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former experience. Starting with a long train of empty cane-trucks, we stopped at intervals and dropped them by twos and threes wherever the cane had been piled, to be picked up when the train went back the next day. We tried, one afternoon, an experimental ride on camels, with a view of testing the merits of some saddles from the Soudan, which, we were assured, were especially comfortable. The object of our trip was to examine a prostrate obelisk, distant about three miles. The weather so far had been delightful, the thermometer seldom falling below 65°; and the gardens beneath our windows were redolent with the perfume of roses—for which the Fayoum was formerly so celebrated—in full bloom. On this afternoon, however, we had scarcely started when the weather changed, and before we reached our destination, a cold wind set in, accompanied by smart showers of rain, which made the poor camels shiver and tremble with anxiety as they staggered slowly over the smooth slippery mud. The experience was by no means agreeable to the riders, as the prospect of coming down headlong, camel and all, is quite a different sensation G

from that which one feels under like conditions on horseback. It seems scarcely possible to fall from such a height without the certainty of breaking one's bones. When at last we reached the village of Biggig, we found our camel-men did not know the way, and we had to ask for a guide—a request which resulted in the greater proportion of the male population volunteering their services and accompanying us. We had quite a difficult ride across fields where there were no paths, and numerous ditches had to be crossed, before we found, half embedded in mud and water, the two huge fragments of this great monolith, one of which measures 26% feet, and the other 16 feet 3 inches long. The face of the lower half, which is covered with hieroglyphics, measures 6 feet 9 inches at its lower end, and the sides are about 4 feet in width. At the upper part of the face are five compartments, one over the other, in each of which are figures of King Orsitarsen, also known as Amenemhat I., offering to two deities. This obelisk, which is of red porphyry, is contemporaneous with the one at Heliopolis, and was erected by the same king, the second of the twelfth dynasty, who reigned

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about 2440 years B.C., and about 140 years, therefore, before Amenemhat III., to whom I have already referred as the creator of the Labyrinth and the lake. It is evident, however, from the existence of this great monument, that the province was highly esteemed before his time; and the historical tradition is probably correct which attributes the reclaiming and conversion of the Fayoum to Phiops, the Moeris of the Greeks and Romans, who was the fourth king of the sixth dynasty, and lived about 3000 B.C. It is difficult to account for the isolated position of this obelisk. There is not a vestige of a ruin nearer than Arsinoë ; and it must either have been dropped here on its way to that city, or possibly was an ornament to gardens which were a place of resort. Had there been a temple in the immediate vicinity, it could scarcely have disappeared without leaving a trace. As it is, the flat surface of the black soil is unbroken by any mound or tumulus; nor are there any fragments of granite or stone in the neighbourhood. It differs from other obelisks inasmuch as its summit is rounded, and not pointed, and in the breadth of its faces and sides being so

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