May 6, 2012

The Terrors of the Interior of a Pyramid, c. 1612

The Terrors of the Interior of a Pyramid, c. 1612 
George Sandys

Terrors of the Interior of a Pyramid
A most dreadful passage, and no less cumbersome, not above a yard in breadth, and four feet in height, each stone containing that measure, so that, always stooping and sometimes creeping by reason of the rubbish, we descended, not by stairs, but as down the steep of a hill a hundred feet, where the place for a little circuit enlarged, and the fearful descent continued, which they say some never durst attempt any further, save that a Pasha of Cairo, curious to march into the secrets thereof, caused diverse condemned persons to undertake the performance well stored with lights and other provision, and that some of them ascended again well nigh thirty miles off in the deserts. A fable devised only to beget wonder.

But others have written at the bottom there is a spacious pit, eighty and six cubits deep, filled at the overflow by concealed conduits; in the midst of a little island, and on that a tomb containing the body of Cheops, a king of Egypt, and the builder of this Pyramid, which with the truth hath a greater affinity. For since I have been told by one of his own experience that, in the uttermost depth, there is a large square place (though without water) into which he was led by another entry opening to the south, known but to few and entered at this place where we feared to descend.

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