Petrie, William M. Flinders
Abydos: Part I: 1902 — London, 1902

Page: 1
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
1 cm


1. The present volume completes the account
of the objects found in the Royal Tombs of
the earliest dynasties, the discoveries in which
during the previous two years have appeared
in the last two volumes. The account of the
results of the present year's excavations covers
nearly all that has been yet found in the
Temenos of Osiris and the well-known ceme-
tery ; but another large part of our work is kept
back for publication when completed next year.
It is always difficult to decide between partial
publication in sections, issued rapidly for the
immediate benefit of scholars, and systematic
publication delayed until every detail has been
finally sifted and settled. But the worst of the
bulletin system is that the student is afterwards
dependent on indexes to find connected subjects ;
while the worst of the great book long delayed
is that often the material loses value while
waiting, and the delays may run on so that
much is forgotten in the interval.

The Temenos of Osiris I had wished to ex-
cavate since I first saw it in 1887. It was
undoubtedly one of the oldest centres of
worship, and had a long history to be un-
ravelled. If it has proved so far rather
different to what Avas expected, it the more
corrects our ideas. But the real temple site
has not yet been touched below the level of the
XVIIIth Dynasty; and a vast deal still remains
to be done there.

The cemetery G was only worked as proved
desirable in intervals of other work, and to give
employment to workmen between other enter-
prises. Lying close behind our huts, and Avith
scarcely any small objects of value casually
found in it, such a place was an ideal resort
Avhenever men could not be kept on elseAvhere.
I should hardly have Avorked it for its oavii sake
alone; but as a stop-gap it proved very con-
venient, and fairly desirable.

The other large work, which is not described
at all in this volume, occupied half of our men,
or more, all the season. About a mile south of
Abydos, at the foot of the desert cliffs, I had
noticed some great tombs Avhen first visiting
the ground. The temple Avhich Mr. Maclver
excavated tAvo years ago (see the volume on
El Amrah just issued) proved to belong to a
king Kha-kau-ra, presumably Usertesen III.,
but possibly of a king of the Xlllth Dynasty.
The temple lies on the edge of the desert, and a
long causeAvay leads up to one of the great
tombs Avhich Ave have found. As probably
most of next season's Avork will be occupied
Avith these tombs, before they are finally
cleared, it is best to leave aside the plans Avhich
have been prepared, and give a connected
account of the Avhole site next year.

2. Our excavators Avere the same gang of
men and boys from Koptos Avho have Avorked
for me during many years. Indeed that gang

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