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I make no pretensions to being an Egyptologist, but was merely bitten by the interest of the subject as it forced itself upon my notice, I have rarely ventured beyond an attempt to popularise certain historical or archaeological views, more or less agreed upon by those best competent to judge; so if I have hazarded suggestions of my own, it is with the greatest diffidence, the more especially as, having since had occasion to go almost direct to America, I have not been in a position to revise my work, or to refer to authorities other than the few stray books I happened to have with me in Egypt. In conclusion, I would express my sense of obligation and thanks to his Highness the Khedive, his Excellency Riaz Pasha, and Sir Edward Malet, H.B. Agent and ConsulGeneral, for the hospitality with which we were treated, and the courtesy and consideration shown to us by the officials at our
various places of residence.
CHAP. PAG F. I. THE ARSINOITE NOME, . . . . I II. THE LABYRINTH AND THE LAKES, . 52 III. OLD AND NEW, - - . . - . IO5 IV. SOCIETY IN THE PROVINCES, . - . I 56
V. EXCAVATIONS AT ISEMBHEB, . - . 208
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
ExcAVATIONS OF THE LABYRINTH, HAWARA, Frontispiece PROSTRATE OBELISK NEAR EDGIB, IN THE FAYOUM, 98 FELLAHAH GIRL, MIDDLE EGYPT, - - . I44
TOMBS OF BENI HASSAN, . - - - . 2 OO
THE LAND OF KHEMI.
CHA PTER I.
ABOUT seventy miles to the south-west of Cairo, and twenty-five miles from the Nile, in a depression of the Libyan desert, lies a region celebrated above all others in Egypt for the luxuriance of its vegetation and the variety of its products. Known in modern days as the Fayoum, it was called by the Greeks the Arsinoite Nome, and by the early Egyptians Phiom, or “the district of the marsh; ” and a tradition still exists among the country people that this marsh was reclaimed by Joseph the son of Jacob. Whether it derived another A