it may mean " Neter-Ivhet who 
has conquered the god (Set of Ombos). 

The hiernglyph r which may fit on to the fragment 
nikht khcni, or to the incomplete title T - - - sh, both 
found in the seal of Sa-nekht. 

Rckh-aiicn, •' aopiaintance of the King," applied to 
Neter-Khet's ac(iuaintauce '' Mery-sekhmet-maat." 

Pen nezem, " pleasant teacher," title of official Nez- 

Renii, " teacher," applied to Ary-sen, a private 

iS'rt, " guard," on a seal with Horns name of King 

Sam, a title applied to the priest as " the high priest of 
Upuat." Later, "sam" was only the title of the high 
priest of Memphis, and in the Third Dynasty it was more 
widely applied as " high priest of the temple of Anubis." 

Sam, " high priest," and ary Pe, " guardian of Buto.'' 
Titles of Nezem Ankh. 

Senesen zed, "delighting by saying," epithet of "Ary- 
sen," a private individual. 

Senh, "scribe." Applied to official Nez-neteru. 

Sesh, " scribe." Title of Ne-ankh-Sekhmet. 

Sesh semt, " scribe of the desert," a title of official 

to ask advice, used in 
to imply "a pleasant 
Title of official Nez- 



Sesh, or Scsh scmf, "scribe,"' nr "scribe of the 
desert." Title of Hotep-(uy) n. 

Scah, '• scribe,'' or sesh sli (a) " scribe of the lake," a 
title of Mery-ab. 

Scteiu/ bafi, " Kiag of Upper and Lower Egypt." 
Title of Neter-Khet. 

Sticp-sa zed ra-nrh, " to make the body guard of the 
king every day," probably refers to an official of King 

Scfcii-hafi nibti. a royal title from an official .sealing. 

Uty, " he of the town of Ut," a title of Anubis, also a 
priestly title, and may mean " Uty priest of Anubis." 
Applied to official. 

Za-Jier, " to turn the face towards," i.e. " an overseer," 
with reference to Dua-Hor-khenti-pet, the vineyard of 
King Neter-Khet. 

Zcdet akhct iiebt ar!/-n-s, " if she says anything, it 
is done for her." Title of Queen Ne-maat-Hap. 

Unc'.rplained titles having some connexion with the 
ornaments and clothing of the king. Applied to official 

All iiijinrd title oi Queen Xe-maat-Hap, which might 
either be completed as Klut-Hor, "servant of Horus,'' 
or as Mat Hor-Sef, " she who sees Horus-Set. 

Scfen rekh, a royal friend, title of an unknown 
Hnsoribed stone, R50). 

Seti'ii scali, royal scribe, title of Shepses (RG4). 

Scten Uab, royal " uab," title of Se Blery (R 79). 

At the present time only this one 
site has been identified as definitely 
pertaining to the Third Dynasty. Here at 
Bet Khallaf are five great tombs, the burial 
places of two kings whose names are Neter- 
Khet and Sa-Nekht, and of three great 
personages, one of whom was a prince by 
name Nezem Ankh. In the vicinity at 
Reqaqnah (some two miles to the north) 
is a considerable necropolis of the period. 
It comprises a number of tombs similar 
in character to those of Bet KhallAf, three 
of which are of sixfficient importance to 
justify a surmise that they l^elonged to persons 
of considerable rank. The greater number of 
the tombs are small, and presumably represent 
private burial places. Amongst them, how- 
ever, are the tombs of a royal scribe (Shepses) 
and of a royal uab (Se-Mery). The same 
group includes three mastaba tombs of great 
size, one of which was the tomb of a seten-relch, 
a man ranking among the royal acquaintances. 
At Sakkara, the step pyramid has been re- 


garded, since the exploration of Minutoli, as the 
work of King Neter-Khet; but there is no 
present evidence of any contemporary burial 
within. It seems to have been much used 
for interment in later times. 

In many other sites of wider range tombs 
are now readily to be identified as belong- 
ing to this period. Chief among those of which 
accounts have l)een published is El Kab, which 
presents many analogies. Other tombs have 
been found at Naga-Der, eastward from Girga, 
and in the vicinity of the early pyramids. 
T„.4„o,, = It is curious to notice that the 


earliest efforts of the pre-dynastic 
people were directed to producing a specially 
good class of pottery, which was indeed never 
equalled or excelled at any period before 
the New Empire. But the natural influences 
of the country prevailed, and though now 
and then a trace of the old art re-appears, 
yet the study of pottery-making, even before 
dynastic times, is found to have been grad- 
ually laid aside in favour of stone working, 
so that the feature characteristic of the early 
dynasties is rather the variety of vases carved 
from the different qualities and colours of stone 
in which the country abounded. 

In other miscellaneous industries there is not 
much character apparent, (xlazed objects of this 
period are extremely rare. In recent excavation 
only a few very small beads from a chamber in the 
tomb of Neter Khet attest definitely to the usage. 
But if it is to be believed that the doorway of 
glazed tiles from the pyramid of Sakkara,now in 
the museum at Berlin, is really the contemporary 
work of the Third Dynasty, then there is a new 
element of evidence to be considered in this con- 
nexion. Certainly a precedent holds out the 
possibility, for glazed objects seem to have been 
found both of the First and Second Dynasties 
at Abydos and at Hierakonpolis respectively. 
Cloth making has also a few examples. 
Some fragments found within the tomb of 
Neter-Khet, probably the remains of sacks in 



which grain was stored inside the galleries, are i 
of coarse texture. One piece, the finest, has I 
37 wefts and 2i» warps to the inch. 
Architecture. T'l^ architecture of the Third 
Dynasty is known solely from the 
tomb structures of the period. The large solid 
superstructure of the tomb of King Neter Khet, 
and the adjoining, stepped mastal)a of Sa- 
Nekht, are direct links in form with the first 
of the pyramids, the step pyramid of Sakkara 
wliich belongs to the same time. These great 
buildings developed naturally from the earlier 
forms of tomljs in the effort to secure a safe 
abiding place for the dead. The characteristic 
tombs of the period are of the stairway type, 
advanced to a stage where the superstructure 
was claiming an increasing elaboration, and so 
leading on directly to later tombs of the well- 

known mastaba type. The necropolis of 
Reqaqnah discloses a number of tombs in 
definite arrangement, with narrow ways between 
the rows, a method not cliaracteristic of later 
burying places. The smaller tombs are of 
elementary character, allied with earlier and 
later examples. They are of varying charac- 
ter, some being a vaulted recess, others a 
shaft with underground chamber enclosed by 
a surface building. Some methods of burial 
are employed less usual or more simple, among 
which the mode of interment under a large 
pottery vessel is perhaps the most i-emarkable. 
In general there is little elaboration of design 
or ai-chitectural adornment observable. The 
use of the arch, the most important feature of 
the period, seems to develop from a construc- 
tional necessity, not as an embellishment. 



With Plates XXXI aud XXXIII. 

XXXI vJ**^^^ objects are figured in the 


illustrations whicli do not other- 
wise enter into the general problem of this book. 
Of them, the alabaster vase from uncertain locality, 
shown on Plate XXXI, is of unusual character. In 
horizontal section it is oval, and the base rests upon 
a single short pedestal in the centre. The lid is 
fashioned in the form of a sleeping swan, the 
bill is in the favourite position under the wing, 
and the long neck coming back provides the handle 
to the vessel. The work is fine, and the finish good. 
The thinness to which the stone is worked gives 
a general translucency to the object itself which 
provides it with a noticeable delicacy of appear- 
ance. It is now in the MacGregor collection. 

Plate XXXIII. Turning to the last of the plates 
of illustrations, the most interesting 
of the stone objects pictured is a great stela of 
Se-Ra, a sculptor or engraver, dated to aliout 
the Twelfth Dynasty. The workmanship is 
good, the hieroglyphs aud figures sharplj' incised, 
and the surface of the stone well dressed. The 
parentage of Se-Ra is not quite clear. He 
was born of Hetepu ; his wife was Set-Khent- 
Khety. But in Scene 2 his father (Atef) is called 
Tehuti ; whereas in Scene 3, and on the back, his 
father (also Atef i is named Khent-Khety-em-hat, 
and his wife Hetepu. Doubtless there is some 
ambiguity or a double dedication. 

The stone itself is so perfect that it may be 
of interest to print the following details, due to 
Mr. P. E. Newberry — 

Rows 1-3 : Adoration of Osiris by Se-Ra and his 
relatives. The names (3) are : (i) Sa-Ra ; 
(ii) Tehuti ; liiij Khent-Khety-em-uat, his 
father ; (iv) Sebek-KLety ; (v) Se-Ra ; 

\vi) Khety ; ivii) Klieut-KLety-em-hat ; 
(viii) Khent-Khety-hetep ; ^ixi Kbent- 

Rows 4-5 : Prayer to Osiris, U|)-uat and Aiuibis for 
funeral oftering for Se-Ra. 

Upper Scene. Left. Se-Ra seated with his wife [name 
not inserted]. " His brother, Khent-Kheti- 
lietepu ■' otFers before him. 
Kiyht. " His [Sa-Ra's] brother Sebek-hetep " 
seated with his wife Sat-sen-mera. " His 
brother, Sen-mera," offers before him. 

Line (J. Prayer to Osiris for benefit of Tehuti said by 
" his son who makes to have his name, the 
engraver Sa-Ra.'' 

Second Scene. Left. Tehuti seated with " his daughter 
Sat-sen-mera and his mother Hetepu "' re- 
ceives offerings from [right] " his son Sen- 
niera, his son Khety, his daughter Sa-sen-mera 
and his brother Antef."' 

Line 7. Prayer to Upuat for benefit of Ivhent-Khety- 
em-hat said by " his i^sic) son who makes to 
have his name, the engraver Sa-Ra." 

Third Scene. Left. " His father Khent-Khety-em-hat 
and his wife Hetepu and his daughter 
Sat-Ivhent-Ivhety " receive offerings from 
[riylit] "his son Ivhent-Khety-em-hat, his 
daughterSat-Tehuti, his daughter Hor-sek-hat 
and his sister Mern-es." 

Line 8. Left. Prayer to Anubis Upuat for benefit of 
Sa-Ra made " by the son of his son who makes 
to live his name Sa-Rii." 

Fourth Scene. Left. Sa-Ra (grandson) and " his wife 
Sat-Khent-Khety " receive offerings from 
his son Khent-Khety-hetep. 

Line 8. Rhjht. Prayer to Osiris for benefit of Ivhety 
made " by the son of his daughter who 
makes to live his name, the engraver Sa-Ra." 

Fourth Scene. Riylit. Khety and wife Sat-rereru 
receive offerings from his daughter Satpepy. 

Below are two scenes. Left. Sa-Ra seated, before him (1) 
" his brother Antef," (2) " his mother Sat-upuat " i?), 
(3) his brother Unen . . . . , (4) and Sa-hor-sekhat. 
Right. Sa-Ra seated, before him (1) . . . . (2) his 
brother Khent-Khety-em-hat, (3) his sister Sat- 
Ivent-Khety, (4) .... 




y. r '/' ;■•: 





















The small stela from site B, near Bet Kliallaf, in 
a necropolis of the Ninteenth Dynasty, from tomb 
No. 103, speaks of a '^ sedem-ash nf Anlmr" whose 
name is flestroyed. In a lower row the same title 
recurs with the name Pa-Aha," which is proliablj' 
that of the deceased. The stela is rather small and 
the workmanship conventional. 

From the same series of Nineteenth Dynasty 
tombs comes the pyramidion numbered 101. It bears 
the name " Neb-Mertu-Ef, scribe of the granaries 
of the Divine Offerings of Anhur." On another 
side is the name " Riy." The obelisk, which is 

partly broken away, speaks of another Sedeni-atih 
of Anhur " whose name seems to end in hu (? Sa - - 
liu). The name of the chief lady is destroyed : her 
daughter was " - - - pa - drt," and another 
daughter " B.ennut." 

The tables of offerings and inscription of late 
period were bought in Reqaqnah, and call for little 
comment. They probably come from some late 
tombs with vault and well found interspersed with 
the stairway tombs of the Third Dynasty among 
which they had been placed. 



Supplied by Mr. Randall-Maclver. 






2 « 



Greatest breadth 


Cephalic index 



Basi-nasal length 




Alveolar index 












R 50 . 

xMale . . 















R54 . 

Female . 















R 55a . 

Female . 
















R56b . 

Male . . 
















R 56a . 

Male . . 
















R61 . 

Male . . 
















R6fi . 

Male . . 
















R68 . 

Male . . 
















R71 . 

Female . 
















R7-2 . 

Male . . 
















R80 . 

Female . 
















R82 . 

Male . . 
















R88 . 

















RS9 . 

Male . . 
















R200 . 

Male . . 
















R 2{ 12 . 

Male . . 


















Abhrevialinns, List of, 15 
Abdullah lk\v, Mainur of Gir^a, 11 
Adherence and preservation of skin. 

Adu I (kinfi), Tomb of, 29, 37 
Adu II (king), Tomb of, 37 
yVlabaster, 25 
Alawniyeh, site, 35 
Alydos', 12 
Amelineau, M., 15 
Am-Khent (scribe), 58 
Am-Qem-mu, 58 
Amrah. El Amrah, site, 15, 35 
Analysis of smaller tombs, 44 
Arab cemeteries, 40 
Arch and barrel vault, 22 
Arches of Third Dvnastv, evolution, 

Archaeological types, 24 
Archaeology of the Third Dynasty, 

Architecture, 05 

Architecture, a feature of early, 39 
Ashmolean Museum, 46, 58 

Babylon. Hanging gardens at, 29 

Barrel roof, 40 

Baton, 43, 58 

Batter to walls, 22, 39 

Bead necklaces, 41 

Beni-Hasan, Pot burials near, 56 

Beni-Hasan, Vaulted roofs at, 29 

Berlin Museum, 62, 64 

B6t Khallaf (village). 11 

Bone bracelet, 18 

Bowl with spout, 27 

Breccia, 25 

Brickwork in steps, 22 

Brocklebank, Ralph, Esij., 11 

Burial chambers, 30 

Burial customs. 45 

Burial under pottery \essel, 32, 46, 

Button seal, 41 
Buttress walls, 22, 36 

Cairo Museum, 32 
Calcolithic, The term, 62 
Chaldasa, Arch in, 28 

P.anel recess in, 39 
Chambers underground, 22 

Chapel or shrine, 21, 36 
Chipiez and Perrot, Mm., 29 
Clay lialls. Inscribed, 32. 59 
Cloth making. 64 
Collin of |)ottery, 52 
Coffin of wood, 45 
Construction of smaller tombs, 38 
Continuity of P]arly History, 16 

Evidences for, 18 
Copper, 24, 61 

Copper vessel imitated, 48, 60 
Cord pattern. 25 
Cornelian, 41 
Customs, Burial, 45 

Dendereh. site. 37 

Deposits, Inventory of tomb, 60 

Depth of pit tombs. 43 

Desert gravel. Strength of, 22 

Development in plan of stairway 

tombs, 35 
Development in section of stairvvay 

tombs, 36 
Diorite, 25 

Doorway of glazed tiles, 62 
Door stone to burial chamber. 22, 30 

Egypt Exploration Fund. 14 

Egyptian names, 62 

Pjgyptian people, Ethic origins of, 

Egyptian Research Account. 11. 12 
Evans, Arthur J., Esq., F.R.8.. 11 
Evolution of stairway tombs, 34 
Excavations, Results of, 13 

Femur, Broken, 47 

Flint implements, 61 

Forms of stone vases and pottery, 24 

Glaze. 41 

( Jlazed seal of Khafra, 48 
Glazed tiles, 62 
Globular vessel, 27 
Gods, Names of, 62 
Graffito of Seneferu, 47 
Gravel, Desert. Collapse of, 22 
Greece, Arch in, 29 
Growth of necropolis, 38 

Handles riveted, 61 
Headi-est of wood. Fluted, 47, (iO 
Hen-Nekht or Sa-Nekht (king), 28 
Hiei'akonpolis, Excavations at, 24 
History, Continuity of, 16 

Industries, 64 

Inscriptions, 62 

Inventory of tomb deposits, 60 

Inverted pots. Burials under, 42 

Judaea, Arch in, 29 

Kab, El Kab. site, 15, 36 
Ka-nefer (.scribe), 58 
Ka-ra, ? king Second Dynasty, 55 
Kawamil, site, 51 
Kennard. H. Martyn, Esij., 11 
Khafra, King, Seal of, 43 
Khorsabad, Palace at. 29 
Khorsabad, Ruins of, 40 
Kings of Third Dynasty, Tombs of, 

Limestone slab inscribed, 32 
Limestone vases, 25 
Lintel of wood, 49 
Localities, 64 
Long slabs for building, 29 

Mace-head of alabaster, 25 

Mace, Mr., 15 

MacGregor, Rev. Wm., 11, 59 

Maclver, Mr. Randall-, 15, 45 

Mahasna (village). 12 

Mahmoud Effendi (Omda of Bet 

Khallaf). 12 
Map of site explored, 12 
Marble, Sachyrine, 25 
Mariette. M., 29 
Masonry, 22 
Maspero, M.. 39 
Mastaba (platfoini) tombs, 31 
Materials — 

Alabaster (Egyptian), 25, 48, 50, 

Bone, 48 

Breccia, 25, 48, 60 



Materials (continued) — 

Copper, 24, 48, 61 

Cornelian, 41 

Diorite, 25, 48, 59 

Flint, 61 

Glaze, 41.48, 62 

Limestone, 25, 33, 41 

Marble, Sacliyrine, 25 

Porphyry, 25 

Shell, 4l", 48 

Steatite, 25 

Stone workinu, 62 

Wood, 45, 47, 49, 62 
Mesa (scribe), 58 
Models of vases (small), 25 
Monarchy, Race of p]i^yptian, 17 
de Morgan, M., 13, 15, 16 
Mugheir, (Ur of the Chaldaeans), 29 

Names, Egyptian — 

Adu I (king), 29 

Adu II (king), 37 

Am-Khent (scribe), 58 

Am-Qem-mu (scribe), 58 

Hen Nekht or Sa Nekht (king), 

Hetepu, 66 

Ka-nefer (scribe), 58 

Ka-ra (king), 55 

Khafra (king), 43, 48, 60 

Khent-Khety-em-hab, 66 

Mesa (scribe), 58 

Nezem-Ankh (prince), 64, 40 

Neterkhet (king), 11,37 

Pa-Aha, scdcm ash of Anhur, 67 

ga (king), 35 

Sa-Nekht, or Hen -Nekht (king), 

Seneferu (king), 42, 47, 50 

Se-Mery (royal u'lb), 41, 45, 58 

Seneferu (king). 42. 43. 60 

Senez-em-ab (scribe). 58 

Seref-Ka (scribe), 58 

Set-Khent-Khety, 66 

Sety I (king). 29' 

Se-Ra (sL-uli)tc)r), genealogy, 64 

Shcpses (royal scribe), 38,' 42, 43, 
47, 49 

Shcpses-Ka (scribe), 58 

Tlicnt-tha (scribe), 58 

Ua-sau-es (scribe), 58 

User-Kaf (king), 56 

Uzur (scribe), 58 

Y-Kaii (scribe), 58 
Names of (iods and persons, 62 
Names of places and vineyards, 63 
Navilie, M., 15 
Necklaces of beads, 41 
Necropolis, The, 38 
Neter-Khet (king). II. 37 
Nezem-Ankh. Tomb of, 40, 64 
Nile valley, conservative, 19 
Nubia, Houses of, 23 

Obelisk. 67 

Objects from the stairway tombs, 24 

Orientation of tondjs, 39 

Oyster shell, 48 

Palermo Stone, Tlic 18 
Palette, Slate, 54 
Panel recess, 41 
Panels as decoration, 32 
Parallel rows of tombs. 38 
Passages in mastaba tombs. 31 
Patrons, 1 1 

Pattern, Whi])cord. 25 
Perrot and Chipiez, Mm., 29 
Persia, Arch in, 29 
Persons, Names of, 62 
Petrie, Professor, 15 
Phrenicia, Arch in, 29 
Pit tombs, 43 
Places, Names of, 63 
Plunderer's hole, 30 
Polished pottery, 26, 59 
Porphyry, 25 

Pottery making. Art of, 62 
Pottery of pre-dynastic character. 14 
Decline of. 18 
,, Forms of Third Dynasty, 26 
Price, F. Hilton. Esq., 11 ' 
Pyramid age, 61 
Pyramidion, 67 

Qa. Tomb of King, 35 
Quibell, Mr.,15 

Rectangular tombs. 41 
Reqaqnah (village), 11 
Riveted handles to copper ves.sels, 61 
spouts ,, ,, 61 

Roofs of large buildings, 29 

,, tomb chambers, 35 
Rows of tombs, 38 
Royal tondjs of Third Dynasty. 25 

Sakkara, site and necropolis, 37 

Sa-Neklit (sc- Hen-Nekht). 

Sararwah (village), 12, 59 

Sargon's Palace at Khorsabad, 29 

Schafer, Dr., 15 

Seal. Button, 41 

Seal imiJiessions, 25, 62 

Seal of Khafi'a, 48 

Se-Mery (scrilje), 58 

.. (P.N.), Royal Uab, 41, 45 
Senefuru (king). Time of, 42 
Senez-eni-ab (scribe). 58 
Seref-Ka (scribe). 58 
Sethe. Professor, 15, 63 
Sety I (king), 29 
Shawahin, site, 58 
Shell beads, 41 
Shell of diorite, 25 

Shepsos, Shrine of, 38. 58 
„ Tomb of, 42, 49 

Shepses-Ka (scribe), 58 

Shrine or chapel, 21, 36 

Skin, Preservation of, 53 

Slate palette, 54 

Smaller tombs, Objects from, 58 

Sohag (i)i-ovince and town), 12 

Spouts, Riveted, 61 

Staff, 43 

Stairway tombs. Construction of, 21 
„ " „ Date of. 21 
,, ,, Evolution of, 34 

,, ,, Related to masta- 

bas, 31 
,, Special features of. 

Steatite, 25 

Stela of Se-Mery, 41, 49 

Steps, Construction of, 22 

Stone door to burial chamber, 22, 30 

Stone vases, 24 

Stucco, White, as decoration, 31 

Table of alabaster. 49 

Terminology, 15 

Thent-tha ('scribe), 58 

Tiryns. Arch in, 29 

Titles of officials, 63 

Tomb deposits. Inventory of, 6t) 

Tombs, royal, of Third Dynasty, 25 
,,. smaller. Construction of, 39 
,, ,, Analysis of, 44 

,, ., Objects from, 58 

Stairway (.see Stairway). 
„ Vaulted, 39 

Types of stone vases and pottery, 24 

Uab, Royal, 49 

Ua-.sau-es (scribe), 58 

Underground chambers, 22 

Une.\|ilained titles, 64 

Ur of the Chaldwans (Mugheir), 29 

User-Kaf (king), 56 

Uz-ur (scribe), 58 

Vaulted tombs, 39 

Vaults and vaulted roofs, 29 

Vessels, Burials under pottery, 46, 

Vineyards, Names of, 63 
Voussoirs, 28 

Wefts and warps in clcith, 65 

Well of offerings, 32 

Wilkin, The late Mr. Anthony. 15 

Writing in pre-dynastit' age. 18 

Wood ciilHii, 45 

Wciiidcn licad-rest fluted. 47. 60 

Y-Kaii (scribe), 58 


Buder & Tanner, The Sdwood Printing Works, Frome, nnd Lu^idon.