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another, small, often diminutive ones, besides greater ones, and large ones supported by small columns, with thresholds, and niches in the walls, with remains of columns and single casing stones, connected by corridors, so that the descriptions of Herodotus and Strabo in this respect are fully justified. The whole is so arranged that three immense masses of buildings 300 feet broad enclose a square place which is 600 feet long and 500 feet wide. The fourth side, one of the narrow ones, is bounded by the Pyramid which lies behind it—it is 300 feet square, and therefore does not quite reach the side wings of the above-mentioned masses of buildings. We found no inscriptions in the ruins of the great masses of chambers which surround the central space. It may easily be proved by future excavations that this whole building, and probably also the disposition of the twelve courts, belong only, in fact, to the twenty-sixth dynasty of Manetho, so that the original temple of Amenemhat formed merely part of this gigantic architectural enclosure.” It is most earnestly to be hoped that these excavations anticipated by Lepsius will some day be made, as, when we compare his account with those of Herodotus and Strabo, it falls far short of what we should have been led to expect; and there can be little doubt that these mounds of sand, which cover the surface of a far greater area than he dealt with, conceal treasure which would richly reward further examination. Unfortunately his excavations have since been buried by the sand. Our first proceeding after luncheon was to scramble to the top of the Pyramid so as to get a bird's-eye view of the ruins. Strabo apparently overestimated its dimensions. When perfect, the base was fifty feet less each way than he gives it; and Herodotus, who puts the height at 240 feet, was more nearly right than Strabo, who estimates it at 400. It is by no means an imposing structure, and is one of four built of crude brick mixed with straw, one being at Illahoon, and two at Sakkara. If it was built, as Strabo tells us, by Ismandes, who is identical with Semempses, the fifth king of the first dynasty, then it is the oldest pyramid existing in Egypt. It has been suggested that it was built by Asychis, the fourth king of the third dynasty; but even in that case it must rank immediately after Meidam and Dashour, which become the oldest. The ground for this hypothesis is, that Herodotus tells us that, according to the priests, a king named Asychis, desirous of eclipsing all his predecessors, left a pyramid of brick as a monument of his reign, with the following inscription engraved on the stone :— “Despise me not in comparison with the stone pyramids, for I surpass them all, as much as Zeus surpasses the other gods. A pole was plunged into the lake, and the mud which clave thereto was gathered, and bricks were made of the mud, and so I was formed.” The proximity of the lake may account for this allusion, and it has been ascertained that the nucleus is a natural mass of rock, thirtynine feet high, which may be “the stone” upon which the inscription was cut. Its present appearance would certainly disappoint the king's expectations, for the sides have crumbled so much away that I have since regretted that I did not achieve the proud distinction of riding on my donkey to the top of the oldest pyramid in the world. It appears originally to have been built in

stages, and from its summit we could obtain

an idea of the shape of the Labyrinth, which was of a horse-shoe form, and of the position and size of the temple, the remains of which were mapped out at our feet. On the opposite side of the Bahr es Sherki we overlooked a congeries of crude brick-built chambers, all roofless. To the north was a long line of small chambers, with the crumbling walls of others scattered here and there. The form of Lake Moeris, on the margin of which this pyramid was built, might also be detected by the aid of a strong imagination; and, about eight miles off, the Pyramid of Illahoon stood out sharply against the distant line of the hills beyond the Nile. To the southward a long grove of date-trees marked the limit of the oasis; and to the westward the town of Medinet, surrounded by gardens and palm-trees, formed an attractive feature in the landscape. To the eastward, all was desert, bounded by sand-hills. A closer inspection of the ruins, after we had descended from the Pyramid, on the left bank of the Bahr es Sherki, disclosed little of interest beyond a curious sort of double

underground passage, formed by flags of limestone. The upper passage seemed to have been roofed in on a level with the surface of the soil, and below this again there was a second one, which, however, was so choked with sand that it was impossible to follow it. As I was examining it I put up a jackal, which darted away across the desert, startled at the sudden intrusion upon his solitude. There were some mummied bones about, and I wondered whether flesh which had undergone the drying process of ages could afford satisfactory gnawing material for these scavengers of the wilds. I suppose a human leg three thousand years old, if it does not contain much nourishment, must have a taste of some SOrt. There can be no doubt that we owe the modern word “labyrinth" to the strange accumulation of chambers and tortuous passages which once existed on the shores of Lake Moeris. According to Manethon, the Labyrinth derived its name from King Labarys, its founder, also known as Amenemhat III. ; but another derivation has been suggested, which possesses the combined merit of

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