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Note the highlights which show that the three Great Pyramids are in reverse order in this photo: Mycerinus, Khefre and Khufu- which is to say that the little one is in front, then the middle-sized one, then the biggest one is the 'little' one in back. ( I sometimes wonder if a part of the fun of the designers was to play these perspective tricks with us. My guess is, if you walked closer, and to the right, you could get the little one bigger than the others.)
The focus on the small pyramid here, is because i have a story to tell:
Art Foiled by Politics.
When Ann and I were living in Venice, Italy, we got a letter from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. They asked us to go to Egypt to work on the archeological site in Giza: the Mycerinus pyramid (the smallest of the three Great Pyramids, across the Nile from Cairo).
They wanted us to document the artifacts that they were bringing up from the interior of the pyramid. We were to do formal drawings of the pieces. (Wow.)
We wanted to go.
We made preparations and found that the boat we had to take from Venice, down the Adriatic Sea, stopped in Israel on the way. i don't remember the details, but this was around 1962 or 3, and that was too early, because Carter did not meet with Anwar Sadat till 1978:
If it had been after the Camp David Accords, we could have taken the job because the soap opera between Egypt and Israel was over by then. But in 1962, there was something about not allowing people into Egypt who had stopped in Israel en route.
So, that was a big fish that got away.
Photo by Flickr member, 'liber' (Ricardo Liberato).
He allows access to this shot, for which I thank him.
He has alot of info about these pyramids on his source page:
The smooth limestone cap of the Khefre pyramid is how all of them used to look. The stone was taken for other projects before they realized that the stones are worth more in place.
Aerial view of the three:
- the next 2 pages will be on a sculpture of Mycerinus (Menkaure) and his queen...