The Cemeteries of Abydos

The Cemeteries of Abydos

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The Cemeteries of Abydos

The Cemeteries of Abydos

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The mixed cemetery of Abydos is one of the most interesting burial-grounds explored in that locality, for we find there tombs of various epochs, and we follow the successive changes which some of them have undergone. It is much to be regretted that it is so different now from its primitive appearance. Several explorers have already worked there, and it has also been the prey of many plunderers. It is certain that if we could see it as Mariette did many years ago, when he cleared the temple of Seti I. and when he made his extensive excavations in the necropolis, we might have in many cases more conclusive evidence as to the date and the nature of the monuments. For instance, Mariette saw the pyramids over the tombs of the XIth Dynasty, and none of them existed when we began work there, so that we miss entirely the characteristic features of the tombs of that epoch.

This volume consists in its greater part of the complete and elaborate description of the cemetery made by Mr. Peet, to which I have nothing to add, though I followed closely the excavation. From the first I arrived at conclusions very different from those which are now the base of the dating of funerary monuments, especially in reference to pottery, from what is generally called the historical sequence.

I am not going to discuss here this system, which has been expounded and advocated with considerable perspicacity by its author ; I should only like to bring forward mine. I do not think that these strict rules which have been set down for pottery, and which are supposed to be binding for the whole country, are in accordance with anthropology and with what we learn from the industries and customs of the present day. I do not know of any country, especially of such a large extent as Egypt, where the modifications in the fictile art would have marched at a pace regulated by chronology, and concomitant with political events such as the changes of dynasty.

I believe that for pottery, the only true classification is not chronological; it is geographical, or rather local. Each region has to be studied apart, and what takes place on a certain point of the country may have been completely ignored in a distant locality which haspreserved . . .

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