Travels in Nubia, by John Lewis Burckhardt

Journey along the Banks of the Nile, from Assouan to Mahass, on the Frontiers of Dongola.

AFTER having visited most of the celebrated ruins in the valley of the Nile, I arrived at Assouan on the 22d of February, 1813, being actuated by a strong desire of continuing my journey up the river, as far as I should be able to do it, without exposing myself to imminent danger. During a week’s stay at Esne, the last town of note in Upper Egypt, I had collected a good deal of information concerning the state of Nubia, and had taken my measures accordingly. Amongst other arrangements, it became necessary for me to purchase a pair of good dromedaries, one for myself, and another for the guides, whom I might hire at the several places I should pass through in Nubia; I therefore sold the two asses, which had carried me from Cairo to Esne, and bought, for about 22l., two dromedaries which proved upon trial, to be excellent animals; for during a journey of thirty-five days, from Assouan to Mahass, and back again, I allowed them only one day’s rest, and generally rode them ten hours per day. There is a market for camels in Esne, famous all over Egypt, from being frequented by the Arabs Bishárye and Ababde, who possess the best breed of camels in these parts of Africa. The Turkish governor of Esne, Hassan Beg, a native of Cyprus, furnished me, at my request, with a strong letter of recommendation to the three brothers, sons of Soleyman Kashef, who at present govern Nubia: and it was hoped that the increasing power of Mohammed Aly, the Pasha of Egypt, would render such a letter from one of his principal officers, of some weight. I had, besides, a firman from the Pasha himself, but as it was written in Turkish, which nobody reads in Nubia, and of a general nature, I placed little reliance upon it, further than as it contained among other names, those of the castle of Ibrim, and of its governor, which might be distinguished even by an Arab reader. The letter upon which I principally founded my hopes of success, was from the house of Habater, the principal merchants in Esne, to whom I had been recommended by a friend at Cairo. The Habater have almost monopolized the Nubian trade in dates; they act as the chargés d’affaires of the Nubian princes in all their political transactions with Egypt, and being also Sherifs, or descendants of the Prophet, and men of large fortunes, they enjoy great credit, and their recommendation may be useful to travellers and merchants in the whole route up the Nile, as far as Sennaar.

After an easy journey of four days from Esne, I reached Assouan, the most romantic spot in Egypt, but little deserving the lofty praises which some travellers have bestowed on it for its antiquities, and those of the neighbouring island of Elephantine. Hassan Beg, of Esne, had, given me a letter to the Aga of Assouan, to whom I applied for a guide to conduct me as far as Derr, where Hassan Kashef, one of the Nubian chiefs, resides: an old Arab, a native of Nubia, was soon found for this purpose, and after bargaining a long while, I at last agreed to give him one Spanish dollar for his services to Derr, which was considered an ample payment for a journey of 140 miles. I left at Assouan my servant, with the little baggage I had; and after purchasing some provisions, started, with my guide, on the 24th of February, carrying nothing with me but my gun, sabre, and pistol, a provision bag, and a woollen mantle (Heram) of Moggrebyn manufacture, which served either for a carpet, or a covering during the night. I was dressed in the Thabaut, or blue gown, of the merchants of Upper Egypt, having quitted my common Turkish travelling dress at Esne. After estimating the expenses which I was likely to incur in Nubia, I put eight Spanish dollars into my purse, in conformity with the principle I have constantly acted upon during my travels, namely, that the less the traveller spends while on his march, and the less money he carries with him, the less likely are his travelling projects to miscarry. After a journey of 450 miles up the Nile, from Assouan, and the same distance down again, I returned with three dollars, having spent about five dollars, including every expense, except the present to Hassan Kashef. This must not be attributed to parsimony; I mention it here as a part of my plan of travelling, and by way of advice to all travellers who visit unknown and dangerous countries in the East.

February 24th, 1813. I left Assouan at noon, and proceeded by the tombs of the ancient Saracen town of Assouan, on the east side of the hill where the French under Desaix raised a bastion. A high brick tower, dedicated to the memory of the Turkish saint, Shikh Wanes (شيخ وانس), stands near it. The Turkish sepulchres cover a space of nearly three miles in circumference. Here a great number of highly esteemed saints are buried, whose tombs are visited by devotees from all parts of Egypt. The Cufic tombstones are innumerable, but the inscriptions upon them are not of a remote date: and the letters are badly shaped. Makrizi, the Egyptian historian, relates, that in the year 806 of the Mohammedan æra, 21,000 persons died of the plague at Assouan; a fact by which we may estimate the importance of the town in those times. About one mile distant from the tombs begins the brick wall mentioned by Denon, called Hayt el Adjour (حيط العجور) which continues along the sandy plain between the granite rocks, as far as the neighbourhood of the island of Philæ. The inhabitants say that this wall was built by a king of the name of Adjour. I think it was intended as a defence against the inroads of the Bedouins of the eastern mountain, at the time when a brisk overland transport trade existed between Philæ and Syene. The natives say that it was originally the embankment of a canal; and Norden is of opinion that in ancient times, the bed of the Nile was on this side. But this seems impossible, as the ground evidently rises from Philæ towards Assouan. On the granite rocks along the road, hieroglyphic inscriptions are met with, which increase in numbers as we approach the island. There are also some illegible Greek inscriptions, which probably once recorded the names of curious Greek travellers. There is another and longer road from Assouan to Philæ, along the side of the river, by the Cataract.

After riding about four miles from Assouan, we reached an open plain, free from rocks, on the west side of which the river flows: here the ruins of the island of Philæ (اَنس الوجود), Anas el Wodjoud presented themselves to my view. As there was no vessel at hand to convey me over to the island, and knowing that I should pass this way on my return to Assouan, I did not stop any longer than was necessary to look at the granite rocks, on the banks of the river, where the famous seat, of which many travellers have given drawings, principally attracts notice. The small village opposite Philæ is called Birbe; and is the boundary of Egypt. The different hamlets, from hence down the river, as far as Assouan, form part of the territory of Birbe; which, in consequence of old firmans from the Porte, enjoys an entire exemption from all kinds of land tax. On the south side of Birbe commences the territory of the Nubian princes, to which Philæ belongs. The natives, in the invirons of the Cataract, are an independent race, and boast of the security which the nature of the ground affords to their homes; many of them inhabit the islands, and support their families principally by fishing in the river.

At the time of my visit, the Nubians belonging to Assouan were at war with their southern neighbours, occasioned by the latter having intercepted a vesel laden with dates, knowing it to belong to a merchant of Assouan. A battle had been fought opposite Philæ, a few days before my arrival, in which a pregnant woman was killed by a stone; for whenever the Nubians are engaged in skirmishes, their women join the party, and furiously attach each other, armed with slings. The southern party, to whom the deceased belonged, was now demanding from their enemies the debt of blood, not only of the woman, but of the child also, which she bore in her womb at the time of her death. This the latter refused to pay, and being the weaker in numbers, and there being no garrison at Assouan to support them, the men thought proper to retire from the field; they abandoned the villages nearest to Philæ, leaving only their women and female children, and retired with the males to Assouan. On my return from Mahass, peace had not yet been restored; the Nubians were still at Assouan, where a caravan of women arrived daily, with provisions for their husbands.

We recrossed the before mentioned plain, opposite the island, where I observed numerous fragments of pottery, and then ascended the mountain to the south of it, there being no road fit for camels by the side of the river. We traversed the deep valleys of this mountain for about two hours. The rocks present an endless variety of granite, among which a rose-coloured species is particularly beautiful. Sienite, and red feldspath, together with granite, compose this chain. We afterwards descended again to the side of the river, near one of the small hamlets which compose the district of Shamet el Wah (شعامت الواح). The bed of the river here is free from rocks and islands, but its banks, on both sides, are so narrow, that there is hardly a hundred yards of cultivable ground. Half an hour farther, we reached the village of Sak el Djemel (ساق الجمل), belonging to the district called Wady Debot, and alighted at the Shikh’s house, where we passed the night. Here I first tasted the country dish which, during a journey of five weeks, became my constant food; thin, unleavened, and slightly baked cakes of Dhourra, served up with sweet or sour milk. From the Dhourra being badly ground, this food is very coarse, and nothing but absolute hunger could have tempted me to taste it.

February 25. I continued along the east bank of the river. The road the whole of the way to Derr is perfectly safe, provided one of the natives accompanies the traveller. I every where found the people to be possessed of a degree of curiosity which I had never met with before. Whenever we passed a village, often at a full trot, the men came running out of their houses, and across the fields, to ask my guide who I was, and what was the object of my journey. The answer was, that I was sent from Esne to Derr, with letters from the governor to the Nubian chiefs. They would then enquire after the contents of the letters, and, that they might do this more at their ease, would press me to alight, and breakfast with them. One hour and a half brought us to Wady Syale (وادي سياله). Two hours and a half, Wady Abdoun (وادي عبدون). Four hours, Wady Dehmyt, (وادي دهميت). All the villages, as far as Dóngola, are called Wady, or valley. There are always three or four of them comprised under one general name: thus, Wady Dehmyt extends about four miles along the bank of the river, and includes upwards of half a dozen hamlets, each of which has its particular name. Travellers, therefore, who note down the names of villages in these parts, will easily be led into mistakes, by confounding the collective appellation with that of the single hamlet. There are few large villages; but groups of five or six houses are met with wherever a few palm trees grow on the banks of the stream, or wherever the breadth of the soil is sufficient to admit of cultivation.

I found Daoud Kashef, the son of Hosseyn Kashef, encamped with a party of men at Dehmyt, in huts constructed of Dhourra stalks. I alighted at his own hut, and breakfasted there, informing him, that I was sent on business to his father and uncles. The governors of Nubia are continually moving from one part of their dominions to another, to collect the tribute from their subjects, and are always accompanied by a guard of forty or fifty men, in order to levy it by force, wherever necessary, and to be the better able to commit depredations. On the night preceding my arrival at Dehmyt, a Nubian came to me at Sak el Djemel, to complain of Daoud’s tyranny; it had been reported to the latter, that this man, with his family, was secretly indulging in bread made from wheat, a sufficient proof of great wealth. Daoud’s people, in consequence, surrounded his house during the night, and demanded from him a camel, as a present to their master: on his refusal to comply, they attacked the house; and as the owner had no near neighbours, he in vain attempted to defend himself: he was severely wounded, and the whole of his property fell a prey to the aggressors. Daoud was but poorly equipped; he was dressed in the common white shirt of the country. He asked me for some gunpowder, and, on my telling him that the supply I had of that article was scarcely sufficient for myself, he did not appear at all offended by the refusal. Several hundred peasants were assembled round the camp, with herds of cows and sheep, with which they pay their land tax.

We quitted Dehmyt, and in five hours from our departure from Wady Debot, reached Wady Kardassy (وادي كردسه), where I passed the ruin of a small temple, of which one corner of the wall only remains standing. I saw no fragments of columns; but, on some of the stones which lay scattered about, hieroglyphic figures are sculptured; and the winged globe appears upon several of them. On the west side of the river, opposite to this place, is a large ruin. My guide told me, that, at a long day’s journey from hence, in the eastern mountain, are the ruins of a city called Kamle. In five hours and a half, we came to Djama (جمع); and in six hours, to Tafa (تافه); the villages so named lying on both sides of the river. The plain between the banks of the river and the foot of the mountain is about a quarter of a mile in breadth. Here are the ruins of two buildings, standing near each other, of which nothing now remains but the foundations; they are constructed of sand-stone, in a very rude manner, and are about forty feet square. There are no fragments of columns, nor of sculptured stones of any kind. There are also some ruins on the opposite side. These are undoubtedly the remains of Taphis and Contra Taphis. Immediately to the south of the ruins, the mountains on both sides of the river prevent all passage along its banks; the road, in consequence, lies, for one hour, across the mountain, which I again found to be composed of rocks of granite. The granite chain had been uninterrupted from Assouan to Dehmyt. To the south of Dehmyt, the mountain which borders the river is composed of sand-stone, and continues thus as far as the second Cataract, at Wady Halfa, with the exception only of the granite rocks above Tafa, which extend as far as Kalabshe.

We descended again to the bank of the river in one hour, and passed the village of Darmout (درموت) built partly upon a rocky island, and partly upon the high rocks of the eastern shore. The effect of the evening sun upon the black granite islands, surrounded by the pure stream, and the verdant banks, was very beautiful From hence to Tafa the river is studded with numerous islands. Seven hours and three quarters brought us to El Kalabshe (القلابشه), the largest Wady, or assemblage of villages, we had yet passed. Although the plain is very narrow, there are nevertheless considerable mounds of rubbish and broken pottery, along the foot of the mountain, indicating the site of an ancient town; and as there is a large ruin opposite to this place, on the western bank, we may safely conjecture these to be Talmis and Contra Talmis[.] There are no remains of any edifice on the eastern side. The two hundred houses which compose the village on that bank occupy a space of about half an hour in length. In eight hours and a half we came to El Shekeyk(الشقيق); in eight hours and three quarters, to Abou Hor (ابو هور). In the course of this day, I passed several beds of torrents. When the rains are copious in the mountain, torrents occasionally rush down into the river, but they never continue longer than two days. These torrents account for the momentary increase of the Nile in Egypt, during the winter, when the river is at its lowest. Throughout Nubia, rain never falls in the valley, some light showers excepted; but there is a regular rainy season in the eastern mountains, as far as Suez, which produces abundant crops of wild herbs, and pasturage for the cattle of the Bedouins who inhabit those districts. I had occasion to mention a similar phenomenon, in my former Journals, in the mountains of Eastern Palestine. In the Ghor, or valley of the Jordan, rain seldom falls, while the mountains on either side have their regular rainy season. Our host at Abou Hor served us this evening with the dish called Asyde, which consists of the green ears of barley boiled in water, and mixed with milk.

Feb. 26th. The Wady Abou Hor is about three quarters of an hour in length. After a ride of two hours we passed the village Dandour (دندور); three hours and a half, Wady Abyadh (وادي ابيض). the plain still continuing very narrow. In order to gain some soil from the river, the ancient inhabitants of Nubia had erected numerous piers or jetties of stone, extending for twenty or thirty yards into the river; which, by breaking the force of the stream, would leave, on their northern side, a small extent of land free from water. Many of the piers still remain, but in a decayed state. I generally observed, on the western side of the river, a similar structure, exactly opposite to that on the eastern. In four hours and a half, Merye (مريه); five hours, Gyrshe (كرشه). I passed the ruins of an ancient town, probably Saracen, built partly of bricks, and partly of small stones. The natives say that a king of the name of Dabagora reigned here. The plain at Gyrshe is broader than I had any where yet seen it, to the south of Assouan, being about a mile. Like all the villages I had hitherto passed, Gyrshe is but poorly inhabited, two-thirds of the houses being abandoned. The country had been ruined by the Mamelouks, who remained here several months, when on their retreat before the Turkish troops of Mohammed Aly; and the little they left behind was consumed by the Turks under Ibrahim Beg, Mohammed Aly’ son, who finally succeeded in driving the Mamelouks out of Nubia, and across the mountains, into the plains of Dóngola. A terrible famine broke out after their retreat, in which one-third of the population of Nubia perished through absolute want; the remainder retired into Egypt, and settled in the villages between Assouan and Esne, where numbers of them were carried off by the small-pox. The present inhabitants had returned only a few months before my visit to these parts, and had begun to sow the fields after the inundation had subsided; but many of their brethren still con tinued in Egypt. The great number of newly-dug graves which I observed near each village, were too convincing proofs of the truth of the melancholy accounts which the natives gave me.

In six hours I came to Wady Kostamne (قُستَمنه) well built village. Here the Mamelouks fought a battle with the troops of Ibrahim Beg, and were routed. They retreated to the eastern mountains, where they remained for several months, till their enemies retired to Assouan; when the greater part of the Begs descended to the banks of the Nile, and as the stream happened at that moment (May, 1812) to be extremely low, they crossed it at a ford near Kostamne, with all their women and baggage. Some of them continued their route southward along the western bank, plundering in their way all the villages of Derr, Wady Halfa, Sukkot, and Mahass; while the chief Begs, with their Mamelouks, made a shortcut through the western desert; and the whole party united again on the banks of the Nile, near Argo, one of the principal places within the dominions of the King of Dongola; mustering in the whole about three hundred white Mamelouks, and as many armed slaves, the wretched remains of upwards of four thousand, against whom Mohammed Aly had begun his contest for the possession of Egypt. The fate of about twelve hundred of them, who, with their chief, Shahin Beg, were treacherously slaughtered in the castle of Cairo, notwithstanding the most solemn promises of personal security had been given to them, is too well known to be repeated here; but a similar massacre, which took place at Esne, is less known, and may here be related, as serving to prove the stupidity and infatuation which have always presided over the councils of the Mamelouks. These fierce horsemen had sought refuge in the mountains inhabited by the Ababde and Bisharye Arabs, where all their horses died from want of food, and where even the richest Begs had been obliged to expend their last farthing, in order to feed their troops, provisions being sold to them by the Arabs at the most exorbitant prices. Thus cut off from all the comforts, and luxuries of Egypt, to which they had been accustomed from their infancy, Ibrahim Beg thought it a propitious moment to ensnare them, as his father had done their brethren at Cairo. With this design, he sent them the most solemn promises of safe conduct, if they would descend from the mountain, and pledged himself that they should be all placed in situations under the government of Mohammed Aly, corresponding with the rank which each individual then held amongst themselves. It will hardly be believed that, well acquainted as they were with the massacre at Cairo in the preceding year, more than four hundred Mamelouks, headed by several Begs, accepted the delusive offer, and descended in small parties from the mountains. They were stripped in the way by faithless guides, so that, with the exception of about thirty, the whole reached the camp of Ibrahim Beg, then near Esne, in a state of nakedness. After the different parties had all joined, and it was ascertained that no others were ready to follow them, the signal of carnage was given, and the whole of them, with about two hundred black slaves, were unmercifully slaughtered in one night. Two French Mamelouks only were saved, through the interest of the physician of Ibrahim Beg. Similar instances of perfidy daily occur among the Turks; and it is matter of astonishment, that men should still be found stupid enough to allow themselves to be thus ensnared by them.

Eight hours and a quarter brought us to Djebel Heyaty (جبل حياتي) eight hours and a half to Kobban (قبّان), opposite the fine temple of Dakke, which stands on the western bank.

February 27. Near Kobban are the remains of an ancient town, enclosed by a wall of bricks burnt in the sun, much resembling that of Eleithias, to the north of Edfou in Egypt. The length of the oblong square is about 150 paces, its breadth 100 paces. The wall is upwards of 20 feet in thickness, and in several places more than 30 feet in height. Within its area are ruins of private habitations, partly constructed of stone, and partly of bricks. Some capitals of small columns of the Egyptian order lay about. On the S.E. corner of the wall, beyond its precincts, is the ruin of a very small Egyptian chapel, of a rude construction, with a few stones only remaining above the foundations. There are several hieroglyphic figures: a chariot sculptured on a stone indicates that a battle was represented. It appears that this enclosure, which stands close to the river, was meant as a castle. Large mounds of rubbish, the ruins of the ancient town, continue for about five minutes walk further. In one hour, I reached Oellaky (علاقي), having passed, close to it, a broad canal: similar canals are met with in almost every part of Nubia, where the extent of the shore, and its height above the level of the river, rendered artificial irrigation necessary; but they are now no longer taken care of, and are gradually choaking up. The plain here is a mile in breadth. Oellaky has given its name to a chain of mountains, which begins to the east of it, and runs quite across the high hills of the eastern desert, towards the shores of the Red Sea. If I am not mistaken, Bruce passed this chain. According to the reports of the natives, and the unanimous testimony of all the Arabian geographers, this mountain, called Djebel Oellaky, contains gold mines; I am inclined to believe, however, that the Bedouins, who alone wander about in those districts, and who must therefore be the authors of such reports, have mistaken yellow mica for gold; for the river carries down with it through the whole of Nubia a great deal of micaceous sand. Hassan Beg, the governor of Esne, who is fond of mineralogy, as far as it relates to precious stones and metals, had read in some book, of the mines of Oellaky; and being desirous to ascertain whether the report was true, sent four of his soldiers to escort a Greek, who pretends to a knowledge in stones, with an order to make researches in the mountain. They reached the village of Oellaky, and proceeded from thence about two hours to the eastward; but being frightened by a report that a large party of Mamelouks was descending from the mountain, they immediately returned, throwing the whole country into an alarm. I had met them at Dehmyt, when they earnestly pressed me to return with them, assuring me that the Mamelouks would certainly strike off my head, if they learnt that I was the bearer of letters from Hassan Beg. There was some truth in the report; for two Mamelouk Begs, Ibrahim Beg Djezayrly, and Osman Beg Bouhanes, who had remained in these mountains with the Arabs, after the departure of their companions for Dongola, in order to be as near at hand as possible, in the event of a change taking place in Egypt, had at last, with five of their women, and two servants only, been obliged, through absolute want, to rejoin their brethren. All the money and valuables which they possessed had been extorted from them by the Arabs, as the price of provisions; their horses had died; their Mamelouks had deserted them; and their clothes and equipages were in rags; in this state, they abandoned for the present all ideas of the re-conquest of Egypt, and quitting their station near the shores of the Red Sea opposite Djidda, they took the road to Derr. The arrival of the Greek and the four soldiers above mentioned drove them back one day’s journey into the mountain, until their spies informed them of their departure; they then returned, and arrived at Derr one day before me.

I travelled from two to three hours along a rocky shore, opposite the island Derar (درار), which is well cultivated, and about three quarters of an hour in length. On the western bank is the village of Korty. From three to four hours the Wady Meharraka (وادي محرقّه) extends; and farther south, from four to five hours, the Wady Thyale (وادي ثياله). I had here the pleasure of falling in with two English travellers, Messrs. Legh and Smelt, and Captain Barthod, an American; I had already seen the two former at Cairo, and at Siout. They had left Cairo on board a country ship, two days after my departure from thence, and on reaching Assouan, had hired a large boat to carry them up to Derr, from whence they had visited Ibrim, being the first Europeans who had reached that place, and examined the antiquities between it and the island of Philæ; for Norden saw them only through his telescope. I hailed their boat as I rode along the bank of the river, and we passed a few hours together, after which they pursued their course down to Assouan. In five hours and a half, I came to Wady Name (وادي نعمه); in six hours, Bareda (بارده); six and a half, Kokan (قوكان); here I saw a great number of crocodiles, the first I had seen since leaving Cairo, my road through Egypt having seldom been close along the river. Here also I observed stone piers in the river at several places. Seven hours and a half, Wady Nasrellab (وادي نصر الاب). South of Kokan, for two hours, the mountains come down so close to the river as to leave no space for a passage along its banks, and of course none for cultivation. We passed several beds of torrents. Eight hours and a half brought me to Wady Medyk (وادي مديك) where I slept.

February 28th. One hour from Wady Medyk is Wady Seboua (وادي سبوع), or the Lion’s Wady, so called from the figures of sphynxes with the bodies of lions, which stand before the ruined temple on the west side of the river, opposite to Seboua. This is the best cultivated part of the country which I met with, between Assouan and Derr. The inhabitants of Seboua, and those of Wady el Arab, to the south of them, are active merchants, and possessed of considerable wealth. They travel across the mountain to Berber (where Bruce’s Goos lies), eight days journies distant, and import from thence all the different articles of the Sennaar trade. This route is so perfectly secure that parties with four or five laden camels arrive almost weekly; but the character of these Arab merchants themselves is very indifferent; they are treacherous, and despised for their want of hospitality. The inhabitants of Seboua and Wady el Arab are not, like all their neighbours, of the tribe of Kenous, but belong to the Arabs Aleykat (عليقات), who are originally from the Hedjaz. Some of them wander about in the eastern mountains, like Bedouins; they all speak exclusively Arabic, and the greater part of them are ignorant of the language of the Kenous. The governors of Nubia levy a tribute from all the goods imported from the south by the Aleykat; but the latter being numerous, and well armed, seldom submit to any extra exactions from the governors, and have thus acquired considerable property. They dispose of the slaves, ivory, gum arabic, ostrich feathers, and camels, which they bring from Berber, in Upper Egypt, where they purchase the merchandize necessary for the southern market.

Two hours and a half from Wady Medyk is Wady el Arab (وادي العرب), where, besides the Aleykat, Arabs of the tribe of Gharbye (غربي) have been settled since the period of the Mohammedan conquest of Nubia. The shore is every where well cultivated. From three hours and a half, till five hours and a half, the rock is close to the river, with a narrow footpath on the bank; the road for camels traverses the rugged sand-rocks and deep valleys of the mountain. Five hours and a half brought us to Wady Songary (وادي سنكاري); six hours and a half, to Korosko (قرسكو). Here the shore widens, and a grove of date-trees begins, which lines the banks of the river as far as Ibrim. Groups of houses are now met with at every hundred yards, which render it difficult to determine the exact limits of each village. At seven hours, is Beshyra Nerke (بشير نرقه); seven and a quarter, Shakke (شقّه); eight hours, Kherab (خراب). Here are some heaps of hewn stones, the remains of ancient edifices, from which the village has taken its name (Kherab signifying ruined). Nine hours, Wady Ueshra (وادي عشرا). Nine and a half, Wady Diwan (ديوان). Ten and a half, Derr, (الدر), the chief place between Egypt and Dongola. I do not remember to have seen, in any part of Egypt, fields more carefully cultivated than are those between Korosko and Derr. The peasants houses too are larger, and more cleanly, than those of the Egyptian Felah.

March 1st. I had reached Derr late in the evening, and alighted at the house of Hassan Kashef, as do all travellers of respectability, and where the two Mamelouk Begs above mentioned were also quartered. As the governor had retired to his women’s apartments, I did not wait upon him, but went to rest, having refused to answer all the inquisitive questions put to me as well by his people, as by the servants of the Begs; but the next morning, Hassan, after having visited the Mamelouks, surprised me in the open hall where I was lodged, before I had risen, and immediately asked me what was the object of my arrival, and whether I was a merchant, or sent to him by the Pasha of Egypt. It had been my intention, before I knew of the arrival of the Mamelouks, to pass for a person sent by the Pasha upon a secret mission into Nubia, having learnt from the people of Upper Egypt, that the governors of that country dread the power of Mohammed Aly, and would not dare to molest me: but when I was apprised of the arrival of the two Begs, and being also led to believe, from the conversation of the peasants at whose houses I had slept in my way up to Derr, that the Nubian princes were as much afraid of the Mamelouks, their southern neighbours, as they are of their northern one, I thought it would be dangerous to disguise my real intentions; and, encouraged by the success of Messrs. Legh and Smelt, I candidly told Hassan Kashef, that I had merely come to make a tour of pleasure through Nubia, like the two gentlemen who had been at Derr before me; and presented to him, at the same time, my letters of recommendation. I however profited little by my candour. The frank avowal of my intentions was interpreted as a mere scheme of deception; no one would believe that I was only a curious traveller; the Arabic I spoke, and my acquaintance with Turkish manners, led the Kashef to believe that I was a Turk, and sent by Hassan Beg of Esne to watch his motions; and the two Begs, although they had behaved remarkably civil to me, upon my visiting them, strengthened the Kashef in his opinion. I spent the whole of this day, and part of the next, in negotiations with the governor, in order to obtain a guide to conduct me to the southward. An offering of soap, coffee, and two red caps, worth, altogether, about sixty piastres, which I made to him, would, at any other time, have been very acceptable; but the presents made to him by Messrs. Legh and Smelt were worth about 1000 piastres, and they had only gone to Ibrim, “while you,” said the Governor, “give me a few trifles, and wish to go beyond that place, even to the second Cataract.”— I replied, that my present was certainly not proportionate to his rank and claims; but that it was already more than my means could afford; and that I thought myself possessed of an advantage over my predecessors in my letters of recommendation from Esne. The following lucky incident at last led to the attainment of my wishes: I had been informed that a large caravan was on its way from Mahass to Esne, and that a considerable part of the merchandize belonged to the Kashef himself, who wished to sell it at Siout and Cairo. I therefore waited privately upon him, and told him, that if I returned to Esne, and the Beg who had given me the letter of recommendation, should be informed of the little attention that had been paid to his letter, in not allowing me to pass beyond the second Cataract, notwithstanding its express tenour that I should be so permitted, he would readily think himself justified in raising a contribution upon the caravan on its arrival at Esne, or impeding its route towards Siout. This became a matter of serious reflection with the Kashef; and he at last addressed me in the following terms: “Whoever you may be, whether an Englishman, like the two other persons who passed here, or an agent of the Pasha, I shall not send you back unsatisfied: you may proceed; but, farther than Sukkot the road is not safe for you; and from thence, therefore, you will return.” I requested a letter of recommendation for Sukkot, which was immediately written, and a Bedouin guide also was soon found. I bought some Dhourra and dates, for provision on the road, and left Derr a little before noon on the 2d of March, the two Mamelouk Begs in vain endeavouring to create obstacles to the prosecution of my journey. But before I continue the description of my route, I shall here give some details concerning the country I had already passed through from Assouan, and its inhabitants.

The general direction of the river from Assouan to Korosko is south; it there takes a western course, which it retains the whole of the way to Dongola. The eastern bank is, throughout, better adapted for cultivation than the western; and wherever the former is of any breadth, it is covered with the rich alluvial earth deposited by the Nile. On the western side, on the contrary, the sands of the desert are impetuously carried to the very brink of the river, by the north-west winds which prevail during the winter and spring seasons; and it is, generally, only in those places where the course of the sandy torrent is arrested by the mountain, that the narrow plain admits of cultivation. The eastern shore is, in consequence, much more populous than the western; but it is not a little singular, that all the chief remains of antiquity are upon the latter. The ancient Egyptians, perhaps, worshipped their bounteous deities more particularly in those places where they had most to dread from the inimical deity Typhon, or the personified desert, who stands continually opposed to the beneficent Osiris, or the waters of the Nile.

The bed of the river is, in general, much narrower than in any part of Egypt, and the course of its waters less impeded by sandbanks. Immediately after the inundation, the poor Nubians cultivate, on the narrow shore, Dhourra, and the grain called Dokhen (دخن), of which bread is made; but it is upon the crop of Dhourra that they depend for their subsistence; while its dry stalks serve during the whole of the summer, as food for their cattle, instead of straw. The Birsim, or lucerne of Egypt, is unknown here, as well as in Upper Egypt, south of Kenne. After the inundation has subsided, and the Dhourra harvest is finished, the soil is irrigated by means of water wheels (Sakie ساقيه), turned by cows, which throw up the water either from the river, or from pits dug in the shore; for water is every where found in plenty, on digging to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet, after the inundation; it is the same in Upper Egypt during the summer; but the water of these pits or wells has a disagreeable, brackish taste; and even the best of it is very heavy, and difficult to digest. In order that the soil may be well soaked, the fields are divided into numerous small squares, of about ten feet each, with elevated borders, so as to retain the water, which is conveyed to them by narrow side channels. The fields are then sown for the second time with barley, a kind of bean called Kasherangag, tobacco of the worst kind, and the French bean (Louby), the leaves of which afford, when boiled, a soup much esteemed among the Nubians. I seldom saw any wheat. Near Derr are some fields of lentils, peas, and water melons. On the declivity of the shore, towards the river, which is more humid, and less exposed to the sun than the upper plain, a kind of bitter horse-bean (Turmus ترمس) is sown, which does not require irrigation; they are well known in Egypt, and are the Lupini of the Italians. The wheat and barley are ripe in the middle of March. In the end of April, after the latter is reaped, the ground is sometimes sown, a third time, with Dhourra; and watered by means of the water-wheels. This is called “the summer seed” (زرع صيفي), and comes to maturity in the month of July; but the most fertile spots only are used for it.

Besides the palm and Doum tree, a variety of thorny trees of the Mimosa species (Sant صنت) grow wild on the banks of the river. The low shrub of the Senna (Senna mekke سنا مكّه), is every where met with from Esne to Mahass, growing wild, but upon those spots only which have been inundated. This Senna, however, is little esteemed for its quality, and is used only by the peasants, who are well acquainted with its medicinal virtues. The Senna of Upper Egypt is distinguished from that of Nubia, and of the mountains, by the larger size of its leaves. Among the mounds of sand on the western shore grows the tamarisk (طرفا), the same tree which lines the borders of the Euphrates, in the Mesopotamian deserts.

Of animals I saw but few, in riding along the banks of the river. The cattle of the Nubians consist in cows, sheep, and goats; and sometimes a few buffaloes are met with. The wealthier have asses. Few camels are seen, except among the merchants of Seboua, and in Wady el Arab. In the eastern mountain, the mountain goat, or Bouquetin of the Alps, (called in Upper Egypt Taital تَيتل ) is found, one of which I saw at Siout: it is called Beden in Arabia Petræa. The Arabs Bisharye speak of a wild sheep, with straight horns, which inhabits their mountains. Gazelles of the common gray species are every where in great numbers; and hares are not uncommon; some of the Arabs Kerrarish hunt them both with greyhounds kept for that purpose.

The birds of Nubia are, a small species of partridge, with red legs, which sometimes afforded me a welcome supper; wild geese of the largest kind, a few storks, the eagle Rakham, crows in vast numbers, the bird Katta, but in small flights, and clouds of sparrows, which are the terror of the Nubians, as they devour at least one-third of the harvest. A species of lapwing is also extremely common. It is the head of this bird which is represented in the hieroglyphic figures upon the augural staff; at least so it appeared to me whenever I saw the bird displaying its crest. A white water-bird of the size of a large goose, called Kork, by the natives, inhabits the sandy islands in the Nile, in flocks of several hundreds together, but I could never get near enough to examine any of them. The bird Zakzak (زقزاق) frequently seen in Upper Egypt, which is said to creep into the crocodile’s mouth, and to feed upon the digested food which that animal throws up from its stomach, does not visit Nubia; neither did I see any bird of the shape of the Ibis.

On the sandy shore, on the west side of the Nile, are numberless beetles (Scarabæi), of great variety in size and shape; I often found the sandy road on that side completely covered with the traces of their feet. The Nubians, who call them Kafers, or Infidels, dread them from a belief that they are venomous, and that they poison whatever kind of food they touch. Their colour is generally black, and the largest I have seen were of the size of a half-crown piece. The worship paid to this animal by the ancient Egyptians may probably have had its origin in Nubia; it might well be adopted as a symbol of passive resignation to the decrees of providence; for it is impossible, from the sandy mounds which they inhabit, that these beetles can ever taste water, and the food they partake of must be very scanty; they are however always seen busily and unweariedly toiling their way over the sands.

The Nubians have no fishing apparatus whatever, except at the first Cataract, at Derr, and at the second Cataract, where some fish are occasionally caught in nets. The two species of fish which seem to be most common, are called by the natives Dabesk and Meslog.

The country which I had crossed, from Assouan to Derr, is divided by its inhabitants into two parts: the Wady el Kenous, which extends from Assouan to Seboua, and the Wady Nouba, comprising the whole country south of Seboua, as far as the northern limits of Dongola. Of the Wady Nouba, and its inhabitants, I shall speak hereafter. The Wady el Kenous is inhabited by the Arabs Kenous (sing. Kensy, قنسي), who derive their origin, according to their own tradition, from the deserts of Nedjed, and who settled here at the period when the great Bedouin tribes from the East spread over Egypt. Among these were also Bedouins of the neighbourhood of Bagdad, whose descendants are still known by the name of Bagdadli, and inhabit the Wady Dehmyt, and Wady el Embarakat, on the western side of the river. The Kenous are subdivided into many smaller tribes, which have given their names to the districts they inhabit; thus, Wady Nasrellab, Abou Hor, &c. &c., are inhabited by Kenous of the tribe of Nasrellab, and Abou Hor. Great jealousies often exist amongst these different tribes, which sometimes break out in wars.

It should seem that the new settlers had soon familiarized themselves with the conquered natives, whose language they adopted, and still retain. This language has no Arabic sounds whatever, and is spoken all the way south of Assouan, as far as Seboua, and in every village to the north of the former place, as far as Edfou; numbers of Kenous having settled in Upper Egypt in later times. I have subjoined a vocabulary of the Kenous and another of the Nouba. It is a fact worthy of notice, that two foreign tongues should have subsisted so long, to the almost entire exclusion of the Arabic, in a country bordered on one side by Dongola and on the other by Egypt, in both of which Arabic is exclusively spoken. Those only of the Kenous who have been in Egypt speak Arabic; their women are, for the greater part, entirely ignorant of it. Nor is it less remarkable that the Aleykat Arabs of Seboua, and Wady el Arab, have retained their pure Arabic, placed as they are on the boundaries both of the Kenous and Nouba. The men are acquainted with both languages; but the Aleykat women understand Arabic only.

The way of living, and the manners, of the Nouba and Kenous being much the same, I shall speak of them, after I have given a description of my route.

The neighbourhood of Derr is interesting on account of a temple situated on the declivity of a rocky hill, just behind the village. Its structure denotes remote antiquity. The gods of Egypt appear to have been worshipped here long before they were lodged in the gigantic temples of Karnac and Gorne, which are, to all appearance, the most ancient temples in Egypt. The temple of Derr is entirely hewn out of the sand-stone rock, with its pronaos, sekos or cella, and adyton. The pronaos consists of three rows of square pillars, four in each row. The row of pillars nearest the cella, which were originally joined by the roof to the main temple, are of larger dimensions than the rest; they are nearly four feet square, and about fourteen feet high, and are still entire, while fragments of the shafts only remain of the two outer rows. In front of each of the four pillars are the legs of a colossal figure, similar to those of the temple of Gorne, at Thebes. A portion of the excavated rock which had formed one of the walls of the pronaos, has fallen down; on the fragments of it, a battle is represented: the hero, in his chariot, is pursuing his vanquished foe, who retires to a marshy and woody country, carrying the wounded along with him. In a lower compartment of the same wall, the prisoners, with their arms tied behind their backs, are brought before the executioner, who is represented in the act of slaying one of them. All these figures are much defaced. On the opposite wall is their battle, but in a still more mutilated: in this, prisoners are brought before the hawk-headed Osiris. On the front wall of the cella, on each side of the principal entrance, Briareus is represented in the act of being slain, and Osiris, with uplifted arm, arresting the intended blow. This is the same group which is so often seen in the Egyptian temples; but, Briareus has here only two heads, and four arms, instead of the numerous heads and arms represented in Egypt. On the four pillars in front of the cella, variously dressed figures are sculptured, two generally together, taking each other by the hand. The Egyptian Mendes, or Priapus, is also repeatedly seen. The cella of the temple consists of an apartment thirteen paces square, which receives its light only through the principal gate, and a smaller one, on the side of it. Two rows of square pillars, three in each row, extend from the gate of the cella to the adytum: these pillars show the infancy of architecture, being mere square blocks, hewn out of the rock, without either base or capital; they are somewhat larger at the bottom than at the top. The inside walls of the cella, and its six pillars, are covered with mystic figures, in the usual style; they are of much ruder workmanship than any I have seen in Egypt. Some remains of colour prove that all these figures were originally painted. On one of the side walls of the cells, are five figures, in long robes, with shaven heads, carrying a boat upon their shoulders, the middle of which is also supported by a man with a lion’s skin upon his shoulder. In the posterior wall of the cells, is a door, with the winged globe over it, which leads into the small adytum, where the seats of four figures remain, cut out of the back wall. On both sides of the adytum are small chambers, with private entrances into the cella; in one of which a deep excavation makes it probable that it was used as a sepulchre.

On the side of the mountain, near the temple, are some sepulchral pits excavated out of the rocky ground: over two of them are the following inscriptions, which I copied:

image

Derr being the principal place in Nubia, and the usual residence of the chiefs, whenever they are not travelling about, is resorted to by strangers, and carries on some commerce. The dates of Derr and Ibrim are much esteemed in Egypt, and the merchants of Esne and Assouan export many ship-loads from hence in autumn, when the height of the waters insures a quick passage down the river. Young date trees are also carried hence to Egypt, as the trees propagated there from seed soon degenerate. The dates are paid for in Dhourra, and in coarse linen and Melayes, of Esne and Siout manufacture; but if the harvest of Dhourra has been abundant in Nubia, the payment is then made in Spanish dollars. The state of commercial intercourse in this country is, however, very bad; dates, for example, bought at Derr, even when paid for in cash, leave, when sold at Cairo, a clear profit, after paying all expenses, of at least 400 per cent. Dhourra, on the contrary, carried from Assouan to Derr, yields there 100 per cent. profit. The hundred weight of dates at Derr is worth about eight shillings. The common currency is the Moud, or small measure of Dhourra, by which every article of low value is estimated. The dollar is rather an article of exchange than a currency. Piastres and paras have only been known here since the invasion of the Mamelouks.

The village of Derr stands in a grove of date trees, and consists of about two hundred houses. Hassan Kashef and his two brothers have each a good house. The greater part of the inhabitants are Turks, the descendants of the Bosnian soldiers who were sent by Sultan Selym to take possession of the country.

March 2d. I departed from Derr with an old Arab, named Mohammed Abou Saad (محمّد أبو سَعد), one of the Bedouins called Kerrarish (قاريش). These Bedouins, a remote branch of the Ababde, pasture their cattle on the uninhabited banks of the river, and on its islands, from Derr southward, as far as Mahass and Dongola, where they are said to be more numerous than in Nubia. They are poor; their tents are formed of mats made of the leaves of palm-trees, with a partition in the middle to separate the women’s apartment; but, notwithstanding their poverty, they refuse to give their daughters in marriage to the Nubians, and have thus preserved their race pure. They pride themselves, and justly, in the beauty of their girls. The Kerrarish are, for the most part, in the service of the governors of Nubia, to whom they are attached as a corps of guards, and guides, and accompany them in their journies through their dominions. Whilst the father and grown up sons are absent, the mother and daughters remain in their solitary tent; for they generally live in separate families, and not in encampments. These Bedouins receive occasional presents from the chiefs of Nubia, and such of them as cultivate the islands in the river are exempted from taxes. They are a very honest and hospitable people, and more kind in their dispositions, than any of the inhabitants of Nubia whom I met with. Those who are not in the employ of the governors, gain their livelihood either by acting as guides, or in collecting the senna in the eastern mountain, which they sell to the merchants of Esne at about £1. per camel’s load (from four to five hundred weight). Numbers of them also travel from Wady Halfa, on the Nile, three days journies into the western desert, and collect there the Shabb, (شبّ) or nitre, which they exchange with the same merchants for Dhourra; giving two measures of the former for three equal measures of the latter. The nitre is found on digging only a few inches deep, and covers a space of several miles in extent. This is, however, a perilous traffic, as the inhabitants of Kubbanye, a village about twelve miles north of Assouan, also engage in it; these are eleven days in reaching the nitre pits, and whenever the two parties meet, a bloody conflict ensues. Between Wady Haifa and the Shabb, one day’s distance from the latter, is a spring where is some verdure, and where a few Doum trees grow. North of the Shabb, one day, in the direction of the great Oasis, is a similar spring, called Nary (ناري), with many date trees growing round it.

After having rode along by the date groves, and well built peasants houses, for about half an hour from Derr, we ascended the eastern mountain, the road along the river side being interrupted by the rocks. On the top of the mountain is a wide plain, covered with small fragments of loose sand-stone; and bordered on the east, at about two hours distance, by a higher range of mountains. We continued along this plain in the direction of W.S.W., until two hours and a half from Derr, when we descended again to the banks of the river, near the village Kette (قتّه), where we crossed the dry bed of a branch of the stream, and alighted on an island, at the tent of my guide, where I remained for the night. These people, who all speak Arabic as well as the Nouba language, are quite black, but have nothing of the Negro features. The men generally go naked, except a rag twisted round their middle; the women have a coarse shirt thrown about them. Both sexes suffer the hair of the head to grow; they cut it above the neck, and twist it all over in thin ringlets, in a way similar to that of the Arab of Souakin, whose portrait is given by Mr. Salt in Lord Valentia’s Travels. Their hair is very thick, but not woolly; the men never comb it, but the women sometimes do; the latter wear on the back part of the head, ringlets, or a small ornament, made of mother of pearl and Venetian glass beads. Both men and women grease their head and neck with butter whenever they can afford it; this custom answers two purposes; it refreshes the skin heated by the sun, and keeps off vermin. The young boys go quite naked; but the grown up girls tie round their waist a string of leather tassels, much resembling the feather ornaments worn for a like purpose by the south sea islanders.

March 3d. I sent my guide back to Derr, to purchase more Dhourra, in order that we might give some of it to the camels, in those places where no wild herbs grow; and on his return we set out. Our road lay along a grove of date trees, and an uninterrupted row of houses, for two hours, when the perpendicular rock reached close to the river. At the height of about sixty or eighty feet above the footpath, I observed from below, the entrance to an apartment hewn in the rock, but without any road leading to it, the rock being there quite perpendicular. In like manner I have seen sepulchres cut in the rock of Wady Mousa in Arabia Petræa, which can only be approached by means of ladders, forty or fifty feet in height. In two hours and a half we reached the castle of Ibrim (إبريم), which is now completely in ruins, the Mamelouks having sustained a siege in in last year, and in their turn besieged the troops of Ibrahim Beg, in the course of which operations, the walls were battered with the few cannon that were found in the castle, and many of the houses of the village levelled with the ground.

Ibrim is built upon an insulated rocky hill, just above the river, and is surrounded by barren mountains entirely incapable of cultivation, on the tops of which are many ancient tombs of Turkish saints. The houses are constructed of loose sand-stone, as is the modern wall which surrounds the town. On the west side are some remains of the ancient wall; this had been built of hewn stones cemented together with great neatness: the stones are rather small. It appeared to me to be an erection of the Lower Empire. Within the area of the town are the remains of two public buildings, probably Greek churches, built in the same style as the ancient wall. The castle is about fifteen minutes walk in circumference. A small gray granite column was the only remnant of antiquity it contained.

The castle of Ibrim, with its territory, which commences half an hour south of Derr, and extends as far as Tosko, is in the hands of the Aga of Ibrim, who is independent of the governors of Nubia; the inhabitants being thus freed from taxes, and paying nothing to their own Aga, had in the course of years acquired, by the annual sale of their dates, great wealth both in money and cattle; but the Mamelouks, in their retreat last year, destroyed in a few weeks the fruits of a century. They took from the Wady Ibrim about twelve hundred cows, all the sheep and goats, imprisoned the most respectable people, for whose ransom they received upwards of 100,000 Spanish dollars; and on their departure, put the Aga to death; their men having eaten up or destroyed all the provisions they could meet with. This scene of pillage, was followed by a dreadful famine, as I have already mentioned. The people of Ibrim are often at war with the governors of Nubia, and although comparatively few in number, are a match for the latter; being all well provided with fire arms. They are white, compared with the Nubians, and still retain the features of their ancestors, the Bosnian soldiers who were sent to garrison Ibrim by the great Sultan Selym. They all dress in coarse linen gowns, and most of them wear something like a turban: “We are Turks,” they say, “and not Noubas.” As they are not under absolute subjection to their Aga, and independant of every other power, quarrels are very frequent among them. They have a hereditary Kady: blood is revenged by blood; no commutation in money being accepted for it when death ensues; but all wounds have their stated fines, according to the parts of the body upon which they are inflicted. A similar law prevails among the Syrian Bedouins. When a Turk of Ibrim marries, he presents his wife with a wedding dress, and gives her besides, a written bond for three or four hundred piastres, half of which sum is paid to her in case of a divorce. Divorces, however, are very rare. At a wedding a cow or a calf is killed; for to eat mutton upon such an occasion would be a great scandal to the spouse.

In no part of the Eastern world, in which I have travelled, have I ever found property in such perfect security as in Ibrim. The inhabitants leave the Dhourra in heaps on the field, without a watch, during the night; their cattle feed on the barks of the river without anyone to tend them; and the best parts of the household furniture are left all night under the palm-trees around the dwelling; in short, the people agreed in saying, that theft was quite unknown in their territory. It ought, however, to be added, that the Nubians, in general, are free from the vice of pilfering.

From Ibrim we crossed the mountain, and at one hour’s distance from it descended to the river side, at Wady Shubak (شُباق), whither most of the inhabitants of Ibrim retired, after the passage of the Mamelouks. We slept here, at the house of the children of the Aga whom the Mamelouks murdered. Wherever I alighted, a number of peasants assembled, in the evening, at the house; I always gave out that I had business of a public nature with the two chiefs, who were stationed to the south of Sukkot, and being accompanied by a man known to be attached to the Kashefs, no one dared to create the least obstacle to my journey. Indeed, travellers in Nubia, in general, have little to fear from the ill will of the peasants; it is the rapacious spirit of the governors that is to be dreaded.

March 4th. The grove of date trees continues to the south of Shubak. I found many of the houses abandoned; and at every step were graves. The Nubians place an earthen vessel by the side of every grave, which they fill with water at the moment the deceased is interred, and leave it there: the grave itself is covered with small pebbles of various colours, and two large palm leaves are stuck into the ground at either extremity; the symbol of victory thus becoming, in Nubia, that of death. Near Shubak are some mounds of hewn stones, indicating the remains of an ancient edifice. One hour from Ibrim brought us to Wady Bostan (وادي بستان). The soil, fit for culture, is here very narrow; the eastern mountain is distant about one hour; between it and the plain is a rising spot of ground covered with loose sandstones. The shape of the insulated mountains which compose this part of the chain, is remarkable; most of them resembling cones flattened on the top, or perfect pyramids; and when viewed from afar, they appear so regular, that they seem to be the work of man. In two hours and a half we came to the village of Tosko (تسقه), the southern limits of Wady Ibrim. In the rocky plain east of Tosko stands an insulated, shattered rock, with several sepulchres excavated in it; these are supported on the inside by low square pillars: in one of them, a vaulted passage leads out to a back entrance. They are of very rude workmanship; and have no sculptures upon the walls, except the figure of the cross. Near the rock are considerable mounds of rubbish. It is matter of surprise, that these are the only sepulchres met with in the eastern hills, from Assouan to this place: the sand-stone rock might have easily been excavated, as has been done in numerous places in Egypt. Tosko continues for about one hour. Three hours and a half, passed over the mountain. Four and a half, Ermenne (ارمنّه), a fine village, belonging to the territory of Nubia. Our road had been till now, in the direction of S.W. From hence, southward, we travelled W.S.W. Five hours and a half, again passed over the mountain, which is close to the river. Six hours, Formundy (فرمندي), a poor village, extending for several miles. The Nubians here grow a little cotton, small plantations of which are every where met with from Kenne, in Upper Egypt, as far as Dongola. The women weave the cotton into coarse shirts, or sell it for Dhourra to the merchants of Derr. Seven hours and a half, we passed the ruins of a Greek church, which had been used in later times as a mosque. Its walls, for half their height, are constructed of small stones, and the upper part of bricks burnt in the sun; there are many names of visitors written on the white plaister; the writing is of the latest time of the Lower Empire. The river here has many windings; and this part of it is reputed a favourite haunt of the crocodile. I saw myself half a dozen of them lying close together on a sandbank. All the Nubians, as well as the people of Upper Egypt, eat the flesh of this animal whenever they can catch it, which is, however, very seldom.

Beyond the Greek church, the road again crosses the mountain, on the other side of which, at eight hours and a half, is the Wady Fereyg (فريك). The different villages comprised under the collective term Wady, are generally separated from the Wadys on their northern or southern side by a part of the mountain projecting close to the river, which thus forms a natural division. Nine hours and a half, long after sunset, we alighted, at the house of one of the wives of Hassan Kashef, where I slept. Our day’s march, reckoning by the length of the day, must have been at least ten hours and a half. My watch had unfortunately stopped, from the dust having penetrated into it. My day’s march in Nubia is therefore calculated only by the sun’s height, and the length of the day; I may have in this way erred as to partial distances from one village to another; but the entire day’s route will generally be found correct.

March 5th. In half an hour we arrived at the Akabe of Fereyg, or the place where the mountain separates that Wady from its southern neighbour. I sent my guide, with the camels, over the mountain; and following a narrow foot-path along the almost perpendicular shore, I arrived; at one hour’s distance from Fereyg, at an ancient temple hewn out of the rocky side of the mountain; no other road leads up to it but this dangerous foot-path, neither are there any traces of an ancient road. I entered through a high narrow gateway into a small Egyptian temple, cut entirely out of the rock, and in as perfect a state of preservation, as when first finished. It consists of a cella, ten paces in length and seven in breadth, and about twelve feet high. Within it are four columns, with Egyptian capitals. On either side of the cella is an apartment which receives light only by the entrance from the cells. Low stone benches run along the walls of the cells, a peculiarity which I had not seen in any other Egyptian temple. There is an ascent by three low steps from the cella into the adytum, in which is a deep sepulchral excavation; there is also a similar but smaller one in the cella itself. The walls both of the cella and adytum are covered with mystic sculptures in the usual style, but there are none in the two side chambers. The Greeks had converted this temple into a church, and had plaistered the walls white, to receive their paintings, many of which still remain; a St. George killing the dragon is particularly conspicuous. Many Greek travellers have inscribed their names on the walls. The whole fabric is of coarse excution, and the hieroglyphics much in the same style as those at Derr. On the opposite side of the river, a little to the north of it, is the large temple or Ebsambal, and the colossal figures, of which I shall speak hereafter.

One hour and three quarters from Fereyg, I rejoined my guide, at the foot of an insulated hill, close to the water, on which a castle has been built, resembling in size and form, that at Ibrim; it bears the name of Kalat Adde (قلعت ادّه); it has been abandoned many years, being entirely surrounded by barren rocks. Part of its ancient wall, similar in construction to that of Ibrim, still remains. The habitations are built partly of stone and partly of bricks. On the most elevated spot in the small town, eight or ten gray granite columns of small dimensions lie on the ground, with a few capitals of red sand-stone near them, of clumsy Greek architecture. The rock of this hill is a fine pudding-stone, of flint, quartz, and red sand-stone; the only specimen of the kind I have met with in Nubia. Opposite the castle, the river forms a large island, called Beyllany (جزيرة بيلاني), from the name of the village nearest to it, on the western side. The mountain round Adde is composed of rugged hills of grotesque shape, which seem to have been shattered by some violent commotion of nature. From hence, upwards, the course of the river is W.S.W. Two hours and a half from Fereyg, the eastern mountain branches out far to the eastward, and closes with the river again beyond the second Cataract of Wady Halfa. The wild shrub, Oshour (عشور), called by the Arabs of the Dead Sea, Asheyr (عشير), grows here in great quantity. This plant produces a fruit, within which is a bunch of silky fibres enveloping a small bean. It has been described by Norden. It grows in every part of Upper Egypt, south of Siout, in sandy spots near the river; but is not so large there as it is in Nubia; the Egyptians call it Fetme (فتمه). From Silsilis (south of Edfou) to the district of Mahass, it is the most common weed met with on the road: its leaves are poisonous to the camels. The Coloquintida (حَنضَل) is likewise frequently met with, where the Oshour grows. Like the Arabian Bedouins, the Nubians make tinder of it. At the end of three hours we passed, in the sandy plain, a number of tumuli, or barrows, of various sizes, covered with sand; I counted about twenty-five within the circuit of a mile and a half: the regularity of their shape, which is exactly the same as that of the tumuli in the Syrian deserts, and the plain of Troy, makes it almost certain, that they are artificial. Three hours and a half, Kosko, a small village. Four hours, the large village of Endhana, also called Adhendhan (أنضانا-أضنضان). In riding along, we were invited to a funeral feast by the inhabitants of a house belonging to some relation of the Nubian princes; the possessor had died a few days before at Derr, and on receiving the news of his death, his relations here had slaughtered a cow, with which they were entertaining the whole neighbourhood; at two hours distance from the village, I met women with plates upon their heads, who had been receiving their share of the meat. Cows are killed only by people of consequence, on the death of a near relation; the common people content themselves with a sheep or a goat, the flesh of which is equally distributed; the poorer class distribute some bread only at the grave of the deceased. Four hours and three quarters; upon the hill, at the south end of Wady Endhana, opposite the village of Faras, on the west side of the river, stands an ancient ruined mosque. Five hours and a half, passed the fine island of Faras. The country is here open, but the plain, on both sides of the river, is covered with sand. Seven hours, the village Serra gharby (سرّه غربي) on the west side. Seven and a half, the ruins of a small Arab town close to the water, enclosed by a thick brick wall. Eight hours, Serra (سرّه), a fine village; eight and a half, Debeyra (دبَيرَه), where I slept. My guide always conducted me to the house of the principal person in the village; we should otherwise have often gone supperless to rest. Wherever we alighted, a mat was spread for us upon the ground, just before the gate of the house, which strangers are never permitted to enter, unless they are intimate acquaintance. Dhourra bread, with milk, was our usual supper; to this were sometimes added dates. The landlord never eats with his guests, except when earnestly pressed to do so. Our camels were not always fed by our hosts, who excused themselves, by saying that the stock of Dhourra stalks was already exhausted. If the stranger is to be well treated, a breakfast is brought in, at sunrise, before he departs; it consists of hot milk and bread, the supper being usually cold: but we were seldom so fortunate as to get a breakfast, and generally rode the whole day without tasting any thing but a few dates from our own stock, at some spot where we stopped in the morning to bait our camels upon the tamarisk or acacia trees.

March 6th. Our road lay over a fertile plain, covered with date trees and habitations, to Eshke (أشقه). The Nile had been so very low last year, that the plain had not been inundated. An old man, a relation of the governors of Nubia, on seeing me pass by his house, invited me to stop, and entertained me most hospitably. He had been, in his youth, governor of Sukkot, where he had acted with great tyranny; but he seemed to have repented of his former deeds, and was now become the benefactor of Eshke. A handful of burnt coffee, which I gave him, was a most acceptable present, and he insisted upon my staying with him one day, promising that he would cause a lamb to be killed for me; but this did not appear to me a sufficient temptation to retard my journey.

The slave caravan from Mahass, which I mentioned above, passed along the west bank of the river, while I was at Eshke; the usual route of these caravans, which generally visit Egypt twice in the year, lies across the desert, from Mahass to the Great Oasis, a journey of twenty-three days; and from thence to Siout and Cairo. It was only this year that the slave-traders, informed of the perfectly tranquil state of Nubia and Upper Egypt, had ventured to proceed along the banks of the Nile, a road they had not followed in the memory of man.

To the south of Eshke is a sandy plain; in three hours, we reached Dabrous (دَبروس); the direction of the road S.W. by S. Four hours, Sukoy (سَقوي). Five hours, Wady Halfa (وادي حلفه), to the east of which, the eastern mountain terminates in slight undulations of the ground; but these increase in size, and collect again into mountains, about thirty miles farther up. There is some trade carried on at Wady Halfa; vessels from Assouan often moor here to load dates, and the nitre which the Arabs collect at three days journeys from hence in the western desert. In summer, the navigation from Derr to Wady Haifa becomes, in many places, very difficult, except for small boats, on account of the sand banks. One of the relations of the governors of Nubia resides here, and collects the revenue.

At the end of six hours, we came to the southern extremity of Wady Halfa. The river forms here several islands, upon one of which are the remains of an ancient town, built of bricks, with a high brick wall. Seven hours, the plain over which we rode became uneven, and studded with insulated clusters of rocks, whose summits just appear above the surface of the sand. To the west is the second Cataract. Eight hours, halted for the night, in this desert, near one of the islands, which are formed by the river. The noise of the Cataract was heard in the night, at about half an hour’s distance. The place is very romantic; when the inundation subsides, many small lakes are left among the rocks; and the banks of these, overgrown with large tamarisks, have a picturesque appearance amidst the black and green rocks; the lakes and pools thus formed cover a space of upwards of two miles in breadth. I here shot a wild-goose, which afforded a supper to our party, now increased by the company of a poor young girl from Dabrous, who ran after us, when she saw us pass by, and begged we would take her under our protection as far as Wady Mershed, beyond the Cataract. From Wady Haifa to Sukkot is a stony wilderness, with many cataracts in the river, similar to that at Assouan; and the navigation is interrupted for about one hundred miles. This rocky tract is called Dar el Hadjar, or Batn el Hadjar, i. e. the rocky district, or the “womb of rocks.”

March 7th. After a march of one hour, the straggling hillocks and mounds rose into a low chain of hills, the road amongst them being a perfect sandy plain. In one hour and a half we came to Wady Amka (وادي عمقه). In the Batn el Hadjar, there occur a few spots that admit of cultivation; but they consist of very narrow strips of plain by the side of the river, where the banks are generally so high, that the waters do not reach them during the inundation, and where the soil must consequently be irrigated, by means of water-wheels. These narrow plains, called Wady, as in other parts of the country, were formerly well cultivated. Their principal inhabitants pretend to be Sherifs from Mekka, and to have come here at the time of the invasion of the other Arab tribes. They have a chief named Abdallah Ibn Emhyd (عبد الله ابن امهيد), who resides in Wady Attar, and is honoured with the title of Melek, or king, which is bestowed on chiefs of all ranks from hence southward. These Sherifs, called Omsherif ((ام شريف, pay a small tribute to their Melek, and the Melek is tributary to the governors of Nubia, who besides carry off as much of the property of these Arabs as falls in their way, whenever they pass along the Batn el Hadjar. The greater part of the Sherifs, however, have now quitted their abode, owing to the continued incursions of the Arabs Sheygya (شيكيع), who live on the banks of the river, south of Dongola, eight days journeys distant from Sukkot, across the desert; and whose depredations have so much ruined the Sherifs, that the greater part of them have retired to Sukkot, and many of them to Dongola. At present, the male inhabitants in the whole district of Batn el Hadjar hardly amount to two hundred, half of whom are Sherifs, and the other of the Bedouin tribe of Kerrarish. Some Arabs remain at Amka; and a small village is built upon a rocky island, where are the ruins of a large brick tower; from hence the Arabs cross the branch of the river every morning, (upon the trunk of a palm-tree, using their hands as paddles) for the purpose of cultivating their fields upon the shore, and return in the evening in the same manner. As we advance the river continues to be full of rocks and islands, and the country has a very wild aspect. There is no place that so much resembles the Batn el Hadjar and its Wadys, as the road along the Nile from Assouan to the first Cataract; the same rocky shore, with here and there the same narrow strip of soil, continues all along “the womb of rocks,” from Wady Halfa to Sukkot.

At two hours and a half, is Wady Mershed (مرشد). The Wadys are separated from each other by rocky tracts, which reach close to the river. At Wady Mershed there are again numerous islands in the river; upon two of them are some brick ruins, an ancient tower, and a few huts of Arabs. Our route from Wady Halfa to Mershed had been W.S.W. Above Mershed, the river is free from islands, and few rocks are seen in it; but its bed is very narrow, and the banks are high: I could throw a stone over to the opposite side. Four hours and a half brought us to Sette Hadje, a cultivable patch of ground, enclosed by rocks, with some ancient brick dwellings; it is inhabited only by an old Arab, who lives in the hut constructed over the tomb of the female saint called Sette Hadje, and who owes his livelihood to the charity of passengers: I found him extended upon his mat, with a pot of water, and an earthen vessel near him, into which I put a few handfuls of dates. From hence southwards, the river has many windings. The hills on the east side increase in height until eight hours and a half, at Wady Seras (سِراس), when they again form a regular chain of mountains, over which lies the road from Wady Sette Hadje. My old Arab guide, afraid of robbers from among the Sheygya Arabs, who are continually hovering about in these parts, to waylay travellers, hurried me along as fast as he could. We met very few persons on the road, excepting small parties of five or six Soudan pilgrims, or Tekayrne (sing. Tekroury); these courageous travellers come from all parts of Soudan to Darfour, from whence they proceed either by Kardofan to Sennaar, or direct to Dongola. From the Nile some of them take the route of Suakin, crossing the Red Sea, from thence to Djidda; others follow the Nile through Dongola and Mahass, and perform their pilgrimage with the Egyptian Hadjis, after having remained some time in the mosque El Azhar at Cairo, occupied in reading the Coran and a few books of prayers. I found, upon subsequent enquiry, that the greater part of these pilgrims were natives of Darfour, and Bergho. Among more than forty whom I spoke to at Esne, I could not find one whose country was as far west as Kashna; but I met with several who came from Wangara. The name Tekroury is given to them, I suppose, from their being natives of the district of Tekrour in Soudan. Such of them as can read and write are called Fókara (plur. of Fakyr), a term applied in Upper Egypt to all learned persons, by which is meant, such as can read the Coran, and who know how to write talismans, for preservatives against charms, and spells of the devil.

Nine hours and a half, we stopped at the southern extremity of Wady Seras, at a hut of Kerrarish Arabs, who, together with a family of the Sherifs, were watching the produce of a few cotton fields, and bean plantations. They gave us some milk for supper, assuring us that they bad no bread, and that they had not even tasted any for the last two months. I distributed a measure of Dhourra amongst them, upon condition that they should not exchange it for any thing else, but make bread of it for themselves and their women, for the latter very seldom enjoy this luxury, which is almost exclusively reserved for their husbands and brothers. In consequence of my present, the women were all set to work to grind the Dhourra between two granite stones, for the richer class only have hand-mills (رحا), like those of the Arabian Bedouins. Plenty of bread was then made, and the girls sat up, eating and singing, the whole of the night, and being separated from us only by a partition formed of tamarisk branches, they often joined in the conversation. The leaves of beans, and the grain of the shrub Kerkedan, which is black, and resembles in size the coriander seed, form the food of these people. The Kerkedan grows wild in the Batn el Hadjar, and is sown in some parts of Northern Nubia; a coffee is made from the roasted grains, which is not disagreeable to the taste, but the Arabs more usually make bread of them. The leguminous shrub Symka is also very common here, and affords excellent food for camels; it produces a pod, resembling pease, and containing several round rose coloured grains, which are edible, when green; these the Arabs collect and dry, and by hard boiling, obtain from them an oil, which they use, instead of butter, to grease their hair and body.

The Sherifs of Batn el Hadjar are of the darkest brown colour, with fine features, and are remarkably well made. Both men and women go naked; but the latter wear leather amulets round the neck, copper armlets and bracelets, and silver ear-rings. Most of them speak a little Arabic.

March 8th. From Seras we ascended a high mountain. The rock, which had been everywhere sand-stone as far as Wady Halfa, changes its nature at the second Cataract, where grunstein and grauwacke predominate; these primitive rocks continue throughout the Batn el Hadjar. In the mountain beyond Seras are granite, and immense rocks of quartz: the grunstein rocks are also every where crossed by strata of quartz. Three or four hours east of our route, a high chain of mountains extends parallel with the course of the river; it bears the name of Djebel Bilingo (جبل بَلَنك), and is uninhabited: it is regularly visited by winter rains, and the water remains in the clefts and hollows the whole of the summer. In two hours and a half we came to a plain on the top of the mountain, called Akabet el benat (عقبة البنات), the rocks of the girls. Here the Arabs who serve as guides through these mountains have devised a singular mode of extorting small presents from the traveller: they alight at certain spots in the Akabet el benat, which they call (قبضه) or (مقبضه), and beg a present; if it is refused, they collect a heap of sand, and mould it into the form of a diminutive tomb, and then placing a stone at each of its extremities, they apprize the traveller that his tomb is made; meaning, that henceforward, there will be no security for him, in this rocky wilderness. Most persons pay a trifling contribution, rather than have their graves made before their eyes: there were, however, several tombs of this description dispersed over the plain. Being satisfied with my guide, I gave him one piastre, with which he was content. On the southern descent of Akabet el benat, the principal rock is micaceous schist and chlorite, and farther down, towards the Wady Attyre, fine porphyry rocks are met with. I saw only a few specimens of green porphyry, with red slabs of feldspath; the greatest part being red porphyry, and porphyry schist. I possess specimens of all these rocks. From Seras, our route lay S.W. by S. Four hours and a half, Wady Attyre (التّيره), the principal village in the Batn el Hadjar. Here again, there are several islands in the river, with ruins of ancient brick habitations and towers upon them. The shores seem to have offered little security, even in ancient times, for I met with no ruined buildings on the eastern bank of the Batn el Hadjar; the ancient inhabitants seem to have exclusively chosen the islands for their abode. There is another cataract in the river at Wady Attyre, and a similar one between that place and Seras, opposite to Samne, on the west bank. We continued in the Wady Attyre upwards of an hour. Some date trees grow in all these Wadys, but the Doum is more common. At five hours, a wild passage across the mountain begins, called Akabet Djebel Doushe (عقبة جبل دوشه). From the top of it I enjoyed a beautiful view of the course of the river to the southward; but its narrow verdant banks are almost lost in the wide expanse of the rocky desert, where the eye, fatigued by the view of the dreary wilderness, searches with difficulty for the blue stream, often hidden by islands, and only appearing partially. Its course from hence is S.W. by S. At seven hours, we descended from the mountain into Wady Ambigo (آمبقُو). At eight hours, were several cataracts, where the stream rushes impetuously over the rocks, and carries its foaming current to the distance of several hundred feet; there is no where, however, any fall, that can be properly so called. All these cataracts resemble those of Assouan, but the river is more narrowly hemmed in by rocks than at the latter place; and its whole course through the Batn el Hadjar is so very rapid, that navigation of every kind seems to be quite impracticable. At the end of nine hours, we stopped at a hut of Omsherifs.

March 9th. To the east of Ambigo, there are high mountains; and to the south of it, the eastern chain decreases in height. The mountains of Ambigo seem to be the highest summit of the Batn el Hadjar. Our road lay alternately along the shore, and over the rocks; I no where saw any traces of an ancient road through this rugged district. In three hours we reached Wady Om Kanaszer (ام قناصر), in which is a small watch-tower built of stones, upon a hill. From hence we followed a mountainous road as far as Wady Lamoule (وادي لاموله), which we reached in five hours; here are some cataracts in the river, and several rocky islands, upon which I saw crocodiles basking. At five hours and a half, we ascended the mountain; and in six hours gained a high summit, known by the name of Djebel Lamoule (جبل لاموله), and corresponding with a similar one on the west side. At the foot of this hill, the Arabs repeat the custom of digging the traveller’s grave, but as I knew not how often a present might in this way be demanded of me by my guide, I refused to give him any thing upon his making the demand; and as soon as he began to construct my tomb, I alighted, and making another, told him that it was intended for his own sepulture; for that, as we were brethren, it was but just that we should be buried together. At this, he began to laugh; we then mutually destroyed each other’s labours, and in riding along he exclaimed from the Coran, “No mortal knows the spot upon earth where his grave shall be digged.” Seven hours brought us to a sandy plain in the mountain, called Khor Sonk (خور سُنك), Sonk being a Wady, situated below it. As the road which leads to the country of the Sheygya turns off here, this spot is more frequently visited by them, than any other part of this rocky tract, and is noted for the many robberies committed here by those Arabs; my guide shewed me the place where his cousin had been killed, at his side, in an encounter with the Sheygya, and hurried me, at a full trot, over the plain. The whole of the Batn el Hadjar is dangerous for single travellers; but it was my good fortune not to meet with any banditti; should any European be inclined to make the same journey hereafter, he may procure at Derr as many guards to accompany him as he chooses, provided he previously arranges matters with the governors of Nubia.

At eight hours and a half we issued from the mountains, and crossing a sloping plain, arrived, at the end of nine hours and a half, at the side of the river. The country opens here, and the eastern chain continues at about two miles distance from the river. At ten hours and a half, we halted for the night in a thick grove of tamarisk trees, opposite a long island, upon which are several brick ruins, and a tower of the same material. The ruins of a small village are upon the east bank: the place is called Wady Okame (عقمه); and here the dominions of the governor of Sukkot begin, although the Wady is considered to belong to the Batn el Hadjar. Close to the spot on which we slept is the tomb of a saint, Sheikh Okashe (شيخ عُقاشه), much revered by the Nubians. Offerings of earthen vessels, mats, and small pieces of linen, were spread within the enclosure of the tomb, and all around it. The inhabitants of Sukkot make frequent pilgrimages to this tomb. My guide, in constant dread of the Sheygya, would not allow me to light a fire, although the nights were now very cold.

March 10th. After a ride of two hours over low hills, in a S.S.W. direction, we arrived opposite the island of Kolbe (قُلبه), the northern extremity of Sukkot, and the residence of the governor of that district; the island is about one hour in length: the shore, on both sides, is hemmed in by huge masses of gray granite. Here some regular cultivation commences. I had a letter of recommendation from Hassan Kashef to the governor, who is an old man, named Daoud (David) Kara, distantly related to the three chief governors of Nubia, under whose control he holds his district. Being desirous of paying him a visit, in order to gain some information from him respecting the state of things farther southward, I left my guide to watch the camels, and with some Arabs, who had arrived at the place where we alighted, crossed the river upon a Ramous (ر أ موس). This kind of ferry boat is formed of four trunks of date-trees, tied loosely together, and is worked by a paddle about four feet in length, forked at the upper extremity, and lashed to the raft by ropes of straw. It precisely resembles those which are represented on the walls of the Egyptian temples. Persons who trust themselves upon such frail vehicles should be able to swim, for as these people have no idea of skulling, and use only one paddle to each Ramous, they row alternately to leeward and windward, so that the Ramous is never directed towards the shore. The old governor received me coolly; “This is not a country,” he said, “for people like you to travel in, without being accompanied by caravans.” I requested a letter of introduction to his son, who governs the southern parts of Sukkot, when he caused his scribe to write a few lines for me upon a blank corner of an old letter, the only paper that could be found. He repeatedly enquired my business; I answered, that I was the bearer of letters from Esne to the two Kashefs, who were at Mahass. After a stay of one hour I retired, recrossed the river, and continued my journey. We rode over mountainous ground, where the sand-stone again appears among the grauwacke and feldspath, until, at two hours and a half from Kolbe, we reached Wady Dal (وادي دال), which may be called the southern extremity of the Batn el Hadjar. At Dal the river is interrupted by immense blocks of granite lying confusedly across it, occasioning several foaming cataracts, and forming many rocky islands; upon one of these is a large brick building, in ruins. Here the country opens, and we continued for half an hour along a cultivable shore, overgrown with date trees, amongst which was a ruined village, called Dabbe. One hour farther, still following the plain by the side of the river, we arrived at the village of Zergamotto (زرقَمطو), where we slept. The inhabitants of Zergamotto bring rock salt from Selyma, distant two long days and a half in the western desert, and a halting-place of the Darfour caravan, in its way to Siout. Whenever this caravan passes Selyma, the Nubians resort thither, to sell dates and other provisions to the travellers. Rock salt is found also in every part of the eastern mountain from Kenne southward, and the peasants of Egypt and Nubia collect it; but it has a very disagreeable bitterish-sweet taste.

March 11th. From Dabbe our road lay S. by W. We rode along the bank of the river; where the plain is about two miles in breadth, but for the greater part barren. The river continues to be full of low islands, and rocks. In one hour and a half we came to a cluster of small hamlets, called Ferke (فرقه). In the plain are five barrows, or tumuli, evidently artificial, like those I saw near Kosko. The son of the governor of Sukkot, to whom I had the letter of recommendation, lives upon an island at Ferke. We stopped opposite the island to bait our camels upon the tamarisk trees; and as this place, according to the injunction of Hassan Kashef, was to be the termination of my journey southwards, and the farthest point to which my guide was to conduct me, the latter insisted upon complying with the orders of his master. A promise, however, of two piastres and a woollen Melaye, worth as much, overcame his fidelity, and he agreed to accompany me to Mahass; “If Hassan Kashef,” said he, “upbraids me, I shall tell him that you rode on, notwithstanding my exhortations, and that I did not think it honourable to leave you alone.” My plan was, to reach Tinareh, the chief place in Mahass, and there to cross over to the western side, as I knew that the Kashefs, who were encamped there, had a vessel at their disposal. On my way back, I intended to visit Say, and all the ruins on the western side.

Having no particular business with the governor of Ferke, I did not pay him a visit; but when he saw us riding on, he came gallopping after us on horseback, with one of his slaves, to enquire who we were, and insisted upon our returning with him to his house. In cases like this, compliance is always better than fruitless resistance; and we therefore crossed over the dry bed of a branch of the river to the island, where we found the whole neighbourhood assembled at the governor’s house, to partake of a cow slaughtered in honour of the same deceased relation, to whose funeral feast we had been invited at Endhana. The women who were present had a small drum; and some of them sang glees, in honour of the deceased, while others danced. Our host had a great desire to possess himself of my camels, and he would have done it, by giving me two others of no value instead of them, had it not been for his father’s letter. I excused my having rode on by saying that I thought his residence had been farther to the southward. He insisted that we should stay all the night with him; but as I knew this was only to extort a present from me, I gave him a large piece of soap, after which he suffered us to depart. From hence to Say, the route is W. 1 S. In two hours, we reached Mekrake (مقرقه). Four hours, Kennis (قِنّس). The plain is cultivated in a few spots only. Senna mekke grows in quantity, and is of a good quality, though still inferior to that of the Eastern mountain; it is collected here by the Arabs Kerrarish, whenever there is any demand for it at Esne. The western borders of the river are quite sandy and barren. Five hours, Sheikh Medjdera (شيخ مجدره), a small village built round the tomb of a saint. Here, as in every other part of Nubia, the thirsty traveller finds, at short distances, water jars placed by the road side, under a low roof. Every village pays a small monthly stipend to some person to fill these jars in the morning and again towards evening. The same custom prevails in Upper Egypt, but on a larger scale; and there are small caravanserais often found near the wells, which supply travellers with water. In five hours and a half, we reached Aamara (عَماره), the extremity of the territory of Sukkot, to the south of which begins the district of Say.

In the plain of Aamara are the ruins of a fine Egyptian temple the shafts of six large columns of the pronaos remain, constructed of calcareous stone, and they are the only specimen of that kind I have seen, all the Egyptian temples being built of sand-stone. The sculptures upon these columns are in imitation of those of Philæ, and are of middling execution; but much better than those of the temple at Derr: the figure of the ibis most frequently occurs: over each compartment or group of figures is a square blank tablet, as if to receive an inscription; the same thing is seen at Dakke, Kalabshe, and Philæ; but not in the more northern Egyptian temples. All the capitals of the columns are wanting. Of the cella nothing remains but mounds of rubbish, except the lowest part of the walls, and their foundations, which are of stone, reposing upon a substructure of bricks burnt in the sun the walls were probably built of alternate layers of stone and brick. A thick enclosure of brick surrounds the site of the temple, at about fifty yards distance from the columns. The temple appears to have been erected at the period when Egyptian architecture began to degenerate; the finest specimens are found at Philæ and Dakke.

From Aamara a wide plain opens: the eastern chain making a wide circuit, while, to the west, the mountains terminate. The cultivable soil on the east side is nearly one mile and a half in breadth; and between it and the mountains is a barren tract covered with small flints and pebbles, similar to that at Suez. Here the river has many windings. In seven hours we came to Ebar (ِابَر), where we slept, at the house of one of the women of the brother of Hassan Kashef; for the governors of Nubia have a number of women dispersed over their dominions, in order that they may find a comfortable home wherever they stop, in their unceasing journeys through them. Hosseyn Kashef has about twenty wives, each of whom has her own separate establishment. In the inner court-yard of the lady’s house where we stopped was a well, and water-wheel, turned by cows; by means of which the surrounding fields were irrigated: similar wheels are every where met with, but this was the only instance I saw of their being within the walls of a dwelling. During this day’s march our camels were constantly at a trot.

March 12th. Our road lay over a quartzy plain, in a direction S. 1. E. At one hour is a high insulated hill, in the plain, called Djebel Ollaky, (جبل عُلاقي). Here the island of Say (ساي) begins. In one hour and a quarter, I saw upon the island, close to the water, the castle of Say, built of alternate layers of stone and bricks, with high walls. The few guns which were formerly in it had been carried off by the Mamelouks. Say, with its territories, like Ibrim and Assouan, has its own governor, or Aga, who is independent of the governors of Nubia; it having been, like the two former places, garrisoned by a troop of Bosnian soldiers, sent hither by Sultan Selym, whose descendants still remain. The island is well cultivated on its eastern side, where the principal branch of the stream runs; on the west side, it appeared to be quite barren; its breadth is about two miles. In the middle of it is a high hill or mountain. There is a ford on the west side, at this period of the year, which I intended to cross, on my return from Mahass, in order to examine the island; but in this I was disappointed, as will presently appear. There is no Ramous or ferry in any part of it, and when the Nubians have any business on the opposite shore, they swim over, with their spear, or lance, fastened on the top of the head. I have reason, however, to believe, that there are no remains whatever of antiquity on Say, except the above-mentioned castle, which is probably of the same date as that at Ibrim.

In two hours and a half from Ebar the road takes a S.W. direction, and continues close to the river, opposite Say; a thick grove of palm trees lining the shore. In three hours we came to Koeyk (قويق); the plain is here covered with the tombs of Nubian saints. Four hours, Wady der Hamyde, opposite to which is the southern extremity of the island of Say. The Wady Hamyde has a king, or Melek, of the Arab tribe of Hamyde, who is tributary to the governors of Nubia. On the east side of the river is a large pier or jetty, formed of huge sand-stones confusedly thrown in upon each other. On both sides are numerous habitations, and thick groves of date-trees; indeed Wady Hamyde seemed to be more populous than any part of the country south of Ibrim. The dates of Sukkot and Say are preferred to those of Ibrim, and are considered superior to all that grow on the banks of the Nile, from Sennaar down to Alexandria: they are of the largest kind, generally three inches in length. As there is no navigation northwards through the Batn el Hadjar, these dates reach the northern parts of Nubia only in small quantities, as presents. They are sold to the Arabs Sheygya, who arrive here in large caravans, and take them in exchange for Dhourra (one measure of Dhourra for an equal measure of dates), for butter, and for targets made of the skin of the hippopotamus, which are highly prized by the Nubians; there are few date trees in the country of the Sheygya, and those of a bad kind. Five hours brought us to Wady Aboudy (وادي عبودي), opposite to which, in the eastern plain, is a high insulated hill. Here the river takes a direction S.S.E. The sandy and quartzy plain continues, and the eastern mountain is from twelve to fifteen miles distant from the river. Six hours, Irau (اِرَو); here many of the houses are abandoned, and there is very little cultivation. This is the southern limit of the district of Say, which name, though properly confined to the island only, is commonly applied to the whole country between Sukkot and Mahass. From hence, southwards, begins the Dar el Mahass. Our route now lay S. 1 W. To the west, the low hills again begin to form a chain, which increases in height towards the south. In seven hours we reached Eshamotto (أشامطّو). Eight hours and a half, El Waouy (الواوي), a considerable village. The river here takes a circuitous bend to the westward. We made a short cut across the plain, and at the end of nine hours and a half, halted for the night at a few huts of Kerrarish Arabs. I put our hosts into good humour by distributing some Dhourra amongst them; to testify their gratitude, two of them kneeled down by my side, and began rubbing and kneading my body, legs, and arms, in the same manner as is done in the Turkish baths. After a fatiguing journey, the limbs are benumbed; this operation restores the circulation of the blood, and induces a gentle slumber.

March 13th. The eastern mountains again approach the river, and consist here, as at the second Cataract, of grunstein. We followed the narrow shore in an easterly direction, and passed several of the villages of Mahass. The houses are constructed only of mats, made of palm leaves, fastened to high poles, the extremities of which rise considerably above the roof. The countenances of the people are much less expressive of good nature than those of the Nubians; in colour they are perfectly black; their lips are like those of the Negro, but not the nose, or cheek bones; numbers of the men go quite naked, and I even saw several grown up girls without any thing whatever round the middle. The Nubian language here has certainly superseded the Arabic, which none of the peasants understand.

In approaching the place where the Nubian governors were encamped, I found several of the villages deserted; their former inhabitants had preferred abandoning their cotton fields, and their prospects of a harvest, to submitting to the oppressive conduct of the followers of the governors, whose horses and camels were now feeding amidst the barley, while the mats of the deserted houses had been carried of to the camp, to serve as fuel. After a ride of four hours, we reached the camp of Mohammed Kashef, opposite the Wady Tinareh, a cluster of hamlets, situated round the brick castle of that name, and the chief place in Mahass; here was the termination of my journey southwards. I had told my guide to be cautious in his answers to Mohammed Kashef, and if he should be questioned respecting me, to say that he had been ordered by Hassan Kashef to accompany me, but knew nothing of my business; which was really true; for I had never allowed him to see me taking notes during our journey.

The two brothers, the Kashefs Hosseyn and Mohammed, had come to Mahass, in order to besiege the castle of Tinareh, which had been seized by a rebel cousin of the king of Mahass. The latter being Hosseyn Kashef’s father-in-law, the Kashef was bound to come to his aid, and had accordingly brought with him about sixty men, with whom I found him encamped, or rather hutted, on the western side of the river, close under the walls of the castle, while his brother Mohammed had possession of the eastern bank, with an equal number of men. They had been here for several weeks, and had often summoned the castle, to no purpose, although the garrison consisted only of fifteen men. They at length conceived the idea of cutting off the water from the besieged, by placing close in shore, just below the castle, a vessel, which they had sent for from Argo, and on board of which they put some men armed with musquets, who were protected from the fire of the garrison by a thick awning formed of the trunks of date trees thrown across the deck; these men, by their fire, having effectually prevented the besieged from obtaining water from the river, the garrison was under the necessity of making proposals for peace; pardon, and safe conduct, were promised them, and the castle was surrendered on the evening preceding my arrival.

When I reached the camp of Mohammed Kashef, he was not present, but occupied, with his brother, in taking possession of the castle. His people crowded round me and my guide, desirous to know what business had brought me among them, and supposing that I belonged to the suite of the two Mamelouk Begs, of whose arrival at Derr they had already been apprized. Shortly afterwards, Mohammed came over from the opposite bank with his suite, and I immediately went to salute him. Born of a Darfour slave, his features resembled those of the inhabitants of Soudan, but without anything of that mildness which generally characterizes the Negro countenance. On the contrary, his physiognomy indicated the worst disposition; he rolled his eyes at me like a mad-man; and, having drank copiously of palm-wine at the castle, he was so intoxicated, that he could hardly keep on his legs. All his people now assembled in and around his open hut; the vanquished rebels likewise came, and two large goat skins of palm wine were brought in, which was served out to the company in small cups neatly made of calabashes; a few only spoke Arabic; the Kashef himself could scarcely make himself understood; but I clearly found that I was the topic of conversation. The Kashef, almost in a state of insensibility, had not yet asked me who I was, or what I came for. In the course of half an hour, the whole camp was drunk; musquets were then brought in, and a feu-de joie fired, with ball, in the hut where we were sitting. I must confess, that at this moment I repented of having come to the camp, as a gun might have been easily levelled at me, or a random ball have fallen to my lot. I endeavoured several times to rise, but was always prevented by the Kashef, who insisted upon my getting drunk with him; but as I never stood more in need of my senses, I drank very sparingly. Towards noon, the whole camp was in a profound sleep; and in a few hours after, the Kashef was sufficiently sober to be able to talk rationally to me. I told him that I had come into Nubia to visit the ancient castles of Ibrim and Say, as being the remains of the empire of Sultan Selym; that I had had recommendations from Esne to himself and his two brothers, and that I had come to Mahass merely to salute him and his brother, conceiving that I should be guilty of a breach of good manners if I quitted Say without paying my respects to them. Unfortunately, my letters from Esne, addressed to the three brothers, were in the hands of Hassan Kashef, who would not return them to me when I quitted Derr, saying that I should not want them, as he had not given me permission to go beyond Sukkot. My story was, in consequence, not believed; “You are an agent of Mohammed,” said the Kashef’s Arabic secretary; “but, at Mahass we spit at Mohammed Aly’s beard, and cut off the heads of those who are enemies to the Mamelouks.” I assured him that I was not an enemy of the Mamelouks, and that I had waited upon the two Begs at Derr, who had received me very civilly. The evening passed in sharp enquiries on the one side, and evasive answers on the other; and the Kashef sat up late, with his confidents, to deliberate what was to be done with me, while I took post with my camels, under cover, behind his hut. No one had the slight[t]est idea that I was an European, nor did I, of course, boast of my origin, which I was resolved to disclose only under the apprehension of imminent danger. In the night a messenger was sent across the river to learn Hosseyn Kashef’s opinion respecting my arrival.

March 14th. Early in the morning, Hosseyn Kashef came over with a number of his men, to pay a visit to his brother, and to have a look at me. The same questions were again repeated, and the like answers returned, as on the preceding evening; but Hosseyn’s behaviour towards me was more gentle than that of his brother; for while the latter was constantly threatening to send my head to Ibrahim Beg, the chief of the Mamelouks, the former contented himself with telling me that I might return; but he begged I would leave my two camels and my gun with him; my pistols I had concealed under my wide Egyptian cloke. I at last plainly told the two brothers, that if any thing should happen to me, their mercantile speculations at Esne would certainly be the worse for it; that they had only to send to Derr, to be convinced of the truth of my story; that were I even, as they supposed, an agent of Mohammed Aly, they might be assured that he was not a man who would suffer any person in his employ to perish treacherously without revenging his death; but that being, as I told them, simply a traveller, they could have no pretext whatever for detaining me, or offering any insult to my person. These and many other arguments at last made some impression on the two chiefs; but I am very doubtful, what might have ultimately been my fate, had it not been for the arrival of two nephews of the governor of Sukkot, on a visit to their relations; they confirmed all I had stated, having seen the strong letter of recommendation from Hassan Kashef, which I brought to their uncle, Daoud Kara. The language of the two brothers now changed; but I still continued an object of great distrust, as the newly-arrived visitors were unable to give any satisfactory account of my motives for coming so far. Hosseyn Kashef returned to the opposite shore, and promised to send me back the vessel to carry over me and my camels; but soon afterwards I saw her dropping down the river, and was informed that the camp was to break up the next day, and return by slow marches to Sukkot.

Though extremely disappointed in my wish to visit the western bank of the Nile, yet I felt it would be madness to attempt to proceed farther southward. I was now without a friend or protector, in a country only two days and a half distant from the northern limits of Dóngola, the newly conquered kingdom of the Mamelouks, against whose interests I was suspected to be acting, while the governors of Mahass supported them; I knew, likewise, that the two Mamelouk Begs whom I had seen at Derr were rapidly advancing, and, from what I had heard of them, at that place, they might probably be inclined to intercept me on my return. Under these circumstances I determined to return northward immediately, as I did not think it prudent to travel in the company of the followers of Mohammed Kashef; but when I waited upon that chief to take leave of him, he abruptly told me to stay till the morrow, and to return in his company. Having already gained my principal object, that of personal safety, which could only be owing to the governor’s secret fears of offending the Pasha of Egypt, I thought I might venture a little farther, and I therefore told the Kashef, that I was anxious to reach Derr as speedily as possible, and for this reason should not wish to proceed at such slow marches as his soldiers would make. When he still persisted in desiring me to defer my departure, in the hope, probably, of extorting some presents from me, I frankly told him that I should, from that moment consider myself as a prisoner in his camp, not having been permitted to act according to my own will; “Go then, you rascal!” (Inshi ya marras), he exclaimed, in his usual brutal language. I immediately obeyed him, and in five minutes was out of sight of the camp, where I had passed one of the most uncomfortable days I remember to have experienced during four years travelling. I slept that night in a deserted hut, four hours distant from Tinareh, near the Kerrarish encampment where we had alighted two nights preceding.

It will here, perhaps, be asked, why I did not travel in Nubia as a merchant; the answer is, that merchants travel as far as Mahass only with slave caravans; they are, besides, obliged to tarry long in the countries they pass through, which was contrary to my views. I might, indeed, have carried merchandize with me, sufficient to purchase one or two slaves; but the people would then have said that it was not worth while to come to Mahass to make such a purchase, the profits upon which would not counterbalance the expenses of the journey from Esne and back again; and I should have thus been still suspected of being sent on a secret mission. On the other hand, had I carried goods with me equal to the value of half a dozen slaves, contributions would, in all probability, have been levied upon me by the governors, and I should have been detained much longer than I could have wished.

The inhabitants of Mahass pretend to be descendants of the Arabs Koreysh, the tribe to which the prophet Mohammed belonged, and who, as is well known, were partly Bedouins, and partly husbandmen. It is the tradition of Mahass, that a large party of Koreysh took possession of the Wady at the same period when numerous Bedouins from the East invaded Egypt and Nubia. The chief, or king of Mahass (ملك الدار) is of the family of Djama (جامع). He collects the revenue of his kingdom, and pays tribute to the governors of Nubia, who receive, annually, from each of the six principal places in his dominions, five or six camels, as many cows, two slaves, and about forty sheep, besides making extraordinary requisitions. I had the honour of seeing the king of Mahass, a mean looking black, attended by half a dozen naked slaves, armed with shields and lances. From hence, along the Nile to Sennaar, about thirty-five days journies, there are upwards of twenty kings and kingdoms, every independent chief being styled Melek. The power of each of these petty-sovereigns is very arbitrary, as far as relates to exactions upon the property of his own subjects, but he dares not put any of them to death, without entailing upon his own family the retaliation of blood by that of the deceased. All the respectable inhabitants of Mahass are merchants; they buy slaves in Dóngola, Berber, and in the country of the Sheygya, and dispatch a caravan to Cairo twice a year; Mahass is the nearest place, in the Black country, from whence slave traders arrive at Cairo; the distance is about a thousand miles. A male slave in Mahass is worth from twenty-five to thirty Spanish dollars, a female, from thirty to forty. At Cairo they sell at a profit of one hundred and fifty per cent.; and the merchandize taken in return produces from two to three hundred per cent., or even more under the present circumstances, as the Mamelouks are eager purchasers. Dollars are the currency in concerns of great amount; but in trifling bargains, the medium of exchange is the measure of Dhourra, before mentioned, and the pike of linen cloth, of which shirts are made; thirty pike make a piece, which is worth one dollar; at Siout its value is two piastres, or two-sevenths of a dollar. The Nubians, from Derr to Dóngola, have no commercial intercourse with Darfour, or Bournou. An Arab told me, in Mahass, that Bournou was from twenty-five to thirty days journies distant from thence, but that there was scarcely any water on the road.

The Wady Mahass extends two days beyond Tinareh; its principal places to the south are: Delligo, from two to three hours from Tinareh, on the east side of the river; farther on, Koke (كوكه), on the west side: here is the last cataract in the Nile; one day’s journey from Tinareh, is Naoury (نوري), on the east side; then Berdje (برجه), and Ferreg (فريك) on the west side. Two days journeys from Tinareh, is Hannek (حنق), where the mountains which confine the Nile through the Wady Mahass terminate. South of Hannek, half a day’s journey, an island commences, called Mosho, with a village of the same name on the west bank; and close to it is the island of Argo, a long day’s journey in length, and belonging to Dóngola; there is a brick castle upon it, the only building of any size south of Mahass. Mosho is the northern limit of Dóngola. Between Argo and Dóngola, is the village or city of Handak, which I find laid down on the African maps. The river must take many considerable turnings in the Wady Mahass, as Mosho may be reached in one day and a half from Tinareh, by a road which lies over the mountains. The Jesuit missionaries, if I recollect right, visited Mosho in their way from Dóngola to the Great Oasis.

The Wady Dóngola, where the Nubian language ceases to be spoken, extends southward on both sides of Argo, and of the numerous other islands formed in the river, for five days. South of Hannek, the immense plains of Dóngola commence; I was credibly informed that there are no rocks in this district, which, during the period of the inundation, presents a watery surface of from twelve to fifteen miles in breadth. Commerce is not so flourishing in Dóngola as it is in the states to the south of it; merchants being exposed to many vexations from the kings, as well as from the village chiefs, who seem to be almost independent of the former. A man’s property is valued, as in Nubia, by the number of water-wheels he possesses, and the revenue is collected from them. The Arabs Sheygya, since they have been in possession of a share of the revenue, take from the ground irrigated by each wheel, four Mhourys of Dhourra, two or three sheep, and a linen gown worth two dollars. The native kings take the same. Dóngola is noted for its breed of horses, great numbers of which are imported by the people of Mahass; they are chiefly stallions, the natives seldom riding mares. The breed is originally from Arabia, and is one of the finest I have seen, possessing all the superior beauty of the horses of that country, with greater size and more bone. All those which I have seen had the four legs white, as high as the knee, and I was told that there are very few of them without this distinctive mark. Prime stallions bear a high price, from five to ten slaves being paid for one. These horses do not thrive in northern climates, not even at Cairo, though Mohammed Aly has lately sent one as a present to the Grand Signior, for which he gave 750 Spanish dollars. The greater part of them are fed for ten months in the year merely on straw, and in the spring, upon the green crops of barley. The Mameloukes, since their irruption into Dóngola, are all mounted upon these horses.

There are no elephants in Dóngola; but the hippopotamus is very common in the river. Its Arabic name is Barnik (برنيق), or Farass el-Bahr (فرس البحر), the Nubians call it Ird. It is a dreadful plague on account of its voracity, and the want of means in the inhabitants to destroy it. It often descends the Nile as far as Sukkot: the peasants, as I passed, told me that there were three of them in the river between Mahass and Sukkot. Last year several of them passed the Batn el Hadjar, and made their appearance at Wady Halfa and Derr, an occurrence unknown to the oldest inhabitant. One was killed by an Arab, by a shot over its right eye; the peasants ate the flesh, and the skin and teeth were sold to a merchant of Siout. Another continued its course northward, and was seen beyond the cataract at Assouan, at Derau, one day’s march north of that place.

The city of Dóngola, by the natives called Dóngola el Adjouze (دنقله العجوز), Old Dóngola, or more properly Tongol (تنكل), is equal in size to Derr. The Bedouin tribe of Kobabish (قبابيش) reside in the country and are continually making incursions into Darfour, from whence they carry off slaves. Many individuals of the tribe of Ababde, of the eastern mountain, were also settled at Dóngola, where they had acquired great wealth, and influence; but, when the Mamelouks spread themselves over the country, as will be presently related, they retired with their chief, Hay (حاي), to Egypt. South of Tongol, or Dóngola, proceeding along the banks of the Nile, the following places are met with; near Tongol, Afar (أفار), then Daffar (دفّار); Hattany (حتّاني); Kennat (كنّات); and Ambougo (أمبوكو), which last is three days journies from Tongol, and severs or eight from Argo. Here the territory of Dóngola terminates, being divided from that of the Arabs Sheygya by a mountainous rocky tract, two hours journey in breadth, reaching close to the river, and forming the recommencement of the chain which terminates at Hannek. On the south side of this tract, or rather the east side, for the river here flows in the direction from east to west, the country of the Sheygya commences; the first city or village (Beled or Wady) is Gos (قوس), inhabited by the tribe Onye; then follows Hannek el Zebeyr (حَنق الزبير), inhabited by another tribe so called; farther on is Dar Essorab (دار الصُراب); Koreyr (كُرير); Koray (قُري); Abramnar (أبرمنار); Wosta (وَسطه); Tongazy (تُنكاسي); Koro (قرُو); Kadjeba (قَجبه), Merawe (مروه), a singular coincidence in sound with the ancient Meroë; Bargal (بركل); Noury (نوري); Kasandjar (كَسنجر); Hamdab (حمداب); Oly (أولي); Zoara (زواره); and Dollago (دلاكو); where terminates the territory of the Sheygya, the whole length of which may be estimated at from thirty-five to forty hours march. The principal of the above enumerated places are, Koray, Kadjeba, and Merawe, the two latter being situated, on the banks of the river, nearly opposite each other. Merawe may be considered as the capital, or chief residence, of the Sheygya; it has a castle built of brick. Between the city of Dóngola and Merawe is the Wady of the Arabs called Bedeyr (بدير), whose chiefs have, till lately, been tributary to the Sheygya. There is a short road from Dóngola to Merawe, over the desert, of two days and a half. From Mahass to Merawe, over the mountains, is seven or eight days easy journeys; but there is no water on the road. The valley of the Nile throughout the country of the Sheygya is no where more than three miles in breadth; in several parts of the river are small cataracts, where the mountains on each side nearly join. There are few crocodiles in this part of the river, and the hippopotamus is not met with. The tree most frequently seen on the banks of the stream is the Sant, or acacia; date trees are scarce. Dhourra, and the grain called Dhoken, are the most common productions of the fields, which are irrigated in the summer by means of water-wheels. The country is as well inhabited as the most populous parts of Egypt.

The Sheygya, of whom I have seen only one individual, at Mahass, are certainly a very interesting people, and form the most powerful state to the north of Sennaar. They have a tradition that their forefather was a man of the name of Shayg (شايق), whose four sons gave origin to their principal tribes. At present they are divided into many tribes, of which the Adelanab is the most powerful, being that of the great chief; the others are El Hamdan (حمدان); Essoleymane (سليماني); and El Amrab (الامراب); to these may be added the tribes of Onye, Zebeyr (which must not be confounded with the royal family of Argo, to which they have no relationship), and the Arabs Menasyr (عرب المناصر), who inhabit the Wady Menasyr, to the east of the country of the Sheygya, and who, although not strictly belonging to the Sheygya, may, from their intimate connection with them, be enumerated among their tribes. These different people are continually at war with each other, and their youth make plundering excursions as far as Darfour, to the west, and Wady Halfa, to the north. They all fight on horseback, in coats of mail (ذرع),which are sold to them by the merchants of Suakin and Sennaar. Fire-arms are not common among them, their only weapons being a lance, target, and sabre; they throw the lance to a great distance with much dexterity, and always carry four or five lances in the left hand, when charging an enemy. They are all mounted on Dóngola stallions, and are as famous for their horsemanship, as the Mamelouks were in Egypt; they train their horses to make violent springs with their hind legs when gallopping; their saddles resemble the drawings I have seen of those of Abyssinia, and, like the Abyssinian horsemen, they place the great toe only in the stirrup. It is from the Sheygya that the people of Mahass are supplied with saddles.

The Sheygya are a perfectly independent people, and possess great wealth, in corn and cattle; like the Bedouins of Arabia, they pay no kind of tribute to their chiefs, whose power is by no means so great as that of the chiefs of Dongola. They are renowned for their hospitality; and the person of their guest, or companion, is sacred. If the traveller possesses a friend among them, and has been plundered on the road, his property will be recovered, even if it has been taken by the king. They all speak Arabic exclusively, and many of them write and read it. Their learned men are held in great respect by them; they have schools, wherein all the sciences are taught which form the course of Mohammedan study, mathematics and astronomy excepted. I have seen books, copied at Merawe, written in as fine a hand as that of the scribes of Cairo. Whenever young men are sent to them from the adjacent countries for instruction, the chief of the Olema distributes them amongst his acquaintances, in whose houses they are lodged and fed for as many years as they choose to remain.

Such of the Sheygya as are soldiers, and not learned men, indulge in the frequent use of wine and spirits made from dates. The manners of their women are said to be very depraved. The merchants among them travel to Darfour, Sennaar, and Suakin; and, in years of dearth in Arabia, they export wheat and Dhourra to the Djidda market, by the way of Suakin. A caravan of pilgrims departs annually to these two places. Suakin is twelve days journeys distant from the borders of the country of the Sheygya.

Having thus endeavoured to give some account of Dongola, and the countries bordering upon it, I shall now add a few words respecting its political relations at the period of the irruption of the Mamelouks, and the consequences of that event, as far as they were known when I visited Mahass. According to the relation of the Arabs, Dóngola had been governed from time immemorial by the families of Zebeyr (زبير) and Funnye (فنيه), the former ruling over the northern provinces and the latter over the southern; but, in latter times, these families had only possessed the shadow of power, the real government being in the hands of the Sheygya. These Arabs had been accustomed to make continual incursions into Dóngola, and to lay waste whole districts; until at length, after the principal men of Fonnye had been slain, the chiefs of Dóngola, forced by the remonstrances of their people, entered into a treaty with the invaders, and gave up to them the half of the revenue as the price of their forbearance: from that period they lived on amicable terms with each other; but as the Sheygya chiefs resided occasionally at Dóngola, at Handak, and at Argo, in order to collect their share of the revenue, and had thus the means of acquiring influence in every part of the country, their authority soon began to preponderate. When the Mamelouk Begs reached Argo, in their flight from Egypt, as I have already related, they were received by the great chief of the Sheygya, Mahmoud el Adelanab (محمود آلادانَاب), with the wonted hospitality of his nation; and as they then declared that their intention was to settle in Sennaar, he made them considerable presents in horses, camels, slaves, and provisions. These treacherous fugitives, however, had not been a month at Argo, when, upon some slight pretext, they killed their benefactor, with several of his attendants; and then spreading themselves over the country, plundered the property of the Sheygya, and seized upon the revenue. In this state of things, one of the kings of the Zebeyr family joined the Mamelouks against the Sheygya; while the other, his brother, named Toubol ibn Zebeyr, repaired to Egypt, to seek for aid in men and arms against the new invaders, who were joined by another body of Sheygya, amounting to about eighty horsemen, the inveterate enemies of the tribe of Mahmoud el Adelanab. The Mamelouks have since been at continual war with the Sheygya, and several individuals have been slain on both sides. In January last, the former made an expedition, with their whole force, towards Merawe; but, while they proceeded southward, a party of Sheygya crossed the mountains, and falling on the rear of the Mamelouks, killed the few followers whom they had left at Argo and Handak, and plundered what remained of their property. This was the state of the country, when I was at Tinareh the Sheygya were still at Argo, the result of the expedition against Merawe was then unknown, and the partizans of both sides spread the most contradictory reports. It was evident, that under such circumstances, the two Begs whom I saw at Derr could not rejoin their companions; it was supposed that they would wait the result of the contest, in the castle of Hannek, in Mahass, which is a strong place.

It appears to me that, in the present state of their affairs, the Mamelouks have only one alternative; either to strike a last desperate blow upon Upper Egypt, if the slightest opportunity should present itself, though the vigilance of Mohammed Aly leaves them little chance of success in that quarter; or, to endeavour to seize upon some harbour in the Red Sea, where they may recruit their strength by the importation of young Georgian slaves, no others being admitted among them. Massuah is the best situation for such a project; it is distant from their present position, twenty-two days; four days across the desert to Shendy, and eighteen days from thence to Massuah, for the most part along the cultivated banks of the Astaboras. I believe that the project of invading Abyssinia is really entertained by the Mamelouks; were they to attempt it, and succeed, a new and important branch of trade might be opened to the East India Company; but woe to the country occupied by these tyrannical and unprincipled slaves! At present, they have no money left, but they have plenty of slaves with them, with which they can purchase any thing; a slave being a kind of currency in the southern countries. Many of the Mamelouks died last summer from the effects of a putrid fever, which regularly prevails in Dóngola during the hot season, and carries off numbers of the inhabitants. Unable to bear the heat in their thick woollen dresses, which they still continue to wear, they constructed a number of rafts, on board of which they passed the whole of the summer, under awnings of mats, kept continually wet by their slaves.

Return from Dar-El-Mahass to Assouan.

March 15th. My guide, as it appeared, had received secret instructions to retard my march. At sunrise, I found him still asleep, contrary to the custom of the country, which is to rise at the break of day; and shortly after we had set out, he pretended that the camel he rode was lame, and unable to proceed at a trot. Seeing clearly that his intention was to allow Mohammed Kashef’s troops to come up with us, I told him that he might dismount, as I knew my way back to Derr perfectly well, and was determined to travel with all possible haste. On hearing this, he went on, but remained several times, during the day, at the distance of a mile behind me, thinking by this means to make me wait for him.

Instead of proceeding across the desert to Waouy, we followed the river; in one hour and a half, from the place where we slept, we arrived opposite to Soleb (صلب), a fine village on the west bank. There I saw the ruins of a large temple, which it had been my intention to visit, after crossing the river at Tinareh. I offered some peasants, who were watering the fields upon an island opposite Soleb, all the Dhourra remaining in my provision sack, to carry me over, and back again, which, I think, was as much, as offering a guinea for a similar service to a London waterman; but there was no Ramous, nor any of those goat-skins, which when inflated, often serve as a conveyance on the Nile; and as I did not think it prudent to trust to my arms only, in swimming over, I was obliged pursue my route, without gratifying my curiosity. The temple appeared to have been of the size of the largest of those found in Egypt; the body of it seemed to be entire, with ten or twelve large pillars of the pronaos. I hope some other traveller will be more fortunate than myself, in being able to examine this ruin, which I believe to be the most southern specimen of Egyptian architecture; for I was credibly informed that no ancient buildings whatever are to be found in the southern parts of Mahass, or in Dóngola. It was, perhaps, a very fortunate circumstance for me, that I did not cross the river at Tinareh, and proceed down the western bank, as I should have again fallen in with the two Mamelouk Begs, who were proceeding rapidly southward on that side, and our meeting in this part of Nubia might not, perhaps, have been so friendly as it was when I visited them at Derr.

In two hours we reached Waouy; two and a half, Eshamotto; three and a half Irau; four and a half, Wady Aboudy; six hours, Dar Hamyde; seven hours, Koeyk. The insulated mountain called Djebel Oellaky, bears N.E. by N. from Waouy. The western mountain, which may be said to terminate at the southern extremity of the Batn el Hadjar, in low sand hills, begins again to the west of the island of Say, and describing, from thence, a wide semicircle westward, joins the river again near Soleb. From Koeyk we crossed the stony plain, overspread with cornelians, quartz, and agate, and leaving the river, and the village Ebar, far to our left, arrived by a straight course at the village of Sheikh Medjdera, a part of Wady Aamara, where we slept, at the house of a man, whose father was from Damascus, and had married here.

In order to explain the difference between the distances as noted in my journal up the river, and those on my return, it is to be observed that I travelled at a quick rate the whole of the way from Assouan to Derr, (except where prevented by the rocky nature of the ground), or at an average of four miles an hour, at the least. From Derr to Wady Haifa, it appears to me, that I went at the rate of three miles and a half per hour; and through the Batn el Hadjar, three miles. From Sukkot to Mahass, again four miles an hour. On my return from Mahass to Sukkot the rate was three miles and a half an hour. From Sukkot to Derr, through the sands of the western shore, three miles an hour. From Der to Assouan I travelled only two miles in the hour, as I was fearful of injuring my camels by fatigue.

March 16th. We rode this day from sunrise to sunset, resting only one hour, opposite the island of Ferke, under a tent of Kerrarish. I have already described this route. The western bank of the river from Dal to opposite Aamara is a sandy desert with scarcely any interruption. The river is full of rocks as far as Aamara, where there is a trifling cataract; from thence southward it is quite free from rocks. To the east of Ferke and Zergamotto is a high mountain, called Djebel Mama (جبل مامت), at the foot of which are the tumuli or barrows before mentioned; this may be said to form the extremity of the Batn el Hadjar, on the east side. Opposite to it, on the west side, the mountains of this tract are terminated by low hills called Kitfukko (قتفقو). We recrossed the mountain from Dabbe to Kolbe in an E.N.E. direction, and arrived at sunset opposite the island of Kolbe. The principal rock met with in passing this mountain is feldspath, and close to the river are granite, and granite schist. I wished to pass the river at Kolbe; but as it was too late in the evening to attempt it, I sent over my guide to Daoud Kara, with my compliments, and a request that he would send me a supper, and on the morrow two men, to assist me in transporting my camels, and the little baggage I had, to the west bank of the river. The guide soon returned, with a promise of what I requested; and late in the night, a slave brought us some barley soup. We slept among the rocks over the water side. My Arab had been informed that the two Mamelouk Begs had passed Kolbe two days before, on their way to Mahass, which was very agreeable intelligence to me.

March 17th. Two slaves came over, as promised, to assist us in crossing the river. The two camel’s saddles and the two sacks were placed upon the Ramous, at the head of which one of the slaves seated himself, to paddle it over, while the other took hold of the halters of the camels, with one hand, and the stern of the Ramous with the other; an inflated goatskin was tied to the neck of each camel, to aid it in swimming, but we had great difficulty to get them into the water, the Egyptian camels not being accustomed to this mode of passing the river. My guide stripped, and laid hold of the tail of his camel with one hand, while he urged the beast forward by a stick which he carried in the other. It was proposed to me to take my seat upon the Ramous, but finding that frail conveyance already too heavily laden, I followed the example of my guide, and placing my clothes upon the Ramous, swam over with my camel in the manner just mentioned. At Mahass the people are afraid to cross the river in this manner, on account of the crocodiles, so that the communication between the two shores is very irregular. The vessel, which the Kashefs had brought to Tinareh had no boatmen capable of towing it from one side to the other; if the wind was favourable, a few rags were put up to serve as sails, and were sufficient to carry the vessel across; but whenever the wind was contrary, two horses were attached to it by ropes, and being driven into the water, dragged the boat after them in swimming across.

The governor of Sukkot had left Kolbe early in the morning, to go in search of a cow that was due to him, as tribute, from the chiefs of the Omsherifs in Batn el Hadjar; I therefore breakfasted with his slaves, and pursued my journey. Kolbe appears to be an artificial island; a deep canal, too regular to be the work of nature, runs along the western side of it, and is dry in the spring season, so that we could at present wade across it. On the west side of this canal is a recess in the mountain, where is a plain that bears traces of former cultivation. There is a small village upon the island, and several ruins of brick buildings, one of which I entered, and was not a little surprised to find myself in a Greek chapel: figures of saints were painted in gaudy colours upon the walls, and the names of many visitors or pilgrims inscribed. The colours of the paintings are extremely well preserved, probably owing to the extreme dryness of the air of Nubia. I found the date to several of the names. It should seem from the quantities of brick ruins upon the islands of Batn el Hadjar, that the builders of those edifices were unable to hew the rocks of the neighbouring mountains, which are throughout of considerable hardness. In proceeding towards the northern limits of the island, I found a deep and wide well, lined on the inside, up to the top, with large stones. The rock on this side of the river is granite, crossed by strata of quartz three or four inches in thickness.

From Kolbe we rode two hours and a half to Wady Okame, in the direction of N.N.E.; in the Batn el Hadjar the Wadys on both sides of the river bear the same name. We continued four hours in the Wady, where we saw only some ruined houses. From thence the road lies over high sandy hills. Six hours and a half, Wady Sonk: the sands here descend into the river like torrents; the northerly winds blew the sand directly in our faces, and greatly annoyed us. We supped at Wady Sonk, at the hut of a poor Arab woman, whose husband had gone to Derr to sell a few goats, and bring home Dhourra in return. A plant called Kharoua (خروع), which is also found in Upper Egypt, growing to the height of four or five feet, is cultivated here, as well as in several parts of the Batn el Hadjar; a medicinal oil is extracted from its fruit, with which the people anoint their hair. The situation of most of these Wadys among the rocks and tamarisk trees is delightful, especially wherever the water is collected in little pools; but the gnats frequent the pools in such numbers, that we could get no rest for them, and we therefore quitted our station, when the moon rose, and halted again, half an hour farther, on the sands of the upper plain, at the foot of the mountain called Djebel Lamoule. We heard here the noise of the river rushing over the rocks at the foot of the western Lamoule.

March 18th. Our road lay over a high sandy plain, in the direction of E. by N.; insulated rocky hills rise above the plain, and form a hilly chain, much inferior in height to the mountains on the east side. At two hours the beginning of Wady Formoke (وادي فرمكه), lay several miles to our right, on the banks of the river. Three hours, Wady Om Kanaszer; here, upon a rocky island, are several brick ruins, and a tower of some size, of the same material. This place is inhabited by some Omsherifs, who cultivate a few acres of ground; they begged a little gunpowder of me to shoot the gazelles, which devour their harvest. These animals inhabit the western mountains in large herds, and regularly descend to the banks of the river during the night, to feed upon the herbage which grows there; I every morning found the sands above the river thickly covered with the traces of the delicate feet of this pretty animal. The Arabs have no other means of guarding their fields against them, than by setting up objects to frighten them; I frequently met with the grotesque figure of a hyena, formed of straw, and mounted upon legs of wood. The hyena inhabits the mountains on both sides of the river, and is the most formidable enemy of the gazelle. I did not hear of any other beasts of prey in these parts. In five hours we came to Wady Ambigo, or Ambougo, with large islands in the river. The high sandy plain, with insulated hills, continues on this side; and the Nile has many turnings. We always made a short cut over the mountain. Our road from Ambigo lay E.N.E. until at eight hours and a half, Wady Ambigo terminated; Djebel Doushe being on the eastern bank; the road for the greater part lies over a plain covered with what are called Egyptian pebbles; the mounds and hillocks on both sides of the road consist, for about three miles, of red porphyry. Ten hours, Wady Attyre, where we passed the house of the Melek of the Omsherifs, built of stone: this, and several other habitations, had been plundered and ruined last year by the Arabs Sheygya, who do not confine their depredations to the eastern side, but often cross the river, and lay waste the western shore. At ten hours and a half, we halted for the night opposite the hut of a Kerrarish family, who lived upon an island; they brought us some butter and milk, and received Dhourra in exchange. In the night, a little girl came over to us, and begged us to give her some Dhourra for her mother and herself, as the men never allowed them any bread. I satisfied her beyond her expectations; and early in the morning she returned with a pot of milk, as a present from her mother. I should observe, that my guide was known to this family, otherwise the girl would not have trusted herself, alone, among entire strangers. The high thorny shrub, called Syale (سياله) grows here in large quantities; it bears red berries, which are eaten by the Arabs.

March 19th. Our path, on setting out, lay along a narrow passage between rocks of granite, quartz, and feldspath; the direction north. In one hour and a half we returned to the banks of the river, near the northern extremity of Wady Attyre, opposite the Akabet el benat, on the eastern side. Throughout the Batn el Hadjar, there are a few date trees at intervals on the west bank, but not so many as on the east; no one claiming a property in these trees, their fruit is collected by the traveller. We again crossed the sands from Wady Attyre. In three hours, we reached Wady Samne (وادي سمنه), near which is a cataract in the river: the stream forces its way through a narrow passage, not more than fifty paces in breadth, formed by two rocks, which project from the opposite sides. On the east side, upon a hill over the cataract, are some brick ruins; and, on the west side, are similar ruins, with an ancient temple on the top of the hill. It is built of sand-stone, and differs in its shape from other Egyptian temples, though it somewhat resembles in its plan the small temple of Elephantine. It consists of a principal building twelve paces in length, and three paces only in breadth. On each side, stood originally four small pillars, of which two remain on one side, and three on the other; one of the former has a polygonal shaft, the others are square; they are all covered with sculptures. The pillars are joined to the main building by blocks of stone, which serve as a roof to the vestibule. There are two small gates. The inner walls of the apartment are covered with hieroglyphics, and mystic representations of the divine worship. On both sides a long ship is sculptured, with Osiris in it; and the group of two figures resting their hands upon each others shoulders is every where repeated. The roof is painted blue, and there are some remains of colours upon several of the figures. Near the posterior wall, opposite the main entrance, a statue lies on the floor, the head of which has been cut off; it is about five feet high; the arms are crossed upon the breast, and in one hand is the flail, and in the other the instrument usually called a crosier. On the exterior wall of the temple I distinguished several figures of Mendes, or the Egyptian Priapus. All the sculptures are of coarse execution; and several of the lines of the compartments wherein the hieroglyphics are cut, are not straight, as if they had been the work of young persons only learning their art. Some of the hieroglyphics on the pillars have evidently been left unfinished; and even those which are completed, are badly and rudely done. A part of the wall appears to be of a different date from the rest, as it is constructed of stones much larger, and better hewn. There seems to have been another similar building near this temple, for several capitals of columns are lying on the ground, and a large block of granite covered with hieroglyphics. All around are heaps of rubbish. The temple is surrounded by ruined brick buildings, which are certainly of high antiquity; they cover the top of the hill which overhangs the shore, and are enclosed by a double wall, or rather by a wall within a parapet; the former is of brick, from eight to twelve feet thick, and whereever entire, upwards of thirty feet in height; the parapet is constructed of stone, twenty feet in breadth, with sides sloping towards the declivity of the hill; the stones of the parapet are thrown irregularly upon each other, without cement, but those which form the sloping side are either cut, or dexterously arranged, so as to present a perfectly smooth surface, which, at the period when the work was taken care of, must have rendered it impossible for any one to climb over it. These works of defence indicate powerful enemies; but who they were, it is impossible to ascertain. Did the forefathers of the Blemmyes disturb the hierarchy of Egypt, as their descendants afterwards did the Roman praetors?

In four hours we arrived opposite the ruins of a brick tower, or small castle, upon a rocky island: here begins Wady Seras. Our road was N.E. over ground, covered with deep sand, and perfectly even, with the exception of a few low insulated hillocks. At five hours, the plain opens wide to the west, and the river takes a winding course to the eastward. At the end of seven hours, in an E.N.E. direction, we came again to the side of the river. In eight hours and a half, reached the northern extremity of Wady Seras: an ancient brick castle, called Escot (أسقُط), stands upon an island. At the end of nine hours, we halted on the high shore, over the river, opposite a small island, on which was an Arab hut; we called out to its inhabitants, and one of them swam over to receive some Dhourra, of which the women made us bread. Doum trees grow here in plenty, and the fruit had already come to maturity. The tamarisk and acacia trees also abound.

March 20th. We rode over a sandy plain, in the direction of N.E. by E., and in two hours and a half, came again to the river at Wady Djayme (وادي جيمه). The face of the country here has a less rugged appearance; the river, for several miles, is free from rocks and islands, and a narrow strip of cultivable soil lines the shore. We met with an Arab, who was digging salt in the western hills: it is found in small white pieces, mixed with sand and stones; these are boiled in water, and when the salt is dissolved, the Arabs strain the solution through their shirts, and preserve it in large earthen vessels; whenever they are in want of salt, for their dishes, they pour a little of this brine over them. From hence the road along the shore was N.N.E. The rock here is entirely grünstein. In three hours and a half, we reached Wady Mershed. On the west side, opposite the island mentioned in my way southward, stand two detached brick buildings, a small Greek convent, and a church; in which some paintings of saints are still visible on the walls. The plain here is broader than in any other part of the Batn el Hadjar, and bears traces of former cultivation; it is now entirely deserted, although many date trees grow here. From hence northward, the face of the country gradually loses its wild aspect, and the eastern chain diminishes considerably in height. In four hours and a half we came to three or four chapels, or dwellings of cenobites, close to, but detached from, each other: these may have been the habitations of ambitious monks, whom the fanaticism of party had driven from Constantinople into the deserts of Nubia. Five hours and a half, the river is again choked with rocks and islands, and continues so to the Cataract of Wady Halfa. Here the Wady Sulla (وادي سُلّه) commences: the road ascends the sandy hills which skirt the narrow plain along the shore. On the top of these hills is an immense plain, in which are a number of small insulated hillocks, some of them so regular in their shape, as to appear like the work of art. In six hours, we reached the borders of the upper plain; overhanging the river are the remains of a considerable brick enclosure, about three hundred feet square, with a thick wall; it had probably served as a watch-tower; there are no ruins whatever within the area of the enclosure. At this place a distant view opens over the river and its islands, upon one of which, just below, are some brick ruins. In seven hours and a half we came again to the river; the road N.E. by E. At eight hours we passed the celebrated second Cataract of the Nile, or The Cataract of Wady Halfa, laid down in all the maps of Nubia under the name of the Cataract of Jan Adel. The cataract is formed by a part of the stream only, at most twenty yards in breadth; its fall is more rapid, and the noise and foam greater, than in any other place in the Batn el Hadjar, or than at the cataracts of Assouan; still, however, it little deserves to be called a Cataract, or Shellal (شلاّل). There are three principal falls, or sloping rocks, one above the other, over which the water descends with great velocity. The Arabs who inhabit some of the neighbouring islands, stretch a net across the fall, and in this way catch a considerable number of fish. The high hill on the west bank, close to the Cataract, forms the termination of the primitive rocks of the Batn el Hadjar; from thence northward, as far as the first Cataract, the rock is every where sand-stone.

As the sun was near setting, when I viewed the Cataract, and our provisions, except Dhourra, were entirely exhausted, I was desirous of reaching some inhabited spot before night, and therefore proceeded at a quick trot. In the course of our passage over the sand-hills we came opposite to Wady Haifa; and in ten hours reached the banks of the river in front of Sukoy (سقوي), where I met with the remains of a temple, but in a very dilapidated state. The whole building is buried under mounds of sand and rubbish, except the fragments of shafts of columns, standing as described in the annexed figure [not included]. The four corner columns, and two of the side ones, are square, the others are round; they appeared to be about two feet and a half in diameter; no hieroglyphics, or sculptures, are visible, and the stones are in a very decayed state. The temple had been surrounded by a high brick wall, fragments of which are still seen. I observed no other remains of antiquity in my hasty view of this ruin. We continued at a brisk trot till the end of eleven hours and a half, when we again reached the bank of the river, opposite Dabrous, and crossed the dry bed of a branch of the stream to an island, where some Kerrarish Arabs were encamped, and we alighted at their tents, late at night, after a ride of twelve hours. I celebrated my safe return into the northern parts of Nubia by having a lamb, which I purchased of the Arabs for three measures of Dhourra, roasted for my supper. The island is thickly overgrown with tamarisk trees, which shoot up spontaneously upon all the islands whose surfaces consist of alluvial mud, and not of sand. I was informed, in the course of the night, that a caravan of sixty camels of the Arabs Sheygya had arrived at Wady Halfa, for dates. Although continually harassed by the predatory incursions of the Sheygya, the Nubians never offer any insult to the merchants of that nation, who visit their villages as friends.

March 21st. In passing over from the island to the main land, my dromedary sank into the mud, and it was with great difficulty that I saved it: these animals walk with a firm step through sands as high as their knee; but mud, the depth of an inch only, will make them stumble. In half an hour we passed the village of Argyn (أركين). The western shore, from the Cataract to this village, is quite barren, and continues so to the north of it, where deep sands cover the plain. In one hour and a half, we passed opposite to Eshke. Two hours and a half, saw the village of Debeyra, on the east bank; there is on that side an uninterrupted grove of date trees, from Eshke to Serra. Our road lay N.E. by N. In four hours and a half we came to Serra, nearly opposite the village of the same name, on the east side. At five hours, are the ruins of a small temple, not far from the river, in the midst of low sand hills: its main building is about twenty-four feet square; the roof has fallen in, and the lower parts only of the original walls remain; upon these the Greeks had raised mud walls, and converted the ruin into a church, which, in its turn, had become a mosque. There are no remains of columns; and the hieroglyphics, and other sculptures, which cover the walls, are worse executed than any I had seen, worse even than those at Samne, abovementioned. The fragments of a battle-piece may still be discerned upon the wall, and there is a very spirited, but rudely executed group of Briareus, seized by the hair, and under the victor’s knife, but protected by the out-stretched arm of Osiris; it differs from the similar representation so often repeated on the walls of the Egyptian temples; inasmuch as Briareus is not here a many-headed monster, but of the natural human form, holding in his arms a dying friend; both these figures have rings in their ears, and the hair of the head is cut like that of the Arabs of this part of Africa, in a form which has been mistaken for a cap by some travellers, in describing the same head-dress in the figures of the temples of Egypt. Opposite to this temple, on the east side, is the hamlet of Artynok (أرتنوق), which lies to the north of the eastern Serra. Five hours and a half, Faras, (فَرَس), opposite the fertile island of that name. The sand-hills of Serra continue till opposite Adhendhan; to the west is a wide plain, with insulated rocky hills. At seven hours is a ruined Greek church, the walls of which, in the lower half of their height, are of stone, and in the remainder of bricks. At seven hours and a half, we passed three sepulchres excavated in the sand-stone of a low range of hills; they are coarsely worked; in their interior are several Greek inscriptions of the time of the Lower Empire. Our road was now E.N.E. Opposite Adhendan the western chain of mountains terminates, and some low hills, separated from the river by rising sandy ground, continue to the northward. In nine hours we reached the shore, opposite Kosko. Nine and a half, crossed the dry bed of a branch of the stream to the island of Ballyane; and alighted, at the end of eleven hours, at the huts of some Kerrarish Arabs, on its northern extremity, directly opposite the castle of Adde. All these islands are deserted during the period of the inundation.

March 22d. We recrossed, to the shore, over the sands left on the decrease of the waters, and passed the village of Ballyane (بليني). At one hour and a half, ascended a steep sandy mountain the mountains on both sides are close to the river. On the east side is Wady Fereyg: on the west side the mountain bears the name of Ebsambal (إبسَمبَل), probably a Greek word, the final syllable bal being a modification of polis. When we reached the top of the mountain, I left my guide, with the camels, and descended an almost perpendicular cleft, choaked with sand, to view the temple of Ebsambal, of which I had heard many magnificent descriptions. There is no road at present to this temple, which stands just over the bank of the river; but, it is probable, that some change may have taken place in the course of the stream, and that there may have been formerly a footpath along the shore, by which the temple was approached. It stands about twenty feet above the surface of the water, entirely cut out of the almost perpendicular rocky side of the mountain, and in complete preservation. In front of the entrance are six erect colossal figures, representing juvenile persons, three on each side, placed in narrow recesses, and looking towards the river; they are all of the same size, stand with one foot before the other, and are accompanied by smaller figures, which I shall presently describe. They measure from the ground to the knee six feet and a half, and are placed in the following order: 1. A juvenile Osiris, with a narrow beard, and a tiara on his head, accompanied by two small upright figures, about four feet in height, one on each side of his legs. 2. Isis, with Horus in her arms, and a small figure also, on each side; though coarsely executed, the expression of the countenance of the Isis is truly grand and benevolent. 3. A youth, with the usual high bonnet upon his head, his arms hanging down, and two small figures like the preceding. These are on one side of the door. On the other side is, 4. The same youth; 5. Isis, having the globe, encompassed by two serpents, upon her head; and 6. the youth a third time; each with the two small accompanying figures, as before. Of the small figures, some of those on the side last mentioned differ from the others in having the hair on the right side of the head falling in a thick bunch upon the right shoulder, while the left side is shaved. The spaces between the niches where the large figures stand, are covered with hieroglyphics. A small door leads into the pronaos of the temple, which is supported by six square columns, each three feet square: the pronaos is thirteen paces in length, and seven in breadth. The capitals of the columns represent heads of Isis, similar to those at Tintyra, except that they are in much lower relief, and in the same style as the sculptures on the walls of the temple; the ornament represented on these heads is in the form of a temple, and the hair falls down in two thick ringlets, differing in this respect, also, from the figures at Tintyra. The narrow cells is entered from the pronaos by one large, and two small gates; it is only three paces in depth, with a dark chamber on each side. The adytum is seven feet square; the remains of a statue, cut out of the rock, are visible in the back wall, and in the floor is a deep sepulchral excavation. The walls of the three apartments are covered with hieroglyphics, and the usual sacred figures of the Egyptian temples. The figures seem all to have been painted yellow, excepting the hair, which, in several of them is black; that of Isis is in black and white stripes. Offerings to Osiris of lotus and of leaves of the Doum tree, are frequently represented; and, as in all the Nubian temples, Briareus, beneath the hand of the victor, is repeated in several places; he is here again of the natural human form. The temple of Ebsambal seems to have been the model of that at Derr, to which I think it much anterior in date; it was no doubt dedicated to the worship of Isis. The style in which the sculptures are executed denotes high antiquity. A few paces to the north of the entrance, in the rock above it, is a bas-relief of Osiris, in a sitting posture, with a supplicant kneeling with extended arms before him: both figures are surrounded with hieroglyphic characters. I was afterwards informed, at Derr, that there is, near this temple, on the bank of the river, the statue of a man somewhat above the human size, with the Egyptian corn measure under his arm; and that it is completely overflowed during the inundation.

Having, as I supposed, seen all the antiquities of Ebsambal, I was about to ascend the sandy side of the mountain by the same way I had descended; when having luckily turned more to the southward, I fell in with what is yet visible of four immense colossal statues cut out of the rock, at a distance of about two hundred yards from the temple; they stand in a deep recess, excavated in the mountain; but it is greatly to be regretted, that they are now almost entirely buried beneath the sands, which are blown down here in torrents. The entire head, and part of the breast and arms of one of the statues are yet above the surface; of the one next to it scarcely any part is visible, the head being broken off, and the body covered with sand to above the shoulders; of the other two, the bonnets only appear. It is difficult to determine, whether these statues are in a sitting or standing posture; their backs adhere to a portion of rock, which projects from the main body, and which may represent a part of a chair, or may be merely a column for support. They do not front the river, like those of the temple just described, but are turned with their faces due north, towards the more fertile climes of Egypt, so that the line on which they stand, forms an angle with the course of the stream. The head which is above the surface has a most expressive, youthful, countenance, approaching nearer to the Grecian model of beauty, than that of any ancient Egyptian figure I have seen; indeed, were it not for a thin oblong beard, it might well pass for a head of Pallas. This statue wears the high bonnet usually called the corn-measure, in the front of which is a projection bearing the figure of a nilometer; the same is upon the bonnets of the two others: the arms are covered with hieroglyphics, deeply cut in the sand-stone, and well executed; the statue measures seven yards across the shoulders, and cannot, therefore, if in an upright posture, be less than from sixty-five to seventy feet in height: the ear is one yard and four inches in length. On the wall of the rock, in the centre of the four statues, is the figure of the hawk-headed Osiris, surmounted by a globe; beneath which, I suspect, could the sand be cleared away, a vast temple would be discovered, to the entrance of which the above colossal figures probably serve as ornaments, in the same manner as the six belonging to the neighbouring temple of Isis: I am also led to conjecture, from the presence of the hawk-headed figure, that this was a temple dedicated to Osiris. The levelled face of the rock behind the colossal figures, is covered with hieroglyphic characters; over which is a row of upwards of twenty sitting figures, cut out of the rock like the others, but so much defaced, that I could not make out distinctly, from below, what they were meant for; they are about six feet in height. Judging from the features of the colossal statue visible above the sand, I should pronounce these works to belong to the finest period of Egyptian sculpture; but, on the other hand, the hieroglyphics on the face of the rock are of very indifferent execution, and seem to be of the same age as those in the temple at Derr. A few paces to the south of the four colossal statues, is a recess hewn out of the rock, with steps leading up to it from the river; its walls are covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, and representations of Isis, and the hawk-headed Osiris.

The temple of Ebsambal serves as a place of refuge to the inhabitants of Ballyane, and the neighbouring Arabs, against a Moggrebyn tribe of Bedouins, who regularly, every year, make incursions into these parts. They belong to the tribes which are settled between the Great Oasis and Siout. When they set out, they repair first to Argo, where they commence their predatory course, plundering all the villages on the western bank of the river; they next visit Mahass, Sukkot, Batn el Hadjar, Wady Halfa, the villages opposite Derr, and lastly Dakke; near the latter place, they ascend the mountain, and return through the desert towards Siout. The party usually consists of about one hundred and fifty horsemen, and as many camel-riders: no one dares oppose them in Nubia; on the contrary, the governors pay them a visit, when they arrive opposite to Derr, and make them some presents. The incursions of this tribe are one of the principal reasons, why the greater part of the western bank of the Nile is deserted. Whenever they advance towards Ballyane, its inhabitants retreat with their cattle to the temple of Ebsambal. The Moggrebyns, last year attempted to force this place of refuge, but failed, after losing several men.

From Ebsambal our road lay E.N.E. along a barren, sandy shore. At three hours and a half from our setting out in the morning, we passed some ruined Greek chapels; and at the end of six hours and a half, alighted (opposite to Formundy, on the east side), at an Arab tent, in which was a young man, and a pretty girl, his cousin; their relations lived on the east side, and had sent them over to watch a few sown fields. I asked the girl whether she was not afraid of remaining alone with the youth? “O no,” she replied, “is he not my cousin?” (ليس أخاف ما هو ابن عمي). Cousins among the Bedouins are considered almost in the same light as brothers and sisters.

March 23d. A continuation of the high sandy shore. We left the river to our right, and made a short cut across the plain, in a N.E. by E. direction. In two hours and a half, we passed, at about one hour’­­s distance to our right, the village of Tosko, which stands on both sides of the river. Five hours, Mosmos (مُسمُس), a village on the west bank, opposite to Wady Bostan. Six hours, passed Wady Shubak, on the east bank; from thence our road was E.N.E. over a wide plain, between the western mountains and the river. At nine hours, saw, to our right, the village of Kette. About two miles distance from the river is an insulated hill, composed of sand-stone, in which a small sepulchral chamber has been formed, seven paces in length, three in breadth, and five feet and a half in height, with a sepulchral excavation in the centre; adjoining to it is a smaller chamber, in the bottom of which is a bust placed between two seats, destined probably for mummies. The sides of the principal chamber are covered with paintings, the colours of which are as well preserved as those in the tombs of the kings at Thebes, though they are not so well executed; the principal subjects are figures making offerings and paying adoration to Osiris and Apis: I observed on one side a Cynoce-phalus embalming a body extended upon a table before him; and on another, the same figure holding in his hand a balance, before which stands a sphinx: in the small chamber agricultural subjects are depicted, as ploughing, sowing, hoeing, &c. There are no other sepulchres in this place. It will always be matter of surprise that similar excavations are not frequently found in the mountains of Nubia, abundant as they are in those of Egypt, in the neighbourhood of all ancient cities. In eleven hours we came again to the river, at a village called Ayfe (عيفه); and at the end of eleven hours and a half reached Tomas where we alighted, at a house belonging to Hassan Kashef. This is a large village, and the greater part of its inhabitants are descendants of the Arabs Gharbye, by whom Nubia was formerly occupied.

March 24th. In about one hour and a half from Tomas, we arrived opposite Derr, where is a ferry to convey passengers across. After waiting some time for the boat, which happened to be on the opposite side, I saw Hassan Kashef himself enter it, to cross the river; when he reached the shore, he received me very coolly; “You had no business,” said he, “in Mahass; why did you not return, after reaching Sukkot?” He then asked me what presents I had given to his brothers. I told him that I had given them no presents, as I had none to give. “I wonder, then,” he said, “how they let you pass, for you had no letters to them.” I replied, that they had treated me very kindly, and had even killed a lamb for me; though this was not the truth, and I only said so by way of rebuke to Hassan Kashef, who had not offered me any animal food, while I remained with him. I then entered the boat, which the governor’s slaves dragged along shore, to Tomas, where the Kashef wished to inspect some fields. Here I witnessed one of those cruel acts of despotism which are so common in the East: in walking over a large field, with about thirty attendants and slaves, Hassan told the owner that he had done wrong in sowing the field with barley, as water-melons would have grown better. He then took some melon seed out of his pocket, and giving it to the man, said, “you had better tear up the barley and sow this.” As the barley was nearly ripe, the man of course excused himself from complying with the Kashef’s command: “Then I will sow them for you,” said the latter; and ordered his people immediately to tear up the crop, and lay out the field for the reception of the melon seed. The boat was then loaded with the barley, and a family thus reduced to misery, in order that the governor might feed his horses and camels for three days on the barley stalks.

I returned to Derr with Hassan Kashef, but remained there only a few hours. I dismissed my honest Kerrarish guide, Mohammed Sad; at parting, I gave him a woollen Mellaye, which he had long before expressed a great desire to possess. He was a good man, but had one defect, and a very great one in a guide: he never could be prevailed upon to tell me the distances of places; or state the spot where we should halt for the night. Whenever I questioned him on these points his constant reply was, Allah ysahhel aleyna (الله يسهّل علينا), “May God smooth our path!” and when I pressed him for a decisive answer, he would exclaim: “God is great; he can prolong distances, and shorten them.” Like many Arabs, he thought, that to pronounce, with any degree of certainty, on the future, is an insult to the Deity, and the occasion of misfortunes in a journey; few of them, therefore, ever speak of any thing to be done without adding; “In shallah” (ان شاآله). If it pleases God: but my old guide would not even go so far; and always evaded conversing on what was likely to happen. At parting, when he asked me for my Mellaye, I answered, “May God smooth your path,” a phrase usually employed towards beggars, when they are civilly told to be gone; “No,” said he, “for once, I will beg you to smooth it;” so I gave him the Mellaye, and a small present in money; and am confident that Abou Sad will never forget me. On taking leave of Hassan Kashef, I offered him my pistols, as a present, for I certainly had reason, upon the whole, to be satisfied with his behaviour towards me; but he was in a very ill humour, and told me, that they were not pistols fit for a Kashef; and that he wanted a pair of long pistols, such as the Mamelouks carry in their holsters. I promised to send him such a pair, and thus we parted. I have already written to Cairo for the pistols, and the Kashef will be not a little surprised at receiving them; for it is very unusual in the East to remember the services of any one, whose good offices are no longer wanted.

As long as Egypt enjoys a settled government, travellers may proceed through Nubia with safety, as that government will always be respected by the Nubian chiefs, at least as far as Wady Halfa. Whenever the Kashefs have nothing to apprehend from Egypt, I suspect that no traveller will be able to penetrate farther than Derr, but that he will there be stripped of his property, and sent back. In any case, it is necessary to be furnished with presents, particularly if all the three brothers happen to be at Derr; for they are extremely jealous of each other, and if a present were given to one only, the two others would certainly prevent the traveller from proceeding farther into the country.

Being furnished with a new guide, who was to accompany me to Assouan, I recrossed the river, and slept this night, at one hour and a half from Derr, nearly opposite Diwan, in a hut which some labourers had built at a water wheel.

March 25th. At one hour and a half from where I slept, is a place near the river called Hassaya (حسّايه), where a village formerly stood; here are the ruins of a small temple. The pronaos is sixteen paces in length, and consists of three rows of square columns, four in each row, and two feet square, with a row of four round ones next the cella; the whole are without capitals. The hieroglyphics are badly sculptured; the beetle is the figure most frequently met with on the columns. The pronaos is encompassed by a wall, which fills up the intervals between the outer rows of columns. The cella is entered from the pronaos through a narrow chamber; on either side of the cella is an apartment, equal to it in depth, but narrower; there is no adytum. The walls of the cella have a thick coat of plaister, on which are paintings of Greek saints. The temple is interesting on account of its preservation, being almost entire; but the sands have accumulated considerably round its walls and columns. There is a well paved terrace on the top of the cella; and the Greeks had built a cupola over the pronaos. I believe this to be the temple mentioned by Norden, as situated near Amada. About twenty yards distant from it, towards the river, are the foundations of another stone edifice.

At two hours and a half, is the village Areyga ((أريكه, opposite Shakke, on the east side. There is a short route over the mountain from Derr to Assouan; but I preferred following the banks of the river. The shore continued to be very sandy; from an excavation made by the peasants, in search of treasure, I perceived that the sands covered a stratum of rich alluvial soil, whose surface was at a height which the water does not now reach, even during the highest inundations. I had opportunities of making the same observation in several other places; which seems to prove that either the bed of the Nile or its inundations have been formerly much higher in Nubia, than they are at present; for the earth is evidently a deposit of its waters. The shore is quite barren from Areyga northwards. At four hours we passed opposite to Songary. At five hours, we came to the small village of Maleky (مالكي), opposite the northern extremity of Wady Songary. In six hours and a half, we arrived in front of the southern extremity of Wady el Arab; the shore here is quite barren, and there is only a small hamlet. In ten hours, we reached the banks of the river, opposite Seboua, where are the fine ruins which I mentioned, in describing my route southward. They stand on the side of low hills, which a narrow plain separates from the river. In front of the temple is a propylon similar to that of the temple of Gorne at Thebes. It is twenty-eight paces in length; and in the centre of its two pyramidal wings is a small gateway, leading into the court of the pronaos, two-thirds of which are buried in sand. The pronaos has five columns, without capitals, on each of its longest sides; in front of each column, and joined to it, is a colossal figure (like those at Gorne), about sixteen feet in height, having the arms crossed upon the breast, with the flail in one hand and the crosier in the other; all these figures are much mutilated. The walls of the propylon, and of the pronaos, having been constructed of small blocks of very friable sandstone, are so much decayed, that little now remains of the sculptures with which they were originally covered; but a Briareus, with two bodies, may yet be distinguished on the outside wall of the propylon. In front of the entrance, there lies on the ground a colossal human statue, the head and breast of which are buried in the sand; it probably stood on the side of the gate, like the colossi at Luxor; it is a male figure, and in the same attitude as the statues in front of the temple of Isis at Ebsambal. In front of the propylon, and about thirty yards distant from it, are two statues ten feet in height, and seven paces from each other; their faces are towards the river, and they are attached by the back to a stone pillar of equal height; they are rudely executed, proportion being so little observed, that the ears are half the length of the head; they both wear the high bonnet, and represent unbearded male figures. An avenue of sphinxes leads from the river to the temple; but the greater part of them are now buried; four remain by the side of the two last mentioned statues, differing from each other in size and shape, but all representing the bodies of lions with the heads of young men, and the usual narrow beard under the chin. I observed a hole on the top of their flattened heads, intended, perhaps, to receive a small statue. Near the temple are some mounds of rubbish and broken pottery. The whole fabric appears to be of the remotest antiquity; and to have been imitated by the more modern architects of Egypt; for the propylon, and the pronaos with its colossal statues, are found at Gorne, on a larger scale; the two statues in advance of the propylon, are the miniatures of those in front of the Memnonium; and the sphinxes are seen at Karnac. As it was long after sunset before I quitted this temple, we proceeded only half an hour farther, and alighted at the hut of an Aleykat Arab.

March 26th. In one hour and a half we came to Wady Medyk, which stands on both sides of the river. The Senna-mekke grows here in large quantities. The inhabitants of Medyk who retired to Esne after the passage of the Mamelouks, had not yet returned. Many of them died there of the small-pox. In two hours and a half, we passed opposite to Wady Nasrellab. In three hours and a half, we came to El Nowabat, a ruined village, opposite to Thyale on the east bank. The shore is here very narrow, and the western hills are low, and sandy. At five hours and a half, we saw, upon the hills, the ruins of several Greek churches. Seven hours, El Meharraka, on both sides of the Nile. Upon the rocky hill, over the river, stands a small ruined city, the houses of which had been built partly of small stones, and partly of mud; they are of Arab construction. Eight hours and a half brought us to the northern extremity of Wady Meharraka, where the plain widens considerably, being broader than in any other part north of Derr; though it is cultivated at present only near the river. Here is the ruin of a temple, consisting of a portico of fourteen massy columns, with capitals of different sizes and forms, according to the ancient Egyptian taste in architecture. They are encompassed by a wall, which being joined to the entablature of the colonnade, forms a covered portico all round. The southern wall has fallen down, apparently from some sudden and violent concussion, as the stones are lying on the ground, in layers, as when placed in the wall; a proof that they must have fallen all at once. I observed some hieroglyphics sculptured upon single stones lying about in this part. The columns on the south side are joined to each other, except the two centre ones, by a low wall, half their height, in the same manner as those in the temple of the hawkheaded Osiris at Philæ. There is one large entrance, and two smaller ones, and a stair-case leading up to the top. Several paintings of Greek saints are upon the walls; but no hieroglyphics, nor sculptures, of any kind, are visible, not even the globe, common to all the Egyptian temples; neither are there any sculptures on the columns. The walls of this ruin are very neatly and well constructed. There are several Greek inscriptions upon them, in red ink; but I could only read the following clearly

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I also copied the following inscription, which is upon the Wall; but I am unacquainted with the characters, and have no opportunity at present of ascertaining what they are:

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There are besides, several inscriptions in the ancient popular Egyptian character, such as is seen on the manuscripts of papyrus.

The whole portico stands upon a terrace of massy stones, eight feet high towards the river; on this side is the great gate, but, as there are no steps up to it, it is probable that it was used only during the period of inundation, when vessels might moor close under it; at present, the water does not reach the temple at the time of the inundation. The portico is fifteen paces in length, and nine in breadth: there is nothing about it which denotes it to be of Egyptian origin, except the palm-leaves sculptured on the capitals of the columns; it possesses, however, an imposing simplicity, and belongs, I think, to the last epoch of Egyptian architecture. Close to the walls of the portico are the remains of another building, which had probably been a temple similar to the above, and not a part of the same structure, for I could not perceive any corresponding parts in the two buildings. A wall only remains, and the foundations of the principal building; on the former are several sculptures, one of which represents Isis sitting under a tree, and receiving offerings; it is in high relief, unlike any thing of the kind I have seen in Egyptian temples, and more resembling Grecian sculpture. This circumstance, and the Grecian-like simplicity of the portico, lead me to conjecture that both edifices were the work of the Ptolemies, who constructed temples to the Egyptian deities in several parts of Egypt, in which they imitated the architecture consecrated to their worship. I saw no hieroglyphics on the wall.

There are large mounds of rubbish, and fragments of pottery, in this place. Several travellers have expressed their astonishment at the immense heaps of rubbish consisting chiefly of pottery which are met with on the sites of ancient Egyptian towns; and, if we are to attribute their formation to the accumulation of the fragments of earthen vessels used by the inhabitants for domestic purposes, they are indeed truly surprising; but I ascribe their origin to another cause. In Upper Egypt, the walls of the peasants houses are very frequently constructed in part of jars placed one over the other, and cemented together with mud; in walls of inclosures, or in such as require only a slight roof, the upper part is very generally formed of the same materials; in the parapets also of the flat-roofed houses a double or triple row of red pots, one over the other, usually runs round the terrace, to conceal the females of the family when walking upon it. Pots are preferred to brick, because the walls formed of them are lighter, more quickly built, and have a much neater appearance. They possess, likewise, another advantage, which is, that they cannot be pierced at night by robbers, without occasioning noise, by the pots falling down, and thus awakening the inmates of the dwelling, while bricks can be removed silently, one by one, as is often, done by nightly depredators, who break into the houses in this manner. If then we suppose that pot walls were in common use by the ancient inhabitants, the large mounds of broken pottery may be satisfactorily accounted for. As for stone, it seems to have been as little used for the private habitations of the ancient Egyptians, as it is at the present day.

Near Wady Meharraka the island of Derar commences. At eight hours and three quarters is the village of Korty. About two hundred yards from the river stands a ruined temple; it is the smallest I have seen, and may truly be called an Egyptian temple in miniature, being only ten paces in length; the cella and adytum are yet standing; the pronaos seems to be buried under the sand. Of the sculptures, a few figures, and the winged globe over the gates, remain; but the whole temple is in a very mutilated state. At the end of nine hours and a half, we stopped at the house of a Shikh, on the southern extremity of Wady Dakke (وادي دقّه).

March 27th. After an hour’s march, we came to the ruin of a temple, one of the finest remains of antiquity that is met with in the valley of the Nile. In the front stands a large propylon, thirty paces in length, in the centre of which is a gate similar to that of the propylon at Edfou; before this gate lies a fragment of the body of a sphinx. There are neither hieroglyphics nor figures of any kind upon the outer wall of the propylon; in both the wings are staircases leading up to the top, exactly similar in their construction to those in the propylon at Philæ; the two wings communicate with each other by a terrace over the gate: there are numerous small chambers one above the other from the bottom to the top, in both wings. On the wall which fronts the gate of the temple, and on the sides of the gateway, are sculptures and hieroglyphics.

Sixteen paces distant from the propylon is the entrance to the pronaos, between two columns, united to the wall, which is half their height; they have the same capitals as the columns of the open temple at Philæ, which are seen no where else in Egypt, and which are represented in the travels of Denon, who says that they approach the Grecian style by the elegance of their forms. Upon the columns of the temple of Dakke are various figures, among which, I particularly noticed one of a harper. The pronaos is ten paces in length, and seven in breadth: its roof is formed of enormous blocks of stone, at least fifteen feet long. A door leads from the pronaos into a narrow apartment, only four paces in breadth, which communicates with the adytum, by another door richly ornamented. On one side of the adytum is a small dark chamber, in which is a deep sepulchre, with a large lion sculptured in the wall immediately over it; and, on the other side, behind the wall, is a passage, communicating with the pronaos, and containing a staircase which leads up to the top of the building. The adytum is about six paces square; beyond it is another apartment, somewhat larger, communicating, by a small gate, with a narrow passage inclosed between the wall of the temple, and a thick stone wall which inclosed the building on three sides, but of which the foundations only are now remaining. A large block of granite lying on the floor of this apartment, is one of the few instances wherein granite is found in the temples of Nubia. Along the bottom of the walls are represented lotus plants in flower, to which offerings are presented.

There are no historical sculptures in any part of this temple, but the exterior walls, as well as all the apartments within, are thickly covered with figures representing religious subjects: on the former some of the figures are four feet in height; those on the latter are all beautifully executed, and equal, to the best specimens of the kind which travellers admire at Hermonthis and Philæ; indeed, I prefer the figures in the chamber behind the adytum, to any that are in the temples at those places: in no temple of Egypt have I seen such correctness of design or gracefulness of outline: some of the figures might have adorned a Grecian building. On each side of the narrow apartment behind the pronaos is a small gate, opening into the passage above mentioned; opposite to one of these gates is an avenue leading down to the river, and on the outside of the other are two long inscriptions; one of which is in hieroglyphics, and the other, immediately below it, and, apparently, by the same hand, in the common Egyptian character, like that on the rolls of papyrus. I conjecture the latter to be a translation of the former, and if so, it may prove to be of some interest. The propylon and the whole of the temple seem to have been encompassed by a brick enclosure, parts of which still remain, and traces of the rest may be discerned under the mounds of sand. The Greek Christians had appropriated this temple to their worship, several paintings of saints yet remaining on the walls. In the gateway, and on the wall of the propylon, are numerous Greek and Egyptian inscriptions, by curious visitors; of the former I copied the following:

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I conjecture the temple of Dakke to have been built after the plan of Philæ; although upon a smaller scale, its execution appeared to me to be still more careful than that of Philæ: and it is extremely interesting from the high preservation of all its details. Dakke is probably the ancient Pselcis, and the small chapel at Kobban, on the eastern side of the river, Contra-Pselcis. The temple at Korty has retained its ancient name, Corti; and the portico of Meharraka must therefore stand upon the site of Hierosycaminon: the temples of Seboua, Hassaya, and Ebsambal, with their cities, are consequently unknown to the itinerary of Antoninus.

To the north of the temple are the remains of an Arab town, where I saw some tombstones with Cufic inscriptions similar to those among the sepulchres of Assouan. The plain is covered with large heaps of rubbish. From Dakke to Benbaan, a village opposite Darau, twenty-five miles north of Assouan, there is a route of three easy days across the western mountain: there is a spring in the way, called Kurkur (قُرقُر), with date trees growing near it.

At the end of three hours travelling from our setting out in the morning, we reached Wady Kostamne, situated on both sides of the river. In five hours, Wady Gyrshe; at the northern extremity of this village is a temple, cut out of the rock, which presents a fine contrast to its neighbour at Dakke, having been executed in the infancy of architectural art, when the artist produced an imposing effect not by the gracefulness, but the magnitude of his figures. This temple stands upon the top of a hill, the broad declivity of which is covered with rubbish and some fragments of colossal statues. In front, is a portico, consisting of five square columns on each side, cut out of the rock, with a row of circular columns in front, constructed of several blocks, and which originally supported an entablature. Of these columns only two remain. Before each of the square side columns stands a colossal statue of sand-stone, about eighteen feet high, holding a flail in one hand, the other hanging down; they all represent male figures, with the narrow beard under the chin, and the high sphinx cap upon the head their shoulders are covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions. On both sides of the portico is an open alley, hewn in the rock, from whence, perhaps, the materials of the front colonnade were taken. The pronaos, which is entered from the portico by a large gate, is eighteen paces square, and contains two rows, three in each, of immense columns, or rather props, (for they are without capitals,) measuring five feet by seven in the plan. In front of each of these columns is a colossal figure, more than twenty feet in height, representing the usual juvenile character, with the corn-measure or bonnet on the head, the hands crossed upon the breast, and holding the flail and crosier. Although these statues are rudely executed, the outlines of their bodies being less correct even than those of the statues at Seboua, and their legs mere round blocks, yet they have a striking effect in this comparatively small apartment; indeed, accustomed as I had been to the grandeur of Egyptian temples, of which I had examined so many incomparable specimens, I was nevertheless struck with admiration on entering this gloomy pronaos, and beholding these immense figures standing in silence before me. They immediately recalled to my memory the drawings I had seen of the caves near Surat, and other Indian excavated temples, which, in many respects, bear a strong resemblance to those of Nubia. On the side walls of the pronaos are four recesses, or niches, in each of which are three statues of the natural size, representing the different symbolical male and female figures which are seen on the walls of the temples of Egypt. The centre figures are generally clothed in a long dress, while the others are naked. All these figures, as well as the colossi, are covered with a thick coat of stucco, and had once been painted; they must then have had a splendid appearance. A door leads from the pronaos into the cella; in the centre of the cella are two massy pillars, and on either side a small apartment, which was probably a place of sepulture; in the floor of each are high stone benches, which may have served for supporting mummies, or perhaps as tables for embalming the bodies deposited in the temple; the floors have been broken up in search of treasure, and are now covered with rubbish. Behind the cella, and communicating with it by a door, is the adytum, on each side of which is a small chamber, also opening into the cella, exactly like those in the temple at Derr. In the posterior wall of the adytum are four statues, above the human size, seated; and in the centre of the floor is a large cubical stone, the use of which I cannot determine; its sides are quite smooth, and without any kind of sculpture. It may, perhaps, have served as the pedestal of a statue; or is it an inverted sarcophagus? Of the sculptures and hieroglyphics with which the walls of this temple were covered, very little is now discernible, the sand-stone being of a very friable nature, and soon falling to decay; added to this, the walls are quite black with smoke from the fires kindled by the neighbouring shepherds, who often pass the night in the temple with their cattle; enough, however, still remains to shew that the sculptures are rudely executed. The colossal figures are in good preservation, particularly those of the pronaos; those in the portico have been mutilated.

While inspecting the interior apartments of this temple with a lighted candle, for they receive no light but what is communicated through the outer gate, I was joined in the adytum by the Shikh of Gyrshe, who had hurried after me, on seeing us take the road to the building. He begged me to give him half the treasure I had found, or at least, a handful; but he was obliged to be contented with a piece of wax candle. He shewed me the place where the Englishmen (Messrs. Legh and Smelt), who had been here before me, found, as he asserted, an immense treasure, with which they loaded their vessel; one of the peasants had seen the gold! Similar tales are often spread abroad; every peasant swears to their truth; and singular as it may appear, all the inhabitants of Egypt, notwithstanding the long residence of the French in that country, and the continual passage of travellers, are still persuaded that the ancient temples are visited for no other purpose than to search for treasure.

I am uncertain whether Gyrshe, or the more northern Dandour, represents the ancient Tutzis. The spot upon which the temple just described stands, is called by the natives Djorn Hosseyn (جُرن حسين).

From Gyrshe, northward, the shore is very narrow; we rode over the rocky mountain, which is close to the river, and, at the end of six hours from Dakke, alighted at Merye (مريه), where we slept. There are only a few families in the western Merye; but the western Gyrshe is well inhabited.

March 28th. After a ride of one hour and a half, along the narrow shore, we came to Wady Gharby Dandour, or the western Dandour (غربي دندور), where I was surprised to meet with another ruin of a temple, as the shore is so narrow, that no city of any consequence could have been situated here. The shore, from the foot of the rocky hills to the banks of the river, is only thirty paces in breadth.

Before this temple stands a small propylon, or gateway, with a high projecting cornice, resembling that at Tintyra. Behind the propylon is the pronaos, with two columns in front, similar to those of the temple of Dakke. The pronaos is seven paces in length. Next follows the cella, and beyond that, the adytum; there are a few sculptures on the walls of the adytum; on those of the pronaos I observed lotus plants in flower, as at Dakke, with persons making offerings to them. On the exterior wall of the temple are figures in the style of those at Tintyra; I particularly remarked a fine figure of Horus, with a finger on his lip. This temple is, in general, extremely well built, and the sculptures are of the best times; though I conceive it to be posterior in date to the temple at Philæ, from a visible decline both in the architecture and sculpture. In front of the propylon, towards the river, is a stone inclosure, thirty-five paces in length, by fifteen in breadth; the stones with which it is constructed are in their rough state on the outside, but smoothly cut on the interior. The wall fronting the river is fifteen feet in height, and describes a slight curve. The floor of this inclosure, now covered with stones and ruins, is considerably below the level on which the propylon and the temple are built. Had it been a place for sacred processions, or for sepulture? I have seen nothing like it in any Egyptian temple; the stones and rubbish in its area, render it probable that it had originally a roof. In the rock, just behind the temple, a grotto is excavated.

In two hours, we came to Merowau (مرواو); the shore is no where more than fifty yards in breadth; but is well cultivated. Merowau belongs to Wady Gharby Dandour. Four hours and a half, Abou Hor. In the rock, a little to the south of this place, a reservoir has been cut, with an outlet, through which the water descends into a lower and smaller basin; it is difficult to conceive for what purpose they were intended, being so near the river. There are many jetties or piers in the river, which prove how anxious the ancient inhabitants had been to preserve and increase the portion of cultivable soil in this part. Here are some rocky islands. In the sides of the western hills adjoining Merowau and Abou Hor, are several small quarries, and the foundations of ancient stone buildings. Like their ancestors, the Nubians of the present day build their huts of stone, upon the declivity of the hills, wherever the shore is very narrow, that they may not encroach upon the cultivable ground. Where the plain is broad their dwellings stand in the midst of it, and are formed of mud only. Date trees, and the various species of acacia, grow all along the shore; the latter produces, in the spring, a bitter fruit, in shape like that of the Karoub, or locust tree; this the Arabs gather and sell at Assouan to the merchants of Egypt, who use it in tanning leather; it is called Garad (قَرَظ). Large quantities of it, of a superior quality, grow in the neighbourhood of Siout, and have rendered the tanneries of that place highly celebrated.

After a slow ride of six hours we reached Kalabsbe, the largest village on the west bank of the river between Assouan and Derr. At the foot of the hill, in the midst of the village, and reaching down to the river, is the ruin of a very large temple. The front of the portico consists of a large propylon of great beauty and simplicity, with a gate in the centre, by which the portico is entered; there had been a colonnade along the side wall of the latter, but one column only now remains, three feet three inches in diameter; the fragments of the others are lying in the area. On each side of the portico, and communicating with it, is a narrow, dark passage, with a door opening into the area which surrounds the temple, opposite a large gateway formed in the wall of the outer or general enclosure. The front of the pronaos is decorated with four beautiful columns, and two pilasters; the columns are united by a wall rising to half their height, similar to what is seen at Meharraka, Dakke, Dandour, Kardassy, and Debot, a mode of construction belonging apparently to the times in which the temples at Tintyra and Philæ were built. The roof of the pronaos has fallen in, and now covers the floor; of the columns which supported it, two only remain. There are no sculptures of any kind, either on the propylon, or in the pronaos, except on the back wall of the latter, or rather on the front wall of the cella, where the two-headed Briareus, under the hand of the victor, and protected by Osiris, is the most conspicuous.

The cella is fifteen paces in length, by nine in breadth, and projects several feet into the pronaos, thus forming, as it were, an insulated chamber in the midst of the temple, a mode of construction which I observed at Dakke, and afterwards at Philæ: two low columns stand within the cella. In the adytum are the remains of columns, lying on the ground, the only instance of the kind I have seen in any Egyptian temple: in its walls are some low dark recesses, and windows or loop-holes like those in the temple at Tintyra: its roof is formed of single blocks of stone reaching the whole breadth, and upwards of three feet in thickness. There is a chamber behind the adytum, as at Dakke, and communicating with it by two doors; the roof has fallen in, but it may be seen that this chamber was lower than the adytum, and had a chamber over it. In the walls of this chamber are several cells, or recesses, each of which forms two small apartments, one behind the other, divided by a narrow entrance, and just sufficiently large to hold one person; they are closed in front by a stone, which may be removed at pleasure; and were, perhaps, prisons for refractory priests, or places of probation for those who aspired to the priesthood; the persons who were placed in them may be literally said to have been shut up in the wall, as there is not the slightest appearance of any recess being there, when the stones which close the outer entrance are in their places. I observed a hollow stone in the interior of one of them, but I am not certain whether it was a sarcophagus or not.

The walls of the cella and adytum are covered with painted figures, the colours of which still remain tolerably perfect, more so than those at Philæ, owing to a coat of plaister having been laid upon the walls by the Greeks, to receive the paintings of their saints; but which has for the most part fallen off; the colours generally used are red, blue, green, and black. The hawk-headed Osiris, with a staff in one hand, is painted of a light green colour, some females, holding the lotus in their hands, are quite black; the variously coloured striped robes of the Osiris with a tiara on his head have a most gaudy appearance; the hair, in general, of all the figures is painted black, though in some it is blue; the spaces between the different figures are covered with hieroglyphics, painted red. On the lower part of the side walls of the adytum are single human figures, each with an animal by its side, generally an ox, a gazell, or a goose. The exterior walls of the temple are covered with sculptures of colossal figures, like those at Tintyra and Edfou; though not so large: they are rudely executed, and by no means correspond with the beauty of the sculpture on the interior of the chambers. Heads of sphinxes project from the walls, as at Tintyra; through which perhaps the priests delivered their oracles.

The walls of the portico are prolonged the whole length of the temple, and by means of a transverse wall in the rear of the chamber behind the adytum, form a high inclosure all round; at about twenty feet beyond which, is the general inclosure to the whole building; this is carried to the foot of the hill, which has been cut down perpendicularly, so as to serve as the end wall. In the south-west corner of the area thus formed around the temple, is a small quadrangle formed on one side by three columns, and on the adjacent interior side by a short wall built across the area; here a grotto, or sepulchre, has been hewn in the perpendicular rock, similar to what I noticed behind the temple at Dandour; it consists of a single chamber, with the winged globe over its entrance, but without any other sculpture. A flight of steps leads from the propylon down to a paved terrace which extends to the foundations of an oblong building, standing just over the river, where are some fragments of columns. Visitors by water, during the inundations, might have stepped from their vessel into this building.

The temple of Kalabshe deserves to rank, with that of Dakke, amongst the most precious remains of Egyptian antiquity. I have given merely a rapid description of it, but, I hope, sufficient to shew, that it deserves to be investigated closely in all its details. In its site, it is to be compared with the temples of Tintyra and Edfou; and it belongs to the best period of Egyptian architecture, though it bears traces, in several of its parts, of a less careful and more hurried execution, than that of the two temples just mentioned. The walls are uncommonly well built: the existing columns have the Philæ capitals, but are less nicely worked.

The Greeks had formed this temple into a church; and several of the paintings of their saints are still remaining upon the walls. In the portico I copied the following inscription:

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About a quarter of an hour distant from this temple, on its northwest side, is a small temple cut out of the rock; the road to it lies through the remains of the ancient town, a heap of stones and rubbish, covering a space along the shore of about a mile and a quarter. In front of the temple is an open area (also hewn out of the rock), in which is the entrance to the cella; the cella is thirteen paces in length, by six in breadth; its roof is supported by two polygonal pillars; in the walls are two small recesses, with three statues in each. Adjoining the cells is the adytum, a small room, eight feet square. The sculptures and hieroglyphics on the walls are of the same rude execution as those at Derr. The group of Briareus is again repeated on both sides of the entrance. The walls of the open area in front of the temple are covered with sculptures representing very interesting historical subjects: on one side is a battle; the victor in a chariot, drawn by two fiery steeds, like those at Karnac, is driving his vanquished enemies before him, who are flying towards a country thickly covered with fruit trees of various shapes and sizes, some of which have large round leaves, and clusters of fruits hanging from them, with apes sporting amongst the branches. Behind the victor’s car are two smaller ones, of the same form, each drawn by two horses at full speed; and bearing a female, standing upright, with a charioteer in front holding the reins. In another compartment, on the same wall, is a triumphal procession passing before Osiris, seated naked men come first, bearing upon their shoulders large blocks of wood, probably ebony; one of them leads a wild mountain goat, a second carries an ostrich, a third holds in one hand a large shield, and in the other a gazell, and a fourth is bringing an ape into the royal presence; next comes a man bearing a block of precious wood, like the former, and driving two large buffaloes before him; the train is closed by a tall cameleopard, with its leader, followed by two prisoners, who are naked, with the exception of the skin of a wild beast tied round their waists. In another compartment, just above the latter, is a large lion, with his keeper; an animal of the size of a large goat, with long straight horns, and a pair of buffaloes. In front of these two compartments, and before the king, lie heaps of quivers and arrows, elephants teeth, skins and furs of wild beasts, and a row of calabashes, supposed, perhaps, to contain precious ointments or perfumes. On the wall opposite to this, is a compartment, in which the king is represented seated, while bearded prisoners, with their hands bound, are brought before him; amongst them a train of female slaves is distinguished, dressed in long robes, with a high head-dress of this shape [not included], over which the cloke is thrown. In another compartment, close to this, a prisoner is immolated and farther on, is a small battle-piece, in which the assault and capture of a tower are represented; a man, with an axe in his hand, is endeavouring to make a breach in the walls, from which some of the garrison are precipitated, while others are brought in prisoners. All these subjects are in bas-relief, and extremely well executed; they are the best specimens of historical sculpture that I have seen in the valley of the Nile, even more spirited than those at Thebes; the figures of the animals, in particular, are faithfully and correctly delineated. On considering the subjects they represent, they will be found very important, because they record a historical fact, no where else alluded to in any Egyptian structure. The hero of Egypt has here carried his arms into a country inhabited by lions, cameleopards, apes, and elephants none of which animals are found in Nubia or Dóngola; the elephant and cameleopard inhabit the banks of the Nile towards Sennaar, the forests on the frontiers of Abyssinia, and the banks of the Astaboras and Astapus, from whence also the most beautiful and highest esteemed female slaves are now imported into Egypt: all the above-described trophies of victory, therefore, indicate, that the battles must have been fought in the countries to the south of the civilized country of the ancient Meroe; for the skin-clad prisoners denote a savage people. The battle-pieces of Thebes, at Luxor and Karnac, seem to allude to less distant scenes of warfare. May not the castles, surrounded with water, which are there represented, relate to the fortified islands in the Batn el Hadjar, where we still meet with so many brick ruins? The headdress of the fugitives, which is close-cut hair, and not a cap, as has been erroneously described, and the short, narrow beard, under the chin, are perfectly characteristic of the southern Noubas, whose colour is not quite black, but of that deep copper tinge, which a painter, unskilled in mixing colours, would rather represent by dark red than black. It may readily be imagined, that the inhabitants of the sterile districts of Nubia, and the Batn el Hadjar, would look with an envious eye upon the riches of Egypt, and would frequently excite the resentment of the monarchs of Thebes, by making inroads from their strong-holds, upon the adjacent provinces of Egypt.

The small temple I have just described, is called by the natives Dar el Waly. Travellers proceeding by water are not likely to see it, without enquiring for it. In the hill close by, are the quarries whence the stones were hewn for the erection of the town and temples of Kalabshe. This, no doubt, was the ancient Talmis, and some mounds of rubbish on the east side, indicate the remains of Contra-Talmis. Talmis must have acquired its opulence by commerce, and not by agriculture, as the shore, in its neighbourhood, is no where more than forty yards in breadth. In ancient times, as at the present day, the traffic in dates probably supplied the Nubians with their chief means of subsistence, and gave life to the whole valley of the Nile from Wady Halfa to Philæ. Considerable profits might also be derived from the passage of vessels laden with goods from Meroe; whose traders perhaps, landed their merchandize at Sukkot, and transported it from thence upon camels, across the Batn el Hadjar. It is probable, however, that the principal part of the trade of that ancient city with Egypt was carried on over-land, by the present route of the Sennaar caravans; for had it been by water, I think that some remains of commercial towns would be met with at both extremities of the Batn el Hadjar, where the vessels must have been unloaded and reloaded, as navigation is impracticable throughout that rocky district. When we consider the cataracts which occur in the country of the Sheygya, south of Dóngola, at Koke, in Mahass, at Wady Dal, and in the Batn el Hadjar, and that the distance from Goos to Derr, through Dóngola, following the course of the river, is twenty-five days journeys, while it is only eight by the route of the slave caravans, across the mountains, it seems probable that the ancient caravans of the southern countries descended into the valley of the Nile opposite Ebsambal, where the navigation down the river may have recommenced.

We halted for the night, a little way beyond Dar el Waly, at Khortum (خُرطم), a village opposite the island of Darmout, and belonging to Kalabshe, having rode about six hours and a half in the course of the day. There was a shower of rain in the night, by which both myself and my guide caught a severe cold. The heat, which, in my journey up the river, was very moderate during the day, began now to be great, and the sudden change occasioned by the rain from almost tropical heat to winter cold, affected the health of us both.

March 29th. We ascended the mountain which interrupts the road along the shore. On its summit I saw fragments of very small Egyptian columns and capitals, lying near some Arab structures. I observed no ancient edifice near them. The rock on the southern side of the mountain is granite and feldspath; on the northern side, it is sand-stone. At the end of two hours we again reached the banks of the river, at the village of Tafa, close to the spot where the rock projects perpendicularly into the water. Here are the ruins of two small temples: one of them consists of an apartment ten paces square, the roof and one side of which are in ruins; two columns are yet standing in it, two feet in diameter, with the palm-leaf capitals. Adjoining this apartment was the adytum, the foundations of which only remain. The winged globe is over the entrance into the adytum; but I saw no other sculptures, nor any hieroglyphics. The Greeks, as usual, have painted their saints upon the walls; and a Greek almanac, and several badly written inscriptions, are also visible upon them. The other temple is a small square apartment, quite entire, with six pillars in it, similar, in size and shape, to those just mentioned. The winged globe over the gates is the only sculpture of any kind about it. Around these two buildings are numerous remains of the private dwellings of the ancient inhabitants, consisting of thick and strongly built walls of stone; this material, from its greater proximity, having been frequently used in Nubia instead of bricks.

The peasants of Tafa (no doubt the ancient Taphis) relate that they are the descendants of the few Christian inhabitants of the city, who embraced the Mahommedan faith, when the country was conquered by the followers of the Prophet; the greater part of their brethren having either fled, or been put to death on that event taking place. They are still called Oulad el Nusara (اولاد النصَارَي); or the Christian progeny. On the east bank are some ancient remains, on the site of Contra Taphis.

From Tafa northwards, as far as Dehmyt, the shore bears the name of Wady el Mebarakat (وادي المباركات). The Arabs Mebarakat are a tribe of Kenous. The uncultivated fields here are overgrown with Senna-mekke. At three hours we passed Hindau; four hours, Kardassy, where, close to the water, is a large stone inclosure, about one hundred and thirty paces in length, by one hundred in breadth; in its area are heaps of ruined dwellings built of stone. The entrance into this inclosure is by a large gateway, similar in shape to that in the front of the temple near Merowau. The walls are about ten feet in thickness, and are faced on either side with hewn stones, having the centre filled up by small ones thrown in confusedly, without cement; these walls were certainly intended for defence; it was, perhaps, a station of the Romans, against the Blemmyes. I searched in vain for remains of hieroglyphics or sculptures. About a mile farther down the river, upon the top of a hill, are the ruins of a temple, resembling in its construction that of the hawk-headed Osiris at Philæ. There remains no part but the portico; it consisted originally of eight columns, of which six are [figure not included] still standing; these are partly united with each other by a [figure not included] wall, rising to half their height, and inclosing the whole of them. Of the stones which formed the roof, one block only remains; it is at least sixteen feet in length, and reaches the whole breadth of the temple. Over four of the columns the architraves still remain; the capitals of the two others are formed by four faces of Isis, with the same head-dress as at Tintyra, but with countenances more juvenile and less grave; the ears are very peculiar, and of the annexed form. There is a sculptured figure on one of the columns only; the others bear traces of having been covered with hieroglyphics.

To the S.W. of the hill on which the above temple stands, and close to the river, are some very extensive quarries of sandstone, from whence the materials were probably taken for the erection of the sandstone temples at Philæ and Parembole, where the rocks are entirely of granite. In walking through the quarries, I came to a spot where a niche is cut in the levelled side of the rock; within it is a stone bench, which may have been the pedestal of a statue; small winged globes are sculptured above it. This niche seems to have been used by the ancient Egyptians, and subsequently both by the Pagan and Christian Greeks, as a shrine, at which they offered up their prayers to the deity for the preservation of their own health and that of their friends. Several heads of Greek saints are sculptured in the rock on both sides of the niche; and I also observed whole length figures, and small heads of sphinxes only three or four inches in length, representations, perhaps, of similar images of gold or silver offered to the Pagan deities. The adjoining rock is covered with a great number of Egyptian and Greek inscriptions. Of the latter, which are much more numerous than the Egyptian, I selected the following, as being the most interesting, from their purport.

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There is also a Latin inscription, of which I could only make out the two words, FABIO. CVM. There are small niches in several other parts of the rocks of this quarry, with the winged globe over them; but I saw no inscriptions upon any, except that abovementioned.

In four hours and a half, we passed Wady Hadyd; opposite to which, on the east side, is Wady Sahdab (وادي سهداب). On a rocky hill stands an insulated column, the only remains of a small temple, whose ruins are spread about; several small sepulchres are excavated in the declivity of the hill, and heaps of rubbish indicate an ancient city. Five hours, Djara (جعره). The shore from Tafa to this place is well cultivated. Five hours and a half, Dehmyt, where the Wady Mebarakat terminates. The eastern Dehmyt is better cultivated than the western. Here are the foundations of a small square edifice built of massy stones; with a thick mud wall running parallel to the hills, and the course of the stream, for about fifty yards; it was intended, perhaps, as a barrier against the sands of the desert. In six hours and a half we came to Merys (مريس); opposite to it, on the east side, is the village Syale. There is an island in the river, with several brick ruins on it. The rock is granite, and continues so all the way to Assouan. The road from Syale lies over a sandy plain, with insulated hills of granite, which separate it from the river. On the east side, to the north of Syale, is the village of Abdoun. At seven hours and a half is Debot (دبوت), consisting of several villages lying on both sides of the river. At seven hours and three quarters is a hill, overhanging the shore, and forming part of Wady Debot, on which are the ruins of an Arab town; the houses are of brick, and seem to have been extensive, and well built. In the river are several large granite piers. At the end of eight hours, we halted for the night at a small hamlet. The Mamelouks remained in this neighbourhood several months, till the advance of Ibrahim Beg compelled them to retire: during that period, fodder became so scarce, that they were obliged to feed their camels upon the palm-leaves: they stripped all the date trees of their leaves in this vicinity, and as far south also as Wady Halfa, so that the Nubians were a whole year without any produce from the trees.

March 30th. After a ride of half an hour, over a well cultivated plain, we came to the temple of Debot, which stands upon the site of the ancient Parembole.

The temple is approached through three high, insulated gateways, with projecting cornices, like that near Merowau. The distance between the first and second gateway is twenty paces; ten paces between the second and third; and fifteen paces between the third and the pronaos of the temple. In front of the pronaos are four columns, with a wall half their height.

Along the centre of three of the interior walls of the pronaos is a compartment of sculpture, the other parts of the walls being quite bare; a peculiarity I saw no where else. Adjoining the pronaos to the left is a square chamber, the walls of which project beyond the side of the temple, and destroy its symmetry. There are no sculptures of any kind on the walls of this apartment.

The cella is an oblong square; its walls are covered with hieroglyphics and sculptures: on one side of it is a dark apartment, opening into the pronaos, and on the other side is a staircase leading up to the top of the temple: below the staircase are several small rooms. The adytum, which is entered through a narrow chamber, three paces in breadth, is ten feet in length by nine in breadth; in its posterior wall are two fine monolith temples of granite, the largest of which is eight feet in height by three in breadth; the winged globe is sculptured over each of them. They appear to have been receptacles for some small sacred animals, perhaps beetles. The places are yet visible where turned the hinges of the door, which shut up whatever was contained within. These monolith temple, are similar to those at Philæ; but differ in their construction from that at Gaou (Antæopolis), which is much larger: nor are there any hieroglyphics in the interior, whereas that at Gaou is covered on the inside with inscriptions and sculptures, some of the latter representing scarabæi. On each side of the adytum at Debot is a small room, communicating with the narrow chamber behind the cella; the walls of both are without sculptures, but contain some secret recesses, similar to those at Kalabshe, and which were destined, probably, for the same purposes. One of these rooms had an upper story, like the one at Kalabshe, but it is now ruined; the other apartments of the temple are in good preservation. The sculptures on the inside walls are much defaced; but some faint remains of their colouring are yet visible. There are no sculptures whatever on the exterior walls. A wall, now in ruins, had encompassed the whole of this temple, including the three gateways in front of it. I observed in the broken-up floor of the pronaos deep stone foundations, upon which the temple is built. I should not be surprised if subterraneous rooms were discovered here, as well as in other Egyptian temples: they would be quite in the spirit of the Egyptian hierarchy.

The temple of Debot appeared to me to have been built at an epoch when the arts had begun to decline in Egypt. Its columns and sculptures are imitations of those at Philæ, but far inferior in beauty, to their models: the small temple at Merowau seemed to be about the same age, though of more careful execution. We thus find in Nubia specimens of all the different æras of Egyptian architecture, the history of which indeed can only be traced in Nubia; for all the remaining temples in Egypt (that of Gorne, perhaps, excepted) appear to have been erected in an age when the science of architecture had nearly attained to perfection. If I were to class the Nubian temples according to the probable order of their erection, it would be as follows: 1, Ebsambal. 2, Gyrshe. 3, Derr. 4, Samne. 5, Ballyane. 6, Hassaya. 7, Seboua. 3, Aamara, and Kalabshe. 9, Dakke, and Meharraka. 10, Kardassy. 11, Merowau. 12, Debot. 13, Korty. 14, Tafa.

At a short distance from the temple of Parembole, we ascended the sandy mountain; and after a ride of one hour, again reached the river at Wady Shamet el Wah: here is a small ferry-boat, by means of which, as I wished to visit the island of Philæ, I determined to cross over to the eastern shore; for there is no road fit for camels along the western bank, the common route from Debot lying directly over the mountain to the shore opposite Assouan. Having no inflated goat-skins to tie to the necks of the camels, we fastened cords round their bodies, and towed them across, along side the boat; but as the boat was very leaky, and had only two boys for rowers, we were more than a quarter of an hour in crossing the river, and one of the camels reached the shore in an almost lifeless state. There are only six ferry-boats between Philæ and Derr; these are at Debot, Kalabshe, Dehmyt, Gyrshe, Dakke, and Seboua. There is none south of Derr, as far as the frontiers of Dongola. The owners of the boats take from every peasant a handful of whatever provision he happens to carry with him, or an armful of straw, &c.; women pass free. We landed at Sak el Djemel, the same place where I had slept on the night of my departure from Assouan; and from thence we recrossed the mountain towards Philæ by the same road as before.

It was about mid-day when I visited this celebrated island. The inhabitants of Birbe, a small village on the eastern shore, keep a boat for the conveyance of passengers to it, the ruins being often visited, and few of the Egyptian merchants, whom business brings to Assouan, returning without seeing the Cataract and Philæ. As there is no regular government in this part of the country, the people of Birbe have taken advantage of the necessity which the stranger is under of employing their boat, and make exorbitant demands upon him. On approaching the ferry, he is immediately beset by half a dozen of them, calling themselves the owners of the boat, and requiring their fare, while an equal number, representing themselves as the lords of the island, demand a compensation for permission to visit it. When I stepped into the boat, the people, who took me for a messenger from the Pasha on my way to Derr, crowded about me, and asked six piastres for carrying me over, and allowing me to see the island. This was certainly a trifling sum, for permission to examine the most precious remains of antiquity in Egypt; but I was determined, for once, not to be imposed upon by these extortioners, and offered them one piastre, to be divided amongst them; on their refusing to take it, I gave my clothes to my guide, and putting my pocket-book into my turban, swam over to the island. I had scarcely landed when the boat came after me; and they were very glad afterwards to take the piastre for carrying me back again. On a second visit, two days afterwards, I found them more reasonable in their demands. I have been told of instances where they extorted upwards of twenty piastres from strangers, by threatening to return with the boat to the main land, and leave them upon the island. Birbe is under the government of the Nubian chiefs. The territory of Assouan, belonging to Egypt, commences to the north of Philæ.

I forbear making any remarks upon Philæ, or the adjoining island of Bidge, as the great French work on Egypt has so thoroughly described all the antiquities of that country.

I returned late in the evening to Assouan, where I found my servant, who had begun to despair of my return. During the thirty-five days I had been absent, I had rested only one day, on my first reaching Derr; being in consequence a good deal fatigued, no less than the camels, I determined to devote a few days to repose; I therefore hired a room in the Okale, or public caravanserai, where I remained five days, in the course of which, I visited at my leisure the invirons of the town; the bed of the river was almost dry between Assouan and the island of Elephantine, where I generally passed the morning. The nilometer of Elephantine will continue to puzzle the researches of travellers, as long as the high banks of the river are covered with rubbish. The nilometer built by the Calif Maouya is still extant. Near the extremity of the pier which forms the harbour of Assouan is a square aperture as low as the river, with steps at the bottom, by which the rise of the water might have been easily determined; it now bears the name of Mekyas, (Nilometer). This pier is not, as has been supposed by some travellers, a Roman bridge, but a Saracen erection.

On the western shore, somewhat to the north of Assouan, is an ancient convent; it stands on the declivity of the sandy hill upon the summit of which is the saint’s tomb generally known by the name of Kobbat el Howa, or the airy cupola. In the rocks below the convent are several ancient temples and sepulchres, hewn out of the rock, which have not been mentioned by any traveller. They are interesting on account of their antiquity each of them consists of a square chamber, covered with hieroglyphics, in which are square pillars, without capitals; the largest of these pillars measure two feet and a half, and are fifteen feet in height; they are all of very rude workmanship: in some of the temples are four, in others, six, or eight pillars. The Greeks have made chapels of almost all these temples. Large sepulchral excavations remain in several of them.

The ruined convent of St. Lawrence, on the west side of the river, opposite to Assouan, little deserves the animated description which Denon has given of it. On a tombstone lying on the floor of one of its rooms, I read the following inscription, which I copied on account of the rude and uncommon appearance of the characters.

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On the 9th of April, I returned to Esne.

I shall here subjoin a few general remarks upon the Nubians and their history; my stay among them was too short to enable me to enter at length into the subject; and my observations were limited by my ignorance of the Nubian language, in which all conversation among the people, in my presence, was carried on.

I have already observed, that Nubia is divided into two parts, called Wady Kenous, and Wady el Nouba (often named exclusively Saÿd); the former extending from Assouan to Wady Seboua, and the latter comprising the country between Seboua and the northern frontier of Dóngola. The inhabitants of these two divisions are divided by their language, but in manners they appear to be the same.

According to their own traditions, the present Nubians derive their origin from the Arabian Bedouins, who invaded the country after the promulgation of the Mohammedan creed, the greater part of the Christian inhabitants, whose churches I traced as far as Sukkot, having either fled before them or been killed; a few, as already mentioned, embraced the religion of the invaders, and their des[c]endants may yet be distinguished at Tafa, and at Serra, north of Wady Halfa. The two tribes of Djowabere (جوابره) and El Gharbye (الغربيه), the latter a branch of the great tribe of Zenatye (زناتيه) took possession of the country from Assouan to Wady Halfa, and subsequently extended their authority over a great number of smaller tribes who had settled on the banks of the river at the period of the general invasion, among whom were the Kenous, a tribe from Nedjed and Irak. The large tribe of Djaafere occupied the shores of the Nile from Esne to Assouan; a few families of Sherifs settled in the Batn el Hadjar; and a branch of the Koreysh possessed themselves of Mahass. For several centuries Nubia was occupied by these Arabs, who were at continual war with each other, in the course of which the kings of Dóngola had acquired so much influence over them, as to be able at last, to compel them to pay tribute. The Djowabere having nearly subdued the Gharbye, the latter sent an embassy to Constantinople, in the reign of the great Sultan Selym, to seek aid against their enemies, and they succeeded in procuring from the Sultan a body of several hundred Bosnian soldiers, under a commander named Hassan Coosy. By their means the Djowabere and people of Dóngola were driven out of Nubia, into the latter country; and to this day the more wealthy inhabitants of Dóngola derive their origin from the tribe of Djowabere. Some families of the Djowabere, however, remained peacefully behind, and their descendants, who are found chiefly at Derr and Wady Halfa, are still known by the name of their ancestors.

The Bosnian soldiers built the three castles, or rather repaired the existing fabrics, at Assouan, Ibrim, and Say; and those who garrisoned the castles obtained certain privileges for themselves, and for such of their descendants as should continue to occupy the castles, and the territory attached to them; one of these privileges was an exemption from all kind of land tax, which Selym had then for the first time imposed throughout his dominions; and as the country was thought incapable of affording food sufficient for the soldiers, an annual pension was likewise assigned to them out of the Sultan’s treasury at Cairo; the pay of the garrison of Ibrim was four purses, now equal only to £100., but then probably worth four times that sum. They were also made independent of the Pashas of Egypt. While the Pashas had any influence in Egypt, these pensions were paid; but the Mamelouks generally withheld them. Hassan Coosy, with his forces, chiefly cavalry, governed Nubia, while he lived, and was constantly moving from place to place; he paid an annual Miry to the Pasha of Egypt, but in other respects was independent of him. The descendants of such of the Bosnian soldiers as intermarried with the Gharbye and Djowabere tribes still occupy the territories assigned to their ancestors at Assouan, Ibrim, and Say; and they continue to enjoy immunity from taxes and contributions of every kind. They call themselves Kaladshy, or the people of the castles, but are distinguished by the Nubians by the appellation of Osmanli (Turks). They have long forgotten their native language; but their features still denote a northern origin, and their skin is of a light brown colour, while that of the Nubians is almost black. They are independent of the governors of Nubia, who are extremely jealous of them, and are often at open war with them. They are governed by their own Agas, who still boast of the Firmauns that render them accountable only to the Sultan.

About fifty years ago, Hamman, chief of the Howara Arabs, having taken possession of the whole country from Siout to Assouan, extended also his authority over Nubia, which he several times visited, as far as Mahass; but, at present, the political state of the country may be said to be, nominally at least, the same as when Hassan Coosy took possession of it. The present governors, Hosseyn, Hassan, and Mohammed, are his descendants; their father was named Soleyman, and had acquired some reputation from his vigorous system of government. The title of Kashef, assumed by the three brothers, is given in Egypt to governors of districts. The brothers pay an annual tribute of about £120. into the treasury of the Pasha of Egypt, in lieu of the Miry of Nubia, for which the Pasha is accountable to the Porte. In the time of the Mamelouks, this tribute was seldom paid, but Mohammed Aly has received it regularly for the last three years. The three Kashefs have about one hundred and twenty horsemen in their service, consisting chiefly of their own relations, or of slaves; these troops receive no regular pay; presents are made to them occasionally, and they are considered to be upon duty only when their masters are upon a journey. Derr is the chief residence of the governors; but they are almost continually moving about, for the purpose of exacting the taxes from their subjects, who pay them only on the approach of superior force. During these excursions, the Kashefs commit acts of great injustice, wherever they find that there is none to resist them, which is frequently the case. The amount of the revenue is shared equally amongst the three brothers; but they are all very avaricious, extremely jealous of each other, and each robs clandestinely as much as he can. I estimate their annual income at about £3,000. each, or from 8 to £10,000. in the whole. None of them spends more than £300. a year. Their principal wealth consists in dollars and slaves. In their manners they affect the haughty mien and deportment of Turkish grandees; but their dress, which is worse than what a Turkish soldier would like to wear, ill accords with this assumed air of dignity.

The mode of estimating the revenue in Nubia is not from a certain extent of ground, like the Syrian and Egyptian Fedhan, but from every Sakie, or water-wheel employed by the natives, after the inundation, and during the summer, for the purposes of irrigation; the same mode prevails on the banks of the Nile as far as Sennaar. In poor villages one Sakie is the common property of six or eight peasants; but the wealthier inhabitants have several. The number of water-wheels between Assouan and Wady Halfa, or between the first and second cataract, is from six to seven hundred. The ground watered by one Sakie, which requires the alternate labour of eight or ten cows, comprises from three to five Egyptian Fedhans. In fruitful years, the winter wheat and barley irrigated by one wheel yields from eighty to one hundred Erdebs (twelve to fifteen hundred bushels); the proportions sown of these grains are generally one fourth wheat and three fourths barley. The rate of taxation is different in different places; thus at Wady Halfa, each Sakie pays annually six fat sheep, and six Egyptian Mouds, or measures of Dhourra. In Mahass, the Malek, or king, takes from every wheel six sheep, two Erdebs, (twenty-six bushels) of Dhourra, and a linen shirt. The governors also take from every date tree two clusters of fruit, whatever may be the quantity produced, and levy a duty upon all vessels that load dates at Derr. But the whole system of taxation is extremely arbitrary and irregular, and poor villages are soon ruined by it, from their inability to resist the exactions made upon them, while the richer ones pay much less in proportion, because the governors are afraid of driving the inhabitants to acts of open resistance. The Kashefs derive also a considerable income from their office of judges; the administration of justice being a mere article of merchandize.

If one Nubian happen to kill another, he is obliged to pay the debt of blood to the family of the deceased, and a fine to the governors of six camels, a cow, and seven sheep; or they are taken from his relations. Every wound inflicted has its stated fine, consisting of sheep and Dhourra, but varying in quantity, according to the parts of the body wounded. This is an ancient Bedouin custom, and prevails also among the people of Ibrim, with this difference, that the mulct is given to the sufferer himself, and not to the Aga. If one of the governor’s tribe, or an El Ghoz (الغُزّ a name given in Egypt and Nubia to the Mamelouks) or any of the people of Ibrim is slain by a Nubian, no debt of blood is paid to the family of the deceased, he being considered a soldier, and not an Arab; but the governor still exacts his fine. Much animosity exists between the Kenous, and their southern neighbours the Noubas; the latter upbraiding the former with avarice, and bad faith, while the Kenous call the Noubas filthy slaves, living like the people of Soudan. Disputes and sanguinary quarrels often take place, in consequence, between the inhabitants of neighbouring villages; if death ensues, the family of the deceased has the option of taking the fine stipulated on such occasions, or of retaliating upon the family of the slayer. The people of Ibim generally claim the right of retaliation; but it is not considered as sufficient to retaliate upon any person within the fifth degree of consanguinity, as among the Bedouins of Arabia; the brother, son, or first cousin only can supply the place of the murderer, and such being the case, the whole family often flies.

Although the governors of Nubia extort large sums by the various means above-mentioned, yet their tyranny is exercised only upon the property of their subjects, who are never beaten or put to death, except when in a state of open rebellion, which happens not unfrequently. if a Nubian, from whom money is to be extorted, flies, his wife, or his young children, are imprisoned till he returns. This practice is much complained of by the people, and is unknown even among the tyrannical Pashas of Syria and Egypt, who respect the persons of the wives and children of their greatest enemies. The following is a curious method which the governors of Nubia have devised, of extorting money from their subjects. When any wealthy individual has a daughter of a suitable age, they demand her in marriage; the father seldom dares to refuse, and sometimes feels flattered by the honour; but he is soon ruined by his powerful son-in-law, who ex[t]orts from him every article of his property under the name of presents to his own daughter. All the governors are thus married to females in almost every considerable village; Hosseyn Kashef has above forty sons of whom twenty are married in the same manner.

The inhabitants of the banks of the Nile, from the first Cataract to the frontiers of Dóngola, do not plough their fields, after the inundation has subsided, as is done in Egypt; the waters above the Cataract never rising sufficiently high to overflow the shore. In a few places, where the cultivable soil is broader than usual, as at Kostamne, Gyrshe, Wady Halfa, &c., there are canals which convey the water towards the fields on the side of the mountain, but the water in them is not sufficiently high, as in Upper Egypt, to irrigate the low grounds near the hills. Irrigation in Nubia, therefore, is carried on entirely by means of the Sakies, or water-wheels. Immediately after the river has subsided, the fields are watered by them, and the first Dhourra seed is sown, the crop from which is reaped in December and January; the ground is then again irrigated, and barley sown; and after the barley harvest, the ground is sometimes sown a third time for the summer crop. The barley is either sold in exchange for Dhourra, or eaten green in soups. The harvest suffers greatly from the ravages of immense flocks of sparrows, which the united efforts of all the children in the villages cannot always keep at a distance; and whole fields of Dhourra and barley are often destroyed by a species of small worm, which ascends the stalks of the plant. Tobacco is every where cultivated; it retains, when dried, its green colour, and exactly resembles that of the mountains on the east side of the Dead Sea. Tobacco forms the chief luxury of all classes, who either smoke it, or mixing it with nitre suck it, by placing it between the lower gums and the lip.

The habitations of the Nubians are built either of mud or of loose stones; those of stone, as I have already observed, stand generally on the declivity of the hills, and consist of two separate round buildings, one of which is occupied by the males, and the other by the females of the family. The mud dwellings are generally so low, that one can hardly stand upright in them: the roof is covered with Dhourra stalks, which last till they are eaten up by the cattle, when palm leaves are laid across. The houses at Derr, and those of the wealthy inhabitants of the larger villages, are well built, having a large area in the centre with apartments all round, and a separation between those of the men and of the women. The utensils of a Nubian’s house consist of about half a dozen coarse earthen jars, from one to two feet in diameter, and about five feet in height, in which all the provisions of the family are kept; a few earthen plates; a hand-mill; a hatchet; and a few round sticks, over which the loom is laid.

To the north of Derr, the dress is usually a linen shirt only, which the wealthier classes wear of a blue colour; or the woollen cloak of the peasants of Upper Egypt; the head dress is a small white linen cap, with sometimes a few rags twisted round it in the shape of a turban. Young boys and girls go naked: the women wrap themselves up in linen rags, or black woollen gowns; they wear ear-rings, and glass bracelets; and those who cannot afford to buy the latter, form them of straw. Their hair falls in ringlets upon the neck, and on the back part of the head they wear short tassels of glass or stones, both as an ornament and an amulet. The richer class wear copper or silver rings round their ankles. South of Derr, and principally at Sukkot and in Mahass, grown up people go quite naked, with the exception of the sexual parts, which the men conceal in a small sack. This sack resembles exactly what is seen in the figures of the Egyptian Priapus upon the walls of the temples. The hair of the people of Mahass is very thick, but not woolly. All the young men wear one ear-ring, either of silver or copper, in the right car only, and men of all classes usually carry a rosary suspended round the neck, which they never remove; they also tie round one arm, above the elbow, a number of amulets covered with leather about three or four inches broad, consisting of mystical writings and prayers, which are sold to them by the Fokara.

The Nubians seldom go unarmed; as soon as a boy grows up, his first endeavour is to purchase a short, crooked knife, which the men wear tied over the left elbow, under their shirt, and which they draw upon each other on the slightest quarrel. When a Nubian goes from one village to another, he either carries a long heavy stick (نبّوت) covered with iron at one of its extremities, or his lance and target. The lance is about five feet in length, including the iron point; the targets are of various sizes; some are round, with a boss in the centre; others resemble the ancient Macedonian shield, being of an oblong form, four feet in length, with and-curved edges, covering almost the whole body. These targets, which are sold by the Sheygya Arabs, are made of the skin of the hippopotamus, and are proof against the thrust of a lance, or the blow of a sabre. Those who can afford it, possess also a sword, resembling in shape the swords worn by the knights of the middle ages, a long straight blade, about two inches in breadth, with a handle in the form of a cross; the scabbard, for fashion sake, is broader near the point, than at the top. These swords are of German manufacture, and are sold to the Nubians by the merchants of Egypt, at from four to eight dollars apiece. Fire-arms are not common; the richer classes possess match-locks. Hassan Kashef himself had no pistols. Ammunition is very scarce and highly valued; travellers therefore will do well to carry with them a few dozen cartridges, which are very acceptable presents. When I left the camp of Mohammed Kashef at Tinareh, his nephew ran after me for at least two miles, to obtain a single cartridge from me, telling me that he had shot off the only one he had, during the rejoicings of the preceding day.

I have already mentioned the usual dishes of the Nubians. The Dhourra bread is extremely coarse, and is made without salt. It is prepared upon the Sadj, or thin iron plate in use among the Bedouin Arabs; but as the whole operation of grinding, kneading, and baking does not occupy more than ten minutes, it may easily be supposed that it is never thoroughly baked. The Dhourra for the day’s use is ground early every morning by the women, for the Nubians never keep meal in store. In Sukkot and Mahass, the bread is made in very thin round cakes, which are placed upon each other when served up at meals. Animal food is rarely tasted by the Nubians; the governors even do not eat it every day. In the larger villages palm-wine is common; it is not unpleasant to the taste, though too sweet and thick, to be drank in any considerable quantity. It is obtained by the following process: as soon as the dates have come to maturity they are thrown into large earthen boilers, with water, and the whole is boiled for two days, without intermission; the liquid is then strained, and the clear juice is poured into earthen jars, which after being well closed, are buried under ground; here they are allowed to remain for ten or twelve days, during which the liquor ferments; the jars are then taken up, and their contents are fit to drink; but the wine will not keep longer than a year, or beyond the next date-harvest; if kept longer it turns sour. The Nubians also make a liquor called Bouza, much resembling beer; it is extracted from Dhourra or barley, but the best is furnished by the latter. It is of a pale muddy colour, and very nutritious. At Cairo, and in all the towns and larger villages of Upper Egypt, there are shops for the sale of Bouza, which are kept exclusively by Nubians. Great quantities both of the wine, and of the spirit distilled from dates, are drank at Derr, where they are sold in shops kept for the purpose, and where the upper classes are intoxicated with them every evening. From Siout, southward, through the whole of Upper Egypt, date spirits are made and publicly sold; and the Pasha levies a tax upon the venders. A kind of jelly or honey is also extracted from the date, which serves the rich as a sweet-meat. Except date trees, and a few grape vines which I saw at Derr, there are no fruit-trees in Nubia.

The climate of Nubia, though intensely hot in summer, particularly in the narrow rocky parts of the country, is very healthy, owing perhaps to the extreme aridity of the atmosphere. I do not recollect having seen a single person labouring under any disease, during the fire weeks I was in the country. Occasionally, the small-pox, as I have already observed, makes dreadful ravages in every part except the Wady Kenous; inoculation being unknown, or at least unpractised, both here and in Upper Egypt; and the several attempts that have been made to introduce the vaccine into the latter country, or rather to establish it there, having entirely failed. Some travellers have supposed that the plague is communicated to Egypt from the south; but this is a very erroneous supposition, as it never prevails in Nubia so high as the second Cataract, and is unknown in Dóngola, and along the whole route to Sennaar.

The men in Nubia are generally well made, strong, and, muscular, with fine features; in stature they are somewhat below the Egyptians; they have no mustachios, and but little beard, wearing it under the chin only, like the figures of the fugitives in the battlepieces sculptured upon the walls of the Egyptian temples. In passing along the Wadys of Nubia, it often occurred to me to remark that the size and figure of the inhabitants was generally proportioned to the breadth of their cultivable soil; wherever the the plain is broad, and the peasants from being enabled to carry on agriculture to a tolerable extent, are in comparatively easy circumstances, they are taller and more muscular and healthy; but in the rocky districts, where the plain is not more than twenty or thirty yards in breadth, they are poor meagre figures; in some places appearing almost like walking skeletons.

The women are all well made, and though not handsome, have generally sweet countenances, and very pleasing manners; I have even seen beauties among them. Denon has certainly not done justice to them; but they are worn down, from their earliest years, by continual labour; the whole business of the house being left to them, while the men are occupied exclusively in the culture of the soil. Of all the women of the East, those of Nubia are the most virtuous; and this is the more praiseworthy, as their vicinity to Upper Egypt, where licentiousness knows no bounds, might be expected to have some influence upon them. During my stay at Esne, girls came every morning to my lodging to offer milk for sale; the Egyptians boldly entered the court-yard and uncovered their faces, a behaviour equivalent to an offer of their persons; but the Nubians (of whom many families are settled at Esne) stood modestly before the threshold, over which nothing could induce them to step, and there they received the money for their milk without removing their veils.

The Nubians purchase their wives from the parents: the price usually paid by the Kenous is twelve Mahboubs, or thirty-six piastres. They frequently intermarry with the Arabs Ababde, some of whom cultivate the soil like themselves; an Ababde girl is worth six camels; these are paid to her father, who gives back three to his daughter, to be the common property of her and her husband; if a divorce takes place, half the value of the three camels goes to the latter. In Upper Egypt, when a wife insists upon being divorced, her husband has the right to take all her wearing apparel from her, and to shave her head; nobody will then marry her till her hair be grown again. The Nubian is extremely jealous of his wife’s honour; and on the slightest suspicion of infidelity towards him, would carry her in the night to the side of the river, lay open her breast by a cut with his knife, and throw her into the water, “to be food for the crocodiles,” as they term it. A case of this kind lately happened at Assouan.

Public women, who are met with in thousands in every part of Egypt, are not tolerated in Nubia, except at Derr, and these are not natives, but emancipated female slaves, who being left destitute, betake themselves to this vile profession, to gain a subsistence. The execrable propensities which the Mamelouks have rendered so common in Egypt, even amongst the lowest peasants, are held in abhorrence in Nubia, except by the Kashefs and their relations, who endeavour to imitate the Mamelouks in every thing, even in their most detestable vices.

Small looms are frequently seen in the houses of the Nubians; with these the women weave very coarse woollen mantles, and cotton cloth, which they make into shirts. From the leaves of the date-tree they also form mats, small drinking bowls, and large plates on which the bread is served at table; and though these articles are formed entirely by the hand, they are made in so very neat a manner, as to have every appearance of being wrought by instruments. The above are the only manufactures in Nubia; every thing else is imported from Egypt.

The only musical instrument I saw in Nubia was a kind of Egyptian tamboura, with five strings, and covered with the skin of a gazell: it is of the shape here represented. [not included] The girls are fond of singing; and the Nubian airs are very melodious.

The game of chess is common at Derr; and that called Beyadh is also frequently played. I have described the latter in my journal through Arabia Petræa, when speaking of the Arabs of Kerek.

I found the Nubians, generally, to be of a kind disposition, and without that propensity to theft so characteristic of the Egyptians, at least of those to the north of Siout. Pilfering indeed is almost unknown amongst them, and any person convicted of such a crime would be expelled from his village by the unanimous voice of its inhabitants; I did not lose the most trifling article during my journey through the country, although I always slept in the open air in front of the house where I took up my quarters for the night. They are in general hospitable towards strangers, but the Kenous and the people of Sukkot are less so than the other inhabitants. Curiosity seems to be the most prominent feature in their character, and they generally ask their guest a thousand questions about the place he comes from, and the business which brings him into Nubia.

If the government were not so extremely despotic, the Nubians might become dangerous neighbours to Egypt; for they are of a much bolder and more independent spirit than the Egyptians, and ardently attached to their native soil. Great numbers of them go yearly to Cairo, where they generally act as porters, and are preferred to the Egyptians, on account of their honesty. After staying there six or eight years, they return to their native Wady, with the little property they have realized, although well knowing that the only luxuries they can there expect, in exchange for those of Cairo, are Dhourra bread and a linen shirt. Such of them as do not travel into Egypt, hardly ever go beyond the precincts of their village, for, generally, the Nubians have no inclination towards commercial speculations. At Ibrim I met with two old men, who assured me that they had never visited Derr, though it is only five hours distant. Those Nubians who have resided in Egypt, and can speak Arabic, are for the most part good Mussulmen, and repeat their prayers daily: but in general the only prayer known to the others is the exclamation of Allahu Akbar. A few make the pilgrimage to Mekka, by the way of Suakin.

I estimate the whole population of Nubia, from Assouan to the southern limits of Mahass, an extent of country about five hundred miles long, with an average breadth of half a mile, at one hundred thousand souls.

I shall subjoin to this account of Nubia some notices upon the Bedouins who inhabit the mountains lying between that country and the Red sea. They consist of two principal tribes, the Ababde and Bisharye. The Ababde (عبابده) occupy the country south of Kosseir, nearly as far as the latitude of Derr. The Bisharye (بشاري) inhabit. the mountains from thence southwards, as far as Suakin, where they find pasture for their camels and cattle in the wild herbage which grows in the beds of the winter torrents. Many of the Ababde have settled in Upper Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile from Kenne to Assouan, and from thence to Derr; but the greater part of them still live like Bedouins. They act as guides to the Sennaar caravans which depart from Daraou (دَراوُ), and were formerly conductors likewise of the trade from Kosseir to Kenne; but their enemies, the Arabs Maazyu (معازي) and Ataony (عَتاونه), who live to the north of Kosseir, have succeeded in depriving them of the profits arising from this employment, which the latter now farm from the Pasha of Egypt. The Ababde are possessed of considerable property, but have a bad character, being described by all those who deal with them as a faithless people, who betray their companions, thus rendering themselves unworthy of that origin from the Arabian Bedouins, of which they boast. No oath binds an Ababde; but I was informed that they dread breaking their word, if they give it with the expression, “by the hope I entertain of remaining in good health (وحياة العا فيه).” They are known in Upper Egypt for their excellent breed of camels, particularly dromedaries, and they trade largely in Senna-Mekke, and in charcoal of acacia wood, both of which are produced from the trees, growing abundantly in their mountains; the fuel is exported as far as Cairo. The Ababde have few horses; when at war with other Arab tribes they fight upon camels, armed with a target, lance, and sword. Their principal tribes are, El Fokara (فُقَره), El Ashabat (عشَابات), and El Meleykab (مليقاب). The Ashabat seldom descend from the mountains to the banks of the Nile, but many individuals of the tribe have settled on its banks near Mograt and Demar, on the route to Sennaar, where they have intermarried with the native inhabitants. Such of them as encamp with the Bisharye speak the language of the latter.

The Bisharye, who rarely descend from their mountains, are a very savage people, and their character is worse even than that of the Ababde. Their only cattle are camels and sheep, and they live entirely upon flesh and milk, eating much of the former raw; according to the relation of several Nubians, they are very fond of the hot blood of slaughtered sheep; but their greatest luxury is said to be the raw marrow of camels. A few of these Arabs occasionally visit Derr or Assouan, with Senna, sheep, and ostrich feathers, the ostrich being common in their mountains; and their Senna is of the best kind. In exchange for these commodities they take linen shirts and Dhourra, the grains of which they swallow raw, as a dainty, and never make it into bread. These traders do not remain long on the banks of the Nile, as the dread of the small-pox soon drives them back to their tents. The Bisharye are much addicted to theft, and will even rob the house of the person who receives them as guests. Their youth make plundering excursions as far as Dóngola, and along the route to Sennaar, mounted upon camels, of a breed superior to any other, that exists between the shores of the Mediterranean and Abyssinia. Few of the Bisharye speak Arabic. They fear none but the Ababde, who know their pasturing places in the mountains, and often surprise their encampments. When the two tribes are at peace, which happens to be the case at present, the mountains inhabited by the Bisharye may be crossed in the company of an Ababdi; but the latter is not to be trusted, unless one of his nearest relations is left behind as a hostage. Great numbers of the dispersed Mamelouks fell victims to the treachery of these Arabs, and the others escaped only by keeping together in considerable bodies.

Encampments of the Bisharye are found on the northern frontier of Abyssinia; and the sea-coast from Suakin to Massuah is peopled by their tribes, the most noted of which are, Hammedab, Batra, Alyab, Amerab, Kamhetab, Hamdora, Eryab, Hazz, Modourab, Kameylab, el Amarer, all of whom live in separate encampments, and are often at war with each other. They have no fire-arms; towards the frontiers of Abyssinia some of the tribes use the bow and arrow, and, as I was informed, speak the Abyssinian language, or rather understand the Abyssinians, who are said to have greater difficulty in comprehending the Bisharye. The two languages are probably derived from the same source, like many others of the numerous dialects which prevail towards the northern frontiers of Abyssinia.

The Bisharye are kind, hospitable, and honest towards each other; their women, who are said to be as handsome as those of Abyssinia, mix in company with strangers, and are reported to be of very depraved habits. After long and fruitless enquiries for a Bisharye Arab, I at last met with a youth who had come to Esne to sell leather thongs, for the manufacture of which these Bedouins are famous. I enticed him to my dwelling by bargaining for his goods, and made him breakfast with me; but when I began to question him about his language he would stay no longer, although I offered him a shirt as a present. He imagined that I dealt in spells, which I meant to put in practise to the injury of his nation; he forced his way out of the court-yard of my house, and I could never afterwards prevail upon him to return. The words in the annexed vocabulary, were procured from a Negro slave who had been educated among the Bisharye, and sold by them to the chief of a village near Esne.

VOCABULARY
OF THE
KENSY AND NOUBA LANGUAGES
[The words derived from the Arabic, and especially from the dialect of Upper Egypt, are marked A.]

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Heaven

Semeyg, A.

Sema, A.

World

Duinat, A.

Duniatyka, A.

Day

Ougresk

Aly

Night

Ougouk

Awaka

Stars

Woussik

Windjega

Sun

Masilk

Mashakka

Shade

Noogy

Norga

Moon

Ounatig

Inatiga

Wind

Tourouk

Touga

Rain

Anessik

Omorka

Clouds

Ghaimk, A.

Korungad

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Water *

Sea **

River *

Essig

Amanga

Inundation

Mossirk

Dahmyre, A.

North

Kalonger

Kaloga

South

Ongoger

Oroga

East

Maltigi

Mattoga

West

Tingaro

Tinoga

Year

Djeng

Gemga

Last year

Nyg

Gemdjorok

Year before last

Nisetti

Nisidadjorok

Month

Zoueyg

Shaher, A.

Ramadhan (month)

Dirtek

Misse

Rabya el awal(do)

Timangy

Timanga

Summer

Bogong

Fagonga

Winter

Otty

Oronga

Morning

Tedjerky, A.

Mashanak

Evening

Mogrebky, A.

Megrebeddo. A.

Earth

Aryd, A.

Gourka

Shore or mountain

Koloug

Kitta

Sand

Seevky Seevka

Wood

Berk

Koygga

Trees

Djaoug

Djollaga

Dust

Kodeya

Toka

Fire

Yk

Eeka

Coals

Olutti

Girgeeta

Cattle

Orti

Ortyga

Camel

Kamk

Kamikka

She camel

Bakerak, A.

Bakerakka, A.

Cow

Tyg

Tyga

Ox

Gourky

Gorondyga

Calf

Gortot

Gortoga

Buffalo

Djamous, A.

Djamous, A.

Horse

Koky

Mortyga

Ass

Hanoub

Kadja

Saddle

Dogerk

Dogerka

Sheep

Eget

Egedryga

Lamb

Doyerk

Egenandyga

Goat

Bertigy

Fakka

Dog

Welk

Mokka

Cat

Sabky

Kadeeska

Gazelle

Gālk

Kedjatta

Male

Ondo

Onda

Female

Karou

Karēa

Hare

Wozla

Doynga

Hyena

Eddik

Aadyga

Serpent

Aayagy

Ouslangyga

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Scorpion

Ikinki

Segetka

Bird

Kowertag

Kowertyga

Feathers

Ryshky, A.

Ryshga, A.

Fowl

Derbatti

Derbatta

Cock

Derbanondigy

Derbanonda

Goose

Allotti

Kellayga

Raven

Kok

Koka

Partridge

——

——

Pigeon

Mynek

Hamamga, A.

Eagle

Aboukodro

Abakodro

Sparrow

Sasurky, A.

Sar Soura, A.

Fish

Karāg

Angissiga

Crocodile

Elong

Olonga

Nilehorse(hippopotamus)

Errid, ird

Eritta, irta

Frog

Golgodegyr

Amankorkyga

Flies

Kultigi

Kuttiga

Musquitos

Namouski, A.

Namousga, A.

Lice

Issig

Issiga

Worm

Wigitty

Wirkyga

Date tree, Dates

Bentyg

Fentyga

Acacia tree

Saleyg

Gandeyga

Tamarisk tree

Shereg

Moorka

Doum date

Amboug

Ambiga

Wheat

Illeyk

Illega

Dhourra

Mareyg

Mareyga

Dhourra stalks when dry

Ageyk

Ageyga

Barley

Sering

Seringa

The bitter horse-bean called in Egypt Turmus

Angallag

Agindeyga

Straw

Siltiga

Seetyga

The French bean or Louby

Ogotty

Tigeteyga

Common horse-bean

Foulki, A.

Foulga, A.

Chick pea

Homosky, A.

Homoska, A.

Lentils

Nerk

Adeska A.

The Egyptian Gortum

Koushag

Kousheyga

A species of Dhourra called in Arabic dokhen

Erdeyg

Foulouga

Cotton

Gottong, A.

Koshmaka

Silk

Haryrki, A.

Haryrka, A.

Tobacco

Dokhang, A.

Toulyga

Grapes

Anebky, A.

Anebga, A.

Water melon

Batybky, A.

Batyhga, A.

Coloquintida

Oorky

Tatourga

Senna plant

Abyreyga

Lettuce

Khasky, A.

Khaska, A.

Wine

Nebyg, A.

Nebyd, A.

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Oil

Zeity, A.

Zeyta, A.

Date spirits

Aragyk, A.

Aragyk, A.

Salt

Ombotti

Emetta

Pepper

Falfelki, A.

Felfelga, A.

Coffee

Kahwagi, A.

Gahwa, A.

Snuff

Neshouki[, A.]

Neshouka, A.

Cheese

Djebenki, A.

Djebenka, A.

Butter

Desk

Noyga

Honey

Asselki, A.

Asselga, A.

Bread

Kalk

Kabaka

Meat

Kosoug

Arykka

Eggs

Gasgantyk

Komboug

Wool

Aboky

Faka

Horns

Neshyg

Nishyga

Dung

Osel

Osyga

Ship

Koubki

Sigirka

Sail

Sariki, A.

Kelaga, A.

Oars

Wauadyk

Soubeyga

A man

Ogedj

Itga

A woman

Ing

Ideynga

Son or boy

Tot

Tota

Girl or daughter

Beroug

Borouga

Husband

Edy

Etta

Wife

Eyngy

Adeynga

Father

Ambabki

Abouga, A.

Mother

Eneygy

Aneynga

Sister

Anesyk

Anessyga

Brother

Ambeski

Anyngaga

Uncle

Ambanak

Abanyngaga

Cousin

Ambanentoti

Abanyngagantato

Grandfather

Anouky

Annonga

Master

Tirtyg

Noranga

Servant

Khadamky, A.

Ashanga

Male slave

Nogoutty

Osheyga

Female slave

Nogogy

Oshaga

Virgin

Fetagy

Borou Beker, A.

Life

Enougou

Agni

Death

Diark

Dyakka

Disease

Oddy

Oddy

Small-pox

Djedryki, A.

Djedryka, A.

Plague

Kobbaki, A.

Kobbaga, A.

Old age

Samelgy

Gortyga

The head

Ork

Ourka

Eye

Messik

Maynga

Nose

Soring

Soringa

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Mouth

Agilk

Akka

Lips

Shendouk

Shendouga

Teeth

Nelky

Nyta

Mustachios

Sharibyk, A.

Sharibka[, A.]

Ears

Oluk

Okiga

Throat

Goski

Gooska

Beard

Samēk

Sameyga

Neck

Eyik

Eega

Arm

Yg

Eddiga

Back

Djerk

Dijrka

Posteriors

Boungy

Osyrka

Fingers

Sebag, A.

Sebakiga, A.

Stomach

Toug

Touga

Breasts

Ertyg

Dougoussiga

Pudenda viri

Sorat

Koffyga

Pudenda mulieris

Osutti

Kissiga, A.

Foot

Ossi

Öyga

Hair

Seerki

Shygertyga

Blood

Gerki

Beeska

Heart

Aagy

Ayka

Skin or leather

Adjeng

Nowakka

Bone

Keet

Kesyrga

KENSY.

NOUBA.

House

Kagy

Noka

Door or gate

Babki, A.

Babka[,A.]

Key

Meftahky, A.

Kusherka

Wall

Katreg

Sobeyga

Chamber

Kerryg

Kerryga

Bed

Fershki, A.

Bereshka, A.

Mat

Hasyrk, A.

Hasyrka, A.

Large water jar

Barrat

Gottiga

Water pot

Ibryk, A.

Ibrikka, A.

Large earthen vessel

Gosseyg

Shounaga

Hand mill

Djouk

Djaouga

Earthen plate

Kissibk

Faleka

Thin iron plate, upon which bread is baked

Dābky

Dabga

Boiler

Deltig, A.

Dystega, A.

Oven

Taboungy

Tabounga

Lamp

Seraky, A.

Seraka, A.

Ox

Nowt

Aliatta

Water wheel

Koleyg

Askaleyga

Cords

Irygy

Allega

Sword

Siouty

Fareynga

Lance

* Shag

**

* Selotyeg

Shartega

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Knife

Kandyg

Kandyga

Target

Karoug

Gunyega

Gun

Bunduky, A.

Baroudki, A.

Large stick covered with iron at both extremities

Naboutdjy, A.

Nabouta, A.

A small stick

Wudjerg

Galeyga

A cloak or shirt

Kadeyg

Kittiga

Egyptian Mellaye

Foutek, A.

Foutaga[, A.]

Trowsers

Sherwalky, A.

Lebaska, A.

Turban

Kasirk

Kaserga

Red cap

Tarboshki, A.

Tarboshka, A.

Linnen bonnet

Tarkya, A.

Takyaga, A.

Ring

Khatim, A.

Khatimja, A.

Ear-ring

Zummamki, A.

Zummamka[, A.]

Nose-ring

Zorouski

Korsyga

Bracelet

Zouarki, A.

Zouarga, A.

Amulet

Sōrki

Shoka

Shoes

Koresk

Dirka

Girdle

Amadjerdyk

Mergirka

Needle

Entillagy

Entellea

Rosary

Soubhaki, A.

Soubhaga[,A.]

Book

Sourky

Shouka

Paper

Gartaski, A.

Waraka, A.

Pen

Kalamki, A.

Kalamga, A.

Gold

Dongougy

Shongyrka

Silver

Foddaki, A.

Foddaga, A.

Iron

Shartyg

Feressyga

Copper

Nehasgy, A.

Nebasga, A.

Money

Dongougy

Shonger

Steel

Zenadki, A.

Zenadka, A.

Tinder

Soufanki, A.

Taamga, A.

Water skin

Gyrbaggy, A.

Gyrbeya, A.

Wooden spoon

Malgagy, A.

Malgaga, A.

Camel’s saddle

Hawiegy, A.

Hawiega, A.

Loom

Nesadjaky

Nesydja

Leather provision sack

Bousouky

Doukyga

Wax

Shemagy, A.

Shemaga, A.

One

Warum

Werka

Two

Owum

Oūo

gha

Three

Tosk

Toskoga

Four

Kemsou

Kemsoga

Five

Didjou

Didja

Six

Gordjou

Gordjoga

Seven

Kolodou

Kolodga

Eight

Idou

Idouoga

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Nine

Iskodou

Oskoda

Ten

Dimnou

Dimaga

Eleven

Dimindewaru

Dimewera

Twelve

Dimindiowum

Dimeroua

Thirteen

Dimindtoskou

Dimetosko

Twenty

Ariema

Aro

Thirty

Thelathyna, A.

Thelatyno, A.

Forty

Erbayne, A.

Erbayno, A.

Fifty

Kamsyno, A.

Kamsyno, A.

One hundred

Imilwaro

Imilwera

Two hundred

Imlowum

Imloūo

Three hundred

Imiltosk

Imiltosko

One thousand

Dololwaro

Dorewera

Two thousand

Dololowum

Doreoūa

One half

Bagatto

Fagatwera

One third

Toskere

Tuskitwera

One fourth

Kemsere

Kemmiswēra

The whole

Kamelou, A.

Malālgy

Friend

Sahabky, A.

Sahabga, A.

Enemy

Adouom, A.

Adouga, A.

Marriage

Erkeneyg

Balyga

Bridegroom

Erkenegolg

Nokodoga

Spouse

Idem

Idem

Companion

Awryk

Thafyga, A.

Thief

Magasky

Amargatta

War

Katalki, A.

Dyngyga

Peace

Gendoss

Gyngysha

Victory

Nasrtakoss, A.

Nasraga, A.

Tomb

Teyk

Torbaga, A.

Law

Shera, A.

Hagyga, A.

Fear or cowardice

Serkou

Djakyr

Bravery

Okdjom

Ogdja

Love

Dolly

Dolli

Hate

Tissery

Mony

Generous

Dokhom

Dokh

Avaricious

Neyino

Bakhyla, A.

Rich

Sereym

Shey-ykoua

Poor

Meskyn, A.

Fogra, A.

Just

Adeleybou, A.

Massoda

Unjust

Thalebou, A.

Thalem, A.

Wise man

Erykatto

Onyketta

Fool

Dooshun

Doosha

Peasant

Nobky

Noppa

Merchant

Kawadjaki, A.

Saffery, A.

Governor

Hakemki, A.

Hakemga, A.

Divorce

Talygabou, A.

Talek, A.

KENSY.

NOUBA.

Handsome

Tongilou

Massa or Ashrya

Ugly

Sawalou

Ouza

Old

Shaybki, A.

Shaybga, A.

An old man

Samelk

Daoura

An old woman

Dorougy

Douga

Young

Afygi

Kodou

old (ancient)

Korselk

Farka

New

Eyrk

Meryka

Strong

Shedydon, A.

Shedyd, A.

Weak

Oddy or Teliebou

Odda

Big

Dorom

Kulma

Thin

Essy

Oloa

Wide

Bodjo

Bodjoa

Narrow

Takarou

Takara

Far

Wareem

Weera

Near

Aft

Mola

Many

Degreem

Deea

Few

Gabylou, A.

Galyla, A.

Good

Sereyma

Massa

Bad

Milli

Birsa

Hungry

Oryboo

Fannyr

Thirsty

Esigoryboo

Amanga djokyr

Satiated

Boērbou

Kosafyr

Long

Nassom

Nassyga

Short

Ortunam

Oradaka

High

Aaly, A.

Aalya, A.

Low

Waty, A.

Waty, A.

Clean

Nadifou, A.

Nadifa, A.

Dirty

Erimmam

Sawa

Without

Bedjer

Shado

Within

Arer

Awo

Above

Dogoro

Doro

Below

Togorum

Taoūa

Green

Dessem

Dessyga

Red

Geylem

Geyla

Black

Romma

Oroma

White

Arom

Nolloa

Yellow

Korgosou

Korgosa

Blue

Romma

Oroma

To kill

Beyry

Faÿro

To bring forth

Oskousou

Annoso

To speak

Bayn

Baÿn

To be silent

Kittoss

Hesso

To sow

Ywer

Nankerja

KENSY.

NOUBA.

To reap

Djorou

Gor

To wash

Eywos

Djello

To cook

Kudjer

Netto

To swim

Bowetta

Kodja

To walk

Tale

Djo

To run

Bot

Myro

To ride

Egyr

Doko

To beat

Djom

Oshyng

To sound

Shogoss

Shagoso

To throw

Lefoss

Weyrky

To open

Kuso

Gosso

To shut

Koboss

Keffo

To tie

Dygross

Dekeyro

To unloosen

Kuss

Gosso

To break

Tokoss

Korydjo

To eat

Kalou

Kap

To drink

Ny

Ny

To sleep

Torboss

Ner

To dream

Oontyg

Nasryga

To rise

Omboloss

Ketto

To pray

Saletta, A.

Salaka, A.

To fetch

Wadir

Tebbay

To sit down

Tawoss

Tyko

To laugh

Oussou

Djagdja

To cry

Oyng

Ogny

To sing

O

Kar

To lye

Morso

Merdjaga

To swear

Bedjodry

Djoro

To cohabit

Bedanjery

Ydandannefy

To descend

Kutoss

Sukko

To ascend

Darross

Keyro

To travel

Safeross

Saferoso

To buy

To sell

*

** Djan

*

*

** Djan

*

To hear

Gydjer

Oker

To smell

Sunne

Sonna

To see

Anale

Nell

To taste

Gaynale

Tefaddagay

To burn

Djugoss

Djogedjy

To exclaim

Djahde

Djaleka

I love you

Ayek dolli

Ayeka doller

Thou lovest me

————

Areka dolli

He loves me

————

Idem

We love each other

————

Werweronga dollero

I loved you

————

Ayeka dolligossy

KENSY.

NOUBA.

I shall love you

————

Ayeka dollil

I

Aygy

Ay

Thou

Ek

Ery

He

Tek

Tary

We

Argogy

A-ny

You

Ergy

Oury

They

Tirky

Tery

Mine

Andou

Annyga

Thine

Endeky or Endou

Ennega

His

Teneky or Tendou

Tennega

Ours

Tindoma

————

Yours

————

————

Theirs

Tirgundo

————

My son

An toti

Au gaga

Thy son

En toti

En gaga

His son

Ten toti

Tan gaga

Where do you come from?

Say tonta

Seddo tony keyra

Where are you going?

Say boudjoun

Seddo djo

Will you come with me?

Erygodom bodjouna

Eydan djoana

Have you got some milk?

Enna idjy dana

Elougo soo dana

No, I have no cattle

Anna orty dāmnou

Damou, Orty gomo

Who gave you the bread?

Nyeh kalk gaterum

Nay kattyro kabaka

I do not like his son

Entoti dolmini

Tangaga doloumo

What’s your name?

En nera

Ekka nayna

I understand

Gydjressy

Oukeross

I do not understand

Gydjorkom

Oukerkomo

Do not give him

Tirmem

Tytta

Give him two piastres

Gersh owe tirou

Gersh owo tedj

What does it cost?

Mogot yre

Temen syk ylyro

I bought it for ten measures

Mashe diming djanessy

Mashe dimlou djanesy

They cheated you

Ek ghalboss

Dosy Kergo

It is only worth eight

Mash idou koby

————

Is your father at home?

Ambab kak ero

————

Yes he is at home

Neros, kak ero

How are you?

Taveb re

Tree

Djaoug

Djollaga

Trees

Djowokyg

Djolkiga

Camel

Kamk

Kamikka

Camels

Kamryg

Kamryga

Dog

Welk

Mokka

Dogs

Welyg

Mokryga

Boy

Toti

Tota

Boys

Tonyg

Tonyga

The comparative is formed by putting to the positive the word More

Andogor

Eylleky

VOCABULARY
OF THE
DIALECT OF THE ARABS BISHARYE.

Heaven

Otryk

Milk

Tea

Day

Toy

Bread or Dhourra

Otam

Night

Afa

Meat

Tosha

Sun

Toyn

Wool

Ehamo

Moon

Ondjim

Skin or leather

Osar

Wind

Beram

Dung

Tahdo

Rain

Ōbra

Blood

Oboy

Winter

Odarak

Bone

Timita

Hot

Tola

A man

Otak

Cold

Omokera

A woman

Tataket

Morning

Tokroum

A boy

Or

North

Obha

Girl

Toro

South

Oma

Head

Ogourma

West

Oghar

Eyes

Tilyly

East

Osherk, A.

Nose

Togenouf

Sea or river

Obhar

Mouth

Oyaf

Water

Ayam

Teeth

Tougrek

Stone

Awey

Lips

Tamboroy

Mountain

Orbay

Ears

Tongy

Trees

Hindy

Beard

Hamoy

Fire

Toneyt

Arm or hand

Oya

Spring or source

Tory

Foot

Ragad

Camel

Okam

Fingers

Titibala

She-camel

Terabie

Stomach

Ofy

Cow

Osha

Pudend. viri

Omyd

Horse

Hatay

——— foeminæ

Wat

Ass

Omeyg

Testiculi

Olla

Sheep

Tonay

Father

Babo

Lamb

Ouna

Mother

Tonde

Dog

Oyas

Brother

Assanok

Gazelle

Ogana

Sister

Tukato

Hare

Tembylhoy

Cousin

Durao

Hyena

Keray

Male slave

Kosha

Bird

Kilay

Female slave

Tokasha

Ostrich

Odlym, A.

Death

I-ya

Date-tree or dates

Tomlok

Disease

Lehabou

Senna shrub

Temerara

Tent

Egowa

Large trees in the mountains called

and

Odada

Sellam

Mat

Hassyr, A.

Salt

Omous

Handmill

Merhaka, A.

Butter

Ola

Red

Adarob

Earthen boiler

Borma, A.

White

Aray

Cords

Oloul

Black or blue

Haddal

Sword

Umadded

To kill

Dera

Lance

Tosna

To speak

Hadydo, A.

Knife

Wodrar

To be silent

Semaka

Linen gown

Oskak

To walk

Saka

Shoes

Omadda

To run

Daba

Shield

Ogbe

To ride

Ama

Gold

Demourary

To beat

Ta

Water-skin

Osar

To throw

Tefsa

One

Engaro

To eat

Tama

To drink

Goa

Two

Molobo

To sleep

Doa

Three

Mehay

To rise

Bāra

Four

Fadyg

To sit down

Saa

Five

Ey-yb

To laugh

Sayda

Six

Essagour

To cry

Wawa

Seven

Essarama

To buy and sell

Djelabat, A.

Eight

Essamhay

To lye

Gosreybo

Nine

Ogamhay

To hear

Temsyra

Ten

Togaserama

To see

Shebabo

Twenty

Tagougo

To cohabit

Osour

Thirty

Tagomolob

To bury

Besatayn

Friend

Ouraok

Good morning

Shobau

Enemy

Ogry

Good evening

Ketyman

Wife

Tegato

How are you?

Daban

Thief

Gohara

Have you got some milk?

Tyahiho

Tomb

Ohaffyr, A.

There is

Aha

Fear

Morkay

No

Kahero

Bravery

Enjemabo

Camel

Okam

Good

Onor

Camels

Akam

Handsome

Nowadenybo

Dog

Oyas

Ugly

Shingyrato

Dogs

Ayas

Old

Wadha

Girl

Tor

Young

Fabalo

Girls

Tar

Strong

Akrabo

Weak

Teliebou

Avaricious

Afram

Hungry

Hargabo

Thirsty

Eweybo

Satiated

Gababo

Long

Serarabo

Short

Nakashabo

Far

Sagybou

Near

Dalou

Many

Godab

Few

Shlyko

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/b/burckhardt/john_lewis/nubia/chapter1.html

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51