same pattern, oblong structures of brickwork with sloping sides, plastered
white, plain on three sides, and with the two niches on the fourth.
The southern one was the more important; in three cases we found an
inscribed stone which must have slipped down from one of these niches ;
it represented the deceased seated at table and was the part of the stela
which Marietta called the ' tableau.'
" This, it appears, was the most important part of the stela, since, while
the other features were still executed in brick, it was selected to be made
" Under the mastaba was the stairway, sometimes, presumably in later
tombs, a sort of imitation stairway, really a shaft, but with one or two
useless steps left near the mouth: it led to the chamber, so small that it
was clear that a body had never been laid in it at full length. In some of
the larger tombs there is more than one chamber, indeed a rather elaborate
series of rooms opening from a central corridor; in such a tomb the
extreme S.W. chamber is selected for the burial; in the opposite corner
(the S.E.) we found in three tombs an extraordinary feature—a latrine for
the dead. We may suppose that this was the approved position, as it is
the most suitable one, for such offices, and that the S.W., hot quarter as it
is, was thought the best for a bedroom.
" In the chambers and in the filling of the shafts very large quantities
of broken vases were found ; the forms were few and simple, but the variety
of colour in the stones was remarkable. A great number of these vases
have been restored, and groups of them, each from a single tomb, have been
sold from our surplus to other museums.
"All the tombs in which stone vases were found had been robbed in
antiquity, some of them more than once; but there were several undis-
turbed tombs, of the same period so far as our evidence went, which
contained short wooden coffins and in them the bodies, sharply contracted,
with head north and face east (generally).
"The dating of the whole series was given by clay sealings, two of
Neteren (Ilnd Dynasty), one of Neterkhet of the Illrd.
" Underneath one of these dated Ilnd Dynasty mastabas, and already
robbed and forgotten when it was built, was a tomb of the 1st Dynasty,
in the filling of which, among pieces of bowls of quartz and other stone
(which, of themselves, quite sufficed to fix the period), were scattered
fragments of an ivory plaque similar to the famous plaque of Menes, and
bearing the Ka name of Zer.
" The same king's name appeared again in a large but badly destroyed
tomb of the type of the Menes tomb at Naqada.