Egypt Exploration Fund.
broken into by a Ptolemaic or Eoman burial vault. Its wider half was
divided into two by a rough stone and brick wall, in which fragments
bearing the cartouche of Eameses II. were included. This and the style of
the ushabti fragments lead one to assign the burials to the XXth Dynasty.
It does not, however, help us to date the rectangular pit as it lay just
clear of it.
In the sand just outside the west corner of the rectangle were found
several burials which gave ushabUu of XXth Dynasty type, a dating
confirmed by the scarab with the cartouche of Eameses VIIIth found with
one of them.
It seems a priori probable that the portion of ground in which the pit
was dug was still in use as a cemetery in the XlXth and XXth Dynasties,
for the pit actually cuts one shaft of the XlXth Dynasty, and moreover
the surface burials of the XXth Dynasty cease completely at the pit's edge
and do not occur in the sand which covered the pit before we began to
excavate it. Add to this the fact that the fragments of pottery found at
various depths in the well were either painted Coptic wares or Eoman
(including specimens of Aretine), and we have the limits of dates for the
construction of the well. In the XXth Dyuasty it was not yet constructed,
and before the end of the Eoman period it had fallen into disuse and was
filling up with sand. Had we been able to excavate the well to its bottom
we might have come upon earlier pottery and so recovered a more exact
terminus ad quern.
In 1908-9 a circular pit larger still than the well was excavated by
M. Loat at a distance of more than 500 yards from the cultivated land. It
had neither wall nor facing of any kind, and was probably also a boring
for water. It was not possible to dig to the bottom, since the soft rock in
which it is cut threatened to collapse.
At the west corner of the rectangle there is a small doorway in the
south-west face of rock. This was found sealed up with bricks, the removal
of which disclosed the view seen in PI. III. figs. 5 and 6. On the spectator's
left is a rough brick wall with a heavy batter, built to keep back the sand.
In the foreground is a good wall built across the entrance to serve the
same purpose, and in the background the remains of the original closing,
consisting of mud-brick plastered over. This entrance led to the complex
of underground chambers shown in PI. V. They are cut in the solid rock,
pieces of mud-brick walling being used occasionally as supports where the
rock seemed weak. Each chamber, and even the long corridor which
connects them, is filled to within 1 • 50 metres of the roof with a mass of
mummified animals piled in orderly rows one above the other. There is no