Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1898-1899

Seite: 5
DOI Artikel: 10.11588/diglit.11173.4
DOI Seite: 10.11588/diglit.11173#0019
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Lizenz: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen
Archaeological Survey.




REACHING Cairo towards the end of November, 1898, I was detained
there several days, but on November 29th found myself with two camel-
loads of effects deposited upon the sands of the necropolis of Sakkareh,
eighteen miles south of Cairo, on a spot pointed out to me as the site of
the tomb of Ptah-hetep. It was my intention to spend at least a few
weeks here, the length of the stay depending on what sculpture I might
find over and above that of the well-known and previously-copied chapel.

Marietta's old reis, the Sheikh Ruby, who excavated the tomb some
thirty years ago, and has re-excavated the chapel of Ptah-hetep for visitors
and copyists several times since then, is still Sheikh of the necropolis
guards. Despite the lapse of years, his memory had preserved the
general plan of the mastaba, and though his description of it differed very
widely from the sketch plan given in Mariette's Les Mastdbas de I'Ancien
Empire (p. 359), subsequent digging proved his recollections to be quite
accurate. He was not, indeed, very willing that any one should dig on
this sacred preserve of Sakkareh, and would have led me to infer that
nothing worth digging for existed on the western side. Eventually I
found that the mastaba contained a complicated series of chambers, and
that the chapel of Ptah-hetep was the only room dedicated to him. A
T-shaped chamber, which was entered from the central court on the west,
formed the mortuary chapel of one Akhet-hetep, who must have been either
father or son to the other occupant of the tomb. The grand stela of this
chamber was prostrate, and its upper part had been broken away and
removed, as were also considerable portions of the walls. The roofing
stones had fallen in, and much was damaged- by incrustation and by wet.
The stone, also, in places is of poor quality ; where it is good the work is
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