Birch, Samuel   [Hrsg.]
Catalogue of the collection of Egyptian antiquities at Alnwick Castle — London, 1880

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10. BOXES.

Wooden boxes called Teb were in common use amongst the Egyptians at all
periods for holding papyri, instruments, objects of attire, and other articles
which required to be preserved. They had covers, but no locks, it being
very doubtful if the Egyptians had any more secure fastening than the bolt
or the tie. To secure the box, however, there was a mushroom-shaped stud
or handle on the cover, and another on the side next to it, and by tying
the two together with a cord of palm-leaves the cover was prevented from
falling or removal until the cord was untied. The word khatem, to close, has
as its determinative a seal, and hence it is possible that in cases where addi-
tional security was required the cords were sealed with clay to prevent the
contents of the boxes being tampered with. The boxes are generally rectangu-
lar, sometimes with recurved cornices at the sides, and in that case are elabo-
rately painted in tempera, especially those in use for sepulchral purposes. Other
valuable boxes in daily use were made of ivory, or of ebony inlaid with
glass, porcelain, and ivory. Some boxes were circular or cylindrical, and em-
ployed to hold flour and other substances. A rare specimen has hinges of
cylindrical shape cut out of the solid wood, like those of modern snuffboxes.
Boxes were also occasionally made of papyrus. Smaller boxes for the toilet
were made of wood and stone, circular, or in shape of animals and figures,
with coversl.

1459. Box, with pent roof. On the top towards the middle two studs,

1 Wilkinson, Mann, and Cast., m. 174—177.

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