Universitätsbibliothek HeidelbergUniversitätsbibliothek Heidelberg

Abney, William de Wiveleslie
Thebes and its five greater temples — London, 1876

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The last view of Karnak is from the north-west, which perhaps exhibits
the method of lighting the Grand Hall better than any one preceding.
The remains of the clerestory are clearly shown, rising to the same height
as the great central columns above the smaller. Near the site whence
the picture was taken are a variety of ruins of different periods, so
buried, however, as to be scarcely distinguishable. The debris,of more
modern dwellings has formed mounds over them, in some cases of many
feet in depth. In them we find, as at Medinet Haboo, an accumulation
of fragments of old pottery, wonderful for its quantity. Before bidding
adieu to Karnak, one cannot but regret that more steps have not been
taken to preserve the grand old masonry from the decay which is slowly
increasing through the annual influx of the waters. It would not cause
a great outlay, if protection were afforded to it in some simple manner.
If also it were possible to prevent ignorant tourists from incising
their ignoble names on the walls and columns, which should be sacred
to the sculptures which beautify them, the pleasure which these ruins
excite in a cultivated mind would be largely enhanced. For instance,
it detracts from the glamour cast by the majestic columns of the Grand
Hall, when the eye meets the names of Brown and Smith, or their foreign
similarities, cut on them. A crowning indignity has been offered to
one splendid monument by some nonentity, who, anxious to hand his
initials down to immediate posterity, has painted them on the obelisk of