In 1906-07, Lythgoe found at Lisht North at least 6 fragments of what he called "Proto-Doric" columns. Five of them disappeared more or less unrecorded. The best-preserved, a part of the upper end of a fluted column, was allocated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (visible on photo L6-7: 37).
The piece is the only fragment that provides some important measurements of the column. It originally had thirty-two flat, 7 cm wide grooves, separated on two opposite sides by a 21 cm wide text column. The abacus, which was worked from the same block, protruded 2 cm over the shaft and may have been over 20 cm high. One might assume that the top surface of the abacus had a (round?) socket for the insertion of a dowel connecting it with the architrave, but the upper part of the abacus is missing. One may assume that the column was not monolithic, but composed of several drums that tapered just enough to visually disconnect the column shaft from the abacus.*
One has to mention that three surprisingly similar column pieces were excavated by Gautier at Lisht South (Gautier, Licht, fig. 9. No scale is given. The pieces are lost.). Two pieces preserve the top of the text column, starting with "Horus///." The third piece seems to have been considerably larger than the other two. Gauthier assumes that they were part of "propylées ornées de colonnes" in the pyramid temple of Senwosret I. Since Gautier’s observations are generally reliable, one is inclined to trust his judgment. However, it is not possible to accommodate such columns in the plan of the Senwosret I pyramid temple (Arnold, Senwosret I, vol. 1, foldout II.). For this reason, one might be slightly suspicious about the origin of the three column pieces. Did Gautier, who worked at both sites, perhaps find them at Lisht North?
Dieter Arnold, 2015
*Channeled or fluted columns were also used in the pyramid complex of Senwosret I: see Arnold, Senwosret I, vol. 1, p. 54, pl. 25a; vol. 3, p. 24, pls. 17c, 19a. The most famous examples adorn the façade of the Beni Hasan tombs: Percy E. Newberry, Beni Hasan, with plans and measurements of the tombs by G. Willoughby Fraser. Published under the Auspices of the Egypt Exploration Fund, vol. 1 (London, 1893), frontispiece, pls. 3-4, 39-40; Herbert Ricke, Bemerkungen zur ägyptischen Baukunst des Alten Reichs, vol. 1 (Zurich, 1944), pp. 77-84.