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of the king," or "of some god ;" and one of the former, named Honofr, whose wife was one of the sacred women of Amun, is mentioned in a very beautiful papyrus in the British Museum.
The cattle were brought into a court attached to the steward's house, or into the farmyard, and counted by the superintendent in the presence of the scribes; and the bastinado was freely administered if any fraud was detected, or if any shepherd had neglected the flocks committed to his care.
In the accompanying woodcut the numbers written over the animals correspond to the report made to the steward, who, in the presence of the master of the estate, receives it from the overseer, or the head shepherd. First come the oxen, over which is the number 834, then cows 220, goats 3234, asses 760, rams 974; followed by a man carrying the young lambs in baskets slung upon a pole. The steward leaning on his staff, and accompanied by what was then a fashionable dog, “with a curly tail," stands on the left of the picture; and in another place the scribes are making out the statements presented to them by the different persons employed on the farm. The tomb where this subject occurs is at the Pyramids, dating upwards of 4000 years ago, when the Egyptians had already the same customs as at a much later period. How long before this they had reached this state of civilization; had laid aside their arms; had decimal as well as duodecimal calculation, and the reckoning by units, tens, hundreds, and thousands, it is impossible to determine; but these, as well as the use of squared stone, even granite, and many other arts, were known to them before the Pyramids were built.
Many birds which frequented the interior and skirts of the desert, and were highly prized for the table, were caught by the fowlers, as the partridge, gutta (pterocles, or sand-grouse), bustard, and quail; and water-fowl of different descriptions, which abounded in the Valley of the Nile, afforded endless diversion to the sportsman, and profit to those who gained a livelihood by their sale.
Fowling was a favourite amusement of all classes; and the
Cattle, goats, asses, and sheep, with their numbers over them.
In a Tomb near the Pyramids. Fig. 1. The number 834 over long-horned oxen. Fig. 2. 220 cows with calves. Fig. 3. 3234 goats. Fig. 4. 760 asses. Fig. 5. 974 sheep. Fig. 7 gives in the account to the steward of the estate. In the original, the two upper lines join the two lower ones at A and B.
fowlers and fishermen were subdivisions of one of the classes into which the Egyptians were divided. They either caught the birds in large clap-nets or in traps; and they sometimes shot them with arrows, or felled them with a throw-stick, as they flew in the thickets. (See vol. i. p. 234 to 236.)
The trap was generally made of net-work, strained over a frame. It consisted of two semicircular sides or flaps, of equal sizes, one or both moving on the common bar, or axis, upon which they rested. When the trap was set, the two flaps were kept open by means of strings, probably of catgut, which, the moment the bait that stood in the centre of the bar was touched, slipped aside,' and allowed the two flaps to collapse, and
thus secured the bird.
Another kind, which was square, appears to have closed in the same manner; but its construction was different, the framework
Fig. 1. Trap closed, and the bird caught in it; the net-work of it has been effaced, as also in fig. 3. The other traps are open.
Fishing and fowling scenes.
Part 1. a. The boat with the fish hanging up to dry in the sun and wind; on the top of the mast sits a kite. The manner in which it shrieks, while
are geese and baskets of their young and eggs; h are pelicans; i and n, papyrus plants. Part 2. Figs. 8, 9, 10, pull the rope that the net may collapse; 11 makes a sign with his hand to keep silence and pull; at p the rope is fixed; at f, g, e,
running across the centre, and not, as in the others, round the edges of the trap.
And so skilful were they in making traps, that they were strong enough to hold the hyæna; and in the one which caught the robber in the treasury of Rhampsinitus, the power of the spring, or the mechanism of the catch, was so perfect that his brother was unable to open it, or release him.
Similar in ingenuity, though not in strength, were the nets made by the convicts banished to Rhinocolura by Actisanes, which, though made of split straws, were yet capable of catching many of the numerous quails that frequented that desert region at a particular period of the year.
The clap-net was of different forms, though on the same general principle as the traps. It consisted of two sides or frames, over which the network was strained; at one end was a short rope, which they fastened to a bush, or a cluster of reeds, and at the other was one of considerable length, which, as soon as the birds were seen feeding in the area within the net, was pulled by the fowlers, causing the two sides to collapse.*
As soon as they had selected a convenient spot for laying down the net, in a field or on the surface of a pond, the known resort of numerous wild fowl, they spread open the two sides or flaps, and secured them in such a manner that they remained flat upon the ground until pulled by the rope. A man, crouched behind some reeds growing at a convenient distance from the spot, from which he could observe the birds as they came down, watched the net, and enjoining silence by placing his hand over his mouth, beckoned to those holding the rope to keep themselves in readiness till he saw them assembled in sufficient numbers, when a wave of his hand gave the signal for closing the net.
The Egyptian mode of indicating silence is evidently shown, from these scenes, to have been by placing "the hand on their mouth" (as in Job, xxix. 9), not, as generally supposed, by approaching the forefinger to the lips; and the Greeks erroneously concluded that the youthful Harpocrates was the deity of silence, * Woodcut 420, part 2.