Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1894-1895

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Xote ox Excavations in Alexandrian Cemeteries.


eighteen feet two chambers opened from the shaft, in each of which
was a lead coma containing a skeleton. Both of these had been broken
open, and their contents rifled. By the side of one coffin were lying
two small earthenware aryballi of tapering shape, made of fine yellow
clay. They may be approximately dated to the 1st century b.c.

There was sti'.l another opening descending from this shaft, but before
we had got more than a foot or two down, we struck water, and had to
abandon it. But as none of the other chambers of this system contained
any object of value, it would probably have also proved blank. A
stone slab, possibly part oE its door, lay at the entrance. On it was a
well-executed diamond pattern in stone, but no inscription. The shaft
was cleared for a few feet lower, when we reached water, at nearly forty
feet below the surface of the ground, and ceased digging.

Close to the mouth of this shaft were found two large Roman amphoraj
with tapering ends, ribbed on the inside, but smooth outside. Many
other fragments turned up from time to time, of late and dispiriting

Adjoining this vaulted passage, at a slightly higher level, lay another
stone-built chamber (D), containing a skeleton. This evideutly did not
belong to the same set of tombs, as a wall, still intact, separated it from

Several other tombs were opened at a higher level, some twelve feet
below the adjoining soil, in one of which were found seven Roman, or
Graoco-Rornan, jars containing ashes. One of these had been covered
with white paint, and showed traces of an ornamental band in red
round the neck. On the floor of this tomb, which, like the majority of
the others, was cut in the sandstone, we found a gilt bronze chaplet
of leaves and berries, but in an utterly rotten and decayed condition;
and just outside, a small gold plaque, about one and a half inches square,
on which was stamped, in repoussee, a horse and horseman carrying an
emblem, resembling the Sceptre of Bes. This, doubtless, came from the
tomb just mentioned; which, to judge by its appearance, had been
opened, but certainly not in recent times.

The whole appearance of these tombs was discouraging. Even at a
depth of forty feet below the surface, beyond which it was impossible to
go owing to the water, we had come ujion nothing of good date. The
stone building of the vault was careless and rough, the pottery was
coarse and late, and above all, the whole place seemed to have been
thoroughly overhauled and robbed of any articles of value which it
might once have contained.
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