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

Page: 33
DOI Page: Citation link: 
https://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/petrie1902bd1/0042
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THE OSIKIS TEMPLE.

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but it occurs also in the deposits of Siptah,
Psamtek I, &c.

To the south-west of the temple of Osiris,
but within the great temenos, stood another
temple, built apparently by Nectanebo II, as
a fragment of a cartouche ending in ha, of very
late style, was found here. The retaining-wall
of the foundation is over thirteen feet deep. In
the west end of the south side there were two
circular-headed recesses, one over the other,
22 in. wide and deep : the lower recess at
58 to 102 in. above the floor, and the upper at
10!) to 162 in. There were no dejoosits found
in these recesses; the upper one had been
plundered, the lower one Avas filled with laid
bricks; but in the corner in front of the lower
recess lay the limestone mortar, cake of resin,
and little plaques of lazuli and carnelian,
shown in fig. 11. In the south-east corner,
just under a stone of the pavement, 40 in.
below the top of the wall, were found similar
objects, along with a square of copper, and a
hemi-disc of alabaster.

The most unexpected result of the year's
work has been the discovery of a high style
of limestone sculpture under the reign of
Nectanebo I, which preserves the traditions of
the XVIIIth Dynasty almost unchanged, and
shows no trace whatever of the surrounding

influences of Greek art. In the square mass of
temple ruin were found portions of four figures
in hard white limestone, two seated, and two
standing joined together. These were all more
or less destroyed ; but, among the large masses
of chips, we recovered the greater part of the
seated figure 12, and the upper half of one of
the standing figures, 13, 14. The seated figure
has the delicate curves, the fine proportions, and
the restrained modelling, which we know best
in such sculpture as the torsos of Nefert-ythi,
and other work of the XVIIIth Dynasty. The
standing figure attracts us by the masterly
rendering of the face ; for while preserving the
classical Egyptian treatment, it has a full vitality
and realism in the expression which might well
have been copied from the best type of the
modern Egyptian peasant girl. The present
illustrations are only to give a preliminary idea
of the workmanship; but the whole of the
pieces are now in the Cairo Museum, and, when
the figures are restored, a full publication of
them on a large scale, will be essential. The
date of this class of work is given by a
dedication on the front of the pedestal of
one of the seated figures, which bears the
cartouches of Nekht-hor-heb, cut with the
same refinement and delicacy as is shown in
the sculpture.

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