Richard Lepsius.

Letters from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the peninsula of Sinai online

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our researches here are not without importance. Upon
the whole, they are quite confirmatory of the opinion that
Ethiopian art is only a late offshoot from the Egyptian. It
does not commence under native rulers before the time of
Tahraka. The little which is extant from a still earlier
period belongs to the Egyptian conquerors and their artists.
Here, at least, it is confined solely to one temple, which
Eamses the Great erected to Amen-Ea. It is true that the
name of Amenophis III. has been discovered on several


of the granite Earns, as well as on Lord Prudhoe's Lion in
London, but there are good grounds to suppose that these
magnificent Colossi did not originally belong to a temple
here. They were only brought here at a later period, it
appears, from Soleb, probably by the Ethiopian king whose
name is found engraved on the breast of the above-mentioned
lion, and which, from the incorrect omission of a sign, has
been hitherto read Amejt Aseu in place of Mi Amen Asrtj.

Nevertheless, I consider these Earns so remarkable, espe-
cially on account of their inscriptions, that I have determined
to carry away the best of them. The fat wether probably
weighs nearly 150 cwt. However, in the space of three
sultry days, it has been safely dragged on rollers to the
river bank by ninety-two Fellahs, and it there waits for
embarkation. Several other monuments besides are to
accompany us from this spot, as we need no longer fear their
weight since the desert is behind us. I will only mention
an Ethiopian altar, four feet high, with the Shields of the
king who erected it ; a statue of Isis, on whose plinth there
is an Ethiopian-demotic inscription of eighteen lines ; another
also fi'om Meraui ; as well as the peculiar monument bearing
the name of Amenophis III., which was copied by Cailliaud,
and was thought to be a foot, but, in truth, is the lower por-
tion of the sacred sparrow-hawk. All these monuments are
of black granite.*

The town of Napata, the name of which I have now fre-
quently found in hieroglyphics, and even on the monuments
of Tahraka, was situated, no doubt, somewhat farther down the
river, near the present town of Meeaui, where considerable
mounds of ruins still testify to this. The Temples and Pyra-
mids were alone situated near the mountain. This remark-
able mass of rock bears the name of the " Sacred Mount"

"^ (] . in the hieroglyphic inscriptions. The god who

was peculiarly worshipped here was Ammon-Ea.

* These raonuments are now placed in the Egyptian Museum
(Berlin)- See the ram and sparrow-hawk in the Denkindler aus E

Online LibraryRichard LepsiusLetters from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the peninsula of Sinai → online text (page 20 of 54)