Great Pyramid of Giza and Sphinx Egypt about 1892

Great Pyramid of Giza and Sphinx Egypt about 1892

THE PYRAMIDS AND SPHINX, EGYPT — No photographic view does justice to the Egyptian Pyramids. Nothing else of human workmanship is quite so impressive as these stupendous masses of stone. The height of the great pyramid, Cheops, shown in illustration, is 482 feet, or 12 feet higher than the cross which sparkles on the dome of St. Peter’s at Rome. If, therefore, that pyramid were hollow, instead of being almost entirely solid, the whole cathedral of St. Peter’s, (dome, cross and all), could be contained within it, like an ornament in a glass case. It covered originally thirteen acres, though it has been reduced to eleven acres by the spoliation which went on here for centuries. Each of its four sides measured at the base 765 feet. Think of 85 million cubic feet of solid masonry piled here together in one pyramid alone with such accuracy that astronomical calculations have been based on its angles and shadows! Vastly inferior in size to the pyramids but surpassing them in antiquity is the Sphinx, a monster cut out of a natural cliff on the edge of the descent, and partially buried in shining drifts of sand. Horribly mutilated though it be, this relic of Egyptian antiquity stands solemn and silent in the presence of the awful desert, symbol of eternity. If those mighty lips could speak, they might utter the words, “Before Abraham was, I am!” There it disputes with Time, the empire of the past; forever gazing on and on into a future which will still be distant, when we, like all the millions who preceded us and gazed upon its face, have lived our little lives and disappeared. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)

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