THE GREAT PYRAMID OF GIZA
Nicolas Philibert Desvernois (1771-1859)
After climbing up the Great Pyramid, Nicolas Philibert Desvernois, part of Napoleon's expedition in 1799, recounts: "Cela fait, on dina sur le sommet de la pyramide, de ce qu'on avait apporté du Caire : poulets, moutons rôtis et deux bouteilles de vin de Roussillon."
"That done, we dined on the top of the pyramid, on what we had brought from Cairo: chickens, roast sheep and two bottles of Roussillon wine."
"The echo of the pyramid is famous: it repeats the sound up to ten times. Usually, on leaving the king's chamber and the upper landing, travellers have fun firing their guns. It would be difficult for me to describe the singular effect of this detonation on the column of air, an effect that is even more striking in the midst of darkness; I have never heard anything so majestic: it seems as if the ear is quivering and buzzing; the vibrations, echoed one after the other, travel through all these polished-surface channels, strike all the walls, and arrive slowly at the outer exit, weakened, and similar to the resounding of thunder as it begins to recede. Inside, the noise diminishes steadily, and its gradual extinction, in the midst of the profound silence that reigns in these places, no less arouses the attention and interest of the observer: it's an experience that we like to repeat. It is also customary to fire pistols into the small openings of the king's chamber."
Thomas Lipton (1848-1931)
Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton was a Scotsman and the famous founder of Lipton Tea. This graffito has not been documented so far. Probably it was gone while Goyon was documenting the inscriptions.
Evidently climbing up the Great Pyramid was a common thing to do. Baedeker travel guide giving recommendations.
Lorenzo Dow Covington (1862-1935)
American excavator, spending several years at the Pyramids and the neighbouring mastabas of Gizeh (1902 -10). Goyon documents: "Dow Covington excavated the pyramids in May 1909, during which he brought to light the stones of the base facing, already discovered by Colonel Howard Wyse in May 1837. His name will not perish, because... he engraved it deeply."
On top of the Great Pyramid Goyon numbered the stones, with Covington's name on stone number "S. 59 Ouest"
Photo taken by American photographer William H. Rau in 1903, while Covington was researching at Giza. Maybe there are two graffiti, as the names around Covington's name in the photo looks different than the one Goyon documented in his drawing from the top of the Pyramid.
Joseph Kyselak (1798-1831)
This might be a dedication to Joseph Kyselak (spelling varies), often named as the first person to leave tags (not Taki), in graffiti literature. He was described as an "eccentric" with a "robust, stocky figure, slightly above average height, who always appeared in the company of two unusually large poodles."
Leaving behind around 2.000 tags in the Alps and surrounding countries, Kyselak gained fame with followers copying his name.
Born in Vienna in 1795 as the son of a court official, Kyselak initially pursued philosophy studies, which he abandoned to become a court official like his father. However, he did not remain in this position for long, as he was drawn to adventure.
On a hiking journey together with his dog through Austria and Germany, he later wrote about his trip in a two-volume travel book titled Skizzen einer Fußreise durch Oesterreich, Steiermark, Kärnthen, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Tirol und Baiern nach Wien (Sketches of a Walking Tour through Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Tyrol, and Bavaria to Vienna) in the 1820s, without, however, mentioning that he had placed his name at numerous locations.
World famous traveller "Kiesellack" visited Munich leaving his name, as this newspaper writes in 1874. Though it could not have been Kyselak, as he passed away in 1831. (Neueste Nachrichten aus dem Gebiete der Politik, München 1874)
Khufu's sarcophagus, broken by robbers, in the sepulchre-chamber of the Great Pyramid, ca. 1904. Photo by Underwood & Underwood, NY.