John Muir


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about cornice for their accommodation. All seem to have learned the trick of alighting on water. The great Temple of Horus over 100 feet high its towers, was all buried and built over, not yet wholly excavated. Many at work digging and restoring. A granite safe about 10 feet cube, one stone, a magnificent piece or work said to have contained an image of Horus. Probably most of the houses of people in those temple days as squalid as those of the present. Few geniuses in any age. November 14th Cool, 65°. Slight hazy clouds. River narrow. Arrived Assuan at 8:00 A.M. and after breakfast drove to Cataract house. Large house in shifting sand and granite residual masses, outstanding, upstanding and forming islands in the river like those of glacial lakes. Granite red, from here the long shafts for the celebrated obelisks were derived. Went by rail 8 miles to Philae, in the morning. Had to cross part of the river in large rowboat to the island. The boatmen sang, ending with Hip-hip-hooray, and promptly passed the hat for baksheesh. The Temple of Isis is most interesting. The damming of the river a mile or two below will overflow the island and submerge the grand ruins to 8 or 10 feet above bases which will be a pity. The Bishereen tribe of Desert inhabitants have a camp here. They have curious upstanding hair, are nearly black, have camels, donkeys, etc. and live like gypsies. They sell

Date Original

November 1903


Original journal dimensions: 11 x 16.5 cm.

Resource Identifier



Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist