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the plain of Sharon. Just at the mouth is a hill called Tell Kaimôn, in which is to be recognized the Camon of Eusebius, situated six Roman miles from Legio towards Ptolemais. It is still near the road from Lejjûn to 'Akka. May it also perhaps once have been the Jokneam of Carmel ?
The next morning we crossed the Mukŭtta' (Kishon), running over a gravelly bed between banks from 15 to 20 feet high. Passing through tracts of the utmost fertility, we came at last to the great Tell el-Mutesellim, which stands out in front of the hill, on the back of which Lejjûn is situated. This Tell affords a magnificent view of the rich plain; and, as we looked towards Taanach, we became fully persuaded that we had before us the battle-field of Deborah and Barak. Whether Megiddo lay upon this Tell, as some suppose, but of which there is now no trace; or whether it lay upon the hill back, the S. side of which is now occupied by Lejjûn; it was at any rate a sightly and important place, and might well give name to the plain. The stream flowing down from Lejjûn is still the largest perennial tributary of the Kishon.
That Lejjûn is the representative of the more ancient Megiddo there can be little doubt. Maximianopolis, to which Raumer assigns the succession, partly because it is marked as on the route from Cesarea to Jezreel (Zer’în), must have lain more to the E. We saw afterwards the course of that route through the hills more eastward ; and saw, too, that for it to pass through Lejjûn would be a large circuit towards the W. Maximianopolis may not improbably have lain at or near the large village Salim.
Near Lejjûn passes the great road from Damascus to Ramleh and Egypt. We followed it to the top of the pass, and then, without descending, took a more south-easterly course to Um el-Fahm, on the brow of a hill looking towards the western plain. Hence we proceeded on high ground, south-eastward, along the water-shed between the heads of valleys running to the northern and the western plains, and came for the night to Ya'bud, on a hill overlooking another beautiful plain extending far to the E. and N.E. and bending round Ya'bud towards the W. Far in the N.E. we had before seen Kūbâtîyeh ; and in the northern parts lies Kefr Kûd, the ancient Capharcotia of Ptolemy. Here, too, in the middle of the eastern plain, we were delighted to find the name of Dothân (Dothan); it is now a fine green Tell, with a fountain on its southern base, corresponding entirely to the position assigned to it by Eusebius, twelve Roman miles N. of Samaria. We learned afterwards from Mr. Van de Velde, that he too had unexpectedly lighted upon the place some weeks earlier.
In this connection, we were told at Ya'bud, that the great road
VOL. V.-NO. IX.
from Beisân and Zer’în to Ramleh and Egypt still leads through this plain, entering it W. of Jenin, passing near Kefr Kûd, and bending south-westward around Ya'bud to the western plain. It is
easy to see, therefore, that the Midianites, to whom Joseph was sold in Dothan, had crossed the Jordan at Beisân, and were proceeding to Egypt along the ordinary road. It is obvious, too, that Joseph's brethren well knew the best places of pasturage. They had exhausted that of the Mûkhna by Shechem (Nâblus), and had afterwards repaired to the still finer pastures here around Dothan.
On the day after (April 22nd) we followed down the road by which Joseph was carried away to Egypt, to Zeita and ’Attîl on the borders of the western plain, and then turned up again into the mountains on the way to Sebūstieh and Nâblus. We supposed we were here upon Herod's road from Cesarea to these places ; and in many parts there were evident traces of an ancient road, but we saw nowhere any paved way. We spent the night at Ramîn. The next day, in crossing a rocky ridge, some distance S. of Sebūstieh, and before we struck again our route of 1838, we found evident remains of the ancient road over the ridge ; here were also columns and other traces of an ancient site, now called Dibbârieh.
We spent the day in Nâblus, and again visited the Samaritans. Both the priests, father and son, whom we saw before, are still living ; but the elder seemed to be superannuated, and the younger is now the acting head of his people. Learning that we desired to see him, he came to us, conducted us to their place of worship, showed us their manuscripts, and loaned of his own accord to Dr. Smith a fine copy of their Arabic version of the Pentateuch, to be used by him in the new Arabic version in which he is engaged.
From Nâblus we bent our course again S.W. on the direct road to Ramleh. We turned around the shoulder of Mount Gerizim by Râfidieh, and passed by Kuryet Jit (the ancient Gitta), and Funduk, leaving Fer’ata (Pirathon) at no great distance on our left. As we began gradually to descend towards the plain, we had at our left a large and deep valley called Wady Kânah, which we may with probability regard as the brook Kanah of the book of Joshua (xvii
. 9), the boundary between Ephraim and Manasseh. Lower down it takes a different local name. We passed on by ’Azzûn and down the long Wady of that name to its entrance into the plain opposite Kilkîlieh and Kefr Sâba. Turning left a little to Hableh on the low hills S. of the Wady, we encamped over Sunday, in full view of Kefr Sâba, and also of Jiljûlieh further S. These are the Antipatris and western Gilgal of Scripture, and were visited and described by Dr. Smith in 1844.
At Hableh I was gratified at finding close by our tent an ancient wine-press hewn in the rock. It was complete, with the upper shallow vat for treading the grapes, and the lower deeper one to receive the liquid ; and might still be used, were there here grapes to tread. At present there are no vineyards in all this region. I would have given much to transport this wine-press in naturâ to London or New York.
On the following Monday (April 26th) we proceeded southward along the foot of the hills, crossing in a quarter of an hour from Hableh the continuation of the great Wady Kânah, here called W. Zakûr and W. Khureish, from two sites of ruins on its banks. It was here said to come from the S. end of the plain el-Mukhna. It passes off S. of Jiljûlieh, and, joining the Wady from Kefr Sâba, goes to the ’Aujeh. We had the great fountain of the Aujeh, at Râs el-'Ain, on our right in the low plain. From Mejdel Yâba we turned S.W. into the plain, entered the Damascus road, and came on it to Renthieh. This village, so far as the name is concerned, might well be held to be the ancient Arimathea ; but the historical notices seem to fix that place, not in the toparchy of Lydda where this village lies, but in that of Tibneh (Timnath, Thamna), farther eastward.
We came to Lydda, and passed on by way of Kubâb to Yâlo, the ancient Ajalon. The road lay much of the way along the Wady ’Atallah, which drains the plain of Merj Ibn 'Omeir, and runs down on the E. and N. of Lydda. Yâlo we formerly saw from the upper Beth-horon, and our view of it and the adjacent region was correct, except that the plain of Merj Ibn 'Omeir is bounded by the ridge, on the N. side of which Yâlo lies, and does not extend itself towards the S.W beyond Kubâb, as we then supposed. The name Ibn 'Omeir belongs to the district, and not specially to the plain. We were told afterwards of a ruined place in the mountains E. of Yâlo, and not very far off, called Kefir. It probably is the site of the ancient Chephirah of the Gibeonites; but we heard of it only too late to visit it.
We proceeded the next day to 'Amwâs, the ancient Emmaus or Nicopolis, situated between Yâlo and the Jerusalem road, twenty minutes N. of the latter. It is a poor village, with a fountain, and the ruins of an ancient church, a fine structure of large hewn stones. It lies on a declivity, looking westward out over the great plain.
Close upon the S. side of the Jerusalem road is the Tell and ruin of Latrôn. The ruin is that of a fortress, some of the lower parts of which appear to be Roman work. This is the place which formerly was pointed out to us at Tell es-Sâfieh, as ’Amwâs. From it the latter Tell is visible. The Wady ’Aly, along which the Jerusalem road leads up the mountain to Sârîs, here bends around on the S. of Latrôn; and then turning N.W. it passes down E. of Kubâb to Wady ’Atallah.
We now kept on southward to Sŭr'a, the ancient Zorah, the birthplace and residence of Samson. We saw it from the S. on our former journey, on a high peak overlooking the fine plain of Bethshemesh. We approached it now from the N., on which side the elevation is not more than half as great. Some twenty minutes before reaching Zorah we came to a noble fountain, and afterward passed no less than twelve women toiling up to the village with jars of water on their heads. This is a very common sight in Palestine ; but in the present case the hill was very steep. We remembered, too, that in all probability the mother of Samson must often have visited this fountain, and toiled homeward with her jar of water in like manner.
Our object in visiting Zorah was to obtain a view of the country between it and Jerusalem, and especially to ascertain the course of the great valleys. We found the plain of Bethshemesh extending up some distance N.E. of Zorah into the mountains, and could see the chasms of two great valleys running down into it. About E.S.E. of us was the mouth of the great Wady which comes down by Kulônieh ; and further N. that of Wady Ghărâb, one branch of which begins near Sârîs, and another above Kuryet el-'Enab. On the high ridge between this latter and the Wady of Kulônieh lie Sôba and Kŭstúl.
We wished to proceed to Jerusalem along this same ridge, by Kesla and Sôba ; but, after starting, learned that the road was impracticable. The usual road from Súria is along the western declivity of the ridge of Sârîs to Wady ’Aly. We took this route at first; but turned up by a very steep and difficult ascent, and gained the top of the ridge at Mihsîr, a flourishing village surrounded by olive-groves, an hour W.S.W. of Sârîs. We kept along on the top of the ridge, having a branch of Wady Ghărâb below us on the right to Sârîs ; and thence took the ordinary and very dreary road to Jerusalem by Kuryet el-'Enab, the ancient Kirjath Jearim. We reached the city at 8 o'clock on the morning of April 28th, having been more than three weeks on the way from Beirût.
In Jerusalem and the vicinity we remained twelve days, diligently occupied in examining the objects of interest, and investigating the various questions connected with ancient topography. We constantly enjoyed the kind attentions and ready assistance of Dr. McGowan, and other gentlemen connected with the English missions, as also those of our own countryman, Dr. Barclay, now residing in Jerusalem. For all these our best thanks are due. Bishop Gobat had already left the country on a visit to England.
This is not the place to enter upon a discussion of the vexed questions connected with the historical topography of the Holy City. I may, however, be permitted to refer to a few particulars, which may serve to show how the public mind has been misled by statements and conclusions not founded on careful and correct observations.
First. In a published Plan of Jerusalem, to which are attached the names of the English Engineers, Col. Aldrich and Lieut. Symonds, the western wall of the Haram, or enclosure of the great Mosk, is laid down with two retiring angles towards its southern end ; that is, so that it does not continue straight through its whole length, but in its southern part first turns eastward by a right angle, and then again by a second right angle. Great stress has been laid upon this Plan, as constructed from actual survey by scientific engineers, and therefore decisive as to the point in question. Yet it contradicts the Plan of Mr. Catherwood, made from actual measurements in the interior of the Haram, as well as all other Plans of the city before or since.
Through the kindness of Dr. McGowan we were able to make some observations having a bearing on the subject. He and Mr. Calman accompanied us to the barracks, the residence of the military Governor of the city, at the N.W. corner of the Haram, from the roof of which there is a near view of the whole interior. Here not only the general view showed that the western wall is straight throughout, but a special circumstance added strength to the conviction. We had already noticed two cypress-trees standing just inside of this wall near the S.W. corner of the Haram, and S. of the house of Abu Sa'ûd, so called. These two trees we could now see standing in a line with the northern part of the wall, as we looked along the latter. We afterwards repaired to the house of Abu Sa'ûd, to which the professional services of Dr. McGowan had procured for us a ready admission. It is built directly upon the western wall, at some distance from the southern end, and is partly without and partly within the enclosure of the Haram ; à passage being broken through the wall in each story. We were introduced into the uppermost room, where from the windows there is a view of the wall further N., and of the southern part of the enclosure. We were also conducted through the buildings in the S.W.corner of the Haram ; but not of course to any place where we should be exposed to public view. The result was as before, that the western wall is straight throughout. Such, too, was the testimony of the very intelligent owners of the house ; one of whom occupied the post of Secretary under the government, and had charge of the census.