ASSIUT. 18. Route. 213
foot of the Libyan hills. The dark openings ofthe tombs and caves
are conspicuous at a distance in the abrupt sides of the mountain.
At the foot of the hill, beside the neat slaughter-house, we dismount
and follow the good path which leads to the most interesting tombs.
The tombs are closed with iron gates; the keeper lives beside the
We first reach a Large Rock Tomb, which belonged to Hap-
zefa'i, prince of the nome in the reign of Usertesen I. The Arabs
call it Stabl 'Antar, or the stable of Antar, a hero of tradition
(comp. their name for the Speos Artemidos at Benihasan, p. 197).
Entering the tomb we first find ourselves in a vaulted Passage, on
the left wall of which is the deceased, with a long and now scarcely
legible inscription in front of him. A doorway, with a figure of the
deceased holding a staff, on each side, leads hence to the Main Chamber.
On the right half of 1he Entrance Wall is a long inscription containing
the text of Ten Contracts concluded between the deceased and various
priesthoods of his native city to secure the proper sacrificial offerings to
himself and to his statues in his tomb and in the temple, and to provide
for the performance of other ceremonies. The corresponding inscription
on the left side of the same wall contains addresses to visitors to the tomb
and an account of the merits of the deceased. A door between two
recesses in the rear-wall admits us to a second vaulted passage, leading
to a Second Room with three recesses. On the rear-wall of the central
recess appears the deceased, with three women carrying lotus - flowers
before him; on the side-wall he is shown at table, while three rows of
priests and servants bring gifts to him or perform sacred ceremonies.
The left recess leads to the mummy-shaft.
The *View from this tomb is very fine. The fertile land and
the Nile enclosed by the limestone hills of Libya and the Arabian
mountains in the distance form a quiet but by no means mono¬
tonous setting for the beautiful town of Assiut, with its eleven mina¬
rets and its environment of palm-gardens. The view is still grander
from the higher tombs. Here there is a row of three tombs close to
each other, dating from the obscure period before the Middle Em¬
pire. The northernmost has been destroyed. The second is the
Kahf el-'Asdkir, or Soldiers' Tomb, so named from the rows of
warriors armed with spears and large shields on its S. wall. On
the right side of the vestibule appear Kheti, the owner of the tomb,
and his wife Tef-yeb, with a long and partly effaced inscription,
referring to the otherwise little-known King Meri-ke-re. Only a
single column is left standing in the Main Chamber, in the Tear
wall of which is a recess for the statue ofthe deceased. — A passage
has been made from this tomb to that adjoining it on the S., which
belonged to Tef-yeb, a prince of the nome.
The large Arab Cemetery, which stretches across the plain to
the N. of the hill of tombs, contains tasteful modern tombs, and
with its palms presents a much less gloomy impression than most
other bare Egyptian cemeteries.
At the foot of the hill, behind the slaughter-house, is the tomb of
another Hap-zefal, unfortunately much destroyed. It contains some ceiling-
ornaments and tasteful paintings of harvest-scenes, etc., upon stucco. —
Beside it is a small tomb without inscriptions. — Finally we may mention