The Philip Alexander
Air, Sea, Land &
Fantasy Art Exhibit

Fantasy — Page 23

Babylon 9

Introduction to “The Temple?”

"....I, Philius Atticus, servant of Claudius Maximus, in the seventeenth year of the reign of Caesar, had been digging with my band of eleven faithful workers in the blind tunnel beneath the King's Chamber inside Giza's Pyramid of King Khufu for forty days, when I discovered beneath my feet a small bronze door. It was five hands square and was inscribed with writings unknown to me or to my men. The door was hinged, held to the Earth's stone with two large nail-like clatipets that were each a half-hand span in diameter. Opposite the hinge was a clasp, without lock or being secured, moveable with only my hand. Small dried pieces of ancient reddened wax were nearby - a seal, perhaps. My eleven helped me lift the door, and at that moment the Earth let forth a gasp of ancient air as if it had been holding its breath underground since the door was sealed. The air had the musty smell of not being breathed by lungs or cleansed in the sunlight for millenia. We peered down into the black abyss, but saw nothing. The door had been secured to the rock stronger than the hand of an Earthquake, but had been sealed only with the wax of a high priest, as if to say - Follow, Traveller, if you have found Me, you are welcome to enter.

As I pondered the door and the opening downward, I visioned the hardy souls, even hundreds, who had preceded me and my small band of eleven through this portal. Surely they are greater than we, being builders and we only the observers.
Marcellus, my strongest, secured me to our best rope, gave me his own candle, and lowered me through the portal so that my candle would give me the the first sight of what lay below.

The Gods were merciful to me - what glorious, gleaming marble! The Temple of Osiris, as the Ancient Ones had told, living in the heart of King Khufu himself....."

From Pliny the Elder, Book of the Dead, ca. A.D. 78

The Temple

Temple 2

Temple 2 Detail

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