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

Page: 34
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License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
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29. On the south side of the great valley
which leads up to the Royal Tombs, a spur of
the desert runs forward between the temenos
of Osiris and the great temples of the XlXth
Dynasty. The whole surface of this hill, for
about half a mile back, is honeycombed with
tombs. Those near the desert edge are so close
together, and have been so completely wrecked
by Mariette's plunderers, that we have not
attempted to do anything among them. But
opposite the old fort (the Shunet-ez-Zebib), and
further back, only a few of the tombs had been
opened in modern times. (See It. T. i, pi. iii.)
During our first winter here, several of them
were explored, and in the past season, we have
opened up a good deal of the ground. The
burials here belong to many different periods.
Small interments of the prehistoric times are
frequently found near the surface; and the
pottery, and other objects, also occur mixed
with the earth thrown up in constructing later
tombs. A part of a mastaba of the Vllth
Dynasty has been already mentioned, see the
altar at base of pi. lix. Several tomb-pits
of the Xlth Dynasty have been opened ; they
are usually placed in pairs, one leading to the
chamber, the other, about half of the depth,
probably for offerings; deeper tombs of the
Xllth Dynasty have also furnished us with the
alabaster vases and beads of that age. In the
XVIIIth Dynasty older tombs Avere re-used,
for a burial of a child with vases, and a rich
burial with a silver pilgrim bottle, gold ring,
&c. In the XlXth Dynasty a great tomb was
made here for a priestess Khnumy, from which

we removed her granite sarcophagus lid, now in
Cairo. But the principal use of this region
was from the XXVIth Dynasty to the Ptolemaic
age. One of the earliest of this group, contain-
ing five stone sarcophagi, was found beneath a
large square pillared court of a few centuries
later, G-. 57 (see base of pi. lxxx). The next
type of tomb was that with two arched chambers
side by side, beneath a low mastaba of brick-
work (see G. 50 pi. lxxx); these also contain
stone sarcophagi, sometimes square, sometimes
shaped like the body. Other less usual types
of this age are seen in Gr. 68 and 58. Later
than these forms are wide square courts of
brickwork, Avhich were filled up with two stone
built chambers; these were evidently derived
from the form of Gr. 50, but were later than
that as the sarcophagi are debased. This form
was modified to a court with pillars of brick,
the whole faced with hewn stone, as the upper
tomb G. 57 ; and, in another case, remains of a
Greek pediment front of breccia, showed an
ornamental doorway to have been an archi-
tectural feature. These great brick courts filled
with stone work, have in all cases been quarried
to pieces; and they are now usually full of
broken mummies, dogs, and various organic
rubbish thrown in Avhen the cemetery was
Avas cleaned up in later times. In the Ptolemaic
times the tombs Avere crowded with bitumenized
bodies; and soon the system of deep and large
tombs gave Avay to that of small chambers, only
just beloAv the surface, containing only one or
two sarcophagi in each. These sarcophagi are
A^ery neatly and boldly cut in soft limestone,





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