Ayrton, Edward R. ; Weigall, Arthur Edward Pearse Brome ; Petrie, William M. Flinders
Abydos: Part III: 1904 — London, 1904

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TOJ

14

ABYDOS III.

then cxpened out into a square chamber, 7 ft. by
10 ft., and of a comfortable height. The walls
were solid all round, and to a person attempting
fco enter the tomb, had he managed to pass the
portcullis, the way would now be barred.

Half the floor, however, of this chamber was
false, and by removing the slab, which slid in
5 in. grooves, a passage running to the north at
right ansd.es was entered. This continued for
about 35 ft. and then turned to the west, and a
few feet later to the north as;ain, where it seems
to have been blocked by a limestone portcullis.
After another ten feet or so the passage turned
again to the west, and finally to the south.
Here a portcullis made of a thin upright slab of
quartzite sandstone had to be passed. Behind
this the passage became narrower but somewhat
higher, the floor being at a lower level; and
after seven feet it ran up against the lid of the
sarcophagus, which, like the portcullis, had
been let down from above.

The sarcophagus was constructed in three
blocks of quartzite sandstone. The lower part
was one large block hollowed out to a rectangle
sufficiently large to hold the coffin, and beauti-
fully trimmed inside, the outer surface being
rough-hewn. At the south end, i.e. behind the
head, a box-like recess was cut for the purpose
of holding the objects buried with the mummy.
Two-thirds of the sarcophagus was covered by
one block, arched inside and fitting neatly upon
the lower part. This was fixed in place when
the tomb was built, and was heavily cased
around with limestone blocks, through which,
had it been possible to break, the sarcophagus
might have been reached from the false-floored
chamber. For it will be observed that the
passage had made a complete turn, and had led
one back again towards the entrance. The lid
over the open end of the sarcophagus, as has
been said, was dropped into place after the body
had been placed inside. A small passage not
more than 20 in. wide and 2 ft. high branched
off from under the passage which ran below the

false floor, and led to the side of the lid ; and it
was, no doubt, from here that a man broke
away the supports and thus closed in the body.
The work, however, was not well done, and the
lid remained gaping at one end. The plunderers
entered by smashing a hole with crowbars
between the two lids, and the falling stones must
have reduced the coffin to matchwood. Cer-
tainly the debris shows that the pieces were
used as fuel for fires.

It appears that when the tomb had been laid
out and the passages and sarcophagus securely
covered in with a casing of limestone, the pit
was carefully packed with sand and gravel up
to the surface level of the desert. The sand
was held back from the actual entrance by a
brick wall, about eight feet high, whitewashed
on the inner side ; and a brick staircase led
down the box-like shaft at one corner. After
the funeral this, too, was filled in, and all trace
of the building was obliterated. Upon the
surface a square enclosing-wall of brick was then
built, and on the east side, or front, a small
"wavy" wall formed a frontage. The sand
packing was finally raised, perhaps a few feet
above the desert level, being held in by the
brick wall, and possibly roofed over with bricks,
though that is not likely considering the size of
the area. The tomb was therefore a mastaba,
or at any rate its design was an extension of
that idea; and when complete it must have
appeared as a low square of brickwork, with
possibly a courtyard in front.

25. To the north-west of this mastaba and
not far from the north-east corner of the great
hash, another pit surrounded by sand heaps
indicated the presence of a plundered tomb.
This was known as S 10, and proved to be
somewhat similar in form to that just described,
and to have been built upon the same principle.
Upon the east side a brick shaft, descending by
six steep brick steps, led down to the entrance.
A limestone passage, 3 J ft. wide, sloped straight
down from here, a distance of 20ft., opening out

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