Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1899-1900

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Egypt Exploration Fund.

have been spared at Zawyet el Meyitin, but I obtained some valuable
material from the very interesting group of rock mastabas at Tebneb
(IVtb to Vth Dynasties). An immediate publication of these tombs is
promised by a former worker on the site. Our material will therefore be
held back for the present.

The richest site in our district was known to be the remote necropolis of
Der el Gebrawi, situated on the north side of the extensive bay of cultiva-
tion which occupies the east bank just below Asyut. Although little
visited, it can be reached without difficulty from Ebnub. It divides into
two groups of tombs; the easternmost lying right above the little Coptic
village of Der el Gebrawi, the other midway between this and the bold
cliffs of Gebel Qurneh to the west. The tombs are hewn in the face of the
cliff just under the summit of the mountain, which is both steep and lofty
at this point. I established myself among the tombs of the eastern group
on March 23, and proceeded to copy by tracing the frescoes which cover the
walls of the two large tombs that give such value to the site. They are
the burial places of the jninces Aba and Zau, both of whom were " great
chiefs " of the nomes of Du.f (the local nome) and of This. They appear
to be father and son, but it remains uncertain which has the priority. It
appears from a biographical inscription in the tomb of Aba, which un-
happily is much defaced, that King Merenra had given him the rank of
prince over this district. Both Aba and Zau were priests of the pyramid
of Pepy II., so that they are in chronological succession to the occupants of
the tombs at Sheikh Said. The frescoes have suffered little yet from the
hand of man, though natural causes have made it a matter of much difficulty
to obtain an accurate copy of the tomb of Aba. The scenes are of con-
siderable interest: the depiction of artificers at work, of the punishment
of offenders, and of the varied fish in the pools being especially careful,
while the numerous explanatory inscriptions contain much that is of more
than ordinary importance alike to the archaeologist and the grammarian.
Frequent mention is made in them of the goddess Mati and her un-
identified place of worship.

The remainder of the tombs are uninscribed or in ruins; only a few
retain so much as fragments of their brief records. Those of the western
groups are of much less interest and sadly broken down. The cliff was
appropriated by later ages for their more disorderly sepulchres, and
the frescoes of the few tombs of the Ancient Kingdom were obliterated
by a thick wash of lime. It is only by the disappearance or removal
of this that the records of the early past have been recovered. They
contain no mention of the reigning monarch, but show that among their
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