, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 From the Summit of the Great Pyramid, 1825 | Walking Through Egypt ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

May 6, 2012

From the Summit of the Great Pyramid, 1825 | Walking Through Egypt

From the Summit of the Great Pyramid, 1825
Edward Lane

Great Pyramid Of Giza
The view from the summit of the Great Pyramid is of a most extraordinary nature. On the eastern side, the eye ranges over an extensive, verdant plain, watered by numerous canals, and interspersed with villages erected on mounds of rubbish and surrounded by palm trees. In the distance is the Nile, beyond which are seen the lofty ma’d’nehs and Citadel ofMusr [Cairo], backed by the low yellow ridge of Mount Moocku’tum. Towards the hour of sunset, it is curious to observe the enormous shadows of the two principal pyramids stretching across the cultivated plain. Turning towards the opposite side, we behold a scene exactly the reverse of that which we have just been contemplating. Instead of the palm-groves and corn-fields, we have before us the undulating, sandy hills of the great Libyan desert. The view of the Second Pyramid, from this commanding situation, is extremely grand. ... A small portion of the Third Pyramid is also seen; with one of the small pyramids on its southern side. The space which lies on the west of the Great Pyramid, and north of the Second, is covered with oblong tombs, having the form of truncated pyramids, which, from this height, appear like patches of gravel. The head of the Great Sphinx, and the distant pyramids of Ab’oo Seer, Sack’cka’rah, and Dah’shoo’r, are seen towards the south-south-east.

The ascent to the summit of the Great Pyramid is not dangerous; though rather tedious. . . . At, or near, any of the angles, we find, on almost every course, or range of stone, a secure and wide footing. Some of the steps are breast- high; and these, of course, are awkward masses to climb. Rather more than halfway up the north-eastern angle is a gap, formed by the displacing of several stones; from which I often saw vultures fly out. I very frequently observed several of these birds soaring above and around the two principal pyramids.

Many stones have been thrown down from the top of the Great Pyramid: which, consequently, wants about 25 feet (or perhaps more) of its original height; for, without doubt, it terminated in a point. It is worthy of remark that Diodorus Siculus describes the top of the Pyramid as being six cubits (or nine feet) square; Pliny states it to have been, in his time, 25 feet; or, according to some copies of his work, 15 feet; the latter of which readings must be considered the more correct.

I sometimes loitered about the Pyramids until half an hour or more after sunset, when the gloom contributed much to the grandeur and solemnity of the scene; and on one occasion I ascended the Great Pyramid about two hours before day-break, and waited upon the summit until sun-rise. It was extremely, cold; and the wind, sweeping up the northern side of the Pyramid, sounded like a distant cataract. The Second Pyramid was at first faintly discernible; appearing of vastly more than even real magnitude. Soon afterwards, its eastern side was lighted up by the rising moon; and the effect was truly sublime. By the side of the pile of stones on top of the Great Pyramid, I found shelter from the wind; and there I sat, muffled up, by my snoring servant, till, I, also, was overcome by sleep.

I awoke a little before sunrise; but was so chilly and hungry that I could not remain much longer to enjoy the prospect, which at that hour is particularly beautiful.


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