Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1900-1901

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Archaeology, Hieroglyphic Studies, Etc.


alabaster forms of the Old Kingdom and just later, there were found over
thirty button seals of the kind found at Dendereh and Hfl. Some were
round, others semi-cylindrical, some bore a mere geometrical design, others
the figures of animals, or such-like, arranged symmetrically. Some again
bore the familiar outline of a beetle. Without attempting to deal further
with these at present, one thing seems quite clear—they were certainly
seals (to whatever.use they were put), in the sense that each man had only
one, and that differed from the rest in pattern He wore it either suspende d
from the neck, or upon the middle finger of the left hand threaded to a
few beads. With the women they were mere pendants, and upon them
appeared strung in twos or threes upon their ordinary necklets. In some
cases the seal was the only object that furnished a man's tomb.

" In the middle of this cemetery, and carefully avoided by the tombs, was
found a pre-dynastic settlement of date about 35—45 in the scale of
Sequence Dates. The houses seem to have been wattle and daub. In
some cases the supporting piles could be consecutively planned, and some
notion of the arrangement of the site was thus gleaned. Domestic
pottery, flints, some knives, grinding stones, and the like were found, but
no burials. The cemetery at Alawniyeh, at which work had meanwhile
been taken in hand, seems to have been the burial ground for this
settlement. It lies two miles to the south, and the general date and range
of it agree entirely.

" As the exploration proceeded, with the working out of these sites, the
concession was twice courteously extended northwards by Prof. Maspero,
until Bet Khallaf was come upon. A large structure stands there well out
in the desert, upon a knoll in the vicinity of broken ground. Mr. Quibell
had pointed it out early in the season, and it now became of nearer interest.
For want of a better explanation, it had been regarded by some as a fort,
possibly of the Old Kingdom ; others had declared it Greek. It stood
33 feet high and 300 long Externally it was well preserved on three
sides, but broken away on the fourth, presumably for its bricks. From
the top it bore the appearance of an enclosure filled with sand, in which
large stones were inexplicably present on the surface. These, it was
obvious, could not not have been blown there or have worked their way up.
Upon reporting to Professor Petrie he urged its excavation ; and it seemed
a suitable task wherewith to bring the season to a close. It was not long
before the solidity of the structure became apparent, and a sealing of
Neter-khet suggested its importance. In the meanwhile the outline of
another large tomb had been laid bare, and first one, and then a second
and a third associated mastabas were hunted out by the keen Arabs. It was
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