Egypt Exploration Fund.
It was useless to continue to cut into so gigantic a construction; the
farther it was penetrated the more cramped became the space iu which
the men had to work, and, owing to the looseness of the stuff overhead
in the gallery, we could not use blasting materials. We abandoned this
gallery, therefore, on March 15th. The walls found in it are made of
burnt bricks uniformly 9j- inches X 4£ X 2f, laid as "headers and
stretchers" on beds of mortar 1\ inches thick of two kinds, the one
containing sand only, and the other mixed with brick-powder. The
first kind occurred iu the wall into which we cut, and another wall which
we found first; the other in the continuation of the returning wall
south : it would appear, therefore, that all was not built at the same
time. There was no plaster on the face of the wall, and no antiquities
were fouud in the gallery except sherds and glass of Roman date.
The second gallery was begun under a ruined arch, which shows on
the south side of the pit. A gallery of the same size as the first was
driven at about the same level and in direction 159° for 13 feet, the
stuff extracted being earth and stones mixed with fallen ruins of the
arch above. We then bent to the right, being sure of having turned
the wall, and drove on 235°, the gallery falling about 1 in 6. After
proceeding for 31 feet, a brick construction was encountered again.
The wall proved thin, and, breaking through it easily, the sappers found
themselves in a circular chimney 3 feet 3 inches in diameter, full of very
loose earth. Behind it and on either hand was thick wall, which wo
had no mind to break through, aud I directed the sappers, therefore, to
turn the structure on the left, if possible, and proceed into the mound.
This was done by harking back some 9 feet and breaking out on the
left. The gallery was worked round gradually to a direction nearly
that of the first abortive tunnel, and proceeded through the same packed
earth and stones for close on 40 feet, making a total length of about
70 feet from the open air. But 9 feet from its end a brick wail in very
ruinous state had been hit on the left, slanting across the line of tho
gallery. This had to be cut away, and finally a second chimney, of only
2', feet diameter, was broken into on the right. Once more we were
faced by solid brickwork and could not proceed. It was evident that a
large brick building, with many ramifications in a state of ruin, extended
under all this eastern side of the Fort mouud.
If things were to be elucidated at all we must penetrate lower, aud reach
a floor or some entrance into a corridor or chamber. To descend one of
the " chimneys " was the obvious course, and I chose tho one found
first as being of largest diameter and in best condition. Wo began to