In the mean time our orientally-decked tent had been put in order, and a dinner prepared within, in which Prussians only took part, with the exception of our two English companions. That our first toast here was “His Majesty and the Royal family” need not be told; and no great eloquence was necessary to render all hearts enthusiastic in drinking it. Several of them were immediately printed in the papers on their arrival in Europe, particularly in the Preussische Staatszeitung, and thence in other papers. All the additions or enlargements have been added as notes; and among these belong particularly the arguments and grounds as to the true position of Sinai, which, since then has been proved in various quarters, and again disproved, and again concurred in.
The Pasha informed me, through his dragoman, that on our return I should find a piece, the size and form of which I was myself to determine, of the best quality the quarry afforded, which he desired me to accept as a testimonial of his joy at our visit. The hieroglyphical name of these ruins recurs continually in the inscriptions. So little has been said by others of most of the monuments of Middle Egypt, that almost everything was new to me that we found here. My astonishment was not small, when we found a series of nineteen rock tombs at Zauiet el Meitîn, which were all inscribed, gave the names of the departed, and belong to the old time of the sixth dynasty, thus almost as far back as the pyramid builders. Five of them contain, several times repeated, the cartouche of the Macrobiote Apappus-Pepi, who is reported to have lived one hundred and six years, and reigned one hundred; in another, Cheops is mentioned.
They rushed to us, embraced our knees, offered us water from their jugs, and kept continually repeating expressions of joy and greetings, with the greatest delight. The same occurred in a second and third valley, to which the evidently confused guide had directed our steps, after several changes in our route. He excused himself on account of the uncertain light of the moon, and was certain that he should find the proper road at the dawn of day. Thus there was nothing for us to do but to lie down on the hard ground in our light and airy clothes, and seek to obtain a fitful slumber, without food, without water, for our bottles were long since empty, and the little store of four biscuits per man had long been eaten.
A short time since, one tribe drove away one hundred and twenty camels from another, and not a single one of them has come back yet. Ritter’s work, of course, had at once to choose one of the two opinions. I know how to value the equally careful as impartial recognizing examination which Ritter has given in his work to the grounds in favour of Serbâl being Sinai. Nazareth we went down the plain of Jesreel to Mount Carmel, where we passed the night in the stately newly-built convent. The 6th of April we had quitted Tôr, where we stopped one night. We landed every night on the shell and coral-rich African coast during our far voyage, until, on the 10th, we reached Kossêr, where the brave Seïd Mahommed from Qeneh was awaiting us, in order to provide us with camels for our return to Thebes.
PENINSULA OF SINAI,
On the 20th of February we crossed from Thebes from the west to the east shore from Qurna to Karnak. Here we settled ourselves in some of the rooms of the great temple; as I hoped, however, to travel, if possible, to the peninsula of Sinai, theadulthub.com so I restricted myself to the most necessary examination of the monuments, in order to arrange the work during my absence. The whole surface of this private tomb is reckoned at 21,600 feet, and with the pit-room 23,148 square feet.
On the 2nd of May we arrived, after four hours, at a woody district to the right of Gebel Nusf, the “Mountain of the half,” situated half-way between the wells of Abu Tlêh and Gaqedûl, which, in the desert, always form the hour of the desert clock. The ruins lie at the end of a mountain chain which extends for several hours, having received the name of Gebel e’ Naga, and running from north to south; Wadi Auatêb passes along its western side toward the river. After an uninterrupted ride, we arrived at about half-past five. By the way we saw the road covered with the traces of gazelles, wild asses, foxes, jackals, and ostriches. Lions, too, sometimes come hither, but we saw no signs of them. We had just completed the survey of the two north-easterly groups of pyramids, and were riding towards the third, which lies in the plain not far from the ruins of the city, and is perhaps the oldest Necropolis, when we heard shots from the shore, and saw white sails fluttering on the river.
Western side, were five pillars of a hall, seemingly covered at an earlier period, a sixth was destroyed. Three hundred paces further up the valley, on a granite rock, projecting from the left side, a temple was built, but which was now in ruins. The walls had been piled upon rude stones, but the finer architectural portions well chiselled out of red granite. A stair of twenty steps led from the north, on the paved court, surrounded by a wall, in the centre of which a rude altar of granite stood. Four cells adjoined this court on the left, the most southern of which, however, had now partially fallen down, together with the rock foundation; to this, as there was space on the rock, a still smaller chamber had been added, in which a larger, but also uninscribed altar stood. Before these spaces in the middle of the court, there stood, at an elevation of some feet, and grounded with sharp blocks of granite, an Ionian portico, consisting of four monolithic pillars, slender and swelling, the bases and capitals of which, together with the cornice and architrave, lay around in pieces.
I endeavoured to obtain a general view of the ruins of Thebes from the heights of the temple, in order to compare it with the picture I had idealised to myself, from plans and descriptions. However, we shall probably not be molested, for the judgment of Saqâra is not forgotten, and it is known that we are particularly recommended to the authorities. They were also aware that we carried no gold and silver with us in our heavy trunks, as the Arabs had universally imagined.
You had a huge crush on Sirius ever since your second year when you got paired for potions and he started making silly faces to distract you, but you just buried your feelings deep inside you and never even talked to him about it. He was just your friend after all, and it’s really weird to confess to your fucking best friend, isn’t it? He would always try to find you to talk about that night and everything that happened, but you were nowhere to be found. You were always everywhere he was, but when he decided to get close to you puff! It was good to know that you could actually live since your family won’t be around anymore, even if it would be for just one year and then you would have to come back to that hell you were supposed to call home and probably be forced to marry a man you’ve never seen before just to keep the “blood purity”. You wish you could burn this letter and never see it again.
They are still abhorred by the Jews, and have also as little in common with the Christians and the Mahommedans. First halting-place after leaving Thebes, on the 16th of April, was Dendera, the magnificent temple of which is the last northward, and, although it is only of a late, almost merely Roman period, it furnished much matter for our portfolios and note-books. There we employed nine whole days on the remarkable rock-tombs of Amarna, of the government of Amenophis IV., that royal puritan, who persecuted all the gods of Egypt, and would only admit the worship of the sun’s disk. At a much earlier period, we find a bishopric in the city of Pharan, at the foot of Serbâl. This was the first Christian centre-point of the peninsula, and the church founded by Justinian was for a long time dependent upon it. It is a question whether the tradition, which sees Sinai in the present Gebel Mûsa can be referred to a time prior to Justinian.