Excavations at Gamhoud, Part II

The following is the second part of a translation of Fouilles à Gamhoud by Ahmed bey Kamal:1) Kamal, A. “Fouilles à Gamhoud”. Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Egypte. 9:1 (1908): 8-30. Online.

Contents

I: Coffins

The number of coffins collected in the Necropolis of Gamhoud has grown to seventy, of which forty-seven were found by Mr. Smolenski, and twenty-three by myself. They are in sycamore wood or mulberry 2) I’m not sure they have mulberry in Egypt. I wonder if he’s talking about Tamarisk? , and can be classified in three different categories:

  1. The coffins imitating coffins in stone from the same time period. These are, for the most part, enormous, and some of them are composed of two boxes encased one inside the other. The boards are of a variable thickness between 8 cm and 9 cm.  This category of coffins bears a simple or striped mask, rarely adorned with a scarab. The face is gold and the writing is fairly careful.
  2. Coarse coffins made to imitate those of the New Kingdom. They are of a round shape and slightly flat above the legs in the area meant to bear the funerary inscriptions. The boards in them are thin.
  3. Coffins of ordinary workmanship which are made of thin boards and are sometimes simple and sometimes rich in their polychrome painting.

All these coffins are stuccoed in the following manner: First, a the exterior of the coffin is passed over with a layer of sand mixed with liquid gum, and then, a second layer with Spanish white, also mixed with gum. On this last layer, different scenes are traced which form the decoration of the coffin. Then, the details are brought out with colors. The drawing and coloring are very sloppily executed in different colors: white, red, yellow, black, and green. The colors are applied with taste but without care. As for the writing, it is often poorly written and consists of summary legends which boil down to the ordinary offering formulae, often faulty, and which only very rarely give the name of the deceased. It is for this reason that I believed it useless to give here all the legends written on the coffins found by Mr. Smolenski or myself, because several examples will suffice for the reader.

I start by describing the coffins found by myself:

  1. Coffin—Painted wood, gilded face. — 2 m long.

    On the cover can be ween four registers: the first consists of a big wesekh collar and a winged scarab. The second register shows a kneeling winged Goddess Neith, who stretches out her arms. She is crowned by a solar disk and holds a feather littlefeatherin each hand.  On the third register, we see a mummy laid out on a funerary bed, and who receives embalming from Anubis. Under the bed are shown four canopic jars. To the right and left of the bed, Isis is seated, placing one hand on a knee and raising the other in the sign of protection. Above this depiction we read (—>):coffin1legend1
    The fourth register depicts at the right two funerary genies, accompanied by a jackal who crouches and holds a flail. flailTo the left , the two other geniesgenies are also accompanied by a jackal. Between the genies we read a prayer written in three vertical lines. (–>)coffin1legend2
    On the feet, we see the sailing solar bark, mounted by a standing man who propels it with an oar. The coffin is decorated on each side with with four standing funerary genies.

  2. Anthropoid coffin –painted wood– 1 m, 90 cm long

    Decoration in five registers:
    First: a large wesekh collar terminating at the two ends by a head of Horus, which serves as a fastener for the collar.
    Second: The winged Goddess Neith, crowned with a sundisk sundisk and holding a feather littlefeatherin both her hands.
    Third: Mummy lying on a funerary bed, under which are placed four canopic jars. The bed is flanked by two undulating lines.
    Fourth: a Hieroglyphic legend written in a vertical line is flanked on each side by two stripes–one undulates and the other is dotted.Coffin2Inscription1Fifth: Two crouching jackals, each one on a base in the form of a naos.

  3. Coffin–painted wood –Length: 1 m 92 cm

    Same decoration as the preceding (coffin 2), but the prayer is thus conceived.
    coffin3inscription1These three lines are flanked at the right by Hapi and Horus, and at the left by Imsety and Anubis, each one seated and holding the sign of truth, the feather. littlefeatherAbove them, on each side and facing the opposite direction, we see a crouching Anubis on a platform in the form of a naos. On the feet is shown a barque, mounted by the deceased who propels it with an oar.

  4. Anthropoid Coffin–non-planed wood–1m 93 cm long

    No inscription or decoration.

  5. Anthropoid Coffin–wood–1m 45 cm long

    Decoration in five registers:

    1. Large Wesekh collar
    2.  Winged Neith.
    3.  Anubis busy mummifying the mummy who is laying on a funerary bed. Below the bed are shown four canopic jars.
    4. Legend in a single vertical line:
      Coffin5legend1flanked at the right and left by two bands, one undulating and the other dotted.
    5. Two Anubises, facing each other and crouching on two bases in the form of Naoi.
  6. Anthropoid Coffin–Painted Wood–1m 80cm Long

    Seven registers:

    1. Four funerary Genies accompanied by Af 3) Who is Af? with the head of a serpent, and crowned with a solar disk, and by Anubis.
    2. Large Wesekh collar.
    3. Winged scarab.
    4. Winged Neith, crowned with a sun-disk sundiskand holding two feathers.littlefeather
    5. Solar bark, mounted by Horus, Anubis, and Af
    6. This legend written in a single vertical line:
      coffin6insc1
    7. Two Anubises, facing each other and crouching on a platform in the form of a naos.
  7. Anthropoid Coffin–Painted wood–1m 90 cm long

    Decorations in five superimposed registers:

    1. large wesekh collar.
    2. Winged Neith, crowned with a sundisk sundiskand holding in each of her hands the sign of truth:littlefeatherAbove her, we read the following inscription thus traced (–>):Coffin7insc1
    3. Mummy, lying on a funerary bed.
    4. Funerary legend, drawn in a vertical line is flanked to the right and left by two stripes, one undulating and the other dotted:
      Coffin7insc2
  8. Anthropoid coffin — Painted wood — 1m 80cm long

    Decorations in seven superimposed registers

    1. Large Wesekh collar.
    2. Winged Nieth coiffed with a solar disk sundisk and holding feathers in each hand littlefeather.
    3. Mummy laying on a funerary bed under which are shown four canopic jars with lids representing the heads of the funerary genies.
    4. Four crouching divinities, each one holding a crossed loop. It is, Osiris coiffed withosiriscrown , Horus coiffed withhoruscrown , Isis coiffed with her characteristic sign isiscrownand Nephthys also coiffed with her sign.nepthyscrown
    5. Five dotted lines where the points are alternate in color between green and yellow.
    6. Two crouching Anubises, facing each other and on platforms in the form of naoi.
    7. A checkered area in which the squares are alternatively painted in white, blue, and yellow.
  9. Anthropoid Coffin of a Small Child –Painted wood –90 cm long.

    Decorations are in three superimposed registers.

    1. Large wesekh collar.
    2. Legend written in a vertical line:
      coffin9insc
      To the right and left of this legend, we see six vertical stripes. The two side ones are undulating, the two others are painted in blue and the two running alongside the legend are dotted. To the right and to the left of this representation are seen the four funerary genies.
    3. Register occupying the foot of the coffin. It consists of two facing and crouching Anubises on platforms  of the form of a Naos.
  10. Coffin of a Child–Painted wood — 1m 20cm Long

    Decorations composed of four superimposed registers:

    1. Large wesekh collar.
    2. Winged neith, coiffed with a sundisk and holding in her two hands the sign of truth. littlefeather
    3. Anubis, busy mummifying the mummy lying on a bed under which are placed four canopic jars.
    4. A band of hieroglyphs, disappearing following a crack, and hugged by two dotted lines, and followed by four crouching funerary genies.
      The piece is in a bad state.
  11. Anthropoid coffin–Painted wood — 2m 6cm long.

    Decorations in five superimposed registers.

    1. Large wesekh collar.
    2. Winged Neith, coiffed with sundisk and holding in each of her hands the sign of truth.
    3. The mummy laying on a funerary bed and flanked by two simple lines, receiving mummification from Anubis. Under the bed are placed four canopic jars.
    4. Four vertical lines thus conceived are flanked by four funerary genies, coiffed with the solar disk, and following but facing the other direction are Isis and Nephthys, crouching, placing one of their hands on the knee, while the other is raised in a sign of protection.
      coffin11insc1
    5. Two crouching jackals, each one on a base in the form of a naos, occupy the top of the feet.
      These five scenes are flanked by four funerary genies, drawn two on the right and two on the left.
  12. Anthropoid coffin –Painted wood — 1 m 80 cm long.

    Decorations in seven superimposed registers:

    1. large wesekh collar, cut by a series of seated divinities divided into two groups: the one on the right is composed of Anubis, Af, Horus, and Thoth. The one on the left of Anubis, Af, Anubis, and Horus.
    2. Winged scarab, with a sun disk emerging from it.
    3. Winged Neith, coiffed with a sundisk, stretching the arms and holding in each hand the sign:littlefeather
    4. The mummy is lying on a lion-headed funerary bed and receiving mummification from Anubis. Before the bed is assembled an altar, and behind it, a tree which appears to be a palm.
    5. The solar barque is mounted by the God Ra. The prow represents a head of Horus, coiffed with a solar disk, and the stern has the head of a jackal.
    6. A vertical legend coffin12insc1
    7. Two facing, crouching jackals on a platform in the shape of a naos, occupy the tops of the feet. The two lateral sides are decorated at the right with the God Af, and two funerary genies, and to the left with the God Anubis and two other genies. All the figures are mummiform.
  13. Anthropoid coffin — painted wood — 1m, 90 cm long.

    Decorations in six registers.

    1. large collar formed from large beads and a square plaque at the center representing wdjat.  The two ends are each terminated by a fringe.
    2. Winged scarab from which a sun emerges.
    3. Anubis, standing, holding in his hand a vase with this form: cup and mummifying with the other hand a mummy lying on a bed under which are depicted four canopic jars.
    4. Solar bark mounted by crouchinggod which is surrounded by a Mehen serpent. The prow, preceded by a tree, represents the head of Horus, coiffed with a solar disk, and the stern represents the head of Anubis.
    5. A vertical legend coffin13insc1 is flanked at the right as well as the left by three bands : the first is formed from sundisk on a white background, the second is a yellow band between two black lines, the third is formed from zigzags on a white background.
    6. Two facing, crouching jackals, each on a platform with the form of a naos occupy the fort of the coffin. The right side of the coffin is decorated with Amset, Af, and Anubis in mummy-form. The left side with Af, Horus, and Anubis, also mummiform.
      Same workmanship as the preceding coffin.
  14. Anthropoid coffin — painted wood — 1 m 98 cm long.

    Decorations in five superimposed registers.

    1. Large wesekh collar.
    2. Winged Neith, coiffed with the sundisk and holding two littlefeather
    3. Mummy, lying on a bed with the picture of four canopic jars beneath.
    4. Four columns of hieroglyphs thus conceived: coffin14insc1
    5. Two facing, crouching jackals, each one on a base in the form of a naos, occupying the area on top of the feet. Between them, we read a vertical line which is flanked by two undulating lines. coffin14insc2
      The right side of the coffin is decorated with two figures representing Imsety and Anubis, and the left side is similarly decorated with two other figures representing Hapi and Duamutef.
  15. Anthropoid Coffin — Painted wood — 2m 6cm long

    Decoration in five superimposed registers

    1. large wesekh collar
    2. Winged Neith, coiffed with a disk  sundisk and holding in her extended hands two feathers littlefeather.
    3. Mummy lying on a bed with four canopic jars beneath it.
    4. A column  of hieroglyphs as follows (–>) coffin15insc1 flanked by two stripes. One is dotted and the other undulating.
  16. Anthropoid coffin– Painted wood, gilded face. — 2m long

    Decoration in six superimposed registers.

    1. large wesekh collar
    2. Winged scarab, bearing the solar disk.
    3. Winged Neith, coiffed with a sundisk, she has extended arms and holds in each one of her hands the sign littlefeather.  Above, one reads: coffin16insc1
    4. Mummy, lying on a bed and three canopic jars beneath it. Before the bed are shown Anubis standing and Neith 4)I suspect he means Nephthys here seated and coiffed with her characteristic sign nepthyscrown. They are preceded bycoffin16insc2 and behind the bed, we see Anubis standing and Isis seated and also coiffed with her sign. They are accompanied by coffin16insc3
    5. Five lines of text conceived as follows: coffin16insc4
      to the right, we see stretched out on a platform in the form of a naos, a serpent having a tail in the shape of a knot.
    6. On top of the feet is represented a barque mounted by the deceased, who pushes it with a paddle. To the right and left are seen, like a decoration, these symbolic signs. wasankh
  17. Anthropoid coffin–gilded face–painted wood — 1m 92 cm long

    Decorations in six superimposed registers.

    1. large wesekh collar
    2. Winged scarab surmounted by a disc painted in red in order to symbolize the rising sun. It is flanked by two legends of which only the one on the left still remains: (–>) coffin17insc1
    3. Winged Neith, coiffed with a gilded disk.
    4. Mummy lying on a bed under which are represented four canopic jars. Anubis with the head of a jackal and a human body gives the mummy the necessary embalming. Before the bed is seen Isis and behind it, Nephthys.
    5. Five columns in beautiful writing, enhanced with colors.
      coffin17insc2These columns are flanked by the following divinities:coffin17seatedgods
      This register terminates with two facing, crouching jackals, each one on a platform in the shape of a naos. They are drawn upside down and surmounted by a flail. The tops of the feet have been decorated with a drawing which has all but disappeared. The two sides of the coffin are each decorated with fifteen divinities, standing and arranged in three columns. They are accompanied by legends, which, for the most part are in a bad state. We describe here those that remain readable: at the left, in the first column, we see:

      1. Imsety, standing, coiffed with a solar disk and accompanied bycoffin17insc3
      2. A god of for whom we only see the beginning of the legend:coffin17insc4
      3. A god who is worn off.
      4. An Anubis with the head of a jackal and a human body, accompanied by a legend which has worn off.

      In the second column, we see:

      1. A goddess with the head of a lioness, with this legend:coffin17insc5
      2. A worn off divinity.
      3. Khnouphis 5) Khnum? coiffed with a solar disk.
      4. A worn off divinity.

      In the third column, we see the six hours of the day represented by women who are standing and coiffed with solar disks: here are the names of them.

      1. Worn off.
      2. coffin17insc6
      3. coffin17insc7
      4. coffin17insc8coffin17insc9
      5. coffin17insc10
      6. coffin17insc11

      At the right, one sees in the first column:

      1. coffin17insc12
      2. Imsety (?)
      3. ……
      4. Thoth with the head of an ibis coffin17insc13

      In the second column:

      1. Horus with the head of a falcon and a human body coiffed with the solar disk
      2. A goddess coiffed with the solar disk (caption effaced)
      3. A worn-off god.
      4. Another worn-off god.

      In the third column are depicted the six hours of the night in the following order:

      1. coffin17insc14
      2. coffin17insc15On the left
      3. coffin17insc16
      4. coffin17insc17

      It is to be regretted that this coffin had been found in such poor condition, because the writing on it was carefully done.

  18. Anthropoid coffin — painted wood — 2m 9cm long

    Decorations in five registers:

    1. large wesekh collar
    2. Winged Neith, coiffed with the sundisk and holding two feathers. Her legend is written as follows:coffin18insc2
    3. Mummy, lying on a bed under which four canopic jars are represented.
    4. Three columns of hieroglyphs, worn off in places and without meaning:coffin18insc1The middle column is the only one flanked by two undulating stripes. The zigzags are in red on a white background.
  19. Anthropoid coffin — Painted wood — 2m 14cm long

    Decorations in five superimposed registers.

    1. large wesekh collar
    2. Neith, Winged and coiffed with a sundisk sundisk
    3. Mummy, lying on a funerary bed under which four canopic jars are represented. The mummy is flanked by two undulating lines. The zigzags are red on a white background.
    4. Three columns of hieroglyphs drawn in ink on a white background. coffin19insc1The line in the middle is the only one flanked with two black bands. The two sides of the basin have been each decorated with five standing, superimposed divinities. They have been destroyed and only the two last of them remain. These are Isis at the right, and Nephthys on the left.
    5. Two facing Anubises, each crouching on a base in the form of a naos and holding sekhemflail. They are separated by an undulating line.
  20. Anthropoid coffin, retaining the style of the new kingdom. — Painted wood — 2 m long.

    Gilded face, the wig is alternatively striped in yellow and black, with a false beard. Decorations are in four superimposed registers.

    1. A small collar
    2. Neith 6)note that the caption here actually reads Nw.t, which makes me question whether the winged goddess on the prior coffins are not Nut instead of Neith, also–Nut is the usual goddess in this position, although I’ve also seen Neith, Hathor, and Isis on the breast of the coffin. , winged and seated, and accompanied by the four following legends drawn above her extended arms. To the right:coffin21insc1  and to the left: coffin21insc2
    3. Three columns written in black ink on a yellow background: they run from right to left:
      1. coffin21insc3
      2. coffin21insc4
      3. coffin21insc5
    4. Two jackals, facing each other and each crouched on a base in the form of a naos, on the door of which has been drawn a bolt. bolt

The two coffins which remain of my discovery are in a very bad state and do not merit cataloging here. I carry on.

Coffins Discovered by Smolenski

As for the forty-seven coffins discovered by Mr. Smolenski, I will restrain myself to mentioning some of the ones that I was able to copy.

  1. Anthropoid Coffin — Painted Wood — 2m 3ocm Long — With Oxyrrhinchus Fishplate1

    Decoration in five superimposed registers:

    1. Large wesekh collar
    2. Winged Neith, her arms extended and holding feathers. She is coiffed with a solar disk, kneeling and dressed in a tight dress.
    3. Mummy lying on a bed and surmounted by a Oxyrrhinchus Fish (Plate 1). Under the bed, four canopic jars are depicted.
    4. Three columns of hieroglyphs.smolenskicoffin1insc1
      These bands are separated by two undulating and zigzagging stripes in red on a yellow background.
    5. On the tops of the feet, we see a checkerboard, followed by two facing, crouching jackals on bases in the form of naoi. They are separated by this band: smolenskicoffin1insc2This is the first time that we see an Oxyrrhinchus fish oxyrrhinchus represented above the mummy in the place of the “bird-soul” babird that is ordinarily drawn in this place. The Egyptians of the Ptolemaic period were very attracted to the Osirian myth, and they knew that the Oxyrrhinchus had, according to this rite, swallowed the vital part, or rather, the phallus of Osiris, when the aforementioned god had been killed and torn into pieces by his brother Set. This is why we see the Oxyrrhinchus taking the place of the soul and hovering over the mummy. This species of fish is very pronounced on the monument–only the mouth has been damaged.
  2. Anthropoid coffin — Painted wood — 2m 8cm long

    Decoration in five registers:

    1. Wesekh collar.
    2. Neith, winged and holding two feathers. She is accompanied by four legends, two to the right and two to the left. We transcribe them: smolenskiCoffin2insc1
    3. Mummy lying on a funerary bed under which are drawn four canopic jars having covers representing the heads of funerary genies.
    4. Funerary text in three vertical lines separated by three bands decorated with zigzags painted alternately in red and blue on a yellow ground:fullsmolenski2insc2-3
    5. Two facing, crouching jackals each one at the top of a base in the form of a naos, a vertical legend separates them–here is a copy of it:smolenskiCoffin2insc4
      On the two sides of the basin are seen Osiris accompanied by four funerary genies.
  3. Anthropoid coffin — Painted wood — 2m 20 cm long.

    Decorations in five superimposed registers

    1. large wesekh collar.
    2. Winged Neith, coiffed with a solar disk, stretching her arms and holding in each hand the sign of the feather which symbolizes Truth. This goddess is accompanied by legends in eight vertical lines, written above her:
    3. Mummy lying on a funerary bed and receiving from Anubis the necessary mummification. It is accompanied by Isis and Nephthys. Under the bed are depicted four canopic jars of which the lids represent the four funerary genies.
    4. Five vertical lines of hieroglyphs, flanked by four funerary genies. Here is a copy of them:
    5. Two facing, crouched Anubises on a platform. Between them we see a worn-off legend in a vertical line:
      Finally, the decorations that we have just described are flanked by depictions of funerary genies with worn-off legends.

As for the other coffins of the find, they bear more or less the same subjects of decoration as the preceding ones, and have been distributed in the following manner: 12 to the National Hungarian Museum of Budapest, five to the Imperial and Royal Museum of the Court at Vienna, and three to the Academy of the Sciences of Krakow.

Mummification

The mummification is good even for the mummies of the middle class.  Some morsels of aromatic bitumen have been collected and conserved in order to be analyzed by a chemist. The mummified bodies are sturdy enough to resist shocks, because the mummies are wrapped in a shroud composed from several parts folded around the body and fixed with fairly strong bandages. These bandages are cut from the same canvas as the shroud, and the two edges of it are folded back back on the inside so one might fasten them strongly without risking tearing them. Finally, the process of wrapping does not differ at all from those that we have seen  up until now.

Masks

The masks found are numerous and present, depending on the wealth of the person, some variants in manufacture and value. They are composed first of a face which is sometimes gilded and sometimes painted in color. The first layer, which follows the canvas, is often made of papyrus covered in Demotic writing. We have amassed a large number of these masks for the conservation of the ones that we have given the greatest care. They are now deposited half in the Museum of Cairo, half in that of Budapest, waiting for someone to pull them out and put them in a state for study.

Mummy Trappings or Cartonnages

The trappings of a mummy, according to the the sixty-eight cases discovered, are composed of five pieces:

  1. A mask, sometimes gilded.
  2. A piece representing the wesekh collar
  3. Another piece giving a representation of Osiris flanked by four funerary genies.
  4. A fourth, long piece on which is drawn the funerary legend.
  5. Two shoes on which the feet are often drawn.

All these pieces are fastened on the shroud by means of canvas bands encircling the mummy. They only duplicates of the decorations made on the lid of the coffin with the goal of providing assurance to the deceased, in the other world, of the protection of the funerary deities.

Flora

On certain mummies of this necropolis, I was able to amass some fragments of garlands of myrtles, lotus flowers, and elongated leaves, probably of willow or peppermint. What is surprising is that we still smell the odor of myrtle, well perfumed after the span of nearly 2000 years. This myrtle was found in several branches garnished with foliage and forming garlands. Following Théophraste and Pliny, myrtle is an Egyptian plant. The female dancers that we see represented in the tombs hold some of these branches. In fact, certain branches of this plant were collected from the catacombs of Bubastis, from Arsinoé and from Hawarah. Myrtle is called in Egyptian as in Arabic, myrtle1as myrtle2, just as wild myrtle or holly is named in the two languages myrtle3as-barri.   myrtle4  

Baskets

The ancient baskets do not differ from those of our day. Many baskets were collected over the course of our research and and are distinguished amongst each other by the workmanship and good leaves of palm. There are some which are well made and which still remain sturdy, others are of ordinary workmanship. These baskets, which were used for the removal of earth at the time of internment, were abandoned in the tombs; because these last ones were emptied out in the tomb-shaped plain or the long underground passage, to the right and to the left of which were gradually cut other tombs when someone came to die. By leaving the baskets in the tombs, they were found ready to go and one could accordingly prepare the tombs for the newly dead without any delay. The stones in this place are very rare, and one only finds some at an hour and a half distance in the western mountain called Minqar, meaning, “beak”. We even see today that the inhabitants of the villages situated in the neighboring area of this antique necropolis abandon the baskets having served for an internment at the entry of the tomb in order to fill it.

Stelae and Ostraca

plate2The stelae are very rare, and if they are found, they are of crude manufacture and only bear names in demotic engraved without any care. The excavations made in the necropolis of Gamhoud by Mr. Smolensky and myself only yielded two stones barely smoothed.  I owe the transcription and the translation of them to Mr. W. Spiegelberg.

  1. The first is in calcite and measures 55 cm in height by 26 cm in length

    It was found above a dead man buried without any kind of cloth and it bears:demotic1
    “…(?)…of Petisis, son of Psenpsaïs and of Tete[…]”

  2. The second stela is also in calcite and measures 49 cm in length by 18 cm in width

    It is vaulted and bears at the summit two figures. The first, who is at the right, represents Horus, standing, wearing the Shenti, and holding the scepter was. The second is a goddess who is probably Ma’at(?); She is standing in front of Horus, clothed in a tight dress and holding the scepter  wadj A legend of two horizontal lines is engraved above the divinities. We owe the transcription and translation of it to Mr. W. Spiegelberg.
    demotic2
    “Nechthyris (?) son of Petosiris and of Tes-nakhte (?).”
    The representation decorating the center of the stela demonstrates that the local gods were Horus and Ma’at.

Sieves

I had the chance to put a hand on a fragment of a sieve. (See original article’s plate III under “Hooks and Ropes”) It is made from a hoop or drum on which is stretched a piece of sturdy canvas of wool or hair (?). This canvas is decorated with longitudinal lines in a dark color. The whole is 25 cm in diameter and differs from the sieves currently employed in Egypt only by the drum and type of canvas: our old sieve has a round circle of 2 cm 7)It is wrong that the circumference is less than the given diameter of 25 cm. This might be a mistake either on my part or the author’s. of circumference and a coarse canvas, while the sieves of our days have a flat circle of 5 cm to 8 cm in height by 2 cm to 3 cm in thickness. The sieve, tamis1 then tamis2,figures as we know in Egyptian writing, as an alphabetic sign having the value of “kh” ==tamis3 . In the support of this theory, I could cite the verb “to pass through a sieve”, “to sift”, or “to screen”, in Egyptiantamis4 or  tamis6 , in arabic: tamis7, of which the final sign, serving as a determinative, demonstrates clearly to us the antique form of this instrument, as it also proves the identity of our fragment. As seen, the verb nakhala stays the same in the two languages, Egyptian and Arabic.

Hooks and Ropes

plate3
Many hooks and ropes were amassed during our excavations in the necropolis of Gamhoud (plate III). These hooks are pieces of acacia wood or from mimusops Schimperi, forked like those that are used in our day in the chadoufs and in the transport of sheaves or other burdens. The ancient ones served for emptying the pits and the tombs designated for the internment of their dead by means of ropes and threads of palm, exactly like those which are in use today. Many of these ropes gathered and conserved differ in nothing from the modern fabrications.

Canvas

The plain fabric which serves as a shroud and bandages for the mummies buried in the necropolis of Gamhoud is of a middling quality. Two complete pieces each having one meter in length have been collected intact. They are unraveled on two ends and are distinguished by their good quality. Unhappily, they bear neither drawing nor inscription.

Vases

The vases are very rare. Mr. Smolenski found a single vase of terra-cotta in a very ordinary form. Me, for my part, I collected a round plate in calcite of 36 cm in diameter, hardly polished and without inscription or ornament.

Conclusion

Such is the result of the excavations that we have made in the small necropolis of Gamhoud. We hope that the other necropoleis situated in the area will furnish us one day with important monuments which will clarify for us the history and ancient geographical state of this region.

A. Kamal.

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. Kamal, A. “Fouilles à Gamhoud”. Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Egypte. 9:1 (1908): 8-30. Online.
2. I’m not sure they have mulberry in Egypt. I wonder if he’s talking about Tamarisk?
3. Who is Af?
4. I suspect he means Nephthys here
5. Khnum?
6. note that the caption here actually reads Nw.t, which makes me question whether the winged goddess on the prior coffins are not Nut instead of Neith, also–Nut is the usual goddess in this position, although I’ve also seen Neith, Hathor, and Isis on the breast of the coffin.
7. It is wrong that the circumference is less than the given diameter of 25 cm. This might be a mistake either on my part or the author’s.
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