THE TEMENOS OF OSIRIS.
12. As the excavations in the great
Temenos of Osiris still need one or two years
more of work to complete them, it is not
desirable to prepare a tentative plan; but
anyone wishing to follow closely what is
described can use the plan made by Mr.
Garstang, and published in El Arabah. With-
out a plan it is useless to trouble a reader with
topographical descriptions, and hence the
account here is restricted to explaining the
relations of. the various things found and
figured in these plates.
So far as our excavations have yet gone,
the history of the site may be briefly summed
up thus. A temple of Osiris stood here upon
the sandy edge of the desert, certainly in the
Vlth Dynasty, and presumably before the
1st Dynasty. Outside of the temple enclosure
a town sprang up behind it on the desert
before the 1st Dynasty, and mingled with that
town are a few large tombs and some smaller
burials of the 1st Dynasty. These seem to
have been placed amid the deserted houses
when that part of the town was unoccupied.
This town spread for some hundreds of feet
around the temple, and lasted on to the
IVth—Vlth Dynasties. Some time after the
Old Kingdom a great enclosure wall was built,
far outside of the temple ground, resting upon
the town rubbish. A corner of this was boxed
off with cross walls, and filled up with inter-
ments of the Xlth—XVIIth Dynasties, known
later as the Kom es Sultan, which was com-
pletely emptied out by Mariette's workmen.
In the Xlth Dynasty Antef V. rebuilt the
temple with octagonal columns of limestone.
In the Xllth Dynasty many monuments Avere
added by Usertesen I. In the Xlllth Dynasty
Sebekhotep III. built a black granite gateway.
In the XVIIIth Dynasty Tahutmes III.
built a massive inner enclosing Avail to the
temple, over tAventy feet thick, Avith a great
red granite pylon on the back or desert side,
opening into the larger Availed area. Much of
the larger Avail had been destroyed, and a toAvn
spread over the space, as before in the Old
Kingdom; but later, probably in the troubles of
the XXth Dynasty, the old line of outer Avail Avas
built again, over the later toAvn. In the XXVIth
Dynasty the temple Avas rebuilt, and additions
made in the XXXth Dynasty. Where the
original shrine of Osiris stood is not yet knoAvn ;
but presumably it Avas the nucleus of the
original temple, and therefore beneath the later
temples. We have not yet cleared the temple
site beloAV the foundations of the XVIIIth
Dynasty, and Avork there will be very difficult
OAving to the rise of the Nile leA^el placing the
loAver parts under Avater.
13. The excavation of the temenos area Avas
a difficult matter to arrange. On every side it
was bounded so that no clear space could be
begun upon; and I Avas obliged to start by
throAving back along a line of existing ruins.
In the higher part of the ground, nearer to the
desert, the clean sand surface of the old desert
was found beneath all the toAvns piled one over
the other. But this clean sand Avas inaccessible
beneath the Avater in every part of the temple
ground bounded by the great wall of Tahutmes