Egypt Exploration Fund   [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1911-1912

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Egypt Exploration Fund.

of a beautiful blue glaze, together with a vase of blue glaze fayence shaped
like a modern tumbler, and a small scorpion apparently of silver
(Fig. 2).

As this piece of ground failed to yield anything further of interest the
work was moved to another part of the site, between the Shuna and the
cultivation, a spot which except on its edges seemed entirely untouched.
The change was rewarded by the discovery of a very large cemetery of
shaft-tombs and mastabas of a period beginning a little before the Xllth
Dynasty and continuing into that dynasty. The general type of the
mastabas seems invariable (Eig. 4). It is rectangular, often nearly
square, with a slight batter on the outer face, which was probably in all
cases plastered over with mud. The chamber is small and is entered by
a narrow arched door in the east side of the mastaba. Occasionally the
doorway is preceded by a small courtyard with a low wall. The method
of roofing is uncertain, as the roof, except in the smaller examples, had
been almost completely denuded. In some cases it was certainly
supported by a barrel vault, in others there was a suggestion of a
corbelled dome. The stela was let in to the west wall of the mastaba
so as to face the doorway; at its foot lay the offering table. In the two
largest mastabas found the recess left for the stela was filled up with
loose bricks carefully placed in courses, and it is clear that the stela had
never stood there. It is possible that it had been concealed in the
apparently solid masonry around the chamber, for in both cases a large
hole had been cut in the south part of this masonry by the early
plunderers, who probably knew of the existence of a secret chamber at
that point. In one of the two mastabas just described a large number
of offering vases, all of a single type, lay in position in the chamber at the
foot of the stela niche. One of the smaller mastabas still preserved in
position the offering table and the lower part of the stela, the upper part
having been broken off or worn away by exposure (Fig. 3). The scenes
and inscriptions, which had been painted in several colours, were almost
completely effaced, but it was still possible to decipher the name of the
deceased Iuu.

With each mastaba were connected from two to four shafts, which lay
indiscriminately to the north or south of their mastaba (Fig. 5).
Usually one shaft in each group was unfinished, descending only a
metre or two, having no chamber, and containing no burial. Some
shafts had chambers at each end, but where there were chambers at one
end only the end chosen was that over which the mastaba stood.

The bodies lay in poor wooden coffins. They were usually supine and
loading ...