lundi 23 mai 2011

Pyramides d’Égypte : arrêt sur images, avec les frères John et Morton Edgar - II

Deuxième partie de l'album des Edgar Brothers

"The higher level of the floor of the Small Horizontal Passage above the terminus of the floor of the Descending Passage, is distinctly apparent in [this] photograph which we secured of the junction of these two passages on the west side. It will be noticed that the levelled cord stretched along the angle of the floor and the west wall of the Small Horizontal Passage, crosses at a point several inches above the lower end of the vertical rod, which is erected in the bottom corner of the Descending Passage floor.
The horizontal pencil-line which is drawn in continuation of the roof-level of the Small Horizontal Passage, is 1 7/8 inches above the upper end of the vertical three-foot rod. It will be noticed (...) that the flat margins are chipped and rounded off at the middle of their course. The corner angles are sufficiently well preserved, however, to permit accurate measurements of both the Descending Passage and the Small Horizontal Passage to be taken."

"The Subterranean Chamber of the Great Pyramid is roughly halved into two parts : an eastern and western. In the eastern half, the floor is excavated much lower than in the western. It is approximately in the centre of this eastern portion that the large deep shaft is situated. At the north-east comer of the chamber the floor is 12 feet, and at the south-east corner 14 feet, below the roof ; but at the middle of the east wall, opposite the shaft, it is 17 feet below the roof. In the western half, which begins about 21 feet from the east wall, the rocky floor rises in high receding mounds, which reach to within about 10 inches of the roof. In our photograph which was taken with the camera erected near the east wall and pointing directly west, it will benoticed that these mounds lie north and south, and are divided by a narrow trench, two and half feet wide, which inclines up the middle of the chamber, rather to the north of the centre, and terminates with a width of two feet at the west wall. John is sitting at the entrance to this trench on the north side, while Judah reclines on top of the north mound."

"Before John's arrival, I had taken two photographs in the Pit. One of these shows the doorway of the north entrance passage, with Hadji Ali Gabri sitting at the base of the north wall."

"The north edge of the large shaft in the floor can be seen in the immediate foreground ; and high up to the right at the top of the east wall, the rough projecting knob of rock referred to by Professor Flinders Petrie may be seen. [This] photograph was taken with the camera erected a few feet from the north wall, and pointing toward the south. The entire opening of the large shaft is visible ; and standing at its east edge is Hadji Ali Gabri, pointing to the doorway of the little south passage."

"The photograph which we secured of the doorway into the chamber shows John standing, indicating with his finger the point on the east wall at the roof termination of the passage, which we finally fixed upon as being the correct terminal for the whole passage, and to and from which we have made our various measurements. The short rod erected against the east wall is plumbed vertically in line with this point ; and the other rod lying horizontally on the floor, has its front edge square and at right-angles with that of the vertical rod. The vertical rod is 12, and the horizontal rod is 24, inches in length. The irregular south end of the floor already referred to as projecting into the Pit, is shown to advantage in this photograph. Previous to taking the picture, we had all the loose stones and sand cleared away from the floor of the Pit in the immediately vicinity of the doorway, so that the original rough character of the floor might be seen."

"After directing our workmen to clear away the mound of debris which covered the floor in front, and to the west of the doorway of the little southward passage, so that the original rough, uneven floor might appear, we photographed this south-east corner of the Pit, showing the full height of the wall and part of the ceiling. For the purpose of giving a correct idea of the extreme smallness of the bore of this south passage, John stood leaning against the south wall to the west of its doorway."

"Another photograph which we secured in the Subterranean Chamber, shows the entire extent of the east wall, and also a large section of the ceiling. The unevenness of the ceiling is apparent, but the roughness is somewhat exaggerated in the photograph owing to the strong shadows cast by the brilliant flashlight. Low down to the left, Stanley can be seen in the act of emerging from the north entrance passage into the Pit, while to the right side and on a Iower level, John is shown standing in front of the doorway of the south passage. Only a small section of the south wall is visible. Near the centre, and close up to the east wall, Judah is standing with his feet resting on the lowest part of the floor of the chamber, near the edge of the large deep shaft. He holds upright in his hand a six-foot rod, the lower end of which rests on the floor at his feet."

"When we desire to ascend [the First Ascending Passage], we leave the Descending Passage by the hole forced on its right or west side by Caliph Al-Mamoun, about ninety feet down from the Entrance. This hole is in line with the front of the granite stone which lies on the floor of the Descending Passage. The limestone block, which now rests against the upper end of the granite stone, forms a convenient step by which to gain entrance, for the lower edge of the hole is about two feet up from the floor of the Descending Passage. From here the forced hole tends upward and westward into a large cavernous space about twelve feet in height. Communicating with this space at the upper portion of its north-westward side is the inner or southern extremity of the long passage which Al-Mamoun caused to be excavated from the north face of the Pyramid. In order to reach the upper end of the Granite Plug, and so ascend the First Ascending Passage, we require to scale the south-east wall of this cavernous space. During my first week here, I secured two photographs showing Hadji Ali Gabri climbing this wall. In both of these he is seen standing with one foot on a ledge which is situated about three feet above the loose, sandy floor of the space, and the other in a notch. By taking advantage of this ledge and of the notches, we made the ascent at that time without undue difficulty. But now that we have had fresh notches cut, and the old ones deepened, the ascent and descent are much easier. One of the photographs presents a near view of the ledge, and also shows the lower end of the First Ascending Passage to better advantage than the other."

"I have just completed developing some more photographs taken inside the Great Pyramid. Three of these are of the Descending Passage where it joins the First Ascending Passage, showing the lower end of the Granite Plug as it appears in the roof, and below this the continuation of the Descending Passage, with Petrie's granite stone and its grill-door blocking the way. To the right of the grill-door, and above it, can be seen the forced hole which opens into Al-Mamoun's cavernous hollow. One of these photographs was taken before our men cleared the debris from the front of the granite stone, to enable us to take our continuous floor-measurement of the passage. Judah is sitting on this debris, which was level with the top of the granite stone, and concealed the limestone block which lay across the passage a few feet in front of it.
The second photograph shows this part as it appears now clear of debris. Only the upper end of the limestone block is visible, as it has been shifted from its former position, and now rests end-on against Petrie's granite block."

"In [this] photograph, John is shown standing beneath the Granite Plug, holding the upper end of a cord, which is stretched from the bottom edge of the Plug across the west wall of the Descending Passage, to show the line of the floor of the First Ascending Passage. The point where this line touches the floor of the Descending Passage is called the " point of intersection ".
The rod which lies across the passage holding the lower end of this cord, is three feet in length. John is also holding a "T" square against the bottom angle of the Granite Plug, from which a plumb-bob is hanging to the floor of the Descending Passage, thus marking the point on the floor which is vertically underneath the lower edge of the Granite Plug. We found this mark useful for certain measurements at this part. The roof of the Descending Passage above and below the lower end of the Granite Plug, is much broken away. The line of the roof of the Descending Passage can be seen progressing from above downward at the line where John's right hand touches the west wall of the passage. It was in the triangular-shaped space which lies in front of the lower end of the Granite Plug, that the limestone roof-block was fitted which for thirty centuries hid the entrance of the First Ascending Passage, and thus kept secret the existence of the upper passages and chambers."

"Besides these photographs of the lower end of the Granite Plug, I developed a number which had been taken at the upper end. One shows John stooping in the First Ascending Passage, and leaning with his right-hand on the fractured upper end of the PluG. He holds a candle in his left hand, and is looking downward along the west side of the Granite Plug where it has been exposed by Al-Mamoun's excavation. His head is nearly in contact with the roof of the First Ascending Passage. Two of the three great granite blocks which together form the Plug, can be distinctly seen in this photograph, the third being, with the exception of a little part of its upper end, hidden in the surrounding masonry.Some previous investigator has chipped away sufficient of the uppermost granite stone, to expose a portion of the smooth flat upper end of the second."

"Later in the day we resumed our work in the interior of the Great Pyramid. Placing the camera in front of the Step at the head of the Grand Gallery, we took a picture of it in order to show how dilapidated it now is after the wear of fully a thousand years' traffic ; for since the year 820 A.D., when Caliph Al-Mamoun forced his way into these upper passages, they have ever been free of access to all. This photograph also shows the low passage which leads from the Grand Gallery to the Ante-Chamber, and beyond this the second low passage leading out of the Ante-Chamber to the King's Chamber. The lower edge of the Granite Leaf in the Ante-Chamber is also distinguishable."

"Originally the west wall, like the east wall, was continuous and unbroken from its commencement at the south wall of the Grand Gallery to its termination at the King's Chamber. The continuity of the east wall is shown in [this] photograph which we took with the camera erected on top of the Step to the west. This photograph shows the square but somewhat dilapidated doorway of the small passage as it appears in the south wall of the Grand Gallery, and to the left, part of the east wall of the Grand Gallery."

"We secured photographs of several parts of interest in the Ante-Chamber. One shows John standing in the twenty-one inch space between the north wall of the chamber behind him, and the Granite Leaf in front. He is leaning against the east wall, which at this part is, like the north wall, composed of limestone. The floor is of special interest. You will no doubt recall how Professor C. Piazzi Smyth and others point out that, while the floor of the King's Chamber is composed entirely of granite, that of the Ante-Chamber consists mostly of granite, but partially of limestone."

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