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during the long process of concluding a bargain previous to the sale and purchase of the smallest article; and here an idle lounger frequently passes whole hours, less intent on benefiting the shopkeeper than in amusing himself with the busy scene of the passing crowd.

Among the many curious customs introduced in the paintings, and still retained in the East, is that of holding a strap of leather, or other substance, with the toes, which, if always free and unin

b

i

391.

Currier holding a strap of leather with his toes, while cutting it.
bb are straps tied up, and deposited in the shop.

Thebes.

cumbered with tight shoes, retain their full power and pliability; and the singular, I may say primitive, mode of tightening a thong with the teeth, while sewing a shoe, is also portrayed in the paintings of the same time.

It is probable that, as at the present day, they ate in the open front of their shops, exposed to the view of every one who passed; and to this custom Herodotus may allude, when he says, "the Egyptians eat in the street."

There is no direct evidence that the ancient Egyptians affixed the name and trade of the owner of the shop, though the presence of hieroglyphics, denoting this last, together with the emblem which indicated it, may seem to argue in favour of the custom; and the absence of many individuals' names in the sculptures is readily accounted for by the fact, that these scenes refer to the occupation of the whole trade, and not to any particular person.

Of all people, we may suppose Egyptian shopkeepers most likely to display the patronage received from royalty, the name

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Part 2. Men employed in polishing a column, probably of wood.

Fig. 1. Making a hole with an awl.
bb. Sandals hanging up in the shop.

Thebes.

2. Tightening a thong with his teeth.
c to i. Various tools; 7 an adze.

of a monarch being so often introduced in the most conspicuous manner on the coffins of private individuals, and in the paintings of the tombs; many of the scarabaei they wore presenting the name of a king; and the most ordinary devices being formed to resemble a royal oval. But whether or not they had this custom, or that of affixing the name and occupation of the tradesman, it is difficult to determine; and indeed in those cities where certain districts were set apart for particular trades, the latter distinction was evidently uncalled for and superfluous.

The great consumption of leather in Egypt, and the various purposes to which skins, both in the tanned and raw state, were applied, created a demand far greater than could be satisfied by the produce of the country; they, therefore, imported skins from foreign countries, and part of the tribute levied on the conquered tribes of Asia and Africa consisted of hides, and the skins of wild

106

THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS.

CHA

animals, as the leopard, fox, and others; which are frequen presented in the paintings of Thebes, laid before the thron Pharaoh, together with gold, silver, ivory, rare woods, a various productions of each vanquished country.

For tanning they used the pods of the Sont, or Acacia (A or Mimosa, Nilotica), the acanthus of Strabo and other w which was cultivated in many parts of Egypt, being also for its timber, charcoal, and gum; and it is probable that the and wood of the Rhus oxyacanthoïdes, and the bark of the A Séál, both natives of the desert, were employed for the

purpose.

Many persons, both men and women, were engaged in cle cloths and stuffs of various kinds; and the occupations o fuller form some of the numerous subjects of the sculptures is probable that they were only a subdivision of the dyers.

393.

a b. Inclined tables.

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Fullers.

2

Beni Has c c. The water running off into the trough below.

early times, before, and even after, the invention of soap, po nitre, and several earths, were employed for cleansing cl as well as various herbs, many of which are still in use among Arabs, one of which was doubtless the alkaline plant bor mentioned by Jeremiah (ii., 22) and Malachi (iii., 2). Man the Suædas and Salsolas, and other alkaline plants, are foun the Egyptian deserts, as well as the gilloo, also called "the

CHAP. VII.

POTTERS.

107

A far more numerous class were the potters; and all the processes of mixing the clay, and of turning, baking, and polishing the vases, are represented in the tombs of Thebes and Beni Hassan.

They frequently kneaded the clay with their feet, and after it had been properly worked up, they formed it into a mass of convenient size with the hand, and placed it on the wheel, which was of very simple construction, and generally turned with the hand. The various forms of the vases were made out by the finger during their revolution; the handles, if they had any, were afterwards affixed to them; and the devices and other ornamental parts were traced with a wooden or metal instrument, previous to their being baked. They were then suffered to dry, and for this purpose were placed on planks of wood; they were afterwards arranged with great care in trays, and carried, by means of the usual yoke, borne on men's shoulders, to the oven.

Many of the vases, bottles, and pans of ordinary quality were very similar to those made in Egypt at the present day, as we see from the representations in the paintings, and from those found in the tombs, or in the ruins of old towns; and judging from the number of Coptic words applied to the different kinds, their names were as varied as their forms. Coptos and its vicinity were always noted for this manufacture; the clays found there were peculiarly suited for porous vases to cool water; and their qualities are fully manifested, at the present day, in the goolleh or bardak bottles, of the neighbourhood, made at the modern towns of Kéneh and Ballás.

That the forms of the modern goollehs are borrowed from those of an ancient time is evident, from the fragments found amidst the mounds of ancient towns and villages, as well as from the many preserved entire; and a local tradition asserts that the modern manufacture is borrowed from, and has succeeded without interruption to, that of former days.

It is impossible to fix the period of the invention of the potter's wheel, and the assertion of Pliny, who attributes it to Corobus the Athenian, is disproved by the evidence of the Egyptian

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Potters' earthenware vases.

Beni Hassan.

, e, i, p, the wheels on which the clay was put. Fig. 1 forms the inside and lip of the cup as it turns on the wheel a. b c d are cups already made. Fig. 2 forms the outside of the cup, indenting it with the hand at the base, preparatory to its being taken off. Fig. 3 has just taken off the cup from the clay l. Fig. 4 puts on a fresh piece of clay. Fig. 5 forms a round slab of clay with his two hands. Fig. 6 stirs and prepares the oven q. At s is the fire which rises through the long narrow tube or chimney of the oven, upon the top of which the cups are placed to bake, as in v. Fig. 7 hands the cup to the baker 8. Fig. 9 carries away the baked cups from the oven.

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