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V.

of Mem

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.

V.

CHAP. sepulchre than any of the Pyramids.

It is a simple hemispherical mound. We saw after. wards others of the same kind.

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antient Se

not pyramidal.

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The most Comparing these appearances with that regula-
pulchresrity of structure which characterizes the Pyra-

mids of Djiza, and also with another style of
architecture observable at Saccára, where a
transition may be discerned between one and
the other, (the curved outline not having wholly
disappeared, nor the rectilinear form prevailing
altogether,) we may establish a rule for ascer.
taining different degrees of antiquity throughout
the whole series of these monuments. The
most antient lie towards the south. Almost all
the buildings of Saccára, of whatever size or
shape, whether hemispheroïdal or pyramidal,
seem to be older than those of Djiza: and, as
we proceed in surveying them from the south
towards the north, ending with the principal
pyramid of Djiza, we pass from the primeval

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V.

mound, through all its modifications, until we chap. arrive at the most artificial pyramidal heap; something after the manner represented by the following sketch.

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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

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CHAP. of Egypt, even if the testimony of Herodotus

were less explicit as to the remote period of its existence among Northern nations'.

Village of
Saccára.

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.

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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.

V.

Difference

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village of Saccara. Some of them are rounded CHAP.
at the top, and, as it was observed by Pococke,
" do not look like pyramids, but more like hil- between

the Pyra-
locks cased with stone.” One of these is gra- mids of
duated, like the principal pyramid of Djiza; but and those
with this difference, that the gradations here of Djiza.
are much larger, although the pyramid be
smaller. It consists only of six tiers or ranges
of stone; the pyramid itself being an hundred
and fifty feet in height. The ranges or steps
are twenty-five feet high, and eleven feet wide.
The rest of these structures are so fully and
accurately described by Pococke, that little will
be added here to his description of them. There
is one, built also with steps, which he believed
to be as large as the principal pyramid of Djiza.
The works at Saccára, independently of the dif-
ferent forms which characterize them, appear to
be older than those of Djiza; the buildings
being more decayed, and the stones crumbling,
as if they were decomposed by longer exposure
to the action of the atmosphere. Four miles to
the south of Saccára stands a pyramid built of
unburned bricks. This is in a very mouldering
state. The bricks contain shells, gravel, and

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