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Burial complex of Mentuhotep II - The Gate of the Horseman

 The Gate of the Horseman (so called because Howard Carter's horse stumbled into it which led to its discovery).
In the plain in front of the temple is an entrance to a deep tunnel which leads to a chamber beneath the temple. In this chamber was found a seated stone statue of the king wearing a white hed-sed costume and the Red Crown, his black face shows him to be now Osiris.

Howard Carter describes how he found the tomb:

'Some two years ago, I obtained the knowledge of the existence of this tomb, when riding home after some rain had fallen, for, on nearing my house, the ground gave way under the horse's legs bringing both of us down. Afterwards, on looking into the small hole there formed , I saw traces of stone work, from which I concluded that there must be something and most probably a tomb. I commenced excavating on the 20th January 1900, in order to find out what really was there, and, in a short time, I was able to trace the three sides of stone work, the fourth side, to the east, being open. From this state of the east end, I concluded that, if it was a tomb, the entrance would be below the western end, so I at once set the men to work there . . .

 After working down some 17 metres, on the 10th March, I found the door which had its original mud brick sealings intact ..... I made a small hole at the top of the door and entered, finding myself in a long arch[ed] passage having a downward incline of about 1 in 5 ..... Inside the door, a head of a calf and portions of a leg were lying on the floor. I descended the passage, which was quite clear and 150 metres long, ending in a large lofty chamber, the roof again arched . . .

.... In the left hand corner [of this chamber], lying on its side, was a seated statue about 2 metres high, completely wrapped in linen of a very fine quality: beside it lay a long wooden coffin which was inscribed but bore no name ... The style of the work shewed that the tomb was of the early Theban empire. Along the end wall and in the centre of the chamber, pots with mud sealings, a dish and many small saucers, all of rough red pottery, together with the skeletons of two ducks? and two forelegs of a calf which still had on them the dried up flesh, were lying on the floor. Having tested the ground with a piercing rod, I found that there was a shaft leading down from the chamber.

On the 16th March 1900, [I] started the men to open the shaft; but on the 20th April, the shaft proved to be so deep, the rock so bad and becoming so dangerous that I was obliged to stop the work until the next season.....'

(A water colour made by Howard Carter of the contents of the tomb, the status is shown on the left (still wrapped in cloth), the wooden coffin on the right)