Not long after the war, the Museum of Archaeology of the American University of Beirut acquired by purchase a number of vase fragments and other objects made of stone and inscribed with the names and titles of Egyptian kings of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. While the original objects, of which these are the remains, were undoubtedly of Egyptian origin, the fragments themselves certainly came from Byblos (Gebail) and formed part of the "Depôts de Fondation du Temple" which M. Montet describes in Chapter III of his "Byblos et l'Égypte." As the collection which forms the subject of the present report was acquired by purchase, the exact location on the site of Byblos at which the fragments were found cannot be determined. However, their close similarity to the objects discovered by Al. Montet would indicate that they too came from the ruins of the "Syrian Temple", which was built subsequent to the destruction of the ancient Egyptian shrine at the close of the Sixth Dynasty.

The vases and other objects, from which these fragments survive, probably formed part of a series of temple equipments dispatched from Egypt by successive kings for use in the provincial temple at Byblos in connection with the ceremonies attending the royal jubilee celebrations. The first of these jubilees or "Heb-Sed"s was originally celebrated at the close of the first thirty years after the monarch's accession, but they early lost this peculiar periodic character and were celebrated at more frequent intervals. The Byblos vessels, after having served their primary purpose, became part of the permanent temple furniture, until they were broken either by careless handling or at the time of the destruction of the temple about the close of the reign of Pepi 11 (ca. 2600 When the second, or "Syrian Temple" was built they were buried below its foundations, either to serve as a connecting link between the earlier and the later temples or to furnish the objects themselves, once consecrated to the use of the god, with decent burial where they would be insured undisturbed association with the divinity to whom they belonged and remain free from profanation.(2 ) The remains of such temple vessels found by, Montet and Dunand, to which group our fragments also belong, come from a period extending over approximately three hundred years, cc. 2900-2600 B.C. As is to be expected, the remains from the later years of this period are more numerous than those from earlier reigns. The University collection adds one to the list of Egyptian rulers whose names appear on objects from Byblos, namely, Dedkare (PJ. 111, no. 1) of the Fifth Dynasty. The other names are already known at Byblos from earlier discoveries.

1 . Cf. Dunand, La sixième Campagne des fouilles de Byblos, Syria, IX, 1928, p. 181 - 2     2. Cf. for Mesopotamian analogies, Frankfort, Archeology and the Sumerian Problem, p.7, n. 1.


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