After a journey of several hours they came to a point where the river curved, and they found they must cross a mile or so of the Valley before they came to the Pyramid Mountain.
Neither the influx of new deities nor the diligence of the priestly authors and commentators availed to break down the cast-iron traditions with which the compilers of the Pyramid texts were already familiar.
This aim is particularly conspicuous in the pyramids, the gigantic tombs which the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom constructed for themselves: the passages that lead to the burial chamber were barred at intervals by vast granite blocks, and the narrow opening that gave access to them was hidden from view beneath the stone casing of the pyramid sides.
In the Saite period a sort of standard edition was drawn up, consisting of 165 chapters in a fixed order and with a common title the book of going forth in the day; this recension was published by Lepsius in 1842 from a Turin papyrus Like the Pyramid texts, the Book of the Dead served a funerary purpose, but its contents are far more heterogeneous; besides chapters enabling the dead man to assume what shape he will, or to issue triumphant from the last judgment, there are lists of gates to be passed and demons to be encountered in the nether world, formulae such as are inscribed on sepulchral figures and amulets, and even hymns to the sun-god.
At the apex of the pyramid came the doge and his council, the point of highest honour and least weight in the constitution.
Starting from Cairo and going southward we have first the great pyramid-field, with the necropolis of Memphis as its centre; stretching from Abfl Rosh on the north to Lisht on the south, it is followed by the pyramid group of Dahshur, the more isolated pyramids of Medum and Illahun, and that of Hawgra in the Fayum.
The funerary ritual is known from texts in the Theban tombs (XVIIIthXXth Dyn.) and papyri and sarcophagi of later date; older versions are contained in the Pyramid texts and The Book of the Dead.
Two tablets at the mines of Wadi Maghara in the peninsula of Sinai, a granite block from Bubastis, and a beautiful ivory statuette found by Petrie in the temple at Abydos, are almost all that can be definitely assigned to Khufu outside the pyramid at Giza and its ruined accompaniments.
As early as the pyramid times solid casting by cire perdue was already used for figures: but the copper statues of Pepi and his son seem, by their thinness and the piecing together of the parts, to have been entirely hammered out.
Immediately to the north of it is the pyramid of Hawara, in which the mummies of the king and his daughter have been found (see W.