Egyptian Labyrinth

In the 5th century BC, Herodotus, a Greek traveler and writer, visited the Egyptian Labyrinth. The building was located just above Lake Moeris and opposite the city of the crocodiles (Crocodilopolis).

Herodotus was very impressed by it, stating, "I found it greater than words could tell," and added that even the pyramids were surpassed by the Egyptian Labyrinth.

The entire building was said to be surrounded by a wall and contained 12 courts with 3,000 chambers. The roof of the temple was composed of stone and the walls were covered with sculpture. On one side of the labyrinth was a pyramid 243 feet high. The temple was in two levels with half of the rooms above ground and the rest below.

Herodotus was guided through the upper part of the labyrinth, but was not permitted to go underground. He was told that the rooms below contained the bodies of the kings that constructed the temple and the tombs of sacred crocodiles.

In 1700 a European traveler named Paul Lucas visited the site and published an account of the remains, including sketches, as he saw them. Unfortunately, very little remains of this once-impressive structure today.


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