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Ethiopian stone. Some of the Grecians erroneously say that
THE PYRAMIDS OF ABU ROASH.
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. A pile 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 ABUSIR.
These pyramids, originally fourteen in number, were built by kings of the Vth dynasty, but only four of them are now standing, probably because of the poorness of the workmanship and the careless way in which they were put together. The most northerly pyramid was built by
| o: § Ş. | Sahu-Ră, 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-Ră made war in the peninsula of Sinai, he
Other pyramids of the Vth dynasty.
The oldest pyramid.
Pyramids inscribed with funereal texts.
founded a town near Esneh, and he built a temple to Sechet
Sun, An.” This king, like Sahu-Ră, 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. Abusir is the Busiris of Pliny.
THE STEP PYRAMID OF SAKKARAH.
This pyramid is generally thought to have been built by the fourth king of the Ist dynasty (called Uenephes by
Manetho, and (l=\ | Ata in the tablet of Abydos), who
is said to have built a pyramid at Kochome (i.e., Ka-Kam) near Sakkārah. Though the date of this pyramid is not known accurately, it is probably right to assume that it is older than the pyramids of Gizeh. The door which led into the pyramid was inscribed with the name of a king called Rā-nub, and M. Mariette found the same name on one of the stelae in the Serapeum. The steps of the pyramid are six in number, and are about 38, 36, 34}, 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.
“Mastabat el-Far's n,” i.e., “Pharaoh's Mastaba,” called in Egyptian Nefer-ás-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 side at the base 220 feet. Owing to the broken blocks of sand which lie round about it, Vyse was unable to 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 Gizeh, 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 Unás 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-Far'an was thought by Mariette to be the tomb of Unás, but some scholars thought that the “blunted pyramid’ at Dahshūr was his tomb, because his name was written upon the top of it.
The PYRAMID OF TETA (EI), called in Egyptian
Tet-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 Unás. 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.
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 Tetà, 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 MEDUM.
This pyramid, called by the Arabs E/-Haram el-Kaddab, or “the False Pyramid,” is probably so named because it is unlike any of the other pyramids known to them; it is said
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, 1889, p. 39.
Tombs of Early and Middle Empire identical in plan.