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We saw two Arabs crossing the Nile, where CHAP. it was at least half a mile wide, by means of empty gourds, which they used instead of bladders, with their clothes fastened upon their heads. It was nine o'clock before we steered our djerm into a canal leading towards Saccára. We passed the village which Savary believed Situation to denote the situation of antient Memphis, and phis. concurred with him in his locality of the city. His description of the place, particularly of the Causeway and the Lake, is very accurate. But the village is not called Menf, or Menph, as he pretends, but Menshee a Dashooo. The Lake at this time was, in great measure, become a part of the general inundation. We sailed the whole way to the Pyramids of Saccúra, with the exception of about half a mile, which it was necessary to ride over, to the Mummy Pits.
Just beyond Menshee a Dashoo we were much Tumulus struck by the appearance of a Tumulus, (stand- among the
Pyramids. ing to the south of a large graduated pyramid) which, instead of being pyramidal, exhibits a less artificial and therefore a more antient form of
(3) Pococke also places it near the same spot.
(4) This seems to have been Pococke's “El Menshieh Dashour." See Descr, of the East, vol. I. p. 49.
CHAP. sepulchre than any of the Pyramids.
It is a simple hemispherical mound. We saw after. wards others of the same kind.
The most Comparing these appearances with that regula-
mids of Djiza, and also with another style of
mound, through all its modifications, until we chap. arrive at the most artificial pyramidal heap; something after the manner represented by the following sketch.
The same rule will apply to similar monuments in America, which have been held sacred among the inhabitants of that great continent from the earliest periods of their history. In fact, the Scythian Mound, the Tartar Tépé, the Teutonic Barrow, and the Celtic Cairn, do all of them preserve a monumental form which was more antiently in use than that of a Pyramid, because it is less artificial; and a proof of its alleged antiquity may be deduced from the mere circumstance of its association with the Pyramids
CHAP. of Egypt, even if the testimony of Herodotus
were less explicit as to the remote period of its existence among Northern nations'.
We came to the wretched village of Saccára. Near to this place, towards the south, there is an antient causeway, composed of stones twelve yards wide, leading up the short ascent to the plain on which the Pyramids stand. Several of the Arabs left their huts to accompany us. When we reached the principal cluster of them, which is behind the village towards the west, we were conducted to the mouth of one of the Catacombs; and prepared for a descent, as into the mouth of a well, by means of a rope-ladder which we had brought with us for that purpose. The sandy surface of the soil was covered with a quantity of broken vessels of terra cotta, pieces of human bones, sculls, bits of antient glass, and heaps of ruins.
These Pyramids appear to be a continuation of the same great cæmetery to which those of Djiza also belonged. They extend four or five miles, both to the north and to the south of the
(1) See the account given by Herodotus of the Scythian mode of sepulture. Melpomene, c. 71.
village of Saccara. Some of them are rounded CHAP.