Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Quibell, James Edward
El Kab — London, 1898

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substitute for the wooden roof of the earlier time, or
whether they belonged to some other clement in the
population, as the presence with them of the two
illegible black cylinders would suggest.

The burials in pottery cists, not hitherto mentioned,
may now be taken. These cists were found at Ballas
both in " stairway" tombs and in open Neolithic
graves. At El Kab they have been already mentioned
as occurring in mastaba wells. The cists are short
coffins, about 3 feet in length, made of a coarse
and porous red ware, and are generally without lids.

In one instance (174) the cist was found between
walls and beneath a roof of sandstone blocks. The
skeleton, which was young, as the epiphyses were not
united, lay on its left side, facing east, the head north.
A small shell, with chips of malachite, was before the
face. In another, the cist lay at the bottom of a
square well, the body again on its left side, with the
head to the north, the knees brought up before the
face ; the left elbow was by the side of the left hand
before the face, while the right arm lay over the head.
There was a little decayed linen cloth in the cist, and,
near the hips, a shell.

In tomb No. 249 a majur and two cists lay upon
the sloping bottom of a long (3• 70 m.) well; the
majur was at the southern end, which was lower by
60 cm. than the northern. In both cists the body lay
as in the two last-mentioned graves ; one contained a
sharp-edged shallow bowl of red ware.

Another cist (316) lay at the bottom of a shallow
well near the large group of mastabas (1*50 m. by
1 • 10 m. by 1 *6o deep). The sides of the cist were
broken down, and many of the bones were disturbed,
but a part of the spinal column and the legs sufficed
to show that the body had lain with the head north,
but on its right side.

No. 312 has been already mentioned among the
mastabas. The cist lay in a small chamber, the body
on Its left side, with head to the north.



14. The greatest interest of El Kab lay in the light
that it shed on the same civilisation which had been
disclosed two years before at the cemeteries of
Naqada and Ballas. In these we had examined
3000 graves of a type till then unknown, and as
different from the graves of the historic Egyptians as

if they had come from China or Peru. The most
obvious characteristic of these burials was the posi-
tion of the body, which always lay in a contracted
attitude, with the head to the south, never at full
length, as in all other Egyptian interments. All the
furniture of the graves—beads, slate palettes, green
paint, ashes, flint knives and pottery—were of novel
types, and without any admixture of the mirrors,
ushabtis, scarabs, or any of the other furniture of
ordinary tombs. Hieroglyphic inscriptions were also
absent. The results of the excavations were pub-
lished in " Naqada and Ballas," and the main conclu-
sions there set forth were that these graves were
the interments of a foreign race, differing from
the Egyptians of the dynastic periods in physical
features and in habits ; that they were probably a
white race akin to the modern non-Semitic inhabit-
ants of North Africa ; and, further, that they invaded
Egypt at the close of the Old Kingdom, and were
again expelled by the rising strength of the Xth and
Xlth dynasties.

[These people were at first called by Dr. Petrie "the
New Race," but they have received other names.
1VI. de Morgan, in his Ethnographie Prehistorique,
has attributed this class of monuments to the Neo-
lithic period, and called the men of the contracted
burials " les indigenes." The name " Libyans " has
also obtained some vogue; it emphasises the un-
doubted distinction of race between this people and
the historic Egyptians, and may perhaps be used as a
general name for the people of the contracted burials
until a clearer distinction than is now possible be
made between («) the Neolithic period before the
advent of the dynastic Egyptians ; (b) the time be-
tween the Egyptian arrival and the consolidation of
the kingdom under Mcnes ; and (c) the first three

15. The conclusion that these people differed from
the Egyptians has not been much disputed, but the
above dating has been opposed, and the evidence
from El Kab convinced me that we were wrong, and
that M. de Morgan was right in attributing the bulk
of this civilisation to the praedynastic period. Of
this dating, the remarkable finds of M. Amelineau
at Abydos, and those of M. de Morgan himself at
Naqada, have given very strong proof; but the more
fragmentary evidence of El Kab, which led me in-
dependently to the same conclusion, may retain still
a certain interest.

M. Amelineau's excavations at Abydos began at the
end of 1896—the winter after our Naqada campaign

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