Egypt Exploration Fund.
Menephtah, the son of Barneses II. This hall ends in a small chamber also
ornamented with funerary figures and texts. Just in front of the chamber
a doorway with a lintel (Plate I. Eigs. 2, 3) indicates an entrance into a
passage. Miss Murray stopped there. This construction, which was covered
up again after the inscriptions had been copied, -was called by Prof. Petrie
the Osireion. The passage, the door of which had only been seen, was
the object which attracted us to that spot. Was it a passage going to the
temple ? Was it dedicated to Osiris ? Might we in following it up reach
the famous tomb of the god ? This last question was the main motive
which induced us to attempt the excavation, and emboldened us to attack
the large mounds of rubbish and sand which we had before us, and which
turned out to be even a larger work than we expected.
The first thing we did was to clear again the door which had been seen
by Miss Murray and to push forward in the passage, which was quite full
of rubbish, to a good height above the ceiling. We very soon found that
it sloped downwards. It is cut in a mound of marl, the side walls being-
well preserved. The ceiling, which consisted of monolithic sandstone
architraves about 9 feet long, had been carried away entirely, except
the first block. On both sides are chapters of the Book of the Dead, the
vignettes of which are well engraved. The deceased is supposed to be
King Menephtah. In the first vignette of chap. xvii. we see him sitting
in a pavilion playing draughts. Instead of the pieces being all alike as
usual, each pawn represents a different animal (PI. II. Fig. 6).
When we had reached a length of about 14 metres, the passage became
horizontal again, and soon came to an end. On both sides were wide
openings Avhich evidently were chambers, and in front a doorway with a
huge monolithic lintel, 15 feet long (PI. II.). We very much hoped that it
would lead us to another passage, which would bring us to the temple ; but
we soon perceived that behind that lintel were two others of the same length
and thickness, and that the whole was merely a door in a stone wall about
12 feet thick, built of enormous blocks of sandstone and red quartzite.
This separates the two rooms we had first reached from other ones going-
further towards the temple. We could clear only the south chamber
which we had reached first. It is about 12 metres long and more than
five wide. The west wall leans against a mound of marl and is not so
thick as the other ones. It still bears traces of a painted inscription.
The south wall is evidently the outer wall of the construction, and was
probably not subterranean, at least to its whole height. It has a kind of
casing of rough limestone, as if the whole building had been a huge
mastaba. The eastern wall towards the temple has been described