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itself, after the bottom of the chamber was depressed. There is nothing more to be seen in the chamber, except two paslages, one north, the other south. It is not possible to find out their use or original depth; for they are choaked with stones and other things, which people have thrown in to satisfy their curiosity, and to discover how far they might go.
The second pyramid is exactly like the first, only it does not appear to have been opened. Toward the top it is covered on all sides with granite, so closely joined and smooth, that it is impossible to ascend it. There are here and there, it is true, some holes cut; but they are not at equal distances, nor do they continue high enough to encourage any one to attempt the getting up to the top of this pyramid. On the east side are seen the ruins of a temple; with stones of a prodigious fize. To the west, about thirty feet deep, is a passage, cut in the rock, upon which the pyramid stands, which thews how much they were obliged to take from the rock, in order to make the plain.
The third pyramid is not so bigh as the two firft hy 100 feet; but is perfectly like them in every other respect. It is shut up, as is the second, and from the prodigious stones that lie to the north east, it should seem as if here had been a temple more distinguishable than that already mentioned. The entrance to it was on the east side.
The fourth pyramid is 100 feet less than the third : it is like the rest, but shut up, and without any temple to it. On the top is one large stone, which seems to have served as a pedestal. It is not exactly in a line with the rest, being a little to the west of them.
These four great pyramids are surrounded with a number of little ones, which for the most part have been opened. There are three to the east of the first pyramid, and two of them so ruinous, that the chambers of them are no longer discernible. To the west also may be seen many more, but all in ruins. Opposite the second pyramid there are five or fix, all of which have been opened. In one of them is a square pit, or well, thirty feet deep.
About 300 paces to the east of the second pyramid, is seen the head of the famous sphinx, of which our Author has given us three designs, one profile, the other two in front.
Near to the pyramids are fepulchral caves, or grottos, in some of which are hieroglyphics, which therefore our Author thinks, were not made till long after the pyramids ; they are all open and empty. He vifited several of them, but found nothing therein, except a bit of an earthen idol, like those 3
which are found in great quantity near to Saltara, in the land of Momies.
Thefe monuments must be visited in winter, that is, from November to the middle of April ; for in summer the waters, and the descent of the Arabs froin the mountains, who make no fcruple of pillaging strangers, render it either imprudent, or impracticable. If you set out from Grand Cairo, on alles, to Califh, you pafs the isle of Rodda, and on the left side, behind the Mokkias, hire a, boat for yourselves and cattle, and lànd at Giżè, opposite to Cairo ; and a league further take up your lodgings with the Kaimakari
, where you Have vermin, but no beds, nor any other conveniences, for the shequin you must pay him. In the morning you departe and come to a little village, where there is a camp of Arabs, and you take two of them as your guides. When you come to the foot of the mountains, near the pyramids, you alight, and at the entrance of the first pyramid discharge your pistols, to drive awảy the båts. The two Arabs enter first, to clear away the sand, and you follow, (stripped of every thing but your shirt, on account of the excessive heat in the pyramids,) with a torch in your hand, which is oot lighted till you enter the chambers. At the end of the firft paffage, where the comimunication has been opened by force, it is not above one foot ánd an half high, and two feet wide. Here the traveller lays him self down, and tlie Arabs pull him by the legs through this itrait påffage, covered with fand and dust: this is but for two ells, or it would be insupportable.
After this visit to the pyramids, if your curiosity is not al. teady fatisfied, you may examine the old bridges, fituate to the east and by north of Gizė, and north-west of the pyramids. The first extends itself north and south, the other east and west. No one can now tell for what purpose they were built. This place is not, like others, exposed to the waters, tho' perhaps there may have been formerly a calish, or canal. By the manner of building; and by inscriptions still left, they seem to be the work of the Saracens. The first häs ten arches, 241 feet long *, and 20 feet four inches wide. They are 400 paces distant from each other, but are joined by a brick wall.
This journey may be accomplished in one day, and at half the expence, (that is to say, two shequins the whole company) by setting out very early in the morning from Cairo, and not stopping by the way. You will have time enough to see every thing, and may return in good time the same day, and our
* Mr. Norden has here exprefled himself very inaccurately: we know not whether he gives the dimensions of the whole bridge, or of each particular arch. Review, Sept. 1756.
Author says he had rather go twice this way than once the other.
Besides those already described, there are others, called the pyramids of Dagjour. They are seen to the south of thofe of Memphis, and end near Meduun, where stands the most southern of them. Its greatest effect is when seen at a distance, for when you come up to it, you find it built of large bricks, baked in the fun: and therefore it is called by the Turks and Arabs, the false pyramid. It is conspicuous at a great distance, not being near the mountains, nor in the neighbourhood of the other pyramids; and is raised upon a little bill. The four sides are equal, sloping down in the form of a glacis in fortifications. It has three or four steps, or degrees, of which the lowest may be twenty feet in perpendicular height. This pyramid has never been opened, and the expence and difficulty of destroying it, will, probably, deter any one from the attempt. Of the rest of the pyramids of Dagjour, which are situate near Sakarra, there are only two that deserve notice; one of them has been opened, but visited by few. There are in all twenty of them. As the old Memphis stood near to this plain, Mr. Norden conjectures, that these pyramids were inclosed within that capital.
At the end of this description of the pyramids, is a letter from our Author to the late Mr. Folkes, in which are some remarks upon Mr. Greaves' account of the pyramids. He allows the merit justly due to Mr. Greaves, and says he wrote his remarks, not to destroy that writer's observations, but as additions to them. When Mr. Greaves says, “ all these pyor ramids consist of stone,” it shews that he had not
far enough into Upper Egypt, to see the pyramid of bricks, which is unquestionably the same that, according to Herodotus, was built by Cheops, and is situate within four leagues of Cairo. It is a mistake to imagine any one of the pyramids to be the fepulchre of Olymandyas, from whence Cambyses took the golden circle. It is rather at Lukoreen, and still entire amidst the ruins of antient Thebes. The walls of the sepulchre, and of the Temple where it stood, are covered with figures, which represent the funeral obsequies and facrifices, celebrated on the death of that prince; as the palace and porticos, tho' in ruins, contain his battles and great actions.' Mr. Norden took defigns of them on the spot, and has shewn where the golden circle might have been placed. But these designs are not in this volume. He proves the great antiquity of the pyramids by these two arguments : 1. That they were built before the use of hieroglyphics, for none are to be found on them either within or without. And if what Vanfleb says is true, tho’ wę
cannot but give the preference to Mr. Norden, such a small quantity on no one knows which of the pyramids, may have been inscribed long after they were built. But the meaning: of these characters was unknown in the time of Cambyses, and as Memphis was raised from the ruins of Thebes, it is most probable that these vast structures were erected before the building of Memphis. 2. The granite used for the sarcophagus, the casing of the chambers, and the summit of the second pyramid, is not polished; and therefore, as all other marble made use of in these buildings is polished, they must have been erected before the art of polishing granite was discovered, that is, before the obelisks were raised; or sepulchral urns, or cases to momies made; all of which, very few excepted, are of polished granite.
Our Author joins with Mr. Greaves in asserting, that the superstition of Egypt was one principal cause for the building the pyramids, but he thinks that ambition also had a large share in it. They are certainly monuments of the moft durable form, for it would take as much time to destroy as to raise them. It is not a little surprizing, adds he, that so vast a mountain should produce no other than a mouse, for to such
may the narrow passages and chambers justly be compared. But then it should be considered, that the art of making vaults and roofs might not then be so well known, as to make men think it practicable to support the enormous weight of the pyramid over them, especially as it was not compoled of such materials as to support itself, which would have required square blocks of stone, wrought as on the outside. And in the lesser pyramids, which are, in great measure, open, it may be seen that they were built entirely of square stones, and therefore their chambers are much larger in proportion than those of the greater pyramids.
Mr. Norden finds it necessary to diffent from Strabo, concerning those stones which he calls the tombs of Mercury. Nature, not art, difpofed them in that order in which they lie one upon another ; for in this respect the granite differs from other rocks, that it lies in the quarry like a heap of large Aints. The workmen who antiently cut granite here, carried away such pieces as were proper, and left others standing here and there, as limits, or for some other purpose. This seems to have been the origin of what are called the Tumuli Mercuriales. Here are hieroglyphics, and an infinite quantity of granite, cut into squares, some begun, and others finished, in the very ftate they were left by the workmen, who, perhaps, were driven away by the calamities of war. Not far from herice is the obelisk that was begun, but not finished; and the entire S 2
plain of which Strabo speaks, was formed by taking away granite, which must have been of a better sort than that on the borders of the Nile, or it would not have been preferred to that which could be carried with greater ease. On the borders of the Nile too, in some places, there are stones covered with hieroglyphics, and others begun to be worked upon, in like manner as in the place above described. Mr. Greaves is certainly mistaken in supposing that these Tumuli Mercuriales served as a model for building the pyramids; their shape and fize are too diffimilar; nor is there other appearance of art in them, but the hieroglyphics, which, according to Mr. Norden, are more modern than the pyramids.
That pyramid which is usually diftinguished as the first, should be considered as the last of those made of the same materials. It does not seem to have been entirely finished, and has not so very old an aspect as others that are near it. Mr. Greaves is certainly mistaken, when he supposes the inequality of the steps of the pyramid to have proceeded from the injuries of time. The itones of which they are composed differ from four to five, and sometimes to ten inches. They were not made for ascending and defcending; and regularity was not observed but as it was necessary for the ease of the workmen, and for carrying on the form of the pyramid. Perhaps , this inequality of the fteps has occafioned the different accounts given of their number, by different travellers.
Our Author cannot conceive how Mr. Greaves, who was so very accurate in his descriptions, could say there is nothing now left of that admirable bridge mentioned by Herodotus; for there remains a considerable part of it, enough to form a just idea of its construction and use: and to the east of the third pyramid are the remains of another bridge. These, as they now stand, are to be seen in our Author's designs.
The summit of the second pyramid shews plainly, whatever may
have been the opinion of Proclus, that it could not have been designed for an observatory, because it is rendered inaccessible by being covered with granite. And if the rest. are not so, the architect might have nevertheless intended to finish them all in the same manner *.
* This is true; but then it fhould also be observed, that Proclus mentions another use, which was, to determine the annus sydereus. We cannoi here enter into the confideration of the astronomical uses of pyramids and obelisks in Egypt; and therefore, refer our readers to what the accurate and ingenious Mr. James Stuart has faid of them, in a letter which he published at Rome, in Latin and Italian, inscribed to Lord Malton, now Marquis of Rockingham.