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from 30 to 40 feet. It is unfortunate that this pyramid has been so much damaged ; its injuries, however, enable the visitor to see exactly how it was built, and it may be concluded that the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren were built in the same manner. The length of each side at the base is about 350 feet, and its height is variously given as 210 and 215 feet. The entrance is on the north side, about thirteen feet above the ground, and a descending corridor about 104 feet long, passing through an ante-chamber, having a series of three granite doors, leads into one chamber about 44 feet long. In this chamber is a shaft which leads down to the granite-lined chamber about 20 feet below, in which were found the sarcophagus and wooden coffin of Mycerinus, and the remains of a human body. It is thought that, in spite of the body of Mycerinus being buried in this pyramid, it was left unfinished at the death of this king, and that a succeeding ruler of Egypt finished the pyramid and made a second chamber to hold his or her body. At a short distance to the east of this pyramid are the ruins of a temple which was probably used in connexion with the rites performed in honour of the dead king. In A.D. 1196 a deliberate and systematic attempt was made to destroy this pyramid by the command of the Muḥammadan ruler of Egypt. The account of the character of Mycerinus and of his pyramid as given by Herodotus is as follows: “They said that after him, Mycerinus, son of Cheops, reigned over Egypt; that the conduct of his father was displeasing to him; and that he opened the temples, and permitted the people, who were worn down to the last extremity, to return to their employments, and to sacrifices; and that he made the most just decisions of all their kings. On this account, of all the kings that ever reigned in Egypt, they praised him most, for he both judged well in other respects, and moreover, when any man complained of his decision, he used to make him some present out of his own treasury and pacify his anger. ...... This king also left a pyramid much less than that of his father, being on each side 20 feet short of three plethra ; it is quadrangular, and built half way up of 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.)

i Bk. ii. 129, 134.

Pyramid of My. cerinus.

In one of the three small pyramids near that of Mycerinus the name of this king is painted on the ceiling.


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.


These pyramids, originally fourteen in number, were Other built by kings of the Vth dynasty, but only four of them are py


are of the Vth 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

Saḥu-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 cum

Ifaa Usr-en-, son of the Sun, An.” This king, like Saḥu-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.

This pyramid is generally thought to have been built by
the fourth king of the Ist dynasty (called Uenephes by
Manetho, and

Ata 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 Gîzeh. The door which led into pyramid.

the 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, 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.

The PYRAMID OF UNÅS ( ), better known as “ Mastabat el-Farûn," 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 with of sand which lie round about it, Vyse was unable to

give exact measurements. Several attempts had been

funereal texts,

made to break into it, and one of the Arabs who took part in one of these attempts, “Aḥmed 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 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. Unås, the last king of the Vth dynasty, reigned about thirty years. The Mastabat el-Far'ûn was thought by Mariette to be the tomb of Unås, 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 (CA), 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 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 Unås. According to Manetho, Tetá, 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 Şaşkârah, where it is called the Pyramid of Shekh Abu Manşûr; 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 Tetå, 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 Unås and Tetà, 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 DAHSHÛR. These pyramids, four of stone and two of brick, lie about three and a half miles to the south of Maştabat el-Far'ûn. 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 620 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

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