chapter  I
37 Pages

THE ALABASTER SARCOPHAGUS OF SETI I.

The text of the " Book of Gates/' printed in the following pages, is taken from the alabaster sarcophagus of king Seti I., B.C. 1370, which is preserved in the Museum of Sir John Soane, at 13, Lincoln s Inn Fields. This sarcophagus is, undoubtedly, one of the chief authorities for the text of that remarkable book; but before any attempt is made to describe the arrangement of the scenes and the inscriptions which accompany them, it will be well to recall the principal facts connected with its discovery by Giovanni Battista Belzoni, who has fortunately placed them on record in his Narrative of the Operations and recent discoveries ivithin the pyramids, temples, tombs and Excavations in Egypt and Nubia, London, 1820, p. 233 ff. In October, 1815, Belzoni began to excavate in the Bibanal-Muluk, i.e., the Yalley of the Tombs of the Kings, on the western bank of the Nile at Thebes, and in the