Egypt Exploration Fund.
have also carefully explored the country from El Bersheh to 'Arab el
Hetam (a distance of sixty-five miles) ; we have surveyed two important
groups of tombs near Deir el Gebrawi and copied the inscriptions and
wall paintings; and we have completed the water-colour drawings of the
most interesting scenes at Beni Hasan and El Bersheh.
Tlie tombs of the Gebel esh Sheikh Sa'id are excavated in a series of
four tiers, one above the other, in the limestone hill or Gebel which over-
hangs the Nile about 190 miles south of Cairo, and which derives its
name from the picturesque little tomb of a famous sheikh named Said,
which is built at the foot of its southern base (see plate opposite).
The ancient tombs number over eighty, but of these only seven are
inscribed. The uninscribed ones, for the most part, are of little interest,
being either unfinished, partly filled with drift, or much mutilated.
Architecturally they are of three types :—■
I. A small square chamber cut out of the hillside; doorway small,
without architectural features.
II. A small chamber cut out of the hillside; doorway small, with rounded
lintels and sloping facade.
III. Two or more chambers with false doors, architectural facade
representing sloping walls surmounted by a heavy beam, and rounded
lintel to doorway.
The inscriptions in the inscribed tombs show that the hill here was
used as the necropolis of the princes of the Hermopolite nonie and by
so-called superintendents of " the new towns." They all apparently
date from one period, the early kingdom. Several contain cartouches of
the early monarchs, and it is interesting to note that no less than four
bear inscriptions which show that they were restored by descendants of
the owners in the Xlth or Xllth dynasty. If we examine the tombs
from the north, the first one of any note is No. 14, which belonged to
the Superintendent of the New Towns, " Teta-anch" (with the
additional " good name" of Imhotep). It contains some bas-reliefs
and inscriptions, and upon the exterior wall, on the right hand side of
the entrance doorway, is a small inscription in two vertical lines
recording that the tomb was restored by the " Superintendent of the
King's House, Aha." Following a narrow pathway close by the side of
the cliff for some little distance and then climbing up the steep side of
the hill, one enters another inscribed tomb (No. 17) of rather larger
dimensions than the last-mentioned. It contains two large false doors
on the west walls, one on either side of the entrance doorway. The
northern one is much mutilated, only traces of a few hieroglyphs being