James A. Williams
May 6, 1986

Dear Stephen:

Across the river from my hotel I saw the outline in the far desert as the African sun sank to darkness. Thus was my first view of the pyramids from the Semerimis Hotel in Cairo in the 1960s. Our tour entered the base-hole made by the Turks in the 14th century(?), then we went upwards beneath the solid monolith of stone blocking the official entrance to the great pyramid.

We reached the slanting floor of the shaft leading to the top crypt by walking on "chicken" ladders while holding on to side bars. The smell was awful-- he designers of this structure did not anticipate tourists thus NO BATHROOMS. The air hung heavy with vapors from relieved Egyptians, i.e., men's room in a bus station.

At this time there had been severe earthquakes in the Middle East, and I knew one would hit the moment I reached the crypt. Its ceiling was very tall with cracks in the one-piece stones you could put your fist into. A half sarcophagus graced the center of the room with a sole window high above. The scant lighting was from small neon tubes spaced distances apart.

I had a strange feeling we were not in the "main" burial chamber, and remain convinced the real one is still to be discovered. No civilization capable of building this pile would place such an area in an obvious position. I think it is under ground level.

Anyway, here is the article from Smithsonian magazine. I found it interesting, but no one knows much about anything to do with the pyramids.

Thank you for a delightful time while we were in Philadelphia. Come to Savannah and we will speak of Khufu and his place.

All the best,

Jim --

This page was first published at www.quondam.com 1999.01.08 as page 110 of schizophrenia + architectures.




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