ACCOUNT OF AN EGYPTIAN ALTAR IN THE MUSEUM AT TURIN.

Drawn by Joseph Boxomi, and described by Samuel Sharpe.

Read 5th May, 1874.

[Extracted from TSBA, 3, 110-17]

This monument, which is perhaps an altar, is wrought of grey granite, and is, if the base on which it stands is part of it, three feet three inches high. Both pieces are of the same materials. It has an hieroglyphic inscription, arranged in five columns, which are marked in the Plates (1, 2, 3) as A, B, C, D, and E. Each column, except A, had originally twenty-one lines of hieroglyphics.

The inscription, although it bears an early name, that of King Pepi, is yet probably of a late date, perhaps of the age of the Ptolemies, or even later.

The column A begins with the representation of the sacred barge, Baris, like that carried in the procession which is sculptured m the great court of Medinet Haboo. The next compartment of this column is surmounted by a broad line, the two ends of which terminate in points inclined downwards, signifying the heavens, the usual significant margin of the upper part of a picture or relievo. The sculpture contained in this second compartment of A is of a different character to the rest of the monument, the hieroglyphics are much larger and deeper, as signified by the thicker lines, and it contains the name of Mu-a, who is styled the "Priest, approved by Pasht, and beloved by Pthah, the god of Memphis." This name has been cut over some former work, as the level of the cartouche is considerably below the general surface of the compartment, and hence there appears good reason to doubt the antiquity of this part of the inscription. The next compartment contains a figure of Thoth, the Lord of [p.111] Oshmonnayn, in simple outline. The style of the drawing of this figure resembles that of the figures on the monuments of the Ptolemies. The fourth and last compartment contains the figure of the son of a king, in the dress of a priest, and in the attitude of declaiming. He is "approved by Smotef," one of the four gods of the dead. This figure is considerably deeper, as is signified by the thicker line, and is in the true Egyptian style of relievo, but unfortunately much injured by the decay of the surface which affects the whole of the lower part of this monument, probably from the contact of the nitrous earth which encumbers the lower part of all the monuments in situ.

Mira may be the Moeris of Herodotus,1 probably a tributary sovereign or chief priest of Memphis, when that city was under the rule of Thebes. Herodotus places him nine hundred years before his own time, or about B.C. 1300.2 But as this name is not part of the original inscription, it gives us no clue to the date of the monument, which was made at a considerably later epoch, and in the decline of Egyptian art.

The following portions of the inscription are all that I can certainly identify: —

Column A, is either the first or the last of the columns of writing.

Column B, lines 1 to 12, contains the names of the chief gods:—

1. Apis, spelt by means of the animals head APE, and Chem, spelt T H U.
2. Horns, and Aroeris, a second Horus.
3. Mo, Truth, and Daphne, a Greek name for Pasht, being shortened from Tape-hanes.3
4. Seb, the Crocodile, and Neith, the Queen of Heaven.
5. Osiris, or perhaps Horus, Isis, and Nephthis.
6. Horus "of the Temple."
7. Ra, with the word "year," "blessed for ever."
8. Life, Permanence, and Happiness (?), personified as three deities.

[p.112]

9. Thoth.
10 and 11. A second form of Thoth (?).
12. Osiris.

The rest of this column, with columns C, D, and E, 4, 5, and 6, contain the names of the gods peculiar to the several cities of Egypt.

In conclusion, some attention should be directed to the peculiar shape of the monument, which, although evidently an altar, is of a more elegantly curved form than is usually found in early Egyptian art.


[p.113]

TRANSLATION OF THE HIEROGLYPHIC INSCRIPTION ON THE GRANITE ALTAR AT TURIN

By S. Birch, LL.D.

Read 5th May, 1874.

The granite monument at Turin is really the base of an Altar, and the inscription contains the names of the different gods for whom it was made and dedicated. At the last side, PL E, line 7, is "the making of libations and addressing the table of offerings" (Tehhu), followed by two columns descriptive of the altars and of the objects offered. The first side contains the title and names of Pepi of the VIth Dynasty, in whose reign the monument was made; and as great prominence is given to the worship of the god Ptah, it was probably one of the altars of the Hephsestseum or temple of that God at Memphis. It is therefore interesting, as showing the names of the principal deities then worshipped. The text is as follows:—

Plate I, Col. A.

The ark of the god Sekar or Socharis, called the hannu on its slip, mafekh; of the inscription above, hannu en sekar 'The ark of Sekar,' the latter two words only remain.

Beneath is 'Osiris Tat' or Osiris The Tat or 'established' and his box or coffin. In the next compartment are the name and titles of Pepi—

"The good god Pepi the giver of life, beloved of Ptah who is (the chief) of Southern wall, approved of Sekhet."

Sekhet was the wife of Ptah and mother of Nefer-Atum. These three gods formed the Memphian Triad.

In the third compartment is the god Thoth, ibis-headed, standing, and his speech, 'The speech. Oh gods of the South, oh gods of the West bring offerings, give them, I say [p.114] the lord of Sesen, give sepulchral food of bread, beer, oxen, geese to the great gods approved of the South.'

Sesen is Eshmoun or Hermopolis, the Nome over which Thoth presided and of which he was afterwards Eponymous. The mention in this portion of the gods of the South and West shows that the lists refer to them.

In the fourth compartment is the god Petmutf, "who dwells in the houses or places of the Manu" or Ocean. He appears under his usual form of a youth, and is styled 'approved of Sekhet.' The rest of the inscription is wanting.

Plate I, Col. B. List of Gods.

1. Satemi ('Hearing'), Tum [Tomos].
2. Khepera, Kheprer [The Scarabaeus].
3. Shu, (Sos) Tefnu.
4. Seb, Nut.
5. Osiris, Isis, Set, Nephthys.
6. Har in the great palace.
7. Ra or 'The Sun,' Renpa 'the year,' Het 'an age,' Geta 'Eternity.'
8. Ankh 'Life,' Tat 'stability,' Aut 'Triumph.'
9. Thoth in the satp house [place of selection],
10. Thoth at the balance.
11. The great one of the five in Api-sekhet.
12. Maa 'Sight,' Satem 'Hearing,' in Absi. Abotis in the Hypselite nome.
13. Sebak in the town of Aa (Letopolis).
14. Sebak in the city of Shet.
15. Sebak in Tebi (Apollinopohs Magna or Edfu).
16. Sebak in the city of Apant.
17. The eye of Harmachis coming out of light.
18. The Eye of Horus, mother of the gods.
19. 20. Quite obliterated.

Plate II, Col. C.

1. Khnum [Chnoumis] in the 4 pools above.
2. The dweller in the West, Osiris in Abydos. 'The name Set has been anciently erased: it is the oldest mention of this god.
3. Khebkheb [door openers] in the Temples.
4. The obelisk in the Temples.
5. Har [Horus] in the great palace.
6. Har in the House, chief of the palace.
7. The two lion gods in Paha.
8. The Boat in the city of Shet.
9. Justification in Pa-sekar.
10. The adorers in the city of Kat.
11. The riches in the Treasury.
12. The weapons in the city of Pa-kar (arsenal, or battle city).
14. The chiefs in the city of Aat Aat ["great house," place near Memphis].
15. The four born of Horus [The four genii of Karneter or Hades] in the Temples.
16. Uta [Listener] in Pa-ka, (The place of the Bull, or Apis, or else Athribis).
17. Har [Horus] in the town of Sebekh-res [Door of the South].
18. The great god in Karneter [Hades or Gournah].
19. [Anup, Anubis] in the town of Sebekh-meh [Door of the North].
20. [some god] in the town of Senen [city of Registers].

Plate II, Col. D.

1. Isis in Pa-ft.
2. Har [Horus] in the town of Pa-snatem, those born of Har [Horus] in Pa ....
3. Those born of Har [Horus] in the city of Panaham.
4. Set in the city of Panaham.
5. Kartek [Spark holder, a form of the goddess Ta-ur or Thousris] in Patek the place of Sparks.
6. Kar-tes [Flint bearer] in Pa-tes [place of Flint, of Flint weapon].
7. Athor in the town of Mensa [city of pots or vases].
8. Api tu s [she who is on the Hill] the city in Tuaa [of the Oxyrhynchite nome].
9. Ra at his setting, Ra Harmachis on the good throne.
10. Ptah in the Sebti-hut (city of white walls; akropolis of Memphis) on the East.

[p.116]

11. Anup [Aniibis] in the town of Sep [oxyrbynclius].
12. Har in the town of Rumakhu4 [one of the Nubian cities under Egypt].
13. The one attached to his place, in the city of Sankh.
14. Har [Horns] in the city of Ru-en-kau.
15. Har [Horus] in the city of Meng.
16. The dweller in the city of Ment in the white palace.
17. Nushim, lady of the city of Au-kaf.
18. Mentn Har in Uas [Western Thebes Hermonthis].
19. Atlior mistress of An aa [Tentyris, Denderah].
20. Bast [Bubastis] in Pabast [Bubastis].

Plate III, Col. D.

1.-3. Mutilated or wanting.
4. Har shaf [Terrible face, a surname of Khnum], king of the upper and lower world dwelling in the town of Suten khen (Heracleopolis).
5. Athor, mistress of Apikaut [Athribis].
6. Neith, Sebak, Har [Horus] in the Town of Tena [This].
7. The making of libations, and the titles of the table of offerings.

I. II.
8. The great Table Heads of ... . two hands.
9. The stand a vase of libation.
10. Four pots a jar for washing
11. Four pints of water which is on the washing basin (refers to 10, II).
12. Four mugs of water eight jars of sea water,
13. Eight pints of water a pot of Southern wine,
14. A great Altar two pots of Northern wine
15. The little Altar two jars of wine of ....
16. Four stands three jars of wine and spirits.
17. The Altar wine of Bau.5
18. Two great pans of water wine of Fishermen.
19. Ten basins of water two jars of wine of Anhu.
20, 21. Mutilated and illegible,  

[p.117]

This monument mentions several towns either hitherto unknown or not identified. Unfortunately, however, it gives no clue to their position beyond the vague expression, 'gods of West and South.'

There are also a few new words in this inscription, as [glyphs] in C, line 12, meaning the 'things,' khet or 'riches' in the Treasury. It is found in the form [glyphs] khet in the tomb of Merkat, Lepsius, Denkm., Abth. II, Bl. 22 a, in the sentence maa khet ant saten-a, "Inspection of things brought to the royal house." Most of the words in E, lines 9-19, unexplained are new, as [glyphs] tena 'a stand.' [glyphs] nab or ab a kind of 'vase' basket-shaped. [glyphs] menga.t 'a pot' or 'mug.' [glyphs] mensa 'a pear-shaped vase' holding about half a pmt, often found in alabaster. [glyphs] kamt 'an ampulla' or little vase. [glyphs] bau 'a stand, holding a vase.' [glyphs] kakanti or ka en ti ka 'a bottle' or small vase of wine, perhaps a variant of kat or kata, Brugsch, Worterbuch, s. 1520, or of kai a pint, ibid. 1506.

[glyphs] ahsh 'an olla,' showing that the form arp absh does not mean 'white wine,' but 'wine one absh' or olla, which was perhaps of a white colour.6


NOTES

1 Euterpe.
2 Sharpe, Chronology of Egypt.
3 A city in the Delta; see Jerem. xliii. 9.
4 Or, Ruau, a city mentioned in the campaign of Una.
5 Or, Bau-en-Har, an undetermined site over which Klinum presided. Brugsch, Geographisch. Inschrift, Tab. LVI, No. I718.
6 Some account of this monument is given by Orcurti, Catalogo del monumenti Egizii di Torino. 8vo. Torino, 1852, p. 80, No. 24.