Mastaba of Ptahhotep. SAKKARA. 9. Route. 137
many instances been pushed on one side, and on the top of some,
of them the Arabs, for some unexplained reason, have built rude
masses of masonry. All the sarcophagi, when discovered by Mariette,
had been emptied of their contents, with the exception of two,
which still contained a number of trinkets. Only a few of the
sarcophagi bear inscriptions; one bears the name of Amasis, another
that of Cambyses, and a third that of Khabash, leader of the Egyptians
against the Persians (p. lxxxvi).
Near the E. end of the principal passage we reach a side-passage
(PI. f) diverging to the right, from which another passage leads to
the right, in a direction parallel with the main corridor, but now
built up, as it was in a dangerous condition. Opposite, we pass
over another sarcophagus by means of steps (PL g) and thus regain
the door by which we entered the vaults. The temperature in these
subterranean chambers is always about 79° Fahr.
'I confess', says Mariette, in bis report of the discovery, 'that when
I penetrated for the first time, on
12thNov., 1851, into the Apis vaults,
I was so profoundly struck with
astonishment that the feeling is
still fresh in my mind, although
five years have elapsed since then.
Owing to some chance which it is
difficult to account for, a chamber
which had been walled up in the
thirtieth year of the reign of Ram¬
ses II. had escaped the. notice of
the plunderers of the vaults, and
I was so fortunate as to find it un¬
touched. Although 3700 years had
elapsed since it was closed, every¬
thing in the chamber seemed to be
precisely in its original condition.
The finger-marks of the Egyptian
who had inserted the last stone
in the wall built to conceal the
doorway were still recognisable
on the lime. There were also the
marks of naked feet imprinted on
the sand which lay in one corner
of the tomb-chamber. Everything
was in its original condition in this
tomb, where the embalmed remains
of the bull had lain undisturbed
for thirty-seven centuries'.
Next to the Apis Tombs the private tombs (Mastabas, p. cxliii)
are the most interesting points at Sakkara, though only a few are
open to the inspection of tourists.
The **Mastaba of Ptahhotep, which lies between the Step Pyr¬
amid and Mariette's House and has only recently been made access¬
ible, dates from the period of the 5th Dyn., under which the
deceased held one of the highest offices of state.
From the entrance (A on the Plan, p. 138), on the N. side, we
enter a Corridor (B), on the right of which is the Pillared Hall