Naville, Edouard ; Griffith, Francis Ll. [Hrsg.]
The Mound of the Jew and the City of Onias: Belbeis, Samanood, Abusir, Tukh el Karmus, 1887 — London, 1890

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THE CITY

Another reads thus :—

wherein we may, perhaps, recognize a Greek
name ending with awrj. These inscriptions show
clearly the late epoch of the coffins, which is
confirmed by the total absence of any sign of
mummification. The exact date is perhaps given
on one of the urns (PI. XIV. 8), which bears a
rough hieratic inscription not yet deciphered.
It is now at the British Museum. In the hiero-
glyphs which I collected on these tombs, there
is nothing to indicate the name of the city.

A curious fact in connection with these tombs
is the discovery of so-called Cypriote pottery.
Mr. Petrie had already found similar specimens at
Nebesheh,1 in tombs which he attributes to the
Saite epoch; and I am indebted to Prof. Lanzone
for the information that when he was in Egypt
he saw a great number of such vases which had
been found in graves at Benha. This style of
pottery may probably be a foreign import; it
has, in fact, been found only in the Eastern Delta,
and it belongs to a time when Greek or Phoe-
nician influence had been felt in the country.
Were these vases made in Egypt, or were they
brought there through the extensive trade in
vases which was carried on by the Phoeni-
cians ?2 These questions are at present difficult
to answer: but it seems that after these vases
had been introduced into Egypt, they were com-
monly used in the late cemeteries where clay
coffins are found; and that, while in certain parts
of Greece they are to be traced to a relatively
high date, they lasted in Egypt down to a very
late epoch.

1 " Tanis," ii. p. 20 et ff.

2 Perrot et Chipiez, "Hist, de l'Art," vol. iii. p. 667.

OF ONIAS. 17

The hieroglyphs written on these coffins are
so carelessly painted as to make it difficult to
assign a definite date to the tombs, although
the Greek or Roman period is indicated by the
general style. I could readily believe them to
be contemporaneous with some of the Jewish
burials, which, from the style of the writing on
the tablets, must be attributed either to the late
Ptolemies or to the early Romans. The deceased
buried in coffins were perhaps Egyptian officials,
who desired to be distinguished from the foreign
population of the city. If we had found them
intact, it is very possible that, as in other in-
stances, we should see them wearing amulets
of an older epoch. The few scarabs which were
brought to us by the Arabs, and which, as
they said, were found in emptying the coffins, if
they really came from there and not from the
neighbouring Tell, are to be attributed to the
desire of giving to the burials an Egyptian
character. It is often noticeable in mummies of
the Greek epoch. M. Maspero discovered at
Sakkarah late Greek mummies adorned with
beautiful amulets, now at the Boolak Museum,
the origin of which can safely be traced to the
Twelfth Dynasty. In assigning a date to a
coffin there is no more unsafe criterion than the
amulets, especially the scarabs.

THE CITY OF ONIAS.

One of the inscriptions of the Jewish cemetery
reads ' OvLovnaT-rjp,3 and this leads us to ask
whether we may adopt the identification generally

11 Plato iv., F.
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