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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Egyptian Art                            93
•ering of the wooden surface are to be counted amongst the
atest achievements of hieroglyphic art.
Ul this impeccable technique was employed for the due
lour of the mother of that Pharaoh who built the Great
§ iii. The Great Pyramid
It is hardly necessary here to give once again the dimensions
this monument, which is universally, and with justice, con-
.ered the mightiest architectural effort of the human race.
Faced with this gigantic building, the modern visitor is apt
forget what it represents as an achievement in planning and
actual organized labour. Only a part of the building material
mes from the Memphis district; the granite for the sepulchral
.amber was hewed from quarries more than 700 miles away.
he mechanical aspect of the problem involved organized trans-
>rt, creation of means of access, construction of a ramp by
hich to raise the building materials to the level of the desert
.ateau, and the arrangement of contrivances for placing the
one blocks in a convenient position. On the human side, other
isks presented themselves; recruiting the workmen, forming
lem into teams and sections, each under a special name, pro-
ision of food, clothing, sandals, precautions against epidemics,
id so on. If Egypt had limited herself to one Great Pyramid,
uilt by forced labour and regardless of the toll in human lives,
le scale of her effort would, even so, have been overwhelming.
lut for whole centuries she was constructing pyramids for the
ulers of the Old and Middle Kingdoms, and even those monu-
lental tombs were far from absorbing her activities in the con-
truction of sacred buildings, the ruins of which are still visible
a every part of the country. Yet the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.
emains an outstanding example by which to pass judgement
>n the civilization whose qualities alone justify both its dimen-
ions and its perfection.