Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Petrie, William M. Flinders; Mackay, Ernest J.
Heliopolis, Kafr Ammar and Shurafa — London, 1915

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in close proximity to the head. In grave 536 the
head-rest was found to have slipped down to a
position beneath the pelvis of the burial. The act of
lowering the coffins vertically into the graves prepared
for them would naturally tend to shift the head-rest
from its proper position, as very few of the shafts
permitted of the coffin being dropped in a horizontal
position. The fact of the head-rest being thus fre-
quently displaced also shows that the bodies were not
inspected again by the relatives after being lowered
in their coffins, as the support of the head would have
been the first thing to be readjusted in position.

In grave 535 the head-rest was not placed with
the body, and was found standing on the coffin-lid
just above the head, whilst in grave 468 it was
discovered on the ground on the western side of the

38. The greater number of the head-rests found at
Tarkhan, excluding the branching' type, have their
bases of about the same length as the part that fits
the head. This seems to have been the rule in the
Early and Middle Kingdoms, but in the head-rests
of the New Kingdom the base was frequently
elongated out of all proportion to the rest of the

As a general rule, the head-rests found in the
Tarkhan cemetery are of an even height, front and
back, but in some cases (graves 221 and 553) the
top was cut slightly tilted in order to fit the head

Judging from the length and breadth of the upper
portion of the head-rests, it would appear that the
people who used them did not dress their hair very
elaborately. Many of the African pillows in use at
the present day are purposely made very narrow at
the top in order to avoid disarranging the compli-
cated head-dress.

In graves 497 and 550, however, which are dated
at the xth and xith dynasties, there were found two
head-rests whose upper portions had their ends
roughly cut down, doubtless to accommodate some
particular style of hair-dressing.

Most of the head-supports shew that several
thicknesses of cloth were placed between the wood
and the head in order to make them more comfortable.
At the present day, however, most of the African
tribes that use the wooden pillow do not employ any
padding, but merely rest their heads on the bare
wood. In one case (grave 535) a quantity of fine
chaff was found wrapped up in linen and laid on the
top of the head-rest.

The height of the early rests, i.e. those dated from
the iiird to the vth dynasty, ranges from 5 to 7 inches,
the average being 5$ inches. Those of later date
seem to be slightly higher, with an average of
51 inches.

As a rule they are all made of plain wood, which
was perhaps polished, but four examples shew traces
of paint adhering to them (graves 218, 233, 505 and

39. The two most common ways of joining the
parts of the built-up head-rests together were by
means of flat or square tongues cut at the top and
bottom of the pillar. Sockets or recesses to receive
these were made in the top or base of the head-rest,
and into these the tongues were forced. In some
cases, if the tongues were a little too small to
properly fit their sockets, wooden wedges were inserted
with them in order to ensure a good hold. Occa-
sionally horizontal pegs were driven through the top
and bottom of the head-rest in order to engage the
tongues. Another, but rare, method of joining the
parts of a head-rest was by the aid of small round
dowels fitted to the top and bottom of the column
and entering corresponding holes drilled in the head-
piece and base (fig. 13). This type of joint only
occurs in one burial (grave 440) in the Tarkhan
cemetery, the pottery in which dates it at the xth or
xith dynasty. Such a method of joining the parts
must have proved extremely unsatisfactory as regards
strength, which doubtless accounts for its rarity.

The following notes on construction may be added
to the table on pi. xx :

Fig. 16, 486, has a curved top to the base fitting
a hollow beneath the stem. Tenons top and bottom
of stem, fitting into top and base, are held by wooden

Fig. 18, 522 and 535 have tenons top and base,
and a slight round base on the base block.

Fig. 11, 14, 235 and 238, similar, have slight round
bases 1*7 across; between them two holes for leather
lashing (seen in place) going through base and over
tops. A groove beneath the base, joining the holes,
held the leather.

Fig. 15, 468, was similar; with tenons top and
bottom of the stem.

Fig. 22, 209, had tenons, but no pins.

Fig. 20 had a square tenon on the stem, and hole
in top plate.

Fig. 19,482, had stem and top in one, with a tenon
at the base.

Fig. 25, 509, square tenons, top and base.