Luxor, Egypt

Friday, March 15, 1929

Went out for a last look at Karnac this morning and spent about three hours there. In spite of this, I hardly retraced any of the spots I had visited five days before. Practically all of the ground within those big 15- or 20-foot-thick walls of dried bricks is a mass of ruins. There is much broken pottery there about the ground and plenty of half-excavated walls and foundations.

The sacred lake is very interesting. Today it must be much shrunken from its former size and glory. Nearby a giant stone scarabaeus (?) or scarab reposes on a stone pedestal. It was fun to climb up in the pylons and from the lofty tops get fine panoramic views of Karnac, or pry about ruined  courts and shrines. Whole colonnades of huge pillars with niches in between from which 20-foot statues of ancient kings gazed over the piles; small dim rooms, the walls and ceilings of which were a mass of scriptures and drawings. The surprising part is that so many are raised from the surface instead of just being carved into the rock. This is especially true of those scriptures in the tombs.

I was especially amused at the many tourists being led around by guides, over the beaten track of tourists, hurrying on, never going out of the way to examine out-of-the-way places, etc. Of course this is not true of all, by any means. Some very conscientiously, like myself, poked about queer places, armed with a guide book and a kodak. The grand costumes they wear are ludicrous. You might easily picture them at a social function of some American country club. The heat and dirt soon make a mess of these clothes. I have seen but three women who were attired in khaki britches or trousers. The afternoon I spent on the roof reading and writing.

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