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Ethiopian stone. Some of the Grecians erroneously say that this pyramid is the work of the courtesan Rhodopis; but they evidently appear to me ignorant who Rhodopis was; for they would not else have attributed to her the building such a pyramid, on which, so to speak, numberless thousands of talents were expended ; besides, Rhodopis flourished in the reign of Amasis, and not at this time ; for she was very many years later than those kings who left these pyramids. (Cary's translation.)
In one of the three small pyramids near that of Mycerinus the name of this king is painted on the ceiling.
THE PYRAMIDS OF ABU ROÂSI.
These pyramids lie about six miles north of the Pyramids of Gizeh, and are thought to be older than they. Nothing remains of one except five or six courses of stone, which show that the length of each side at the base was about 350 feet, and a passage about 160 feet long leading down to a subterranean chamber about 43 feet long. of stones close by marks the site of another pyramid ; the others have disappeared. Of the age of these pyramids nothing certain is known. The remains of a causeway about a mile long leading to them are still visible.
THE PYRAMIDS OF ABUȘIR.
of the Vth
These pyramids, originally fourteen in number, were Other built by kings of the Vth dynasty, but only four of them are pyramids now standing, probably because of the poorness of the dynasty. workmanship and the careless way in which they were put together. The most northerly pyramid was built by
019) Saḥu-Rā, the second
Sahu-Rā, the second king of the Vth dynasty, B.C. 3333; its actual height is about 120 feet, and the length of each side at the base about 220 feet. The blocks of stone in the sepulchral chamber are exceptionally large. Sahu-Rā made war in the peninsula of Sinai, he
founded a town near Esneh, and he built a temple to Sechet at Memphis.
The pyramid to the south of that of Sahu-Rā was built by (om the
Rā Sun, An." This king, like Sahu-Rā, also made war in Sinai. The largest of these four pyramids is now about 165 feet high and 330 feet square; the name of its builder is unknown. Abuşir is the Busiris of Pliny.
THE STEP PYRAMID OF SAKKÂRAH.
This pyramid is generally thought to have been built by the fourth king of the Ist dynasty (called Uenephes by Manetho, and (1-3) Åta in the tablet of Abydos), who is said to have built a pyramid at Kochome (i.e., Ka-Kam) near Şakkârah. Though the date of this pyramid is not
known accurately, it is probably right to assume that it is The oldest older than the pyramids of Gizeh. The door which led into pyramid.
th pyramid was inscribed with the name of a king called Rā-nub, and M. Mariette found the same name on one of the stelæ in the Serapeum. The steps of the pyramid are six in number, and are about 38, 36, 345, 32, 31 and 29. feet in height; the width of each step is from six to seven feet. The lengths of the sides at the base are: north and south 352 feet, east and west 396 feet, and the actual height is 197 feet. In shape this pyramid is oblong, and its sides do not exactly face the cardinal points. The arrangement of the chambers inside this pyramid is quite peculiar to itself.
The PYRAMID OF UNÅS 90), better known as Mastabat el-Far'ûn," i.e., “ Pharaoh's Mastaba," called in Egyptian Nefer-ås-u, lies to the south-east of the Step Pyramid, and was reopened and cleared out in 1881 by M. Maspero, at the expense of Messrs. Thomas Cook and Son.
Its original height was about 62 feet, and the length of each Pyramids side at the base 220 feet. Owing to the broken blocks inscribed
of sand which lie round about it, Vyse was unable to funereal
give exact measurements. Several attempts had been
made to break into it, and one of the Arabs who took part in one of these attempts, “Ahmed the Carpenter,” seems to have left his name inside one of the chambers in red ink. It is probable that he is the same man who opened the Great Pyramid at Gîzeh, A.D. 820. A black basalt sarcophagus, from which the cover had been dragged off, an arm, a shin bone, and some ribs and fragments of the skull from the mummy of Unås were found in the sarcophagus chamber. The walls of the two largest chambers and two of the corridors are inscribed with ritual texts and prayers of a very interesting character. Unás, the last king of the Vth dynasty, reigned about thirty years. The Mastabat el-Farûn was thought by Mariette to be the tomb of Unás, but some scholars thought that the “blunted pyramid" at Dahshûr was his tomb, because his name was written upon the top of it.
The PYRAMID OF TETA @D. called in Egyptian Țet-ásu, lies to the north-east of the Step Pyramid, and was opened in 1881. The Arabs call it the "Prison Pyramid,” because local tradition says that it is built near the ruins of the prison where Joseph the patriarch was confined. Its actual height is about 59 feet; the length of its sides at the base is 210 feet, and the platform at the top is about 50 feet. The arrangement of the chambers and passages and the plan of construction followed is almost identical with that of the pyramid of Unås. This pyramid was broken into in ancient days, and two of the walls of the sarcophagus chamber have literally been smashed to pieces by the hammer blows of those who expected to find treasure inside them. The inscriptions, painted in green upon the walls, have the same subject matter as those inscribed upon the walls of the chambers of the pyramid of Unás. According to Manetho, Tetà, the first king of the VIth dynasty, reigned about fifty years, and was murdered by one of his guards.
The PYRAMID OF PEPI I., or meri, son of the Sun, Pepi," lies to the south-east of the
Step Pyramid, and forms one of the central group of pyramids at Sakkârah, where it is called the Pyramid of Shékh Abu Mansūr; it was opened in 1880. Its actual height is about 40 feet, and the length of the sides at the base is about 250 feet; the arrangement of the chambers, etc., inside is the same as in the pyramids of Unás and Tetá, but the ornamentation is slightly different. It is the worst preserved of these pyramids, and has suffered most at the hands of the spoilers, probably because having been constructed with stones which were taken from tombs ancient already in those days, instead of stones fresh from the quarry, it was more easily injured. The granite sarcophagus was broken to take out the mummy, fragments of which were found lying about on the ground; the cover too, smashed in pieces, lay on the ground close by. A small rose granite box, containing alabaster jars, was also found in the sarcophagus chamber. The inscriptions are, like those inscribed on the walls of the pyramids of Unás and Tetá, of a religious nature; some scholars see in them evidence that the pyramid was usurped by another Pepi, who lived at a much later period than the VIth dynasty. The pyramid of Pepi I., the second king of the VIth dynasty, who reigned, according to Manetho, fifty-three years, was called in Egyptian by the same name as Memphis, i.e., Men-nefer, and numerous priests were attached to its service.
THE PYRAMIDS OF DAHSHÚR.
These pyramids, four of stone and two of brick, lie about three and a half miles to the south of Mastabat el-Far'ân. The largest stone pyramid is about 326 feet high, and the length of each side at the base is about 700 feet; beneath it are three subterranean chambers. The second stone pyramid is about 321 feet high, and the length of its sides at the base is 62o feet; it is usually called the “Blunted Pyramid,” because the lowest parts of its sides are built at one angle, and the completing parts at another. The larger of the two brick pyramids is about 90 feet high, and the length of the sides at the base is about 350 feet; the smaller
is about 156 feet high, and the length of its sides at the base is about 343 feet.
THE PYRAMID OF MEDŮM.
This pyramid, called by the Arabs El-Haram el-Kaddab, Tombs of or “the False Pyramid," is probably so named because it is Middle
Early and unlike any of the other pyramids known to them; it is said Empire
to have been built by Seneferu (ni , the first king in plan.
of the IVth dynasty, but there is no indisputable evidence that he was the builder. The pyramid is about 115 feet high, and consists of three stages : the first is 70, the second 20, and the third about 25 feet high. The stone for this building was brought from the Mokattam hills, but it seems never to have been finished; as in all other pyramids, the entrance is on the north side. When opened in modern times the sarcophagus chamber was found empty, and it would seem that this pyramid had been entered and rifled in ancient days.
TOMBS OF THE THEBAN EMPIRE.
Egyptian tombs belonging to a period subsequent to the mastabas and pyramids, i.e., about the XIIth dynasty, usually have the three characteristic parts of these forms of tomb, viz., the chapel, the passage to the sarcophagus chamber, and the sarcophagus chamber itself excavated in the solid rock; sometimes, however, the chapel or chamber in which the relatives of the deceased assembled from time to time, is above ground and separate from the tomb, as in the case of the pyramid. Tombs having the chapel separate are the oldest, and the best examples are found at Abydos. On a brick base about 50 feet by 35 feet, and four or five feet high, rose a pyramid to a height of about 30 feet; theoretically such a tomb was supposed to consist of chapel,
Abydos étant surtout une nécropole du Moyen Empire, c'est la petite pyramide qui y domine. Des centaines de ces monuments, disposés sans ordre, hérissaient la nécropole et devaient lui donner un aspect pittoresque bien différent de l'aspect des nécropoles d'un autre temps. Mariette, Abydos, tom. II. Paris, 1880, p. 39.