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After all this, I can only repeat the expression of my surprise, that the names of scientific engineers could ever have been attached to the publication of so manifest an error.
Second. In respect to the Valley of the Tyropoeon, so called by Josephus, the new theory, first broached since 1840, and contradictory to the current views of all former centuries, transfers the beginning of this valley from the Yâfa gate to the Damascus gate. This is really a question of interpretation, between the supporters of this hypothesis and Josephus. But so long as, with one voice, they follow him in making Zion terminate at the street leading down from the Yafa gate, all the laws of philology and hermeneutics require that they should follow him further, and like him make the Tyropoeon and then Akra lie adjacent to Zion. By no law of language can it be justified, that one part of the historian's description should be followed, and another part left out of view.
Third. In connection with this transfer of the Tyropoeon, it has been asserted that there is no ridge N. of Zion, and no rise of ground in that direction. This statement needs correction. The street which runs N., in the rear of the Church of the Sepulchre, rises very
considerably in that portion of it; although at its southern end it appears to decline northward. But just at this southern end is the Greek Church of St. John, beneath which there has been dug out a chapel, standing on ground at least twenty-five feet below the present level of the two streets at that point. In the Bazaars the water is conducted off by a sewer running toward the S., and further N., opposite to the Church of the Sepulchre, the main street is carried along a covered passage cut through a ridge of solid rock. Turning down at the S. end of this covered passage, along the street leading by Helena's Hospital, so called, we enter on the left the court of the Prussian Consul, and ascend by two flights of steps to his garden and dwelling (formerly Mr. Lanneau's) on the same ridge. Following the same street further down, we find it crossing very obliquely the crest of the descending ridge. If again, from the street running S. along the bottom of the depression or valley, one enters the street next S. of that just described, he first ascends west rather steeply; the street then turns north, and he ascends quite as steeply, until it turns W. again. Here another street comes into it from the south up a rather steep ascent. From all this it appears that there is on the N. of Zion a rocky ridge, on which the Church of the Holy Sepulchre stands, and which ends below in a rather broad point, about in a line between the said church and the great Mosk. This is the ridge which, with the adjacent tract, according to the description of Josephus, must be regarded as Akra.
That the Tyropoeon itself, probably a narrow ravine, should no longer exist in its former depth, is not surprising, when we consider the immense masses of rubbish with which the city is everywhere covered. The excavated chapel under the Church of St. John shows how enormous has been the accumulation along the very line in question.
Fourth. In connection with the same transfer of the Tyropoeon, have been adduced the channels of living water said to enter the city by the Damascus gate. That a report is current among the native inhabitants that a trickling of water may sometimes be heard at that gate, we formerly learned and have related ; and the same story is now repeated every day. But we never found a person who professed that he himself had ever heard this trickling; neither a native nor much less a Frank. Yet it may well be true, and that without being wonderful, seeing there are two large cisterns just by the gate. But in addition to this supposed channel, one writer asserts that just outside of the Damascus gate, on the right hand, is a large reservoir of living water flowing into the city, from which several fountains were formerly supplied. Another writer speaks of a well of living water in the Church of the Flagellation, and regards it as connected with this channel at the Damascus gate. Both writers appeal also to the taste of these waters, as resembling that of the waters of Siloam.
It seemed important to prove the accuracy of these statements. We went, therefore, to the Damascus gate, in company with some of our friends, and found not only a cistern on the right side of the gate, but also one on the left side. They are both, however, merely ordinary cisterns of rain-water, filled by the water which runs from the roads and fields above, and is conducted into them by small channels or furrows on the surface of the ground; these we saw. We tasted of the water in the right-hand cistern; it had, indeed, a flavour somewhat like that of Siloam, but it was here merely the taste of impure water. We then tasted of water from the other cistern, and found it almost putrid. We afterwards repaired to the Church of the Flagellation. In the outer court is a large cistern of good rain-water collected from the roofs and courts. In an inner court is a smaller reservoir ; and the attendant began to relate how the water in it was never exhausted, and never stood higher nor lower in the reservoir. We tasted it, and found again the Siloam flavour. But looking at the water which had just been drawn up, we perceived that it was full of the wriggling worms and other animalcula found in impure rain-water. Here, then, was another ordinary cistern, and the peculiar taste was accounted for.
Fifth. Of the second wall of the city, Josephus says that it began at the Gate Gennath' in the first wall, and ran circling' around to the fortress Antonia. The gate Gennath has therefore usually and naturally been regarded as situated near the tower of Hippicus. But the modern theory removes this gate eastward to a point in the wall along the brow of Zion, from which the said second wall would run northward along the street of the Bazaars. The grounds and arguments brought forward in aid of this view by its two earliest supporters have all been rightly rejected by the latest, with the exception of two; and these would seem to be hardly more tenable than the rest. These are the tradition of two gates along this line; one the Porta judiciaria, so called, on the Via dolorosa, the other on the brow of Zion. Now as to the Porta judiciaria, without which the whole argument falls to the ground, there is no appearance nor evidence that a gate ever stood in that spot; a single lone column does not of itself imply a gate. And further, of the Via dolorosa itself, now held to be so authenticated by tradition, there is no historical trace until long after the crusades. On the contrary, historical documents clearly show that in the thirteenth century the streets now so called were known among the Christians by other names.
In opposition to such a course of the second wall, we have, first, the manifest absurdity of supposing that a wall for the defence of the city would be carried along the middle of a declivity, where it would everywhere be commanded by higher ground outside. Then, too, we know from Josephus, that there was a gate by which water was brought into the tower of Hippicus; of course it was near Hippicus. In describing the approaches of Titus, after he had taken the third or outer wall, the historian speaks of the next wall (the second) as extending up to this gate. Hence we have the second wall 'described in two opposite directions ; once, as beginning at the gate Gennath and running northward ; and again, as running southward up to the gate near Hippicus, The inference is conclusive, that the gate Gennath and the gate by Hippicus were identical.
Sixth. One writer regards the course of the third or outer wall of Josephus as having been, in the main, the same with that of the present northern wall, and denies that the ancient city extended farther north than the limits of the modern one. But the multitude of ancient cisterns existing over a large tract outside of the present wall on the north, and in no other quarter, prove conclusively that a very considerable extent of ground was here occupied of old by the streets and dwellings of a portion of Jerusalem.
From these six specimens it will be obvious that I did not find the statements and hypotheses of recent writers sufficiently supported by observation to lead me to any important change in the views of the topography of Jerusalem expressed in my former work, and current for centuries. I might go on to add other like examples, but must leave them for another opportunity.
From these specimens, too, it might possibly be inferred, that these recent inquiries have been carried on, not so much with a desire to arrive at the simple truth, as to find support for preconceived opinions or favourite hypotheses. The authority of tradition, it might be said, was at all events to be sustained, even when unsupported by any evidence from history.
From Jerusalem we made an excursion of a day to the Wady el-Werd (Valley of Roses) and its three fountains, S.W. from the city. One of its main heads is in the Plain of Rephaim : and the valley enters the great Wady of Kulônieh near a village called 'Akür. "The valley has its name from the extensive fields of roses cultivated in it. The fountains are 'Ain Yalo, 'Ain Hanîyeh (St. Philip's), and that of Bittîr ; the latter being much the largest. We passed near the Convent of the Cross in going out, and returned by Welejeh and the ridge above the village and Convent of ’Ain Kârim.
Another excursion of two days took us to the neighbourhood of Hebron. In our former journey we had been compelled to hasten over the road between Hebron and Jerusalem without a guide ; and hence it had been in some respects our least satisfactory day in Palestine. We now took the same road, stopping at Urtâs on our way, where Mr. Meshullam now cultivates rich and wellwatered fields along the bottom of the valley. The German colonists who were here two years ago were in his employ, but are since scattered. We went also to Bethzur, and visited again the vast and inexplicable foundations at Râmeh, as also the remains upon the hill
. Thence returning to Halhûl, we encamped for the night near its sightly Mosk.
On our return to Jerusalem next day we kept along as near as possible to the western brow of the mountains. We passed through Beit Ummar and near to Jedûr, and afterwards came to Beit Sakârieh, on a high and almost isolated promontory, overlooking the western region of lower hills. It bears every appearance of having once been a strong and impregnable fortress. It is without doubt the site of the ancient Bethzacharia of Josephus and the historian of the Maccabees; since, besides the identity of name, its position relative to Bethzur is precisely the one required by the accounts of those writers. We passed on through the little village el-Khỏdr, and struck the road from Hebron to Jerusalem just W. of Bethlehem.
On the 10th of May we left Jerusalem to proceed northward, and reaching the brow of Scopus I turned and looked upon the Holy City for the last time on earth. We hastened on, leaving on our right the conspicuous Tuleil el-Fûl, the ancient Gibeah of Saul, and came to Ramah of Benjamin. Thence we turned eastward to the Tombs of the Amalekites (so called), in the low plain in the valley N. of Hizmeh. These are merely four low heaps of rough stones in the form of long parallelograms; the largest is 102 feet long by 27 feet broad, and three or four feet high. There is no appearance of antiquity about them, nor of any sepulchral character. Our guide from er-Râm called them Kubûr Isra’în (Tombs of the Israelites), but we heard also the other name.
We kept on in the same direction to Khirbet el-Haiyeh (Serpent), on the ridge between this valley and Wady Suweinît, near the southern brow of the latter. This place, on account of the name,
has recently been brought forward as the site of the ancient Ai. But there is no affinity between the two names ; since Ai contains the tenacious letter Ayin, which the other has not. And further, Ai was near to Bethel, and of easy access from it ;
but this spot is at least nearly three hours distant from Bethel, and the deep and difficult Wady es-Suweinît lies between. There is here no valley on the W., except the low open plain we had traversed; while towards Jeba' there is a ridge.
We turned now to Jeba', the ancient Geba, and again crossed the deep valley to Mũkhmâs, passing in it the two steep hills, the scene of Jonathan's adventure with the Philistines' garrison. They struck us now, more than before, as well adapted for such outposts. At Mūkhmâs we encamped ; and next day passed on over the rocky Tell of Rūmmôn, and along the declivity below Taiyibeh on the W., to Deir Jerîr. Here we entered upon new ground, which as yet is a blank in the maps. We crossed obliquely a very high ridge, and came in about an hour to Kefr Mâlik, on a high point overlooking the deep Wady going down to the 'Aujeh. Crossing this and ascending again to a higher uneven plateau, we came in an hour more to el-Moughaiyir, a large village; and in another hour to Daumeh, the Eduma of Eusebius ; here we encamped. From a hill just by we had a wide view of the Ghôr directly below us, and of the ridge of Kūrn es-Súrtabeh not far distant in the E.N.E. Just under our feet, in an offset from the Ghôr, was Fusâil, the site of the ancient Phasäelis.
The next morning, after crossing the main branch of the great Wady Fuzail, we came to Mejdel, a very old place, with an extensive view of the Ghôr, and a nearer one of Kūrn es-Sŭrtabeh. An hour and a half brought us now to 'Akrabeh, a large and flourishing town, which of old gave its name to the toparchy of Acrabattene. The situation is fine, on the base of a high ridge on the northern side of an open valley or plain, which just here has its water-shed ; running down E. to Wady Ahmar under Kŭrn es