Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1896-1897

Seite: 5
DOI Artikel: 10.11588/diglit.11503.2
DOI Seite: 10.11588/diglit.11503#0017
Zitierlink: i
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/archaeological_report1896_1897/0017
Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen
facsimile
OxYKHYNCHUS AND ITS PAPYRI.

5

pit tombs eight to twelve feet deep with no chambers. In two of these
the mummies had a head and breast piece of painted plaster, but this
crumbled to pieces as soon as touched owing to the damp, which had
also proved fatal to a few wreaths which were found, and to wooden
coffins. One tomb contained the mummies of a woman and two children ;
and in place of the heart of all three there was a little mud charm
wrapped up in a bit of papyrus containing second century accounts, but
too much decayed to be worth anything. Another tomb, containing two
mummies buried in plain limestone coffins, which had been opened
previously, produced two bronze figures of Osiris, probably of the late
Ptolemaic period.

Nor were we much more successful in our search for the ancient
Egyptian cemetery of Oxyrhynchus. To the west and north of the
Roman cemetery, which stretches for | mile from the tomb of Dakruri
northwards parallel with the town, we were unable to find more
ancient tombs j but a low ridge, running south for 200 yards between
a group of sheklis' tombs just outside the town ruins on the road
to Dakruri's tomb and the modern Coptic cemetery, contained a late
Pharaonic cemetery. From these tombs a square shaft, or sometimes an
irregular pit, eight to twelve feet deep, led to rude chambers hollowed out
of the pebbly gehel, generally on the east and west sides, sometimes
on the north and south. They had, of course, been plundered long ago,
being so nea,r the town. Fragments of painted coffins and mummies were
frequent, and nearly all the tombs contained quantities of small glazed
pottery beads of various colours, which Professor Petrie assigns to the
period of the XXIInd Dynasty. In one tomb a few eye amulets and
some larger glass beads were found, and in another a quantity of
small mud ushabtis which had been painted blue. The gehel being
extremely soft in this part, much of the roof had as a rule fallen in, and
excavating was sometimes not unattended with the danger of a collapse.
The cemetery seems to have been re-used in Graeco-Roman times; for in
one case among the stones built round the top of the shaft was a stele,
probably of the Ptolemaic period, representing a man offering to Anubis,
and between the plundered tombs were some untouched burials of the
Roman period, which, like those in the northern cemetery, were affected
by damp. The mummies fell to powder on being touched, and nothing
of interest was found in them except another gold tongue-plate. After
devoting three weeks to the cemetery we resolved to start upon the
town.

The ancient rubbish mounds are low, nowhere rising to more than
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