Progress of Egyptology.
Mr. Quibell writes as follows :—■
" The Jeremias monastery occupied the whole winter of 190S-D except
the time given to clearing, dismounting and packing two mastabas for
Chicago. Of these, one Neteruser (Mar. Mast. D.) was known before
the other, Unasankli, a large tomb with second-rate reliefs but of very
massive masonry, was found by us just south of the S.W. corner of the
Step Pyramid temenos. Both were bought by Mr. Ayer for the Field
Columbia Museum. The task of planning, packing, etc., of these tombs
took a good part of each day for three months, but there is little in this
work of interest to the Eeport.
" From the monastery a great number of capitals, pilaster capitals,
epitaphs, decorated blocks, paintings and graffiti from the walls were
brought to the Museum. In character they were the same as those of
last year. One novelty was a list of feast-days with- the allowance of
wine for each day, a complete inscription engraved on two blocks in a
doorway S. of the church. A considerable area—more than 120 metres
each way—lias now been cleared: it is quite a village that the visitor
sees as he mounts from the Bedrashein dyke on to the desert. The plan
has been carefully made. It is a singular maze: no wall is straight, no
angle is a good right angle. Most doors and most passages seem to
have been blocked at some time or other. Buttresses were habitually
built to prop up walls that threatened to fall. Still two or three periods
of construction can generally be recognised, the best work being, of
course, the oldest.
" Another church was found this year, at the west of' the site: it must
have been almost subterranean; on the west and north sides the level
of the desert was much higher than the floor of the church. The capitals
were all of one type, Corinthian, and apparently older than those of the
larger church. The building had been re-used as a funerary church,
probably for the Archimandrites ; tombs were built of brickwork covered
externally (and in two cases internally also) with marble. Two of these
tombs were in the haikal, the rest along the north and west walls.
" This church was as completely ruined as the one first found: it was
also much smaller, and did not produce a great harvest of inscribed
" One graffito, in Arabic, on a pillar, was important as it mentioned a
date,—the year 349 a.n. The figures are the modern Arabic figures and,
as I am informed by Prof. Moeitz, by far the earliest known instance of
their use: the date is important, too, as showing that by this time the
monastery was in ruins.