198 Route 18. BENIHASAN. From Cairo
Egypt, not only on account of their remarkable architectural fea¬
tures, but also for the manifold representations of scenes from the
domestic life of the early Egyptians.
The tombs, 39 in all, are arranged in a row in the rocks, and are
now distinguished by conspicuous red numbers. The best examples are
secured by iron doors against the vandalism of the natives, from which
they had previously suffered. The tombs were most recently carefully
examined and cleared of rubbish by Mr. Percy E. Newberry, at the cost
of the Egypt Exploration Fund. Travellers whose time is limited may
content themselves with a visit to the four chief tombs (Nos. 17, 15, 3, 2).
For remarks on the construction of the tombs, see pp. 287, 288.
The path that ascends to the tombs brings us first to No. 32.
Here we turn to the N. and proceed to —
Tomb 17, which belonged to Kheti, son of Baket and nomarch
of the gazelle-nome (11th Dyn.). The facade is simple. We enter
the Rock Chamber, the roof of which was originally borne by six
lotus-columns with closed bud-capitals, though only two, with well
preserved colouring, are now standing. Left Wall (N.). In the top
rows is a hunt in the desert, in the lower rows, male and female
dancers; the statue of the deceased being borne to its place, car¬
penters, etc. Rear Wall (E.). Above are wrestlers in various atti¬
tudes; below, military scenes, attack on a fortress. Right WallfS.).
From left to right: the deceased and his wife ; the deceased accom¬
panied by his fan-bearer, sandal-bearer, two dwarfs, etc.; the deceased
receiving offerings (notice the barn on the right). The scenes on the
entrance-wall are in poor preservation. — Farther to the N., at the
end of an ancient path ascending from the plain, is —
Tomb 15, belonging to Baket, nomarch of the gazelle-nome
(11th Dyn.). The two columns which supported the roof of the
rectangular chamber have been destroyed. In the S.E. angle is a
small serdab (p. cxliv). Left Wall (N.). Above, Hunting in the
desert; barbers, washermen, painters, etc. Below, the deceased and
his wife, with four rows of women spinning and weaving, female
dancers, girls playing at ball; herdsmen bringing animals for sacri¬
fice to the dead; goldsmiths ; fishing; various birds, with their
names inscribed beside them. Rear Wall (EJ. Above, wrestlers;
below, military scenes (resembling those in Tomb 17). Right Wall
(S.). The deceased, in front of whom are several rows of men draw¬
ing a shrine containing a statue of the dead; in front are female
dancers and attendants bearing ornaments, etc., for the statue;
peasants bringing their flocks and herds; peasants forcibly brought
to testify as to taxes, while scribes note down the amounts; potters
with wheels; men carrying slaughtered birds; men gambling.
Tomb 3 is that of Khnemhotep, the son of Neheri, a scion of a
princely family with hereditary jurisdiction over the gazelle-nome
and over the E. districts, the capital of which was Monet-Khufu.
Khnemhotep was invested by King Amenemhet II. with the latter
districts and married a daughter of the governor of the dog-norne
(Cynopolis, p. 195), which was inherited by a son of this marriage.