|Pyramide de Sakkarah|
And now, having dismounted through compassion for our unfortunate little donkeys, the first thing we observe is the curious mixture of debris underfoot. At Ghizeh one treads on only sand and pebbles; but here at Sakkarah the whole plateau is thickly strewn with scraps of broken pottery, limestone, marble, and alabaster; flakes of green and blue glaze; bleached bones; shreds of yellow linen; and lumps of some odd-looking dark brown substance, like dried-up sponge.
Presently someone picks up a little noseless head of one of the common blue-ware funereal statuettes, and immediately we all fall to work, grubbing for treasure -- a pure waste of precious time; for though the sand is full of debris, it has been sifted so often and so carefully by the Arabs that it no longer contains anything worth looking for.
Meanwhile, one finds a fragment of iridescent glass -- another, a morsel of shattered vase -- a third, an opaque bead of some kind of yellow paste. And then, with a shock which the present writer, at all events, will not soon forget, we suddenly discover that these scattered bones are human -- that those linen shreds are shreds of cerement cloths -- that yonder odd-looking brown lumps are rent fragments of what once was living flesh! And now for the first time we realise that every inch of this ground on which we are standing, and all these hillocks and hollows and pits in the sand, are violated graves.