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or religious subjects painted upon them, among which were offerings presented by members of their family.*
Several boxes have been found at Thebes; and in the British Museum is one remarkable for the brilliancy of the colours given to the ivory, with which it is inlaid. The box is of ebony; the ivory, painted red and blue, is let into the sides and edges, and the lid is ornamented in the same manner. There is in this a substitute for a hinge, similar to the one before mentioned, except that here the back of the cross bar, cut to a sharp edge along its whole extent, fits into a corresponding groove at the end of the box: and the two knobs are fixed in their usual place at the top and front.
The lids of many boxes were made to slide in a groove, like our small colour boxes; † others fitted into the body, being cut away at the edges for this purpose; and some turned on a pin at the back, as I have shown in the long-handled boxes before mentioned.‡
In opening a large box they frequently pushed back the lid, and then either turned it sideways § and left it standing across the breadth of the box, or suffered it to go to the ground; but in those of still larger dimensions, it was removed altogether and laid upon the floor. Others with a pointed top had a projection under what may be called the end, or corbel of the gables, on the side that opened, in order that the lid might fall down and lie out of the way close to the side of the box, while the things were taken out of it.||
With the carpenters may be mentioned the wheelwrights, the makers of coffins, and the coopers; and this subdivision of one class of artisans shows that they had systematically adopted the partition of labour.
The makers of chariots and travelling carriages were of the same class; but both carpenters and workers in leather were employed in their manufacture;¶ and chariots either passed through
Figs. 4 and 8.
+ Woodcut 184, p. 163, vol. i.
Woodcuts 174, 175, and 178.
6, brings the bandages.
3, a man fallen asleep.
4, 5, and 7, binding mummies. 8, 10, and 11, painting and polishing the case.
Bandaging mummies and making the cases.
2, cutting the leg of a chair, indicating the trade of the carpenter. d, onions and other provisions; which occur again at g, with vases ff. 9, using the drill.
the hands of both, or, which is more probable, chariot makers constituted a distinct trade.
Palanquins, canopies, and other wooden chests for travelling and religious purposes, were the work of cabinet makers or carpenters; but the makers of coffins were distinct from both of these. The undertakers, properly so called, were also a different class of people from these last, being attached to and even forming part of the sacerdotal order, though of an inferior grade. Indeed the ceremonies of the dead were so numerous, and so many persons were engaged in performing the several duties connected with them, that no particular class of people can be said to have had the sole direction in these matters; and we find that the highest orders of priests officiated in some, and in others those of a very subordinate station. Thus the embalmers were held in the highest consideration, while those who cut open the body, when the intestines were removed, are said to have been treated with ignominy and contempt. Those who swathed the body in bandages were called Colchita by the Greeks.
As in other trades, that of making coffins, or mummy cases, was a separate and distinct occupation, and it combined the work of the carpenter, the painter, and some others; while at the same time the coffin-maker included in his labours the manufacture of boxes, wooden figures, and other objects connected with funerals.
The boat-builders may be divided into two separate and distinct trades, one of which formed a subdivision of the carpenters; the other of the basket-makers, or the weavers of rushes and osiers, another very numerous branch.
The boats made by these last were a sort of canoe, or punt, used for fishing, and consisted merely of water plants or osiers, bound together with bands made of the stalks of the common papyrus. They were very light, and some so small that they could easily be carried from one place to another; and the Ethiopian boats, mentioned by Pliny, which were taken out of the water, and carried on men's shoulders past the rapids of the cataracts, were probably of a similar kind; though Strabo describes the boats at the cataracts of Syene passing the falls in perfect security, and exciting the surprise of the beholders, before
whom the boatmen delighted in displaying their skill. These too
Papyrus boats are frequently noticed by ancient writers. Plutarch describes Isis going in search of the body of Osiris "through the fenny country, in a bark made of the papyrus, whence it is supposed that persons using boats of this description are never attacked by crocodiles, out of fear and respect to the goddess; and Moses is said to have been exposed in " an ark (or boat) of bulrushes, daubed with slime and with pitch." From this last we derive additional proof that the body of such boats was composed of rushes, which were bound together with the papyrus ; and the mode of rendering them impervious to water is satisfactorily pointed out by the coating of pitch with which they were covered. Nor can there be any doubt that pitch was known in Egypt at that time, since we find it on objects which have been preserved of the same early date; and the Hebrew word zift is precisely the same as that used for "pitch" by the Arabs to the present day. It was also applied by the ancient Egyptians to "bitumen."
Pliny mentions boats "woven of the papyrus," the rind being made into sails, curtains, matting, ropes, and even into cloth; and observes elsewhere that the papyrus, the rush, and the reed, were all used for making boats in Egypt.
"Vessels of bulrushes are again mentioned in Isaiah: Lucan alludes to the mode of binding or sewing them with bands of papyrus; and Theophrastus notices boats made of the papyrus,
Making a papyrus boat.
Tomb at the Pyramids.
and sails and ropes of the rind of the same plant. That small boats were made of these materials is certain; and the sculptures of Thebes, Memphis, and other places, abundantly show that they were employed as punts, or canoes, for fishing in all parts of Egypt during the inundation of the Nile, particularly in the lakes and canals of the Delta. And the "Memphite bark bound together with the papyrus," that Lucan describes, is figured in the Memphite sculptures, as well as on the monuments of Upper Egypt.
There was another kind, in one of which Strabo crossed the Nile to the Island of Philæ, “made of thongs so as to resemble wicker-work; " but it does not appear from his account whether it was formed of reeds bound together with thongs, or was like those made in Armenia, and used for going down the river to Babylon, which Herodotus describes, of osiers covered with hides (like British coracles), and which are represented on the Nimroud marbles. Strabo also mentions another, used on the canals during the inundation, of still more simple construction, in which, if we might substitute, what is probable, earthenware bottles or gourds for shells, we should recognise a modern Egyptian custom.
The Armenian boats were merely employed for transporting goods down the current of the Euphrates, and on reaching Babylon were broken up, the hides being put upon the asses which had been taken on board for this purpose, and the traders returning home by land. "They were round, in the form of a shield, without either head or stern, the hollow part of the centre being filled with straw." "Some were large, others small, and the largest were capable of bearing 5000 talents weight." They were, therefore, very different from the boats reported by the same historian to have been made in Egypt for transporting goods up the Nile, which he describes as being built in the form of ordinary boats, with a keel and a mast and sails.
"The Egyptian boats of burthen," he says, 66 are made of a thorn wood, very similar to the lotus of Cyrene, from which a tear exudes, called gum. Of this tree they cut planks measuring about two cubits, and having arranged them like bricks, they build the boat in the following manner :-They fasten the planks round firm long pegs, and, after this, stretch over the surface a series of