Petrie, William M. Flinders
Illahun, Kahun and Gurob: 1889 - 1890 — London, 1891

Page: 7
Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/petrie1891/0015
License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
0.5
1 cm
facsimile
THE TOWN OF KAHUN.

best room in each house, the master's private court, had
a tank of stone in the middle of the floor ; this tank
was about 14 inches square, and about as deep, in the
middle of a square block, 5 ft. 3 ins. on each side (3
cubits), the tank and its pavement being all one stone.
Similar places are found in poorer rooms, with the
tank a separate box of stone, and slabs placed around
it, sloping towards it. These places seem curiously
like Muslim arrangements for feet-washing and ab-
lutions before prayers ; possibly the custom is ancient,
and the Egyptians may have used these tanks for
ceremonial ablution, and stood on the stone slabs.
Around the tank-stone were twelve columns supporting
the roof; and it seems very likely therefore, as there
would be a wide space across the tank, that the
middle of the hall was open : thus the arrangement
would be somewhat like an atrium supported by
columns. (PL. XVI, fig. 3.)

The whole size of the block of each house is 138
feet by 198 feet: and this area contained about 70
rooms and passages. The best hall is 29 feet square,
and the mandara is 6% feet long. Thus these great
mansions were by no means scanty homes for the high
officials and nobles who had charge of the royal works.

15. We next turn to the three great southern houses.
These are of exactly the same size as the northern
row, but quite differently arranged. The entrance
opens into a vestibule with a column. Thence a short
passage leads immediately into the rooms of the
house; while a long passage leads away to the back
premises. Another long passage led along the oppo-
site side of the house, from the middle of the house to
the store-rooms at either end. And against the street
wall was a compact mass of nine store-rooms forming
a square block, three each way. The plans of these
houses have been so much altered by being divided
into tenements, and new doorways knocked through,
that it is difficult to trace the full details in their
present deficient state. We will next notice the
dwellings or stores to the south of the acropolis,
backing against the thick wall. These blocks are on
one repeated plan. The set of copper chisels and
hatchets, found in a basket, in the first season, lay in
the second block from the south, in a room marked
C. A copper dish with a central cup riveted into
it, was found in the northernmost chamber next the
wall; this is now at Ghizeh. In the same block are
two or three rock-cut cellars, the mouths of which are
marked by squares on the plan; between three of
them is a rock-cut passage, which had been walled
across by brickwork. These cellar-mouths were closed

by flap doors of stout wood, one of which was still
lying in place. The largest of these cellars, with two
chambers, was used in the late XlXth or XXth
dynasty as a family tomb. The only name found in
it was that of the lady Maket; and hence this is
called the Maket tomb, and the contents are described
as such in Chap. V. The large circles in this district
are granaries of thin brickwork. Some of the best
papyri of the Xllth and XHIth dynasties were found
in the middle block of these buildings.

Other sets of chambers, to the south of the first
southern mansion, were probably store-rooms. They
are on a repeated plan, but joined together so that
one door suffices for twenty-three rooms.

Behind the other south mansions are some work-
men's streets. The separate houses have about seven
small rooms each. But in two of these houses some
curious wall paintings remain. In the block behind
the middle mansion, on a wall marked "paint" on
the plan, is a curious subject painted in red, yellow,
and white, with some amount of black filling in, on
the smooth mud plaster. (Pl. XVI, fig. 6.) It shews
a large house, with a view of the inside on a level
above the outside, a convention known in other
Egyptian paintings. The form of the building is in-
teresting. It appears to have been a series of arched
chambers; much like some in this town, which were
covered by a wide vaulting of brick. The ends of
these chambers were walled up in the lower part, and
closed with a lattice of wooden bars above. The
larger space may perhaps represent the end of a
longer gallery, which approached the spectator nearer
than the others. In the view of the interior there is
the usual group of a servant offering to his master,
and various jars placed upon wooden stands. The
piles of round objects may really represent a row of
cakes on a table, here drawn one above another like
the piles of objects on a table of offerings. The white
space on the left is indistinct in the painting; but it
probably is another building, with an arched doorway
next behind the master. In another room in the
block of building south of the east mansion is marked
"Paint cols," where a columnar building is painted
which is here drawn (PL. XVI, fig. 4). This painting
is remarkable for the flat curve of the arched roof of
the building, the short pillars filling in the tympanum,
and the columnar front. This represents a structure
more like a later Greek, than an Egyptian, temple ;
and the forms of the columns (given on a larger scale
above) are not like any Egyptian columns so far as we
know.
loading ...