Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/77

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

now, such they were always. Of distant views this is true; but taking them near at hand, it is more easy from the existing ruins to conceive Karnac as it was than it is to conceive the Pyramidal platform as it was. The smooth casing of part of the top of the second Pyramid, and the magnificent granite blocks which form the lower stages of the third, serve to show what they must have been all from top to bottom; the first and second, brilliant white or yellow limestone, smooth from top to bottom, instead of those rude disjointed masses which their stripped sides now present; the third, all glowing with the red granite from the first cataract. As it is, they have the barbarous look of Stonehenge; but then they must have shone with the polish of an age already rich with civilization, and that the more remarkable when it is remembered that these granite blocks which furnish the outside of the third and inside of the first must have come all the way from the first cataract. It also seems, from Herodotus and others, that these smooth outsides were covered with sculptures. Then you must build up or uncover the massive tombs, now broken or choked up with sand, so as to restore the aspect of vast streets of tombs like those on the Appian Way, out of which the Great Pyramid would rise like a cathedral above smaller churches. Lastly, you must enclose two other Pyramids with stone precincts and gigantic gateways; and, above all, you must restore the Sphinx as he (for it