The first stages of E.14.2. having been completed yesterday morning, the men were set to work in the Hypostyle Hall. In the afternoon the other company reached a cross wall in the street south of the Temple, and as this formed a convenient stopping place, and as the Temple obviously needed more men, this company was also moved in. Each company has been given half the temple, each tips into a different railway and there is a great rivalry between them.
Yesterday, we exposed the cross wall that divides the First Court from the Hypostyle. It lies to the east of the last row of columns, i.e. to the east of the north and south door in the First Court. A very large amount of colour is preserved, many of the reliefs are in good condition and the whole appearance is already quite colourful and impressive. It is certain that the main decorative motif was the king smiting captives. The northern section of this wall has suffered rather more than the southern, but we have been carefully numbering and storing all fallen blocks, and have restored to-day a complete line of blocks to their original position and restored the gateway approximately up to the level of the lintel, no traces of which, however, have been found apart from a fragment of the cornice. On the south thickness of the door we found two hieratic graffiti to-day. The smaller one is in black ink, painfully distinct and damaged, but it has been cleaned and sprayed with celluloid solution from the atomiser, with which we are experimenting with mixed success. The second graffito is incised and is much bigger and has not been completely uncovered: it seems to contain accounts of some sort.
Beyond the wall lies the Hypostyle Hall, which proves to be smaller than we had expected. From west to east there are three rows of four columns and beyond these is another cross wall. High up in the debris on the north side, we found two good stelae. One, broken in two pieces (see photograph), is very good: below the figures of a king offering to Bast, Amen-Re and Horus, are several lines giving the titulary of Ramesses III and below this the Viceroy of Nubia, Hori, and some lines in praise of the king. The stela is dated to the year 5, and is the first inscription of Ramesses III to be found here. The second stela is not in quite such a good condition and is also of the viceroy Hori.
On the opposite side of the Hypostyle, a small stone shrine was found. This proved to be empty except for the basis on which a small statuette must once have stood. The shrine must be on a large stone pedestal, of which we have at present only seen the top, which is about four feet square, and has at its north east and north west corners small slabs of stone bearing the cartouches of Ramesses II.
The only other noteworthy finds were a small green faience scarab from the Hypostyle Hall and a fine axe-celt from the surface of the western portion of the town.
The second stela, found behind the north jamb of the west door of the Hypostyle Hall
Object cards of the objects found