The Assuan Dam Enlarged
The already gigantic dam at Assuan, Egypt, intended for the reclamation of the vast stretches of desert land, and their devotion to the cultivation of cotton and other agricultural products, has been very largely increased in size and capacity. The new works, which cost $750,000 were opened on Christmas eve by the Kedive of Egypt, in presence of Lord Kitchener, Brisish agent and consul general in that country, who at the same time read a congratulatory message from King George. By adding 20 feet to the height of the ex st_____ng dam, which convened the Nile into a great lake 350 miles south of Cairo, was begun in 1907, and has been completed some months ahead of contract time. The storage capacity of the original dam has been increased some two and a half imes—about 9,375,000 cubic feet of water which will be used to irrigate about 1,000,000 acres of land, chiefly belonging to the government, which has hitherto lain barren and unprofitable. It is estimated that the annual increase of the cotton crop will be $20,000,000. The raising of the dam has not been unaccompanied with trouble altogether of a sentimental character connected with the vast and wonderful ruins of Philoe, around which circle the most wysterious traditions of Egypt—”By him that sleeps at Philoe,” was the most sacred form of oath known to the early Egyptians. Their successors and archaeologists of all nationalities mourn that history, art and architecture have suffered an irreparable loss and join in the chorus ot taose who would sacrifice the wellfare of hundreds of thousands of starving fellowbeings, to preserve in their integrity those wondrous ruins now submerged many feet under the waters of the Nile, it mattered not to them that a vast additional acreage of sterile territory has been thrown open for cultivation; that a multitude of starvelings will now be afforded the means of earning a living wage, and that the enriching of the income of the people by $20,000,000 annually means a corresponding reduction in taxation. The antiquarian world may have lost, but Egypt’s material gain can well afford to be set against mere sentimentalism.