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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Excavations at Abydos.


always fully extended. Not very much was found with them, but the
objects all point to the same period. There is nothing which need be as
early as Vlth Dynasty, though on the other hand there are a few things
which can hardly be as late as the full Xllth. Other objects certainly
belong to this latter date, and the whole cemetery may therefore be safely
attributed to the Xllth Dynasty and the period immediately preceding it.

During the excavation of this cemetery a remarkable discovery was
made. It consisted in what seems to be the denuded remains of a wall
nearly two metres in thickness running roughly east and west. That it
is of early date is clear from the fact that the mastabas are many of them
built directly over it, a few centimetres of sand in some cases intervening
(Fi°\ 4 shows this clearly). In its north face the wall has a series of
simple niches, and in front of this face is what may be described as a
step 45 centimetres across and one brick in height (Fig. 6). In front of
this again is a mud-plastered flooring. The appearance of this wall
suggested that we were face to face with another early building of the
same type as the Shuna, the Middle Fort and the Der, and it was therefore
followed in both directions in the hope of finding the returns. At the
west end, where it was sadly damaged, we found what seemed to be the
end of the wall, but there was no wall at right angles to it. At the
east end the damage was even greater, and the wall was entirely cut to
pieces by a series of late dynastic vaults, so that though we followed the
direction for some metres we were unable to pick it up again.

In the meantime the clearing of the ground further to the north of the
wall had revealed the existence of a line of early tombs parallel to
the wall and at a few metres from it. The construction of these was
curious. A long trench running east and west had first been dug and
then divided up by rough cross walls of brick into a series of small
rectangular graves originally over thirty in number. In each of these
was interred a male body (Fig. 7). The positions varied a little. All
the bodies were contracted, some more tightly than others, but none very
loosely. Some lay on the right side, but the majority on the left; a
very few were placed with the head to the south, the rest with head to
the north. Some had no coffin at all; in other cases there had been a
wooden coffin of some kind. In only one case could it be ascertained
with absolute certainty that this had a lid, and it may be that in the
other cases we have to deal with the wood linings observed by Messrs.
Ayrton and Loat at Mahasna. The only funerary gifts were vases, and
these combine with the general features of the graves to assign the burials
to the 1st Dynasty. The position of the graves, lying as they do in a
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