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with limbs distorted by being bound in the most painful positions. These reliefs are always accompanied by hieroglyphic inscriptions explanatory of the scene, and are indispensable in attaining to a correct understanding of the representation. The neglect of them has led to some strange errors. The sculptured representations of kings invariably have their names written over them, and commonly inscribed within an oval or cartouche. The names of the foreigners with whom they were at war, of towns they were besieging, as well as of the captives they are leading, are usually written in the hieroglyphics: sometimes the date of the erection of the edifice, and of the king by whom it was built, may be read. These dates are expressed by such a month in such a year of the monarch's reign.
The tombs of Egypt furnish also not only abundant evidence of her former grandeur, but also very valuable subjects of study to the antiquarian. In Upper Egypt, rocky mountains form the western boundary of the valley of the Nile. In these, immense caverns were cut, with incredible labor, as receptacles for the dead. In Lower Egypt, where no mountains exist, deep pits were dug, and lined with brick; or, where rock existed, they were dug into the rock, as places of interment. Nothing presents itself in the study of the manners and customs of ancient Egypt, as developed in her existing remains, more striking than the respect shown to tfce dead. Diodorus has remarked, that the Egyptians spent more upon their tombs than they did upon their houses. Some of the cemeteries are filled with the remains of the common people. These are not always in coffins, but, enveloped in the folds of the linen with which they were swathed, they are piled in the mummy pits with great regularity. They were all embalmed, and the number is immense. Again, there are the family vaults of the wealthy, the priesthood, the military, &c. These are sometimes very extensive, consisting of various rooms connected by galleries, with the walls of the apartments covered with paintings. The scenes delineated most commonly have reference to the operations of ordinary life. The deceased is represented with his family around him; sometimes they are at the banquet, sometimes listening to music, or amusing themselves with the dance. Again, he is seen in the country, hunting, fowling, or fishing; next, he is superintending agricultural labors. In short, almost every species of mechanical trade is depicted in the tombs: all are scenes of activity, and it has been well said, that "every thing in them savors of life, but the corpse." The predominant wish seems to have been, to banish from them all that could suggest the idea of death; and the only explanation that offers itself of this singular custom is, that the proprietor of the tomb employed himself, while living, in the preparation for his posterity of what may be called a pictorial autobiography. But the aristocratic dead of these costly resting-places, unlike the poor, whose swathed mummies are packed in tiers, sleep in their respective sarcophagi of granite, basalt, or alabaster, sculptured over with figures and inscriptions, which it is charitable to suppose are at least as truthful as the majority of modern epitaphs. These stone coffins, it was doubtless supposed by their occupants, would protect their bodies, after death, from an unhallowed disinterment; but the very care taken to secure their remains from violation has often led to the desecration against which they would guard. The linen bandage around the common mummy of the pits offered nothing to the decipherer, while the inscriptions on the sarcophagus afforded to the zealous antiquarian an opportunity not to be neglected, of adding characters to his hieroglyphic alphabet, or words to his Egyptian vocabulary. Many of the cabinets of Europe can show fragments of sarcophagi; few take the trouble to preserve many specimens of the common mummy of the pit. Sometimes these wealthy dead were coffined in a wooden case, or double case, of sycamore, covered with gilding and painting. These, as they offered the same temptation as the inscribed sarcophagus, have often shared the same fate. But the tombs contain beside the dead, other articles, the removal of which involves no charge of desecration. With the dead it was usual to deposit, in the tombs, articles of luxury on which they had set a value while living; and in the case of the humble artisan, the tools or utensils which he used in life, were laid with him when he rested from his toil. Hence various objects of interest have been found in the tombs. Elegant vases of granite, alabaster, metal, and earth are abundant in the various museums of Europe. The tools of the mason and carpenter, articles of household furniture, models of boats and houses, the pallets used by the sacred scribes, with their cakes of ink and reed pens or brushes, with various other articles, are by no means uncommon. Books written on rolls of the papyrus (made from the inner coat of a species of reed once abundant on the canals and lakes of Egypt, though now rarely to be met with) are also found, sometimes inclosed in the swathings of the mummy, sometimes in hollow cases of wood or in earthen jars.