in wood, earthenware and bone, and a small hoard of ninety-six Roman
coins, hidden in a jar.
On January 5th, having got together a body of workmen, not afraid of
the desert, we struck our tents and moved seven miles eastward to Kum el
Katl. There we encamped for a matter of seven weeks, our workpeople
living in shelters or old excavated houses hard by. We supplied
ourselves with water and provisions from Tamiyeh, six miles away. The
freedom and independence of this life was delightful, and the only
drawback came from the boisterous, inclement weather which will make
the early part of 1896 long and evilly remembered in Egypt.
Here again we had houses, tombs, and a temple to explore. ■ The houses
proved to be far less plundered than their counterparts at Kum Ushim,
and. from the very first they yielded papyrus scraps in abundance,
together with a quantity of domestic objects, such as wooden bowls,
platters, boxes, writing tablets, styles and reed pipes; bone dice, pins and
toilet implements ; bronze rings and pins ; combs, terra-cotta figurines,
memorial prism-shaped shrines in wood (one in marble with four painted
figures in relief), and so forth. Coins were legion. Under the brick
floor of a small store chamber we found three jars, sealed with skin and
tied up with cord, containing no less than 4265 silver and billon Roman
coins, all in fair condition. The papyri were found either in open
courtyards and streets, where they had been blown by the wind, or in one
room, probably a lumber chamber, of each better-class house. Once we
seemed to hit the refuse heap of the civic archives, and once a municipal
building, littered with Ptolemaic fragments of the second and first
centuries b.c. The temple also yielded its quota, chiefly Ptolemaic, and
much was found even among the most superficial refuse. So far as they
have yet been examined, the papyri most worthy of note are these :—
1. An official letter of an Emperor, of the third century a.d., concern-
ing the expenditure of public moneys on the occasion of an accession to
the throne. This is a long official document in fine preservation, but
wanting, unfortunately, the first column.
2. A schoolboy's copy of a private letter of the Emperor Hadrian,
written in a somewhat testy vein in response to a friend's officious
counsels about bearing the prospect of death with becoming fortitude.
3. A fragment of the Third Philippic of Demosthenes.
4. Several fragments of the Iliad, including one piece of the Eighth
Book, written in the second century b.c., and another piece containing
ninety lines of the Twentieth Book, written in the second century a.d.
5. Petitions to the god worshipped in the temple of Bacchias, whose