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

Page: 10
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10

ABYDOS I.

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III. That most important region we have
only yet searched as far back as the XVIIIth
Dynasty ; but having now finished a large space
outside of it, we can proceed next year to
unload the temple ground on to the space
already searched, and thus work down over it,
leaving only the lowest levels to be cleared at
the dry end of the season. In the whole space
outside of the temple ground not a trace of any
building of the early time was found except
mud brick houses. We have, then, to deal with
what was a series of towns, piled up in strata
which are usually 6 inches to 1 foot thick.

To denote the positions of small objects found,
I marked each with a trench number and a
level. The trench numbers I have not pub-
lished here, as it appears that there A\ras a
generally level spread of the town in all parts
that we dug, for peculiar types of flints or
pottery are found at closely the same level in
different trenches. The levels were at first
denoted in inches absolutely above a fixed
datum point; but as work went on it proved
more convenient and satisfactory to denote
them in inches over the basal slope of clean
sand. This sand gently sloped down from the
desert to the cultivation, and hence absolute
levels are not comparable, but heights over
sand shoAV the true depth of ruin. Every level
stated on the drawings of flints, pottery, and
other objects here is in inches over sand, or
absolute depth of ruin at the point. Roughly
speaking, the town began about the beginning
of Dynasty 0, and the stratified material that
was left untouched by the seba/chin rarely
extended beyond the Ilnd Dynasty. The
discussion of the relations of the pre-historic
sequence dates, the kings' reigns, and the town
levels will best be taken after describing the
various material that we have found. In many
places I dug through the basal sand for a foot
or two, but always found it clean and undis-
turbed, and in no case did I observe any graves
or hollows dug in it and filled up, though I

often looked for them carefully. The walls of
the houses were sometimes visible for a couple
of feet or so in height when a clean section was
cut; but the bricks were quite indistinguishable,
and the wall could only be detected as the
interruption of lines of charcoal and potsherds
by a vertical face of uniform earth. It was,
therefore, not practicable to trace out the
separate houses, or to make any plan of the
buildings ; and in no case did we find any length
of uniform wall more than the side of a room
or two, or any thicker mass than the usual
chamber walls. There does not seem to have
been any large enclosure or uniform mass of
building, but only small houses. The whole
compacted mass of wall-stumps, mud and sherds
is so unified by pressure and wet — being
saturated at high Nile—that only clean cut
sections would show anything ; and there was
no discriminating cohesion in one part more
than another.

14, Throughout the early town, flints more
or less wrought were abundant. Thousands of
flakes were found (of which a portion were
levelled, and are figured on pis. xxiv, xxv) :
and some hundreds of Avorked-up flints, knives,
scrapers, saws, &c, Avhich were all levelled when
found in undisturbed earth. The sebakhin had,
however, dug over the whole site, and parts of
it doAvn even to the sand; and therefore many
flints were found in their siftings which cannot
noAv be levelled. Though some of these were
fine examples, they are not figured here, as no
exact historic value can be given to them. The
drawings here were all made by outlining the
flints on the paper, copying the edge flakes, and
then drawing in the general flaking by freehand,
observing the form of each flake carefully.
Every flint has its level in inches over the basal
sand, or the depth of ruin when it was dropped,
marked beloAV it.

Pis. xvi, xvii. Flint Knives avithout
Handles.—On comparing these it did not seem
that there Avas any restriction of types to special

, hence *** .



parison

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mbIes that of ^

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the specimens a,
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,e of 27 shows pl«

m is always

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s doubtless the res

person, Somet
agklf the length oi

r face, having bee
sometimes by t
fk noticed in the dra
;j:.( and 56, outer ei
re-curved hives 30, 35, '<
Wong to levels 22 to 65
; into tie ground, see b<
lis to the first half

\ to the fine one
\tk tomb of Mena's c

ype of knife wei

opting perhaps
feia; hut owing to c
k^nfrom those t

mparisons. The
^fZer;andtherecui

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** handles

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