284 Route 24. THEBES (W. BANK). 6. Ramesseum.
as El-Asasif, the rock-tombs in which date mostly from the begin¬
ning of the Saite period (25th and 26th Dyn.). Various brick-build¬
ings and a large arched doorway of unburned bricks are also noticed.
The latter, built by the Theban prince Men-tem-het (26th Dyn.),
belonged to a large building, the bricks of which were used to build
the Coptic convent at Der el-bahri (p. 279). The tombs usually consist
of an open court, reached by a flight of steps, whence a door admits
to a large hall, beyond which are the inner passages and chambers.
The Tomb of Peteamenope (inaccessible at present), a high official under
the 26th Dyn., is larger than any of the kings' tombs at Biban-el-Muliik,
being 862 ft. in length and 2660 sq. yds. in area. All the walls are orna¬
mented with carefully executed inscriptions and reliefs, now unfortunately
much injured and blackened. These, almost without exception, refer to
the fate of the soul after death.
Off the same court as the above opens also the tomb of Wah-eb-re.
Among the other tombs of the same epoch may be mentioned that of
Ebe, a little to the N. Ebe was an official in the reign of Nitocris,
daughter of Psammetikh I. and Shep-en-wepet. Farther to the N. is the
fine but much injured tomb of Prince Harwa, an official of Queen Amen-
ertai's, sister of the Ethiopian King Shabako.
6, The Ramesseum.
This temple may be reached from the landing-place on the W. bank
in about V2 hr.; from the Colossi of Memnon in '/• br.; and from Medinet
Habu or Der el-bahri in about 20 minutes.
The **Ramesseum, the large temple built by Ramses II. on the
W. bank and dedicated to Ammon, is unfortunately only half
preserved. We may in all probability identify it with the 'Tomb of
Osymandyas' described by the Augustan historian Diodorus, although
his description does not tally in all points with the extant remains.
Strabo seems to have referred to it briefly as the Memnonium, or
building of Memnon.
Osymandyas is a corrupt form of User-ma-re, the praenomen of Ramses II.
We begin our inspection at the great Pylon, which formed the
E. entrance to the temple. This was originally 220 ft. broad, but
its ruined exterior is now more like a quarry than a building. Many
representations on the broad surface of its W. Side, next the first
court, are in fair preservation and easily recognizable with an opera-
glass (especially by afternoon-light). They refer to the Syrian
campaigns of Ramses II., especially to the war with the Hittites in
the 5th year of his reign, which is also commemorated on the pylon
at Luxor (p. 240).
On the N. Wing, to the extreme left, we observe the Asiatic fortresses,
taken by Ramses in the 8th year of his reign. Thirteen of the original
eighteen are still recognizable, each with an inscription containing its
name. The captives are led by Egyptian princes. In the Middle, below,
is the Egyptian army on the march, the infantry and charioteers in two
rows, with traces of an inscription at the foot; above appears the Egyptian
camp, within a rampart of shields, presenting an animated scene. The
chariots are drawn up in long lines, while the unharnessed horses are
being foddered; close by are the heavy baggage-waggons with their teams,
unperturbed by the great lion of the king, which reclines before him. The
asses employed in the commissariat service of the army are conspicuous