Egypt Exploration Fund.
east and west. Such isolated groups (commonly in threes, fours, fives,
sixes or sevens) occurred over a wide area. To find one and to draw a
compass line on its axis commonly at once disclosed the other members of
the series; but their infrequency and isolation made the task of locating
graves very different from that experienced in the ordinary type of
cemetery. A further and extreme development of this system was found
in what may be called a trench-tomb, a long, narrow, and shallow pit-
containing a series of bodies placed lengthwise. The cartonnage was
mainly papyrus, but the technique was extremely poor and the bodies
were only very slightly resined, indications that the site was late
Ptolemaic. Pot coffins were common.
Two earlier and distinct Ptolemaic cemeteries (Taieba B and G) were
next located on a high gravel plateau some 700 yards to the north and
north-east, B containing twenty and C twenty-three graves. The bodies
here were magnificently wrapped, resined, and preserved, but had been
broken by their ancient plunderers. The cartonnage, though torn, existed,
and was uniformly cloth. The graves, which were roughly orientated,
were deep and wide oblong pits, very different to those previously
encountered in Cem. A. The northern wall of the pit was often
recessed for the reception of the body. Where coffins occurred these had
been of wood and the ropes for lowering them were enclosed in the grave.
In two instances a long pit occurred built to contain two bodies length-
wise, a type which, allowing for the differences of workmanship in the
sites, had affinities with the trench-tomb already described in site A.
About half-way between areas B, C, and A, but lying to the west, a
fourth area (Taieba D, containing 55 graves) was found with some papyrus
cartonnage, but, although it was on the same high and dry level as sites
B and C, lack of resin on the bodies had played havoc with the cartonnage.
In general the features of D were similar to those of A, but while the
graves were orientated in lines on a common axis, the site differed in
being far more compact. The separation of sites A, B, C, D was curious,
and since B and C were undoubtedly earlier than A and D a theory of
village grouping is not very probable.
On February 19th we moved southwards to Qamadir and worked for
some days on a Eoman cemetery, excavating more than a hundred graves
in the vain hope of a papyrus roll. In one case, however, a leaden roll
with Greek inscription, the stilus enclosed, was found besides the head. A
small group of Ptolemaic shaft and chamber-tombs was next identified
about a mile to the north of the main site. The shafts were finely cut
and the ground-plan of the chambers complex, but the ancient plunderers