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One thing that has constantly impressed us here is the engineering operations which must have been necessary to handle such great masses of stone. Not only the pylons and the pillars, but also the great beams of the architraves are so massive that the blocks of which they are composed must have presented serious difficulties when they came to be lifted into position. We are asked to believe that most of them were raised on piles of earth, the latter constantly augmented as the building rose, and dug away when it was all complete.
Two such temples in a single day have given us all we can assimilate, even as an "orientation view,”
- and, by the way, speaking of orientation, I am reminded that it seems to have been a much less important matter with the followers of Ammon than it was with the Greeks, or than it is with the Mohammedans, who must pray toward Mecca to be thoroughly effective with Allah. That the Greek turned his temples toward the east, varying their axes only with the season at which the god's high festival was celebrated, was evidently for the purpose of illuminating the innermost recess of his shrines at sunrise. The Ammonite had no such consideration to bother him. He left openings to light the interior of his temples, sometimes providing them with stone grillwork, and allowed the temple to face in whichever
direction seemed most convenient. Luxor faces the north, and Karnak the west.
This evening we have been promenading on the bank watching the natives. From their midst there suddenly appeared a tall and lanky Arab who sought out the Professor and touched his arm.
“How you do, sah? You satisfy with boy Joseph ?"
“Yes, indeed! Joseph nice boy! Are you Joseph's father?"
Oh, no! I the father of Joseph's sister !” Good heavens! This sounds a bit questionable. But in any case the Professor is well content with Joseph, and piously proposes to meet him on the other shore when we gather at the river in the morning.
CHAPTER XIII. THE WEST BANK AT
ARCH 8. This has proved to be our most fa
tiguing, and at the same time the most thoroughly enjoyable day of our experiences in Upper Egypt. We have begun our acquaintance with the famous western bank of the river, and in particular have been exploring some of the royal tombs in the inclosed and barren valley that lies among the outthrust spurs of the Great Desert.
Because the season is already well advanced and the noonday sun sure to be hot, we got away very early. I have heard much of this journey to the Tombs of the Kings as being the most trying of the whole Nile tour, but apparently much depends on the weather. We were fortunate in having a fresh northerly breeze which made the day a delight. Dusty, indeed, was the road, and fairly long. Like.