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o                             agypman
he bracelets, the mirror, or the obsidian vases, banded with
old, there is only one word that describes them—perfection.
§ viii. Karnak
No monument in any country in the world can bear com-
>arison with Karnak. Passing through this sanctuary of Amun,
;od of Thebes, one encounters the traces left by thirty cen-
uries of history. Here one can decipher the annals of more than
>ne civilization whose conquerors, after gaining the mastery of
Sgypt, had been assimilated by her. There are pages of history
ngraved on its walls which make us spectators of epoch-making
rvents, of scenes in the struggles of rival empires for the domina-
ion of the ancient world.
These riches of the spirit are the justification for the use of
naterial force implied by these pylons, colonnades, obelisks, and
>illared chambers. One must understand the language of these
peat pages of history, or else risk being crushed at every step
>y the colossal impression of the whole. Champollion has
iefined this thought in authoritative language: *It is only
lecessary to add that no people, whether of the old world or
he new, has had such a sublime, vast and grandiose conception
)f the art of building as the ancient Egyptians. Their con-
reptions are those of men a hundred feet high. . . .'
§ ix. Deir el-Bahari
Deir el-Bahari is, to begin with, a place of marvels. It is
iterally the Land of the Dead, for there is not a single inch of
ground that has not been moved, in the course of ages, to
nake room for a fresh grave or to plunder the treasures which
:he men of old laid in the tombs. The chain of hills on the left
5ank of the Nile forms at this point a vast amphitheatre, in which
:he limestone rocks rise vertically to a height of 600 feet. The
iction of the elements has laid bare the stone, and subsequently
nade great rents in it, so that when an architect came on the