Title: Short Guide to the Chief Exhibits of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities [Electronic Edition]

Author: Thomas, Ernest S.
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Title: Short Guide to the Chief Exhibits of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities

Author: E. S. THOMAS
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Place of publication: Cairo
Publication date: 1915
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Short Guide to the Chief Exhibits of the Cairo Museum of Antiquities [Electronic Edition]



While this book was in the press, a move was made by the
Museum authorities to open the east wing and close the west
wing for the contractors who are repairing the roof.

A wholesale transference of objects will be effected in due
course as detailed below. The figures denote pages in the book.
17.—(Room E) Some of the objects from these
rooms, when closed, will be found
in the corridor.
18-20.—(Rooms H and I)
20 (bottom).—For mummy cases which may be here, see
39 (middle).
24.—This staircase (north-east) is closed. Ascend stairs at northeast
corner of building and turn to 39; or ascend stairs
at south-east corner of building, go west, and turn to 35.
26 (bottom) to 27 (top).—This case is somewhere near Jewel
27-28.Royal Mummies. Moved from west gallery to outside
Jewel Room.
29.Room I. Objects moved to passage outside, above central
30-32 (top).—Room H, and Main (Western) Gallery. Objects
moved to the north hall outside Jewel Room, above
the Colossi.
32-33.Room G. Objects moved to passage outside, above
central hall.
34.Figures of Gods, etc. Moved to Room P on east side
of Museum.
36 (bottom) to 39 (top).—Games, etc. Moved to Room U
adjoining the passage in which they were.
39 (middle).—Late Mummy Cases. Moved to north of the central
hall on groundfloor below, behind Colossi.
Rooms P and U.See above 34 and 36 (on).
Room V.—Greek terracotta statuettes and other objects.
NOTE—Page 3. XVIII. Hatshepen, read Hatshepsu.
Akpenaton, read Akhenaton.





Compiled for the Use of Soldiers visiting the Museum.

To be obtained, either directly or through any Bookseller,
from the PUBLICATIONS OFFICE, Government Press, Bulâq; from the SALE-ROOM,
Geological Museum, Ministry of Public Works Gardens.

1915. PRICE P.T.2. [unofficial.



May 1 to October 31:—
8.30 a.m. to 1 p.m., except Fridays and official holidays.
November 1 to April 30:—
9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., except Fridays and official holidays.
Fridays and official holidays, closed.


Mondays Free.
Other days Mill. 10
Winter 50
Soldiers pay five milliemes in summer and twenty milliemes in

The object of this Guide, which has no official status, is to
help soldiers visiting the Museum to get an idea of what they
see and what to see.
In the present disturbed state of the Museum the official
guide book is useless, and this small book will have no value
as far as the exhibits are concerned, when the objects brought
into the corridors are returned to their rooms, and when rooms
now closed to the public are opened.
Needless to say, the book is based directly or indirectly on
the official guide book as far as the exhibits are concerned.
The chronology is that followed by the German School of
Archæology, which is gaining most credence.
The idea of this book was due to a chance suggestion of
Mr. J. E. Quibell, to whom I 'am much indebted for valuable
suggestions and advice.


January 1915.


(L.) (R.) (C.)=Left, right, or centre; referring to place of
objects in cases of exhibits, or positions or
directions in passages or rooms.
In front, Above.—These are references to exhibit cases which
have sloping desklike or horizontal fronts.
“Above” refers to the vertical portion,
“In front” to the jutting portion of the
(A.) (B.) (C.).—Black letters refer to the cases.
(XVIII) (XIX).—Roman figures in parentheses refer to the
dynasties to which objects are referred.






Before 1580 B.C. (XVIIIth Dynasty) Egyptian dates are very
uncertain, but the system which sets the first dynasty at 3400 B.C.
has more to be said in its favour than that which would make
it 1,460 years longer, which extra years are by some authorities
added to the Hyksos period. Considering the few remains
that are found of that age, it seems incredible that it should have
lasted nearly 1,700 years.
The Egyptian New Year's Day was not a fixed one: the year
lost six hours per annum, so that it came round to the correct
day, the rising of Sethis (Sirius), every 1,460 years, which is called
a Sothic period. When inscriptions state clearly what time of
year, what month and day, certain feasts fell, astronomy can
estimate with fair accuracy what year that was B.C. by Gregorian
calendar. There is very good reason, in this way, for fixing
the dates of several XIIth Dynasty kings; and but for the Hyksos
period, which is a historical blank, the chronology of this dynasty
is probably correct (i.e. to 1,460 years!).
From surviving fragments of ancient annals, records of papyri
and tomb stelæ, the number of kings and approximate length
of reigns, if actual years are not given, have been worked out.
The records of Manetho, a Greek historian, are the fullest
of those that have come down to us. Their accuracy is variable.
He it was who divided the kings into Dynasties or Houses.


THE KINGS OF EGYPT.The supposed date of foundation of the Egyptian calendar is about 4241 B. C.
(NOTE.—Capitals are in italics.)
I-II 3400 Mena, Den, Aha, etc. This. Thinite. Slate palettes: jewellery.
Stone vessels: flint knives.
III 2980 Zoser. Snoferu. Memphis. Memphite. Sculpture: wood and stone.
Pit tombs and strong work.
Pyramids and vast Mastaba tombs.
IV 2900 Khufu (Cheops.) Khafra (Khefren). Menkawra (Mycerinus). Memphis. Memphite Plain temples, huge pyramids.
Smaller tombs.
Ka figures. Statuary.
Sphinx (Gîza).
Noble work.
V 2750 Sahura. Nuserra. Unas. Memphis. Memphite. Poorer pyramids. Finely sculptured temples, and tombs: statuary.
VI 2625 Teta. User-ka-ra. Pepi. Mernera. Memphis. Memphite. Poor pyramids. Sculpture as above
VII-X 2475 Various. Little known: as above, but poor quality.


XI 2160 Mentuhotep. Thebes. Theban. Revival of art. Fine temple remains around his pyramid at Thebes and good wall carving.
Painted tombs (Beni Hassan).
XII 2000 Amenemhat I and III. Senuosrit I, II, III. Thebes. Theban. Some solid pyramids (Dahshûr), others rubble and brick (Fayûm and Lisht).
Fine wall reliefs.
Jewellery: round-top stelæ; fine statuary: wooden tomb figurines. A great age in every way.
XIII-XVII Including Hyksos. 1788 Apepi. Khyan. Seqenenra (Egyptian). Tanis. (Delta). Hyksos. Little known: some fine jewellery and lion-eared sphinxes assigned to this age.
XVIII 1580 Seqenenra. Ahmes. Thothmes III, IV. Hatshepen Q. Amenhotep II, III, IV. (Akpenaton=A. IV.) Tutankhamon, Horemheb. Thebes and Tell el Armana. Egyptian. Very delicate work in every branch of art: beautiful, tasteful, and thorough.
Fine temples and rock tombs (Thebes). Mummification.
Delicacy of work, perhaps Semitic influence.
XIX 1350 Rameses I.
Seti I.
Rameses II.
Thebes. Egyptian. After Seti work declines in taste and quality: vast temples and statues.
Good jewellery. [Egypt rich with spoil and prisoners (slaves).]


XX From 1200 Rameses III. (Twelve Rameses in this reign.) Thebes. Egyptian. Art much as above: more eastern: temple with towers. Jewellery. [Priest rule. General decline.]
XXI 1090 Herihor (time of David). Thebes. Egyptian.
XXII 945 Shishonk (Shishak, time of Solomon). Osorkon. Libyan. Tanis. Bubastis. (Delta). Big temple additions, Karnak: coarse work. Fine work in glazed pottery. New style in mummy decoration.
XXIII-IV 745 Piankhi. Bokkoris. Egyptian (?). Sais. (W. Delta). Troublous period for art.
XXV 712 Shabaka. Taharka. Ethiopian (unsettled times). Period of good portrait sculpture. Serapeum at Memphis.
XXVI 663 Psammeticus. Neko. Hophra. Saitic. Egyptian. Sais. Revival of art, imitation of best old models (IV, XII, and XVIII). Jewellery; statuary: original variations of old styles. A brilliant period. Mummies as XXII.
XXVII 525 Cambyses. Darius. Xerxes. Persian (unsettled times). Distinguished by large grey oblong inscribed sarcophagi. Art much as above.


XXVIII-XXIX 404 Saite. Persian. Mendes. (Aswân) (unsettled times).
XXX 382-330 Nektanebo. Egyptian. Temple of Philæ.
55 Alexander the Great. Ptolemy. Cleopatra. Macedonian (Greek). Alexandria. Egyptian displaced by Greek ideals.
Christianity displaced the Egyptian religion and with it died or declined her art.
From 30 B. C. till 395 A.D Roman Emperors. Alexandria.

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The fact that the Egyptians buried their dead in the western
desert where the dry sand hid and preserved their contents
down the ages, and the beliefs which led them to form and furnish
and decorate their tombs and temples as they did, are the two
main sources of our knowledge of their history.
In general, it may be said that the life after death (in which
they firmly believed) was for them a counterpart of this life, with
the substitution of “spiritual” for material things.
The tomb, and, in earlier times the coffin, was made and furnished
as a living-room or house. Tools were supplied for work
in the heavenly fields, food to eat, slaves to labour, cattle
and fowls to work and afford meat, and wines to drink.
They believed that the dead could avail themselves of the
Ka or spirit of the material things placed in, or (in the case of
food) offered at, the tombs.
It is highly probable that in earlier times slaves, as well as
cattle, were sacrificed with this object; before it came to be
believed that models, or pictures, of servants and cattle would
be equally effective. Prisoners were sacrificed to Ammon by
the king throughout Egyptian history.
So in the Old Kingdom a stone or wooden statue of the deceased
was placed in the tomb for him (that is, his double) to inhabit
instead of his body. As the persistence of the soul depended
on that of the Ka figure, several of these were sometimes placed
in the tomb; the more figures the better chance of survival
in case of accident.
During the Middle Empire (XI to XVII) this custom
gradually fell into disuse, and the body, preserved by mummification
yet more effectively than it was through the action
of hot and dry sand, took its place. The persistence of the soul
seems to have depended upon that of the body in their belief.
The oldest tombs are holes in the sand, in which the dead
were placed on mats with their scanty possessions. This was
covered over with boards or flat stones, and a superstructure
of rocks was piled upon it. Outside these, pots of food offerings
were placed; which are found now in ancient cemeteries in

great quantities. Later, square coffins roughly shaped as houses
were used and placed in the pits (Old Kingdom). Rough mud
structures, formed to contain the offerings, in time became
stone chapels, on the walls of which were carved agricultural
and other scenes with the object explained above. We may
note here that asses were the only beasts of burden in Ancient
Egypt. The horse seems to have been introduced by the Hyksos.
The camel is never depicted in the tombs. Mud models of him
are found dating from the XIXth Dynasty, but he does not
seem to have been used in Egypt until much later times.
To continue. The dead body was buried below the chapel
in a recess at the bottom of a shaft, of depth varying from
fifteen to thirty yards or more, cut in the rock and filled in afterwards
with stones and sand.
In this chapel stood the Ka figure of the deceased. Such
tombs, oblong with sloping sides, are called mastabas and may
be seen near the Mena Pyramids (some are now being excavated
below the plateau on the west side of the Great Pyramid). Those
at Saqqara may be entered and examined.
In the XIIth Dynasty (Middle Empire) model figures in
wood took the place of the sculptures on the walls, which are
now painted to represent a room and are inscribed with prayers
and extracts from the Book of the Dead. Such walls, however,
are found occasionally in Old Empire tombs, as also are sculptured
walls in the Middle Empire.
Gradually the belief seems to have been favoured that the
soul left the tomb and journeyed to another realm of life
Beliefs concerning the next world differed in different times
and places. There was the cleft in the western hills of Abydos
through which souls passed to Amenti or Hades; also the sacred
western marshes of the Delta through which the soul was piloted
by the Hathor Cow; and there was yet again the belief that
the triumphant soul joined Ra, the Sun, in his boat as he sailed
through the Heavens, and helped to fight and destroy his enemies.
At sunset the red glow of the Sun was the reflection of the fires
that consumed them. With the belief of the soul's journeyings
came the necessity for amulets, charms, and incantations against
the Demons that beset the way.
To return to the mastaba.


At the entrance was the false door or stela, the door being
a rectangular hollow with a drum-shaped top (probably representing
a cross beam of date stem). The faces on each side
sometimes bore representations of the deceased and were inscribed
with his life history; and the account of kings under
whom he served (it must be remembered that such tombs only
appertained to the rich) are the chief sources of early history.
Kings' names are written in an oval or cartouche.
In the XIIth Dynasty times the tombs were smaller and much
narrower in proportion, and were surmounted with a domed
roof, so that the stela became oval-topped, like a modern grave
stone. This served as a tablet for prayers to the gods, to whom
offerings were now made on behalf of and for the deceased,
the gods taking their share. Such stelæ often contain sculptures
of agricultural scenes, which were now no longer carved or painted
on the walls (see rooms E, H, p. 17). (For the picture of such a
tomb see p. 33, No. 3326.)
Parallel to the mastabas of the nobles and priests were the
pyramids of the kings, before which stood a temple in which
to perform the offering ceremonial, and to enshrine the Ka
figures. Before the Pyramid period, dead kings (as in the Ist
and IInd Dynasties) were buried in stone-faced square pits.
There are many of these at Abydos. The oldest pyramid
dates from the IIIrd Dynasty (The Step-pyramid of Zoser).
Kings and great nobles alike, by the XVIIIth Dynasty, had
abandoned the pyramid and mastaba, and the rock tomb (tomb
dug in the hillside) took their place. The position of the royal
tombs at Thebes were kept secret, for fear of robbers; and all
ceremonies were performed in the special temples erected on
the plain which is separated from the valley of the royal tombs
by a high precipitous-sided plateau.
The royal tombs contained many chambers and the walls
were covered with scenes, prayers, and magical formulas, from
the Book of the Dead. Some are very richly painted. The
poor buried their dead as near the tombs of the rich as they
could, so that they (the dead) might partake of their offerings
by stealth or charity.
As for the coffins and their decorations, it would take too
much space to describe them. The earliest painted coffins in
the Museum date from the XIIth Dynasty.


From the XVIIth Dynasty onwards they become more
elaborate. Protective spirits, painted inside the coffin and its
cover, enveloped the dead with their wings. The deceased
was placed in his grave thoroughly armed and protected with
amulets, and by written charms and incantations within and
without the coffin or sarcophagus or both. The aid of the
protective spirits and deities was further enlisted in their favour
by pictures and models, against the evil intentions of the demons
and spirits that they should chance to encounter. It is hard
to know how far the Egyptians believed that good conduct
and piety influenced the fate of spirits in the after life; whether
a wicked person could achieve salvation if he had a requisite
supply of magical machinery.
Scenes are described or depicted in which the dead man proclaims
his innocence of the different deadly sins which are
enumerated to him, or where his soul (heart) is being weighed
in a great balance against the feather of truth, or justice,
by Toth, in the presence of the judge Osiris.
Anubis attends to lead him to joy if he is not found wanting,
and the crocodile-headed demon Ammit is there waiting expectantly
to devour him if he fails in the test.
The extinction of the wicked was therefore a belief at any
rate at one time (XVIIIth Dynasty) and in a certain section of
the community. Another belief already referred to was that
the wicked who tried to vanquish and extinguish the sun at
sunset were overcome and destroyed by Ra at night. Prayers
were said and magical ceremonies were even performed in the
temples to assist the sun-god and ensure his rising next day.
It seems that the blessed had the joice of riding with Ra
in his boat, or working and living in the blessed fields of Osiris,
or even both. To become identified with the living Osiris was
the aspiration of later times.
The blessed soul is represented in the form of a hawk, the
emblem of Ra the sun. On later stelæ (XXII-XXVI) we see
the soul standing before the sun-god Horus (or Harmachis)
and Osiris. Ammon played a smaller part in their theology
as philosophical beliefs developed.

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A word may be here said about the preparation of the mummy.
Though mummies of the Old Kingdom period are known,
they are very rare. It requires skilled examination to distinguish
the sun-dried sand-preserved body from the mummy.
Mummies of the XIIth Dynasty are fairly plentiful, but they
go to dust when unwrapped. From the XVIIIth Dynasty onwards
was the age of mummification; when the preserved body
began to take the place of the Ka figure, and the gods played
a greater part in the affairs of the after life.
The system of mummification varied at different periods.
The body appears to have been soaked in a weak solution of
natural soda or natron, after which the softened and dissolved
flesh was, as far as possible, removed (from within) from the
limbs and trunk. This was done by squeezing. Before immersion
in this bath the brains were removed through the nose, and the
intestines and internal organs withdrawn, except the heart,
through an incision in the side. These were wrapped and placed
in the four canopic jars. The body was finally stuffed out to
as natural a shape as possible, with mud, rags and mud, or
spices, sawdust and scented gums. Great skill was often exercised
in stuffing the fingers with rods through an incision in the arm.
Care was taken by ties or caps to prevent the hair and nails
from being loosened and lost in the bath. The cheeks were
padded out and artificial eyes (painted stones, onions, or better
imitations) were placed in the sockets.
It seems to be the resins used that have blackened some
mummies in process of time, not bitumen as is often supposed.

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A rough statement of present knowledge concerning the
origin of the Ancient Egyptians or rather the Egyptians (as the
type does not seem to have changed) will be found on page 42.


The following is a short list of the deities, their attributes,
and sacred animals, whose statues and figures will be seen.
(The sacred animals are printed within parentheses.)


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Entering Museum, turn left, down corridor:—
Old Kingdom sarcophagi 32, 36, 44. Some carved to
represent houses as:—
(R.) 46.—Sarcophagus of Khufu Ankh, of time of Khufu (IV),
who built the Great Pyramid.
(R.) 48.—Funerary chamber (VI): provisions, etc., are
painted on walls.
(L.) 38.—Wooden sarcophagus (cedar), (XII).
Along the walls are stelæ (see page 6) of Old Kingdom tombs
and tomb walls.
50, 51.—Colossi of Senuosrit I (XII).
Turning corner, on right:—
Architrave of Sahure from Abu Sir (V).
70, 75, 118.—Portions of Nefermat's tomb (Medum);
bigger than most mastaba tombs. Figures splendidly and
strongly portrayed. Deep cut and filled with coloured earths
or plaster. Most tomb sculptures are in relief (Early IV). Notice
the hunting leopard on left.
119.—Fine alabaster altar (III or IV), from Saqqara.
141-142.—Ka figures of scribes (V).
73, 74, 76.—Broken statues of Khephren. These, with
others not now on view, were found in a well in the “temple”
of the Sphinx at Mena.
79.—Tomb wall reliefs showing workmen engaged in various
industries including sculpture.
The goldsmiths are dwarfs (V), (see pages 6, 7).
140—The Sheikh el Beled (so called by natives present
when it was found, meaning the “headman of the Village”
whom it strikingly resembled), named Ka-aper.
He was overseer at the building of the Great Pyramid.
Lower part restored. Eyes white quartz and crystal (ebony
pupil) inlaid in copper sockets.


On left, opposite Show-Case B:—
88.—Wooden panels from the tomb of Hesy at Saqqara (III).
The modelling of the figure, allowing for the conventional way
of representing the body, and the drawing and cutting of the
hieroglyphics, are exquisite.
Next (R.):—
Funeral scene: wall of temple of Sahura (Abu Sir) (V).


117.—So-called wife of Sheikh el Beled: even finer work
than 140.
11, 112.—Statues of Menkauré (Mycerinus), builder of
the third Pyramid.
113.—Statue of Usernere (red granite) (V).
115.—Perhaps statue of Khufu (Cheops).
116.—Fine wood bust of Ka figure.
110.—Head of Menkauré. The striping of the head-dress
is the same as that of the Sphinx. Prior to the finding of this
head a few years ago, this pattern of stripe had only been found
as early as the XIIth Dynasty, when it was in vogue.
The Sphinx lies before the Pyramid of Khefren, so that the
certainty established by this statue that the head-dress was not
necessarily XIIth Dynasty removes the last barrier from
regarding it as of IVth Dynasty age, and as most probably a
a portrait of Khephren.
109.—Head of Dedefré (IV); his Pyramid (ruined) is at Abu
Roash, west of Mena. He succeeded Khufu.
The other figures in the case are Ka figures.
Portions of wall of temple of Sahura (Abu Sir) (V).
Fine work is noticeable on delicate relief (e.g. name on king's
belt B; ropes, and pleats and patterns in the costumes). Some
of the figures had inlaid eyes.
On further side are agricultural scenes.
Over the animals is the number of them desired: 243,688 rams,
for example, and 223,000 (odd) asses!
223.—Stone figures of princess Nofrit and her husband
Rahotep from Medum (III-IV).
The colour is as when found. Notice Nofrit's hair beneath
wig, and inlaid eyes.


Death mask of king Teti or a female relation, found recently
in sculptor's yard near pyramid of Teti, Saqqara (VI).
98.—Fine head, red veins in eyes.
Various Ka figures are in this case, and stone heads of the IVth
Dynasty from tombs at Mena. These heads apparently never
had bodies.
229.—Ti. Ka figure from his tomb at Saqqara.
87, 91-94.—Red sandstone tablets from the turquoise
mines at Sinai. Every king who sent an expedition to Sinai
had to reconquer the mines from the local tribes, and the victory
is depicted on the slabs. They go back to earliest times.

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284.—(R.) Amenemhat III (Fayûm).—The faces of the statues
of kings of this period (XII, XIII) are of a different type from
those we have seen; characterized by long upper lips, protruding
eyes, and high cheek bones. It is suggested that it is due to
intermarriage of the Egyptian royal stock with a foreign race
who conquered Egypt at the end of the Old Empire.
Amenemhat III (Labares) had two pyramids, in neither of
which does he seem to have been buried, one at Dahshûr and
one in the Fayûm (Illahûn). He is one of the great figures in
Egyptian history. He pressed his conquests south into Nubia
and turned a depression in the Fayûm into a lake (Mœris), into
which the high Nile flows. He built a great temple near his
Fayûm pyramid, which was one of the wonders of the world;
probably the labyrinth of the Ancients.
Near 84 (vide also 286).—Nefert, wife of Senuosrit I, from Tanis (East Delta). The wigs, curled at the ends, are of
a new fashion. Gold examples of the pectoral, drawn on the
breast, will be seen in the jewel room.


280.—Red wood statue of king Horus; the statue was gilt,
but what remained fell off when it was moved (XII or XIII).
287.—Mentuhotep, in costume of the dead Osiris (red crown
of Lower Egypt), at the Sed festival, celebrated by the kings
after reigning thirty years. The festival is perhaps symbolical
of the time when the king was slain, after his powers began to be
impaired: the spirit of the incarnate god descending upon his
successor (XI). From Deir el Bahari (Thebes).
On left, by red pillar:
Striking, though damaged, statue of Senuosrit III, father
of Amenemhat III (284). This was the Sesostris of the Greeks.
530.—Legs of statue bearing name of the Hyksos king Khyan.
Little is now known of him, but his scarabs and inscriptions
have been found as far from Egypt as Crete and Baghdad.
(L.).—Fine relief work showing the bearing of offerings,
anointing and mourning over mummy; man and wife seated
before table of offerings, etc. (late XVIII).
532.—Colossal and remarkable statue of the XIIth Dynasty
or Hyksos period usurped by Meneptah (XIX).


514.—Amenemhat III at a later age than No. 284.
Canopic jars and funeral stelæ (XII).
(L.).—Portion of finely carved sandstone wall (XVIII). Queen
Hatshepsu in male costume, and her husband (and half-brother)
Thothmes III (see and compare his statue No. 400, room I).
On the further side the queen is dancing before the god Min.
507, A-D.—Sphinxes, lion-eared and maned, of uncertain
age, usurped by Meneptah, who erased the name of Apepi
a Hyksos king. They may be of this age or probably still
508.—Nile gods; same type of face as above. Compare
with 512 and 535. A statue of similar style to those of
Amenemhat III (XII) is at Moscow. Some authorities therefore
regard all these, including the sphinxes above, as portraits of this
536.—Statues of twin (?) kings (XII or XIII).
537.—Hathor-head pillar. Hathor is represented with cow's
ears. She was confused with Isis (Ishtar, Astarte, Venus),
goddess of love and moon. Probably an Asiatic goddess
On left, facing room I:—
Lioness goddess Sekhet (Sekhmet) from temple at Thebes.
She typified the fiery sun heat (evil) as compared with Pasht,
the cat goddess of genial heat (XIX).
In the middle is the sarcophagus of a cat.
Return, entering room E on left:
Square pillar. Senuosrit I greeting and rubbing noses with
gods Ptah and Tum respectively (XII).
301-306.—Osiris figures of Senuosrit I from the chapel
corridors or colonnades of his pyramid at Lisht.
Below 306.—Lifelike carving of geese (unfinished; notice
red squaring).
300.—Tomb of Harhotep (XII). The walls are painted
to represent hangings, with property of deceased on shelves.
Sarcophagus is covered with prayers, unlike coffins of previous
Around are ten statues of Senuosrit I found in a pit at Lisht.
Examination will show that some are more finished than others.
To the right, fragment of a great papyrus reed pillar.
336.—Graceful and finely modelled statue of lady of XIIth
Dynasty; perhaps a XXIst Dynasty imitation of the work
of this time.
318.—Stela of man and wife (deceased) seated before
offerings. The things over the table are supposed to be on it.


313.—Statue of Senuosrit I wearing the white crown of
Upper Egypt; found in a wall niche with another, wearing the
red crown of Lower Egypt (Delta).
315.—Striking though damaged face of type familiar in
this period. Compare other statues in this case and case B.
308, 310.—Box to hold the four canopic jars in which
the embalmed intestines were placed.
Passing to room H:—
360.—Fine stela of a prince of the time of Senuosrit I: an
old man (notice lower lip and rolls of fat denoting age).
For stelæ of this period see page 8.
Little is known of the Hyksos period, XIVth-XVIIth Dynasties.
Room I contains New Empire objects; XVIIIth Dynasty.
401.—Neferura, daughter of Queen Hatshepsu, with Senmut,
her guardian.
418.—(Left of entrance). Same. He was tutor to Thothmes
III (vide 400) when young.
400.—Fine slate statue of Thothmes III, one of the greatest
kings of Egypt and generals of all times (see page 21).
407.—Statue of same king.

SHOW-CASE B (right of cow).

423 A.Sphinx of Thothmes III (compare with 400 and
with granite sphinx at Museum entrance).
424.—Mother of Thothmes III (named Isis). It is rare to
find gold ornamentation still remaining upon stone statues.
428.—A perfect and beautiful figure of Thothmes III.
486.—Interesting as being of petrified wood.
440.—Mother of Thothmes II (half-brother of Thothmes III).
446.—Hathor cow dedicated by Thothmes III. Found and
brought with its shrine from Thebes, in 1906.
The Hathor cow bore the dead through the marshes of the
Western Delta (represented by reeds and the water sign, zigzag
lines), and revived them with her milk. The dead king is
coloured black and revived red.
No finer animal sculpture is known.

SHOW-CASE C (left of cow).

452, 453.—Fragments from Queen Hatshepsu's (Hatasu's)
temple at Thebes.
The queen of Punt, 452 (Somaliland?), meeting the queen's
trading expedition, to do honour to her.
Queen Hatasu's temple at Deir el Bahari contains beautiful
reliefs descriptive of the expedition and treasures brought back
(gold, incense, trees, animals), but was much defaced by her
brother Thothmes III, and in subsequent times.
451.—Supposed head of Horemheb, last king of the XVIIIth
456.—Beautiful head, supposed of Thai, queen of Amenhotep
III (see their colossal statue opposite entrance door of


This contains statues and stelæ of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton),
son of Thai and Amenhotep III (XVIII).
He abandoned the worship of Ammon and the other gods,
and instituted Aton worship, Aton being the sun disc (as distinct
from Ra or Re, the sun god of Heliopolis), the symbol, for him,
of the one god and source of life. Leaving Thebes he founded
a city, the modern Tell el Armana, near Minia. His name,
Akhenaton, or Khuniaton, means spirit (khu) of Aton (the sun
disc). The husbands of his daughters succeeded him in turn.
The last, Tutankamon(Tutankaton originally), returned to Thebes
and the old faith. The city was deserted and destroyed, and
Akhenaton “excommunicated.” He was of remarkable form
and feature. One of the great personalities of history, at any
rate the first.
478.—Supposed cast of his face.
474-479.—Heads of his daughters.
482.—Royal domestic scene.
Returning to corner, left of cow:—
457.—Beautifully proportioned figure of Tutankhamon.
462.—Perhaps the same king; certainly the same sculptor.
459, 461, 465, 467.—Squatting figures of Amenothes,
son of Hapui, a scribe who was deified down to Greek times.
Notice how the “book” of 461 is worn smooth, by the touch
of devotees. Several of these figures were found outside one
of the entrances of Karnak temple.
459.—Same. Broken nose “restored” in antiquity.
See also fine standing figure by case B of same person.
On the right, facing cow:
A remarkable white stone statue with inlaid eyes of Amenhotep
II, son of Thothmes III.
433, 448.—Figures of same king. Family likeness may
be noticed.
Leaving room I, turn to the right:
552.—Flanking staircase, fragments of carved stone from
Akhenaton's temple at Thebes, destroyed by a successor
(Horemheb) and used by him as building stone.
Down passage:
556 and adjoining.—Delicate XVIIIth Dynasty relief
562.—On left, dancing figures with tambourines and “bones”
558.—On right, procession of priests.
Room L contains damaged statuary of XVIIIth and XIXth
Dynasty age.
Behind colossi of Amenhotep III and queen Thai (Tiyi):—
599.—Grey granite stela, bearing on the front side a
description of Meneptah's conquests, in which he says “the
people of Israel are laid waste and their seed is destroyed,”
The earliest mention of the name Israel.
Meneptah is the reputed Pharaoh of the Exodus.
590.—Stela of Akhenaton, much defaced.
Close by is a fine granite statue of Ptah (originally god of
Memphis), from ruins of Memphis temple.
Passing on down the gallery:—
660.—A list of the names of kings of Egypt (from Saqqara),
from Ist to VIth, and XIth, XIIth, XVIIIth, and XIXth
Dynasties (XIX).
Turning corner:—
Case on right. Fragment of beautiful kneeling figure of
Osorkon (XXII). Eyes of colossal statue.
671, 672, 675.—Aloft. Colossal heads of Rameses II.
Rameses II is one of the most famous kings of Egypt, because
of the number of statues of himself he made and of other kings
he usurped, and the number of temples that bear his name.
Through the spoils and prisoners he brought to Egypt from Asia
(the latter building his temples and working the gold mines in
the desert), the land was filled with wealth. In the end, he had
to make peace with his enemies the Hittites in Asia Minor,
whereas Thothmes III, who followed the “Hyksos” into Asia
and defeated them, showed himself as fine a general. Rameses II
waged war for spoil, Thothmes III to consolidate his throne.
The latter's empire stretched to the Euphrates. Rameses II
did not extend it further.
678, 679.—Stone clerestories from the temple of Rameses
III at Thebes.
677.—This was an entrance to the palace of Rameses III.
It was ornamented with enamel plaques (see page 36).
For rooms in this corridor see Appendix (page 44).
930.—Alabaster statue of Amenartas, queen and priestess,
sister of king Sabakon (or Shebaka), and wife of king Pianki,
who was also her brother (XXIII-XXIV).
Near it is a beautiful sandstone head of a lioness.

SHOW-CASE A (on right).

1085.—Head of Tirharka, the Ethiopian king, who was
in league with Hezekiah against Sennacherib, king of Assyria
1084.—Striking head of Mentumhët, high priest of Ammon,
and a powerful personality in Tirharka's time.
In the cases opposite show-case A are the Tell el Armana
, written in cuneiform (Babylonian) writing. Found
at Tell el Armana. They are of the greatest historical importance.
They tell of the state of the country and foreign
relations of Egypt with western Asia in Akhenaton's and his
predecessor's time. The most interesting documents surviving
of the early East. The rest of them are in England, Paris, and
Berlin (the greater part).
The next case and the square case opposite in the centre of
the passage contain objects from Nubia dated two or three
centuries B.C.
Among them are Ba birds. The Ba, the Ka, and the Khu
were the three souls or non-physical parts of man. These figures
correspond with the Ka (double) figures of the Old Kingdom.
The Ba was represented as a hawk, emblem of the sun. The
Khu (luminous one) was represented as a flame, the flame of
Ra, the sun.
It was the Ka, as we have seen, that the Egyptians believed
to remain in the tomb, and not the Ba.
Coptic (early Egyptian Christian) remains fill the rest of
this gallery and part of the next, collected from various parts
of Egypt, notably from Saqqara, in recent years. It may be
noticed how the life sign (Ankh), resembling a T surmounted
by a loop, plays a part in the symbolism. Christianity in its
own art, and Egyptian art with the old gods, disappeared for
ever. See also Appendix (page 44).
Under the oval skylight by the stairs are Greek statues of
the XXXth Dynasty and Roman period.
(L.).—Facing entrance hall is a granite statue of Alexander
the Great, which is a blend of Greek and Egyptian styles.
Opposite him is a colossal figure of Amenhotep, son of Hapi,
the deified priest.
The rest of the passage contains stone coffins of beautiful
workmanship, of Persian, Saitic, and Ptolemaic times, covers
of the latter being carved in human form.
Notice (R.) 2061.—Coffin of a dwarf (XXVII).

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3.—Another colossus of Amenothes, son of Hapi.
1.—Rose granite colossus of Rameses II.
2.—Rose granite colossus of Rameses II, usurped by
Rameses III.
5.—Senuosrit III, red granite (XII).
Approaching the central hall:—
(R.) and (L.).—Sun boats from Dahshûr, used to convey
the mummy of Senuosrit III to his pyramid, where they were
left in bricked pits. The boats, with remains of six others, were
dug out of the sand in 1894 (XII).
Left, down steps:—
623.—Sarcophagus of a princess of the XIth Dynasty,
noticeable for its beautiful relief work. Scenes outside the tomb
of the princess.
Above 623, on the left, is a fragment of coloured sculpture
from the temple of Mentuhotep (XI) at Deir el Bahari.
626.—Supposed to be the cap of one of the Dahshûr pyramids
619.—Sarcophagus of Thothmes I; very fine work (XVIII).
620.—Sarcophagus of queen Hatshepsu, daughter of above
In the centre is the restored floor of part of the palace of
Akhenaton from Tell el Armana, a pond surrounded by marshes.


It was removed here after the damage it received at the hands
of a vindictive watchman.
Around the hall are statues of the XIIth and XIIIth Dynasty
kings usurped by Rameses II and his successors. The original
names are in most cases quite obliterated.
Passing on through the Central Hall, turn to the left and ascend
stairs by the open door. Turn left through the mummy passage
and on left enter Jewel Room.

SHOW-CASE IV (on right).

B, 4000-4004.—Old Empire jewellery belonging to a
queen of the 1st Dynasty. Found on the mummied arm in a
cleft of the ancient tomb of king Zer at Abydos. All the contents
of the case are of this early date. Notice the fineness and delicacy
of the work.
E, 4010.—Gold hawk of XIIth Dynasty or perhaps much
earlier. The eyes are one stick of obsidian; the body of bronze
was in fragments when found.
G.—Jewels of Aahotep, mother of Aahmes, first king of the
XVIIIth Dynasty who finally drove out the Hyksos. This
jewellery was found in the sand, where it had evidently been
buried by robbers.
4030 and 4049.—Silver boats and men (some gold).
Gold flies, mentioned in records as a reward to generals: a
military order.
H.—Also property of Aahhotep. Ceremonial hatchets.
4035.—Figure of an Egyptian smiting a Hyksos.
J.—Also Aahhotep's property.
K, 4043.—Mirror.
4042.—Feather-fan handle.
K, L, M.—All Aahhotep's jewellery.
O, 4061.—Mummy finger-caps (gold) to keep the nails on
in the preserving bath. String was also used.
4062.—Gold pectoral, breast ornament (XIX).
Above it and to the left, also right and left above, are gold
plates for covering the gash in the side of the mummied body
through which the entrails were removed. Some are marked
with the sacred eye (see page 33).


Jewels found last year in the brick pyramid of Amenemhat III
at Illahûn (Fayûm). They were covered with mud in the corner
of an underground chamber. The shape of the gold crown is
new to antiquarians. The eyes of the snake are garnet, set in
gold rims in the lapis lazuli head. The mirror handle is obsidian


B.—Parts of mirrors.
C.—Gold necklaces with side catches for fastening.
D.—Pectorals with inlaid stones (lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoises),
rings, and charms (XII). There is no enamel work
in ancient Egyptian jewellery before the XIXth Dynasty.
E. 3983.—Exceedingly beautiful pectoral of Senuosrit II.
F.—Necklaces of blue and green beads are popular to-day
with Egyptian women.
By window:
XII.—Jewellery, silver and gold, found at Zagazig (queen
Taosrit), (XIX).
4217.—Silver-dish for wine, with gold central boss. The
embossed design of swimming girls, goats, and hunting scenes,
is worth study.
XI. 4192.—Crown and necklace of queen Thai.
4193.—Earrings bearing name Sipptah (late XIX), probably
the property of Taosrit, his wife.
4194, 4195.—The silver hands which contained the smaller
This jewellery was found hidden in a tomb, probably by priests
fearing robbers who had stolen the rest.


A, 3895.—Beautiful dagger, inlaid handle (XII).
B.—Eyes of XIIth Dynasty coffins and mummies' cases.
Small charms. Note beautiful inlaid stone work.
3901, 3902, 3903, 3904, are unusual types of Egyptian
jewellery and deserve special attention. Note the bull (mosaic)
under the transparent round stone cover, and gold filagree stars
and butterfly. Queen Knumuit was the owner (XII), (Dahshûr).
3910.—Very small inlaid charms.
(L.).—Ankh, or key of life.
(C.).—Sam, physical happiness.
(R.).—Tet (like telegraph pole), stability. User (dog head),
D.—Coronals (or tiaras) of queen Knumuit.
3925.—An especially charming and delicate design.


A to F.—Late jewellery, and gold mummy trappings.
G to L.—Rings, bangles, and hair ornaments of Greek and
Roman period. They lack the delicacy and fineness of the
Egyptian taste.
O to R.—Silver ornaments and embossed dishes (Greek).
VIII.—Mummy covering of beads.
Winged figure of sky goddess Nut with feathers of truth, or
perhaps lightness, symbolical of the soul; the four sons of Horus,
genii of the four quarters of the heavens and guardians of the
canopic jars which contained the embalmed entrails of the
deceased. They are shown with the heads of a man, ape, hawk,
and dog, respectively. The case at the door contains minute
and delicate charms of Saiitic age (XXVII).
Leaving Jewel Room:
The case to the left is worth careful attention for the delicate
carved figures, charming designs of spoons and kohl pots (kohl
was used for blackening the eyebrows and lashes), and other
4244.—Ivory figure of Cheops, either IVth or XXVIIth
Dynasty. In the latter period, ancient models were imitated.
4223, 4227, 4228, 4230.—Graceful XVIIIth Dynasty
figures in wood.
4221.—Fayence blue hippo. in the marshes (reeds painted
on him).
At the far corner is a stone head of very fine workmanship
from Sinai, a portrait of Queen Thai.
4250.—A beautiful head of the XXVIth Dynasty, king Neko.
We now turn to the mummies.
One of the most romantic episodes in archæology is the discovery
in 1881 of the coffins and mummies of a number of kings
and queens with their tomb furniture in a cliff cave at Thebes,
where the priests had hidden them from robbers. Modern thieves,
arrested and turning “queen's evidence.” revealed the source
of their plunder, and led to the discovery of the wonderful cave.
In 1898, nine other kings were found secreted for safety in the
tomb of Amenhotep II (XVIII). When unwrapped it was seen
that some of the bodies, broken by robbers, had been patched
up with sticks and odd bones into a semblance of the body and
rewrapped, in ancient times.
It is related that as the boats laden with the bodies of ancient
priests, princes, and rulers, passed down the river to Cairo,
the women from the villages came out and wailed as for a funeral.
Many of the plain mummy cases bear inscriptions of tomb
inspectors dating from Rameses III, when tomb spoliation by
robbers is first read of in ancient records. It is probable that
coffins, and certain that tombs, were prepared for burial many
years before death.
We shall pass down the right wall, up the left, and then down
the centre of the passage.


3884.—Coffin of king Sekenenra (last of XVIIth Dynasty),
whose mummy, hacked and pierced in body and head, shows

that he died fighting the Hyksos, who ruled Egypt (XIV-XVIIth
3885.—His successor, Aahmes, first king of the XVIIIth
Dynasty, who followed up Sekenenra's victories.
3883.—Colossal coffin of Aahmes Neftari, mother of Amenhotep
I, who succeeded Aahmes. Aahhotep (whose jewellery
we have seen and whose coffin case is on the opposite wall) was
the wife of Amenhotep I and mother of Aahmes Nefertari
S.—Other kings of the XVIIIth Dynasty.
Q.—(Above). Coffin and mummy of Thothmes III.
P, 3870.—Mummy of Meneptah, reputed Pharaoh of the
O.—Coffin of Rameses II.
Passing up opposite wall:
B.—A queen Makara and her baby daughter.
C, 3848.—Magnificent coffin cover of queen Hatshepsu
(see pages 18 and 19).
H.—Kings of the XIXth and XXth Dynasties.
J, 3864.—Colossal coffin-cover of queen Aahhotep (see
case T, 3883 above).
Beyond are mummies of the Greek period with portraits
painted on wooden panels instead of moulded faces.
Passing down centre of passage we come to coffin cover of
Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV, see page 19).
Notice erased name and the thickness of the gold plating
torn off the face by robbers.
3865.—Amenhotep II. A beautifully wrapped mummy in
perfect preservation, with lotus-bud garland intact.
3866.—Seti. The most finely and naturally preserved mummy
in existence. His reign marks a period of beautiful art work
which declined after him. Seti did not usurp other king's statues
and works by erasing their names and substituting his own
as did
3867.—Rameses II, his. son. The Pharaoh of the Oppression
probably, certainly the builder of the recently (1904 about)
discovered cities of Rameses and Pithom referred to in Exodus.
He is supposed to have lived beyond the age of ninety. We
have seen his son Meneptah in the adjoining case.
Turning corner to left and turning left we enter Room I.


Wigs and wig cases; fine blue fayence cups; “dom” fruit,
which grows in Upper Egypt.
K.—Blue ushabti figures or answerers. It was supposed that
the dead would have to work in the fields of the other world.
People unused to manual labour had these little figures buried
with them (often in enormous numbers) with due ceremonial,
which endued them with spirits who should answer the call to
labour, instead of their owners. Each carries a mattock and
earth basket.
3771.—A mirror case of charming design.
Mummied fowl and meat (for the perpetual service of the
deceased spiritually).
J.—Wigs, canopic jars (see page 10). Notice those on the
top shelf.
3760.—Mummied tortoise.
3754.—Box plated with ivory and inlaid, for ushabti figures.
Date fruit and bread, tomb offerings.
I.—Mummy of ibex.
We notice in the next cases finely modelled, though broken,
black wooden figures, and multicoloured glass vessels, found,
like most of the objects in this room, in the tomb of Thothmes
III, Amenhotep II, and Thothmes IV, at Thebes (XVIII).
F.—Large emblems or amulets. In the centre the Tet and
Ankh (see page 26).
E.—Wooden and fayence Ankhs. Maces, and bow (on left).
Notice the inlay work on the bow handle.
D.—Ankhs of rich blue colour.
C.—Boomerangs of blue glaze pottery (see page 32 R).
Pottery imitations of papyrus prayer-rolls to replace real
papyrus, as more enduring.
Bricks, such as were placed in the four corners of the tomb
and on which a light was set burning when the body was left
finally in the tomb. The words on it preserved the tomb from
danger from all quarters.
Leave this room and turn left:—


Contains bows, arrows, games, a fine blue bowl and bracelets.
A blue glass vase with wave pattern of the kind we saw so many
fragments of in the last room.
3791.—Leather dog collar, with gold studs; the dog's name
was Tantanuît.
On further wall J is the papyrus of Miharpiri, a son of
Thothmes III, by a negress or Nubian mother. His coffin is
the great black one on the passage.
The objects in case B above also belonged to him.
E.—This figure of Osiris outlined on canvas filled in with
earth, and planted with corn, symbolized life springing from
death. Osiris' resurrection probably typified originally the
springing of corn from the seed; his death and burial, harvest
and sowing.
Passing large sealed jars on left containing salts and perfumes
for embalming, we enter Room H (Davis Room).
This contains the tomb furniture of queen Thai and her
daughter, Sitamon, the mummies of the queen's parents (Iuia
and Tuia), and the canopic jars of Akhenaton, with other objects
discovered by Mr. Theodore Davis within the last ten years,
during his excavations in the tombs of the kings.
Three of the four canopic jars of Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV)
are in a case before the entrance. The likeness to the figures
downstairs will be noticed.
The mummy of queen Thai's father is just beyond (notice
the incision plate), and Tuia, her mother, on the other side of
the room, where the series of coffins (K, J, G, H, I) that
held the mummy will be seen.
In the central case is Tuia's diminutive chariot (in default
of springs the floor is leather-strapped and the tyres of leather).
The axle had been broken to “kill” it and liberate its spirit.
Also the chairs of Tuia and her grand-daughter Sitamon. The
latter chair has carved heads below the arms which, in Tuia'
chair, frame an openwork design of an ibex and three ankhs.
The back of one of the princess's chairs portrays servants presenting
her with necklets of “gold from the south.” The back
of Tuia's chair (3674) is a carved and gilt representation of
Taueris (goddess of child-birth) and Bes (god of the bed-chamber
and sleep).
The beautiful boxes with blue flat and rounded tops were
presented to Tuia by her son-in-law, king Amenhotep III,
as the inscription shows.


Contains diminutive implements for the Ushabtis; also plum
mets and grape bunches of pottery.


Thai's funerary property.
A reed basket for linen. Imitation stone jars, kohl pots.
F.—Interesting and beautiful Ushabti figures with their
wooden shrines.
Q.—Canopic jars of Iuia and Tuia with their black boxes.
Mummied food for the perpetual sustenance of the deceased.
Gilt mummy mask of Tuia protected by black linen web.
P, 3682.—Alabaster statue supposed to be Eyi, high priest
of Akhenaton, at Tell el Armana, who married one of this king's
daughters and became king himself.
O.—Bed beautifully decorated with Bes and Thaueris figures
like the chair of Tuia (3674).
Passing out and down passage to left we note two fine richly
coloured coffins of the XVIIIth Dynasty.
3773.—On left side is seen the spirits of the man and his
wife in their pavilion playing a board game; baskets of provisions
On the other side the souls, in bird form, are on the tomb
at the foot of the mummy, over which Anubis bends; the goddesses
Isis and Nephthis (mourners of the dead Osiris who recalled
him to life, and who tend the dead) are at head and foot.
Two sons of Horus with two figures of Thoth are on each
side of the coffin.
Isis and Nephthis are at one end and Neith and Selqet (scorpion
goddess) at the other.


Objects from late tombs and the Ushabti collection.
U.—Canopic jars.
T.—Hawk mummies (XXVI). Their bodies furnished with
human heads. The hawk (like the Ba bird) was symbolical
of the soul and was placed in the tomb to facilitate its flight
and identification with the living Osiris, or to represent the
guardian son (or sons) of Horus, the hawk-headed god of the sun.
This case also contains various charms (whose description
is impossible without diagrams) to preserve the various parts
of the body in various ways and to procure various benefits
for the deceased.
R.—On left. Ivory boomerangs to ward off the evil spirits
which are depicted upon them. These instruments usually
terminate in a jackal's head.
O, 3408.—Gilt Ba (soul) birds.
K.—Interesting blue canopic jars.
J.—A fine collection of Ushabti figures of different material,
age, and form (see page 29).
Some, in small coffins, seem to be substituted for the mummy
(in case of its—the body's—destruction) to ensure the perpetuity
of the soul. It has been found that on some Ushabtis which
appear to bear no inscription, the prayers and formulaœ are
below the glaze. This is, in case of robbery, to prevent their
usurpation for other mummies; the under inscription would
negative anything written above on behalf of another person.
3377.—A particularly fine and rare example. The blue
enamel has been run into its place with unsurpassable skill.
These figures are worth careful study.
3378.—Pathetic little figure of the Ba revisiting the mummy.
In front:—
G.—(L.) Gold incision-plates.
(R.) Leather plates. The eye (uzhat) stamped upon them is the
amulet of health as well as good sight. Here the object is to
heal the wound (spiritually).
E.—Similar plates and heart scarabs (XXII).
These scarabs (often of large size) were placed in or on the
body to replace the shrivelled heart of the mummy. The scarab
(khepher) typified life springing from mazter, and the object was
to restore the breath of life to the mummy, in other words,
it typified renewed existence. The heart was weighed in the
scales at judgment (see page 9). The winged scarab ensured
the soul's safety during the day, when the sun flies across the sky.
C. 3326.—On the lower part is a unique picture of tombs
in the desert. Before one the widow mourns. The soul flies
to the offerings under the trees (XXII-XXVI).
The little figures of women in this case represent wives for
deceased men: each of whom as an Osiris is the husband of an
B.—Pectoral, and heart scarabs. Fine gilt stela. Most of
these stelœ show offerings to Osiris and Harmachis (sun god),
The pillows, of form still common in Africa and elsewhere
were for the rest and repose of the soul of the mummy.
In corner:—
5318.—Wooden Naos or shrine, surmounted by Anubis,
which contained the mummy of a monkey (Saqqara).


3370 and 3600.—Ptolemaic mummies.
The usual necklace, winged figure of Nut with feathers; heart
scarab, four sons of Horus, Anubis, and Isis and Nephthis
attendant on mummy.
We pass out towards the Central Hall and go along the passage
above it towards the Jewel Room. At the top we turn and
retrace our steps.


Ceremonial shield of wood. Close by are masks of mummies
of the Greek period.
P and R.—The same.
On left is the body of King Unas from his Pyramid at
Saqqara (V).

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(See page 12.)
Q and R.—Horus figures and Ammon head-dresses.
O.—Isis, and Isis with Horus. Cow's horn head-dresses of
Isis and Hathor.
M.—Osiris. Some with Ammon head-dress (ram horns and
tall feathers). He holds the flail and crook of the king and
judge of the dead. Amulets: Tet and others.
K.—The same, with fragments from colossal bronze figures
G.—Bes (dwarf, whiskers and feather crown), Anubis, and
others as named.
Next case:—
Larger Osiris figures.
Group: Isis, Osiris (or Ammon Ra), Horus (or Harmachis),
and a king.
I.—Sacred creatures: fish, shrew mice, snakes, hedgehogs,
H.—Anubis. Hathor (cow or cow head) and others.
In front:—
Hathor insignia. Sistrum handle. The sistrum was like
a small racquet with horizontal wires carrying circular discs.
It was a kind of rattle used in the service of Isis.
* It may be necessary to look for show-cases in the newly opened rooms
adjoining the corridors.


F.—Various. Thoth (ibis and ape), Ammon.
D.—(L.). Sekhet (lion head), Ptah in centre. (R.) Apis bull.
By balustrade is part of the painted floor from the remains
of the palace of Amenhotep III at Thebes.
B.—Ammon Ra and Thoueris (hippo. goddess of childbirth).
Also Min, Khonsu, Mut, and others.
A.—Cats in bronze.


Sekhmet figures.
The objects in the cases we now approach are all from the
XIIth Dynasty tombs, in which wooden models, placed upon
the coffin in the tomb chamber, superseded or accompanied
the wall carvings (see page 7) for the service of the deceased.
Two platoons of soldiers from a general's grave (Assiût)
deserve special notice. The figures and shields are all different.


3126.—Deceased with musicians, wife, and a dancing girl
and two singing girls; the latter clapping hands in time to the
music as the custom is still in Egypt.
In front:—
Small utensils and implements belonging to similar models.
C, 230.—Priest's “case” of instruments for ceremonially
opening the eyes, mouth, ears, of the mummy, that these organs
might serve the deceased in his new life.
D.—Model offerings in stone and baked clay.
J.—Agricultural scenes, cattle grazing, etc.
K, 3224.—Servant with portmanteau of the period. Banking,
brewing, cooking groups.
Facing white colossal figures in the hall:—
B.—Clay modelled offerings of the poor.
Other side:—
F.—Some of the oldest mummy masks in the museum.
The coffins around are XIIth Dynasty. They are narrow,
as the dead were buried on the side, facing the pictured door
surmounted by painted or inlaid eyes. The top of the coffin
sometimes contains a plan of the road to the next world with
places of danger from demons marked. The dead could see
their way on their journey through the coffin eyes.


Arranged as found: granary and workers; steps up to traps
through which corn was poured; measures noted by the scribe
on the top.
Near round seat:—
Note fine specimen of coffin with inlaid eyes.


Another coffin with models arranged as found.
We now cross to the other (east) side and pass down passage
towards Jewel Room end.


From the palace of Rameses III (XX) at Medînet Habu.
The faces of the doorway (page 21, No. 677) were overlaid with
the plaques representing prisoners of various nations.
B.—Rosettes from temple of Rameses III at Tell el Yahudîa,
in the Eastern Delta, also piece of coloured glass and enamel
of all shapes from the same place.
In the centre, funerary offering dishes of the poor; they now
contain beads of all kinds. Note also ropes and builders' implements;
plummets and squares.-
K.Door hinges and sockets of bronze.
C.—Wattle door. Bronze knives and model tools of the XVIIIth
Dynasty. These were foundation deposits of queen Hatasu
(Hatshepsu) from her temple at Thebes. Among them notice

model rockers for moving heavy stones (L.). The ancient
Egyptians do not appear to have used iron for tools, though it
is certain that it was known to them from early times. It
may be that in a timberless country, copper, which melts and
alloys to form bronze at a lower temperature, was deemed
more serviceable. Implements of toughened bronze are commonly
found. The toughening does not lie in the composition, apparently,
and their production may have been as much accident
as design.
On left hand side of passage, part of temple pillar (Rameses III).
D.—Hatchets and knives, chisels, adzes (XXI).
Remains of musical instruments (with tuning pegs) and whip
A, 5091.—House doors (XXVI).
E.—Bronze knives and glass. The patterns were made,
and the plaques obtained, by cutting slices off bundles of glass
threads and rods of different colours, welded together.
G.—Mirrors. String nets for carrying alabaster pots.
(C.).—A woman tending a little girl's hair, a very interesting
little group. Near it are spoons with fancy handles (girl catching
duck) and charmingly designed kohl pots; one of a man carrying
a heavy pitcher.
846.—Fine bronze mirror. In front two monkey designs;
kohl pots.
896.—Spoon handle. Fancifully designed spoons and kohl
pots. Triple pot with revolving top.
F.—Flat square boxes on legs (XX).
In front, amulets of glass and stone.
I.—Toilet and other objects: kohl pots (5260, 5261).
5350.—Carved ivory hands; these are castanettes (“bones”)
used by dancing girls (see page 20, No. 562).
(L.).—Seals and rings of wood and pottery.
J.—This case contains games and toys and musical instruments.
Dice, balls (5397, etc.), dolls (headless and bat-shaped),
various board games with men (5380), mechanical toys (frogs
with jointed jaw).
(C.).—Snake game. Played probably with lion pieces and
dice (page 40, A); this is figured on tombs of Vth Dynasty and
in IIIrd Dynasty tomb of Hesy, whose wooden panels we have
seen (page 14, No. 88).
Harps and whistles. Bronze drum above.
5327.—Painted tambourine drums (leather).
742.—Scarabs. Lion scarabs of Amenhotep III; records
that he killed 102 lions in the first year of his reign (XVIII).
K.—Hatchets, clubs, boomerangs, spears, bronze arrow
(C.).—Alabaster and stone mace (or club) heads.
(L.).—As before, and reed and arrow shafts.
Long bronze snake.
In front, scarabs and cylinder seals.
The name (in Egyptian) of the scarab was Khopruru, and
from its resemblance to the word for “to be” (Khopiru), the
scarab gained its religious importance.
The scarab was a seal or charm, or both; it bore either names
of kings, a mere scroll pattern, names or sentences to ward off
danger, or simply a phrase for happiness or good health or
fortune. They were fixed on rings or worn on cords.
4940.—By balustrade. Fine large alabaster vase of Amenhotep
III (XVIII), used probably as a time-measurer to judge
by the marks inside.
M, 5489.—Hanks of linen thread.
5491.—Bobbin with carved ends. Note also large comb
for flax.
In front (L.) are gold mounted scarabs.
N.—Weights: largest are in the form of bulls' heads (5512,
XIX), small ones cake-shaped.
Note also fragments of stone cubit-measures; the unit divided
into 2, 3, 4, 5, etc., parts.
In front (L.) 5505, etc., mud seals from boxes of funerary
statuettes and Ushabti (XXI).
4952.—By balustrade.—A fine bronze; lion in trap, time of
Hophra (XXVI). It is said to be a bolt from a great door.
We now come to mummies and masks of the Greek period, and
a hall full of mummies, XXth to XXVIIth Dynasties.


Notice painted portrait plaques of Greek period. Coffin of
Samotmu (centre) with a tree spirit painted over his feet.
1252.—Hassaia's richly gilt and painted mummy is worth
notice. Close by is the ceremonial couch on which the mummy
was laid and borne across the river to the tomb on the western
4276.—Opposite Jewel Room, rich gilding and good workmanship,
but clumsy design.
4272.—Behind (4276) is a reed-sheathed mummy (XX).
To extreme right (if facing entrance hall of Museum) is a
mummy remarkable for absence of inscriptions and religious
figures (XXVI).
In case behind (1315) is a gilt mummy of a small child.
We now go over old ground towards the entrance hall of
Museum to the well or sky-light overlooking and opposite to it.
Over the entrance door on our right is the room containing
mummied animals, plant remains, and fragments from the
painted floor of Amenhotep III's Theban palace. This should
be visited, after which return to same spot as italicized above.
We pass to the right down a long passage lined with mummy
cases, until we reach a much worn limestone statue, 3066. This
is at least as old as the IIIrd Dynasty, and from its barbaric
appearance may be much older.
The enclosure now on our left contains the oldest objects in
the Museum.
Passing over to the furthest side:—
3053.—Boundary stela of a king of the IIIrd Dynasty.
In the adjoining case is a fine alabaster pot with string pattern
in relief.
In front are slate palettes for grinding green paint (for painting
the eyes?). They may have had other uses too. Sometimes
they are perforated, and were then perhaps tied in pairs and
used for casting lots and consulting the Fates, as is done with
wooden plates among certain African tribes.
A palette on left has some green colour upon it.
H.—Mud jar-caps with names of kings going back to earliest
K.—More slate palettes; round or lozenge shaped and representing
tortoise, fish, elephant, and other shapes. Above
are fragments of alabaster and slate dishes of large diameter
and most delicate and finished workmanship.
A.—In front. Stone pots with gold-foil caps tied round and
sealed (I).
(L).—Delicately carved dogs of ivory, and other objects.
(R).—Ivory lions for playing the serpent game (I) (see page 38,
top). Broken quartz pot.
Note also model of a house in ivory; gable roofed; this is quite
unique. Before its discovery it was not known that the gable
was employed by the Ancient Egyptians (I).


In front:—
(L.).—Shells and shell bracelets. Pre-dynastic age.
(C.).—Mace heads and pots. Pre-dynastic age.
(R.).—Flat mace heads or perhaps spindle whorls. Pre-dynastic
Above is a curious ancient statue. The names of three kings
of the IIIrd Dynasty are engraved on the shoulder. (III, or
444. —Fragments of slate plaque (ceremonial shield or
palette?) of 1st Dynasty or earlier age.
Perhaps the design represents the digging up (destruction)
of forts belonging to the owl tribe (to take one example from it)
by the Horus (hawk) tribe; and so for the others.
On the back:—
Donkeys, rams, trees.
The Horus hawk was the standard of the kings who eventually
ruled the whole country, and it remained ever the emblem of
E.—Early dynastic and predynastic pottery.
3082.—Large white boundary stela (I)
D.—Above. Predynastic and early dynastic painted pottery.
Alabaster table and pots of remarkable workmanship (3040,
(L.).—In front. Parts of ivory combs (hair ornaments) and
3062, 3063.—Flint knives with gold handles.
(C.).—Ceremonial staff or sceptre with curious decoration.
Ivory ornaments for the hair.
Mace with gold-plated handle embossed with animals. Giraffe
and elephant and lion among others. It was found in an ancient
grave-yard in Nubia, excavated before submergence by the
heightening of the Aswân.
Note also poisoned darts or arrows, with sheath.
Also flint bracelet. The flint implements of early dynastic
and pre-dynastic Egypt are unsurpassed for skilled workmanship
and beauty. It may be noted that flint implements were used
in Egypt far into the bronze age, and commonly, certainly, until
2000 B.C. In fact, a flint razor was noted in use at Saqqara
a few years ago.
(R.).—Chisels of bronze and copper of this early period are
seen here. Also seal of a IInd Dynasty king. She 1 bracelets.
(L.).—Axes and knives and needles (copper or bronze), legs of
small chairs (all 1st Dynasty).
(C.).—Ivory statuettes and alabaster mace-heads.
(R.).—Palette with cow's head. Ivory spoon and flint knife
without handle (compare 3062, 3063).
(L.).—One of the oldest statues of a king known (early III).
The work is hardly inferior to that of the best periods.
(C.).—Magnificent alabaster vase.
(R.).—One of the most interesting objects in the Museum.
The slate palette of Narmer, who is perhaps Mena, the first
king of the 1st Dynasty.
Above is seen the king, followed by his servants bearing his
sandals and water pot. He is preceded by his standard bearer
(with standards of the tribes he ruled?). Beyond are decapitated
prisoners. Below we see the bull (king?) destroying a fenced
city and goring a fallen foe. The title “strong bull” was a
favourite of the Egyptian kings down the ages. The type of
people represented in the prostrate man is doubtful. Some
see in it the early Egyptians (conquerred by the dynastic
Egyptians who perhaps were Asiatics) who came up from the
south (perhaps from Somaliland, i.e. Punt), and whose tombs
are plentiful below Aswân; others consider it to be the aboriginal
people who inhabited the Delta; perhaps part Libyan, part
Asiatic, and perhaps of unknown race.
The whole question of the origin of the Egyptians is still unsettled,
though it is certain that their civilization was brought
with them by the people who came up from the south about
early dynastic times; who were allied to the modern Barabra
and Somali in race. The Ancient Egyptians believe that they
came originally from Punt. It is probable that the class who
ruled them (conquering them when they came north) was of a
different stock, possibly Asiatic as has been said, perhaps allied
to the Babylonians in race (who also used the cylinder seal and
built with mud bricks). It may be that they crossed the Red
Sea from Arabia and thence came to Abydos, near which ancient
town lay the old capital, This, of the 1st and IInd Dynasties
The shape of the heads of the ruling class buried in the Gîza
tombs, in IVth Dynasty, and found more rarely in old graves
as we go south, proves that these people differed in race from
the immigrants referred to; the skulls of this ruling race resemble
certain Syrian types.
Little is known of the early inhabitants of the Delta, as the
old cemeteries are buried deep under the Nile mud. Regarding
the origin of the Egyptians then, we may say that their ancient
costume (the loin cloth) points to African, their language to
Asiatic and African in origin, and that the evidence of grave
contents points the same way. But whence in Asia and whence
in Africa remains to be settled definitely.
B.—(C.) Pots of obsidian. A volcanic stone of extreme
hardness and without grain. To make pots of such material
by grinding and rubbing must have been a slow and most laborious
and difficult business.
3051.—Ivory plaque of King Aha (I).
(R.).—Palette in form of a cow.
We must now return to our former position opposite the
entrance to the Museum, and, after noticing specimens of ancient
linen, some of extreme fineness, some with blue selvage and some
with tassel fringes, pass round to the left, leaving a gilt mummy
and chairs on the right.
Turning back we traverse a passage to the left flanked with
mummy cases. Turning to the right we see the model of an
XVIIIth Dynasty chariot. Beyond it is a real chariot front,
whose plaster surface is gilt and embossed with pictures of Thothmes
IV, destroying his enemies; drawn and stamped in fine
detail, even to robe patterns.
Except for papyri, rough drawings on stone chips, Græco-Roman
pottery figures and ornaments, and the statues boarded
up below, we have now reviewed (however rapidly) all the
treasures of the Museum and may pass down the steps and out.
The Sale Room (Salle de Vente) is on the left at the foot of the
stairs, where objects may be bought with the certainty that
they are genuine. It may also be entered (free) from without.
Outside will be seen a Sphinx of Thothmes III; part of an
obelisk of Ramesseid times, some XXVIth and XXVIIth Dynasty
sarcophagi, and in two verandahs (one on each side of entrance),
broken statues and plaster casts from other museums.

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Turning right:


On right:
724.—Alabaster statue of beautiful workmanship from
Karnak. The skirt and headdress of metal are missing.
The statue is of a rare kind, in that it is made in separate
parts which fit together. The inscription refers it to Seti I,
but it is not a portrait of that king.
It is regarded as a representation of queen Hatshepsu in male
costume and therefore (XVIII).
725.—Upper part of a statue of Meneptah, still retaining
its ancient colour. The expression is severe and noble, and
the workmanship masterly (XIX).
727.—The little princess Meritamon, daughter of Rameses II,
with her guardian (XIX), (see page 18, No. 401).
726.—Statue of a Rameseid king (XIX).
728.—Two groups of granite figures from the rock temple
of Rameses II at Abu Simbel (below Aswân).
The four cynocephalus (dog-headed) apes were found, two
facing east and two west, on the roof of a chapel. The altars
and naos (shrine) are wooden representations of the originals.
Some colour still remains on the face of the ape behind, and
upon the sun-disc on his head.
The apes are in the attitude of adoration. The habit these
creatures have of chattering at sunrise and sunset may have
suggested the idea that they adore the sun at these times (XIX).
The obelisks (also connected with the worship of Ra) are from
the same place.
Portion of a sphinx of the Rameseid period.
729.—Black granite head of a Rameses (XX).
732.—Black granite statue of the jackal- or dog-headed god
Anubis (XX).


741.—Limestone figure of a princess of the family of Rameses
II. The elaborate wig and crown of ureus snakes may be noted.
In her hand she holds the monait charm (probably a whip to
ward off evil spirits).
746.—This statue and the head 745 are of fine workmanship;
the modelling of the faces is masterly, and it is regrettable that
they are so damaged. The style is that of the best work of
the XVIIIth Dynasty in its delicacy and finish, and to this period
these carefully wrought figures are assigned.
In front of the case is a very beautifully modelled figure of
Meneptah kneeling and pushing off a sacred barque.
743.—Grey granite figure of Rameses VI dragging a bound
and captive prisoner by the hair. He is accompanied by his
well-known lion. This piece is unique (XX).
751.—An interesting stela representing the dead man looking
out over the door of his tomb (XX).
In the corner is a stone figure retaining most of its original
755.—Granite ape. The figure is hollow, and when found
contained several small figures of apes.
Beside it:
A splendid granite column with lotus-bud capital from the
ruins of a temple at Memphis. The pillar represents a bundle
of reeds and lotus buds tied together.
757.—Stela of Rameses IV containing a prayer that he may
reign sixty-seven years like Rameses II. He, however, reigned
only four years.
Returning now round the room from left to right:
767.—A very charming group representing Zai and his
sister-wife Nai; very characteristic of the XIXth Dynasty.
Their facial expressions are very similar. To appreciate
their full charm they should be viewed three-quarter face from
the left (XIX).
768.—A priest, first prophet of Ammon, writing from the
dictation or inspiration of the ape-god Thoth on his shoulder.
The expression is gentle and pleasing, and the suggestion of
weight on the shoulders well represented (XX).
765.—Granite group of Rameses III and Horus. A third
figure was pouring the Water of Life over the king. The stone
bears remnants of colour still in places.
Close by is a small figure of a king standing beneath the
strange figure which was sacred to the god Set. By some it
is considered to be derived from the ass; others see in it the
okapi of Central Africa, and others again the great ant-eater
or ant-bear. The worshippers of Osiris regarded Set, the brother
and murderer of Osiris, much as the Christian regards the Devil.
The tribe or race from which the XIXth Dynasty sprang, whose
second king was Seti I, must have regarded him very differently,
and it is difficult to understand the religious feelings of devotees
who worshipped both gods.
The adjoining room contains objects which are mainly of
Saitic and Ptolemaic age.
Chief among them are:—
The beautifully finished model of the Hathor cow. In power
and realism, however, it does not compare with the figure from
Deir el Bahri.
A statue of the hideous hippopotamus goddess of childbirth
Taoueris. The work is by a master hand and is in perfect condition.
As an example of the perfection of finish the graining
of the hair may be noticed.
This room also contains interesting Greek statues and one
or two figures in a style which is a blend of the Egyptian and
Greek manner.
The last room in this corridor is filled with examples of early
Coptic (Egyptian-Christian) art, in which all trace of the familiar
ancient Egyptian style is lost or rather absent. The use of
the Ankh (life sign) as a Christian emblem may be noticed.
The stone pulpit-steps are interesting as the probable origin
of the Moslem minbar.
The greater part of the pillar capitals and the paintings
were excavated in recent years by Mr. Quibell from the ancient
Coptic monastery at Saqqara. The remainder are mostly from
Assiût Province, which still remains the chief stronghold of
Christianity in Egypt.
The word Coptic means Egyptian (Arabic Qibti). and the
language is a survival of the ancient tongue, now almost extinct
and only used in part of the Church Service The old writing
was in process of time replaced by Greek characters, with a few
of the ancient signs included to represent sounds that were
not covered by the Greek alphabet.










I. N. 6970-1915-3000 ex.

Date: (unknown) (Electronic edition revised December 2006) . Author: Thomas, Ernest S. (Electronic edition revised LMS).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons attribution license.