Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1904-1905

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Egypt Exploration Fund.

Several soundings were made in the centre and at the corners of the
pedestal, hut with the exception of a small central pavement of rock-salt
blocks (pi. iii, fig. 4) nothing hut hard rock was found. The central
monument may then have marked the presence of a tomb-chamber at a
great depth below in the rock, which could not be reached from the top,
but only by a side-passage opening some wray off (like the Bab el-Rosun),
or it may have been merely an architectural survival, a kind of atrophied
pyramid retained in the design of the funerary temple, and indicating no
tomb. The king may really be buried in a tomb in the cliffs behind the

The central building on the temple-platform is then probably the core
of the pedestal of a sham pyramid of rubble, put up partly to mislead later
tomb robbers, partly as an architectural feature of the temple. From this
feature it was determined by a pyramid in the hieroglyphs and the tomb
was called a mer in the Abbott Papyrus. The pyramid of Mentuhetep
stood here in Deir el-Bahari, and it still existed intact in the tine of the
XXth Dynasty, long after the greater part of the cliff-bay had been occupied
by Hatshepsu's temple. Therefore it is only here that the pyramid of
Akh-asu, the funerary temple of Mentuhetep III, can be sought, and so we
can only suppose that the central square erection we have found is its base.
The excavations are not yet completed, and we may yet find another build-
ing which may have a better claim to be the actual pyramid, but there
seems to be no room for a building of any size between the present
western limit of the excavations and the cliff. However, the finds up to
the present have been so unexpected, that it is as well not to be too
positive till the work is completed. All that can be said is that there was
a pyramid here, and that, as far as we can tell at present, this central
erection seems to be it.

The effect of the whole building must have been peculiar, since we have
also an absolutely unusual arrangement; the pyramid-base was sur-
rounded by a triple row of columns, which certainly supported a ceiling
and formed a hypostyle passage or colonnade, which must have been quite
dark, or nearly so (like the ambulatories surrounding the shrines in later
temples), for the outside was closed by a thick wall, the wall which was
decorated with the sculptured reliefs found both last year and this. It
would seem, judging from the appearance of the columns, that the ceiling-
corresponded to the height of the platform, hut the ruined state of the
temple does not allow us to assert this more definitely. In any case we
have here a new and interesting fact in Egyptian architecture.

At the back of the pyramid was a row of shrines, made in the thickness
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