Seraperion I & II (cont.)
By Antoine Gigal
We are thus faced with a place that speaks of resurrection, ascension and eternity, and one that is hiding more than a few secrets. To help you understand even better the interest certain people have taken in this place, let me tell you that Mariette's first reports - the detailed discovery of each sarcophagus, each grave, each new underground passage, all through several years - have completely disappeared. This again will not surprise you if you've been following my writings for a while. Everything significant on the Giza plateau tends either to disappear, or if it can't be moved, to be closed to the public.
Among other things, all along the outer walls of the Serapeum there are dozens of openings more or less effectively sealed up, some with electric wires coming out of nowhere, overlooking places that one cannot visit, not even with special permission such as your present guide obtained. On the inside these places are walled off, hidden behind heavy wooden panels and inaccessible. Since it was discovered some years ago that the workmen repairing the corridors of the Serapeum were exposed to breathing in excessive doses of radon (28.83mSv/year instead of the maximum of 10mSv/year), the site has been closed to the public. However, I've seen the whole air circulation system and everything has been working wonderfully well for quite a while.
So I think the Serapeum will soon be reopened to the public, after the long period of repair it has undergone. On the other hand it is clear that whole sections of it are not on the site map. We also know that in certain places where the corridors have fallen in, it is still obvious that they carry on further. We also know that the huge granite sarcophagi are impossible to move or to transport. Someone has already tried it with a big team and heavy equipment, and the sarcophagus, slightly smaller than the others, is sitting right in the middle of the return corridor, abandoned there because it could not be dragged any further. We know also that these sarcophagi are proof of an incredible technology and one wonders how they could have been brought here in these narrow underground passageways where cranes cannot go.
We'll talk again about all this in detail, and to do so I'll have to tell you about the mysterious Imhotep, architect of the pyramid of Djoser, and about Prince Khasekhemwy, a son of Ramses II who was one of greatest priests and magi of all Egypt, and I'll have to tell you about Aesculapius and the snake - and maybe then we will begin to better glimpse of what might have happened in this incredible place. And if you can, do go and take a look at everything to do with the Apis bull in the Louvre or in the British Museum.