The other branch started from the lines of horizontal vases wMch lookccl
like the edges of roads or causeways, and of which we had discovered two
last year (pl. I. 2). Our intention in making this arrangement was to clear
the square on the south side of which is the tomb of Den, and on the west
the tomb which l'rof. Pétrie calls Zer, Prof. Erman Khcnt, and which I read
Shesti, an epithet given to Horus in the texts of the Pyramids. In this
tomb, which he had discovered at the end of 1897, M. Améliueau found
the granité bed, with the figure of Ôsiris, which led him to consider the
monument as the grave of Osiris. The nemhbourhood of this tomb
requires a complète search, and the lines of pottery of the year before
pointed to that direction.
Very soon after the work had been started, we could see that the rows
of horizontal pots were not the lining of roads. The pots are of a late epoch
in comparison with the âge of the graves. I do not believe them to be older
than the XIXth, or perhaps the XVIIIth Dynasty. A great number of
painted fragments are of the well-known work of that time ; and they may
be connected with the repairs said to have been made by Seti I.
Occasionally the lines were interrupted by certain pockets or heaps of
vases of a much earlier date, contemporary with the tombs (pl. I. 3). They
are generally of very coarse rnaterial, either complète or in fragments. In
the rubbish, which was désert sand, we found, like last year, hundreds of
small cups or tumblers, of coarse earthenware, quite new, and having
never been used. There is no sign of there having been a factory on that
spot, and it is difficult to explain why thèse heaps of small cups were
brought there, and whether they had a religious purpose.
Just beyond the line of pots, on a bed of hard sand were found six mud
figures of Osiris (pl. II. 1), painted, andof very good workmanship. Two of
them had strings of blue glaze beads round the neck. Tins find, taken in
connection with the discovery of the bed of Osiris, made by M. Âmélineau
in a tomb about 40 yards in front of the place where the statuettes were
lying, seems to point to the worship of Osiris on that spot ; and it will be
next winter's work to excavate that square, which bas not been searched
either by M. Amélineau or by Prof. Pétrie.
The complète clearing of the tomb of Perabsen, done under Mr. Legge's
supervision (pl. I. 4) yielded a good number of clay sealings which have ail
been carefully drawn ; and the sifting of the rubbish from former excavations,
especially at Den's tomb, lias given a few interesting fragments, among
which is a seal.
The few objects which we discovered at Omm el-Gaab last winter show
the importance of a thorough excavation of thèse tombs, which is ail the