Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1907-1908

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Progress of Egyptology.

still stands above many modern Nubian graves had been employed in
antiquity. The two richer sorts of graves, however, were commonly
provided with superstructures in mud brick, or mud brick and stone, which,
though differing amongst themselves a good deal in minor details, yet for
tbe most part conformed to a regular and peculiar type. The building
took the form uf the Egyptian offering-table. A solid square of masonry
from six to nine feet across and either flat or roughly hemispherical above,
had on its east face two short projecting walls roofed over and forming a
small false approach, within which were set vases of offerings. In front
of the approach lay a small brick altar on which was a stone table of
offerings, a reproduction in miniature of the superstructure itself; on it
were generally represented the conventional jars and loaves, round it was
a Meroitic inscription. Somewhere about the tomb stood also a stela,
painted or inscribed, sometimes with a coloured portrait of the dead, and
a sandstone statue half bird and half human.

" About a hundred and twenty inscribed stones, stelae or offering-tables,
were obtained, together with a few ostraka and pot inscriptions in Meroitic,
demotic and Greek. Of statues about fifty considerable remains were found,
including a particularly fine and virtually intact figure of a royal personage,
and another fifty bodiless heads, which from their rude but strongly-
marked characterisation seem to be portraits of the people above whose
tombs they stood. The amount of pottery recovered was extraordinary,
some four hundred intact or practically complete cups, jars and amphorae
being found—they are almost all wheel-made and finely designed, painted
in polychrome with the widest possible range of subjects, hunting and
Bacchanalian scenes, giraffes, frogs, and animal motives generally, and
highly stylised or realistic floral designs. The ornament constantly betrays
Egyptian traditions, as often Hellenistic or Boman influence; but there
has always been at work upon the borrowed elements an original informing
spirit that served to create an entirely new decorative style. It is
impossible without illustrations to convey an idea of the effect produced
by this pottery; the forms most prevalent are the primitive gourd-shaped
narrow-mouthed jar, the tumbler, and the various borrowed types of
classical amphorae and oenochoae; on these the painted ornament, so
highly developed on the one side and so un-classical upon the other,
sometimes severely stylised and sometimes deliberately grotesque, is at
once surprising and in harmony. An interesting feature is that side by
side with this late painted pottery were found in undisturbed graves
hand-made vessels of black ware with white-filled incised ornament that
could be passed off anywhere as early dynastic Egyptian. In the richest
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