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Traversing this waste of ruin, we reached the base of the Pyramid of Howara, and found a cool spot in its shade in which to lunch, prior to a more minute examination of the surrounding objects. We began already to feel, however, that our imaginations had been unduly excited by the descriptions of the writers of antiquity by whom they had been visited. I venture to quote the accounts given by Herodotus and Strabo of the interesting spot upon which we now found ourselves; for although comparatively so little met the eye, it is impossible not to feel convinced that the sand-hills which we were investigating conceal substantial remains, yet to be discovered, of one of the most marvellous monuments of ancient grandeur and ingenuity of which we have any record. Herodotus writes :— “I have seen this monument; and I believe that if one were to unite all the buildings and all the works of the Greeks, they would yet be inferior to this edifice, both in labour and expense, although the temples of Ephesus and Samos are justly celebrated. Even the Pyramids are certainly monuments which surpass their expectation, and each one of them may be compared with the greatest productions of the Greeks. Nevertheless, the Labyrinth is greater still. We find in its interior twelve roofed aula, the doors of which are alternately opposite each other. Six of these au/ae face to the north, and six to the south : they are contiguous to one another, and encircled by an emceinte, formed by an exterior wall. The chambers that the buildings of the Labyrinth contain are all double, one underground and the other built above it. They number 3000, 1500 in each level. We traversed those that are above ground, and we speak of what we have seen; but for those which are below, we can only say what we were told, for on no account whatever would the guardians consent to show them to us. They say that they contain the tombs of the kings who in ancient times built the Labyrinth, and those of the sacred crocodiles, so that we can only report on these chambers what we have heard. As to those of the upper storey, we have seen nothing greater among the works of man. The infinite variety of the corridors and the galleries which communicate with one another, and which one traverses before arriving at the aulae, overwhelm with surprise those who visit these places, and who pass now from one of the au/ae into the chambers which surround it, now from one of these chambers into the porticoes, or again from the porticoes into the other au/ac. The ceilings are everywhere of stone, like the walls, and these walls are covered with numberless figures engraved in the stone. Each one of these au/ae is ornamented with a peristyle executed in white stone, perfectly fitted. At the angle where the Labyrinth terminates there is a pyramid 240 feet in height, decorated with large figures sculptured in relief. There is an underground passage of communication with this pyramid.” Strabo, who visited the Labyrinth hundreds of years later, was no less struck with the magnificence and design of this wonderful Structure. “There is also,” he says, “the Labyrinth here, a work as important as the Pyramids, adjoining which is the tomb of the king who built the Labyrinth. After advancing about thirty or forty stadia beyond the first entrance of the canal, there is a table-shaped surface on which rise a small tower and a vast palace, consisting of as many royal dwellings as there were formerly nomes. There is also an equal number of halls bordered with columns and adjoining each other, all being in the same row and forming one building, like a long wall having the halls in front of it. The entrances to the halls are opposite the wall. In front of the entrances are long and numerous passages, which have winding paths running through them, so that the ingress and egress to each hall is not practicable to a stranger without a guide. It is a marvellous fact that each of the ceilings of the chambers consists of a single stone, and also that the passages are covered in the same way with single slabs of extraordinary size, neither wood nor other building material having been employed. On ascending the roof, the height of which is inconsiderable, as there is only one storey, we observe a vast plain of stone slabs. Descending again, and looking into the halls, we may observe the whole series borne by twenty-seven monolithic columns : the walls also are constructed E

of stone of similar size. At the end of this structure, which is more than a stadium in length, is the tomb, consisting of a square pyramid, each side of which is four //ethra [400 feet] in length, and of equal height. The deceased who is buried here is called Ismandes. It is also asserted that so many palaces were built because it was the custom for all the nomes, represented by their magnates, with their priests and victims, to assemble here to offer sacrifices and gifts to the gods, and to deliberate on the most important concerns.” This is what we learn from ancient sources of the Labyrinth. It will now be interesting to turn to the only serious attempt which has been made in later years to explore its mysteries. This was undertaken by the Prussian expedition under Lepsius, about forty years ago, when the identification of its site had first been made by Linant Bey. They had a hundred men at work for nearly a month, and this was the result:“Where the French expedition had vainly sought for chambers, we literally at once found hundreds of them, both next to and above one

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