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

Page: 9
Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/petrie1891/0017
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THE ANTIQUITIES OF KAHUN.

to have been known in early times in Egypt, yet
artificial hatching was followed in Roman times, and
may perhaps have been the custom for duck and
goose eggs from a much earlier period. This coop
was found broken in the rubbish heap of the Xllth
dynasty, north of the town. It had been partly
broken while yet used, as a handle is missing from
the top, and one hole has been choked with plaster
in some repairs to it.

Several pottery stands were found, both of the
form for holding dry food on a raised dish (IV, 18),
and also for holding the porous water jars. Pro-
bably the jars oozed more quickly than the surface
evaporated, as jars do now in Egypt; and a pan
was needed to catch the filtered water which came
through. These stands (IV, 15, 19) with rings set in
them would serve this purpose. One piece of pottery
has a fine smooth face applied to it, and clouded with
black intentionally to imitate marble or serpentine.

The pottery trays of offerings have been again
found (IV, 20, 23) ; and the latter one is unusually
complete. The bull's head at the top, the bird, the
haunch, and the two jars for wine, are ;distinct; while
below are various flat and conical cakes, and the large
radishes so well known still in Egypt. The spaces in
front are for pouring out the drink offerings.

Of glazed pottery there is a fine vase (XIII, 19),
with a network pattern in purple on a rich blue
ground. This was found in one of the long passages
of the south mansions. There is also part of a blue
glazed doll like those found before (XIII, 20). The
fancy beads are also curious (VIII, 14, 15, 18, 19).

18. The most important pottery is that on Pl. I.
This is called Aegean in general, without meaning
that every piece is necessarily from the Aegean ; but
the majority are so, to judge by their material and
decoration. The term Aegean is used to imply the
Greek islands, and the coasts of Peloponnessos and
Asia Minor, without the limitations of place and age
implied in the name Greek.

We will begin with those pieces which are distinctly
foreign. (1) is a black ware throughout, with a smooth
surface; on that are bright yellow, red, and white
patterns. At the top is the circle of dots and lines
in white ; * then yellow lines with red across them ;
then discs surrounded with dots, the regular Aegean
design, in yellow; and below that yellow lines with
red across. The colouring is very bright, without
much binding, and easily rubbed off. It is quite

* Where in details the description differs from the colouring on the
plate, the latter is in error.

different from any known on Egyptian pottery ; and
the characteristic disc and dots, and the rest of
the pattern, are also quite un-Egyptian. In (3) we
see the well - known wave pattern of the Aegean,
which is unknown on Egyptian pottery. (4) is a
fragment of regular Aegean paste, fine smooth hard
brown, with a black iron glaze, and applied lines of
red brown and white. (5) is decorated with white on
smooth red pottery, like (3); it also appears to be
foreign. (6) has the regular iron glaze of the Aegean,
with a spiral blocked out by a white ground, and a
line of soft bright red applied. (7) is a short spout
from a dish, painted with white on an iron glaze.
(8) is red pottery stamped in relief, and painted white
and red. (10) is another piece of Aegean paste with
black iron glaze and applied white. (12) is a similar
pottery, part of a peculiar vase without any neck or
lip, a round hole being cut for the mouth without even
a thickening of the material at the edge. All of these
pieces are non-Egyptian ; and all were found in the
rubbish heaps of the Xllth dynasty. So far we shall
be all agreed.

19. But when we come to consider the age of these
there is great difficulty. The external evidence seems
clear enough, and some very strong proofs will be
needed to contradict it. The rubbish heaps where
this pottery was found are entirely of the Xllth
dynasty. Not only every piece of pottery which I
saw there is clearly of that age, but from their position
no later people would have accumulated the heaps.
The town of Kahun was built by the architect for
the pyramid workmen ; and when the pyramid and
temple were finished the town was mostly deserted,
and the people of the Xllth and XHIth dynasties
heaped up their rubbish in the deserted rooms. A
large part of the rooms which we cleared were
filled up with broken potsherds and rubbish. When
therefore rubbish could be shot inside of the town so
readily, who would have taken the trouble to carry it
outside ? The external rubbish heaps must belong to
a time when the town was full. And their contents
agree to that early age. But this Aegean pottery is
found in and under these rubbish heaps, and therefore
the evidence unmistakably shews that it must be of
the time of Usertesen II. That foreigners were living
here at that time is implied by the fact that the
greater part of the weights, and two of the three
measures, found here are foreign weights and measures
of Phoenicia and Asia Minor. And historically we
know that the Ha-nebu or " lords of the north," who
certainly mean Greeks in the later monuments, were

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