Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1894-1895

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Egypt Exploration Fund.

KomelDikl. So much for the low ground south of the Boulevard. As regards
the hill to the south of ifc, the easternmost or Eeservoir summit is largely
built over, and, as in all probability this is the same artificial mound
which, according to Strabo, supjjorted the obscure Paneum, it need not
be considered. The western summit is crowned by the Fort once called
Fort Cretin, and now Kom el Dikk : the upper part of the mound was
thrown up at the same time as the construction of the fort. The lower
part, though older, is evidently not very ancient, as it has been heaped
up over the brick ruins, which arc to be seen in the largo hole which
exists in the terrace behind the Fort. This hole was due in the first
instance, it is said, to an accidental explosion of gunpowder, and has
been deepened since by arckaaological researchers. All this mound
belongs to the War Department, who would, of course, not permit it
to be cut away, nor any work to be undertaken which might prove
prejudicial to the safety of the Fort. The only method of exploring
what lies beneath it is by mining, an expensive and unsatisfactory
operation when archasological research is in question; faute de mieux,
however, I had to resort to it, feeling that it was imperatively
necessary to obtain some light on the nature of the great brick ruins
on the north-eastern side, and to determine whether anything of first-
rate importance is likely to exist still under the centre of the mound.
To this end, therefore, I used the sappers, kindly placed at my dis-
posal by the military authorities, and for two months ran a gallery or
galleries from the east in the general direction of the centre of the

The first attempt was abortive {First Gallery on the plan), On March

what streets they pertained. For instance, his Canopic Street (on which all his
grille of streets depends) lies at an angle which fits very ill with the direction of the
walls found by me to the south of it; and if the pavement which he found in five
spots at the extreme east of the site belongs to the Canopic Street (albeit of
Byzantine date, not earlier, to judge from the depths recorded by him), that found
by him opposite the Attarin mosque must belong, I fancy, to some other street
altogether. I believe that Signor Botti has been unable to fit the walls, recorded
by Mahmud Bey, to the existing remains near Pompey's Pillar; and I should be
very loth to repose much confidence on the Astronomer's delineation of the city
walls, or his determination of the transverse streets "by sinking pits;" and still
leas on his observations under water in the Great Harbour. To recognize and date
ancient constructions underground is only less difficult than to recognize and date
them under water : both require a training and experience far in excess of that
possessed by Mahmud Bey. It is so hopeless to sift his work now, that I and all
who treat of the site scientifically must, I fear, ignore him, and start de novo from
the authorities and the existing indications.
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