The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition

The Egyptian Section

By: D. R. M.

Originally Published in 1910

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The excavations of the Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition to Nubia were carried on during the winter and spring at two distinct sites, viz., Anibeh and Halfa. At the former place Mr. C. Leonard Woolley cleared and planned a remarkable castle and part of a town built by the people whose graves provided us two years ago with the rich collection of Meroitic inscriptions and Romano-Nubian objects which occupy a large part of the Egyptian gallery in the Museum. The castle, which is built of brick and rises to a height of four stories above the ground, was built between 100 and 500 A. D.,. and much resembles a mediaeval European fortress. It was constructed by the Blemyes, a barbarian people living just beyond the borders of the Roman province of Egypt, and is of great interest. In the same district several dozen tombs of the twentieth dynasty were opened, from which were obtained beautiful small cabinet specimens, principally of fayence, some of which are of quite new character.

The digging at Halfa, conducted by the Director of the Expedition, was in regular continuance of the work of 1909 and was executed on a very large scale. The whole area between and around the two temples of Behen was completely cleared to the original ground level, which is at an average depth of ten feet below the present desert surface. It was found that the whole area was covered with dwellings, belonging principally to the priests and officers of the temples. These have been left open for visitors to view, and the tourist who lands at Behen will now descend as at Herculaneum by a staircase which will take him from the floor level of 1910 A. D. to that of 2000 B. C. Four distinct strata of occupation are visible, the lowest being that of the twelfth dynasty, the other three of the eighteenth dynasty. Above this latter the section shows in places clearly preserved the floors of a Roman-Nubian dwelling.

The excavations enabled us to trace the complete history of both temples, which underwent several restorations and re-buildings. The antiquities obtained include three fine statuettes, one of which, representing a seated scribe named Amenemhat, will rank among the best specimens of Egyptian statuary brought to this country, some fine painted stone jars of new varieties, a door inscribed with the name of King Aahmes, founder of the eighteenth dynasty, and some inscribed stelae.

D. R. M.

Cite This Article

M., D. R.. "The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition." The Museum Journal I, no. 1 (June, 1910): 4-4. Accessed June 15, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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