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DURING THE YEARS i873 - i874. 



Membre de lliistitiif, Professeur an College de France. 

Vol. IL 

With numerous Illustrations from Drawings made on the spot bv 
A. LFXOMTE DU NOUY, Architect. 

translated by 

Assistant in the British Alusaun Library. 

Published for the Committee of the 


24, Hanover Square, London. 



ST. martin's lane, w.c. 


By reason of certain circumstances which it would take too long to explain, 
it has been thought advisable to publish the second volume of this work 
before the first. The Author wishes to apologize for the adoption of this 
unusual order, which he decided upon with a view to avoiding further delays. 
He hopes that no serious inconvenience will be caused, as the present volume 
forms an independent whole, devoted to Palestine, but excluding Jerusalem 
and its environs, which will form the subject matter of Volume I. The only 
difficulty is that the reader will have to refer to the first volume for the 
facsimiles of the numerous masons' marks mentioned in the second volume, 
as well as for those in the first. It was thouo-ht that it would be best to 
bring together the main types of these marks, classified and numbered, into 
a single comprehensive table, followed by a list containing all the necessary 
references, and the scheme of the work made the first volume the natural 
place for this table. 

The Author thinks it incumbent on him to expressly remind the reader 
that in this work he in no sense claims to treat ex professo of the archaeology 
of Palestine, or even to communicate the general results of the researches 
which he has been pursuing in that field for more than seven and twenty 

He has endeavoured, as far as possible, to confine his remarks to the 
points that he had special opportunity of studying during the period from 
1873 to 1874- — that is to say, in the course of the researches which 
the Committee kindly entrusted him with — only drawing upon the data 
gathered by him before and after that period in so far as they may help 
to throw light on those points. 

C. C.-G. 

February, i S96. 


In the transcription of Arabic words and names, endeavours have been made to conform 
as far as possible to the system adopted by the Survey Party. In order, however, to 
represent certain shades of pronunciation to which the author attaches importance, it has 
been found necessary to introduce certain sHght modifications. The chief of these are 
as follows : the ain is represented by the sign ' instead of ', the latter being kept to denote 
vowels elided in the popular speech ; the vowels with the sign w over them, except in 
Khurbet, are short, furtive, epenthetic or prostliciic vowels, which find their way in either 
at the middle or beginning of words, and have to be figured in order to give the latter 
their proper appearance ; the combination en is occasionally employed to represent a 
sound analogous to that which it has in French (akin to o, ii, but more mute and very 
short). The diphthong :_ has been rendered sometimes by an and sometimes by o. 
In several cases the long vowels have not been marked as such in certain words 
currently used (thus sheikh, beit, fellaliin, etc., for sheikh, bcit, felhiJiiii). Occasionally 
discrepancies will be noticed in the transcriptions of the same words and names. 
These mostly correspond to local and individual peculiarities of pronunciation, which 
were noted for what they were worth, and which it was thought better to reproduce in 
their original shape, instead of arbitrarily reducing them to more usual forms. 


Prefatory Note 

List of Illustrations ............. 

CHAPTER I. — From Jaffa to Jerusalem 

II. — First Excursion to Jericho 

III. — Second Excursion to Jericho 

IV. — Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson . 

V. — Gezer ... 

VI. — Excursion from Jerusalem to Sebaste (Samaria), and from 
Sebaste to Gaza . . 

APPENDIX I. — In search of Adullam, Gezer, Modin, etc 

,, II. — List of Antiquities collected in Palestine in 1873-4 

Addenda . 

General Index 








A 2 


Abu Ghosh, Latin inscription in the Mediaeval Church at 

Crusaders' Tool-Marks .... 

Horeira, The wely of ... . 

Shusheh, Terra-Cotta figure found at 

"Ain Diik. of sarcophagus 

"Ain Sinia, Rock-cut tomb with inscription at . 

"Akraba, Greek inscription at . 

"Amwas, Sketch plan and sections of rock-cut tomb with stone 

Profile of cornice of mortar 

Greek inscription found in the rock tomb at 

Ancient sarcophagus in an Arab sebil 

Wine or oil press, views and sections of 

"Asayet Musa (" Moses' Rod ") 

Ascalon. Carved doves on marble slab . 

"Awerta, Cenotaph at .... . 

Fragment of column at . . . 

el 'Azhek, Position of .... . 




67, 169 




9S> 96 







Balata, Sarcophagus lid at ..... . 

Beit Jibrin, Plan and section of rock-hewn tomb near 

Inscription on tomb ...... 

View of Church of Sandahanna at ... 

Plan, section, and details of Church at Sandahanna 

Imperial statue found near . . . . . 

Jewish capital ....... 

Beit Nfiba, Plan of Crusading Church at 

View and section of holy-water stoup found at 



44B— 5' 





List of Ilhistratious. 


Beit Thul, Capital at . . . 
Bir el Ma'in, Capital in the VVely at . 
Bethany, Sculptured stone built in wall 
el Burj, Lintel in a house at 
B'weireh, Lintels at . 



74, 75 

Caesarea, Ancient mask from 
Marble statue from 



Deir el Kelt, Greek and Arabic inscription at 
Deir Serur, Rock-hewn tomb at 


E'rak el Kheil. Transverse section of the gallery 

—  Patterns of the friezes .... 

Kriha (Jericho), Architectural details from Tell el Matlab . 



17, 18, 19 

Gaza, Courtyard of Greek Convent at 

Plan and sections of Mediaeval Church . 

General plan of the Great Mosque . 

View of the fagade of the Great Mosque 

Elevation of the facade of the Great Mosque 

Profile of the rose window of the Great Mosque 

Plan and elevation of the entrance door of the Great Mosque 

— — Springing point of the archivolt of the Great Mosque 

Longitudinal section of the Great Mosque 

Transverse sections of the Great Mosque 

Details of string course of the Great Mosque . 

Elevation of pier with Hebrew and Greek inscriptions 

The bas-relief on pier 

• Inscriptions discovered at 

Sculptured gryphon in white marble 

Bas-relief of white marble (doe or stag) 

A fish carved on green schist . 

A small figurine of massive gold 

A small lion of massive gold . 

Sarcophagus found near. 

Bronze figures found at 

Gezer, Inscriptions at 

225, 226, 228, 229, 232, 



432, 433 
233, 334 



List of I Ihtsf rations. 


Hajar el Asbah (Stone of Bohan) ..... 
Hamameh, Sculptured marble head from. 

Ivory figure and scul[)tured marble fragment from 

Hirsha, Birkeh at ....... . 

lO 12 



Jaffa, Rock-cut tombs in the Necropolis . 
Inscriptions from the Necropolis 

Stamped amphora handles found in a cave south of 

 Various inscriptions found at . 

Slab of the tomb of a Bishop of the Crusaders 

Crusading inscriptions from .... 

 Carved stone in the wall of a house at 

Jaliid, Rock tomb at ..... . 

Stone door in situ at .... • 

Jame' el Arba'in ....... 

Carved lintel at ... . 

Jericho, Plain of, showing site of Hajar el Asbah 

Roman inscription found near 

Sculptured fragments of the GrKco-Roman period found near 

Jerusalem. Base of column at the Ecce Homo Arch 
Jorah, Greek inscriptions from .... 



Kaber Bint Nuh. Plan and sections ..... 
K'bur Beni Israin. Section and doorway . ... 

el Yahiid, near el Midieh . . . 

Rock-hewn tombs at .... . 

Khurbet Dabbeh, Greek inscription iiom .... 

Deir es S'aideh, Lintels at 

el Hahis, Inscribed rock tomb at ... . 

el Kelkh, Inscribed baptismal font at . 

Jeba", Reservoir at ...••■  

Niateh, Views and section of ancient wine or oil press at 

Zakariyeh, Rock-hewn tomb at 

el Kok'a, Mound of ...••••  

K'rein Sartaba ......... 

Kubib, Plan, sketch, and section of ancient sepulchre near 

Roman inscriptions found at .... . 

Kumran, Cemetery of ...-..■ • 


i37> 141— 7 

148, 149 




• 158 



• 299 



28, 29 

38, 39 

• 336 


• 455 

• 279 

• 374 

j75> 376 

. 163 


. • 356 

• 357 

• 58 

• 453 




85, 86 



Lydda, Details and bases of pillars of the Medieval Church . 

Plan of the Church ........ 

Greek inscription on one of the twin columns 

Fragments of Byzantine carving built in the wall of the Mosque 


to face 104 



List of Ilhtstrations. 


I.ydda, Iron pick found in a sarcophagus at . 

Carved stone, base of pillar, and ornamentation at 

Minaret and ancient Church at . 

Front and side view of the minaret 

Bridge of Beibars at ..... . 

Arabic inscription on the bridge .... 

Sculptured lions on the bridge .... 

Cornice over the inscription, and lions on the bridge at 

The middle arch, masonry of ... . 

 Jewish masonry tomb at .... . 

Inscribed ossuary at . 





10, III 




343- 344 


Mejdel Yaba, Lintel with Greek inscription at . 

el Midieh, Plan, views, sections, and mosaic of el Gherbawy at 

Bronze figure from ..... 

Sketch of the N.W. angle of el Gherbawy 

Mount Gerizim, Double peak on .... . 
el Mughar, Greek inscription from ..... 
Mukhmas, Sculjnured stone from ..... 








Nablus, Capital with inscription in Mosque at ' 

Plan of Jame' en Naser 

Section of Jame' en Naser . 

Plan and elevation of Habs ed Dam 

Plan and sections of the l)uilding over 'Ain Kariun 

Sculptured stones at . 

Greek inscription at . 

Greek inscription at (seen in the i6th century) 

Intaglio from .... 

Crusading relic from . 

Limestone vase from . 

Tessera of Egyptian style from 

Nahr Riibin, Plan and sketch of tombs near 

View near .... 

Neby Danian, Tomb cover at . 

 Milsa, Looking towards the north-west 

Looking towards the north-east 

— - Sculptured base of a pilaster in the north wall of 




• 315 

. 316 






• 33' 

61, 162 







Ramleh, Details of the Mosque at ...... . 

Sculptured marble Imtel in the Mosque . . . . 

Carved tessera from ........ 

Plan showing the direction of places and roads leading from 


I .o 

List of I!histration$. 

Sebaste (Samaria), Stone door at Neby Y 

Details of funerary remains at 

One of the columns at 


Seilfln, Sarcophagus lid at 

Rock-cut tombs at 

lame' el Arba'in . 

Carved lintel at . 

Sijr'ah, View from 'ArtCif looking towards 


334, 335 


Taiyibeh, Roman milestones near 296 

Tell el Kok'a 91 

el Matlab, Architectural fragments from 17, 18, 19 


Umni el 'Eumdan, Plan of Church at 82 

Wine or oil press at .......... 83 


Yalo. Plan and sketch of spring in Wady Kubbeh at ....... 92 

Yebna, View, plans, sections, and details of Mediseval Church at . . 169 — 172, 179, 180 
The bridge at 181 




Jnffii- — We landed at Jaffa on Monday, November 3rd, 1873, after a 
pretty fair passage and three days' quarantine at Alexandria. There we 
remained from the 3rd to the 6th, when we left for Jerusalem. I took 
advantage of this short stay to gain some more knowledge of the city and 
its surroundings, and a brief account of my observations is here appended. 

Marble Bas-relief. — Some years before, on my first visit to Palestine, 
I had noticed a large piece of a marble bas-relief, forming part of the flagstone 
pavement in a house belonging to M. Damiany, French consular agent at 
Ramleh. I took the earliest opportunity after my arrival of going to look at 
the fragment that had attracted my attention, in order to examine it more 
closely, and to get a good drawing of it made by M. Lecomte. This 
bas-relief, like so much of the old stone-work used in the construction of the 
houses at Jaffa, came from Ca^sarea, the ruins of which town have been, and 
still are, worked by the inhabitants of Jaffa in the same way as a quarry. 

Of this bas-relief, which is of fine white marble, there only remains a 
fragment, measuring 20 inches by 15 inches. It represents a large tragic 
mask, much mutilated and broken from the nose downwards. The head, 
viewed from the front, is rather finely done, and may belong to a good period 
of Grseco-Roman art. To judge by the dressing of the hair, which is wavy, 
by the arrangement of the fillet which encircles it, and by the general 
appearance of the physiognomy, this mask probably belonged to a female 
head — perhaps a Gorgon's. The eyes are deeply sunken, and the mouth, 
_ which is to a great extent wanting, was doubtless open, with the conventional 
^ B 

Arch(?olos:icaI Researches in Palestine. 

grin of the classical scenic mask. A fragment of cable-moulding on the left 
side of the head, and the top of a wing on the right, seem to point to its 
having formed part of some decorative scheme. 

Other details again would lead one to suppose that this decoration 
was arranged with a view to being looked at from below, so that it is more 
likely to have belonged to the upper frieze of some large architectural 
monument than to have formed part of the ornamentation of a sarcophagus. 
May not this be a fragment of the magnificent theatre or of the amphi- 
theatre built at Csesarea by Herod ? 



We made a circuit round the town, carefully examining the wall of 
circumvallation to detect traces of ancient work or material. I noticed, 
especially on the north side, towards the sea, a considerable number of fine 
blocks with bossages ; the natives assured me that these had been brought 
from Caesarea and Acre. 

— Here and there along the wall there are distinctly traceable old 
foundations, now partly under water. I went in a boat along the southern 
portion of the wall that separates the town from the sea. On the further 
side of the projecting bastion, on which stand the light-house and the 
legendary House of St. Peter, there stretches a regular harbour of slight 
depth where the boats continually touch the bottom. This harbour is 
surrounded by a belt of rocks, and goes by the name of Birket el Kainar, 

From Jaffa to Jcrusaleni. 3 

the " Pool of the Moon." All this part of the place, and the coast that 
borders it, would well repay minute exploration— the beach is covered with 
ruins apparently ancient. 

• —  There is now living in Jaffa a certain Mussulman named 'Aly Sido, 
a retired master mason. This man, now of an advanced age, directed all 
the works that were set on foot at the beginning of the century (?) by the 
legendary Abu Nabbut, Governor of Jaffa, the same that gave his name to 
the pretty fountain, or Sebil Abu Nabbut, which is to be seen near his 
tomb, some ten minutes' journey from the town as you go to Jerusalem. 
It would be most interesting to gather from his mouth, on the spot, precise 
information, in technical terms, of the extensive alterations that Jaffa under- 
went at that period. 

— A very intelligent young Arab living in Jaffa, by name Jibrail 'Akkawy, 
told me of a handle of an amphora of terra-cotta, which had been found in the 
gardens surrounding the town, " in a cave," and he showed me a rough copy 
made by himself of the inscriptions on it. As far as I could judge from this 
artless but well meaning reproduction, the inscription is in Greek, and probably 
gives the name of the potter or of a magistrate. I shall endeavour to get a 
look at the original or to purchase it, when I next visit Jaffa.* 

— Two items of information from native sources : — To the north of the 
town near the sea-shore, there exist, hidden under the sand, numbers of 
"presses" built of masonry. Near the Nahr el 'Auja, to the north of Jaffa, 
there is a Tell belonging to Ismail Agha, where numbers of " bronze 
idols " were found ; one of them was bought by one Dimo. 

The Jewish necropolis of Joppa. — On our departure from Jaffa on 
November 6th, I desired to verify an important point which had long 
engaged my attention, and was up to this time undetermined, namely, the 
position of the burying-ground of ancient Joppa. I have now, I think, 
settled it for certain. 

With this view, instead of following the usual route, when we left the 
city gates, our small caravan kept to the left, that is to say, to the north, 
through the extensive gardens that close in Jaffa on every side. We soon 
reached a small hamlet called Saknet Abu K'bir, where I enquired of some 
fellahin. One of them took us a few yards further on into the middle of 
some poorly tilled gardens, where I noticed that numerous excavations had 
been newly made for building stone. The digging and removals had laid 

See further, p. 148. 

4 Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

bare in several places numbers of sepulchral chambers hollowed out in the 
calcareous tufa. Similar graves have been discovered, it appears, all the 
way from the hamlet of Abu K'bir to the Jewish Agricultural College, 
" Mikveh Israel," on the other side of the road, and as far as the present 
Catholic cemetery. Other fellahin said, " between Saknet Abu ICbir and 
Saknet eTAbid" on the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem. 

The part of the burying-ground where we now were went by the name, 
I was told, of Ardh Dhabi ta, or Jebel Dhabita, " the ground " or " mountain " 
of Dhabita. The frequent mention of this name Dhabita struck me, for it 
seems identical with that of the woman of Joppa, Tabitha, who was restored 
to life by St. Peter. The Semitic meaning of this name is given in the actual 
text of St. Luke (Acts ix, 36), AopK-a?, " a doe," and some commentators have 
rightly enough seen in this the Aramaic NfT'lIO Tabitha, " female gazelle."* 
The Arabic name Dhabita Ujudi , though preserving the Aramaic form, shows 
the accuracy of this identification, for it is connected with the word ajoli 
dhabia, which has exactly the same meaning in Arabic. Evidently the 
memory of the resurrection of Tabitha helped to shape the name given by 
local tradition to the burying-ground where that pious woman, though her 
journey thither was on the first occasion postponed, must finally have found a 

This is doubtless the explanation of the legend whereby, even at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, the ruins of " Tabitha's house" were 
pointed out, not far from Jaffa, on the way to Jerusalem. It was probably 
some misunderstanding that led the worthy Ouaresmius to apply the traditional 
name of the burying-ground to some ruin or other that was visible there at 
that period,:!: and which he calls "the house" of Tabitha. 

* In this connection I may draw attention to a curious legend in the Talmud, according to 
which all the male slaves of the household of Gamaliel bore the name of Tabi, UD, and all the 
female slaves that of T;?/;/^,?, snuu , (Levy, Naihebr. IVdrterb., II, //. 134, 538). It would 
appear to follow that this name was especially given to slaves, and this would perhaps imply 
servile origin in the Tabitha of the Scriptures. This holds good at any rate of the Greek 
equivalent Boreas, which we find borne by a female slave and an hetaera (Pape, IFdr/erb. der 
Gr. Eig., I, p. 319). 

t During my stay at Jaffa in t88i, I remarked the existence of a great yearly festival in 
honour of Dhabita on May 15th. All the inhabitants go in procession to the Sebil of Abu Nabbut, 
singing a kind of hymn, the words of which I was not able to note. The whole population of 
Jaffa, without distinction of creed, take part in the solemnity, and make it a pretext for all sorts of 

X Quaresmius, E/iic. Terr. S., II, 6 : " Non longe a ruinis Joppes, versus Jerusalem eundo 
monstrantur fundamenta et residuum domus Tabithae." 

From Jaffa to Jerusalem. 5 

With the aid of a compass we took the bearings of the part of the 
burying-ground where we stood, so as to find it again later on and carry out 
some excavations and explorations. It is however easy to identify, as a large 
garden bought by the Russians lies quite near it on the south. 

The fellahin declared they had found in the graves we had just noted 
lamps and vases of terra-cotta, and some stones with inscriptions on them, and 
at my request one of them* went to look for a stone that he had put aside. 
In a few minutes he did bring me a small marble titulus with a Greek inscrip- 
tion of four lines and the characteristic seven-branched candlestick of Jewish 
symbolism. I saw at a glance that it was the epitaph of a certain Hezekiah, 
phrontistes of Alexandria. I hastened to acquire this precious specimen of 
Helleno-Jewish funerary epigraphy,t which settled once for all the nature of 
the burying-ground that I had just discovered, and gleefully dropped this first 
small victim into my game bag, that is to say, into the khurdj that hung at 
my saddle bow. 

Ydzilr. — After this short but fruitful diverticuhini, we quitted this 
archaeologists' hunting-ground, whither I promised myself to return, and 
wended our way towards the picturesque fountain of Abii, Nabbfct, so as to 
resume the usual route to Jerusalem, which we followed without noteworthy 
incident to the little village of Ydzilr. Here I again deserted the high road to 
go through the village, which lies to the left on slightly rising ground, and to 
examine more closely an old building there — a church,^ or small castle flanked 
by buttresses. The only information of any interest that I could gather there, 
was about the name of the locality. A fellah, less shy than his companions, 
was good enough to inform me that Ydziir was in the olden time called 
Addlia,\ and that it was only later on that the town being taken by an 
ancient king by main force, '^ bez zor," received in consequence the name of 
Ydzur. Without attaching undue importance to this etymology, founded on 
an attempt at a pun, I nevertheless thought well to note it. It is, moreover, 

* Mohammed A'nany, the owner of a small karcm (a non-irrigated garden) in the neighbour- 

t See on p. 133 a fac-simile and explanation of this inscription. 

X At the end of the 15th century there used to be shown at Yaznr the remains of a fine 
church, built in honour of St. Mary (^ Journal de Voyage de Louis de Rochechouart, p. 71). It is- 
possible that these remains are those of the church in question ; and this church perhaps is 
none other than the undiscoverable St. Mary of the Three Shades (trium umbra rum), which, 
according to certain documents of the Crusades, belonged to the diocese of Lydda. 

§ The origin of this name I do not see, but perhaps it should be connected with the 
Arabic ddlia, "grape," "vine-stalk," which is akin to the Hebrew n'/T dalit. 

6 Ai'clucological Researches in Palestine. 

remarkable that in these parts, as far as the mountains,* local tradition often 
ascribes to the same j^lace two names, one regarded as ancient, the other 
modern. This peculiarity, which I was repeatedly struck with in my 
earlier researches, deserves attention from anyone who may devote himself 
to investigations into onomastic topography. 

Gezei'. — I had no time to do anything at Ramleh, where we put up for 
the night ; so that remains for another occasion. We set out at early morning 
so as to be able to go by way of Tell el Jezery, or Tell el Jezer, the site of 
ancient Gezer. I discovered this by researches on the spot nearly three years 
before, after having fixed on it a priori on the map simply by theoretical and 
historical considerations. We took a direct course for this "place, crossing 
ground deeply fissured by the drought, in which our horses had the greatest 
difficulty in making progress. 

On reaching the summit of the Tell, we found a large house in course of 
erection, and came across the sons of Mr. Bergheim, who were having it 
built. They told us they had bought the whole hill and a certain portion of 
land round it ; and I only hoped that this acquisition — which had been made 
after the discovery I made public, and probably in consequence of it — might 
facilitate for us the exploration of the site of the old Canaanite city. 

The operations undertaken by MM. Bergheim have led to the discovery 
of some worked flints, of which they showed me some specimens. These 
seemed to me extremely curious. There was likewise discovered there 
about the same time a very interesting little terra-cotta figure, of which we 
made a photograph and a squeeze in plaster. My report, written in 1874, 
contained a detailed description of it, which I reproduce here, as, for reasons 
with which I am not acquainted, it was not published at the time :t " The 
authenticity of this object cannot possibly be doubtful ; a mere glance suffices 
to show the gulf that separates it from the specimens of the Shapira collec- 
tion (I mean, of course, those that I have seen); to say nothing of the style, 
the material alone, which is hard, sonorous, and compact, in nowise resembles 
the hollow and badly baked pottery of the latter. This statuette represents 
a miniature figure of a woman in semi relief, having on her head a sort of 
diadem (in the shape of an embattled crown), with her two arms crossed 

* This custom is not peculiar to tlie plains. I have noticed it in mountainous country 
likewise. See, for instance, my remarks on Sha'fat (\'ol. I). 

t The Quarterly Statement, 1874, p. 75, contains a note on this object by the late 
Mr. Charles Tyrwhitt Drake. 

From [affa to Jerusalc 


under her breasts, in an attitude habitual with the divinities of the Cypriot 
Pantheon ; the attributes of her sex are represented with a naive exaggeration 
which lends further support to this comparison. It may very well be that 
we have here a sample of the current Canaanitish art applied to religious 
needs, for it appears quite probable that this little figure represents a goddess 
analogous in appearance and symbolic nature to those found in the environs 
of Tyre and Sidon. It might perhaps be regarded as a representation of 
the goddess Atergatis, or the goddess Astarte."* The engraving of it will 
be given further on in Chapter V, § VIII. 

In passing I gave a glance at the great birkeh, of which I made a plan 
on my first visit here in March, 1871 (see the Appendix). This had now 
been cleared out almost to the bottom. 

Taking our leave of the new lords of Gezer, we crossed the whole length 
of the Tell, and came down it in the direction of 'Ain Yardeh and Kubab. 
As we went along I examined afresh the presses, the graves, and threshing- 
floors cut out in the solid rock which had so impressed me on the 
previous occasion. I believe I have succeeded in determining the character 
and object of certain level spaces made in the rock, which then greatly puzzled 
me — they are the sites of ancient houses. Thus, one sees here and there 
four or five steps terminating in a quadrangular platform cut horizontally in 
the sloping rock, and these cuttings are the tracks or footprints, so to speak, 
of rude dwellings that are no longer existent. In other places it is perfectly- 
easy to make out a vertical cutting deep into the rock, where the back part 
of the dwellinof rested. It would be desirable, I think, to make careful 
surveys of the most characteristic of these incisions and excisions, they might 
throw much light on the construction of the primitive dwellings of Palestine. 
Nothing but drawings and detailed plans would suffice to explain these curious 
arrangements, and to give an exact notion of what a Canaanite city was like. 
I meant to return and make these plans along with M. Lecomte. 

Another observation that 'I made during this second and hurried visit to 
the site of Gezer concerns the way in which the different quarters of Gezer 
were arranged. In the middle of the Tell and at its highest point, which was 
of considerable strategic importance, there certainly was built the fortified town, 
the city properly so called. Around and about the Tell, at the foot of it, were 
scattered small disconnected nuclei of houses, like satellites. The position of 

* The passage in the Statement quoted in the Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 439, and mistakenly attributed 
to me, ought in reality to be restored to Mr. C. T. Drake ; the engraving accompanying it was done 
from his sketch, which conveys but an imperfect idea of the nature of the object. 

8 Archceological Researches, in Palestine. 

these is marked by the workings in the rock that I mentioned above. This 
straggUng arrangement that I noticed at Gezer, but which Gezer is certainly 
not the only place to exemplify, explains in a striking way, it seems to me, 
that common expression in the Bible, "the town and its daughters." It is 
probably these isolated groups, which nevertheless formed an integral part of 
the mother-city, that are so ingeniously alluded to as its " daughters." 

The fullest details concerning Gezer and the discoveries that 1 made 
there a few months after will be found in Chapter V of the present volume. 
Cf. also the Appendix I. 

Abu Ghosh. — On leaving Kubab,* we quickened our speed so as to make 
up for the time lost at Gezer. We merely halted a few moments at Kuryet 
el 'Enab, or the village of Abu Ghosh, to visit the so-called Church of St. 
Jeremias, of which a concession had been quite recently made to the French 
Government. A few excavations, made since the concession, had partly 
brought to light the crypt, which forms a regular subterranean church, and 
contains a kind of vault with a spring full of water. We again noticed on the 
stones of the upper part of the church those mason's markst that I had 
observed a few years before. These establish beyond doubt the Latin 
mediaeval origin of the building ; the W in particular is decisive in this 
respect. Numbers of hewn blocks with bossages can be seen in the inner 
walls, bearing a striking similarity to those used in the construction of the 
church at Neby Shamwil, which also dates from the period of the Crusaders, 
and of the ruined building at Kulonieh. 

A fellah told me of an inscription he had found, and promised to bring it 
to me at Jerusalem.;]: 

In my conversation with the peasants of Abu Ghosh I noticed the rather 
curious fact that Abu Ghosh and 'Amwas have almost identical populations, 
so to speak. The inhabitants move from one village to the other according 
to the time of year, and make the two places in turn their winter and summer 
abode. This fact points to a close connection between the two localities that 
dispute with one another the honour of representing the Emmaus of the 
Gospel. § 

* With regard to Bab el Wad, between Kubab and Abu Ghosh, where we did not stop, 
I extract the following entry from an old note-book (1871, VI, p. lort): "near the cafe is 
Khurhet Harsh." I consider it desirable to mention in passing the name of this locality, which 
does not appear on the Map. 

t See Vol. I, the special Masons' Afarks' Table. 

X It proved to be merely a fragment of an ancient Arabic epitaph. 

§ It also explains certain incidents that will concern us later on. 



Ox Friday, November 28th, we left Jerusalem for Jericho, where I had 
various points to settle. I availed myself of the presence of Lieut. Conder 
and Mr. Drake, who were then camping at 'Ain es Sultan, to join their party 
and make myself better acquainted with them. We spent five days in the 
camp of these gentlemen, and met with the warmest welcome. On December 
3rd we went back to Jerusalem. 

To omit matters of inferior moment, there were two main objects that 
led me to this short excursion in the neighbourhood of Jericho. The first 
was to examine the site of the Hajar el Asbak, which for various reasons, 
both etymological and topographical,'" I had for some time past proposed 
to identify with the Stone of Bohan ; the second was a plan for excavating a 
burying-ground near Kumran, mentioned as curious by MM. Rey and de 
Saulcy. In this place the latter gentleman thought, mistakenly in my 
opinion, that he detected the name and consequently the site also of 

In view of my projected excavations I had taken with me two fellahin 
from Selwan, who had worked for Captain Warren, and I procured from the 
store-house of the Palestine Exploration Fund at Jerusalem a quantity of 
tools, such as pickaxes, spades, levers and baskets. The natives of Jericho 
are quite unreliable for this sort of work, as they themselves have recourse 
to the fellahin of the mountain to till the ground for them, though this is done 
in such a rudimentary way as to require no great exertion. 

Our journey out was uneventful enough, except that, as we started some- 
what late from Jerusalem, it was pitch dark when we got to the plain. Being 
badly led by our two Selwaw'nes,t we wandered about some two hours among 
the thorn thickets before we lit upon the encampment, which was hidden from 
view by the Tell el 'Ain, at the foot of which it had been pitched. 

* I have set forth the chief of these in the Revue Archeologique, August, 1870, p. 116 et seqq. 
t Inhabitants of Selwan. Plural form of the ethnic Selivaiiy. 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Next day we left for Hajar el Asbah and Khurbet Kumran, accompanied 
by Messrs. Conder and Drake. I had already explained to them the double 
object I had in view. 

Hajar el Asbah. — After crossing in turn a number of valleys, among 
them Wad el Kelt, Wady Daber, and the small Wad el Asala, we reached the 
territory {ardii) of Hajar el Asbah. This is a small plain stretching between 
the base of the mountains and the Dead Sea as far as a jutting tongue of land 
of conspicuous appearance, which one of our Bedouin guides called, I think, 
Edh dh 'ncib B'ycir{}). 

In the northern part of this plain well-nigh at the foot of the perpendi- 
cular rock, lie four or five large masses of rock, doubtless fallen from the top 
or sides of the mountain. One of these blocks, the most northerly of them, 
almost cubical in shape, and measuring about 8 feet in height, was pointed 
out to us as being the Hajar el Asbah ; it is cracked across the middle. 

These small dimensions are in striking contrast with the importance 
assigned to this mere mass of unhewn stone, with nothing striking in its 
appearance, which has nevertheless given its name to the whole of a consider- 
able region. Moreover, the shape of this stone by no means appeared to me 
to justify the meaning that my theory has led me to assign to the Hebrew 
Bohan, " thumb," and the Arabic Asbah (for Asbd), " finger." 


On the other hand, I noticed close by, rising from the side of the 
mountain, a solitary and conspicuous peak, with the appearance of which I 
and my travelling companions were instantly struck. This portion of rock 

First Excnrsio7t to Jericho. 


stands out vertically against the sky, and has very much the appearance of a 
closed fist with the thumb raised, as may be seen from the two scrupulously 
exact drawings that M. Lecomte made at my request. 

Nothing could be more natural than to give to this finger-shaped rock 
the characteristic appellations mentioned above ; but unfortunately our guides 
assured us that the real Hajar el Asbah was the fallen block we had just 
seen. The curious peak they called by the name of Sa/isul H'ineid, or 
Gozcrtici Sa/isicl H'nieid. It appears to me difficult to connect this name in 
any way with the Biblical Eben Bohan, since it is evidently nothing but a 


circumstantial name given to the peak in consequence perhaps of some 
accident that happened to a certain H'meid [Sahsill, "tumble"). 

What are we to conclude from these facts ? It is quite possible that the 
Arabic translation of the Hebrew name, after being originally applied to the 
peak which it would so well suit, has been transferred to one of the blocks that 
have fallen from the mountain not far away. This conjecture is supported to 
a certain extent by the fact that the name Asbah has been extended to the 
whole of a district iardh), as I mentioned earlier. It would therefore not be 
unreasonable to suppose that the name, after being spread abroad in this way, 

c 2 


Archceoloncal Researches in Pa/estvic. 

may have returned and fixed itself to a block in this same district, and that 
lying in the quarter where it is usual to enter the district, namely, the north. 
We might also, in the last resort, make the shifting of the name date back to 
the unknown period when the block was detached from the mountain. This 
occurrence must have attracted attention enough at the time to attach to the 
new arrival the ancient name which had been already extended to the whole 


I picked up from the Bedouin who accompanied us a variant on the 
name of this stone : Hajar es Sobcli. Not only had the peak itself, which I 
was inclined to identify with the Stone of Bohan, a most characteristic shape, 
but even the shadow which it threw on the mountain- side at the time we 


passed by formed a curious outline which reminded one of the etymoloo-ical 
meaning of the name. 

To these various arguments I will add another that seems of some 
weight in this important question of biblical topography. This peak marks 
the precise point where the mountains that skirt the western coast of the 
Dead Sea change their direction, or at least appear to do so to the spectator 
who views their whole extent : it is at the end of the promontory, which as 
you look from north to south closes the terrestrial horizon on that side, 
apparently sinking sheer into the sea. Thus the point forms a natural 
boundary, so that it would not be surprising to find it designated as one of the 
landmarks on the line separating the territories of Benjamin and Judah. 
This last consideration appeared to me so weighty, that I requested M. 
Lecomte, when we got back to camp, to make a comprehensive sketch from 

First Exclusion to [eric ho. 13 

the summit of the Tell 'Ain es Sultdn, of the whole plain of Jericho and its 
horizon of mountains, from the Tawahin es Sukkar to the Dead Sea. 

The point which was the object of the observations is marked on the 
horizon by a dotted vertical line.* 

In the foreground to the left is seen one of the Tells of the plain of 
Jericho, its surface disturbed by excavations ; on the right, in the extreme 
background, are remains of ancient aqueducts, a Tell, and the ancient 
road to Jerusalem, which descends obliquely down the mountain into the 

It is to be noted that this peak only shows its outline in strong relief 
when looked at from the north. When viewed from the south, as we saw it 
later on our way back from Kumran, of which I shall speak shortly, it had 
lost its first appearance, owing in part to the change in the light. To make 
up for this it now represented, with a well-nigh deceptive fidelity that struck 
us all, a colossal seated statue in the Egyptian style. Thus, under all 
conditions this peak assumes shapes well adapted to attract attention, and this 
property alone would mark it out for the function of frontier landmark, which 
the Stone of Bohan in the Book of Joshua is represented as fulfilling. 

This topographical problem is one of the most difficult that the Bible 
presents, and I do not conceal the objections that may be and indeed have 
been raised to the connection I have endeavoured to establish. The 
discussion of the question would be too far out of my way, but I propose to 
return to it elsewhere ; I may, however, answer at once two of the criticisms 
passed on it. One is founded on an error of fact, and relates to a radical 
difference said to exist between the name Asbah and the Arabic word Asbd, 
"finger;" the latter word is correctly written with the sad, and not, as has 
been alleged, with the sin. The other is based on the fact that Hajar el 
Asbah is six miles south-west of 'Ain Hajleh, and as the Stone of Bohan was 
situated between Beth Hoglah and the neighbourhood of Gilgal, the boundary, 
on which it was a landmark, could not lie so far to the south. To this I reply 
that, in my opinion, the mouth of the Jordan, at the time when the Book of 
Joshua was written, must have been much more to the north, about as high 
up as 'Ain Hajleh, the Dead Sea extending thus far and forming a marshy 
lagoon, called in the Bible the Lashon, or "tongue" of the Dead Sea. The 
western side of this lagoon must have followed pretty closely the line of the 

* The Hajar el Asbah itself was not visible from where we were, but the position of it was 
exactly taken by means of the compass by Lieut. Conder. 

14 Arch(Eological Researches in Palestine. 

Zor, and of the district called el Jcheiyir.'" A curious legend gathered by the 
lo-umen Daniel, and certainly based on a sagacious examination of the ground, 
appears to allude to this ancient state of affairs, which was perhaps more 
apparent in his time than now : " Of old time the Sea of Sodom went right 
up to the place of baptism, but it is now four versts distant from it."t 

There is no need for me to insist on the importance and the results of 
this primitive configuration of the ground, according to my restoration of it 
from its present aspect. This restoration throws a flood of light on those 
two verses of Joshua xv, 5, and xviii, 19, and does away with that sudden 
and unaccountable bend which had to be made in the boundary line, following 
the system hitherto universally adopted, from the present mouth of the Jordan 
northwards to Beth Hoglah. 

It also introduces into the problem of the Stone of Bohan a new element, 
which I reserve for consideration later on. In the meanwhile I will leave 
the question an open one. 

Knmrdn. — After a short halt at the Hajar el Asbah we continued on our 
way towards the south, in order to go and examine the site of the Khurbet 
Kumran (pronounced Gumrmi), and especially the burying-ground noted at 
this spot by MM. Rey and de Saulcy. 

The ruins are insignificant in themselves, consisting of some dilapidated 
walls of low stones and a small birkeh with steps leading to it. The ground 
is strewn with numerous fragments of pottery of all descriptions. 

If ever there existed there a town properly so called, it must have been 
a very small one. The idea of identifying it, as M. Saulcy does, with 
the Gomorrah of the Five Cities, is one which will not bear discussion from 
the point of view of either toponymy or topography, as I have formerly 

* M. de Saulcy (in the Atlas to his Voyage autour de la Mer Morte) marks in this 
neighbourhood a "morass like that of the Sabhka of the south," and "another morass" as far up 
as Hajleh. In iht Memoirs, Vol. Ill, p. 168, "a dead level of grey mud ... a muddy 
tract ... a mile wide." I recognized here traces of the bottom of the ancient lagoon of 
the Lastion. 

t The sea is supposed to have fled at the sight of the Lord, and the Igumen quotes 
Ps. cxiv, 5, a propos of this miraculous retreat. 

In the time of the Hasmonceans this district of the Jordan was still a marsh (eXo^), as 
appears from various testimonies of Josephus {^Ant. Jiid., xiii, i, 2, 5), and from the Book of 
Maccabees (i, 9). I have treated this question as a whole on several occasions at the College 
de Frame, and before the Acadcinie des Insirip/ions et Belles-Lcttres ; it will form the subject of a 
special memoir, which I expect to publish shortly. 

First Excursion to Jericho. 


proved."" It is a great pity that the notion has quite lately been taken 
seriously by capable writers.t 

The most interesting feature of Kumran is the tombs, which, to the 
number of a thousand or so, cover the main plateau and the adjacent mounds. 

Judging merely by their outward appearance, you would take them to be 
ordinary Arab tombs, composed of a small oblong tumulus, with its sides 
straight and its ends rounded off, surrounded by a row of unhewn stones. 


"Plan of Plateau 


Plan of^a Tomb 

Plan of a Tomb 





Position of Tombs N la"'!. 




A. General plan of the burying-ground. (The straight line rnnning parallel to the tombs anJ alongside the birkeh represents 
a ruined wall ; the general direction of the tombs is N. by 20° E.) 

B. Plan of a tomb. (The arroTi- shows where the head lay.) 

C. Cross section of the above tomb, from A to B. 

D. Plan of a tomb after excavation. 

E. Cross section of the above tomb from C to D. 

with one of larger size standing upright at either end. They are clearly 
distinguished, however, from the modern Mussulman graves by their orienta- 
tion, the longer axis in every case pointing 7/ort/i and south, and not east and 
west. This very unusual circumstance had already been noticed by the 

* Gomorrah, Segor et les fillcs de Lot ; later {Revue Critique, September 7th, 1885) I have 
suggested that the name .Gomorrah should perhaps be looked for in that of ]Vddy Gliamr, 'Ain 
Ghamr, to the south of the Dead Sea. 

t Trelawney Saunders, Alap of Western Palestine. 

'i6 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

Mussulman guides of M. Rey, who made the same remark as our men, that 
these were tombs o'i Knffdr, that is to say unbeHevers, non-Mussulmans. 

I made up my mind to have one of them opened. Our two men from 
Selwan set to work before our eyes, and we attentively followed the progress 
of this small excavation, which presented, I may remark, no difficulty what- 
ever. After going down about a metre, our workmen came upon a layer of 
bricks of unbaked clay, measuring 1 5f inches by 8 inches by 4I inches, and 
resting on a sort of ledge formed in the soil itself. On removing these bricks 
we found in the grave proper that they covered the half decayed bones of the 
body that had been buried there. We managed to secure a fragment of a 
jaw with some teeth still adhering to it, which will perhaps enable us to arrive 
at some conclusions of an anthropological nature. 

There was nothing else whatever to afford any indications. The head 
was towards the south, the feet towards the north. 

The accompanying sketches give an exact notion of the dimensions and 
arrangement of the tomb that I opened up, as also of the general appearance 
of this puzzling cemetery. The main plateau, which contains the greater 
number of the tombs, is crossed from east to west by a sort of path, separ- 
ating these tombs, which are arranged with considerable regularity into two 
unequal groups. 

It is hard to form an opinion as to the origin of these graves, chiefly on 
account of their unusual orientation. They may very well have belonged to 
some pagan Arab tribe of the period which the Mussulmen call Jdhiliyeh, 
that is to say before the time of Mahomet. Indeed, if they had been Christian 
tombs, they would probably have exhibited some characteristic mark or emblem 
of a religious nature, for the use of unbaked bricks to cover and protect the 
bodies, the considerable depth of the cavities, the regularity that pervades the 
arrangement, and so on, show that these graves were constructed with a 
certain amount of care and with evident respect for their intended occupants. 

Rika {Ei'iha). — I took advantage of the Sabbath to take a short walk 
to Riha and the neighbourhood, in company with M. Lecomte. We paid a 
visit to the Mutesellhn of modern Jericho, who lives in the wretched Arab 
Burj, in hope to get some information from him. I met with an inhabitant of 
Riha who claimed to have discovered three stones with inscriptions on them a 
few days before. These were probably nothing but fragments of sculpture, 
such as we had already found at Tawahin es Sukkar, pieces of capitals or 
friezes, on which the Arabs insisted on our finding inscriptions. 

We next entered an enclosed ground belonging, we were told, to the 

First Excursion to Jericho. 


Russians, where there was accumulated a quantity of ancient hewn stones, 
procured by excavation in the neighbouring Tells, for use in the construction 
of a building projected by the Russians. We examined this building-yard, so 
to call it, with the greatest care, and heard that it was chiefly supplied from 
excavations made at Tell el Mat lab. 

We noticed a number of architectural fragments, such as mouldings, 
carvings, bases, capitals and shafts of columns, pieces of entablature or friezes, 
a piece of the side of a sarcophagus with garlands, etc. Some of the stones 
bore a cross. A little further on, in the garden, we noticed a huge block of 
pink granite quite sunk into the ground. It would be highly desirable to 
ascertain the exact origin of these fragments. They doubtless belong to 
ancient buildings of some importance and of various periods, and might afford 
the basis of a conjecture as to the site of ancient Jericho, or at any rate of 






I 'I 


f '///,Cl. )li:,\ 


A. Fragment of stone coliimn (of ccirse limestone). Elevation (traces of dentils visilile on one side). 

B. ,, „ „ „ Profile. 

C. ,, ,, ,, ,, I'lan looking down .and section. 

D. ,, ,, „ ,, I'lan looking uj) and section. 

E. Stone corbel (of coarse limestone). 

F. Protile of a stone cornice (of coarse limestone). 



Archceological Researches in Palestine. 


iTi^-'iiow;:|-itijiiv^i,f>PMn"  ;x 

A. Elevation of an abacus (coarse limestone with pebljles), ornamented with Greek cross. 

B. Perspective of the same. 

C. Fragment of the side of a sarcophagus (lo cm. ihick, hard iinzzch limestone). The lower part of a garland 
carved in relief. 


First Excursion to Jericho. 


Jericho in the time of Herod. Unfortunately one cannot place unlimited 
confidence in the assertions of the Arabs on this point. I must admit, 





/ »i -- ^-' 

,<v/,,), ';■>■,'■■ ,11,,,,,,,,.., - 





-  O-io i-O.IO ^ 

Details of the Capital. — A. Plan of the part above ihe abacus. 
B. Section on line m-m. 

however, that they were almost unanimous in mentioning Tell el Matlab as 
the chief source of these stones ; and this is in harmony with the tradition 
of which I shall speak later on, which locates the site of ancient Jericho at 

D 2 

20 A7'ch(?olorical Researches in Palestine. 


Tell el Matlab. M. Lecomte employed the next day in drawing the most 
interesting of these fragments. 

We came back to the camp by way of this Tell el Matlab, which had 
thus been brought to our notice, and observed, as a matter of fact, traces of 
tolerably recent excavations, and also found there some blocks of hewn stone 
that had been recently got out. 

Envii'0)is of Jericho. — In the afternoon I went out by myself for a short 
excursion to the north of Riha. I took for my guide a fellah from el 'Azeriyeh 
(Bethany), who was in the habit of coming to Riha for the field-work, and 
knew the neighbourhood better perhaps than the inhabitants themselves, the 
latter being in such a state of degradation that it is difficult to get from them 
any information whatever, 

I first visited the Khiirbet el Mufjir, to the north of \V. Nuei'ameh 
( Wddy N'loc'nieh), not far from the aqueduct which crosses the valley, and 
which I was told goes by the name oi Jisr Abit Ghabhish. The ruins of 
Mufjir consist of small rounded heaps, extending over a considerable space 
of ground. Some of them were excavated a few years before by Captain 
Warren. These researches brought to light, among other things, a portion 
of an apse with its convex side looking south. This may be the extremity 
of the transept of a church with regular orientation. The same name 
Khiirbet or Tau'dhin ("mills") el Mufjir is applied to some considerable ruins 
lying about a quarter of an hour's journey farther west, at the end of an 
aqueduct carried on nearly semicircular arches. I noticed not far away a 
small wady, a lateral tributary of the Wady N'we'meh. My guide called it 
Wady Mufjir, but afterwards some Bedouin of the neighbourhood assured me 
there was no such name, and that this wady was called Seiirhdii. Others, 
however, asserted that it was not a wady at all, but merely a place called 
"the Zakkfuns of Seurhan " (z'giimat Seurhan), after a certain Seurhan who 
had been killed there by the 'Adwan Bedouin. 

Ed-Diik. — From here we directed our way towards 'Ai^i ed Diik, across 
the region of the sanctuary " of the Imam'Aly," Ardh viakdtji el Imdm 'Aly. 
This sanctuary is held in the greatest veneration in the country round about, 
and is often called the Makdm for short, as being the sanctuary ^a;- excellence. 
We shall soon hear of the curious legend that I picked up relating to this 
Mussulman shrine. To get to the Makam, we went by way of the Tell el 
Btireikeh {AbWaikeli). 

The Makam in itself presents no striking features. I first noticed a 
Mussulman tomb protected by a low dry stone wall, and surrounded by a 

First Excitrsion to Jericho. 21 

quantity of Implements and miscellaneous articles, left there by their owners 
under the protection of the holiness of the place. A little further on are 
erected two large shafts of columns, intended to mark the precise site of the 
Makam. A rising ground of small extent that lies in front is full of pits dug 
in the ground, and similarly entrusted to the protection of the Saint. 

The Makam lies at the foot of mountains bearing the name, founded on 
legend, as we shall shortly see, oi Mttedhdhen Eb'ldl, "the place where Eb'lal 
summoned to prayer." This mountain commands all the country round, and 
looks over the Wady N'we'meh. This point being of great strategical value, 
we should perhaps locate here the fortress of DUk or Dagon, spoken of in 
the Book of Maccabees and in Josephus. The same name is found again 
in that of the spring called '^Ain ed Diik, not far away, and a little higher up 
the wady I wa.s told — how truly I was not able to ascertain — that there were 
traces of ruins on a plateau at the top. 

This same name Dfik would also appear to have been anciently applied 
to the mountain called from the time of the Crusaders the Mountain of the 
Quarantania. This is indubitaby proved by an ancient Christian Arabic MS., 
still unpublished, which contains a very curious description of the Holy Places. 
It is there expressly stated that the Mountain of the Quarantania is called 
Jebel cd Diik (j^J-l^ J^^)) ^nd that this is the mountain from under which the 
spring of Elisha issued. The real native name, therefore, of the mountain 
christened by the Franks "the Mountain of the Quarantania" is Jcbel cd, 
Diik, and hence it becomes very probable that this is in fact the mountain 
spoken of in the Life of St. Cliariton (Boilandists, September 2Sth, pp. 6i8 
and 622), under the mutilated name of Lukes Mountain, in the neighbourhood 
of Jericho (Aovko, to be altered to AovKa). This fact has its importance, 
proving as it does that the name Duk is earlier than the Arab conquest. The 
author of the Life of St. Chariton explains the origin of the name in this 
way : Elpidius, having established a religious foundation in this place, he 
(Elpidius) was called Aou/ca [dux, "duke"), because he commanded the laura 
like a kind of duke, repelling the attacks of the Jews who inhabited a place 
(yoipiov) in the neighbourhood called NoepoV. We may believe that the 
author is here playing upon a more ancient name, an old Hebrew or Aramaic 
name of the spot, namely, that Dilk which we encounter in Jewish history. 
I will remark, in passing, that the Noeron in question here is simply the 
Naorath which the Ononiasticon speaks of as being a "Villula Judaeorum" five 
miles from Jericho, and regards, rightly or wrongly, as identical with the 
Naarah in the tribe of Ephraim. It is interesting to note that this name, 


Archceological Researches in Pales fine. 

now vanished from the native toponymy," was still in existence when the 
Life of SL Chariton was compiled, and that the place had remained an im- 
portant Jewish centre. It is the Near a of Josephus, whence an aqueduct 
brought water to the plantations of Jericho, and the Naaran (p^i) of the 
Talmud, a neighbour and an enemy of Jericho. It has been proposed to 
locate it at Khurbet el 'Aujah, but the distance does not exactly agree. In 
this latter respect, if the Jericho of the Ononiasticott be represented by the 
Riha of to-day, the actual neighbourhood of 'Ain ed Duk would be preferable. 

I continued to ascend the Wady N'we'meh, which grows wider just here, 
keeping along the base of the hills that skirt the northern side of it. When 
I had got up about as high as the springs of 'Ain ed Duk and 'Ain N'we'meh, 
I went to see a tomb which was dug out in the rocky side of a hill, the 
opening of which is visible from the bottom of the valley. It consists of a 
chamber with 21 loculi at right angles to the walls [kokiin), and arranged in 
two rows, one above the other.t 

This number 21 (7 and 3) has a symbolical import in the arrangement 
of tombs. I noticed there also two stone sarcophagi, one longer and wider 
than the other. On the ground in the middle of a heap of chopped straw 



* It is met with again on the other side of Jordan, in the name of a homonymous locality, to 
the north of Hesban : AW'aur (khilrbet, 'ain, and wady, .jili)- 

t I did not make a plan of it, but Mr. Drake, whom I took there the next day, doubtless 
did so. 

First Excursion to Jericho. 23 

{tibeii) there lay a fragment of the lid of a sarcophagus, carved and 
ornamented with acroteria or fastigia, rounded at the corners and triangular 
at the sides, along with some more fragments, plainly of sarcophagi and 
lids. This chamber had been recently opened, my guide declared, by a 
Bedawy who had found it convenient for a granary ; in fact, I noticed at 
the door of the tomb the earth that had been removed from it, mixed with 
bones, potsherds, and bits of glass, etc., and it did not appear to have lain 
there long. 

By the side of this tomb I noticed another of the same sort, almost 
wholly filled up with earth. I came back next day and excavated it, but 
without any results of interest. This second tomb struck me as having never 
been entirely finished, but it must in any case have been rifled long before. 
We found mingled with the earth in one of the corners of the chamber 
some bones, apparently belonging to a body, an Arab's possibly, which had 
been buried there at a later period. 

Probably the presence of these tombs, and the discovery of these sarco- 
phagi, accounts for the origin of a legend that my guide related to me. 
Pointing from where we stood to the bottom of the valley, he said, " At the 
back of the level country {fy kd kkaur) of Ahi Lahein, in the Wady 
N'we'meh, not far from the spring, they say there is a great long stone with 
an inscription. By the side of it is a leaden chest which contains another 
chest all of gold, which again contains the body of a man." The same guide, 
told me that the "old men of Riha" said that the site of ancient Jericho was 
at Tell el Matlab. 

He also mentioned a large upright rock {wdkef) called Chahmiln or 
Chahvmm, which is like a solitary mountain, and is situated about two hours' 
journey to the south of Hajar el Asbah. This must be \.\\& Jebel el Kakmiini 
of the Map (to the S.W. near Neby Musa). Only the pronunciation as I 
noted it would imply the spelling ^j^^i', c'rH-^' ''^'■h^*' '^han that used in the 
Name Lists, *j..«^. 

Legends of Joshua. — All Monday was taken up with the fruitless excava- 
tion of the tomb last mentioned. 

In the evening, in the course of conversation with one of the 'Abid 
employed as guides by the Survey Party, I gathered from his lips a number 
of traditions which appear worth relating in detail, as they refer confusedly 
but still unequivocally to the name and history of Joshua. I attach a certain 
value to these legends, though strangely modified indeed from the Bible 
stories, because they were related to me by a simple-minded and rather shy 

24 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

man, before an audience of Arabs who could check his assertions, and because 
alterations they have undergone are too curious and too local not to be 
original. I mean by this (and will presently give proof of it) that it would be 
a mistake to regard them as recent adaptations of Christian traditions ; they 
must belonor to an old mass of Arabic folk-lore which has for centuries been 
current among the natives of the plain of Jericho. 

I reproduce faithfully my Bedawy's story. 

" Not far from Tell el Ifhlek"* (a locality that I shall have occasion to 
speak of again later on, and which is situated something over a mile to the 
east of Riha) "there are," said he, "some ruins with daivdres^ Here once 
rose the ancient Jericho, 'the city of brass' [Medmet en nalids), surrounded 
with seven walls of brass. The city was in the power of the kiiffdr (infidels), 
and the Imam 'Aly, son of Abu Taleb (Imam of the makam described above.), 
warred against them. 'Aly, mounted on his horse Meimun,;{: rode round the 
city, and overthrew the walls by blowing on them {hen-ncfes) : the ramparts 
fell of themselves, stone by stone." 

It is superfluous to point out to the reader that this legend closely agrees 
with the capture of Jericho by Joshua. Here is another detail showing con- 
clusively the personality of Joshua hidden under that of the Imam 'Aly. 

When he was doing battle with the kujfdr of the Town of Brass, the 
day began to draw to a close, and the infidels were about to escape under 
cover of the darkness, when the Imam 'Aly cried out and addressed the 
sun, '" Erja'y, yd mtibdraka" Return, O Blessed One, and "' Inthiny, yd 
mubdraka" Turn back, O Blessed One. Immediately, by God's grace, the 
sun, which was in the west, and was about to disappear behind the mountain, 
came back and stationed itself in the east, at the place of its rising. Since 
this time the mountain above which the sun stood at the moment of the 
miracle has been called Dhahrat eth Thiniyeh, literally, " the ridge of the 
turning back." This mountain is the low chain which skirts the base of Mount 
Ouarantania, above the Tawahin es Sukkar, and is crossed as one goes from 
'Ain es Sultan to the Makam. It is covered with little heaps of stones 

* Another Bedawy from among the "Abid said " a little to the north of the Tell." 

t Plural form oi ddriseh, "traces of ancient things, remains." 

X The horse Meimihi is celebrated in Mussulman legend. It was a winged horse, a kind of 
Pegasus, and was brought to Adam by Ridhwan, the guardian angel of Paradise. It is a rather 
striking coincidence that the name Ridhwan happens to be that given to Joshua in Arabo- 
Samaritan tradition. 

First Excursion to Jericho. 25 

(shawdhed, " testimonia ") set up by the Mussulmans, who can descry thence, 
directly to the south, the no less sacred Makdni of Neby Musa. 

But to go on with our story. As soon as the Imam 'Aly saw the sun in 
the east again, he called out to his servant Eb'lal,'" who happened at the 
moment to be on the mountain now called Muedhdhen Eb'lal, to give the 
signal {ediidn) for morning prayer, whence the mountain was afterwards 
called the " Place of the Call to Prayer by Eb'lal. "t This miracle secured 
the victory of the Imam 'Aly; he exterminated the unbelievers, whose 
remains were eaten up by wasps {cfbfir), and destroyed the city root and 

It is easy to distinguish in this native legend, though in a state of 
quaint confusion and amalgamation, all the distinctive features of the Bible 
narrative relating to the taking of Jericho and the final victory of Joshua over 
the Amorites at the battle of Beth-horon. In consequence, however, of the 
utter lack of historical perspective that characterises popular accounts, facts 
and persons totally distinct and furthest apart in time, appear here all on the 
same plan. A strong tendency is also visible to localize striking details by 
connecting them with names of places involving attempts at etymology of the 
most rudimentary kind. Still, I think it is not uninteresting to have gathered 
these popular accounts at the spot where the events are represented in the 
Bible as taking place, for they hand down a tradition, and whatever their 
origin may be, are not the creations of yesterday, as I shall now proceed to 

As early as Mujir ed Din we find the capture of Jericho and the staying 
of the sun fused into one episode. This writer says that the two-fold miracle 
occurred on a Friday, and this feature is further developed by the apj^earance 
in the Bedouin legend of the Muezzin Eb'lal. Mujir ed Din himself merely 
borrows this account with its characteristic peculiarities from older Mussulman 

But this is not all. A testimony which, being that of a Christian, is 
quite independent, namely, that of the Russian Igumen (Abbot) Daniel, shows 

* Bilal, the famous Muezzin, a slave of Abyssinian origin, who was the first among Mussul- 
mans to be appointed to this office, and by Mahomet himself 

t I am inclined to believe that this name Eb'lal {= Bilal) gave rise to that of a group of the 
AblJ tribe called the Belalat. 

\ P. 94 of the liulak Arabic text. The legend in question is again met with, for instance, in 
the Tarikhi Montekheh. {Cf. d'Herbelot, Bibliothcqtie Orientate, s, \./osilwva.) 


26 Archceolooical Researches in Palestine. 


that the transference by legend of the miracle of Gabaon to the vicinity of 
Jericho was already an accomplished fact in the 12th century. In the 
description of Jericho, after speaking of the convent and church of St. Michael 
that rose on the site of Gilgal to hallow the memory of the vision of Joshua, to 
whom the Sar Saba of Jehovah appeared," he adds: "West of this place there 
is a mountain^ called Gabaon, which is very large and high. It was over this 
mountain that the sun stood still for half a day, so that Joshua, the son of 
Nun, might triumph over his enemies when he fought against Og(!), King of 
Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan. And when Joshua had completely 
vanquished them, the sun set. "J Thus the localization of the legend at 
Jericho, in the shape in which I found it, and with the complication of a new 
confusion (the victory over the Amorites), was already current in this quarter. 

Deviations and displacements of this sort in the story of Joshua are very 
ancient ; we find in early times this tendency to group around Jericho the 
places and deeds which stand out most prominently in the history of the 
successor of Moses. Thus it is, for instance, that we find Procopius of Gaza, 
Eusebius, and St. Jerome, saying that Mounts Ebal and Gerizim, which at a 
later time are pointed out by the Samaritans at Sichevi, are in reality not far 
from Gilgal, near Jericho. It looks as if this evolution were earlier than 
the Christian authors I have just quoted, and as if they had borrowed 
this singular theory from Jews, who held it perhaps out of hostility to 
the Samaritans. The transference of the miracle from Gabaon may 
belong to the same period, even if it was not determined by the same 
motive. Moreover, Ebal, Gerizim, and Gabaon are not the only names 
that have become connected with Jericho ; Hermon also has shared this 
fate. The Ononmsticon, Antoninus, St. John of Damascus, and after them 
a number of pilgrims, agree in locating the hill of Hermon near the Jordan, 
not far from Jericho. Hence one sees that the Bedouin legend has 
respectable and ancient precedents. 

One detail of the Bedouin legend strikes me as having a very curious 
Biblical character, namely the zuasps sent by God to complete the extermina- 
tion of the infidels of Jericho. It vividly recalls a passage in the Wisdom of 
Solomon (.xii, 8), where the writer, after mentioning the Canaanitish peoples 
that lived in the land before the Israelites, and after alluding to their 

* See further on my remarks on this tradition. 

t He is speaking, as the sequel of the description shows, of the Mountain of the Quarantania. 

I PalesttJie Pilgrims' Text Society s Tram., p. 32. 

First Excursion lo /cric/to. 27 

sanguinary rites, says, " And thou hast sent as scouts of thy army, wasps 
{a-(f)rJKa<;) to destroy them." 

This passage may be compared with Deuteronomy i, 44, where Jehovah 
says that the Amorites, coming down from the mountains, jxirsued the dis- 
obedient IsraeHtes as wasps do, or bees (D"'imn). Not only is this distinctly 
local simile found alike in the Hebrew text and the Bedouin legend, but the 
very words are identical, deborim = d'bilr, ( ,jjj) " wasps." We find the 
same comparison used in speaking of the "Assyrian hornet" to which 
Jehovah calls (Isaiah vii, 18), and of the strange nations that surround the 
Psalmist like "bees" (Ps. cxvlii, 12). It may not be out of place to remark 
in this connection that the Hebrew word dchcr, derived from the same root, 
signifies " extermination," and especially denotes " pestilence," that scourge 
which singles out armies for its prey. In Arabic the word dabra is par- 
ticularly used of" the flight of a routed army." It is likely enough that these 
various meanings of forms sprung from the same root are connected by a 
bond ot metaphor of which we find a trace in our Bedouin legend. 

In the morning of Tuesday, while M. Lecomte was engaged in making a 
sketch of the plain of Jericho near Tell el 'Ain, we went with Lieut. Conder 
to Tell el Ithleh, to which our attention had been attracted by the foregoing 
account, but discovered nothing noteworthy. Lieut. Conder then left me in 
order to examine the region of Tell el Mufjir. I now wanted to make a 
careful examination of the neighbourhood of Tell el Ithleh, but as ill luck 
would have it, my guide, a man from Riha, was so unintelligent that I could 
get no information from him, and I had to abandon the idea. I keenly 
regretted this when I got back to Jerusalem, for on reading the Guide of 
Brother Lievin and Zschokke's monograph, I saw that the place could not be 
far distant from the traditional site of Gilgal, even now called Tell el Jiljill. 
The point would have been an important one to clear up, for it might have 
established incidentally the exact site of the different Jerichos ; but I heard of 
it too late. I immediately notified Lieut. Conder of the fact, and he wrote 
back to say how exact the information was. 

From Tell el Ithleh I proceeded towards Riha, as my guide declared he 
had at his house there an inscribed stone found at Tell el Kos. It was 
nothing but a mere piece of marble with some scratches on it caused by the 

I spent nearly an hour in examining stone by stone all the ruined 
dwellings of the inhabitants of Jericho. This minute and laborious inspection 
was without result. I only saw the spot whence a fragment of a fine Roman 

E 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

monumental inscription, of which I had previously taken an impression," had 
been taken away to Jerusalem about three years before. 

It is a thick block of hard limestone measuring 13! inches by 14 inches, 
containino- the ends of four lines enclosed in a cartouche with ears. In that 
on the right, which is preserved, is represented a thunderbolt. 

I sent a copy to Prof. Mommsen 

for the Additamcnta to Vol. Ill of 
the Coi-pus Inscr. Lai in. '\ He pro- 
poses the following restoration : — 

imp. ca;s. diui ANTO(N) 
f. 1. aurclio u ERO AVG 

leg f ECIT 

sub com MODO COS. 

The inscription belongs to the 
period of the Emperor Lucius Verus. 
Possibly the name of Marcus Aurelius, 
with whom he was associated in the 
Government, ought to be restored 
by the side of the latter ; the two appear together on several milestones 
discovered in Palestine. The thickness of the fragment shows it to have 
belonged to a block of large size, with lines much longer than those supposed 
by Prof. Mommsen in his restoration. In this way there would be plenty of 
space for the double imperial protocol : Inipp. Caess. M. Aurclio Antonino et 
L. Aiirelio Vero Angg., etc., or for some other such formulae, more or less 

The inscription was dedicated under the consularis Commodus, whose 
name is also to be met with, as my colleague M. Heron de Villefosse has 
pointed out to me, on some Syrian coins, S5 probably by the Legion, or a 

* April 22nd, 187 1, Note-book IV, p. 23^ : " Brought from Jericho by the Sheikh of Selwan." 
I copied it and took an impression of it at his house, but he would not let me have it. I came 
across it again afterwards, in 1881, at the Armenian convent in Jerusalem, and took a good 
photograph of it. (See my Rapports stir niie mLsion en Palestine ct en Phenicie, 1884, p. 1 12.) 

t Epliemer. Epigr., p. 618 : Corpus Inscr. Latin, III Suppl., No. 6645. Cf. P. von Rohden, 
de Palaestina et Arabia, p. 42, No. 28. 

:j; Cf. Waddington, Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, No. 1875. 

g There is a dissertation on them by Borghesi {CEuvres, Vol. IV, p. 170). On the other 
hand, De Vit (Onoinasticon, II, p. 391, verso, Commodus, IV) says that coins of this same legate 
are in existence struck in Thrace, with the name of the gens, /i/lii/s Commodus. 

First Excursion to JericJio. 


detachment {Vexi/tatio) of the legio that was at that time in garrison at 
Jericho. Unfortunately the name and number of this legion, which should be 
on the third line, have disappeared. I thought for the moment, from the 
thunderbolts carved in the auricles, that it might be the Twelfth Legion, the 
Fulminata, but that is not much to go by ; besides, we know that this legion 
was no longer in Syria in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, but in Cappadocia. 

In any case, the Jericho fragment has a great historical importance, since 
it teaches us the name of the legatus Augusti, pro preetore consularis, who 
governed the province of Palestine between the years 161 and 169 of our 
era. Lucius Verus died, as we know, in 169; on the other hand, we are 
aware that, in 167, the government of Palestine was entrusted to Flavius 
Boethus, who died shortly after reaching his post, as we are told by the 
physician Galenus.* 

Here follows a reproduction of another small fragment (of marble) with 
Latin (probably Roman) characters. This likewise came from Jericho ; I got 
it when I first stayed there. 

It is difficult to make anything out of these remains, which only contain a 
part of a line and a'few traces of another line underneath. The first mutilated 
letter is more probably a O than an O. I am also at a loss how to divide the 
words in the obscure group of letters : . . . que /(or i)ovent sit {per ?)...?? 

Deir el Kelt. — We spent the afternoon in going with Mr. Drake and 
M. Lecomte to see the conv&nt oi Deir el Kelt. Lieut. Conder had a few 
days before made a plan of this convent, which lies in the wildest part of the 
wady of the same name. I went there chiefly to take a squeeze of a Greek 
and Arabic Inscription which Lieut. Conder had discovered and copied. To 
get there we had to go on foot along the aqueduct that traverses the Wad 

* See von Rohden, op. cit., p. 43. He makes our Commodus the immediate predecessor of 
Boethus; he might conceivably have been his successor (167-169). 

30 Archceological Rcscavihcs in Palestine. 

cl Kelt half way up the northern side of that deep ravine. The road was 
rugged and the heat overpowering. 

The convent appeared to me to present no interesting features. The 
frescoes that adorn the interior of the church and the ruined chapel seem to 
belong to various late periods. They are covered with inscriptions in cursive 
character, some done with paint, some mgraffite. 

The only detail that struck me about the church was that it could not be 
regularly orientated, on account of the direction of the steep rock to which 
it clings ; this serious breach of the princijDle of religious architecture had 
been compensated for by putting in the window of the apse obliquely. The 
sides of the window are at such angles with one another, and with the apse 
itself, that the medial axis of the window points exactly to the east, so that a 
ray of the rising sun can pass into the nave through the opening. The 
requirements of symmetry have been sacrificed without hesitation to ritual 

The inscription is built in over the entrance, which is a door quite in 
Arab style; it is in two languages, Greek and Arabic, probably of late date. 
The Greek portion is most incorrect in orthography and syntax, and is more- 
over carved in slovenly fashion and difficult to decipher. I have given in the 
Qiiarterly Statement (1874, pp. 89, 90) two provisional attempts at an inter- 
pretation of it. A fresh squeeze has been recently taken of it by Father 
Lagrange, and a transcription of it has been published by Father Germer- 
Durand, with some good observations attached. The latter reads it on the 
whole pretty much as I do, though he was unacquainted with my report. t 
On the opposite page is a reproduction from my squeeze. 

{Greek) " The monastery has been restored ... by the hand of Ibrahim 
and his brothers. ..." 

{Arabic) " This work Ibrahim and his brothers, the sons of Musa, of 
Jifna,| have done. May God have mercy on them, as on him who shall read 
it and say : Amen." 

' Kv€K€VLa6TQ is for aveKaiviaS-q. The qualifying word before y.ovy} is 

* We took, together with M. Lecomte, a detailed plan of this interesting architectural 
anomaly, but unfortunately the original plate has been lost by the engraver. It was numbered 
44, and showed, (i) a plan of the apse of the chapel, (2) a section of the bay with the easterly 
orientation, (3) a picturesque view of the monastery. 

t Revue Biblique, July, 1892, ]>. 442. 

% A village lying to the north of Jerusalem, on the road to Nablus. 

First Excursion to Jericho. 


doubtful. Father Germer-Durand reads it 77ap(o{;o-a), "the present monastery," 
but one feels inclined to restore 7ra(Xata), "ancient," or even 7ra(cra), "the 
whole." I can make no satisfactory meaning out of the last line. Father 
Germer-Durand reads : e(T€t) B(acrtX6ia<r) X(/Dto-Toi;) TT{avTaKpa.Topo<;) vl/3 
M(ap)T(toii) t{ov) rjyovu.i(yov) Vepaa-[i)ixov : " in the 950th year of the reign of 
Almighty the 12th of March under the Igumen Gerasimus." This reading 
however is mere guesswork, and seems to me more than doubtful. 


^ A-veKeviaOrj rj na ? / (xo{vrj) Sta ^(e)tp69 
'l/Bpay^Lfji (/cat) tov'^ aSeXcpov" d"Tov. E ? 
)(TT ? pl/3 it [or yt) lttjvo v' ye pa 

^^AJw>-S tO'l^t *J.i'_'' iXy^S. i_l.<jl^!' 'jki 

I -J , , ►-< ♦^^ , • t^U 1 j^^^- , O % \jJi^ \ I—  »-c 

I gathered from the lips of a Mussulman of Jerusalem a rather curious 
legend about Wad el Kelt and its aqueducts, and although this man's story 
lacks topographical precision, I think its interest warrants me in giving it here. 

A Christian woman was having an aqueduct made in the Wad el Kelt to 
irrigate the plain of Jericho. To her came Moses [Sidna Musa), who had a 
similar intention. The Christian woman refused to help Moses by making 
her aqueduct pass a certain way; it resulted in each defying the other to get 
the work done first. Then Moses took his rod and marked with the tip of it 
a channel on the ground, which the water at once filled, and flowed to Birket 
Mtisa at the foot of Beit Jaber. 

32 Arch(eological Researches in Palestine. 

The most noteworthy thing about this legend is that it gives us what is 
perhaps the real origin of the name Wad el Kelt. To "irrigate" the plain 
(inin shdn yikallit) was in fact the object of the rival aqueduct builders. Now 
the word yikallit is the second form of a verb kalat c:^-, which has no connec- 
tion with irrigating ; it is the verb kalad aL- that has this meaning. The 
substitution of / for d must therefore be the result of vulgar pronunciation, '■• 
and as yikallit evidently stands for yikallid, so kelt must represent keld. 
Consequently the name should properly be spelt :^ keld, and the real meaning 
of zudd el Kelt {keld) is " valley of irrigation." This name is justified by the 
presence of the three aqueducts which the valley contains, and which descend 
into the plain. This leads us far away from the connection that used to be 
set up between the name of this valley and that of the famous valley, or rather 
brook, of Cherith, for it leaves the two names without even one letter in 
common {^^^2 and aL-). 

The same man told me that in the Wad el Kelt there was a spring, 
of which he could not eive the name, but which was " bewitched with the 
white man and the negro" {/narsinl'ald I- abed u "l-horr^). The water of the 
spring at one time flows copiously, at another entirely disappears, so that it is 
often quite impossible to drink at it. This alternation arises from a perpetual 
combat between the black man and the white man ; when the negro gets the 
upper hand the water rises, but when the white man wins, the water goes 
down. Evidently this is a case of an intermittent spring. I do not know 
whether the two springs noted there by the Survey present this peculiarity, 
but perhaps there is a third still to be found in the wady. 

'A in es Sultan. — On returning from Deir el Kelt, I took advantage of 
the presence of my two workmen from Selwan to get them to lay bare part of 
the small ruined edifice which surrounds the spring at Tell es Sultan called 
" Elisha's spring." I plainly distinguished an apse with a niche. Is this 
part of a small pagan temple dedicated, as was usual, to the god or goddess 
of the spring, or merely of the church which, according to Theodosius, was 
built over the spring itself ."* J 

* For the interchdnge to / and d at the end of words, in vulgar Arabic, cf. the Arabic name 
of Goliath, Jdliit, which becomes Jalud. 

t Horr properly signifies " free man " and 'alu-d, " black slave.'' My translation is based on 
further clues which my informant gave me. 

X Itinera Bieiosolymitaiia, I, p. 68 : " Memoria sancti Helisaei ibi est, ubi fontem ilium 
benedixit, et super ipsa memoria ecclesia asdificata est." 

First Excursion to Jericho. 33 

Unfortunately I had to stop the excavation in view of the remonstrances 
of the inhabitants of Riha, who were afraid it would dry up the water of the 

Sundries from my note-books. — The mountain above Beit Jaber to the 
south of Wad el Kelt is called Hosob Madbak 'Ay id.'* 

I made the following notes of the various ways in which the Abu 
N'seir Bedouin pronounce the v and the ij^. This is a very important 
consideration in fixing the exact form of a series of place-names of this 

^ chelb, "dog." 
(_il^ cJietf, "shoulder." 

( Jj galb, "heart." 

ajl) ndga, " she-camel" (never «^r/rt). 
jj^j rafij, "companion" (never rafig). 
ci^Jjs gelt and jelt (in the name of Wad el Kelt). 
j^^ kahkilr, "pile of heaped stones ;" is pronounced in the 
plural jehdjir ( jJLi). 

At Tell es Asmar,^ on the bank of the rivulet that issues from 'Ain es 
Sultan, I noticed in the midst of a few other roughly hewn stones, a corner- 
stone with bossage. 

From Jericho to Jerusalem. — On the morning of Wednesday, December 
3rd, we started on our way back to Jerusalem. Messrs. Conder and Drake 
went with us, but the latter left us at Khan el Hathrilr, or Hathrurah, in 
order to visit the ruins of Khan el Ahmar, two miles to the south-west. 

Khan el Hathrur. — Shortly before arriving at the fortress of Khan el 
Hathrur, which we thoroughly explored, I had examined the remains of a 
milestone which stood upright on a quadrangular base to the left of the 
road. It is called Dabbles el 'Abed, "the Negro's Club." M. de Saulcy 

* On the Survey Alap the n.ime Aladbali 'Ayiad is applied merely to the little valley lying to 
the south of this mountain, 

t I do not find this name on the Map, but doubt its being Tell es Samarat. 

34 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

mentions it, in his first journey, under the slightly different name ot Dabbih 
esh Sheitdn, "the Devil's Club." It belongs, no doubt, to the Roman road 
uniting Jerusalem and Jericho, which is the one still in use. Soon after 
passing the Khan, I noticed on the right, built into the wall that carries the 
road over a narrow ravine, a fragment of a shaft of a column of coarse 
red-tinted limestone, which also appeared to me to belong to a milestone. 
This fragment, which was only 15 inches in height, is 21^ inches in diameter 
Now the Dabbus el 'Abed, which Lieut. Conder measured at my request on 
his way back to Jericho, is 22 inches in diameter, which differs only by a 
small fraction of an inch from the fragment I noted. This similarity in the 
two diameters cannot be accidental, and is the more significant as there were 
never any buildings at Khan el Hathrur, so far as one can judge, likely to 
contain such a column. If this view be admitted, we shall have here one 
more landmark fixed in this ancient Roman way. Unfortunately these two 
mutilated milestones bear no signs of any number. Still they were not the 
only ones, and I think that some more might be found on the road, perhaps 
in good condition, which would throw much light on the position of Roman 
Jericho. For this purpose it would be advisable to explore the bottom of the 
Wad el Kelt for the whole distance where it Is parallel to the road, for the 
milestones have doubtless rolled down into it, and it is not likely to have 
occurred to anyone to get them out of the chasm and make use of them. 

I ought to mention that Lieut. Conder did not share my views on this 
point. He objected, to begin with, that the Interval between Dabbus el'Abed 
and the other fragment of a column was considerably greater than a Roman 
mile. This objection is easily met by saying that they are perhaps not 
exactly /;/ situ and may have been displaced, especially the second one, which 
has been utilised, as I have said, In building a sustaining wall to support the 
road. The second and more weighty objection Is that the direction of the 
modern road through Khan el Hathrur ceases to coincide with the Roman 
way at a point lying to the west of Dabbus el 'Abed, and as far up as Tal'at 
es Sumra. Here the Roman way, it is said, takes a turn to the south by 
Khan el Ahmar, leaving the modern road, which it joins again at 'Arak Abn 
V Kara. I am by no means persuaded of this. This southerly direction 
may be ancient, but that does not preclude the antiquity of the section that 
goes through Khan el Hathrur, where there are regular artificial cuttings 
made In the solid rock, and not the work of yesterday. One might, it Is true, 
attribute these, as well as the construction of this section of the road, to the 
Crusaders, who held a strong post at Khan el Hathrur, and probably had a 

First Excursion to Jericho. 


hand in building the neighbouring fortress which commands the pass.* 
Besides, if we agree with the " Memoirs" (III, 172) in accepting the opinion 
generally received, that TaTat cd Duinin and Khan Hatlwiira with its fortress 
represent the Makdomim of the Onomasticon and the Castellu^n Militum, we 
are forced to admit that the Roman way passed through Khan el Hathrur, for 
St. Jerome expressly says that the fort was erected to secure the safety of the 
road from Jerusalem to Jericho. 

Evidently, therefore, there is no reason why this portion of a column 
should not have belonged to one of the milestones on this Roman road. 

Arad Milestone. — Ten years later a curious discovery was made at this 
very spot that has some bearing on this problem. It consisted of an Arab 
milestone of the ist century a.h., which served to mark out the road from 
Damascus to Jerusalem, a road that went through Jericho and Khan el 
Hathrur. It bears an inscription of the Caliph 'Abd el Melik, who con- 
structed the Kubbet es Sakhra at Jerusalem. This inscription is interesting 
in more than one respect, it being the first of its kind, but as I have published 
and explained it in a special memoir,t I will not revert to it here, only 

* This is the Maledoim of the Templars (Radulph de Coggeshale, 234). The name shows 
that in the time of the Crusades the place was identified with the Alaaleh Adummim of the Bible. 
The identity of Khan el Hathrur and the Cisterna Rubea, or the Red Toiver (?) is another 
question. Meanwhile we must not forget Khan el Ahmar, which is not far distant on the other 
branch of the road, and by its name (the red khan) calls for consideration. This name, it is true, 
is sometimes applied to Khan el Hathrur itself. The oldest instance I can find of the occurrence 
of this latter name is in an ancient Slavonic text dating back at least to the 14th century, which 
has been translated by Father Martinov. The unknown author says there is to be seen on the 
road from Jerusalem to Jericho " a red mountain called Havrouta, where Cain killed his brother 
Abel." Evidently this name, which appears to have greatly puzzled the translator, is nothing but 
Hathrura, wrongly copied or wrongly read. 

t Reaieil d' Archeologie Orientate, I, p. 201, plate XH. The inscription runs as follows: — 

" has ordered the construction or repairing of this road, and the niat;ing up of the 

milestones, 'Abd Allah "Abd el Melik, Prince of the Believers, God's mercy be upon him. Trom 
Damascus to this milestone is one hundred and nine miles." According to subsequent informa- 
tion kindly furnished me at my request by H.E. Hamdy Bey, the Director of the Imperial 
Museum at Constantinople, the stone, which has been conveyed to that place, consists of a 
quadrangular stele " of white marble," without a base, and measuring in its present condition (it 
is broken at the top) 14 inches high by 16:^ inches long by 4! inches thick. To judge from the 
very careful sketch, for which I am indebted to the kindness of Hamdy Bey, the hinder face is of 
undressed stone, which would appear to show that this inscription was intended to be looked at 
from the front only, and that it must have been built in. 

Since then, another milestone of the same caliph has been discovered at Bab el Wad, on the 
road between Jerusalem and Jaffa {Comptes-rendus de I'Acad. des Inscriptions, 1894, p. 27 ; Revue 

F 2 


6 ArchcBolozical Researches in Palestine. 

remarking that 'Abd el Melik most certainly did nothing but follow and 
restore the track of an ancient road that already existed. This would be 
quite in accordance with Arab custom. Probably also the existence of ancient 
milestones gave him the idea of having imitations of them made under his 
own name. He imitated the milliaria as he did the coinage of the Rums. 

Biblique, T894, p. 136). It is identical in tenour with the one that I have described, and marks 
the eighth mile after starting from Ilya (Jerusalem). The Arab mile {miF) had borrowed its name 
from the Roman mile, but, as I shall show elsewhere, it represented a different measure of 
distance, which under the early caliphs was to the Roman measure as 5 is to 3 or thereabouts ; 
it was in reality a measure of Persian origin, corresponding to the Pehlevi hathra or haser 
(one-third of a parasang), and might be reckoned at about 2,466 metres. The length of the 
Arab mile must have been modified under the Abbaside caliphs, at the time when the measurement 
of the terrestrial degree was ordered by El Mamun. 



I RETURNED to Jericlio on April 24th, 1874, wishing to make fresh investi- 
gations there before the heat became too oppressive. We took the shortest 
road there, and did not stop by the way. I did not have the camp pitched 
at 'Ain es Sultan, as is usual, but on a small mound as you go into Riha 
(Eriha) near the cemetery, and not far from the Burj. 

6^/4^^;/.— Next morning we went to the supposed site of Gilgal. As 
explained above, I had not had an opportunity of visiting the spot when I was 
here before, but had merely been able to inform Lieut. Conder of its existence, 
and indicate to him its whereabouts. 

The place lies not far from Tell el ItJileh, and has been pointed out to 
several travellers, as Zschokke and Brother Lievin, by the name oi Jiljuliek, 
which answers closely, it must be admitted, to the Hebrew Gilgal. 

The people of Riha assured us that this name {JiljiVich) was " only 
used by the Franks," which distinctly lessens the value of this identification. 

Moreover, the following instance shows how prudently one has to question 
the fellahin, and how cautiously their statements have to be utilised. A short 
time before the Archimandrite of the Russian Establishment at Jerusalem 
asked to be shown Jiljdlieh, which he had heard of from me, and the peasants 
took him to Tell el Mufjir, to which they gave the name required. 

Notwithstanding this, I ventured on some small excavations in the 
mounds of el Ithleh and Jiljulieh, but we did not get down very deep, and no 
great results were obtained. In the former place were a quantity of potsherds, 
mosaic cubes and bits of glass; in the second sand. It is certain that a 
building of some importance existed on the former spot, to judge by the 
abundance of the mosaics, but there is nothing in that to testify for or against 
its identity with Gilgal, and the matter still seems to me extremely doubtful. 

Next day we went to inspect again the Tawdhin cs Sukkar, and 
particularly an aqueduct, where I noticed on the previous occasion that some 
of the materials had an ancient appearance. I made my people turn over 
all the blocks that were scattered about, and complete the demolition of a few 


Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

portions of this ruined aqueduct. This brought to light some sculptured 
fragments, evidently belonging to important monuments of the Grseco- 
Roman period. 

4j / W^Vv^n-t-, 


Second Excursion to Jericho. 


'// ,. 'l^-^ti 

ii- ^ 

i." ''J i' S'J :>• I 

I am convinced that if all these ruined aqueducts that traverse the 
plain of Jericho were to be demolished, a quantity of antique fragments would 
be found to have been used in building them, some among them of great 
value, and perhaps bearing inscriptions. The sacrifice would not be great, 
and the archaeological interest would atone for the comparative vandalism of 
the proceeding. A perfect mine of antiquities is there waiting to be worked, 
and I commend it to the attention of future explorers. 

40 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

Tell el M'gket/er. — In the afternoon we went to the Tell el ATgheifer, 
also called sometimes Tell el Kiirsy, "the Tell of the throne, or of the chair," 
which is regarded by some writers as the real Gilgal. It lies to the south-east 
of Riha. The Russians were making excavations there just at this time to 
get out building materials, and already a considerable number of stone blocks 
had been taken out and placed, along with others from other sources, in a plot 
of ground close to the Burj [cf. sttpra, p. i6). Several of the blocks were 
still covered with fresco paintings in the Byzantine style. I was very desirous — 
my motive will be shortly apparent — to have a correct drawing of the mountain 
K'rein Sartaba (Kurn Surtabeh) taken from this spot, and while M. Lecomte 
was Avorking at this, my two men made some slight excavations in the Tell 
under my directions, but without success. 

Legend of Imam 'Aly. — During this second stay at Jericho I took down 
from the mouth of the Bedouin some fresh details about the Imam .'Aly, who, 
as I have shown above, is merely a Mussulman travesty of the legendary 
figure of Joshua. The boundary between the G/iaur es Seisabdn and 
the Ghaur of Beisan was marked out by the Imam 'Aly with a sword- 
stroke. At a single blow he clove through an enemy, a jiser (" bridge " or 
" aqueduct ") on which he stood, and into the soil beneath. I could not get 
them to point out the spot called yV^-rr that is indicated in the legend. Can 
it be one of the many aqueducts that traverse the plain between the moun- 
tain and the Jordan ? Or is it, on the contrary, one of the bridges that unite 
or did unite the two banks of that river, such as the bridge of Damieh, built 
by Beibars, opposite Sartaba, or that of el Mejame' (Mujamia')'" between 
Beisan and the Lake of Tiberias ? I cannot tell. At any rate this legend 
seems to indicate that the name Seisaban ought not to be confined to 
the southern part of the eastern Ghaur, which lies opposite Jericho, but 
ought to be extended to the northern part, as far as the region of Beisan at 
least. According to another Bedouin legend that I noted on another occa- 
sion, the blood shed by the Imam 'Aly flowed into the Ghaur es Seisaban, 
which ever after was impure ground {nedjis), and that is why in order to pray 
there one has to spread one's cloak on the ground and kneel on it. 

The Imam 'Aly, who has also another Makam on the other side of the 
Jordan, between the river and the town of Salt, is said to have waged a great 

* According to an Arabic MS. chronicle in the Bibliotheque Nationale {Ancien fonds, No. 
786), entitled Nuzhat en-nazerm, the bridge of el Mejame' was constructed by Sultan Barkuk 
(784-801 A.H.); two Arabic verses have been preserved which allude to this construction. 

Second Excursion to f eric ho. 41 

war against Emir Abu 'Obeideh " before Mahomet."* It is to be noted that 
the Bedouin who gave me this information, so quaint in its confusion, 
pronounced the name Abii, 'Obiveidch. The intercalation of a vowel sound lo 
between the b and the ei, is, as I have frequently observed, of common occur- 
rence in the Bedouin dialect : thus one finds in it, bweino for beino, " between 
him." The /; coming in contact with a vowel, and especially with one in a 
diphthong, tends to disengage the semi-vowel of the same group of labials. 
This fact has to be taken into account in the comparison of Hebrew and 
Arabic place-names. For similar reasons it comes about that in Palestine the 
name Band ( = David) is commonly pronounced Ddlmd, as if it were written 
This is the reverse of the other, for the a coming next to the il and 


making a hiatus has developed the aspirate which is virtually inherent in 
itself Among the Turks this name has been treated in a different but still 
analogous fashion : here the tI has developed its semi-vowel tc or v, producing 

The two workmen engaged on my little excavation at Tell el M'gheifer 
were two worthy peasants from Beit Iksd, a village lying nearly four miles to 
the north-west of Jerusalem, near Neby Shamwil, who had been for some 
weeks past helping to repair the wretched lokanda at Jericho. While they 
were digging they gave me a remarkable variant of the story of 'Aly-Joshua 
and the staying of the sun. I reproduce it exactly, not knowing whether it 
was of home growth, or, as is more probable, borrowed from the folk-lore of 
the inhabitants of Jericho. 

The Imam 'Aly had taken in some guests just when a great dearth 
prevailed in the land, and having nothing to set before them, he sought out 
a Jew and begged him to let him have a sd"^ or a measure of corn, offering in 
return a measure of gold. The Jew would have none of the bargain, and said 
he would only give him corn on the condition that he should have it back 
again before sunset, and in default, the Imam 'Aly should deliver up his son 
to him. The Imam 'Aly took the corn and made a meal for his guests. The 
sun was about to set, and the Imam 'Aly was vainly seeking the means of 
repaying the borrowed corn, when God said to the sun, " Turn back, O 
Blessed One." Thus time was given him to pay back the measure of corn, 
and he was not obliged to render up his child. One is tempted to find in this 

* Abu 'Obeideh is an historical personage, one of the chief generals who won Eastern 
Palestine for Islam. His tomb still exists east of the Jordan, as I have noted in my Reaieil 
cTArch. Or. (I, p. 349). 

t Cf. the Hebrew scah. 

42 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

new complication of the myth of the Imam 'Aly, a confused echo of the story 
of Elisha and the widow of the prophet (2 Kings, iv). 

Beit Iksd — These men from Beit Iksa told me that their own village 
also bore the name of Umni el 'Eld (1*!^ S). Here is another of those 
double names that I have so often had occasion to notice in Arab toponymy. 
The present inhabitants belong to the Beni Zeid, and come from the north ; 
they took possession of Umm el 'Ela and then gave it its new name Beit 
Iksa. This fact, till now unknown, and the other examples that I have found, 
show how one ought to be on one's guard, in dealing with the topography of 
Palestine, against the possible migration of place-names, which have been 
transported along with a whole population from one spot to another. This 
is a matter of the highest importance in exegesis, for the neglect of it 
involves the risk either of running into serious error, or passing by the truth 

The ethnic of Beit Iksd is Keswdny, plural Kesdwneh {^\yJ,, aJj\*J'), 
which seems to point to two conclusions : (i) that in Iksa (\^\) the initial i is 
prosthetic, iksd for k sd, kesd (L^) ; (2) that there was probably in the old 
name a final nunation, Beit Kesdn or Beit Keswdn (?). 

The Krein Sartabd {Kiirn SUrtiibch). — My chief object in visiting 
Jericho for the second time was to study on the spot an important question, 
the extent of which I foresaw at my first visit, I mean that of the K'rein 
Sartaba, and an interesting Biblical tradition which seems to me to connect 
itself closely with this well-known mountain by the peculiar character for 
holiness that it attributes to it."" 

The traveller in the plain of Jericho on raising his eyes in a northerly 
direction, will notice the distant horizon to be partly closed in by a long chain 
of bluish mountains, from which rises a conical peak that goes by the name of 
K'retn Sartabd. 

This peak, which is visible a long way off, and seems to command all the 
low-lying lands at its foot, attracts the eye by its bold projection, and arrests 
attention by the singular exactness of its shape ; and Robinson is quite 
correct in saying that its commanding summit, as seen from Jericho, looks 
like a bastion of the western chain. 

* Since my attempt to find a basis for the holy character that belongs to the K'rein Sartaba, 
Lieut. Conder has proposed another theoiy, one that it does not concern me here to pronounce 
upon, which likewise tends to assign to this mountain a part in religious history but of a totally 
different description. He would make it the site of the altar of Ed of the Reubenites. 

Second Excursion to Jericho. 43 

The first part of the name Iv rein, a diminutive of Kitrn, " horn," is 
frequently applied by the Arabs to prominent peaks. Doubtless the meaning 
of the word is responsible for the curious error of Lynch, who says that 
K'rein Sartaba means " the horn of the rhinoceros." The signification of 
Sartabd is absolutely unknown, probably some ancient name should be looked 
for in it. In the first place it is essential to make sure of the spelling. I 
noted carefully the pronunciation of the Arabs round Jericho, and observed 
that the first letter was a soft jt {sin\ and not a hard j {sad), as would appear 
from the form adopted by Robinson, and followed hitherto by other travellers 
and geographers. 

The word should accordingly be written IjJ?^-, and not ^j-e. In this 
corrected form may be easily recognized the name of the mountain mentioned 
in the Talmud and written niia^D and «ntO"lD.* 

This result at once enables us to settle one claim which has been 
advanced for identifying the Sartaba with a Biblical spot. It was quite 
natural to suppose that the Bible had not failed to mention the name of such 
an important mountain, and starting with this idea, several writers thought 
fit to identify Sartaba with the name of the town of Sartan, im!?, which the 
Bible places in this Jordan region. This identification is inadmissible, being 
merely based on an entirely incorrect derivation. The external similarity 
that appears to exist between the two names vanishes when they are compared 
letter by letter. The final nun might conceivably correspond to the h, but 
neither the ^ nor the t can be assimilated, they are radically different in each 

Mr. Grove had already objected, and rightly so, to this identification, and 
rather inclined to trace in the first syllable of Sartaba the Hebrew word Sur. 

But the spelling of the name, which is certain, is equally opposed to this 

Does this mean that we must give up all hopes of ever finding the 
mountain Sartaba mentioned in the Bible ? I think not ; and not only so, 
but I believe I have found a trace of it in a passage of the greatest interest, 
though the form is mythical rather than geographical. In Joshua v, 13-15, 
we read of a strange occurrence which seems to bear on the consecration 
of Gilgal. Here is a literal rendering : — 

* I have not thought it necessary to reproduce here the well-known passage proving that 
fire-signals were exchanged between the Mount of Olives and the Sartaba to announce the new 

(J -1 

44 Archccological Researches in Palestine. 

"And Joshua was at Jericho: and he raised his eyes and saw; and 
" behold there was a man standing before him, his drawn sword in his hand. 
" Joshua walked towards him and said to him, ' Art thou for us or for our 
" enemies ? ' He said to him : ' No ; for I am the Sar-saba of Jehovah, and 
" now I am going to thee.' Joshua fell with his face to the earth and 
" worshipped him, and said to him : ' What is it that my Master has to 
" command his servant ? ' 

" And the Sar-saba of Jehovah said to Joshua : ' Take the shoes from off 
" thy feet, for the place {inakom) on which thou standest is holy.' And 
Joshua did so." 

The Hebrew word Sar-saba signifies literally "the chief of the army," 
and is rendered in the Septuagint dpx'-o-TpdTTqyo'i ; the different versions of 
the Old Testament render it as "the Captain of the Lord's Hosts." 
Sartabd presents a striking likeness to Sar-saba, 'i^'Tl "lt\ The only difference 
lies in the Hebrew isadi being replaced in the Talmudic and Arabic forms 
by a tei or a fa. This substitution of / for .y in the same emphatic series is 
one of the most frequent changes that attend the passage of words from 
Hebrew to Aramaic : the best known case is that of Tyre, which answers 
to Siir TJ. 

Such a complete etymological coincidence cannot be accidental. It leads 
us to inquire whether it does not reveal a close connection between the 
mountain Sartaba and the appearance to Joshua. 

In order to grasp fully the connection between the two, we should 
remember how often mountains are associated with visions like that of Joshua. 
The important part played by mountains in Semitic worship, and the sanctity 
which the Hebrews themselves attached to them, are well known, so it is easy 
to understand that they formed a sort of natural theatre for the manifestations 
of divinity. I could quote numerous examples, but will content myself with 
mentioning a few that present striking similarities to the occurrence before us. 
First, the appearance of Jehovah to Moses in the burning bush on Mount 
Sinai. Moses, seeing the supernatural flame, advances towards it as did 
Joshua towards the man. Just as the Sar-saba tells Joshua, who comes 
towards him, to take off his shoes, so Jehovah, after telling Moses to keep at 
a distance, orders him, in precisely the same terms, to take his shoes from off 
his feet, because of the holiness of the ground on which he treads. For the 
sudden appearance of the vision one may compare, for instance, Zechariah i, 8, 
and ii, 5. (i.) It is the same prophet that says (viii, 3), "the mountain of the 
Lord of Sabaotk (plural form of Saba) is a holy mountain," and represents 

Second Exntrsion to Jericho. 45 

Him (xiv, 3) as issuing forth to fight, and '-standing with his feet on the 
Mount of Olives." 

One of the visions that offer the minutest resemblance to that of the Sar- 
saba to Joshua is the appearance of the Destroying Angel to David. The 
mise en scene of this episode is much more simple in the book of Samuel, but 
the more detailed account given in Chronicles recalls in most unmistakable 
fashion the description in Joshua ; on comparing the Vf^o Hebrew texts, the 
identity will be seen to extend to the phraseology. Jehovah, having sent 
his angel to strike (iinir) Jerusalem, had pity on the unfortunate city, and said 
to the destroying angel {Maleak ham-niashhii), " Stay, it is enough." David 
raised his eyes and saw the angel standing "between heaven and earth," and 
his naked sword in his hand. He then threw himself with his face to the 
ground. The angel, who was then above the threshing-floor of Oman the 
Jebusite, sent word to David by Gad that he should go up and erect an altar 
on the threshing-floor. It evidently follows from the passage that the angel 
was over Mount Moriah. 

These analogies would of themselves suffice to make us look, a p7dori, 
for a mountain in the Joshua episode. Now can this mountain be anything 
but the one which tells its own tale by its name to-day, namely, the " peak of 
the Sar-saba ? " 

The story of Joshua if analyzed in detail points to two things : (i), to 
the height of the point where the apparition took place (Joshua lifted up his 
eyes) ; (2), to a considerable space between the vision and the seer, since 
Joshua said to the Sar-saba, " I am going towards thee," and the latter said 
to him, " I am coming to thee." Moreover, the use of the word "TQi*, sta7is, 
implies that the supernatural being was at an elevation and standing upright 
on some support. The commanding position and strongly marked appearance 
of the Sartaba, monarch of the plain, made it an admirable scene for calling 
up the imposing figure of the Captain of the Hosts of Jehovah. 

It may not be superfluous to remark that, apart from its probable 
reputation for sanctity, this eminence had a real strategic value. Schultz has 
already proposed to place there the fortress Alexandrian of Alexander 
Jannseus and the considerable ruins found there by Zschokke have brought 
him to share this opinion." Perhaps this function of the place enables us to 

* Confirmed later on by the identification of Karawa, the neighbour of the Sartaba, and 
the Coreae of Josephus. This last excellent suggestion, currently attributed to Gildemeister, is 
due, in reality, to Sir Charles Warren {Underground Jeniuilem, p. 253). 

46 Archceological RcscarcJies in Palestine. 

explain the general sense of this puzzling episode, and especially the enigmatic 
query of Joshua, " Art thou for us, or for our enemies ?" 

The appearance of the angel-warrior of Jehovah descending on this 
natural fortress, with which perhaps his own identity became merged, is 
quite topic. 

Again, who knows whether the drawn sword which gleamed in his hand, 
as in that of the Destroying Angel of the Mount of Olives and Mount 
Moriah, may not have something to do with the flame which, according to 
the Talmud, broke forth at fixed seasons on these holy hills ? What, then, 
are we to understand exactly by the Sar-saba ? The problem is of the 
greatest difficulty, and belongs to the obscurest regions of the Hebrew religion. 
I will not touch upon it here, further than to remark that God himself is 
called in Daniel (viii, ii) Sar has-saba, which agrees closely with the 
expression Jehovah Sabaoth. There is no doubt as to the actual meaning of 
the expression, it means simply commander-in-chief, generalissimo. Thus, 
for example, Omri was Sar Saba over all Israel. " 

We find in Daniel that several nations have their sar, "guardian angel, 
protector," as, for instance, Greece and Persia. The Sar of Israel is Michael 
(x, 13,21 ; xii, i): "For Michael is your Chief {sarkem), the Great Chief," 
[has-sar hag-gadol). 

Michael usually personifies the Divine power, particularly in its violent 
manifestations and its militant shape. 

Later traditions do not hesitate to identify Michael with the angel that 
appeared to Joshua. Phocas sjoeaks of a bunas (Tell) opposite the Mount of 
Temptation, with a church upon it marking the place where Joshua saw the 
Archangel Michael. An anonymous account (Allatius 13) says that below 
the monastery of St. Euthymus there was a monastery of the Virgin at the 
spot where Joshua saw the angel. 

The Igumen Daniel mentions a church at Gilgal to which had been 
added a convent dedicated to St. Michael, because it occupied the very spot 
where Joshua had his vision. 

It will appear from these testimonies that tradition is in favour of the 
vision of Joshua taking place during his stay at Gilgal. This conclusion 

* The expression corresponded exactly to the Ser 'asker of the modern Mussuhnans 
(Turks, Arabs, or Persians). It was a mistake, in my opinion, to make this word a hybrid 
compound of the Persian scy, " head," and the Arabic 'asker, " soldiers." Ser 'asker is, historically 
speaking, an Arabic term ; it is also, from the linguistic point of view, a Semitic word. 

Second Excursion to Jericho. 


seems warranted by the general tenour of the narrative, and by its position 
in the chapter, for although the account begins with the words " at Jericho," 
this expression ought not to be taken literally, and means here, as in so 
many other cases, merely the neighbourhood of Jericho. 

The mountains are so grouped that the Sartaba is invisible after you 
get west of Riha, being completely masked by the range in the foreground, 
and especially by the eminence of 'Osh i^Ishshc) Ghurab, which forms the 
eastern end of that range. Eastwards from Riha, however, it is visible from 
every part of the plain. 


The above view is taken from the Tell el M'ghetfer, one of the places 
suggested as the site of Gilgal. M. Lecomte also took a sketch of it from 
Tell el Ithleh near Jiljulieh. 

I entertained a momentary idea that there might be some connection 
between the much venerated makam of the Imam 'Aly Joshua and the holy 
makdm where Joshua stood as he spoke to the angel ; but the Mussulman 
sanctuary lies much too far to the west for the Sartaba to be visible from it. 

Neby Mtisa. — On the following day, April 25th, we broke up our encamp- 
ment and returned to Jerusalem by way of Neby Musa, which we visited in 
passing. This much venerated sanctuary of the Mussulmans is in a state of 
utter ruin. I give two views of it as it appears to a spectator looking north- 
west and north-east respectively. 

Unfortunately the central chambers were locked up, so we could not get 
in. We were only able to examine the outer and subsidiary portions, and to 
get a look through an open window at the so-called cenotaph of Moses. This 
was covered with a fine piece of silken stuff with inscriptions embroidered on 
it, and surrounded by small articles left there by pious pilgrims. The whole 
appears to be of Arab construction. The only objects worth mentioning are ; 
in the balustrade of the minaret a block of stone with the mediaeval slanting 
tool-marks ; a recumbent fragment of a granite column which we saw in the 
interior through one of the windows of the central building ; on the inside of 


Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

the north wall a small sculptured base of a pilaster built in upside down, made 
of polished red limestone, and decorated with vertical fluting displaying in 


- ^.3j.||jW|| 




•TWIiHI^RTnTlTma ^- 

r^ ...., 


very high relief an ornament consisting of leaves gracefully bent so as to form 
a rose. This base recalls those of the door of the church at Gaza, 

A few minutes walk further on there rises the kubbeh of a small wely, 
called Kvbbet er ray, "the shepherd's cupola." Here, according to local 
tradition, rests Sheikh Hasan, the " Shepherd of Moses." 

Second Excursion to Jericho. 


The whole place was well nigh deserted. A band of wandering Bedouin 
came to seek shade, like ourselves, under the walls of Neby Musa, and made 
there a frugal breakfast, washing it down with draughts of the fresh but 
slighdy bituminous water afforded by some cisterns of no great depth that 
had been dug near. This troop of Bedouin had started in search of stolen or 
strayed horses. As they discussed with relish the hot rolls that they had 
kneaded and cooked on the spot, I could not help thinking of Saul going out 
to seek his father's lost asses. I do not know if the Bedouin found at the 
Makam some revelation that put them on the track of the missing animals, 
but at all events they fraternised with us in the most amicable manner. 

The memory of Moses is still green among all the people hereabouts. 
At every turn I heard the Arabs swearing iva-Iiidt ibcn 'Aiiirdn, " by the life 
of the son of 'Amran." 

Scale -jSj. 

I questioned several of them with a view to ascertain the starting point 
of the legend which locates the tomb of Moses on this side the Jordan, 
and in so doing flatly contradicts the Biblical tradition. They answered that 
when the angels came to tell Moses that his last hour was at hand, he was on 
the east side of the Jordan, and fled from 'ain es/i shark in order to escape 
the fatal moment, as far as the place now called Neby Miisa. Here he found 
some angels engaged in digging a grave, which he was induced to enter by a 
trick like that to which his brother Aaron had i)reviously succumbed.* " For 

* .'Vccording to tliis curious legend, taken from Mussulman writers, the Angel Gabriel tells 
Moses and Aaron to follow him. He takes them to Mount Hor (where the Makam of Aaron is 
shown to this day). There they enter into a cavern and see a bed (a funeral bed, a sarcophagus) 
made of gold richly chased, with the following inscription in Hebrew : " This bed is for him 
whom it has been made to fit." Moses first lies down in it, but the couch is too small. Aaron 


50 Ai'clu^ological Researches in Palestine. 

whom is the grave ?" he asked. " For a man of your size," answered the 
divine gravediggers. Moses got into the grave to try it. " True," he said, 
" it is the right size." But when he essayed to get out, they said to him, " It 
is for thee. Thy last hour is come." Then the Angel of Death placed to 
his nostrils an apple of paradise, and Moses gave up the ghost. 

Before falling into the trap, he had said to God, on arriving at a dry and 
desert place, " Here is nothing to drink, nor to make a fire with for cooking." 
God answered him, "Thy water shall come from thy wells, and thy fire from 
thy stones " {nioietak min cUidrak on ndrak min elijdrak). Such is the 
origin of the cisterns that have been dug near the sanctuary, and of the 
combustible schistous rock that abounds in the vicinity, an extremely interest- 
ing one from the geologist's point of view. 

Moses Rod. — In the valleys round here and as far as the neighbourhood 
of Jerusalem, one meets with a sort of insect like a centipede(?) ; my ignorance 
of natural history prevents me from giving an exacter description. I mention 



. k 

INSECT CALLED 'As'iyef MAsa ("Moses' rod"). 

it here solely on account of its name. It is called 'Asdyei Milsa, " Moses' 
rod.' The creature is quite harmless. It looks like a long worm of a 
blackish colour, and is furnished with a quantity of minute legs, by means 

tries it in his turn, and it is found to fit him exactly. Immediately comes the Angel of Death and 
takes ])ossession of his soul. The Israelites, not seeing Aaron reappear, forthwith accuse Moses 
of having killed his brother. (This last feature appears as early as the Talmudic legends.) 

I have shown in my memoir on Horns et St. Georges (p. 31) that this quaint story with its 
preconcerted trap is modelled on an Egyptian legend related by the author of the Treatise of Isis 
and Osiris. Typhon, wishing to be rid of his brother Osiris, takes his measure by stealth and 
causes a case to be made (a mummy case) of elegant workmanship. Then he has the case 
brought in at a feast, and says it shall belong to that one of the guests who shall manage to lie 
down in it. All make the attempt, but in vain. Osiris in his turn gets in, and finds that it just fits 
him. Immediately Typhon and his accomplices put on the lid, nail it down and seal it. This is 
the starting point of the well-known adventures of tlie chest,, it being thrown into the Nile, the 
searches of Tsi.s, and po on. 

Sccoitcf Exclusion to Jericho. 5 i 

of which it moves, keeping perfectly stiff and straight. To look at it, you 
would think it was a small piece of animated stick endowed with powers of 
locomotion. If you touch it, it immediately coils up. This mode of progres- 
sion and this strange appearance have made the little snake-like creature 
popular with the Arabs. The legendary name they have attached to it is an 
allusion to the miracle of the rod that turned into a serpent at the meeting of 
Jehovah and Moses in the burning bush, a wonder that Aaron also worked 
before Pharaoh. 

Arab Traditions. — It has been long supposed that Neby Miisa must have 
taken the place of an ancient Christian monastery. This is quite possible, 
and indeed the external appearance of the mosque and its subsidiary buildings 
inclines one to this idea, as may be seen from M. Lecomte's drawings of 
which engravings are given above. 

At all events Mujir ed Din'"" affords us some definite details concerning 
the history of the Mussulman sanctuary. He begins by mentioning the 
doubts that had been raised as to the authenticity of the tomb, adding that 
it was located in this spot by general opinion. He attributes the building of 
the cupola to Beibars, who was supposed to have made it on returning from 
his pilgrimage to Mecca, when he visited Jerusalem in 668 (a.ii.) and 
destroyed the monastery of Mar Saba. Later additions were made to the 
mosque, both inside and out, by divers pious persons. The southern side 
was enlarged between 875 and 885, the minaret was built after 880. Mujir 
ed Din mentions the pilgrimage that is made to the sanctuary each year after 
winter is over, and speaks of fantastic visions seen at the tomb, and other 
prodigies designed to show that this is the veritable resting-place of "him 
that talked with God " {Kelim Allah). 

The ancient Mussulman traditions, or hawddith, declare that the tomb of 
Moses is in a place called El Kethib cl Ahniar, " the Mound of the Red 
Sand." Mahomet passed by there and prayed on the occasion of his nocturnal 
ascent (isrd). The hadith quoted to me by the Jerusalem Mussulmans 
runs thus : 

"I passed by my brother Moses, who sleeps at El Kethib el Ahmar." There, 
they told me, is the real tomb. It was only in later times that, on the 
authority of a sheikh, it was begun to be shown at Neby Mtisa. Mujir ed 

i'p- 93, 94 of thu Ijulak Arabic text. 

H 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Din (p. 93 of the Arabic text) knew this tnidition, and quotes it. It would 
be interesting to determine the spot really alluded to. 

Bethany. — After our short sojourn at Neby Musa we resumed our 
journey to Jerusalem by the pilgrims' road. As we passed through the 
village of el 'Azeriyeh, the traditional Bethany, I remarked a fine sculptured 
fragment of the period of the Crusades, built into the wall of a house. It 
consisted of some fine scroll-work, with a bull's head in the right-hand 
corner, the facing on the left showing distinct signs of the mediaeval slanting 
tool marks. 


The inhabitants told us that the Franks gave their village the name of 
Beit 'Ania. I noted the form of the name, though the account of its origin 
involves it in suspicion, because the presence of the 'ain'^ is somewhat 
difficult to explain,, 

* I have, moreover, found this name spelt thus, [.\j,s^ L:i-^.o (sic), in an Arabic Christian 
unedited manuscript of the 13th century. The author also speaks of Bethphage in the form 
^=^U Li-oj, as beitig a Karieh adjacent to the Mount of Olives, and in ruins at that period. 
Half a mile away, adds the anonymous author, is a large church built on the site of the olive 
tree from which branches were torn on the day when Jesus rode on the she-ass ; and every 
year at the Feast of Palms the inhabitants come to gather branches, and go in solemn procession 
with them to the sanctuary of Constantine {sic). 

Second Excursion to Jericho. 53 

A f(j\v miiiLiLus before arriving at el 'Azeriyeh, and to the east (north- 
east ?) of the village, there is seen a rocky plateau covered with sepulchral 
and other excavations, consisting of cisterns, wine-presses, foundations of 
by-gone houses, and so on, leading one to suppose that an inhabited place of 
some importance formerly existed there. I was quite unable to ascertain 
whether there was any particular name for the place, and especially whether 
it was called Khiirbeh. At the southern extremity, however, of this plateau 
local tradition points out a piece of rock, half sunk in the ground, and gives 
it the name of "The Ass of Lazarus," saying that this animal was turned 
to stone after Jesus had ridden on it. Ought we to look in this direction for 
the disputed site of Bethphage .■*''■ 

* Cf. my paper in the Kcvuc Animlogiquc (Uecembcr, 1S77: La Pierre de Bethphage, 
fresqiies ct inscriptwns des Croises). 




After the annoyance of a false start on the day before, caused by a 
lack of animals at the last moment, we left Jerusalem finally on the morning 
of Wednesday, June 3rd, 1874. Our tour was to cover seventeen days, and 
comprise researches into a number of questions which will, in turn, be laid 
before the reader, in addition to the unexpected, which always has to be 
reckoned with, and did not fail, as will be seen, to make itself felt on this 

Our outfit was of the simplest. An Arab tent, with ten ropes, for 
M. Lecomte and myself, two trunks, two microscopical camp-beds, a liliputian 
table with two folding-chairs to match, an old flat chest graced with the 
pompous name of canteen, and containing a jumble of provisions, cooking 
utensils, and miscellaneous aids to camping out, were all we could boast of 
The whole made an easy load for two mules, one of which served in addition 
as a mount to my servant Ahmed. This fellow, a peasant from Lifta, was 
the sole representative of the numerous following that is wont to swarm 
round the Frank when he wishes to try nomad life in Palestine. Each of us 
had, besides, on his horse, a pair of those very convenient Arab khurjs ; 
these used to contain my whole equipment when I first stayed in Syria, and 
made tours ; my present enterprises, compared with these, seemed attended 
with Asiatic splendour. For instance, we rode on two excellent saddles, 
which we owed to the liberality of the Socidtd de Gdographie at Paris ; these 
were of the greatest service to us during this Palestine mission. 

I took as guide a good friend of mine, an old fellah from Abu Ghosh, 
one Ibrahim Ahmed, who was more or less of a sheikh when he was at home, 
and was perfectly acquainted with part of the region that I purposed to 
traverse. I had already gathered from him a store of interesting information, 
and enlarged it as we went along. This will be incorporated with my 

Tour from Jernsaleui to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 55 

narrative in due course. In particular, it was from him that I first heard of 
the existence of the Gezer inscription. The discovery of this, which took 
place during this tour, is, as will be seen, of very great importance in Biblical 
epigraphy and topography. 

Our first halting-place was the village of our guide, Kariet el 'Enab, or 
Kariet Abu Ghosh, where we were to pass the night. We did not, however, 
take the high road to Joppa to reach this, but followed from the outset the 
old road which makes an arc towards the north, with the new road as the 
chord of it. 

The Tomb of the Beni Heidi. — When we got opposite the wely of Sheikh 
Bedcr, I noticed on the left, between the old road which we were following* 
and the new one, a number of squared blocks of stone, evidently disposed 
in rows, and seeming to form a rectangular oblong with its greater size 15 m. 
long. The whole group is called "the Tomb," or " Tombs of the Beni Hel^l" 
{Kaber or ICbftr Beni Heidi). Its size and appearance remind me somewhat 
of the famous K'bur el 'Amal'ka or K'bur Beni Israin ("the Tombs of the 
Amalekites," or "of the Israelites") which are near el Hizmeh, to the north 
of Jerusalem. Its name likewise recalls these. This name, Beni Heidi, 
assumes in local tradition an aspect rather legendary than historic, and 
appears to have reference to certain primitive populations of Palestine. As 
early as the geographical treatise of Esthori ha-Parchi, we find: " East of 
these districts" ("the Hauran ") "you find the mountain chain of Jebel bene 
Hellel, called by the grammarians /^(^^Z bene Israil."\ Thus the tombs of Beni 
Helal are mentioned together with those of Beni Israil at Hizmeh in this 
connection also. Similarly the name Helal is most closely associated in local 
tradition with that of the mysterious Fenish, whom I shall speak of shortly : 
Heidi el Fcnish. There may be interesting excavations to be made in 
this spot.j 

El Fcnish. — We soon left this behind, and as we went along my 
o-uide told me that the realm of that mysterious personage who passed 

* This is bordered with large stones, and is in part hewn in the rock. Not far away to the 
south is the wely of Sheikh Yas'in. 

t Itinerary of Benjauiin of Tudela, II, 410. 

% It is not noticed, by name at any rate, in the Map and the Memoirs. Perhaps it should 
he connected with the Kabr el Helaly (Map, 15 Pr, Name Lists: the grave of the man of the 
Beni Helal Arabs). Cf. also some curious details as to the Beni Helal of Syria, gathered by 
poor Drake at Ma'lfll and Nazareth {Quarterly Statement, 1873, p. 58), and a paper by P. J. 
Baldensperger, Esq., //'., 1894, p. 277. 

56 Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

under the name of Fenish or Finsh''' extended as far as Beit 'Ur (Beth- 

Lnlieh, Kcfirch. — He likewise informed me that the ancient name of Yalo 
(Ajalon) was Liilieh, and according to others Liiio ; that the ridge of the 
south of Kastal was called Hardsh {j:.\^), that the fellahin pronounce the 
name of the locality Keftre/i, with a ^, and the townsfolk {cl mcdeniyeh) with a 
•;.t If this last detail is correct, which I do not vouch for, it is most 
important, because it allows us to follow Robinson without hesitation in his 
proposed identification of this now ruined village and the Chephirah of the 
Bible, one of the four Gibeonite cities. This identification was open to the 
criticism that it involved the rare, not to say impossible, substitution of an 
Arabic j for the Hebrew 2, for the name of this place, admitting the form 
iLjui which M. Guerin claimed to have found. 

Clay Beds. — After having deviated a little to the right and the left, we 
took to the high road again at Kastal. Quite near this to the north is a bed 
of clay loam, or what passes for such, greatly esteemed by the potters and 
the makers of pipes {ghaldin) at Jerusalem. The spot is called Matianet 
el Kastal, matianet, a place-name derived from tin, "clay." I gazed with 
some interest on this "potter's field," thinking that perhaps much of the 
famous Moabite ware which was making such a stir at the time had been 
fashioned from this clay. 

Slmfeh. — We visited in passing a cone-shaped hill lying to the right 
of the road, a little before Abu Ghosh, with the significant name of Slififeh, 
derived apparently from the extensive view (i_Jli) 1— i^Aj) obtained from its 
summit.;}: I remarked there a cavern excavated in the rock. 

* This fabulous personage plays a considerable part in the rustic legends of the Judrcan 
peasants. His name is connected, among other places, with Beit Jibrin (Eleutheropolis). My 
special note, communicated to the Academic des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres in 187 1, was the 
first attempt to show that the name and the memory of the Philistines might have been preserved 
in this name Feiusli (i;LJJ), with a phonetic change prevalent in the speech of the fellahin, that 
of / to )i. Another instance of this change is the word feneseli, meaning the large piece of silver 
which the fellah women wear on their necks, which stands iox feleseh, " piece of money." 

t It is well known that the v is pronounced by many fellahin like cJi 'ind the cJ like ch, 
so that no error is possible in transcribing these two varieties of K, which are essentially different, 
provided you are in a position and will take the precaution to ascertain first of all the phonetic 
customs of the peasants you are questioning. It is the Beni Zeid, said Ibrahim Ahmed, that 
pronounce the cJ ^s ch. 

\ CJ. in the Talmud, naiL" Shufah, "prominence." 

Tour from Jcrusalcni to Jajja and the Country of Samson. 57 

1/ibdlah. — From here we went on to Kh. Ik'balah,'" a mediaeval ruin too 
well known to detain us. Some of the stones display masons' marks and 
letters. It was pointed out to us this time as Heidi el FemsJi, rather to my 
astonishment, as some years before I had been shown a totally different place, 
between Kastal and Soba, going by the same name.t 

Kcbbdrah. — As we proceeded to Abu Ghosh, we came across a place 
called el Kebbdrah, and took from the door of a tomb hollowed out in the rock 
the following bearings : Soba, 169°, Abu Ghosh 318° (?). 

The Wdd ed Dileb passes below it. 

Abii Ghosh. — On reaching Abu Ghosh I had our tent erected there for 
the night, and we lunched. In the course of the meal 1 picked up some 
information from the fellahin. They told me : — 

(i.) Of Deir Izhar (,\^Ui or ,LU,(?) on the right of the road and to the 
west of the church of Abu Ghosh. This place was said to have 
been formerly connected with the convent by a subterranean way ; 

(2.) Of a " beled," or inhabited village (hitherto not marked on the 
maps), situated to the north of Saris, and called Beit TJml ; 

(3.) Of Beit Nushef, between Beit Likia and Beit Sira, etc 

Khaldil ez Zumnidry. — After lunch we went to explore the neighbour- 
hood. About half-an-hour to the south-west of the village I noticed in the 
'WaAy Khaldil ez Zuvimdry %vio burial vaults hollowed out in the rock. In 
one of them, on the back wall of the arcosolium, on the right hand as you go 
on, a cross is cut.| 

El JTinilr. — We next passed through the inhabited but half-ruined village 
of cl E'nitlr ('Ammur) (,^i), which lies to the north of the broad wady of 
the same name. I noticed two shafts of columns and a few burial-caves. 

Jeb'a. — After crossing the valley, we arrived at last at the; Kh. Jcb'a, to 
the south-west of el E'mur. The suggestive name of this place had made a 

* The real meaning of the name must be, " the ruin opposite." 

t I find indeed the following entry in one of my old note books : " On the west of 
the road from Kastal to Soba, at the foot of the hill, I noticed a ruin called K/t. H'tal cl fetus li 
([>ujil\ Jl>), with an extensive cave, and an angle of masonry of large rough hewn blocks. 
One of them measured i"''25. high by 2m. in length, and looked as if it formed part of an 

enclosing wall (1870, Carnet, III, p. 29)." [Wherever a reference to " Garnet, etc " occurs, 

the author's unpublished Notes of his observations before and after the years 1873 and 1874 are 

X Sketch lost. 



Archcrological Researches in Palesfine. 

vivid impression on me when I first heard it pronounced by the fellahin, so I 
made all haste to explore it. 

The name is applied to a vast plateau covered with ruins, at the top of a 
hill placed at the confluence of two valleys, Wady E'mur ('Ammur) and 
Wad el Ehmar (Hamar), which unite above Ras el Jeb'a (to the west). 

This plateau appears to have been the seat of a considerable town, to 
judge by the numerous but shapeless ruins to be found on it. These consist 
chiefly of heaps of fallen stones, for the most part of small size, belonging to 
ancient walls. Here and there, however, a few large blocks, more carefully 
hewn, are to be seen. The soil presents that greyish tint which in this 
country is characteristic of the sites of ancient cities, and it is strewn with 
potsherds. We counted quite a number of cisterns with large square mouths, 
wine-presses, etc., cut in the rock. Unfortunately the whole place was over- 
run and covered up with grass and brushwood, which obstructed our efforts. 
M. Lecomte made a drawing of a large reservoir cut in the rock and 
fronted by two arches, belonging apparently to a vaulting intended to cover 
it in. 


At one end, towards the south-west, this plateau is separated by a 
considerable depression, called Khairt el Jeb'a, from an eminence, Rds cl Jeb'a, 
which appears to have been the fortified part or acropolis of the city. Here 
are cisterns, wine-presses, double walls, etc. ; towards the north there is a 
large heap of stones called Rjum Jeb'a. We took the bearings from this : 
Saris, 304"; Neby Shamwil, 62°; Soba, 99°. 

Threshing Floors. — On our way back from the Rds, we traversed the 

whole length of the plateau, and I noticed further two huge threshing floors 

cut in the rock. The fellahin generally call threshing floors of this soxtjiuxn, 

.,''i.. The name and the object correspond exactly to the Biblical goren, p3. 

Tour from Jcritsalcin to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 59 

Moreover also the vulgar pronunciation is the same, the jczni with which 
the r is marked in literary Arabic [jitrn) being replaced by a regular short 
vowel, the equivalent of the Hebrew segol.'"' 

Gibeah. — What was the ancient city now represented by the Kh. Jeb'a ? 
Its name would seem to connect it with the already numerous group of Gibeahs 
in the Bible ;t Jeb'a, 'i-K^^^ answers exactly to Gibeah nV33, which from its 
derivation signifies "hill." This generic meaning sufficiently accounts for 
this homonymy, which creates such confusion in the ancient topography of 

Among the various Gibeahs in the Bible, there is one that would 
correspond pretty closely with Jeb'a, namely the Gibeah where the inhabitants 
of Kirjath-Jearim deposited the Ark after fetching it from Bethshemesh. 
The nearness of Abu Ghosh, if we adopt the general identification of this 
with Kirjath-Jearim, would rather favour this view. Again, it is worth 
noticing that our Jeb'a lies exactly on the road that one has to take in going 
from 'Ain Shemes (Bethshemesh) to Abu Ghosh. Still I will not venture 
at present to assert that that is where we must look for the house of 
Abinadab, where the Ark remained for twenty years till David took it away 
to Jerusalem. One objection among others to such an assertion is that it is 
hard to reconcile with the opinion (a conjectural one, it must be said) which 
considers the Gibeah of the Ark to be the Gibeat Kirjathj enumerated by 
Joshua among the cities of Benjamin. If the boundary of Judah really 
passed by Abu Ghosh, our Jeb'a would be too far to the south to have been 
comprised in the territory of Benjamin. The whole of this question requires 
to be taken up again and treated thoroughly. 

\4in Mahtush. — We returned from Abu Ghosh by way of 'Ain Mahtihh 
in the valley of the same name. Up above are visible the ruins of a birkeh, 
built of large blocks. It served no doubt to regulate the flow of water used 
to irrigate the valley. 

* This, by the bye, is a general observation, appHcable to the whole series of segolaie nouns 
and the corresponding words in popular Arabic, as I already had occasion to show a long time 
ago. This phenomenon is one of the most striking of those that directly unite the phonetics of 
popular Arabic with that of Hebrew, passing over the head, so to speak, of literary Arabic. 

t Like names are no less common in Arabic place-nomenclature. My guide told me on 
another occasion of two places called KJi. J'bea, one situated, he said, to the south of Kastal, the 
other between Beit 'Enan and Katanneh. I found them marked on the Map, which shows in 
a general way the correct knowledge of my old sheikh Ibrahim .-\hmed. 

% Gibeath and Kirjath (.^.V.). (Translator's note.) 

I 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Opposite the spring, on the other side of the valley, I saw in the distance 
some ruins of a so-called cyclopiean structure, which were pointed out to us 
by the name of Beit Rumnidn. This puts one in mind of the numerous 
Rimmons in the Bible, but it may simply be formed from the Arab word 
for pomegranate. 

Chirck of Abu Ghosh. — On returning to Abu Ghosh we studied certain 
details of the media;val church, of which a concession had just been made to 
the French Government.* I saw again the Latin masons' marks that I was 
the first to point out in 1870, and we copied them afresh. {See the special 
table, Vol. I.) On one of the courses, to the right as you go in, I discovered 
a small graffito of two lines, but could only make out a few Latin characters, 
perhaps of the Crusading period or possibly later. The first line, which 

has been hammered over, has almost 
entirely disappeared, with the excep- 
tion of a small footed cross of distinct 
oudine, which formed the beginning 
of it. In the second line one can 
clearly read: E||OVLSA. The 
block on which the lines are engraved 
bears unmistakable traces of the mediceval slantincj tool-marks. Here 
follows a facsimile from the squeezes I took. 

Above the entrance door of the subterranean 
church I noticed traces of a two-armed cross 
inscribed in a circle. It had been hammered over. 

Crusaders 'J^ooi - xlfarks. — I particularly set 
myself to distinguish the heterogeneous styles of 
dressing the stones that we found in the upper and 
lower parts of the church, and observed a fact 
with reference to the mediaeval tool-marks on the 
blocks, which is a regular proof of the law that I 
discovered and have set forth above (Vol. I). It 


B. Plan. 

* A study of this church and the crypt in great detail, with views, plans, sections, and 
elevations, will be found in an article by M. Mauss, published in the Revue ArMologiqiie for 
March — April, 1892, pp. 223, et seqq. Cf. in the Heme Biblique (1893, p. 41) the remarks of 
I'ather Germer-Durand, where he disputes certain views of M. Mauss, states that the frescoes are 
accompanied by L.atin Inscriptions, and supposes that the Church belonging to the Hospitallers 
was dedicated to St. John. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 6i 

will be remembered that by this law the blocks hewn by the Crusaders have 
oblique tool-marks when they are fat, and that the tool-marks are more or 
less parallel with the perpendicular if the blocks take a curved form. Now 
in the three circular apses at the end of the church of Abu Ghosh there 
is a very short straight part just before the curved part begins, and the 
combination of the flat and curved surfaces appears on one and the same 
block ; well, this block shows on its flat part the oblique marks, and on its 
curved part (it is here practically a vertical cylinder) they are almost 
vertical. I took a squeeze of the surface, clearly showing this twofold 

Origin of the Church. — The history and origin of the church of Abu 
Ghosh remain an unsolved problem. The main part of the building is 
indisputably of the time of the Crusades, though in the lower part of the 
subterranean church which forms the crypt there are some large " pock- 
marked " blocks, which may be earlier than the Crusades, but are not 
necessarily so.^' The outer facing of the walls has been so carelessly done, 
and with such coarse materials, that one is inclined to suppose it to have been 
restored or even finished at a much later date. Indeed, it is quite possible 
that the building had to be hurriedly abandoned by the Crusaders when it 
was in course of construction, on account of the approach of Saladin, and 
that it was brought to its present condition at a much later date. This 
hypothesis would easily account for the distressing irregularity in the dressing 
of the stones, which exhibit side by side the most careful and the rudest work. 

As for the singular appellation of St. Jeremy which modern tradition 
attaches to the church, one can only explain it by supposing it due to 
an ignorant confusion between the names Kirjath Jearim and Jeremias 
[Hieremias). Franks who were at one time masters of the Holy Land, 
and were mostly unlearned folk, may have been misled by the superficial 
resemblance of the two words. It is, however, unnecessary to go back to 
the Crusades for the origin of this error. It may very well have been started 
since that time, and be the work not of the conquerors but of pilgrims and 
monks from the west in later ages. 

* M. Mauss is of opinion that the church of the Crusaders has been adapted so to speak by 
them from the main [lortion of an ancient Roman castellum : this would explain the extraordinary 
thickness of the walls, the fact that the apses do not project out beyond the eastern wall, leaving 
the latter an unbroken line, the holes made in the walls after building for the openings of the 
door and windows, etc. Resuming an ancient theory, he proposes to make this castellum the 
Castle of Emmaus. and Abu Ghosh, Emmaus. 

62 Archccolozical Rcsearclics in Palest i 

i> ' 


In this case what tradition, if any, did the Crusaders wish to perpetuate 
when they built this church ? May we not suppose it was that of the abiding 
of the Ark at Kirjath Jearim, if we admit that Gibeah was merely a quarter 
of that town ? 

Such were the inductions I was led to by considering this obscure 
question on the spot itself. I have since found an unexpected confirmation 
of this view in a text which I had not then by me, and which seems to have 
hardly been resorted to in the controversy. Petrus Cassinensis, in his 
Libellus de locis Sanctis, the date of which has been established as being 
about 1 137, says that at a place 9 miles from Jerusalem called Kirjathjearivi, 
where the Ark of the Lord was, a church has been constructed : " milliario 
nono ab Jerusalem, in loco qui dicitur Kariathjearim, ubi fuit archa Domini, 
ecclesia illic constructa est." 

Several important results ensue from this decisive passage : — 

(i.) Abu Ghosh was identified with Kirjath Jearim as early as the 

(2.) The church dates back to the first half of the twelfth century at least. 

(3.) The Ark was connected with it in tradition. 

Probably this same Biblical reminiscence is accountable, in spite of 
appearances to the contrary, for the Mussulman tradition which makes the 
small mosque near the church a sanctuary or makdiii of Esdras. This 
tradition perhaps is not so incongruous as it appears. It is known, of course, 
that this "prophet" is called in Arabic Ncby 'Ozeir or cl 'Ozcir. Esdras 
assuredly had nothing to do with Kirjath Jearim, but the Arabic form of his 
name ^j •..til corresponds literally \vith the Hebrew name "lti^7X Eleazar, the son 
of Abinadab, and it must not be forgotten that there was an Eleazar to whom 
the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim entrusted the care of the Ark. 

Moreover, in further support of this conjecture I can cite a notorious 
instance of the Arabic name for Esdras in the form el 'Ozeir being substituted 
for that of Eleazar. Jewish and Samaritan tradition point out to one, at 
'Awerta, near Nablus, a place of which we shall have more to say later on, 
the tomb of Eleazar the Son of Aaron.. Now to the Mussulmans this is the 
tomb of el 'Ozeir. Thus we are perfectly justified in assuming that beneath 
the el 'Ozeir of Abu Ghosh there lurks an Eleazar. 

The localization of the legend of Esdras at Abu Ghosh, moreover, seems 
to me to have much older warranty than one would have supposed from the 
mere witness of rustic fellahin. There is a passage in the Koran {Stwah of 
the cow, verse 263) in which the Mussulmen commentators of early date 

ToJir from Jcrnsalciu to [affa and the Coimti'v of Samson. 6 


recognized an allusion to Esdras, though he is not mentioned in it by name. 
It begins thus : " And as he who passed through a city {Kariatul) with 
ruined houses," etc. Several early commentators, seizing on this word A^r/cr, ' 
have expressly applied it to Abu Ghosh, the real name of which, as we know, 
is Kariat el'Enab ("the village of grapes"), or, for short, cl Karia. I have 
not the original texts by me just now, so will content myself with quoting, 
with further abridgement, the summary of them given by the old d'Herbelot 
in his Bibliotheque Orientale, evidently from Persian sources (perhaps the 
Kisas cl-anbid ?). Esdras, on his way to Jerusalem, stopped at a village near 
the Holy City. The village was ruined, but there were many vines and 
fig-trees. Esdras took up his quarters behind a wall, and there supported 
himself on fruit, with his ass tethered near him."" The village was variously 
called Seir abadt (" place for walking " in Persian) and Diar Anab {sic). 
One cannot help recognizing in this last name, which is evidently ,_^u; ,l-'-s 
the characteristic name of our Kariat el 'Enab. Thus it is seen that there is 
more than one reason assignable for the legend of Esdras prevalent in these 
days at Abu Ghosh, and at the same time indirect proof is obtained that the 
name of the village is not an invention of yesterday, it containing the element 
Kariat, which is one of the principal bases of the identification made by 
western commentators with Kirjath Jearim. 

Beit Mahsir. — Next morning we broke up the camp to go to Bir 
el Ma'in, to the north-west of Abu Ghush, which was to be our second 
halting-place. I sent the baggage on by a direct route, so that we might be 
free to follow another. 

We again crossed the Jaffa high road, leaving the eminence of Deir 
Izhar to our left on the soutli-west, and followed the course of the Wady 
BahV, which lay to our left, deepening as it went on. 

As we went along we saw in the distance the wooded crest of Beit 
Mahsir. When one reflects that this commanding point, lying to the north of 
Kesla between 'Ain Shemes and Abu Ghosh, is, to the eye at least, the 
highest in the neighbourhood, one is sorely tempted to take it for the undis- 
coverable Mount Seir, one of the landmarks of the boundary of Judah. One 

* It appears from a legend, that I picked up later at Abu Ghosh, that this characteristic 
feature of the legend, the ass of Esdras, still lingers in local tradition. 

t Seirabad, j\jl jw, is perhaps the result of a mistaken reading for jL'l-'L; Salwr abad, 
" the town of Shahpor," where, according to a variant of the legend, Esdras died and was raised to 

64 Arcliccological Researches in Palestine. 

could even, if need were, find certain affinities between the two names, in 
spite of their apparent differences. If we cut off from Mahsir the servile 
syllable via, we have left the theme hsir, by interversion shir. The form 
Mishir noted by Van de Velde, if it is not due to a misunderstanding on his 
part, would even contain the non-interverted form, and this variant would 
furnish a good intermediate form. As for the substitution of an Arabic ha 
for a Hebrew '«///, this is authorised by numerous instances found in geo- 
graphical names. In any case this comparison is much less improbable, on 
phonetic grounds, than the one which Schwarz, Tobler and others have tried 
to establish with Saris. The requirements of topography also appear to me 
to be equally well fulfilled. 

Zunukleh. — The spot marked Kh. Saris on Van de Velde's map was 
pointed out to me by the name of ZunukleJi, one that I had already noted 
some years previous. A sort of stone tripod is said to have been found, some 
time back, in a cavern at Beit Mahsir. 

Jebel 'Abd cr Rahman. — My guide, whom I had set talking on the 
question of mountains, told me, as we went along, of one called Jebel 'Abd 
er Rahman, reputed the highest in those parts, "not excepting," said he, 
" Neby Shamwil." It lies, according to his statement, to the north-east of 
Abu Ghosh and to the south-west of Beit Siirik, about an hour's journey from 
the former village. It is said that a most extensive view of the country 
round is to be had from its summit." 

Meshdhed. — While we were thus conversing with Ibrahim Ahmed, 
the ascent became so difficult that we had to dismount every now and then, so 
as not to break our necks over the sloping patches of rock, polished into 
slipperiness, that crossed our path at every step. After more than three 
quarters of an hour of this distinctly unpleasant exercise, more like a ride over 
the roofs of a European town than anything else, we beheld numbers of 
meshdhed,^ showing that we were in sight of Beit Thul. 

* I do not find this name on the Map. [This is evidently another name for the hill-top 
called " Batn es S'aideh," which was used as a trigonometrical point by the Survey Party. — Ed.] 
The exact position of Jebel 'Abd er Rahman — its very existence, of course I only know by 
hearsay — remains to be verified and fixed, as also does its real altitude. The indications given 
by my guide would seem to take us within the triangle of high hills lying between Abu Ghosh, 
Beit Surik and Kalaunieh (Kiilonieh). In this region Mount Ephron is placed by common 
consent, and Jebel 'Abd er Rahman, probably the highest point in the range, might very well 
correspond to that mountain. 

t Small heaps of stones placed at the points from which the villages or sanctuaries first come 
into view. 

Tour from /cntuilcin to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 

Beit Thill ( TiW). — The name of this village presents a curious, but, let 
me add, quite fortuitous resemblance to that of the Bethulia of Judith. It had 
hitherto escaped the attention of explorers of the Holy Land, and this was 
to me its greatest attraction. ' 

From Beit Thul one enjoys a very fine view of the plain that lies 
beneath through a gap in the hills. 

The village was inhabited, and a hearty welcome was accorded to us. 
The site possesses importance and certainly antiquity, and in fact we noticed 
both in and around the village all the characteristics of sites of this kind, 
cisterns, presses, caverns and tombs hewn out in the rock, especially on the 
western slope of the hill ; foundations of houses and quarry-holes cut into the 
living rock, fragments of pottery, a grey tinge in the soil, and so forth ; and, 
further, a seemingly ancient road, bordered with large blocks and extending, 
as it appears, to Yalo, an hour's journey distant. 

The village contains two welys, one the sanctuary of Sheikh Iiijeivi, the 
other that of Bedriyeh. In front of the wely of Bedriyeh, I noticed the 
remains of a small aqueduct of masonry and two large shafts of ancient 

In the courtyard of an old ruined house we lit upon a rather curious 
capital, of hard stone, and cubical in shape, the two opposite faces presenting 
two spiral scrolls ornamented with large Greek crosses. 


Plan, looking up. 

Side view. 


On measuring, it appeared that this capital must have belonged to one 
of the two columns mentioned just above. These remains lead one to suppose 
that an important Christian building of the Byzantine period once existed at 
Beit Thul. 

According to local tradition Bedriyeh was the sister of the Sheikh In'jeim. 
When the latter established himself there the place was nothing but a desert. 

66 'Archcvological Researches in Palestine. 

The holy man was ministered to, and even, I beheve, fed by a gazelle. After 
his death, his sister Bedriyeh took his place, and afterwards the place became 
a town. This legend is an interesting one. The Sheikh's name, it should 
be noted, comes from the same root as nejnt, "star;"' Injeini is the rapid 
pronunciation, with a prosthetic alif, of »j^ mtjeiin, "little star." The 
sister's name is derived from bcdr, " the full moon." I should not be surprised 
if, as so often happens in Palestine, this pious and respected pair were found 
to be the expression of some old mythological notion connected with 
astronomy. At all events, this legend may be compared with the one 
prevalent among the Mussulmans, which recounts how God, having caused 
a gourd-tree to grow over Jonah's head,* sent a wild ibex to nourish him with 
her milk.f I would also adduce, for comparison, a coin of Damascus, which 
may have been known to the Arabs at the time of the conquest, and have 
suggested to them " iconologically " the idea of this fable from the design 
on the obverse : a doe suckling an infant.\ Possibly this scene was accom- 
panied on some specimens by the symbols of the moon and star d * , 
which frequently figure on other Damascus coins ; hence Injeini and 

The fellahin of Beit Thul told me that the town was formerly called 
among the Christians Ka/'at Fertin ^^ji ^j^ ; "the fortress of Fertin,"|| a 
Christian or pagan king (Kafer) who reigned there and lorded it over all the 
surrounding region. He perished in the tnfdn, "the deluge," which issued 
from the Tannilr of Abu Shusheh (Gezer) and submerged the whole country. 
In speaking of Gezer I shall have occasion to recur to this latter legend, a 

* ^^'e have here, I think, an instance of the mythologie des images, which I have aheady 
proposed to call konology ; the story of Jonah and the kikaiyon tree is closely connected with 
those numerous tesserce of Palmyra, on which the dead man is represented lying beneath a tree 
bearing large round berries. 

t Bochart, I, 920, 20. 

X Mionnet, V, 292 ; cf. de Saulcy, Nuinhin. dd la Terre Sainte, p. 45, No. 13. Compare 
the myth of Telephus suckled by a doe. 

§ This generation of Arab legends through the arbitrary interpretations of scenes figured on 
ancient coins is not an isolated case. For instance, I have already shown {Reaieil d'Archcol. 
orientah, I, p. 311) that the remarkable Mussulman legend of Adam ploughing at Acre with a 
fair of oxen led by Gabriel, which is localized at 'Ain el Bakar near Acre, arose from a popular 
interpretation of the colonial coins of Acre, on which the imperial founder of Ptolemais is seen 
driving a cart, the symbol of colonization in Roman worship, with a genius hovering above him. 

II Fertin is perhaps a transposition for Tar/in, which we shall be concerned with later. 

To7[r from Jcmsalcm to Jaffa and the Comiti-y of Samson. 67 

very important one. I consider it to be a fragment of one of the oldest and 
most widespread beliefs in the land of Canaan. 

I was told of a Kk. Jllismdr situated between Beit Thul and Zunukleh. 

On my way through this region I noted an expression absolutely peculiar 
to the fellahin there, namely, m'ayi {llii.< or ^jl«.«), in the sense of lithir, 
" much." 

The ethnic name of the inhabitants of the village is Th/ily, plural 
Tazudlch. I shall often have occasion to recur to this question of ethnics. 
Sufficient attention has not been paid to them, and I have always made an 
effort to collect them carefully, for in my opinion they often preserve for its 
the more archaic forms of the place-names. 

Beit Thul is evidently some ancient locality of distinct importance, but 
which is it ? The likeness of the name to Bethulia, false as a mirage, must 
not deceive us for a moment. 

Might not one identify it with the undiscoverable Jithlah mentioned 
in Joshua xix, 42, among the towns belonging to the tribe of Dan, and 
forming a separate group with Ajalon and Shaalabbin ? 

This identification is most tempting to the geographer, considering that 
Beit Thul is near Yalo (Ajalon), and is even joined to it by the ancient road 
I mentioned just now. 

From the etymologist's point of view the notion is admissible. We are 
quite at liberty in considering the name Beit Thill to take as usual only the 
second half, eliminating the insignificant factor belt, "house." This leaves us 
Thul. the essential factor, and the only one remaining in the ethnic Thuly. 

T/ml, J^, {Thauiy* signifies in Arabic a "swarm of bees" or "hornets." 
So we might stop at this and suppose the name to be of purely Arabic origin, 
"the house of the bees" or "of the hornets." As a matter of fact Beit Thul 
does produce excellent honey, and we partook of some with relish. One has 
to beware, however, of these appellations that appear to be of purely Arabic 
origin, they are often ancient Hebrew names converted by a process of 
popular etymology into words familiar to the Arabs. In many cases slight 
phonetic changes assist the process. These, by the bye, are not arbitrary, 
but are subject to real laws. Thus, for instance, the name of the Bible town 

* In the Name Lists the name is written Jj ci^-j^.' , and the second element Tnl is 
regarded as a proper name, and wrongly translated "length," from a confusion with the word 
JjU, which is radically different. 

K 2 

68 Arclueological Researches in Palestine. 

of Thiiiniah has become in fellah speech Tibneh, "chopped straw." Similarly 
TIml may stand for Jethlah, the two last radicals of which it has preserved. 
The first syllable // may be either (i) radical — this is the opinion of Fiirst, 
who derives the name JithlaJi from one of those imaginary roots which 
are his particular foible, namely Sii (which itself, by the bye, is formed from 
th) ; or (2) servile, in case the word really comes from HtTI talali, " to be 
hung, hung up." In either case the disappearance of this initial syllable Ji 
is the most natural thing in the world. This is how, for instance, Jericho 
becomes in Arabic Riha {Erihd) ; Jezreel, Zerin; Jeshanah, Sinia, etc. At 
any rate that seems to me quite as reasonable as the identification with the 
name of a valley, Wady ''Ata/a,^'' which has been suggested in desperation. 

Arab Legend.- — At Beit Thul I took on an extra guide to go to Kh. 
Hirsha or Hersheh (JJ:^.=^^. The breath of the Khainsin\ was scorching, 
the heat overpowering, the sky without a cloud, and of a blinding chalk-like 
whiteness. Our way lay through partially cut fields of corn. The harvest- 
men, it appears, are in the habit of leaving off work while this wind is blowing, 
because, they say, the corn-stalks get dry and are too hard to cut. The hills 
that we crossed were covered with underwood. A quantity of charcoal is 
made about here, and the operation is generally conducted in old rock-hewn 
caves, frequently ancient graves. 

As we went along, my guide from Beit Thul told me that opposite Saris, 
on the other side the confluence of the two valleys, there was a steep place 
called 'Elliet en. Ninicr, "the Height of the Panther." There, in a cavern 
still existing at the present day, was once the den of a most savage panther 
which ravaged the country round, and cut off the communication through 
Wady Safieh and W'ady Huteh. One day an ancestor of one of the inhabi- 
tants of Beit Thul went to slay it. The beast sprang upon him, planted its 
claws in his back, and carried him off to one of the highest rocks about its 
den. Here, however, the bold hunter managed to draw his knife, turned 
round and slew the panther, and cut off its paw, which remained imbedded in 

* Map of Van de Velde. The existence of this name is not even asserted, and I do not 
find it on the Map. Phonetically, it would rather suggest Ataroth of Benjamin, which should be 

hereabouts, unless indeed it is simply aJJl lU r ? 

t Khamsin. This name, which means "fifty," is generally accounted for by the number of 
days during which this wind is said to blow. I am rather inclined to think that it comes from the 
season in which it blows; the Khamsin is the prevailing wind in the period oi fffy days 
comprised between Easter and Pcntea'st {iUi'TijKoaTij). 

Tojir from Jcnisalau (o Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 69 

his back. A skilful leech succeeded in extracting it, and he recovered. 

What struck me about this legend was the name given to the hunter's knife, 

shibriyeh. This word is probably derived from shibr, " palm " or " span," and 

probably denotes the length of the blade of the dagger. This is the same as 

that of the /lereb, with which Ehud the Left-handed slew Eglon king of Moab, 

which measured a zomed. 

Dhahr el Hnteli. — Looking to the north-west of Beit Thul in the direction 

of Ramleh, I noticed a rocky height called DhaJir el Hi'Ueh, which they say 

was struck by lightning and cloven into three parts. 

Kit. el Kascr. — To the south-west of our route, above the Wady Safieh, is 

Kh. el Kaser (Kiisr). 

Bdfn el Jarnul. — To the north-west of our route and to the north of 

Hirsha is a height Bdfn el Jarrl^id, so called because the soldiers of Islam 
assembled there {j'arradil). This appellation may have reference to some 
military event, for it is well known that in this region, that of Beit Nuba, 
the Franks and Saladin engaged in numerous combats. 

Hirsha. — However, we were now approaching Hirsha. We encountered 
first a commanding height called from its position the Munldr (observatory) 
of Hirsha. 

The Sloiie of the Pregnant JVoman. — We noticed on the slope of the 
Muntar a long hewn block of about 3"''20, broken at one end ; this is " the 
pillar of the fairy " or female jinn, 'amud el jinniyeh. Tradition has it that 
2i pregnant she-farry had received orders from Solomon to bring stones for 
building the Temple at Jerusalem. She was in the act of carrying this heavy 
pillar, which she had fetched from Hirsha, when she learned by the way that 
the mighty king who had imposed this hard task on her was dead. She 
straightway threw her crushing burden to the ground, the stone broke with 
the shock, and remained there ever after. This legend of " the stone of the 
pregnant woman " {Hajar el Hableh) is very popular with the Arabs of Syria. 
I have found it in several places, and mean some day to make a special study 
of it.'" 

* We must reject the explanation suggested by M. Renan in his Mission de Plihticie (p. 74), 
according to which a Hajar el HaHeh (transcribed Hubleh) stands for Hajar el Kuhleti { \^\), 
"the Stone ot the South." There is no doubt that the real meaning is "the Stone of the 
Pregnant Woman." The same mistake was once made about the same name as applied 
to the colossal hewn block in the ancient quarries of Baalbek {cf., for instance, Baedeker's 
Falestiiie and Syria, ed. 1876, p. 500). Now in an ancient Italian MS. that lies before me, and 


Archcpoloo-ical Researches: in Palestine. 


Waterworks. — I remarked further on a section of an aqueduct partly cut 
in the rock ; a little further still, a huge threshing floor, a mosaic floor in situ, 
with large cubes of white limestone (called by the fellahin kazamit)* still in 
their bed of thick cement ; and then cisterns, fragments of pottery, etc. 

Next we made our way into an immense subterranean reservoir cut out 
in the solid rock, and measuring i4'"'8o in length, 13m. in breadth, and at 

least 8m. in height. The ceiling is flat and 
sloping, and pierced with several openings, three 
round and one square, to allow of water being 
drawn out or admitted. The lower part of the 
sides is still covered with a coat of concrete 
o'""2 5 in thickness. In the middle a few large 
blocks, carefully hewn, lie on the ground. In 
one of the corners of this monumental cistern, 
which forms a regular subterranean birkeJi, is 
the beginning of a wide canal, partly cut in the 
rock and partly built of masonry, which would 
allow of the water being let out and guided for 
the purposes of irrigation, as I suppose. This 
aqueduct consists of a sort of trench with top 
uncovered. At the end it is crossed by a struc- 
ture of masonry with a groove in it which seems 
to have admitted the gate of a sluice for regu- 
lating the flow of the water. Further on it is 
joined at right angles by a wall surmounted with 
a cornice. 

Lower down is another birkeh also cut in 
the rock, but this time open to the sky. 

This large and remarkable reservoir is called 'Aineziyet Hirsha. This 



Scale rrnr- 

is nothing more or less than a translation of an Arabic treatise on searching for hidden treasure 
in Syria, this same stone at Ba'albek is called la pietra gravida, evidently for del/a gravida. I 
believe that this extremely curious legend has some connexion with the tradition concerning the 
Can-atids or statues of women supporting a building or an entablature. There may be a basis 
for comparison with the three kneeling statues at Rome, brought from Syria after the defeat of 
Antiochus, and regarded by the people as divinities presiding over women in childbirth. M. Breal 
thinks that these nixi di were Caryatids. In Western folk-lore there are legends which strikingly 
recall that of the Hajar el Hahleh (cf Revue arcMologique, May-June, 1893, p. 350, et seqqi). 

* The word is tortured into various shapes by the Arabs. At Lydda I heard it pronounced 
hazamit. It must be some foreign word, Greek perhaps, that has passed into Arabic. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and tlie Country of Samson. 71 

name 'Aineziyeh, which is not to be found in our Arabic Lexicons, signifies a 
(covered) reservoir more extensive than a cistern, and is applied, for instance, 
to the great cistern at Ramleh. 

Besides this, there is in the neighbourhood a group of ruins of some size 
consisting of heaps of well-hewn stones, many of them belonging to arched 
bays, and some bearing bossages. 

We noticed among them a fine carved lintel bearing a Greek cross 
contained in a circle or crown.  

A tomb, with three arcosolia, had been afterwards transformed into a 
cistern. We had all the trouble in the world to crawl in and examine it. 

This group of waterworks of such a size, these ruins of houses with 
arched bays, etc., point to the existence here of an important settlement, 
probably dating back to the Byzantine period. Did Hirsha exist before this 
period ? and what can it have been ? The name recalls that of the forest of 
Hareth which served as a refuge to David (allowing for the well-known 
interchange of the shin and the tan) : or that of Mount Heres, which cannot 
have been far from Yalo. But these are mere hypothetical identifications, I 
do not wish to lay stress upon them. 

Various Localities. — After a lunch, which we took at our ease beneath a 
fine carob-tree, and washed down with excellent water, I dismissed our guide 
from Beit Thul and we set off for Beit Nuba. I first of all took down from his 
lips the names and approximate positions of certain places round about which 
we had no leisure to visit : Jamniures, Kh. STizudn, Kh. RakMbes, to the east 
of Beit Nuba and to the south of Beit Likia. He told me that Bezka, which 
I desired to visit because the name had struck me, was to be found to the 
north of Kubab and the east of el K'niseh, between Selbit and 'Annabeh. 

Beit Nuba. — At three o'clock we entered Beit Nuba, whose inhabitants 
looked on us with suspicion, and gave us a surly reception, forming a 
striking contrast with the cordial welcome we had just before found at Beit 
Thill. However, I did not allow myself to be discouraged, hoping that as 
the village was formerly inhabited by the Crusaders, it might have some find 
in store for us, and by dint of pertinacity I obtained access to the houses, 
whether they liked it or not. 

Mediceval Church. — Our perseverance was rewarded, for we discovered, 
shut in by these wretched hovels, three apses, regularly orientated, of a large 
mediseval church, hitherto unknown. We noted among the masons' marks 

* Sketcli lost. 


Arch(tolos:ical Researches in Pa/es/iiie. 

an ]\r, and in the straight and curved portions of the apses the same peculiarity 
of tool marks, either diagonal or approaching the vertical, as in the church at 
Abu Ghosh. 

Unfortunately time failed us to make a complete plan, and to distinguish 
all the primitive elements in the conglomeration of houses that clung to the 
ruined building. 

However, we noted enough to give a general idea of the whole. The 
church is in the eastern portion of the village. A rough and incomplete plan 
of it follows here. 



> i 



A. Plan (scale of 3^). 

B. Elevation of a door in ihe north wall of the small north aisle. Scale -^;,. 

C. Section of the cornice. 

Tour from Jerusalein to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 


In the courtyard of a house I noticed, lying on the ground, a very 
handsome holy-water stoup of carved white marble, probably belonging to the 
church of the Crusaders, with which it is, I think, contemporary. 

'^■'■^-t^■.=^ .,*»*'■ ^jJASsi ■' 

View, looking up, 



This, I think, is the unique instance of a holy-water stoup found in 
Palestine.'" Apart from that, it is interesting for the history of Western Art 
to find a specimen of these articles that cannot be later than the 13th century. 
This proof of the existence of mediaeval remains at Beit Nuba settles once 
and for all the question whether the casal Bettenoble should be identified with 
Beit Nuba, or, as some authors, M. Guerin for instance, would have it, with 

On the west of the village is a makam dedicated to Neby Tarfin or 
Turfiny [^^Ja), a descendant of the patriarch Jacob, as local tradition assures 
us. I cannot make out what lies concealed beneath this singular name. May 
it be that of the name of king Fertin or Fartin, the personage of the legend 
of Beit Thul already given, the / and / being transposed ? The king, 
however, appears in this legend as a pagan or Christian. It may possibly 
have some connection with the Jewish name Tarphon pDllO, which has 
been borne by several ancient rabbis, and is in itself merely a corruption 
of the Greek TpvcficDi'. Perhaps, again, it is a transformation — a quite 
regular one — of the name Tpo(^iju,os which occurs several times in Christian 

B/ Eismreh. — We left Beit Nuba and directed our steps to el B'weireh, 

* I find, however, the following among my notes, marked with a query: "Fragment of a 
holy-water stoup (?) of carved marble, found .in the Crusaders' Church at Kuhciheb." A drawing 
of it by ISI. I.ecomte must have gone astray like a number of others. 


Archcvoloirical Researches in. Palestine. 

where I wanted to examine some ancient remains that I had heard of a long 
time before from different fellahin.* 

El B'weireh is a ruin of some importance, and had not hitherto been 
visited by Palestine explorers. It has numerous rock-hewn caves. 

We found a great number of the inhabitants of Katanneh, a village lying 
some distance to the east, who spend part of the summer there for the 
harvesting. This custom of taking a country holiday every year in certain 
KJiiirhehs or ruins is a very common one in Palestine. It may serve to explain 
why and in what manner the tradition of the names of places has been so 
faithfully preserved, even when these are deserted. 

The fellahin showed great distrust of us at the outset, and it was only by 
dint of repeated negotiations that I obtained the information I wanted. We 
were first taken to see a fine lintel of hard stone, i™*30 long, ornamented on 
one of its faces with three crosses of slightly different shape, inscribed in a 
circle. One of the crosses, the one on the right, has four small knobs between 

LINTEL AT b'weireh. Front view. 

li'vVElREH. View looking up. 





Side view. 

* At this point there is some confusion in the notes of my route that I cannot clear up. I 
can only make outthe name '"Ajenjiil, to the north of Latrun." This note must evidently have 
a connection with the " Khiirbet el Junjul " of the Map, which we passed through just before 
arrivmg at B'weireh. I cannot say whether my entry refers to this place under a form of name 
noticeably different, or to another place of the same name in the neighbourhood of Latrfln that 
may have been mentioned by my guide in speaking of it. 

Tour from Jerusaleiii to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 


its arms. The lower surface presents recesses intended doubdess to ensure 
the cohesion of the stone with the fabric to which it belona-ed. 

We next were led to a large field surrounded by a dry stone wall, in which 
we perceived a quantity of fine blocks carefully hewn, some with a moulding, 
which were said to have come from the ground inside the wall. The tool- 
marking was not mediaeval, and I am inclined to believe that these materials 
date back earlier than the Crusades, probably to the Byzantine period. 

There was another lintel broken into two unequal portions, and by 
good luck we found the missing portion in the middle of the field. It is 
ornamented with an elegant Greek cross enclosed in a square with another 
square intertwined diagonally ; on the four arms of the cross are four small 
projecting knobs ; on the right and left, two triangular auricles resembling 
those on inscribed cartouches. The whole is carved in relief, and produces a 
very fine decorative effect ; the style is pure Byzantine. Length of the lintel 


The fellahin of el B'weireh indicated to me several spots which we had not 
time to go and see, as the day was drawing to a close : — 

Kh. Kanbilt, on the west side of Kh. el B'weireh, but forming part of it, 
so to speak. Kanbilt, I was told, was a man of " Ibrahim Pasha's time ;" 

Kh. es Seder ; 

Kh. Barada, to the south of B'weireh. 

We resumed our journey to Bir el Ma'in, and passed through the ruins of 
Kh. el Hadetheh, quite near B'weireh. Here again we noticed considerable 
ancient remains, caves and foundations of houses, hollowed out in the rock, 
cisterns and ruins of buildings, blocks well hewn and moulded, columns, and 
two birkehs. However, as the day was far spent, we had to content ourselves 
with a superficial survey, so as to get to the tent before nightfall. I noticed 
growing among the ruins those yellow Bowers which are so characteristic of 

L 2 

76 Archccological Researches in Palestine. 

such places, as has already been observed. The fellahin call them nmrrdr or 
shok el murrdr. 

To sum up, my impression is that all the country from here to Beit Thul 
must have been very prosperous in Byzantine times, and that the ruins we 
noticed at Beit Thul, Hirsha, B'weireh and Hadetheh all belong to that 
period. There were on those spots extensive groups of inhabited dwellings, 
perhaps large agricultural colonies of monastic origin. 

The Hasmoncean Adasa. — I do not mean that these Christian com- 
munities were not established on the sites of older localities. For instance, 
Hadetheh (.'o.\;^) should represent some ancient ntt:'"Tn Hadasha, a name which 
must have been pretty common in Palestine, and simply means " new town." 
We know that the Arabic root hadatha, c--a-^, corresponds exactly to the 
Hebrew hadash 'ffi'in."" The Adasa of P' Maccabees and of Josephus must 
have been one of these HadasJias : the translation 'ASacra, with loss of the 
initial aspirate, being perfectly regular. This granted, I propose locating on 
the site of our Hadetheh the place which was made famous by the defeat of 
Nicanor by Judas Maccabeus. The various sites suggested for this by 
different authorities, from the Onoinasticon downwards, in nowise fulfil the 
conditions of the problem, as Adasa, according to Josephus, was thirty stadia 
from Beth-horon, where Nicanor pitched his camp after leaving Jerusalem in 
order to effect a junction with another portion of the Syrian army that was 
coming to reinforce him. Now Hadetheh is just at this distance from Beit 'Ur 
et tahta. Besides, it lies just on the road between Beth-horon and Gezer, and 
we know that the Syrian army was pursued by the Jews from Adasa to Gazara. 

* From observing this philological point, I have been enabled to identify, with certainty I 
think, the city of Judah called Hadasha (Joshua xv, 37) mentioned along with Migdal (Gad), and 
sought in vain up to the present day, with the modern village Ha/la, to the east of Mejdel and 
Ascalon. This name in fact is nothing but a quite normal assimilation of Ilad/ka, Hattlia 

(U.5^ = Uji5^). The transition form is already seen in the Hebrew Hazor-Hadattah, " New 
Hazor." This village Haifa appears to me to occur in a medieval Act, dated 1155, of which the 
original unhappily is lost, a donation made to the Hospitallers by Amaury, Count of Ascalon, of 
four casals situated in the domain of Ascalon : Bethfafe, Habde, Betliamamin, and Fhaliige (Dela- 
ville Leroulx, Cartul. General des Hospitallers, No. 232). I have no hesitation in identifying the 
first and two last as Beit ^Affeh, Kh. Beit Mch/itri, and el Falujeh, three villages lying in a group 
to the east of Ascalon. As for Habde, I am persuaded that it is none other than Hatteli, Haifa, 
which forms a quadrilateral with the three other villages ; Habde is certainly a copyist's error on 
the part of the author of the inventory ; the original probably had the reading Hatte, perhaps 
even Hadte. The same etymology seems to me to recur in the name of Kh. Kefr Haifa, lying 
a little to the north of Medjdel Yaba. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and tlie Country of Sa>nson. 7 7 

Thus by its name, Its distance and its strategic position, Hadetheh appears 
to me to fulfil all requirements, and I, in my turn, beg to propose a new 
candidate for the disputed site of Adasa. 

Bir el MdiJi. — We quickened our pace, and finally reached Bir el Ma'in 
at sunset. Here we found our little camp set up by our servant, who had 
come from Abu Ghosh by the straight road in five hours. 

There was still daylight enough for us to distinguish at our feet, through 
a gap in the mountains, the town of Ramleh, a white spot in the middle of the 
deep yellow plain, and beyond it, the sandy belt of dunes. 

The inhabitants received us admirably, with every token of good will. 
The iidtfir of the village did us numberless small services in the way of 
drawing water, buying eggs and milk, etc. Every large village in these parts 
has its natur, literally "guardian." The word, which has an ancient Aramaic 
physiognomy,"" comes from the root natar \^-j, "to watch, guard," whence 
likewise the widespread geographical term Munldr, and also the name of the 
village el Airiln, LatrCin, in its authentic primitive form Ndteriin. The 
natur, whom I have also sometimes heard called ndtilr es sd/ia, "guardian of 
the open space," is a sort of municipal watchman paid by the village in kind, 
mostly in grain, and corresponding pretty nearly to our "garde-champetre," + 
except that he has no legal status. On him devolves the duty of seeing to 
the wants of the travellers and guests who are housed in the iiied/id/eh, an 
institution which no self-respecting village is without. 

The medhafeh ("place where guests are received," from d/icif, d/iuyuf) 
is sometimes a separate room set apart for this purpose, furnished simply with 
a mat crawling with vermin ; at other times, indeed as a general rule, it is the 
mosque or wely of the place. One of the chief functions of the ndtur consists 
in preparing the coffee which is offered to guests by the village, and which 
nowadays in several places has become a means of extracting a small 
baksheesh from the traveller. 

Various Localities. — At supper I conversed with the kindly villagers, and 
was told of Beit Ntishef, between Beit Likia and Beit Sira, also of Kh. el 
Eb'idr, where a stone sandiik (sarcophagus) was to be found, and a kddus (a 
large vase ?) ; and of a mountain called el Koka' to the east of Yalo (which 
they pronounce Yalu) ; of Kh. Hiba to the west of the latter village, etc., etc. 

* Cf N"^^132, Hebr. Taliii. t A sort of rural constable in France. 

78 Archcsological Rcseai'ches in Palestine. 

Next followed some curious legends : — 

Legend of Neby Main and his sisters. — The mosque of Bir el Ma'in is 
consecrated to Neby Main,'-' a prophet and the son of Jacob, who must be 
the same as Beliavtin, otherwise called Benjamin. He is buried there in a 
cave surmounted by a wooden tabbfit^ or sarcophagus. He it was that 
founded Bir el Ma'in, which is sometimes also called Deir el Main. No 
scorpion can enter his sanctuary without straightway dying. 

When Neby Ma'in died, his five sisters hastened to come from the 
Jiser Bendt Ydkfib, or " Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob," which is on the 
Jordan to the south of Lake Hiileh, in order to be present at his funeral. 
They all however died before reaching their destination, at different places in 
the neighbourhood, where their tombs are still the object of veneration : — 

1. Hanndneh or Handya, whose makam to the south-west of Neby 
Ma'in is simply indicated by trees [Sarris and ballfit), a mysterious force 
having overthrown every structure that it was attempted to build upon it : — 

2. Zahra, buried at a spot some few minutes to the north of Bir el Ma'in ; 

3. Mennda; 

4. Hilriyeh, at Kefcr Lilt or Refer Rfit ; 

5. Farha, to the north of el Burj. 

These five daughters of Jacob, sisters of Neby Ma'in, are venerated as 
holy women, and all receive the title of Sitt-nd, " Our Lady." I noticed before 
in 1871I a few traces of this singular tradition: among others, that Neby 
Ma'in had a brother Neby Sira, like him the son of Jacob, and buried at Beit 
Sira ; but the details I gathered three years later at Bir el Ma'in, fill it in and 
considerably extend it. 

This region moreover teems with memories of Jacob and his more or 
less fabulous descendants, whom the fellahin, as their manner is, attach to 
some particular place through its name : as Neby Dan or Ddnen, at Neby 
Danian; Neby 'Ur, at Beit 'Ur; Tarfin, at Beit Niiba ; Rubin and Yiida, at 
Neby Rubin and el Yehiidiyeh ; Neby Kanda, in the parts about Yebna, etc.§ 

* The name ought really to be spelt _,j^\.^ Main, rather than .,Ajt,«, if I may trust my 
ears and also the form given in the official list of the local government, which is in my possession, 
t Tabbut cuS'J is the same word as the Hebrew /eba/i nan , a sarcophagus. 

I See t'n/ra, Appendix. 

§ All these nebys, I was told by the fellahin of Bir el Ma'in, when I pressed them on the 
subject, are either the sons of Ya'kub, or descended from him (/ni/i zurriyeto). They quoted as 
further instances : Neby Yihlid at Eshu\ and Neby Tdiy. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 79 

I think there would be great interest in comparing these legends with 
the traditions in the genealogical lists of the Books of Chronicles, which often 
have a genuine topographical import. This work is particularly valuable, 
from this point of view, in relation to Ephraim, for it allows us partially to fill 
up the unfortunate silence of the Book of Joshua concerning the cities that 
fell to this tribe. 

I proved thus much some time ago by a few cases of place-names, that 
topically exemplify this method and exhibit its usefulness : — • 

Be'enna, a place in the neighbourhood of Lydda, represents one of the 
Bible personages called Ba'ana, or BdanaJi ; 

ArsfJ {Apo/lonia, in the Syro-Macedonian epoch) represents a descendant 
of Ephraim called Resheph, which name, on the other hand, is identical with 
that of the Phoenician god Rcshepk or Reshnph, appearing as the equivalent 
of Apollo in Greco-Phoenician bilingual inscriptions ; 

Beit Sira, with its Neby Sira, a son of Jacob, represents the town of 
Uzzen Sheerah, "the ear of Seerah," daughter of Ephraim, etc. 

It would be easy to multiply these examples by extending this method 
to other regions, and to other genealogies than that of Ephraim. The land 
of Moab presents a whole series of anthropo-chorographic assimilations of the 
same kind. I have noted the most remarkable found in this quarter in the 
Revue arcJidologique}' 

To return to our Arab legend of the five daughters of Jacob, I am 
inclined to think it closely related to the Biblical tradition oi^O-five daughters 
of Manasseh, or rather of the five female descendants of Manasseh, by his 
sons Zelophehead, Hepher, Gilead and Machir, who came to Moses and 
Joshua to claim a share of the land.t These five daughters are named : 
Mahlalh Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah (n2~in, Txh^, rh'xn, HiTi, rhxyd). 

One of these names, No'ah, shows some signs of likeness to that of one 
of the daughters of Jacob, namely Menna'a {T\V^, IAj^^), but this does not 
suffice to settle the identity of the two personages. I arrive at this 
conclusion by considerations of a more general nature. 

We should remark, at the outset, that the Bridge of the Daughters of 
Jacob, whence the five sisters started, according to the Arab legend, lies in 
the direction of the territory of the tribe of Manasseh, to the south of Lake 

* March, 1877. Gomorrhe, Segor, ct lesfilles de Lot. 

t Numbers, xxvi, 33; xxvii, i ; xxxvi, 10; Joshua xvii, 2. 

8o Archceolorical Researches in Palestine. 


Huleh. This most remarkable bridge is on the high road that, for ages past, 
has united Damascus with the main artery which crosses cis-Jordanic Palestine 
from north to south, from Nazareth to Hebron, and from which branch forth 
the principal roads that intersect the country. The idea of the travels of the 
five daiigliters of Jacob has surely been inspired by these geographical 

This bridge has been built hard by an old ford of the Jordan, which is 
called by Latin writers of the Middle Ages the Vadjini Jacobi, and in 
Mussulman tradition the whole legend of the passage of the Jabbok by Jacob 
is connected with it. The nearness of the territory of Manasseh, and, on the 
other hand, the fact that the memory of Jacob has become firmly attached to 
this neighbourhood, show how the confusion arose between the five daughters 
of Zelophehad, Manasseh's descendants, and the five daughters of Jacob. 
Besides, the name and personality of Manasseh are hardly familiar to the 
Arabs ; those of Zelophehad still less, as, considering the popularity of Jacob 
among them, it is quite natural that they should have transferred to him a 
story that related to the descendants of his grandson. Such transferences 
constantly occur in the folk-lore of the Judaea fellahin. They get hold of 
three or four celebrated Bible names, and use them as pegs, so to speak, on 
which they invariably hang the shreds of tradition they have preserved. 
Among these names, that of Jacob occupies a front place, especially in 
questions of genealogy. This is why, for instance, Sheerah, daughter of 
Eph^-aini, the eponymous heroine of the town of Uzzen-Sheerah, loses both 
sex and parentage in their tradition, and is transformed into Neby Stra, son 
of Jacob. What we should especially consider here, is the group of the 
five sisters. 

I will conclude by pointing out another fact which tends to confirm this 
identification. We have seen that the object of the five sisters in starting 
on their journey was to be present at the funeral of their brother Neby Ma'in, 
whom, as I have said above, the fellahin take to be Benjamin. Now 
Benjamin, we know, is connected in the Bible with Manasseh in the closest 
manner; Machir, the eldest son of Manasseh, marries a Benjaminite ;'" it is 
from Jabesh Gilead,t a town of Manasseh, that the women are taken as wives 
for the four hundred out of the six hundred Benjamites that had escaped the 
general massacre of the tribe at Gibeah, and so on. 

* I Chronicles vii, 15. 

t Cf. the name of the son of Machir, which also is the name of a country, Gilead. 

Toti,r f 1-0/1/ Jer/isalc/// lo Jaffa a//d the Co/i//tiy of Sa///so//. 8 1 

Finally, there is a point about the five more or less fabulous descendants 
of Manasseh, which invests their names with that unmistakable to/>/V character 
which we noted in those of the five daughters of Jacob. The names of 
four of them are actually identical with the names of four Palestine towns, 
thus : — 

Mahlah recalls Abel Alcho/ah, a town of Issachar; 

Noah recalls Neah, a town of Zebulon ; 

Hoglah recalls Beth Hoglah, a town of Benjamin ; 

Tirsah corresponds to the famous Tirzah, the first capital of the kingdom 
ot Israel ; 

Mtlcah is the only one that has no ancient place-name corresponding to 
it, at least as far as one can see. 

Fro//i B/r el Md/n. — We passed a 
wretched night, tormented by mosquitos. 
Apparently the power of Neby Ma'in, the 
dreaded of scorpions, does not extend to these 
intolerable little creatures — they are beneath 
him. Next morning we had a look over hi? 
sanctuary, where we noticed a fine Byzantine 
capital, with its four corners scooped out, and 
adorned on each of its four sides with a 
Greek cross surrounded by a circle. 

The programme for the day included a series of small e.xplorations in 
the neighbourhood of Bir el Ma'in, where I had decided to return for the 
night. We started in the company of our faithful Ibrahim Ahmed and the 
sheikh of the village, the latter riding his mare. I envied him this excellent 
little animal, for my own horse from Jerusalem had gone lame, and played 
me sorry tricks at every other step. There was no help for it but to put up 
with this torture, which was to last another fortnight, and did not conduce to 
make the excursion agreeable. 

El Iib'idr. — I turned my steps first of all towards Kh. el J^b'tdr, 
attracted by the presence of the sarcophagus we had been told of the evening 
before. We arrived there after about three quarters of an hour. The place* 
is situated about ten minutes walk to the north of Umm el 'Eumdan 
('Amdan) ; it presents a few architectural remains, large unhewn blocks, 

A Capital in the Wely. 

* I do not find it marked on the Map. Here are its bearings as I took them, but I do not 
guarantee their correctness : Kefireh, 120°; Latrun, 197"; the Wely of el Jezery, 250'. 



ArchcTo/oQica/ Researches in Palestine. 

levellings, and foundations, about ten cisterns, square vats cut in the rock. 
We went down into one cistern that had the shape of an elHpse, with the 
opening at the end of the major axis. The alleged sarcophagus is a sort of 
chest or vase carved in stone, broken, and built into the top of the wall.* 

Kh. e/'Einiiddn. — At Kh. el 'Eumdan the ruins look more important, 
and comprise remains of various buildings, in the shape of numerous well- 
hewn blocks, lintel with a small six-leaved piece of rose-work carved in the 
middle, mill-stones, cisterns, and columns or fragments of columns, which 
have gained for the place its name of " Mother of columns. ' The diameter 
of the columns is about o^'ss ; one, a complete one, measures 2'"'96 in 
length. In the middle of these various remains we noticed five bases or 
tambours of columns, standing in situ at equal distances apart, and parallel to 
a wall of which the foundations alone remained ; and, at right angles to the 
wall, a fragment of another wall, in the same condition, and intended evidently 
to join it. Between the line of the colonnade and the wall were quantities of 
mosaic cubes, showing that the ground had been originally paved with them. 

ra n n 'iTr^i r-^itti'tHm wf't^sima^ %^^ 

O yO 3 @ 




o o 

fSs m a C2 a m iraBaiaaBi 

CHURCH (?) AT UMM EL 'EUMDAN. Scale, ^J^;. 

Considering the orientation of the colonnade and the relative positions of 
these various objects, which are all in situ, I think we have here a small 
ancient church.. We may restore the missing parts symmetrically and 
represent it as above. 

* Sketch lost. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jeijfa and the Country of Samson. 



Scale ^TH-,. 

There is not a trace of the medijeval tool marks. 

Further on appear two large square blocks, scooped on their inner side, 
and imbedded in the rock. At first sight these would be taken for the two 
jambs of a door. I rather think, however, that they are the two pillars 
of a press, similar to those that we observed 
some while later on in the district of Beit 

Bezka. — At Bezka, on the final undula- 
tion of a hill, a birket of masonry, some scat- 
tered blocks, ruins of houses, mill-stones and 
numerous cisterns, a quantity of workings in 
the rock, rectangular vats of presses, for wine 
or oil. 

Misled by a confused recollection of a 
passage in the Arab chronicler Mujir ed Din, 
I thought I recognized in Bezka a locality 
mentioned by him, but on consulting the text, I saw my error. f 

Kefertd. — After passing the wely of Sheikh S'liman (Suleiman) and 
again satisfying ourselves that the name given to the neighbouring ruin is 
really Kefertd,\ and not, as M. de Saulcy has asserted, Kufur Tab, we arrived 
at Kubab. 

Kubdb. — Kubab is certainly a place of some antiquity, but its real identity 
has not yet been determined. It is mentioned by Mujir ed Din§ under the 
name ol Kariet el Kubab, as a village of the district of Ramleh punished in 
898 A.ii. by Janbulat, governor of Jerusalem, in consequence of a revolt of 
the fellahin. Hence followed a struggle for power with his colleague the 
governor of Gaza, who declared that the village was under his dominion. 
This was the prelude to the affair of Tell el Jezer, the account of which put 
me on the track of my discovery of Gezer. The inhabitants of Kubab declare 
that the former name oi Kjibdb was Kabbun ^^.-V' ^"'^ that this is the form in 
which it appears in the "books of the Christians." Were it not for the 
radical difference between the two k?,, one would incline to believe that this 
legend has reference to the CJiabbon of Joshua xv, 40. 

* See iiifra. 

\ I find noted in my pocket-hook a suggestion which has since been made, for the identifi- 
cation of Bezka and the Bezek of the Bible. 

1 See Ajjpendix. S Bulak /Xrabic text, p. 696. 

.M 2 

84 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Roman Inscription. — While I was looking at the houses of the village, a 
peasant brought me a small piece of stone (a limestone flag) inscribed with 
Latin characters. Ibrahim Ahmed had already told me of the existence of 
this, and brought me a rough copy of it to Jerusalem 
'C'Hf^4)lH ^"^ April. (I mention it in my Report No. 11.) I 
tN Q\ y\d%\ obtained possession of it for a few piastres. All that 
)V''i^' V^"^ I '^f could be made out on it was the remains of two lines, 
™ f cut with some care, but too much mutilated for any 

satisfactory result to be arrived at. The traces of the 
ruled lines that regulated the height of the characters are still apparent. 
Length of the fragment, o""'30. 

The characters appear to be of the Roman period ; the reading of the first 
line may perhaps be c{o)/io{rs) IX, "ninth cohort." In the second line the 
first character is perhaps a sign denoting the century, followed by AR, or 
ARV. . ., which may be regarded as the beginning of the name of the 
centurion, accompanied, perhaps, by the number of the century, V = 5 ; then 
a repetition of the sign of the century, followed by H or EI (? ?). However 
this may be, it is tolerably apparent that the inscription proceeded from a 
detachment of the Roman legions garrisoning Palestine and guarding the 
road from Jerusalem to Jaffa. It was perhaps the same as the corps quartered 
not far from there at 'Amwas {Emmaus — Nicopolis), where I discovered, a 
few years later, various fragments of Roman inscriptions, among others one 
mentioning a soldier of the Fifth Legion (Macedonica).'" 

To this fragment found at Kubab I add the copy of another fragment, 
which I quite believe has a similar origin, though, from a gap in the notes 
in my field book, 1 am unable to say for certain. This also is a 
piece of a Roman inscription. In the second line apparently it 
is necessary to restore: [. . . v4;//^]///;//^2/[_^z^i'//] (?), and perhaps 
in the first: \_kgio~\ X F\i^etensis'\ An\toniniana . . .](??).t In 
this case we should have a new inscription relating to the 
famous Tenth Legion (Fretensis), about the time of Caracalla, or, at the 
latest, Heliogabalus. 

* For this, see in Vol. I my remarks on Bettir and the Roman inscription which I discovered 
there, which mentions the Fifth Legion (Macedonica) and the Eleventh (Claudia). 

t We know from various monuments, notably from an inscription from Jerusalem (Zeitsclirift 
des deutsclien Palastina-Vereins, X, 49, and XI, 138), that the Tenth Legion (Fretensis), like many 
others, had, in fact, received the surname of Antoniniana, in honour of Caracalla. 

Tour from JcntsalcDi to Jajfa and the Country of Samson. 


Ancient Sepulchre. — After lunching beneath a figtree near the block- 
house of Kubab, we went to examine a fine tomb quite near, which I had 
already had occasion to study in 1871. 

We took an exact plan of it. 

A. — Perspective Sketch. 


B.— Plan. Scale tttti- 

For the description and other details I beg to refer the reader to my account 
in the Appendix.* 

* There will also be found in the Appendix a sketch I made of a piece of a "donkey-back " 
sarcophagus lid, which has since disappeared. 


Arclucological Researches in J'a/es/ine. 

It^l .■^-■■"■';i I iHi|(fe,-/ . - „- .^■■•r-('i.-.' ir''i| 

C. — Section on A B. 

D. — Section on C D. Scale -j-nx;. 

Tell el Jezer — discovery of the first inscription. — After lunch we started 
to see the inscription at Nejniet el 'Ades between Kubab and Tell el Jezer, 
not far from 'Ain Yardeh (Yerdeh), which Ibrahim Ahmed had told me of 
in March. On that occasion he brought me a very rough copy, mentioned 
in my Report No. lo; but I could only make out the Greek letters 
AAIKION, or something like it, followed by other puzzling characters. I 
had an inkling of the importance of this text, and my curiosity concerning 
it was keen. This impression, as will be seen, was well founded. I lay 
stress on this small matter, as it shows what care ought to be observed 
in gathering and verifying the smallest items of information supplied by the 
peasants of Palestine, without giving way to discouragement at the deceptions 
they so often involve.* To neglect them is sometimes to miss archaeological 
discoveries of the greatest importance, as I shall now proceed to show. 

The heat was overpowering, and the barghash drove us and our animals 
to frenzy. At last we arrived at the little hill called Ahjniet el 'Ades,-[ simply 

* On reading over my note books again, I find that I myself have failed to observe this 
principle. Ibrahim Ahmed told me at the same time of an inscription at £eit Naki'iba, to the 
east of Abu Ghosh, and quite near it. I neglected to go and verify the matter on the spot. I 
acknowledge my transgression, and recommend this desideratum to tlie attention of future 

t Nejin, ncjiHih, which in literary Arabic means "stars," in peasant speech signifies "hill, 

To7ir from [cnisa/cm /o Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 87 

from the fact that the fellahin sow lentils l^ades) there ; it is a sort of large 
hump of rock. Here we had to search a long while for the inscription, 
Ibrahim not remembering exactly where it was. Finally, we saw it all of a 
sudden, not far from the entrance of a small rock-hewn tomb. The ridge of 
rock on which it was cut was flush with the ground, lying east and west, and 
almost horizontal, having a slight dip at the south end. In order to read the 
characters in their proper direction, one must stand facing the north. On 
taking the position of the place wath the compass, we got the following results : 
the block-house at Latriin, 128°; block-house at Kubab, 79°; Deir Abu 
Mesh'al, 40". I calculated that we must be about half an English mile to 
the east of the Wely el Jezery, which was not visible. 

The inscription was composed of five Greek letters and six square 
Hebrew letters, of large size, arranged in a single line i"''85 in length. 

I at once made out the Greek name AAKIO, followed by the Hebrew 
name for Geser, "IW. As for the other Hebrew characters, I confess I could 
not decipher them at the time. It was only after some days, on reading over 
at Jaffa the copy taken down in my note book, that I all at once recognized the 
word DUn, for mnn, tc/iiim, "boundary." I need not say what were my 
feelings at discovering graven on the rock itself, the decisive confirmation of 
the identification which I had proposed three years before to establish 
between the town of Gezer and this place. (See Appendix.) 

Of course I took good care not to betray to the fellahin accompanying 
us what value I attached to this precious text. I confined myself to taking an 
exact copy of it, intending to come back after our tour was over to study the 
ground thoroughly, and clear up the various questions that might be raised or 
settled by this discovery. The inscription was too large to admit of our 
taking a squeeze of it with the rudimentary appliances at our disposal. 
Meanwhile M. Lecomte was kind enough to take a drawing of it by means of 
the camera lucida. Accurate reproduction, together with some more ex- 
planatory details, will be found in Chapter V, which deals w'ith Gezer. 

Local Hints. — We made rather a long halt at Nejmet el 'Ades. It 
was a quarter to six when we left the spot where the inscription was. 
However our day had not been wasted. 

I gathered the following information in conversation with the fellahin : — 

The Tamuir of the Deluge is between 'Ain Yardeh and Abu Shiisheh 
(the village of Tell el Jezer) ; 

A carved inscribed stone was to be found in the wely of Mfisa Ta/i'a 
(not far from Abu Shusheh to the south) ; 

88 Arclucokwical Researches in Palestine. 


At el Burj (which we were to visit next day) were some " bronze cups " 
which had been found in the earth ; 

About a quarter of an hour's journey before you get to Budros (to the 
north of el Medieh), there were paintings (frescoes) representing "a goose 
and a serpent ;" 

At Beit Nettif there was a cave with an inscription above the entrance 
and some ancient pottery. 

Bab el Haim. — On our way back to Bir el Ma'in we passed by Bab 
el Hatoa, close to and to the west of Kk. Bai-ada, and noticed there a 
millstone and a sort of press of a quite remarkable round shape with tv/o 
basins (?) hollowed in the rock. 

K/i. Barada. — At Kh. Barada (a few minutes from 'Ajenjul) is a low, 
flat hill ; on the top, a small birkeh hewn in the rock, and some extensive 
ruins comprising corners of the foundations of houses, rough blocks, cisterns 
hollowed out in the rock, large surfaces marked out by walls, rubble 
cores of walls, mosaic cubes, and a rock-hewn sepulchre. Also, the 
foundations of a building which in its original shape probably assumed 
an octagonal or hexagonal form. Three sides of this were recognizable. 

Kh. es Sider. — To the south, about twenty minutes from Bir el Ma in, 
is the ruin of Kh. es Sider (^,a>-!V). 

Btr el Main. — The night we spent at Bir el Ma'in was hardly better 
than the one before it. Next morning I opened and examined a tomb, 
situated not far from the wely to the north-east. It was a chamber of 
irregular shape hollowed out in the rock, with two burial troughs constructed 
with the aid of well cut slabs. The two troughs are not placed parallel, but 
making an angle of about 50 degrees. In the middle of the troughs is a 
column roughly hewn, surmounted by a rough-carved chapter, and resting on 
a base of more careful workmanship, the whole being intended to support 
the roof. Above it on the outside the rock bears marks of cutting. 
Some fukkhdr (lamps or vases of terra cotta) are said to have been found 

Varions Local Notes. — After this we took leave of our hosts at Bir el 
Ma'in, but not before I had gathered some items of information, which 
I here append. One of them, as will be seen, is of uncommon interest : 

Between Kesla and Deir el Hawa, at E'rak Isma'in is an enormous 

cave ; 

Between 'Amwas and Deir Aiyub is a ruin called Kh. el'Aked; near 
Deir Aivub, to the east, are the ruins of Kh. Inkib ; 

Tour from Jcrusaloii io Jaffa and the Coiiiilry of Samson. 89 

To the south of Deir Aiyub are cl Khanimdra and el K/iatilie/i, with a 
number of presses. 

To the west of Beit Mahsir is Dcir Selldm ; 

Further on, el Metsiyeh or el Meiydseh. 

Ethnic Names. — As my custom is, I collected a number of ethnic names. 
I had long since noted the extreme importance of these names, which have 
often preserved for us forms more archaic than the names of the places 
themselves. This subject has been hitherto entirely neglected, but it is of 
the highest importance, as we shall see. 

I was told that the people of Abu Ghosh were called 'Enbdwy {yiX^); 
in the plural, 'Etiawbeh (<u.Uj;). So far there is nothing extraordinary ; the 
ethnic is evidently taken, in regular fashion, from the real name of the village, 
which is Kariet cl 'Enab. 

But being curious enough to inquire, in speaking of this, the ethnic name 
of the inhabitants of el Medieh, where I intended to go in order to clear up the 
question of Modin and the tomb of the Maccabees, I was told : Midndvjy 
(i-^jl)j*.<) ; in the plural, Meddwneh (aj.lj*^). This name, as may well be 
supposed, made me prick up my ears, showing us as it does an archaic form 
of the place-name, which could not have been suspected from its modern 
shape Mediek ; Midndwy and Meddwneh have preserved with great exactness 
the old name Modin with the n that is wanting in Medieh. This is assuredly 
a decisive and important argument in favour of identifying this locality with 
the town of Modin. Henceforth I shall note carefully, as I proceed with 
these researches, all ethnic names I may succeed in collecting, I earnestly 
beg future explorers to follow 'this example, and thus to furnish materials 
for a complete list of the ethnics of Palestine. I feel sure it will afford 
instruction ; occasionally, even a revelation. 

Here are a few to begin with, that I gathered at Bir el Ma'in itself, when 
the conclusion which that of el Medieh had suggested to me had put me in a 
humour for the search : — 

Beit Niiba : Nubdny, plural Nawdb'neh. 
Beit Likia : Likidny, plural Lekdineh. 
Bir el Ma'in : AJi'day, plural Meyd"tieh. 
el Burj : Barrdjy. jjlural Barrdjeh, 

go ArchicoloQ;ical Researches ni Pa/esfiue. 

Berfilia : nerfily, plural Fcchdk'leh* 

Deir Aiyub : plural Deyarheli. 

Kesla : Kesldwy, plural Sekdwnelt or Sekkdzone/iA 

Sif/iid Zahra. — \ sent the servant on ahead to Lydda with the tent, and 
we set off. 

We first went to have a look at the rather unimportant niakam Sittnd 
Zahra, which lies quite near the village on the north. 1 have already narrated 
the legend which attaches to it. From here we deviated southwards in the 
direction of Yalo, as I wished to make a detailed inspection of that place. 

Legend of el Fdrdeh. — W'e again passed through Barada. A few 
minutes to the south is the ridge of a tell, covered with blocks of Bint and 
fragments of the same stone arranged in small heaps, and called cl Fdrdeh. 
The fellahin, if I rightly understood their explanations, take this to mean 
"the wedding party. "J I append the quaint legend attached to it; though, 
as it is not easy to relate in decent language, I hope I shall be excused for 
taking refuge in allusion. It has, however, its interest, as it belongs to a 
cycle of traditions widely spread in Palestine, relating to peoples changed into 
stone. A young girl from the mountain of Abu Ghosh was once conducted 
to the Jaffa country to be married, accompanied by all her belongings, men, 
women, and children. The nuptial caravan halted on arriving at el Far'deh. 
There a young child was obliged to satisfy a certain natural want, and its 
mother had the strange idea of using a rghif (the thin fiat bread of the 
Arabs) for the purposes of a napkin. 

The Almighty, angered at this sacrilege, changed the whole caravan into 
fiint. All the blocks that are to be seen in the vicinity are the people 
metamorphosed by this miracle. The Arab legend employs for " metamor- 
phose " the verb sakhat, and this throws light on the etymology of names like 
maskhTtta, inasdkhit, which are lound attached to several localities in Palestine. 

* Here, as sometimes happens, the plural of the ethnic must have been taken from another 
locality. In this case it is a valuable indication of old migrations of the indigenous populations, 
who have taken along with them the names of their place of origin. 'J'he importance of this fact 
is easy to grasp ; it has to be taken seriously into account in considering the possibility of a 
place-name having been transferred from another locality. 

t The same remark applies. Further on will be found the historical explanation of this 
instructive anomaly. 

X It is projjerly "the wedding procession" Cf. i Maccabees, ix, 36, se<]., the tragic 
episode of the wedding procession of the sons of Janibri of Medaba. 

Tour from fern salcvi to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 91 

It is probable that these form the subjects of similar legends. I found 
almost the same tradition localized in the environs of Mal'ha {see Vol. I).* 

Ydlo.—On reaching Yalo, or Yalu, I went straight to the hill of el Kok'a 
(Kokah), as its name and position, after all the fellahin had said to me about 
it, kept me in a state of expectation. 

El Kok'a. — The original form of the name, it appears to me, was 
el Kok'a, with an 'ani at the end certainly, but I am not sure whether it was 
h6,: or i^<^<. It is a mound of earth like a regular tell, seeming to have been 
subjected to human action, even if it 
is not entirely artificial. It is in the 
shape of a truncated cone, with a plat- 
form on the top. It overlooks Yalo 

towards the south-east, and, as seen from Yalo, presents an outline pretty 
nearly corresponding to this hasty sketch that I took of it. 

I think that some interesting excavations might be made there, and might 
perhaps afford some evidence as to the identity, a very probable one, between 
Yalo and Ajalon. On the side of the hill on which the mound is, a number 
of entrances to caverns, of more or less regularity, are visible. Some fukli- 
khdrs, the inhabitants say, have been found there. 

'Ai7t el Ixubbeh. — Running to the east from the foot of the hill that bears 
the Tell of el Kok'a, is a little valley called Wddy Kubbeh, containing an 
important spring covered in with a series of vaults. The building, of which 
these form part, is almost entirely gone in its upper part, but the substructure 
is well preserved. 

It is a vast reservoir built of fine w^ell-dressed blocks of ancient appear- 
ance. The vaults are covered on the outside with large slabs, on which there 
was doubtless erected the building which to-day is in ruins. The three 
arches are pointed, with key-stones. At the back are seen three semicircular 
ones, doubtless of older date and contemporary with the walls. If you 
descend into the reservoir by the staircase constructed at one corner, the 
spring is visible on the right, issuing from beneath a smaller arch also semi- 
circular. This forms the end of a conduit by which, so the fellahin say, it 
communicates with another spring further to the south, called el Beiydra 

* This same legend was afterwards noted, with details that vouch for its accuracy, by 
Mr. Baldensperger in his excellent study of the folk-lore of Palestine {Quarterly Statement, 1893, 
p. 209. Cf. p. 211). It is a curious fact that the characteristic feature of the "petrified wedding 
parties'' is not unknown in Western folk-lore {cf. Reriic are/ieotogit/iie. May-Jime, 1893, p. 356). 

N 2 

92 Arclurolooical Researches in Pales fine. 

("the garden watered by a well"). The former is called 'Ain el Kitbbeh, 
evidently deriving its name from the vaulted structure {Imbbeh, "cupola"). 

Accordinsj to the inhabitants the reservoir had been full of water, but 
about ten days before our visit it got lower. This had laid bare the inner 
walls, covered with traces of reddish infusoria like those I observed two 
months before at Bir el Helii, which at first sight have the deceitful appearance 
of small odd shaped characters written in red ink. 


Seclion on A-B. 

Stction on r-D 

SPRING IN' \V. KUBBEH, AT YAI,i">. Scale -jJ;^. 

The Beiydra. — The Bciydra, which we next visited, is a splendid wide- 
mouthed well of spring water, circular in shape, and built of hewn stones. 
It is precisely similar to Bir el Helu, which lies in the direction of Latrun, 
consequendy quite near this one. The two wells display the same mode of 
construction and must be of the same date. According to the fellahin, there 
is a subterraneous communication between the Beiyara and the Kal'ah, that is 
now to occupy our attention. 

El Kal'ah. — We looked over the village proper to find the Kal'ah, "the 
fortress "and the " prison " of the Kuffars that I had been told of. Local 

Tour froDi fcriisalciu to fnffci and tJic Country of Samson. 93 

tradition has it that Yalo was formerly completely surrounded by a wall {sur), 
and I was shown some fine large blocks said to have formed part of this, and 
appearing in some cases to be in situ. I only noticed one stone at Yalo that 
bore the mediaeval tool-marking of the Crusading epoch. 

We were taken to the Habes bint el nielek, as it is called, or " the prison, 
or cell of the King's Daughter." It is at the present day an underground 
structure of carefully dressed stone, with double semicircular arches. On the 
ground itself are still visible thick cores of masonry stripped of their covering 
of hewn stone. In the courtyard of the adjacent houses are some large pillars, 
and two courses of a thick wall. The whole of this, so the fellahin say. 
formed part of the ancient Kascr or "castle." In this "castle" lived a 
" Christian " king, the King: of Yalo. The Mussulmans, under the command 
of el Melek ed Dhaher (the Sultan Beibars) came and besieged him there. 
The daughter of the king advised him to take earth from below to make 
bastions for the cannon {sic) on el Kok'a. It was unfortunate that I could 
only get an imperfect account of this legend, for it probably contains, in 
rudimentary shape, some useful indications. In any case, it seems to point 
to the construction of works on the tell of el Kok'a, and this corresponds to 
my impression that this tell is in part at any rate of artificial origin. 

Various N'otcs. — The inhabitants confirmed a tradition that I picked up for 
the first time in 1871, and which had been repeated to me later, that Yalo 
was called Lii/ich by the Christians ; here I was told Lftlo. 

Four different sanctuaries were nientioned as being in the village: Sheikh 
Isniatn, Sheikh EU retch {^Sj -0' Sheikh Gharib, and the mosque of el 'Aniery. 

To the south of Yalo is seen a brow of a mountain called JVar Krcikur. 

In the same direction, a protuberance on the hill where the tell is pro- 
duces a kind of rocky knoll called el Ek'meilcmeh. 

Further on, and above el Ek'meik'meh, is iha Jebel I\ reikilr, bounded on 
the east by the road that starts from the south of Yalo, and on the west by the 
Jchcl e.z Zelldka {}Sl-\ 

To the west between the Zellaka and Yalo lies el Mostdh, a small hill of 
slight elevation, devoted to the growing of vines and fig trees. A little 
further on, to the west, is Kh. el Hawd. 

As we left Yalo, my attention was called to Bir el Jebbdr, to the south- 
west. Here was a small arch, of no great antiquity apparently, with steps 
underneath leading down to the water. 

Between Yalo and Kh. Hiba, to the right of our road, we noticed a place 
where the rocks were thrown about in confusion and shivered into fragments. 


Arch(coloo;ical Researches in Palestine. 

The spot is called Bassat 'Abbas, and is said to have been struck by lightning 
some ten years before.* This fact, if true, may serve perhaps to explain the 
disordered state of the rocks at dilferent places in Palestine. 

At Kh. Hiba were broken-down walls, foundations, rock-hewn caves, and 
a large well built of masonry, after the manner of those at el Beiyara and el Held. 

Here I dismissed my old friend Ibrahim Ahmed of Abu Ghosh, as he 
had got rather tired out. We arranged to pick him up when we came through 
Bir el Ma'in on our way back. I took for guide a fellah Ibrahim Mahmud, 
from Yalo, where we came across him in the fields harvesting. He had donned 
a great leather apron, and looked rather like a kind of European peasant, it 
did one good to look at him. He was a very good fellow, extremely quick 
and helpful. 

Rds el Ekra'. — He conducted us to the Rds el Ekrci (; j^Jl), pronounced 
almost Rds lekra\ a hill situated quite near 'Amwas to the north-north-east of 
it, and separated from it by the KlialFt el Hainiiidin. This rocky hill contains 
several ancient tombs, and seems to have been one of the burying-grounds of 
old Nicopolis. 


* Cf. supra, p. 69, where the same fact is mentioned, relating perhaps to the same place 
(called by the inhabitants of Beit Thiil, Dhahr el Hiiteh). 

Tour from /cr/isa/ciii lo fiifja iind the Country of Samson. 


_3Vii^.a<2>it;."'" 4ii.«^jjjia!>'*i- 


Ancient Sepulchre. — One of these tombs is quite remarkable.'" The 
engraving above will give an idea of its external aspect. 

The tomb has a small square door cut in the rock, which is still almost 
entirely closed by an enormous flat stone, i"'6o high and proportionately 
thick, made to slide vertically along the side of the rock, like a regular trap- 
door, concealing or e.xposing the opening as required. This stone is square 
at the base and rounded at the top. In the upper portion it is pierced with a 
large round hole to admit the rope or the lever by which it was worked. In 
front of it is a kind of narrow passage without a top, consisting of two rows 
of blocks carefully hewn, and leading to the vestibule, which is hollowed out 
in the side ot the hill and to the entrance proper. The trajxloor was 
meant to slide between the blocks and the rock itself. 

It was slightly raised 
above the ground. By dint of • • . , V 

great exertions we managed 
to crawl on our stomachs, 
between it and the threshold. 
The opening was only o™'30 
high, and the feat was ren- 
dered the more arduous by 
the earth heaped up outside. 
Passing through a small 
gallery of no great length, 
we descended two steps cut 
in the rock, and found our- 
selves inside a chamber, an 
irregular trapezoid in shape. 
The staircase brings you to 
one of the corners. 

The first objects we distinguished by the light of our candle were a 
fine scorpion and a monster of a spider. These we hastened to slay. The 
establishment being cleared of these inmates, we were able to look about us 
more calmly. The left wall forms a right angle with that at the back, but the 
right wall, on the contrary, forms with it an angle of considerable acuteness, 


-ri.AN ON IIIK I.IMC .\ 1!, Al THE HEIGHT uF K. 
Scale Jn- 

* I cannot indicate its position with precision, there being no landmarks in sight. However, 
I noted one bearing, viz., of 300° with the wely of Sheikh S'liman (Suleiman) (to the north of 


Arclueolooical Researches in Palestine. 


B. — GENliKAL I'LA.N. 


1). — SECTION ON CI). Scale -fx[(f. 

Tour frovi Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 97 

and a right angle with the fourth wall. This is very short, and joins the 
staircase in a slanting direction. 

In each of the walls is hollowed out an arcosolium, covering a burial- 
recess. In the recesses some bones were still to be seen. The floor of the 
chamber was filled up with earth, to what depth we were unable to make out. 
The tomb must have been rifled by treasure-seekers, who have left indications 
of their presence in the shape of marks of tools on the walls. 

All the inner walls are covered with a very thick layer of excellent plaster, 
a sort of concrete mixed with pebbles. This is covered with 
a coat of red paint. All round the top of the walls there 
rims a cornice of moulded mortar. I give here a profile of it. 

On examining the back of the arcosolium opposite the 
entrance, at the point marked n on the plan, I discovered a 

line of Greek characters, which appear to have been engraved V____ 

while the mortar was still fresh. They remind one very much of i\\& graffiti 
in the Tombs of the Prophets already mentioned.* The line is about a yard 
in length. I took a squeeze and a copy. 

The characters are very difiicult to decipher, especially at the beginning 
of the line, as the plaster is in such a bad state. The end alone can be read 
with certainty, .... ev;^^ Travre^ Xeyovcnv " . . . . prayer, all say." Ev^t is an 
iotacism for ev)(y], "prayer," or ev)(-§, "at prayer," or ev^rj, "prayers." The 
latter form, though ev-^o? is rather rare in prose, would have the advantage of 
giving an immediate object to the verb. At the beginning, I sometimes feel 
inclined to read Ke, X, aKove to. ... . " Lord, Christ, hear the prayers ....;" 
but this is very doubtful. I ought to mention that the engraving does not 
always reproduce exactly the outlines of the original, which are confused 
enough. In any case the inscription, from the shape of the characters, is 
certainly Christian, and dates from the time when this ancient tomb was 
converted and its present decoration added. 

K/i. en Neby Main. — From here we returned to Bir el Ma'in, where we 
picked up Ibrahim Ahmed, with the view of going to el Medieh by way of 
el Bjirj. 

* Vol. I. 


Archa:ological Researches in Palestine. 


-Il|l^^i''ilii|l!^' ;|:'«Hi.. , , .|n!,'! 

About twenty minutes to the north-west of Bir el Ma'in is Kh. en Neby 
McCtn, containing some considerable ruins. I was told that a stone with an 
inscription was to be found there, but we did not come across it. 

El Burj. — The real name of el Bmj \s BtirJ el Main, and the village is 

closely connected with that of Bir el 
Ma'in. It contains several sanctuaries, 
among others that of the patriarch Seth 
{Neby Skil), the ruins belonging to a 
fortress and called Tauiura, and the 
remains of a tower and fortress appa- 
rently of the time of the Crusades. We 
also noticed a fine Byzantine lintel with a 
Greek cross inscribed in a circle, and 
having its four arms ornamented with a 
curious triangular facet-work. 
The people brought us a cup and a small vase, both of bronze, said to 
have been found in a neighbouring tomb. But the price asked was so 
extravagant that I gave up the idea of acquiring them. I much regret that 
we were not able even to make a drawing of them. 

El Medieh. — At el Medieh we made a fruitless search for an inscription 
I had been told about. I saw that it was impossible to undertake at the time 
the digging operations I had projected, as all the corn was still standing, and 
not a sod could be turned before harvest was over. I made all the necessary 
arrangements for proceeding with the excavations later on, while joining the 
fellahs at their meal of roasted grain {f'rika), which is reckoned a delicacy 
among them, and recalls a custom mentioned in the Bible (Leviticus ii, 14; 
xxiii, 14). 

After this I dismissed my two guides, and we set out for Lydda, 
accompanied by a small boy from el Medieh. After a while, however, when 
he saw the sun setting, he left us, saying he was afraid of being eaten by the 
hyenas on the way back. It was pitch dark when we got to Lydda, where 
we found our tent at the Sd/ia el Gharbiyeh, near the sdkia, which was 
surrounded by herds brought there for water. 

At Lydda we made a halt of four days, which we spent in making a 
detailed study of the ancient churches, the bridge of Beibars, the mosque and 
ancient church of Ramleh, etc. ; in looking up certain remains of antiquity, and 

Tour from Jcnisalem to Jaffa and the Coiintry of Samson. 99 

in gathering information from the inhabitants. I came across my old friend 
the camel-driver, Abu Hanna Daud el Hausary. He had been very useful to 
me when I first stayed at Lydda, and on this occasion also he did me great 
service, with never failing intelligence. 

Miscellaneous Notes. — I shall begin here by giving, for what they are 
worth, such small observations as I was enabled to make from my intercourse 
with the natives of Lydda. They relate in some cases to Lydda itself, or 
the country round, in others to more distant localities : 

The ancient name of Lydda was Elcfeir el Leudd II! I ^^r^;* 

A saying of the natives of Lydda (with a pun on the name Lendd) : El 
Leudddwiyeh nndaddedeh, "the people of Lydda are quarrelsome" (?) ; 

The well of Bir el Talak (jil?) , which lies behind the church, is said to 
be connected with it by a subterraneous passage ; 

A few minutes south-east of the church a house is shown where el 
Khadkcr (St. George) is said to have been born ; 

In a garden where there is a large well, about two hundred and twenty 
yards to the south-west of the minaret of the mosque, local tradition points 
out the site of an ancient Convent of St. Michael {Deir Mar Mikai'l) ; 

People told me of a Bir Mar Elyds, " well of St. Elias," without giving 
precise indications of its position ; 

To the south of the mosque is a pond called el Manka Ua-* ; 

The well with a sebil, situated about half-way between Lydda and 
Ramleh, is called Bir ez Zibak (jjoj!\), '" the well of quicksilver ; " 

The ancient building el M'zeira is the sanctuary of Neby Yakia (St. 
John the Baptist) ; 

At Medjdel Yaba there is a large stone covered with unknown writing ; 
one Anthimos is said to have copied it in part ; 

To the north-west of Lydda, at about an hour's distance, is a certain 
KJi. Snbtai'a (ijlkx-:) on a small tell ; 

About half-an-hour to the east of Lydda is a locality called Kh. ed/i 
DJiheiriyeh ; 

Between 'Akkur and Kesla is a place called Beit Sakkaya. The people 
of Kesla originally came from there, and that is why their ethnic name is in 
the plural Sakkmvneh,\ while the singular is regularly formed, Kesldicy ; 

* See further, for another legend connected with this name, 
t See above, p. 90. 

O 2 


Archccolog-ical Researches in Palestine. 

The ethnic of Na'hn is N a liny, in the plural Nddr-we ; that of Jaffa is 

Mindwy ;* 

The ancient name of el K'ntseh, to the north of Lydda, was Kufiirjennis ; 
There is another Sarfand about an hour to the south-west of the present 
villao-e of that name. It is called Sarfand el Khardb, "Sarfand the ruined." 
According to native tradition Sarfand is a modern name, the old name having 
been Sarf el mdl,\ " the money expense or exchange " (,_j^), or Beled es 
Sardrfeh, " the country of the money-changers." This curious legend must 
point to the ancient name and an ancient ethnic of Sarphat. There is also 
the pronunciation Snrfand ; 

About an hour and a half or two hours to the west of Sarfand, forty 
minutes from Yazur,| are the ruins of "Ayiin Kara (l^U). "the springs of 
Kara." It was an important town, and once the seat of a bishopric, according 
to Greek local tradition. It lies on the old road to Gaza ; 

At el Bireh (to the north of Jerusalem) there is an ancient inscription 
built into the base of the south wall of the ruined church. It is hidden by a 

large pomegranate tree. 

Various Antiquities. — I now arrive at my archseo- 
/ 1 logical researches properly so called. 

Near our encampment, to the west of the church, 
in the keran of 'Osman, five or six stone sarcophagi 
had been found, of different lengths. We saw one that 
had been overturned, with a bee-hive upon it. The sar- 
cophagi were grouped so as to form a square. Lamps 
and vessels of terra-cotta and glass phials have been dis- 
covered there ; and in one of them an iron pick. The owner has had a new 
handle put to this latter, and uses it, though it is terribly rusty. 


* From mind, "a harbour," which is nothing but the Greek word \t/iijv (pronounced /i/nin), 
which has passed into Arabic through the Aramaic n:0^, NJ'C^ = Iaa^II ; I'miiia, erm'ina. In this 
word, by a popular error, the cl has come to be regarded as the article, and so a separable portion 
of the word, El-mina. YakOt gives the ethnic Yafihiy, which takes us directly back to the 
Hebraic form Japho. 

t See further, what is said of the use of this expletive word iiuil in other place-names in 
Palestine. On the other side of the Dead Sea, between Wady Mojeb and Karak, is another 
place of the same name, Sarfat el tiidl. This also must be probably an ancient Sarphal of the 
Moabites, which has more faithfully kept to its primitive name. 

% Sic. These estimates of distance are erroneous, as will be seen further on. 

Tour from Jcrttsalcni to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. loi 

I came across a piece of carving that I had seen in 1871,* built in 
over the door of the house of Jiries el Hakura; M. Lecomte made a drawing 
of it. 





He likewise drew a large moulded base which I noticed among the build- 
ing materials gathered together in view of the enlargement of one of the 
soap-works {^masbana) of the town. 

In the Greek convent two fine small marble 
columns have been placed at the top of the staircase. 
Their shafts are ornamented with delicate carving 
from end to end three-quarters of the way round. 
These must have been dwarf angle-columns belonging 
to a small structure such as a baptistery or a ciborium. 
They come, they assured me, from the convent of St. 
John on the banks of the Jordan. Here is a sketch 
showing the scheme of the ornamentation. 

I saw a score or so of fine Byzantine gold coins 
in the possession of an inhabitant of Lydda, one 
Mehfuz Habesh, which must have formed part of 
some great find at Lydda or in the neighbourhood. 
In spite of the reserve maintained by the owner, I 
should not be surprised if this find were the one that 
was mentioned to me, with an air of mystery, in 1871, 
by a fellah of Neby Danian who served me as guide.* 


See further, Appendi.\. 

I02 Archccoloo;ical Researches in Palestine. 


The Mosque and Churches of Lydda. 

On first visiting Lydda, in March, 1870, I had made various archa;o- 
logical observations of great importance in the ancient Crusaders' church, 
then in ruins, and in the mosque adjoining. These observations were the 
more noteworthy at the time, as it would have been possible, by their aid, 
to decide bej'ond doubt between the contradictory assertions of the Greek 
and Latin communities at Jerusalem as to the origin of this church, and the 
historical arguments for attributing it to one or other of these two communities. 
I discovered: — (i) A series of masons' marks and tracks of the mediaeval 
tool-marks on all the stones of the church, which, putting aside all considera- 
tions of style, was material proof that it has been built from top to bottom by 
the Crusaders ; (2) that there existed, incorporated in the structure of the 
adjacent mosque, an ancient Byzantine church of earlier date than the 
mediaeval church, which latter had its south wall touching it ; (3) a long 
Greek inscription cut on one of the columns of the mosque, and belonging to 
the Byzantine church aforesaid. 

I had also proved historically, with the aid of a passage from Mujir 
ed Din, which hitherto had been misunderstood, that the church of the 
Crusaders had been destroyed by Saladin, while the Byzantine church had 
been respected, at least in part, and had been transformed into a mosque,* 
a high minaret being added. 

This minaret is the one that is visible at the present day ; it is built 
over one of the embedded pillars of the south aisle of the mediaeval church 
(m on the plan which will be given further on). Here follows a drawing 
of it made by M. Lecomte, from the top of the terrace of the mediaeval 
church of St. George. 

This church has been restored by the orthodox Greeks, to whom it was 
finally handed over by the Ottoman government, although, from the strictly 
historical point of view, it was the mosque itself, formerly a Byzantine church, 
which they might have been justified in claiming, and not the church called 
after St. George, which is indubitably of Western origin. 

On examining the engraving, the reader will notice at the base of 
the minaret the remains of one of the arches of the south aisle of the church 
of the Crusaders, which, as I have said, abutted on the north wall of the 
Byzantine church. 

* Mujir ed Din says, in no many words, that the mosque was an ancient church " of Greek 
structure " (w/« bind cr Ri'im). 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and f he Cojiutry of Samson. roj 



Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Here are clearly distinguishable : — 

(i) A piece of wall containing a pointed arch, now filled in, with a 
chamfered label-mould, resting on a moulded cornice, the whole having 
doubtless formed part of the inner side of the southern boundary-wall of the 
mediaeval church. There is still distinguishable, in the tympanum of the 
arch, the right-hand reveal of an original window formed in it, and looking 
on to the southern outer wall, together with the base of one of the dwarf 
columns which must have been on either side of it. 

(2) At right angles to this wall, the springing stones of a transversal 
massive rib of the south aisle. This also has a label-mould, and rests on the 
same moulded cornice, which turns at right angles. One can still distinguish 
the capitals of the half-column which takes this arch. 

The cornice, the capitals, the shape of the column, and the mouldings 
are identically the same as those seen in the remainder of the church before 
the disfigurement caused by the restoration. 

I give here a side and front elevation of the middle part of this minaret 
(an old buttress, or belfry), together with some cor- 
bels (of a watch-tower). 

In order to throw as much light as possible on 
the whole question, we made, with the greatest 
care, a general plan of the church and the mosque 
with its outbuildings. This plan, and the letterpress 
accompanying it,* absolve me from entering into 
further explanations. 

Neglecting the two parts that are more lightly 
shaded, and represent the portions added in ancient 
times by the Mussulmans, and quite recently by the 
Greeks, the two old churches are seen at a glance 
lying side by side. Any one with a sense of sym- 
metry can supply the missing portions : characteristic traces of them are 
to be found in different parts, even in the courtyard of the mosque.t 

Front view. 

Side ' 


Scale -_l^. 

* Compare the plan published in the Revue Archcologiqiie for March-April, 1892, p. 226, 
by M. Mauss, whose conclusions coincide nearly with ours. 

t In addition to the half-column of the southern boundary-wall of the mediaeval church, 
underneath the minaret, and the remains of three other similar features in the northern boundary- 
wall, shown on the plan, in the courtyard of the mosque, I find in my note-book an entry tending 
to show that beneath the Arab pillar of one of the three arched chambers which extend along 
the west side of the courtyard, there are also apparently remains of a medieval pillar; this 
pillar (s) is in a line with the southern row. 



Medi/eval Church ofS"^George 
Byzantine Church & Mosque. 

A Colwma. ui^ Greek Inscription. 

6 Month of a. CCstem. 

C Traces of a^ UtfJf' Jpsis oCwliirh apart of 

the ktilf (hpoLa still aci^Ls. 
U^^tairs l^cuhng t<:> the Oypt of the Church- 
F Entrance to the Chiu^ch 
G -Entrance to the Mosq^ue . 


Scale 330 

Toitr from [ci-iisakm to Jaffa and the Count rv of Samson. lO; 

The most interesting spot, and the one to which I would more particu- 
larly direct attention, is that near the point m, together with the adjacent 
portions of the building, for this is where the Byzantine and the mediaeval 
church can be seen touching, and even partly running into one another. At 
M also there is visible, overlooking the courtyard of the mosque, a fragment of 
the inner side of the southern boundary-wall of the mediaeval church, still 
preserved to a considerable height with the column entire, comprising base, 
the half-engaged shaft, capital, cornice, and springs of the arch of the bay with 
label-mould.* I give an elevation and a plan of the base of this half-pillar. 


., v.^\ 

. : 1 ' 

Mm ^ 


mmm m 


I give for comparison the elevation and plan of the base of the pillar (o) 
of the middle northern row (composed of two engaged columns). The pillar 
itself has recently been restored by the Greeks. 

It will be noticed that the diagonal mediaeval tool-marking is very con- 

This portion of mediaeval structure is connected with an ancient wall (ii), 
certainly of earlier date, which extends eastward from the half-pillar in the 
same straight line. This wall is made of stones splendidly dressed, showing 
no trace of mediaeval tool-marking, and is pierced by a large square door, 
two-thirds of which have been closed up with rough masonry. 

This door leads to a large chamber built in the shape of an oblong 

* Compare above (p. 103) the drawing of the minaret, which is partly founded on this 
fragment of wall. 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

square, and vaulted with pointed arches. The whole of the east wall of this 
chamber and the inner side of the south wall, but this only to a certain depth. 

are of mediceval construction, as is shown by 
the cutting of the blocks. The eastern wall 
is pierced by a high narrow door, blocked 
up by rubble of modern date two-fifths of the 
way up, and surmounted by a loophole win- 
dow. Here follows a tranverse section 
of this chamber from p to Q, showing the 
details of the eastern side. 

The southern face is not of mediaeval 
construction ; the dressing of the stone is 
Byzantine, I believe, but not so old as that 
on the north side where the large door is. 
Here is the elevation of part of the north 
side seen from the inside of the chamber, together with the detail of the 
pilasters supporting the lintel, and a section of the lintel itself: — 


4;., .  pi>//,-^y///, 
\"/ /^--//,Y.r 

A. Elevation of the door. 

B. Detail of the left pilaster. 

C. Detail of the right pilaster. 

D. Cross section of the lintel marked L (in the engraving A). 

Scale ^V- 

As appears from the plan, three different styles of dressing the stone meet 
and intersect at the north-east corner of this chamber, 
corresponding to three periods, and probably to three 
distinct buildings: (i) the ancient proto-Byzantine 
style ; (2) the deutero-Byzantine ; (3) the mediceval. 

On the western and southern sides of this chamber 
there rest the deutero-Byzantine constructions, now 
merged in the mosque proper. They belong to a 
church with a deep apse, which is characteristic of the Greek cult, lit by a 
window opening on the east, as the ancient Christian rite required. I give a 
longitudinal section of this apse, taken from K to l. 

' ii Hi h \ 


'^cale 4{>do • 

Tovr from Jerusalcv! to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 107 


To the south of this central apse we found, at c (plan), at the side of the 
main apse, traces of a smaller one, having a part 
of the half cupola still existing. The following 
elevation, from i to j, shows the aspect and 
relative position of the large and small apses. | 

West of the apse, and south of an Arab ~': 
pillar, one can still perceive in the flags, at the 
point marked b, an orifice which may belong to a cistern, or perhaps to a 
crypt like the one under the transept of the mediaeval church. 

The Greek inscription that I discovered in 1870 is carved on the shaft 
of one of the twin columns at the point marked a on the plan. These are 
monoliths of marble, engaged in a square Arab pillar, and are probably /« 
sitti, like the two others found imbedded in the other pillar that lies to the 
west of this latter and in the same line with it. They are surmounted by 
capitals in the degenerate Corinthian style. 

The inscription, which consists of nine lines, is carved right at the top of 
the shaft, immediately below the capital, and is difficult to make out from 
below, the more so as it has been hammered over. Furthermore, the ends of 
the lines are concealed by the Arab pillar in which the column is imbedded. 
With some difficulty I obtained authorization to take to pieces a part of the 
Arab pillar, on condition of setting it up again immediately afterwards as it 
was before. In this way I managed to uncover the inscription completely 
and took a tolerably good squeeze of it. 

The following reproduction of the inscription has been executed from 
this squeeze and the copy that I made in 1871 and completed in 1874. 






+ Oi /xev TTpo- 
dcrreo'; TraXai 
rov 'KpLCTTokajj.- 
Tr{p)ov Tov Be crep.i'o- 
[t^ov Se TOV Xap.- 
[^rrpjov So/xoj'. 

* Cf. the analogous but obscure compound acfii'ojjo'/mov, Waddington, Iitscript. grecqiies et 
/atiiies de la Syn'e, No. 2443. 


Arch(eological Re scare lies in Palestine. 

" The worshipful pastors who sit at the head of this city, for long time 
past illuminated by Christ (of this old and illustrious Christian city), having 
adorned this illustrious temple." 

In XpicTToXajjiTTpov the cutter of the stone has omitted the second p; 
KaWoTTLo-avreq is for KaWwiricrapTei;. The inscription shows a marked attempt 
at poetical expression. It seems complete, though there appears no verb in the 
preterite in the sentence. Still one may well inquire if it was not followed 
by other lines. 1 found no trace of any on the column, but it is not impossible 
that the sequel was cut on some other column, and contains exacter information 
as to the date and character of the adornments spoken of, which certainly refer 
to the Byzantine church, and are a final j^roof of the existence of that edifice. 

To finish off the description of the material, I will give a reproduction of 
two fragments built into the wall of the mosque, which are ornamented with 
rosettes, one of them cruciform, carved in the Byzantine style. 


'h 7/:,m 

For the masons' marks noticed on the blocks of the Crusaders' church, see 

the Special Table in \'ol. I. 

Here likewise are a few small sketches show- 
ing the details of the capitals of the clustered dwarf 
columns in what is left of the mediaeval church. 

The Legend of St. George. — The cult of St. 
George at Lydda appears to have been introduced 
there very early, and contains certain most curious 
elements of Pagan origin. This question I have 
treated in detail in a monograph published some 
eighteen years ago, so I can only refer the reader to 
it.* At the time of the conquest, the Arabs found a 
sanctuary of St. George at Lydda, in the shape pro- 
bably of the Byzantine church which I have shown 
to have existed, and which had perhaps taken the 



* Horns et St. Georges, 1877. Cf. also my Etudes d'Air/icologie Orientate, Yo\. ], fasc. I, 

p. 78. 

Tour from J cm sale III to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 109 

place of another and more ancient church, the remains of which appear to 
be at M on the plan. The Mussulmans in turn took possession of the 
Christian legend, and that in a very singular manner, depending on what 
I have proposed to call iconology, that is to say the formation of myths from 
the sight of pictorial or plastic representations. It is recounted in a tradi- 
tion which makes an early appearance in their hadiths and speedily became 
popular, that Jesus zvi/l kill the Dajjdl at (ala) the gate of Lydda, or even at 
the door of the church of Lydda. This is nothing but an arbitrary interpre- 
tation of some group of figures, a bas-relief or what not, which may be 
supposed to have existed on the gate of the town or the door of the 
sanctuary dedicated to St George, and to have vividly impressed the Arabs. 
St. George became in their eyes Jesus, and the dragon the Dajjal, a monster 
who is the personification of the Mussulman antichrist. The name of Dajjal 
is simply that of the old Philistine god Dagon, which has been preserved 
in the name of the neighbouring city Beth Dagon, concerning which I shall 
have more to say.* A variant of the legend adds that Jesus shall also slay 
the "wild pig," that is to say the boar, "on the gate of Jerusalem." This last 
touch may indicate some representation of the same sort ; the boar was the 
emblem of the Xth Legion (the Fretensis), which was in garrison at Jerusalem, 
and the sigiiuin of the legion had been placed on the gate of Jerusalem 
so as to forbid the Jews to enter, according to St. Jerome.t 

* The process by which the Christians themselves had already formed their legend of St. 
George and the Dragon was similar. It was taken from a popular Egyptian representation of late 
date where the god Horus, with his hawk's head, riding on horseback in the uniform of a Roman 
tribune or cavalry officer, is seen piercing with his lance the god Set-Typhon in the shape of a 
crocodile. The fact that the Emperor Constantine had himself depicted in this same allegorical 
form must have helped to popularise this representation in the early ages of Christianity. The 
starting point of the legend appears to have been an Alexandrine representation of Diocletian 
(Jovius), in the form of Jupiter-Horus, on horseback, piercing with his lance the crocodile Typhon- 
Set, as I have pointed out in a recent article {Sur im bas-relief de Soueuia represejttant un episode 
de la gigantonachie et sur la ville de Maximanoupolis d' Arable ; Comptes rendiis de I'Academie des 
Inscriptions, 12,-20 Ji/illef, 1894; cf. my Etudes d^ Arch. Or., I, p. 178). 

t This legend likewise recalls the celebrated prophecy concerning Diocletian, that he should 
become emperor as soon as he should have slain the " boar." The prophecy, which was probably 
thought of after the event, was deemed accomplished when Diocletian killed with his own hand 
the prefect of the pretorium Apcr, whose name signifies " Boar." This decisive event in the life 
of Diocletian might have formed the subject of figured representations, which, becoming popular, 
like that of Constantine slaying the dragon, might have furnished this new feature to the legend 
as picked up by the Arabs on arriving in Palestine. It must not be forgotten that Diocletian had 
founded a city in Palestine called after him Diocletianoupolis, but its identity has not hitherto 
been established. The memory of the popular boar of Diocletian has moreover impressed itself 
deeply on the Talmudic traditions, which call him " Diocletian the Boar" (xTtn). 


Archcvolooical Researches in Palest 


Thk Bridge at Lvdda.* 

The fine church erected by the Crusaders 
in honour of their much-venerated Saint, by 
the side and at the expense of the Byzantine 
church, was, as I have said, destroyed by 
Saladin. Though history is silent as to its 
later fate, it still had one most strange experi- 
ence. As I thought I noticed already in 1871, 
part of the material used in building it was 
carried in the thirteenth century to the distance 
of a mile, and set up again to build a bridge 
over the wad)- which runs to the north of 
Lydda, and joins the numerous wadys that 
have their outlet at Jaffa. 

Wishing to determine with exactness 
under what circumstances this removal took 
place, I resolved to make a detailed plan of this 
bridge. I enjoyed the aid of M. Lecomte in 
this, and was very glad to have his valuable 
opinion on many technical points. This 
thoroughly bore out my own conclusions. 

This bridge, above 30 m. long and about 
13 m. broad, is composed of three pointed 
arches nearly equal in height, a central arch 
about 6" '50 across, and two lateral ones about 
5 m. The bed of the wady over which it is 

* See the special memoir that I hive devoted to 
this question in my Recueil d'Archeologie orientak (1888, 
pp. 261-279; cf. pp. 396-399). 

Since then M. Max van Berchem, to whom I 
pointed out various desiderata that I had not had time or 
means to verify, has been kind enough to repair these 
omissions in the course of an exploration of Palestine, made 
for the purpose of studying Arab archaeology. He has been 
so good as to authorise me to make use of the excellent 
photographs he has taken, as well as the sketches of certain 
details, together with his personal observations. I shall indicate as we go along the additional 
information for which I am indebted to him, and here beg him to accept my best thanks, 

Tour from Jcrusaloii lo Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 

1 1 1 

thrown is entirely dry in summer,* but a considerable volume of water passes 
along it at the period of the winter rains. It is to some extent blocked up 
by patches of alluvial earth, on which there grow prickly-pear-trees [saber). 

On the side facing up stream, the two central supports are protected by 
two pointed cut-waters intended to break the force of the current, which must 
be very violent in time of flood. 

BRIDGE AT LYDDA. — Elevation of the side looking up Stream. Scale tj+t, • 

Above the central arch, in a rectangular slab, that is sheltered by a pro- 
jecting marble cornice, is an Arabic inscription of four lines, Hanked by lions. 

-■-■,-=;.-■ ,ii,->;s> ^■.-*-"r^ 

Tat-  V?,-_.V-T _ ^  ._  . 


* In searching the soil close by the lower end of the bridge, I found, at some depth, 
thousands of little eels of microscopic size wriggling about in the damp mud, and quite unaffected 
by the heat. It was in mid June, it should be remembered. 

112 A rchccological Researches in Palestine. 

On the other side (looking down stream) of the same central arch is set 
another Arabic inscription of three Hnes, a repetition almost word for word of 
the preceding, barring a few slight variations ;* it is likewise sheltered by a 
marble cornice and flanked by similar lions. Here follows the transcription 
and translation of the first. 

j.<\ (2) ^K)LA.^\ 'Ua.w^ j,.«>ij.c l'j.A~: ^_jli cOl_jL>j *J^J^ cr*"*^'' '"^^ •^' ^'-^ 

^.a!1 J^. y,m ^<Sx\ f^'i\ ^U^\ U:<^c CJj^\ j^\ \sj, i^,U*. 

^U J^J.\ (-nc) ^\ ^U^\ \:\. ^^.. ^A ^J ^]\ Ju^ (3) ^.' 0-1^' 

J\ ^\ jjoJI cL:!_j. cJlS. (4) U2 /J:. U>^,U.l .dll ^;^1 J^ I^^j ^..jJl 

" In the name of the kind and merciful God, \yhose blessings be on our 
Lord Mahomet, on his family, and on all his companions ! The building of 
this holy bridge was ordered by our master, the very great Sultan el Malek 
edh-Dhaher Rukn ed Din Beibars, son of 'Abd Allah, in the time of his son 
our Lord Sultan el Malek es Sa'id Naser ed Din Berekeh Khan, may God 
glorify their victories and grant them both His grace. And this, under the 
direction of the humble servant aspiring to the mercy of God, 'Ala ed Din 
'Aly es Sawwak,+ to whom may God grant grace as also to his father and 
mother; in the month Ramadan, the year 671." 

The month Ramadan, 671 a.h., corresponds to March-April, 1273 of our 
era. The famous sultan Beibars had only four years before associated his son 
Berekeh Khan with him in the kingly power ; hence the mention of him in 
our inscription along with his father, while he does not appear on the inscrip- 
tion of Beibars at Ramleh, dated 666 ; the act of taklid, investing the young 
Berekeh Khan with the royal power, having been first promulgated a year 
later, in 667. 

The two inscriptions are flanked by a pair of low bas-reliefs poorly cut, 
each displaying a lion seen in profile, enclosed in a rectangular frame. 

The two animals, which are similar on either side of the bridge, face one 
another in the same attitude, "passant" and " Idopard^" to speak heraldically. 
They are indifferently executed in pure Arab style. The lion on the right 

* The formula are generally cut shorter, and the date is omitted. 

t The second inscription adds the patronymic hoi 'Omar, "son of 'Omar." 

Tour from /cnisahiii to fujjii unci the Coiiiitiy of Samson. 

1 1 

has his right paw raised ; in front of him, beneath the threatening claws, sits 
a tiny quadruped, seen in profile, which, from its pointed nose and ears as 
well as its long tail bent vertically along its back, can only be taken for a rat 
or squirrel, or perhaps a jerboa (?). The little creature has its front paws 
stretched out towards the lion, apparently in an attitude of entreaty. 

The lion on the left is lifting his left paw. In front of him is a small 
quadruped, obviously a repetition of the former one. The characteristic long 
tail of the animal does not appear in the drawing, but exists in the original ; 
only in this case it is bent back between the hind paws and lies along the 
right thigh. 

These representations recall those oriental apologues wherein the lion 
and the rat appear, and perhaps contain some allusion to the repeated victories 
of Sultan Beibars over the Crusaders, whom he crushed in several encounters, 
and successively deprived of Cresarea, Arsuf, Safed, and lastly Jaffa, the 
neighbour town to Lydda. Can there be some play in the words far ( ,Uj 
"rat" and knj/ a r (jlii).'' " the infidels ?" or is it intended to caricature the 
lion rampant, the device of the Lusignans, kings of Cyprus and Jerusalem, 
by representing it as a rat?""' 

In any case, these lions are of singular interest for the history of heraldry 
among the Mussulmans. We know from Arabic writers that the rank\ or 
"heraldic emblems" of Sultan Beibars was a lion, and I have found that 
animal on numerous structures in Syria and Egypt raised by that sovereign. 
It is also represented on his coins, both gold, silver, and bronze. 

* 'J'he question also occurs whether it was intended to travesty the leopard of the Eiiglith 
royal arms ; for the bridge of Lydda, as I shall explain later on, was built just at the time when 
Beibars was in conflict with Prince Edward. The western name leopard transliterated into 
Arabic, ilij-i-!) presented an opportunity for a play on Jar, the name for a rat, and thus jxrhajis 
gave rise to the contemptuous allusion. 

t From the Persian raiii:;, "colour." 

114 A rch(FoIogica/ Researches in Palestine. 

Beibars was a great bridcje-builder. I have noted in Arabic chronicles 
quite an imposing number of these structures executed by his orders. That 
at Lydda is expressly mentioned by the anonymous author of the Life of 
Beibars,* who speaks of "two bridges built by Beibars in 672, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Ramleh, to facilitate the passage of troops." The agreement of 
the dates denotes that one of the two bridges is ours. Another remains to be 
discovered in these parts. My first thought was of ihejisr es Sildd, which is 
three miles further to the north, but I now incline to another opinion, which 1 
will enunciate latent The chiefly strategic object of these two bridges proves 
that they were intended to ensure a permanent communication along the 
highway between Egypt and Northern Syria, which passed through Ramleh 
and Lydda, and was cut up by numerous wadys originating in the Judaean 

It was especially important to Beibars, as the requirements of war and 
politics continually summoned him from one end of the kingdom to another 
during his victorious struggle against the Crusaders and his native rivals, and 
he had need of solid bridges to secure a way at all seasons across the wadys 
that intersected his route, not only for men and horses but also — which was 
most important — for baggage and siege artillery [inanjdnik). 

In the case of the bridge of Lydda, Beibars had an immediate and 
special interest in making safe the north road from Lydda, so that his troops 
could move rapidly forward and cover Ramleh, Lydda, and the plain as far as 
Carmel, in cast! of a hostile movement on the part ot the Crusaders. In 
1 27 1 Prince Edward of England had pushed a daring raid as far as Kakun, 
thus threatening Lydda. Here was a danger to be guarded against, more 
especially as Prince Edward had refused in person to subscribe to the truce of 
Csesarea formed in 1272 by Beibars with King Hugh, thinking to renew the 
incursions that he had found so profitable. Beibars adopted two measures, 
first he tried, in 1272, to get rid of the English Prince by assassination, and 
oddly enough it was ihtt Emir of Rani/ek\ who prompted him to this base 
attempt, which was disavowed by Beibars, after its failure, as an excess of 
zeal. Secondly (in 1273) he built the bridge of Lydda. The coincidence in 
date between these two occurrences is most significant, and points to a close 
relationship between them. 

* An Arabic MS., as yet unpublished, in the BibHoth^ue Nationale : Supplement, No. 803. 

t See further on, p. 173, my account of the bridge of Yebna. 

X For fuller details of this dramatic episode, see my remarks further on about Yebn;i, p. 175. 

Tour from Jcnisali-iii to Jaffa and tlic Cointfrv of Samson. 


Apparently then everything concurs to persuade us that the bridge of 
Lydda was of pure Arab origin ; and yet, as I have already pointed out, a 
close examination reveals a most unexpected archaeological fact — the greater 
part of the materials of the bridge of Beibars are of IVestei^i origin. 

The stones display the mediaeval slanting tool-marks, an infallible 
indication of the work of the Crusaders ; moreo\'er, many of them bear 
masons' marks that are absolutely conclusive. For instance, several stones 
of the central arch have the W- In the special Table of Vol. I will be found 
a series of these marks which I noted, and there are certainly plenty more that 
must have escaped me. They may all be found on the stones of the church 
of Lydda that have remained in their old position. 

The outline of the mouldings of the marble cornices that overhang and 
protect the bas-reliefs, and the Arabic inscriptions, are anything but Arab in 
style. We could not take a drawing of these, so as to compare the outlines 
with that of the mouldings in the church at Lydda. We ought, likewise, to 
have satisfied ourselves that it did not display the mediaeval tool-marking. 
Happily, I am in a position to fill up this lacuna, thanks to the kindness of 
M. van Berchem, who has been so good as to verify this detail carefully at 
my request. I cannot do better than to transcribe here, in a shortened form, 
the notes that he has sent me : 

" The cornice over the inscription (on the side looking up stream) appears to be 
Latin, but it is smooth, and made of polished marble without strins (a). This cornice 
is of different workmanslu'p from the one with the inscription, and from the 
lions ; it is of marble, instead of the coarse-grained limestone worked by the 
Arabs. The corresponding cornice on the down side has a profile Hke this (b). 


^ -f 

A. — Approximate Profile. 

The surface has strix very slightly slanting, and almost horizontal, having 
their direction determined by the concave-convex surface of the doucine.* 

* In conformity witfi the general rule set forth above for the dressing of mcdiaival Western 
origin. The profile of one of these cornices recalls in striking fashion that of the moulding 
over the abacus of the capitals of the mediaeval church of Lydda. (See the sketch given above 
[p. 108], and Plate XX\TT, in Vogiie's jtglises d: la Terrc Saintc) 



Ai'chceological Researches in Palestine. 

Lastly, the central pointed arch, instead of having a keystone, as is the 
case with all Arab ogives, has the vertical joint passing through the middle.'"' 
Now it is a matter of common knowledge that the vertical joint is the mark of a 
specific difference! between the arch of the Westerns — three-centered — and the 
Arab arch. From a statical point of view the two arches are constructed on 
quite different principles. The Arab pointed arch, with its keystone, is in a 
sense an imitation semi-circular arch. While we are dealing with this matter, 
I should like to draw attention to a curious point of relation hitherto unnoticed. 
The tiers point or three-centered arch, commonly called now-a-days by 
F"rench architects the ogive, sometime also in mediaeval language went by the 
name of five-centered arch or quint point. \ Now when I was at Jerusalem 
I heard natives — men engaged in the trade — call the pointed arch, as 
opposed to the semi-circular arch, KImnies, "fifth" ((^^..^...^o^), which answers 
exactly to the mediaeval name of quint point ox five-ccntered.\ 

I will add a few more remarks which I owe to M. van Berchem, and 
which are a further confirmation of the preceding, or serve to make them more 

"The two "heads" of the middle arch consist of striated blocks, much better set 
up than those of the main part of the bridge. The latter is of small tufous rubble, 
mixed with striated blocks. The two side arches are also of small rubble (Arab 

dressing) ; however, these arches also present 

a vertical joint, like the middle arch, with the 

exception of that on the west, which has on the 

north side an Arab keystone . . . The central 

arch (Crusaders' materials) shows all along its 

edge a quadrant-shaped moulding;!! now on 

several of the blocks of the head of the arch this 

moulding occurs again, not only on the outside, 

at a, but also on the inner edge at Ij, in the intrados, which proves that they 

original!}' formed part of an " arc doubleau " or a Gothic rib, and would tend 

to confirm your hypothesis, which appears to me altogether probable." 

* This difference, however, is not invariable, for the Crusaders have not infrequently 
employed in Palestine the Arab system of arches with keystones. 

t M. Lecomte's drawing takes no notice of this important detail, but I have since been 
able to assure myself of it beyond a doubt, from a photograph that I had made in 1887, with 
the kind assistance of Frere Lievin and M. Bonfils. I have given a photograph of this already 
(p. III). 

\ See Villard de Honnecourt's Album. 

% The origin of these names would furnish abundant material for discussion. I intend to 
return later on to this important question, and have collected a quantity of notes concerning it. 

II See the engraving already given (p. 1 1 1). 

Tour from fcntsalciii to /af/a ami the Count rv of Samson. 1 1 7 

Though the materials are of mediaeval origin, it was certainly not the 
Crusaders who built this bridge. The patches, bad joins, unevennesses, and 
faulty dressing of the stone which are visible in the setting up of these 
heterogeneous materials betray the process of working up that they have 
evidently been through." Besides, the bridge is nowhere mentioned in the 
annals of the Crusaders, and Beibars loudly claims the honour of having built 
it. He speaks truly, but what he omits to say is that the person charged by 
him to construct with all speed this much needed bridge, hit upon the idea of 
making a quarry of the ruins of the Crusaders' church demolished by Saladin 
nearly a century before. The central arch of the bridge, at any rate, is simply 
one of the arches of the church, indifferently set up. In the main part of the 
structure there are even tambours of half-columns imbedded in the pilasters, 
with their masons' marks on each tambour. Thus the bridge of Lydda forms 
a necessary complement to the church, which explains why I have thought it 
desirable to submit it to a detailed examination from an historical as well 
as an archaeological standpoint. 

This bridge goes by the name of "Bridge of Jindas" [/isr findds) among 
the natives, from the name of a small village lying quite near it to the east. 
According to a local tradition which I heard at Jindas itself, the origin of the 
village only dates back to the construction of the bridge, that is to say to 1273. 

This tradition seems at first sight to be in flagrant contradiction with a 
Latin charter of 1129, which mentions the "casal" of Geiidas in the territory 
of Lydda, t most certainly identical with our Jindas. This is 144 years before 
the building of the bridge by Beibars. 

However, the tradition may be perfectly well founded, and not incom- 
patible with fact. 

The truth is, it strikes me as more than probable that the bridge itself 
is not, any more than the stones which to-day compose it, the work of Arabs 
in the first instance. I discovered inside one of the small lateral arches 
(that on the right as you look at the side facing up stream) the remains of a 
ruined arch of still earlier date. The springs of it are marked A-B 
on geometrical elevation (see above, p. 1 1 1 ). This arch was semi-circular. 

* Thus, for instance, the central arch of the down side has been so badly re-set that the 
joint at the top, originally vertical, varies appreciably from the normal vertical, and inclines to the 
right, as may be seen from a photograph of it taken by M. van Berchem. 

t Delaville Le Roulx, Cartiilaire generat des Hospitaliers, No. 84 ; cf. No. 225 (act of the 
year 1154): "in territorio Liddensi." 

ii8 Arclurological Researches iu Palestine. 

as appears from a calculation of the curve. The keystone must have been 
more than 13 feet below the intrados of the ogive arch which surmounts it at 
the present day. This difference in level is the result of the gradual filling-up 
of the bed of the wady by alluvial deposits, which would point to a considerable 
interval, certainly some centuries, between the construction of these two 
bridges, quite different in form. 

It may well be supposed that long before the thirteenth century, perhaps 
as early as the Roman, or at least the Byzantine period, there was already 
a bridge at this point, which lies on an important highway of Palestine, that 
uniting Lydda (Diospolis) and Csesarea by way of Antipatris. The Arab 
bridge was founded on the remains of this ancient one, and probaby at one 
time or another the hands of the Byzantines also were busy with the latter. 

It is not impossible that the old bridge of Lydda is the place alluded to 
in the Talmud, in speaking of the copy of the Torah that was burnt by the 
sacrilegious Apostomos, that is, if we really must follow the commentators in 
rendering the words "171 ^^nili^Q Ma'abartha de Lod, by "the bridge of Lydda." 

In any case these facts enable us to understand how the inhabitants of 
Jindas can assert, without grievous error, that their village, though mentioned 
at least as early as the twelfth century, was contemporary with a bridge which 
at first one would not suppose to have existed before the end of the thirteenth, 
since this bridofe dates back much earlier than the thirteenth or even the 
twelfth century. Jindas therefore may very well be contemporary, as local 
tradition has it, with this ancient Byzantine or Roman bridge. 

This name Jindas has not an Arab or even a Semitic appearance. 
Possibly it may be merely a corruption of the male name Te.vvahio'i, which 
was common enough in the Byzantine era. Gennddios, or Gennddis (FevmSts), 
as the pronunciation was in Syria at that period, would be regularly trans- 
literated into Arabic as Jenddis ^^^jjU^ ; there exists about ten miles from 
Lydda, to the north-east and quite near 'Abbud, a locality bearing the latter 
name. I allude to the Mng/ir Jinddis of the Map (.Sheet XIV, kq). 
Jenadis looks like a plural form of Jindas, but it is quite within the bounds of 
possibility that it was just this look which produced the corrupt {orm Jindas, 
and that this later on was artificially constructed as a singular out of the 
primitive type Jenddis, which has the air of a plural. So Jisr Jindas may 
mean simply the bridge of Gennadios, some more or less official personage of 
the Byzantine period, who, we may suppose, attached his name to the con- 
struction or reconstruction of the bridge of Lydda and from the bridge the 
name may have passed on to the neighbouring village. 

Tour from [cniui/ii/i lo fafia ami the Country of Samson. 


Mosque of Ramlkh. 

During our stay at Lydda we went to see the Mosque at Ramleh, which 
also is an old mediaeval church converted. Being aware that the Survey 
Party had made a special study of it some months before, I confined mysel 
to noting a few details. 

In the reveal of the window above the modern door on the right hand 
side is a masons' mark twice repeated. 

In the embrasure of the window of the right apse, and to the right and 
left sides, are three or four different masons' marks. (See the Special Table 
in Vol. I.) 

Above the door of the stairs leading to the minaret, a fine block of 
marble, carved on three sides, has been let in to do duty as a lintel. Un- 
fortunately it has been mutilated by the cutting to which it has been subjected 
to fit it to its new purpose. Here are four sketches showing the position and 
general shape of the lintel, looking at the various sides accessible. 

Outer face. 

Inner face. 





TT^.TT-//- -'.7/ 

-/////^/y/yy//////,.' /A' 


Mosque at Kami.kii. IJetails— Scale ,',-.. 




Arclurolooical Researches in Palestine. 

I took some very good squeezes of the three sculptured sides that were 
visible. Here follow exact drawings made by M. Lecomte from the squeezes. 


^m^iMS/,:w.. '^? 


-" — yyy/^M)^//y^y/'imj 

1^1 __: .AM 

A — Two fantastic horned quadrupeds facing one another, to the right and 
left of a mystic vase, from which emerge two vine plants laden with leaves 
and fruit, enveloping the animals. Above, a denticulate border. It will be 
noticed en the left that the lower border, which is moulded, rises to form a 
semi-circle enclosing a part that has been slightly scooped out, or considerably 
hammered down, with a view, probably, to remove some central subject 
enclosed within it. The restoration of this semi-circle is an evident necessity : 
it is indicated by a dotted line in the engraving (page 1 19). It shows that the 
block in its original state must have been much longer, as the semi-circle 
must mark the middle of it. It is to be presumed that there was a sculptured 

Toiir fr-oni Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Savtson. 121 

scene to the left of the semi-circle of the same extent as the one on the right, 
and forming a symmetrical pendent to it. The block must have been cut to 
the length required to convert it into a lintel. From these various considera- 
tions I estimate the original length of the stone at 2"'' 60. 

B — The rear face of the lintel presents, in its upper part, the same line 
of toothed border as the front face ; the same moulded border likewise existed, 
no doubt, in the lower part, but has disappeared, the stone having been cut 
away and chopped off in parts. Here the decorations consist of three 
medallions, so to call them, formed by interlacing foliage, separated by 
three flowers clustered. On the two medallions to the right and left are 
carved two more or less fantastic birds (storks ? or ostriches ?), with long 
bending necks, and bills pointing downwards. The centre medallion doubt- 
less presented another subject, but has been so carefully hammered out as to 
be undistinguishable. I suspect that it was some emblem of Christianity 
of a more marked character than the mystic vase on the front face, which 
particularly shocked the orthodoxy of the Mussulmans. To the left of the 
left medallion is an ornament consisting of a lozenge inscribed in a rectangle 
with a knob in the centre ; this motive must have been symmetrically repeated 
on the right, and then immediately next the lozenge, which is intact, came the 
part corresponding to the semi-circle on the front face, which marks the 
middle of the lintel in its primitive condition. To the right of this semi-circle 
likewise appeared, we may suppose, a scene forming a pendent to that on 
the left. 

c — Finally, the under surface of the lintel is also carved ; but a portion 
of the carving has disappeared in course of the cutting made to receive the 
top of the doorway. The subject represented, of which only the lengthwise 
half remains, was a cross inscribed in a crown encircled by a fillet, with either 
end terminating in an ivy leaf, the whole being within a moulded rectangular 
frame. Here again there must have been, at the other end of the lintel, 
and perhaps at the centre also, one or two subjects forming a pendent to 
this latter. 

The sculptures are in good Byzantine style ; and the subjects belong to 
Christian symbolism. It is difficult to fix the architectural function of a long 
narrow block like this, which must have measured 2'"' 60 by o'""2 7, and was 
intended to lie horizontally and be seen on three sides. It was certainly not 
an ordinary lintel ; its length would have been excessive considering its 
height. Possibly it was supported at the middle by an upright that divided 
into two parts the opening over which it was placed. Certainly it must have 

122 ArchtToIogical Researches in Palestine. 

belonged to a magnificent building, which was not at Ramleh, but rather at 
Lydda, the great episcopal town, which possessed in addition to the old 
Basilica of St. George some other fine churches, two of which, notably, were 
dedicated to the Virgin.* 

It has been supposed that the minaret might be the ancient belfry of the 
Crusaders. The thing is possible ; the chief arch above the lintel, with its 
vertical joint in the middle, must be mediaeval in its materials, if not in the 
arrangement or re-arrangement of them, but in any case this belfry must have 
been re-constructed, at least in part, by the Mussulmans. In fact, I noticed 
over the lintel described above an Arabic ta^'ikh, which I unfortunately 
omitted to copy in full, saying that this minaret was built in the year 714''' 
(= 1 3 14 of our era), in the reign of Sultan Naser ed Dunia u'd Din, son of 
el IMelck el Mansur Kelawun. To this epoch perhaps we should refer the 
mutilation and appropriation of the carved lintel. 

At Ramleh I saw a small tessera of terra-cotta in the 
hands of an Arab, and managed to acquire it. It is square 
and slightly concave; the side measures o'""035. One of 
its sides bears a representation rudely carved in relief, in 
which one can make out a bird with outspread wings 
pouncing on a running quadruped. This is probably the 
traditional subject of the eagle attacking the hare. 
A Greek inscription said to exist. — I had been told in 1869 J by a native 
of Jerusalem that there was at Ramleh, at the house of a Mussulman 
named Jaber, a kerb of a well with a Greek inscription. According 
to other information acquired about the same time, this object was at 
Lydda, with the Christian servant of Rabah Effendy el Huseiny. I had 
not the leisure to verify these indications, but wish to point them out to 
future explorers. 

* I find them mentioned in a synodal letter of 836, published a few years back by Sakkelion. 
One of these two churches must have been still in existence at the end of the 12th century, to 
judge by a passage in "Aly el Herewy quoted by M. le Strange without further comment : " Here 
too, is the house of Maryani, and this the Franks hold in great veneration." {Palestine under tlie 
Moslems., p. 494.) . 

t I am not sure as to the last of the three figures. Naser ed Dunia ii'd Din is the same 
as the Sultan to whom Mujir ed Din expressly attributes the building of the great tower of 
Jame' el Abiadh, which was completed in 718 a.h. 

1 1869, Garnet III, p. 12. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 123 

Between Lydda and Jaffa. 

We left Lydda for Jaffa on the morning of June loth. We took a direct 
route for Sarfand (Surafend), and were not able to visit Safiriyeh. The name 
of the latter is pronounced Sdjriyeh. The ethnic is Sifi-dny, plural Sdfarneh. 

At Sarfand we found the fellahin for the most part living in huts of 
branches i^arish), recalling the sukkoth of the Bible. Had it not been for the 
difference of the season, we might have imagined ourselves at the Feast of 

In the village we went to see the sanctuary dedicated to Neby Lokjiidii 
el Hakim and his son. In the interior of the Kubbeh is a large white-washed 
cenotaph, having an orientation quite different from that of the square 
chamber in which it is placed, lying diagonally across it. I noticed some 
fragments of columns near. Some people say, I was told, that this is the 
genuine tomb of Lokman, others that it is merely his makdm or sanctuary. 
A similar division on this point was early manifested in the written tradition 
of the Mussulmans. Mujir ed Din speaks of the tomb of Lokman as existing 
in the village of Sarfand, and adds that, according to Kotada, the tomb is at 

It has been proposed, with much ingenuity, to recognize in Lokman not 
only the personality but also the name of Bala'am, on account of the identity 
existing between the two roots lakam in Arabic and hala' in Hebrew, which 
both signify " to swallow." 

It is undeniable that in the Mussulman legend of Lokman a number of 
features have been evidently borrowed from the story of Bala'am ; but it is 
equally certain that many others are borrowed from the story of /Ksop, 
including the fables ascribed to Lokman. The old Arab writers themselves 
appear to have recognized two distinct personages in Lokman : Lokman the 
'Adite and Lokman the sage. I am moreover of opinion that there lurks 
beneath their Lokman a third personality, namely, \k\^ prophet Gad, who jDlays 
such an important part in the history of David. The question would be too 
long to discuss in this place, but any one can easily convince himself of what I 
say by considering all that the hadiths say about the relations between 
Lokman and David. It is, I think, this third aspect of the heterogeneous 
personality of Lokman that is the subject of the local traditions of Sarfand.* 

* I need not remind my readers that Bala'am himself became in the eyes of the Talmudists 
an cpigraniatic personification of Jesus, and was the germ of the Jewish notion of the anti-Christ, 
wliich wah taken u]) by the Mussulmans and ai)[)licd to the Dejjal. 

R 2 

124 Archceologicixl Researches in Palestine. 

The inhabitants of Sarfand, who appear very proud of their makam of 
Lokman, informed me that his son was called Mtishkidm. 

I saw near the village several fine pieces of white marble newly unearthed, 
comprising a carved capital, a fragment of a Kufic inscription, and an Arabic 
inscription of great size inscribed on a magnificent abacus. I could not copy 
it on account of the unamiable attitude of the inhabitants, who said to me 
ironically, "This inscription signifies, Mal'iin ibn ei-ma/'nn elly bikaddeni 'ala 
hal-beled cl-niMdesch, which is to sa)- : " Cursed son of a cursed father is he 
who comes into this country to make plans." I took the application to myself, 
and did not press them further, being rather anxious not to alarm their 
susceptibilities, as I wanted to ask them for a guide to take me to the places I 
am about to speak of. 

I noticed some curious transpositions of letters in the dialect of the 
fellahin of Sarfand. For instance they say bukbd and kdby instead of bubkd, 
bdky ( Ja.' + t_;, ^l'). "he remains, remaining." 

I obtained the desired guide after some trouble, and we set off. As we 
went along, the fellah, who was at the outset uncommunicative, was pleased 
to break silence, and I sfot some information out of him. 

He confirmed me in two points I had noted already at Lydda, the 
pronunciation Siirfand for Sarfand and the legendary name of the village 

He told me that at Kubeibeh (near Yebna) there was a Xeby ShemoM 
(Simeon). To the east of Sarfand and quite near it, is a low mound of small 
size, called Dhahrat Bnscileh, where it would appear a great quantity of 
squared stones have been found. Possibly this is where those above-mentioned 
came from. Formerly this place was called Ddr Melek 'Akds, " the house of 
King 'Akas." 

Sarfand el Khardb. — After fifty minutes or so we arrived at Sarfand el 
Khardb, " Sarfand the Ruined," lying to the south-west of the present village, 
which, for distinction's sake, is surnamed "The Inhabited" [Sarfand el 
'Amdr). I find this double nomenclature repeated in the official lists of the 
local authorities, which certainly are copied from older lists. Here there 
is an authentic instance of the transference of a locality, along with its name, 
to another spot. It only shows how careful one has to be in making geogra- 
phical identifications in Palestine. 

The place presents unmistakable signs of antiquity. We contented 
ourselves with a hasty glance at it, just noting a few more or less significant 
names given to various parts of the ruins : el Bauberiyeh. el Habes, Tdhnnl 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and tJie Country of Samson. 1 2 5 

el Hawd* Sarfand el Kharab is probably of older date than Sarfand el 
'Amar, and ought, I think, to come in for a share of the many identifications, 
more or less plausible, that have been suggested for the latter. Native tradition 
attributes its destruction and subsequent desertion to Ibrahim Pasha, but I 
think it must date much farther back than that. 

Lft/iek. — About half an hour to the south-west they say is Kh. Liilieh^ 
with ruins of considerable extent. There used to be at Lulieh a Kasr bent 
Abu S/iarbaj\t^ " the castle of the daughter of Abu Sharbaj." The princess's 
name was Lii/tek. Her father had shut her up in his castle. She secretly 
desired to marry. Each day she asked her father for water from a new source ; 
each day the king had a new well dug. At last it was told him : " What she 
wants is a husband," and then he gave her in marriage. This is the origin 
of the "thirty wells " that are to be seen at Khurbet Lulieh. 

'Aynn Kara. — However, I hastened to verify the statement furnished me 
at Lydda, that there was in these parts a spot called A'yfm Kara. Either 
from ignorance or ill-will on the part of our guide from Sarfand, we had 
endless trouble in discovering the real place, but in the end we got there. 
The spot is marked by a number of holes in some sand-dunes, with fresh 
water welling up in them, and forming a little verdant meadow all round. We 
ascended a high dune near, from which the " Back ''' of Jaffa (a ver)- small part 
of it) can be seen over another dune. Some ten minutes to the east of the 
springs is a certain Khiirbet Kara, which has given its name to the springs, or 
else borrowed it of them. The whole chain of sandy dunes bordering the 
road from Gaza on the west till the beiydra of Shahin Agha is called Wdtdt 
el 'Aynn, or Wddy 'Ay fin Kdrd. 

* I also find a Birket Hauran written down in my field book, but, from the indefinite 
character of the entrj', I cannot tell whether this name is appUed to one of the two birkeh \-isible 
at Sarfand el Kharab, or to one of the places in the vicinity afterwards mentioned. 

t See above, where the same name, Lulieh, is ascribed by local tradition to Yalo. 

X I am not sure as to the exact form of the name, or rather word, which appears in this 
appellation. Can it be Charbaj, for Karbaj 1 Kurbaj signifies a wine-seller's shop. I wonder 
whether Luheh, which is employed as a woman's name in the legend of the peasants of Sarfand, 
may possibly correspond with Julia ('Ioi/X<'a, '\ov\iTf) ? It is weU known (and I shall recur 
to this later on) that the Hellenising Jews had a habit of changing initial / into / in foreign 
names, such as Julianus (Luliani). We have, perhaps, in Lulieh a survival of this phonetic 
permutation, possibly engendered by the presence of the / at the beginning of the second 
syllable. It will be noticed that precisely the same phonetic conditions are present in the case 
of Yalo=Lulieh. Many towns of antiquity bore the name of Julia : in Palestine even Bethsaida 
had received from Herod the name of 'XovXia", in honour of Julia, daughter of Augustus. Another 
town of Peraea {Betharamtha) bore the same name. 

126 ArcJurological Researches in Palestine. 

The presence of the springs justifies the supposition that there must have 
been an ancient settlement here; but what was it? I have mentioned that, 
according to native Greek tradition, Kara would have been once a bishopric. 
There are several places in the old ecclesiastical lists of Palestine, such as 
Onous, Sozousa, etc., which have not yet been identified, and perhaps one of 
them corresponds to our Kara. 

The idea also occurred to me — I put it forward with all reserve — that 
Kara, with its remarkable springs, might be the Uanite city Me-Jarkon, "the 
green or yellow waters," near Jaffa. This would involve the supposition 
of a change from pp-|"i to \J^-, by syncope of the yod, aphaeresis of the 
termination on, and metathesis of koph and irsch, which are all common 
phonetic phenomena in Arabic. If the town of Rakkon, mentioned imme- 
diately after Me-Jarkon in the Book of Joshua, is only a doublet of this, as 
some commentators suppose, the identification with Kara will be still more 
seductive. But this I repeat is simple guess-work. Moreover, I am quite 
aware that Tell er Rekkeit, to the north of Jaffa, may also lay claim to be 
identified with Rakkon if not with Me-Jarkon. 

DdjAn. — I next went in quest of the Khiirbet Ddjun, the name of which 
made a great impression on me when I heard it at Lydda. We discovered 
it upon a small oblong tell, lying between 'Ayun Kara and Beit Dejan, called 
Dhalirat Ddjiln, not far from the wely of Sittnd Nefiseh. Though the ruins 
are not particularly conspicuous, I have no doubt that the tell corresponds to 
the site of an ancient town, more ancient probably than Beit Dejan, which has 
adopted its name in a form slightly different, and further removed from the 
original. Apparently the same process has been gone through here as in the 
case of Sarfand el Kharab and Sarfand el 'Amar, a transference from the south 
to the north. The cause was doubtless the same, the desire of the inhabitants 
to quit a too remote locality for one on the road between Jaffa and Ramleh. 
In the case of Dajun there was perhaps, in addition, the danger of encroach- 
ment from the ever progressing sand of the dunes lying to the south of Jaffa. 

It would be obviously convenient to transfer to Dajun the identifications 
suggested for Beit Dejan, namely, with the Kaphar Dagon quoted by 
Ono7nastieon, and the Beth Dagon of the tribe of Judah. "'• Kaphar Dagon 
is marked as an important Kajx-q between Diospolis and Jamnia, whereas it is 
impossible to say as much of Beit Dejan, which is between Lydda and Jaffa, 

* The name of the town mentioned in Joshua xv, 41, seems to me to be really Gederoili-Bclh 
Dcfvn, and ought iieihaps to be looked for further south. 

Tour from Jcnisalcin to Jaffa and fJic Conniry of Samson. 127 

and not between Lydda and Yebna. The difficulty is far from being fully 
removed by locating Kaphar Dagon at Dajun, but it is somewhat lessened, 
as Dajun, from its more southerly position, comes nearer the line joining 
Lydda and Yebna.* It should further be noted that Eusebius and St. 
Jerome employ the somewhat vague expression "between," instead of 
reckoning, as their manner is, by the milestones that marked out the routes 
in their day. This would tend to show that Kaphar Dagon was not actually 
on the road uniting Diospolis and Jamnia.t 

If the Kaphar Dagon of the Onoiuasticon really answers to the Beth 
Dagon of the Bible, it is at Dajoun that the two of them should be located. 
By combining the more modern name Beit Dejan and the archaic name 
DdJTin, which have belonged at different periods to a village that has gone 
through a process of removal, we get all the onomastic material needed 
to reconstruct a name Beit Ddjiin. This exactly corresponds to Beth 
Dagon, including the class-name "Beth," "house," which was replaced, at 
the time when the Onoinasticon was compiled, by the class-name Kaphar, 
" village." 

I attach particular importance to this agreement of names, as the 
equation Dagon = Ddjiin =■ Dcjan completely justifies an identification which 
I have for other motives attempted to establish between the god Dagon and 
the monster Dajjdl of Arab legend. ;[: 

Mukaddasi tells us that there is near Ramleh a town called Ddjdn, with 
a mo.sque, and that it is principally inhabited by Samaritans. This is 
beyond a doubt our Ddjun, which consequently was still flourishing in the 
tenth century of our era. Yakut even mentions a celebrated Mussulman 
doctor who came from this town and was called cd Ddjmiy.\ 

* Especially if, as is probable enough, the Onoinasticon is alluding to the Jamnia on ttie 
sea-coast, that is to say, the ancient port of Yebna, at Minat Rubin. Truth to say, the place 
which by its position would strictly answer to the definition of the Onoinasticon is neither Kh. 
Dajun, nor, still less, Beit Dejan, but Sarfand cl Kharab, of which I have just spoken. It is 
curious to note that the terms of the problem are exactly the same for the undiscoverable Pe/c'tin 
or Bekiin (pypB, fV'pa), to which the Talmud assigns the same position, half-way between Lod and 

t A fact which seems to lend weight to this remark is, that the existence of a Roman way 
between these two towns is attested by a line in the Peutinger Table. 

+ It is of course a familiar fact that, at the end of words especially, / and n are constantly 
interchanged by the Arabs of Palestine. 

§ And also er Rain/y, clear proof that our Dajun is really the place meant, since it is close 
by Ramleh, 

128 Archcvoloncal Researches in Palestine. 


The existence, at this early period and in these parts, of an important 
Samaritan settlement, is a most interesting fact. The statement of 
Mukaddasi is fully confirmed by a passage in the Samaritan chronicles 
El Tholidoth, which speaks of a certain Abraham, son of Ur, who came 
from Dagun (p)l^^"l).* We may henceforward expect that excavations at 
Dajun will lead to the discovery of Samaritan antiquities. 

Mukaddasi further says that one of the gates of Ramleh was called the 
"gate of Dajun." Evidently it got this name from being the starting-point 
of the road from Ramleh to Dajun. The names of the eight gates of 
Ramleh, as given by the Arab geographer, are susceptible of a like explana- 
tion ; the gate of (the mosque of) 'Anndbeh ; the Jerusalem gate; the Jaffa 
gate ; the Lydda gate ; the Egypt gate ; the Dajun gate. Two only remain 

The first is the gate of Bir el'Asker, "the soldiers' well." We ought 
perhaps to understand by this the great covered cistern of el 'Aineiziyeh, 
situated about ten minutes to the north of Ramleh. In fact, Yakut says that 
'Asker was the name of a quarter of the town. 

The next is the gate of Bil'a ; at least, this is how the name is read by 
Mr. Guy Le Strange. The latter, after M. de Goeje, the first and learned 
editor of Mukaddasi, fancies he can identify it with a certain "church of Bali'a" 
(situated, it seems, not far from Ramleh and Lydda), and inclines to connect 
the two of them with the Baalah of the Bible (Joshua xv, 19). This conjecture 
seems to me inadmissible, for several reasons. In the first place, according 
to this view, the " Bira gate" and the "Jerusalem gate" would be the same 
thing twice over, since Kariet el 'Enab, which is the place indicated in the 
hypothesis, lies just on the road from Ramleh to Jerusalem. Then again, 
there is nothing to show that Bali'a, .ulb, and ajtl^.', Bil'a, are the same 
name. I question, even, whether bali'a is a proper name at all, and not rather 
a simple epithet qualifying the "church" (luIL ?). What is certain, at any 
rate, is, that the manuscripts do not agree in the readings of the name of the 
"Bil'a" gate. A MS. of Mukaddasi, that I had occasion to consult in 1872 
on this and many other points, gives aAx-s without diacritical marks, which 

* The same document shows that there were also Samaritans established at Gaza, and this is 
confirmed by the discovery at Gaza of a Samaritan inscription which I saw there a few months 
later. At 'Amwas likewise, not long ago, a Samaritan inscription was found, which reveals 
the presence of Samaritans at Emmaus, and may explain how the author of the bilingual 
inscription on the Byzantine capital discovered at 'Amwas (in 18S0) managed to get a model for 
the archaic Hebrew character used in it. 

Tour from Jcrusalcni to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 1 29 

leaves room for many readings.* I, in my turn, will propose another, which 
has the advantage of satisfying at least the geographical requirements of this 
small problem, viz., .ULC', and even IxIj-j. I find in these the name of the 
modern village of Nfdneh (Naaneh on the Map), to the south of Ramleh, 
the name of which is now written in various ways, among others, thus : .u.,A:..f 

The shifting of the ''ain, in combination with the two «'s, was almost 
unavoidable considering the phonetic habits of the fellahin.j 

The subjoined diagram will show the relative positions of the eight gates 
of Ramleh in the loth century, together with the origin of the names they 
received, according to the quarters of the horizon towards which the roads 
leading from them were directed (see p. 130). 

My only hesitation is about the Bir el 'Asker gate, which may have been 
in a quarter quite different from the 'Aineziyeh cistern. One is occasionally 
tempted, out of regard for symmetry, to look for a point intermediate between 
the roads leading to Egypt and Dajun. Everything depends on the position 
of the quarter of 'Asker which had given its name to the cistern, and is 
perhaps still existing to-day. 

* This is MS. B of M. de Goeje's edition : of the other two MS3., C has ajiLw and A .uL»-' . 
This last reading is the one adopted by the editor, which does not make it the right one. As 
for the name— if name it be— of the church, the MSS. have a.t!lj and .iUtlb (iL.joi' ^). M. de 
Goeje says, quite rightly, that the place mentioned by Yakvit, aUIb '' Bdti'a," in the Belka, 
part of the region of Damascus, is out of the question. I must, however, point out to the 
reader a somewhat singular coincidence. The Arab geographer mentions this Bali'a, a place 
far distant from the region now occupying our attention, as being the place where Balaam 
(" Bal'am, son of Ba'ura ") alighted. This legend is evidently the result of identifying the name 
of the place and that of the person. Now we have seen that the legend of Balaam (under the 
popular name of Lokman) was localized at Sarfand ; so it may be asked whether the church of 
Bali'a mentioned by Mukaddasi might not be some church erected at Sarfand. But in this case 
the same objection would be encountered, namely, the existence of a gate at Ramleh, named 
after Sarfand, would clash with the existence of another gate called after Jaffa, Sarfand being on 
the road from Ramleh to Jaffa. 

t Name Lists, p. 272. The name by no means signifies "the i)lant mint;" the word that 
has this meaning is .,_kxj , nana'. Sir Charles Warren proposes to identify this village with the 
Naamah of Joshua. This is ingenious and attractive — the change of the Hebrew ;// to an 
Arabic n is quite admissible. I question, however, whether the position of Nianeh does not take 
us a little too far north for this hypothesis. There is a place more to the south which it seems 
to me may have preserved the name of this Naamah in a still closer form— I mean A'rak Na'tndn 
and Deir Na'man, between Tell es Safy and K'zazeh. The vicinity would suit perfectly well. 

X It may even be that the third radical was a lam, and that the reading of the MSS. was 
correct on this point. This / must easily have changed to n in the speech of the fellahin. This 
would take us to a primitive name Ntl'a. 


130 Archaolo^ical Researches in Palestine. 

In any case, that puts it beyond all doubt that there really existed an 
ancient town of the name of Dajun on the site that I discovered. 

The straight lines indicate the distant places to which the roads lead, the dotted lines 
show the real position of the roads. 

Kh. Jaliis. — On the completion of this little reconnaissance, we went 
back to Yazur on the high road to Jaffa. We made a slight deflection to the 
north, so as to take in Selemeh (Selmeh), where I discovered a place called 
Kh. Jaliis, quite near the village to the east, and finally arrived at Jaffa. 


Ancient Jeivish Necropolis. — During the few days we spent at Jaffa 
I particularly busied myself with studying the ancient necropolis, the site of 
which 1 had only b(;en able to reconnoitre hastily the previous November.* 

At this first visit I found and brought away, as related above, a Judceo- 
Greek inscription ; a reproduction and explanation of it will follow here 
immediately. The inscription is of great importance, as it forms a key, so to 
speak, to a whole group of related texts. 

See above, p. 3. 

Tour from Jcriisalein to Jaffa and the Cotintry of Samson. 131 

I first of all made my way to the little hamlet called Saknet Abu K'bir, 
which formed, as near as I could judge, the centre of the region to be 
explored. It lies about 1,500 m. from the gate of Jaffa to the east-south-east, 
and is inhabited by a body of Mussulman Arabs of Egyptian origin, who have 
given it the name of Abu K'bir in memory of the so-called Egyptian place 
they came from. 

Many of them get a living by quarrying the beds of calcareous tufa 
round their village for building materials, of indifferent quality, it must be 
said, which they bring to Jaffa. In the course of some years of these 
operations they have brought to light several burial caves hewn out of the 
tufa. They have often found in them small marble slabs with inscriptions, 
generally set round with mortar on one of the walls of the cave near the 
entrance. It was one of these finds that afforded the Judeeo-Greek titnlns 
that I had acquired a few months before. 

In pursuance of my usual practice, I instituted a minute inquiry among 
the inhabitants of the Sakneh, and thus procured some interesting information. 
Two of these inscribed slabs had been put into the tomb of a woman who died 
a few weeks before, by her son 'Aly el Jezawy. He was a quarryman by 
trade, but was just now away harvesting. In the house of Abu Taleb there 
were believed to be two inscribed slabs. Two others had been found in the 
garden of El 'Azab. In the house of Mahmud Abu 'n Nil one half of a slab 
had been mixed up with the mortar and used in some repairs. As a matter 
of fact, I noticed a little later that several of these slabs were broken. This 
is no way surprising, as the marble of this thinness is very fragile, and the 
slabs often get broken through being carlessly removed from the wall of the 
tomb. Several of the tombs contained glass phials. 

But I got more than mere information ; some of these tituli that were still 
in the possession of the inhabitants were brought to me, and I lost no time in 
securing them. Others had been sold already to the superintendent of the 
garden of the Russian Archimandrite, which lies near the Sakneh to the south 
in the quarter where the tombs are found. 

I next went to see the open tombs and reconnoitre the ground. The 
necropolis extends to a considerable length, and occupies a conspicuous 
position between Saknet Abu K'bir on the north, and Saknet el 'Abid on the 
south. It consists of a series of banks and mounds, in the sides and bases of 
which caves have been hollowed for burials. I could see apertures or 
remains of vaults destroyed by the quarrymen as far as the house of El 
Ja'fary on the north. Probably the necropolis extends still further to the 

s 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

south, as it does to the north, but it is very difficult to trace it through these 
gardens overgrown with luxuriant vegetation and set round with thick hedges 
of cactus. There must undoubtedly be all over this neigbourhood a great 
quantity of tombs still untouched, which would furnish important results of an 
arch:eological and epigraphical nature. I should have liked very much to 
make some excavations there, but for that purpose I should have needed a 
permit from the Turkish Government, which, unfortunately, I have never been 
able to get at any time during my mission. I therefore perforce confined 
myself to this superficial, but yet not altogether fruitless investigation. 

The following specimens will give some idea of these tombs, which are 
rudely cut in the soft sandy tufa of the hills surrounding Jaffa, after the usual 
plan of the ordinary Jewish tombs in the mountainous parts of Judcea. 

NECROPOLIS OF JAFFA. — Rock-ciit Tombs. Scale -^^. 

The first is to be found in the Beiyara of Nikula Halaby under a cactus 
hedge. It consists of a small square chamber with a flat ceiling, and with two 
steps leading down to it. On each of the three available sides two kokim 
have been cut, with their openings on a level with a small bench of rock 
runnino- round the chamber. Close by this we noted the remains of a similar 

^•ECROPOLlS Of JAFFA.— Rock-c«t Tombs. Scale t^j. 

Toiti' fi'o?]! Jc7'tisalein to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. i^' 


sepulchre, rather more complicated in structure, but half destroyed by the 

Here again are two more that we noted in the Beiyara belonging to the 
Russian Archimandrite, which is in the neic{hbourhood. 

They likewise are alongside a cactus hedge. 

The first, which is almost entirely destroyed, had four kokim on one of 
its walls, with a fifth kok opening out of one corner. The second, which has 
likewise been subjected to ill-usage, was composed of two, perhaps three, 
chambers communicating with one another. At the back of three of the 
kokim, and at right angles to the sides, there are visible other smaller loculi, 
too small to have admitted a corpse. These, I suppose, were recesses used as 
ossuaries, the remains of the first occupiers being heaped up in them to make 
room for fresh comers. 


I now enter on the study of the inscriptions derived from this necropolis, 
with the aid of the actual originals either collected by myself or lyino- in the 
garden of the Russian Archimandrite. Their number has sensibly increased 
since 1874, as I copied other series in 18S1 and 1886. These, however, I 
shall not now touch upon, not wishing to exceed the limits I have set myself. 
They will form the subject of a later publication. I shall only quote them, 
incidentally with a view to making certain instructive comparisons. 

I. IVIarble Titulus. Sizeo^-26 by o'"-24. Below the inscription is the 
seven-branched candlestick, flanked by two palms and 
two zig-zag lines, of doubtful import. 

'H^t/cia vi(a 'laa, (j)povTtcrTl, 'AXe^avSpias. |s|J~^'' (1? iO(^/'T' V^ 

"To Ezechias son of Isa (?), phrontistes, from IT^N'At ?i)\^s] /P 


'H^iKt'a is evidently the Jewish name Ezechias, 
generally transliterated 'E^e/ctas, 'E^eKeto?, 'E^e^ta?, 
'E^e/cia. This new transliteration shows that the name 
was pronounced Izikia, in conformity with the Masoretic vocalisation 
Hizekiyah, the mute sheva, e, being replaced by a furtive vowel /, which 
takes its colouring, so to speak, from the reflection of the initial vowel /.* 

* This law of the harmony of vowels may often be noticed in the transliteration of Hebrew 
names by the Septuagint. 

134 Arch(?Qlos;icaI Researches 211 Palestine. 

The last letter, which also terminates the following patronymic, must be a 
small cursive capital alpha,'* different from all the other capital alphas in the 
inscription. It would be wrong, I think, to regard this as a mark of abbrevia- 
tion and to suppose that the name was 'H{i/<:i(>?'X), for 'le^e/ctr^X, " Ezechiel." 

The patronymic Icra also is certainly some Jewish name, but what one is 
it? It might possibly be 'lo-aaKT, 'IcrctK:, " Isaac," on the supposition that the 
final letter is a mark of abbreviation, which I doubt. It seems more probable 
that it is the name " Isaiah," usually transliterated 'Hcrai'a?, " Isaias." 
Moreover, we should not lose sight of the possibility of its being some popular 
transliteration of the original form of the name "Jesus" (yiti^"'), bearing in 
mind that very puzzling Arab form " 'Isd" the origin of which is so obscure.t 

Our Ezechias was 2.phrontisies. It may be asked if this should be taken 
to mean {^povTiarL ^A\e^avSpia<;) '" phrontistcs of Alexandria " or "phrontistes " 
absolutely, and "native of Alexandria." I incline to the latter view, as a 
simple genitive immediately after a proper name, with no word in between to 
govern it, usually indicates the place the person is native of. 

This title plirontistes has not yet been met with in Jewish inscriptions, 
though other Greek titles appear in them, such as TrpocrrarT;?, eVtcrTaTr^?, 

* This shape of the alpha is also found in the Greek papyri from Egypt subsequent to the 
Christian era; indeed most of the paljeographical pecuHariiies of the Judaeo-Greek mscriptions of 
Palestine recall those of the Greek writing as used in Egypt. This form of the alpha seems also 
to exist in a Christian inscription at Gaza, of the sixth century perhaps, of which I shall speak 
further on. With Xaa we may compare the Talmudic name ND'^5 Isa, belonging to a rabbi 
who was a pupil of the rabbi Johannan (Tal. Jer. Ter. I, 40). I cannot say how far the latter 
name is related to another Talmudic name, 'D'S Isi, which some have wished to identify with 
one of the numerous contractions which the name of Jostph underwent. 

t An attempt has been recently made to explain it by a somewhat irreverent kind of 
assimilation supposed to have been formerly made by the Jews, and, after, by the Arabs, between 
Jesus and Esau, .-u^aj , and iL"jj . This comparison, which is more ingenious than plausible, is 
moreover not a new one. It has been already noted, in passing, by Guerin {Samaria, I, p. 42), 
who had probably taken it down from the lips of some Jew, without, however, attaching any 
particular importance to it. It would be most desirable to ascertain whether the fact of this 
quaint assimilation has really been handed down by Jewish tradition. However this may be, I 
find in the Jewish catacombs of Venosa (Ascoli, Iscn'zioni, etc., p. 55) the epitaph of a certain 
Faustinas son of Is a (nib'; 'laai). The existence of a form Isa, whatever its origin may be, appears 
to me therefore to be henceforward established in Graaco-Jewish onomastics of the first centuries 
of our era. The most likely thing is that the name Isa is a common abbreviation of the name 
Isaiah, but it is very possible that this form was not without its influence on the Arabic name of 
Jesus, 'Isa, more especially as the Hebrew names Vesholi' and Yesha'yahou (and other kindred 
names) are evidently related from an etymological point of view. It is well known that the 
Septuagint does not hesitate to transliterate the name ol Joshua as 'I;;<7oD?. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 135 

ap^utv, etc. It is, however, of common occurrence enough in ordinary Greek 
epigraphy ; as, for instance, a phrontistes of the Temple of Aphrodite at 
Denderah in Egypt,* and some moret mentioned along with other func- 
tionaries, the phrctarc/ios, the c/ia/co/ogos, the dioikctai, etc., forming part of 
th^phrctria. The phrontistes in matters civil was a sort o{ curator, appointed 
to superintend, inspect and manage certain departments of municipal activity. 
There were separate ones for games, water-supply, victuals, etc. There were 
similarly ///;w;//.sYrt'/ in matters religious. If the title of phrontistes has not 
hitherto been met with in Helleno-Jewish epigraphy, I can point to the 
existence there of the verb cjipovnCetv used in a way which tends to show that 
there was a phrontistes in the ancient Jewish communities ; thus in an 

inscription from Rome, we hear of an apyia-vvayKiyo% (jipouTicra^ ;j in 

one from /Egina, another chief of a synagogue, or neocorus, is spoken of as 
<f)poi'TLaa<; for four years.§ So the title of phrontistes applied to our Ezechias 
ought not to occasion any surprise. Probably he was appointed to manage 
certain religious or civil concerns in the Jewish community at Alexandria. 
We know that this was numerous and flourishing. Flavius Josephus,|| 
speaking of the general expansion of the Jewish race, that diaspora which had 
disseminated them to nearly every spot in the ancient world, tells us that the 
Jews were especially numerous in Egypt and Cyrenaica ; an extensive quarter 
had been assigned to them at Alexandria, which formed a kind of separate 
town, and they were there governed by an ethnarch of their own race who 
had all the attributes of an independent chief and bore a special title, that of 
Alabarch, which has never been satisfactorily explained. The Alabarch 
was assisted by ^gerousia, a Sanhedrim or senate on a small scale, consisting 
of seventy members, and modelled after the one at Jerusalem ; in every 
quarter was a " house of prayer," in addition to the great synagogue. 

Our Ezechias, in his capacity of ///ro«//.s-A-5, must certainly have played 
a part in this powerful Jewish organization at Alexandria. He had wished, 
like so many of his countrymen who had settled in Egypt, to be brought back 
to Palestine after his death and buried in the land of his ftithcrs. Another 

* Letronne, Inscriptions gr. d'Egypie, I, p. loi, No. XII. 

t Co>-J>us inscr. grcec, Nos. 3612, 4716c, 5785, 57S6. 

X Schurer, die Genieindeverfassung, etc., No. 45. 

§ Corpus inscr. gncc, No. 9894. The person in question is a certain " Theodoros " {Jonatlian, 
or Nataniali, Natlianicl), under whose supreme direction the synagogue of .lOgina had been built 
and adorned with mosaics {iinuvawOi]). 

II Flavius Joscphus, Aiit./., xiv, 7, 2. Cf. Strabo, Philo, and others. 

136 Arclucological Researches in Palestine. 

inscription in the necropolis of Jaffa, which I copied in 1881, mentions two 
other Jews, also from Alexandria, called Kyrillos and Alexandres. Joppa, 
the port of Jerusalem, from its proximity to Alexandria, was obviously marked 
out as the landing-place for these dead from beyond the sea. This explains 
why nearly all the epitaphs in the necropolis at Jaffa are, as we shall see, those 
of Jews of foreign, and chiefly Egyptian origin. The more or less barbarous 
style; and characters of the Greek inscriptions, often accompanied with Hebrew 
words, are just what one would have expected as soon as their origin was 
proved. The language of the Jews of Alexandria was Greek, but a very low 
Greek, a sort of dialect that has been called Hellenistic, and must have been 
rather like the Yiddish of the modern Jews. The same was the case at Ceesarea. 

In addition to the religious attraction, which might have determined the 
Jews of Alexandria to come and sleep their last sleep in the country where 
they had not been able to live, there were further considerations calculated to 
attract them thither. The Jews of Ale.xandria had a reputation for skill in 
arts and industries. The Talmud tells us that they were often summoned to 
Jerusalem to execute work in the Temple. This former condition of things 
must have soon created a stream of re-emigration to Palestine, which 
continued to make itself felt after the destruction of Jerusalem. During the 
period of persecution, when the Jews were forbidden even to vjsit the Holy 
city, the towns of the coast probably still remained open to them. Among 
these towns Jaffa, from its position, was obviously marked out to receive these 
exiles, dead or alive, who wished to return to the native land of their fathers. 
This series of facts, which I content myself with briefly pointing out, is more 
than sufficient to explain the Egyptian, and particularly the Alexandrian origin 
of the Helleno-Jewish epitaphs in the necropolis at Jaffa. These moreover 
are all later than the Christians era, as the forms of the characters show. I 
shall presently discuss at greater length this question of date, when dealing 
with one of these texts that virtually contains a chronological indication. 

Now for one last word concerning the customs of these Egyptian Jews. 
There is a very curious passage in the Talmud about the names borne by two 
Jews in Egypt, amounting in substance to this : a Reuben and a Simon keep 
their Hebrew names Reuben and Simon ; Reuben is not called Riifus, nor 
Judah Luliani* (Julianos), nor Joseph Justus, nor Benjamin Alexandras. 

* Among the new tituli collected by me at Jaffa in i88i, there is one very curious one, in 
which I find in Gree/i this very transformation mentioned in the Talmud, of Julianns into 
Lulianus. The epitaph runs thus: 'Haiirtlpov lla'a/Ki kui AocXini'oi" (p/ioTi-il-i'. Beneath is carved 

Tour from JcTitsalcDi to laffa and the Country of Samson. 137 

Our epitaphs at Jaffa, as will be seen, do present a considerable number of 
Hebrew names transliterated without alteration, but with them we also find 
several of these Greek equivalents, which shows that the statement of the 
Talmud is only true in a general way. 

2. Titulus of white marble: width o"'-28, heii^ht o"''27. — Six lines 
of Greek characters. Below, the Hebrew word 01711? Shalom, " peace," 
flanked by a palm with eight branches. ^^mBKt^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 
The Hebrew characters are of the square ^^^ ^l^^^^^^^^^^^^H 

type, and extremely interesting to the ^^k^ ^J^^^^^^^^^K^ 

historian of Hebrew writing. Especially H^^ ^^^^^^^^^H 

noticeable are the waw, with its hook ^^p ^^^^^^^^^H 

to the left, furnishing an intf;rmediate ^Hk'I ^^^B^m 

between the Phoenician and the square ^^b WSM 

type, and the final meju, with its apex ^^E; '■ 

which is an organic element of the ^^k '9 

Phcenician prototype ; its long stem, bent ^^K- ^ 

at right angles, is not yet united with B^: ^ 

the upper part of the letter so as to ^Bbu. . 

form a closed character. 

©avov/x utos St/AWj'os, ivyovLv Bi.viafuv, tov KtvTrivapiov, Trj<; llapevixfiokrj';. 

" Thanum, son of Simon, grandson of Benjamin, the centurion, from 

Bavovju. is the regular transliteration of the Hebrew name Tanhwn, 
mren, which means " consolation," and has been borne by several rabbis, 
either in this form or in an Aramaic form, tanhtima, N^iniA The complete 
suppression of the guttural keth is the rule in Greek transliterations of 
Hebrew words and names. I find the same name transliterated in the same 

a small vase with a spout between two palms. 0/ Jsidoros {from ?) Pinara and Loultanos, 
plirontistai." A'fioTnihv is for (j)im{v)Ti{a)iwv. These men were colleagues and co-religionists of the 
grandfather of our Ezechias. It is by no means proved that ijtpoTnwv is the result of a mistake 
on the part of the carver — I am rather inclined to think that it is an exact transcription of the 
Greek word, which had already been thus disfigured in the jargon of the Hellenistic Jews. In 
fact, the title Kt2SD"iS . 'alDiS is found in the Talmud. It evidently comes from the Greek ; some 
have tried to find in it vr/xiToi, or Tr/^oVnTov ; but is it not more likely to be the altered form 
(ppoTiTijt, (pfjoTCTui, the existence of which is revealed to us by this Helieno-Jewish inscription? 


138 Arch^ological Researches in Palestine. 

way, but with a declinable ending genitive, Soroi'/xou) in an inscription from 
Tafha. in Batanaea,* 

The Talmud speaks of a rabbi Tanhum of Jaffa, but this cannot 
possibly be our man, as will be seen. 

'^vyoviv is for kvyoviov, iyyoviov, acyoviov, diminutive of eyyovo?, ' ' grand- 
son."t The Greek terminations ws, eios, ion, eiofi, were abridged in Syrian 
pronunciation to is and /;/. We have abundant proof of this in Greek 
inscriptions. ^ and also in the Semitic inscriptions (at PalmjTa for instance), 
which contain words and names transliterated from the Greek. Quite 
possibly, in a few at least of the place names ending in in which are so 
common in Palestine, this termination might represent an old Greek ending 
ion or eion. 

The grandfather of Thanum, Benjamin, had the title Kornjvdpio^, 
cenienarius, which after a certain date is equivalent to centui'io, rendered into 
Greek at an earlier period by Korrvpiav and kKa.-ov-6.p-)(7)%. At first sight it 
suggests itself to understand the phrase thus : tov Keirrrjvapiov ttj? -apevp.Po\ri<;, 
"■ centurion of the camp ; " and one calls instantly to mind how Paul was 
conducted to the Trapep-fioX-fj at Jerusalem, and how the title n">"'2n "^vl*,^ '• ruler 
oi Baris, or of the Temple," still survives, having maintained itself, as a mere 
figment, of course, up to the third centur)- of our era, and being still borne by 
one Rabbi Aha and a certain Rabbi Jonathan. Even without going thus far, 
one might easily call to mind the fortified camp {cr-parroruStov) which \"espasian 
had constructed on the acropolis of Jaffa."" But these comparisons, and others 
like them that could be made to any extent, would be, I think, deceptive and 
illusor)". M}- opinion is that there is no connection in grammar between the 
words TOV Konrfvaplov and r^s vapevp^oXTJ<;, any more than between the words 
GtpovTLo-Ti and AXe^avSpCa? in the inscription before. I regard r^s Trapa'p^oXrj'; 
as the proper name of a fo7i/?i, put in the genitive absolute, as in the other 

* Waddington, Inscript. gr. ef lat. de la Syrie, No. 2169. The personage appears to me not 
of Jewish but rather of Xabatsan origin. This would prove that the name Tanhum did not 
exclusively belong to the Hebrew stock of names. 

t For the use of this word in Jewish-Greek inscriptions, see No. 9900 of the Corpus laser. 
Gme., an inscription found at Athens, and containing the names ol Jacob and Leontios, i-novoi of 
Jacob, of Csesarea. Cf. also Ascoli, Iscrizioni hebr, p. 49: Ivjoviv^^iv-ioviov (not ev-fovn, as 
Ascoli reads). 

+ Here is one example out of a hundred : Xmouiv for XaTouiof, " quarry," in an inscription 
from Sidon. 

.§ Nehemiah ii, S ; \-ii, 2. || Derenbourg, Hist, de la Pal., pp. 48, 49. 

^ Flavius Josephus, Bell.jud., iii, 9, 4. 

Tonr from Jerusalem to Jaffa and t lie Country of Samson. 139 

kindred inscriptions from Jaffa, to show the country that Thanum came from, 
and not the place where his grandfather Benjamin exercised his functions of 
centenarius. One should translate it, as I have done, "from Parembole," and 
not "of Parembole." 

What was this Parembole ? — a town of Palestine ? Such migrht be our 
first idea. There actually is, on the other side Jordan, in the land of Gilead, 
a town called IlapeyLt^oXai, " the Camps," in the Septuagint and in the Jewish 
Antiquities of Josephus, which repeats the Biblical narrative. This, however, 
is merely the Greek translation of the Hebrew name Ma/ianaitn. It is open 
to doubt whether there ever was a town in these parts that really bore 
this Hellenic name and kept it. Eusebius and St. Jerome would not have 
omitted to mention it, and the Onomasticon passes over in silence this name 
of UapefifioXaC under the headings ^lavadij. and Maatiaim. We find, however, 
three bishops of Paremboles in Palestine {tS)v UapeyL^okSiv) who have appended 
their signatures in that style, namely : Peter, to the Acts of the Council of 
Ephesus in 431 ; Valens {OMXr]?), to a letter of John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, 
dated 51.8; and another Peter, to the Acts of the Council of the three 
Palestines held at Jerusalem in 536. We know, from a most curious episode 
in the life of St. Euthymius, the origin of this bishopric of Paremboles, which 
was situated on the other side Jordan,* and had been created by the Saint 
himself on the occasion of his converting a tribe of Saracens. Lequienf 
supposes that what was meant was not a real town, but a camp of nomads 
without a definite resting place, whence this name Paremboles. It is doubtful 
whether this is the same as Paremboles — Mahanaim. The bishopric, which at 
the time of its formation was dependent on the Metropolitan of Petra, must 
have lain more to the south than Mahanaim is likely to have done. I am 
rather inclined to identify it with a place that figures in the Notitia dignitatum 
imperii Romani, where the " Cohors tertia felix Arabum " was in garrison "in 
ripa vadi Apharis fluvii, in castris Arno7iensibtis!'\ 

Certainly the idea of identifying this IlapeixfioXaC with the Uapevfi^oXTJ of 
our inscription is most alluring ; but I do not think it desirable to linger over 

* It was dependent on the Metropolitan of Petra. 

t Oriens Chrisfianus, III, p. 763, et seq. It was actually the chief of the tribe that became 
its Bishop. 

J The Arnon, or M'ady Mojeb, in Moabitis. The Paremboles of further Jordan and the 
Casira of the ford of the Arnon may possibly correspond to the Camf (mashrita) of Luhit and 
of Abarta, alluded to in a large Nabatjean inscription recently discovered at Madeba, in the 
Moab land. 

T 2 

140 Archesological Researches in Palestine. 

it. In the first place, the name is not exactly the same, and I attach a certain 
importance to this discrepancy in number, the first being plural, the latter 
singular. My own conclusion is that the place alluded to in our inscription is 
in Egypt, the Uapeii/SoX-q which was situated on the left bank of the Nile, 
between Syene and Taphis, in the direction of the Ethiopian frontier, where 
the Romans had a military establishment of the first rank. A Roman legion 
was still in garrison there in the fourth century. The Antonine and Jerusalem 
Itineraries mention it. Meletios speaks of a ITpecr/Svrepos t^? nap€^/3o\^?. 
Note that it is always Parembole, singular. It is this Parembole in Egypt, 
and not the more or less problematical Parembolai of trans-Jordanic Palestine, 
that I propose to regard as the native land of our Thanum, he having come 
from Egypt, as well as all the little band of Jews buried in that part of the 
necropolis of Joppa whence our tituli proceed. 

A most interesting question is raised by the title oi centenarius borne by the 
grandfather of Thanum, since it would seem to imply the possession of military 
rank by a Jew. It is met with, in this same form /cevrT^mpto?, in several 
inscriptions from Syria.* What we want to know is exactly what the status 
of a KevTr]vdpLo<; had become at the period to which our epitaph belongs. It 
must have been comparatively recent, to judge by the shape of the characters, 
which are certainly a good deal later than the first century. It is probable 
that the centenarius exercised certain civil functions, and that the grade was 
assimilated to that of the army. He belonged to the Schola agentiuni in rcbtis, 
and the agent cs in rebus were employed in negotiis publicis exseqttendis. There 
certainly were several sorts of centenarii with quite different functions.t This 
point of Roman and Byzantine administration is one that has hitherto not been 
fully cleared up, but I cannot enter on it here. I will merely remark that in 
the Code of Theodosius II, the Jews and Samaritans are expressly debarred 
from exercising the functions of azentes in rebus, which would seem to show 
that they had previously been admissible to them. Elsewhere in the same 
document the access to an army career, aditus niiliticB, is formally forbidden to 
Jews. There is, however, this restriction, that all those of them who are 
agentes in rebus shall be left in their places, but for the future the prohibition 
shall be absolute. We may suppose that the successors of Theodosius had to 
carry the law into effect. Consequently the grandfather of Thanum, being a 

* Waddiiigton, op. ci/., Nos. 2405, 24S5. 

t See the T/iesaunis of Forcellini, and especially Gothofredus, Paratellon ad Codic. Tlieo- 

TiVtr from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 141 

centenarius, must have lived not much later than 450 a.d., and thus we obtain 
a terminus ad qucm for the inscription of his grandson, and, generally speaking, 
for the other inscriptions of the same group at Joppa, which, as far as their 
palaeography is concerned, might be of any date from the fifth to the seventh 

3. Large Slab. — I include in this group a kindred inscription which 
was dug up some time later. I copied it and took an impression of it in 
November, 1874, just before I embarked on my way back to Europe. 



'A/S/80/xapt VLOV 'Aakev'i, rrj? Ba/3eA.7;s, apT0K6(TT0v). 
" Of Abbomari, son of Aalevi, from Babel, baker." 

It is a very large slab of white marble, about o™"05 thick, o^'So high, 
and o"' 54 broad, found in the Beiyara of Nikiila Halaby, at a depth of about 
6 " cubits." On the upper portion is an inscription of three lines enclosed in 
a cartouche with triangular auricles, ornamented on the right with a palm. 
Below the cartouche the slab is pierced with an irregular perforation. 

Abbomari is a name of distinctly Jewish character; the Hebreeo- Aramaic 
forms hitherto known are Abmari, Abba Ma^'i, "^"^ 2^^, """ID t>52i<5, composed of 
the words Abba, " father," and Mari, " lord." One of the princes of the exile 

142 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

bore this name, and it was not unusual in the Middle Ages. In the Account 
of Benjamin of Ttcdela,'^ I find several Abbamaris, one of whom was steward 
to Count Raymond at Bourg de St. Gilles. The vocalization Abbomari 
instead of Abbaniari is interesting, and appears to be due to the change of 
to a which was common in Syria, as is testified by the phonetics of the Syriac 
dialect and also the spelling of certain words in the Greek inscriptions of 
Syria. It is confirmed, in so far as relates to the proper name we are treating 
of, by another inscription belonging to the same Joppa group, which however 
does not concern me here, as I noted it later on, in 1S81. In this another 
'AySySo/xaprjs appears, on this occasion with the Greek termination. 

'AaXeut is a curious tranliteration of the onomastical appellative Levi, in 
combination with the article ""ITin, Hallevi. Hence comes the celebrated 
modern name Halevy, which means in reality "the Levite." 

The town of Babele has nothing to do with the famous Babylon, in spite 
of the similarity of the name. The place here meant is the Egyptia7i Babylon, 
the deceased having doubtless been an Egyptian like the others that have 
come under our notice. This Babylon is frequently alluded to in ancient 
authors. It was built on the spot destined later to become the site of ancient 
Cairo, and the Arab authors speak of it under the name of Babul and 
Babluk, which has been preserved as the name of one of the quarters of 
Cairo. It played an important strategic part at the time of the Mussulman 
conquest of Egypt. Antoninus the Martyr also saw it, and calls it Babylonia. 
It is marked on the Peutinger map. Before the conquest it was the seat 
of a bishopric.t Eustathius, Denys Periegetes, Strabo, Ctesias, Ptolemy, 
Josephus, Diodorus Siculus, and others are acquainted with this Babylon 
in Egypt, and offer various explanations of its origin. I have collected 
a large amount of evidence on this question, which I consider of very 
great historical importance, and will reserve my treatment of it for another 
place. Suffice it to say that I have arrived at this conclusion : the Egyptian 
Babylon rejDresents an old centre of Semitic colonisation dating back at 
least to the Achaemenid period ; there was an Aramaic centre whose 
existence accounts for the unexpected discovery in Egypt of a series of 
Aramaic monuments, the real date and the character of which I elsewhere 

* Asher's edition, I, p. 36 ; II, p. 14, cf. 56. 

t C/;, for instance, in a Coptic fragment recently published (\me\mea.u, your/iat Asia/i^ue, 
1888, II, p. 372), Apa Nuna, Bishop of the Castrum of Babylon. In this way one can easily 
account for the origin of the odd looking name of Babilone, Babiloine, commonly given by the 
Crusaders to Cairo : the Sultan of Babiloine in their records always denotes the Sultan of Egypt. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa aud the Country of .Vi 

am son. 


determined.* This Semitic, properly Aramaic settlement, never dwindled 
away, even after the ephemeral rule of the Persians, and naturally attracted 
to itself a considerable portion of the Jews who emigrated to Egypt. Under 
the Ptolemies this Jewish element kept its ground and even increased, up to 
the conquest by the Arabs ; our Abbomari of Babele was a member of it. 

For the rest, he was a humble fellow enough, a simple baker, as is shown 
by the word aproKo, which is short for dpTOK6{TTo<;) ; another epitaph in the 
Jaffa necropolis, which I noted in iS8i, gives the word in full. Reference is 
frequently made to this occupation in ancient inscriptions, especially in Egypt.t 
I have noted a considerable number of examples of this in Greek papyri 
from Egypt, where it is in an abridged form;]: as here, aproKo and even dproK. 
Abbomari, then, pursued the calling of N'ahtom QJin;, which is frequently 
mentioned in the Talmud. Considering the manners and customs of the 
Jews, of which the life of St. Paul affords a typical instance, there was nothing 
to prevent Abbomari being at the same time a pious man, a rabbi even, who 
wished to be taken after his death to holy ground for burial. The Talmud 
mentions a Rabbi Juda who was a baker by trade. Moreover our Greek 
word apTOKOTTo? is to be found in the language of the Talmud, in the form 
IVDpin"!^^ = apTOKOTretoi', " bakery." § 

4. A marble titulus, entire, a very small size (o'"'i4 X o"'! i). 


f^^. a 



* Clermont-Ganneau, Origine perse des monuments arameens d'Egypte. Paris, 1880. 

t For instance, an epitaph from Memphis (the No. 129 in the Louvre collection), 'AttoX-Xu'wio? 
ij/jTOKoVo?. These references to humble callings are common in the funerary tablai in Egypt : 
jiovKoXoi, " herdsman," yva<pev9, " fuller," and often in abbreviated form. Cf. also the Jew 
Samuel, "worker in silk," aipijKii/no^, in an inscription at Beyrouth (Waddington, No. 1854c). 

+ Notices et extraits des manuscripts, XVIII, pp. 133, 136, 142, 145. Cf. 296. 

§ In the passage of the Midrash, where the name Betlileliem is explained by "house of bread." 

144 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

The characters strongly incline to the cursive ; the language is barbarous : 
P. Mvrjjaa 'Yov^r\ oliov 'laKO/S, ITevTaTroXtTij. 
" Tomb of Reuben, son of Jacob, the Pentapolite." 

'Pou^T? is for 'Pou/37yV, oitSu for vlov, etc. The isolated P before the 
word iLv9iix.a is curious. I do not think it ought to be regarded as a sigle, 
still less as a rudimentary chrism, a disguised Christian symbol. It looks 
as if the carver had begun to inscribe the name Reuben at the top of the 

epitaph, P ; then, turning the construction of the sentence, he did not 

finish it, but immediately carved the word /xv^^a. " a tomb." The Pentapolis 
which was the native country of the Jew has, of course, nothing to do with 
the Five Cities of the Bible ; it is most probably the region of that name in 
Cyrenaica, a province which, like Egypt, swarmed with Jews. 

5. A small titulus of marble, entire, but irregular in form; o'"-20 X o""i i ; 
o""oi25 thick. Greek characters carelessly cut and difficult to decipher. 

Mt-rj/ia 'louSa Z(X)(ax, ■^'iju.t^r/ (?) 
"Tomb of Juda (son of?) Zachai ; of Psimithe (?)." 

Zachai is an interesting Jewish name ; it is the pure Hebrew form, without 
the Greek ending, of ZaKxalo?, the name of the tax-collector at Jericho (Luke, 
xix, 2, 5, 8), and of an officer of Judas Maccabeeus. The original form "'a^ 
which appears in the Bible (Ezra, ii, 9 ; Nehem. vii, 14, etc.), is thought to 
be derived from the root y^, "to be clear" or "pure." In the language of 
the Talmud Zakkai, ■'S3t, "'"'3T, means "just." The Talmud mentions a Rabbi 
Zakkai of Alexandria («m:D3'7S!l) ; this takes us back to Egypt, as do most 
of the inmates of this necropolis. The last word is doubtful as to its reading. 
I suppose it indicates the name of some Egyptian village, the initial Psi, 
which can be read with certainty, being invariably significant of this. Com- 
pare the Egyptian place-names Psinaphthos, Psinekiabes, Psittachcnnnis, all 
made up with the Egyptian article P. 

Tour from Jerusalevi to Jciffa ami the Country of Si 



6. Fragment of a marble titulus, with more than half the left side gone. 
Height o'"'26, thickness o"''03. Consists of the ends 
of four lines of well-cut Greek characters. 


atea (or \) 


Below is the seven-branched candlestick, the right 
side only remaining, with the horn for holy oil at the 
side of it. Granting that the candlestick occupies the 
middle of the original slab, I should propose the following 
restoration, which just fills up the available space. 

'M.VTjiJi.a Mjava 
\fiiLov K]aX 'E\ 
[ ov] Neavr 


" Tomb of Manaemos [Menaheiii) and of El the Neapolitans." 

The name of the second personage might be 'EXea^apo? or 'RAa^apo?, 
or some other name beginning with El. The Neapolis that was the home 
of these two need not necessarily be Sichem in Samaria ; considering the 
Egyptian origin of the greater part of the Jews whose epitaphs 1 have 
found at Joppa, I should rather say that the Neapolis in Egypt, or better still 
in Cyrenaica, is here alluded to. 

7. A quite small titulus of marble, cut in a roughly elliptical form. 

Two lines, enclosed in a cartouche with auricles, merely marked in outline. 

B>jo-as Nwou, " Besas, son of Nonos." Besas is an Egyptian name. 
Nonos is for Nonnos. Nothing in these 
names points to the Jewish nationality of the 
deceased. However, in another inscription 
at Joppa, noted by me in 1881, I have found 
a certain Nonna, mother of Levi, who con- 
sequently is a lewess, which would seem to 
show that the names Nonnos, Nonos, were 
in use among the Jews. Despite the absence 
of any characteristic symbol, I am inclined to think that the titulus of Besas is 
of Jewish origin like the group to which it belongs. 

i_[^6 Aj-cha-o/ooicai Rescanhcs in I'akslinc. 

8. A litulus of marble, entire. Height o'"-30, lenyth o"-2 2, breadth o'"-05. 

"Kvva ElXaaCov, "Anna, daughter of Eilasios." EtXao-ios is a new proper name 

The name Anna is indication enough of the Jewish origin of the deceased. 
9. A titulus of marble, found in the gardens ; it is broken, at least half 


of the left side being gone, 
thickness o"''02. 

Height o™-2 2, 

breadth o™-i35, 


Tiva (or yt: 


This seems to be the tomb of a woman : 'Tomb of so-and-so, 

aughter {Ovyarpo^) of so-and-so." Beneath is the Hebrew word 

shaloiii, " peace," in very small square characters. I give an enlargement of this. 

It is followed by another Hebrew word in large characters, the first 

/'I being a koph and the second perhaps a shin or a yod (?). 

b/j ^-jy ) These forms are interesting for the history of the develop- 
I y ^^ ment of the ancient square Hebrew writing, which gave 
rise to the character now in use. 

10. Fragment of a marble titulus, with an inscription in large characters. 
The letters are five or six inches high. Thickness o"''025. 

The beginning of the first two lines is 
L\ /\ all that is preserved : 

^^ I Mi^rjjLia 

TjVOV K\_ai\ 

A small curved mark, cut beneath the omicron, 
but omitted in the drawing, seems to show- 

that there was a third line at least. 

" Tomb of ... . cnos, and of , '' " 

To7tr from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 147 

II. M. Vidal, a French merchant established at Jaffa, told me that about 
three months before he had had offered to him for sale a fragment of stone 
found in the gardens. It was small and flat, and measured about o'""20 by 
o"'"20, and had cut on it three (?) lines of Greek characters, the first of which 
ran thus : 


From these indications I suppose it must have been the right side of the 
funerary titulus, broken or cut in two, of the same character as those previously 
described, and beginning thus : Aou/ctavos K(at) 

Another Jewish Inscription. — To this series of Helleno-Jewish inscriptions, 
which I have, I may remark, considerably increased in the course of my later 
visits to Palestine, there should be added, I think, another fragment which from 
its nature is connected with them, though it 
does not come from Joppa. There is a quite 
small piece of marble that I saw in 1871 in 
the possession of the Rev. W. Bailey, at 
Jerusalem, who told me that it came from 
Csesarea. In its then condition it was not 
more than four inches long. Some fragments 
of mortar still adhering to the marble pointed 
to the fact that the slab had been let into the 
wall of the sepulchre, like the Jaffa tituli. Here is a reproduction of it 
from a squeeze that I took at the time. The ends only are left of two Greek 
lines : . . . . [reJKi'a .... ;)(;ia?. 

Below and separated from the Greek text by a border of small crossed 
strokes, are carved the Hebrew characters followino- : 

[V^^-ltir^ h'\V ^-h^., " Peace on (Israel) :" 

I restore the formula in full from the inscription in the catacombs at Rome 
and Venosa. In front of the Hebrew epitaph there was doubtless the seven- 
branched candlestick — the upper part of the three branches on the left is still 
visible. Judging from the position of the candlestick, it seems probable that 
the epitaph inscribed above it was divided into two registers or columns ; the 
Greek characters remaining belonged to the left hand column. We know 

u 2 


Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

from the Talmud that Csesarea, like Alexandria, was an important Jewish 
centre, where the knowledge of Greek was so widely spread that the Torah 
was read there in a Greek targum. 

Stamped Amphora-handles. — I finally found the possessor of the amphora- 
handles with stamps on them, which I mentioned before (p. 3), and which I 
had not managed to get a sight of when passing through Jaffa in November 

of the year before. The owner in question was 
called Nikiila Beiruty. I secured these handles, 
which were found in a " cave " in the Saknet Sheikh 
Ibrahim, to the south of Jaffa. It appears that 
in the course of digging in the gardens on the hills 
to the east of the sakneh, ancient sepulchres are 
often broueht to light. There must be hereabouts 
another burying-ground belonging to Joppa, distinct 
from the one on the east, and perhaps more ancient. 
These remains of amphora;, in fact, belong to a 
much less late joeriod than the Helleno- Jewish 
tituli of the eastern necropolis, which seem to have 
been set apart for a special class of persons. 

These handles formed part of a large vase, 
which can be restored, in part at least, in shape and dimensions. 

They have every feature of the Rhodian ware : square shape, greyish 
colour, fine paste. The stamps impressed on them go to confirm this 



['EttI . . . ^fDvo<;. 


A name of a magistrate in the genitive case, ending in wvos,* preceded 
by the preposition eVl, and the name of the Rhodian month Hyakinthios. 
The indistinct symbol accompanying the characters is elsewhere found as 
a mark on Rhodian pottery. At Jerusalem, about 1868, I picked up 
in the valley of the Kedron an amphora handle likewise of Rhodian make. 

* Some such name as''E/j/ufi'09. Zi/rwco^ or 'I.'/noi'os etc., which are to he found on other 
stamps on Rhodian pottery. 

Tour fnvn Jcnisalnn to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 149 

with the mark AaXiov (the month Dalios) TTicrrou ; "emblem, an arrow- 

head." It is interesting to note at two spots in Palestine positive indication 
of the importation of Rhodian pottery. 

Various Inscriptions. — Now for a few other inscriptions, which I collected 
at Jaffa, but which do not belong there. 

Profile and Section. 

Scale !. 

Two objects now in the collection of the Russian archimandrite are 
said to have come from the ruins of M'khaled, which lies near the coast, 

150 Archcsological Researches in Palestine. 

about twenty-four miles to the north of Jaffa. I have my doubts as to 
the authenticity, not of the objects themselves, but of their origins. It would 
not surprise me to hear that they came in reality from Cyprus. Later on I 
saw various antiquities at Jaffa which certainly came from that island. The 
.shape of these two objects, the character of the stone, the appearance of the 
characters, and also the formulas used in the inscriptions, give me that 
impression. However this may be, here they are : — 

1. A funerary cippus of limestone, cylindrical, and moulded at the top 
and bottom. Height o^'sS. On the upper and lower sides (at a and is) is 
a square hole for fastening. On the drum, in characters of the first century 
of our era, rather carelessly cut : 

Wp(ojap^i<; Ttri'ou, yjp-qcnr], -yaxp^. 
" Protarchis, daughter of Titios, blessed one, farewell !" 

Protarchis is a new female name ; it is the feminine corresponding to the 
common man's name Upwrapxo^. 

2. A large slab of limestone, broken at the bottom, moulded in the upper 
part, the base a little wider than the top. Width on top o"''30, a little 
lower o"'"3o ; height o"'77 ; thickness o'""o6. 

HOZ XPj-lZTl-l 

Characters of the first century a.d.* 

" Hisidote, daughter of Ariston, blessed one, farewell !" 

Above the name of the deceased the funeral cry x<^'p£ ^ 

occurs again, scratched in graffito. /it: 

EtcrtSoTTy is for 'lo-tSorr?, "Gift of Isis." The purely Greek name 
Ariston has been borne by several Syrian personages of Semitic extraction. 
The funereal formula has nothing to mark it as Jewish. 

They are of exactly the same period as those of the sk/e of the Temple of Herod. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jajfa and the Country of Sauison. 


The following inscriptions were similarly collected by me at Jaffa, but 
they do not belong there. 

Roman Inscription. — A large block of marble, in shape a parallelopiped, 
o"''S5 by o"''2 5, brought from Caesarea to Jaffa, and now used as a step in the 
staircase of the house of the late M. Philibert, French consular agent in that 
town. It was most probably the base 
of a statue. The inscription, carved in 
very fine characters, may be of the 
period of Nero. It is enclosed within a 
cartouche with triangular auricles. In 
the centre of the auricles are seen two small knobs, representing the heads 
of the nails used in fixing the primitive wooden board of which this type of 
cartouche is a conventional representation. 

Ti[berio) Cl[audio) Italico p{rimi) p[i/o). This is a dedication to 
Tiberius Claudius Italicus, primipilus of the Roman garrison of Caesarea. 
This officer must have been rather an important personage to have such a 
fine monument erected to him. The primipilus was the chief centurion of 
the legion and ranked immediately after the tribune. He could even be 
called upon, in certain cases, to replace the tribune in his command. 

Christian Inscription. — A broken piece of a marble column, in a house at 
Jaffa. From Caesarea (?). On the shaft the following, in characters roughly 
and not deeply cut : 


K(vpt)e, 'l(7yc7o)i/, XptoT)e,, /3{oy]0)e{L) rio 
So(u)X.a) aov. 

" Lord Jesus Christ, help thy servant." 

Copies of Inscriptions. — Jibrail 'Akkawy showed me a rough copy of two 
Greek inscriptions taken by Martin.* In one of these I deciphered — 

on the other — 




I'lobably Martin Lulus, of Jerusalem. 


Arclucoloziccil Rcscarc/us in Pa/cst 


Here evidently we have two epitaphs, with the mention of the number 
of years in the life of the deceased {iTrXyjpoa-ev, "he accomplished, lived;" 
with letters standing for numbers) ; the first relating to Sabinos, son of 
Strategios, the second to Uemetrianos. It remains doubtful whether these 
two inscriptions belong to Jaffa. 

Slab from the tomb of a Bishop of the Crusaders. — While exploring the 
gardens round Jaffa to find the exact position of the ancient burying-ground, I 


penetrated as far as the wely of Sheikh Murad, which lies on the extreme 
edge of the gardens, in the north-east corner, about 2500 m. from the town. 
The Sanctuary is guarded by an old Mussulman, who told me he had found 
close to the Kubbeh a large inscription and bas-relief The object had been 
removed by someone whose name he did not know. Finally, after much 
searching, I discovered that this someone was a converted Jew, and found the 

Toitr from Jcntsakiu to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 


stone in question at his house. Afterwards, in 1881, I again saw the original 
in the possession of Baron Ustinoff, who had acquired it meanwhile from its 

This important fragment, for such it is, consists of a slab of veined white 
marble, measuring at the present time o'"7o by o"''55, and only o'"'05 in 
thickness. Even this fragment is broken into two portions, which fit one 
another exactly. 

Here we see, carved in outline, a full face representation of a man with 
shorn beard, with a mitre on his head, and holding in his left hand the 
episcopal crozier. It is hard to say, a priori, whether this is a bishop or an 
abbot with crozier and mitre, the rule as to the position of the crozier on the 
right or left side being far from absolute in the Middle Ages. The head and 
shoulders are surrounded with a trilobated arcade resting on a small column 
with a capital. In the right portion of the arcade there is represented a 
winged angel, with a nimbus, carrying incense, which he wafts round the head 
of the deceased. This bit is wonderfully life-like. The whole of the drawing 
is remarkably bold and decided, and recalls at first sight the 13th century 
style. Evidently we have here the remains of one of those flat tombs, sunk to 
ground level, that were so numerous at this period. I am much inclined to 
think that the slab was not only carved, but inlaid, as the grooves of the 
letters have vertical sides, and were probably destined to be filled with a hard 
coloured paste. One can further notice some deep holes on the mitre and the 
crozier, where enamel and coloured glass were let in, to imitate precious stones. 
This slab must have represented the deceased at full length, but all that is left 
of it is the left half of the head as far as the j^lace where the shoulders spring 
trom. The primitive slab must have been divided into five or six pieces ; I 
shall endeavour presently to determine the date when this occurred. 

All round the figure of the deceased there ran a Latin inscription in 
mediseval letters, foniiing a kind of border. This it is possible to restore in 
part. It commenced apparently at the left hand top corner of the slab, then 
turning downwards it passed along the right side, the long way of the stone, 
and continued along the other two sides till it ended where it started from. 

The following is my reading, the parts that can be restored with certainty 
being enclosed in brackets : — 

\^ Anno (t[onii)ni niillcsinif) dnccntcsinio, qin{ii)qnagcsinio octavo, in festo 
sanctorum {O . . . or C, perhaps A/ ?). 

" i^ In the year of our Lord one thousand two hundred and fifty-eight, in 
the day of the feast of the saints . . ?" 


154 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

The day mentioned may be, according as the last letter, which is partly 
obliterated, is read O or C, either the feast oi All Saints {SanctoTuni Oiiiiiiuiit), 
that is to say November i, or else that of Saints Cosme and Damian, that is 
to say September 27. The date of the year is beyond doubt, it is 1258. 
What high functionary of the Church can this have been ? A bishop, or an 
abbot with crozier and mitre ? If a bishop, was he Bishop of Jaffa, and was 
there a bishopric of Jaffa at the time of the Crusades ? Does the stone belong 
to Jaffa itself," or was it, as so often happens, transported from some other 
place on the coast ? I have elsewheret entered into a detailed discussion of 
these different points. They are difficult to settle with precision, and I am 
not concerned to recur to them now — it would take me too far — but some day 
perhaps I will. There is however one peculiarity that I cannot refrain from 
mentioning, the stone is opisthographic. The back has subseqently been 
covered with an Arabic inscription, which I will merely give here in transla- 
tion : — \ 

" In the name of the forgiving and merciful God. — Of a certainty, he 
builds (or restores) the mosques of God, who believes in God, and in the day 
of resurrection, who prays, who gives alms, and fears God only ; it may be 
that there will be among those that follow the right road (Koran, s^erat IX, 
verse 18). — The building of this blessed mosque (mesjed) was ordered by the 
humble Emir and poor before God most High, Jemal ed Din . . . son of Ishak, 
on whom may God have mercy. In the year seven hundred and thirty-six." 

This Arabic inscriptions is arranged in such a way on the reverse ot the 
fragment of gravestone, as to prove that the original slab was already divided 
into five or six pieces in the year 736 of the Hegira, answering to the year 
1335-1336 of our era. It was about this date that a piece of the slab, in 
shape nearly square, was cut away and the Arabic inscription engraved on the 
back. It is most annoying that we have not the full name of the Emir Jemal 
ed Din, for this would enable us the more easily to find mention of him in 
Arab writers. Then it would appear if he was Emir of Jaffa or of some other 
town on the coast, in which latter case Jaffa w^ould not have been the first 
home of the stone of the Crusaders, and in this roundabout fashion we 
might perhaps succeed in establishing the identity of the deceased, who was 
contemporary with the Crusade of St. Louis. 

* As far as history is concerned, there is no reason why not, as Jaffa only fell finally into the 
hands of the Mussulmans ten years afier the date of our inscription, that is to say in 1268. 

t CXermorA-GaxmeaM, Afateriaux inedits pour servir a rhisioire des Croisades. Paris, 1876. 
X The .Vrabic transcription is given in the memoir quoted above. 

Tour from Jcmisakiu to Jaffa and the Coujitry of Samson. 

Crusading Inscriptions. — Here is yet another mediaeval inscription found 
at Jatta. It is a fragment of a marble block, and was used to cover a sewer 
in one of the streets of Jaffa. (o'^TJ by o'^^j, thickness o°'"i5.) The 
original was acquired by the Russian archimandrite. The characters are of 
the 1 2th or 13th centur\% and splendidly cuL 

••»;:B r— ;»' »ESa?.^_ 


All that is left consists of two imperfect lines and the remains of a third. 
The upper line, to judge from a fragment of border, must have been the verj- 
first of this monvmiental inscription. 

J S€7np^r Augustus I\jnperator\ 

anno donii?i\i/re incarnati\ onis^ 

" //-? . . . ." 

The second line doubdess contained the date, reckoned, as the custom of 
the Crusaders was, from the Incarnation of Christ. 

The restoration of the first line was suggested to me by M. Schlum- 
berger. This essentially Roman formula is foimd on medals of the Emperor 
Frederick II : Fredei-icus Ronmnotmii imperafor semper Augustus. It may 
accordingly be supposed that our inscription, which is certainly not funerax)-, 
but must relate to the construction or dedication of some great building, 
originates from the Emperor Frederick, who passed several months at Jaffa 
between 1228 and 1229. Yet the block may have been brought from Acre or 
Qesarea. In any case, not only did Frederick stay at Jaffa long enough to 
make it possible for him to have had works carried out, but that town was 
one of the places which he induced the Mussulmans to cede to him after the 
'• Evil Peace." In 1229 or 1230 the Patriarch of Jerusalem, who had conse- 
crated the Emperor Frederick King of Jerusalem, had built two towers at 

X 2 


Arclhcolooical Researches in Palestine. 

Jaffa." If this fragment of inscription is really to be attributed to Frederick, 
I would like better to restore the first line as follows, in exact conformity 
with the imperial formula : 

\_Fjrdericiis, Ronmnornui imperator semp\er Atigiistits, I\eriisalcm rex\, etc. . . 
In fact, on examining my squeeze closely, the carved stroke following 
the I at the end of the first line looks to me like the remains of an € rather 
than an C^ w, or an O. 

Alleo-ed Inscription. — I was told of another fragment of an inscription 
built into the wall of the town, and from the description given me, I suspect 
it also to be mediaeval. Unluckily, however, I could not manage to test the 
truth of this statement. It may perhaps be a fragment that I found in 1881, 
referring to the King of England. 

Miscellaneous Antiquities. — While ransacking the place right and left for 
antiquities, I found at the house of a Mussulman, one Hadji Mohammed Abu 
Kaiid, who conveys stones from the ruins of Caesarea by sea to use for 
building in Jaffa, a fragment of a marble statue brought from the first-named 
town. It is a life-size statue of a woman, unfortunately much mutilated. 

t,\ \}\XU 

I '^. 

Side view. 

View fvom behind. 

The head and the whole of the lower part of the body are wanting. The 
woman was draped in a peplum girt round the waist, and fastened by a fibula 
on the right shoulder, which is left bare. The carving is tolerably good 
Grseco-Roman work. 

* Philip of Novara, Gestes des Cliiprois, p. 77. — In 1227 Frederick had had Jaffa "closed" 
[Annates de Terre Sainic). 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa ami llic Count rv of Sauisoit. 


1 bought the fragment for a trifle, in order to save it from utter destruc- 
tion, for it was intended to be put in a lime-kihi or hidden away in some mass 
of masonry. 

Ancient Sarcophagus. — -We noticed in an Arab sebil (fountain) on the 


A rclurolooical Researches 



edge of the road to Jerusalem, on the right just before you get to Jaffa, a fine 
ancient sarcophagus used as a trough. This is the fate that commonly befalls 
sarcophagi; the Arabs make in this way what they call niekcr (..C<) or ran 
(c^l')-* The front side is ornamented with festoons hanging on small columns, 
and surmounted by three flowers or ornamented disks of different patterns. 
Inside on the left the bottom is raised so as to form a dorniitorium for the 
head of the deceased. This detail would of itself suffice to show the original 
puqjose of this fine relic of antiquity. 

Ancient base. — In a garden situated just a little to the east of the 
town, and belonging to the Greek convent, I saw a fine, large marble base, 
rectangular, with moulding at top and bottom, but no inscription. It was 
dug up in the garden itself, and at the same time a quantity of marble 
slabs, also devoid of inscriptions, was discovered. 

Medicvval Scitlpturc. — Passing through the streets of Jaffa we noticed a 
piece of carving built into the wall of a house. The subject represented was 
original in idea, and should doubtless be referred to the time of the Crusades, 

being two monkeys, one of them tied up by the middle, gambolling over what 
appear to be shells of some sort. The stone is a piece of a corner frieze. 

The Bassa. — During the heavy winter rains, ponds of considerable extent 
are formed in the garden to the east of Jaffa. The largest of these marshy 
ponds, almost a small lake, lies between the town and the Saknet Abu K'bir. 
It goes by the. name of Bassa l^^ which is used in other parts of Syria for 

* Mckcr probalily conies from the root niakat; which means among other things "to water a 
field." The derivation of the word rrt« is extremely interesting, it being merely the old Hebrew 
word aron, p■^^^, "ark, chest, sarcophagus," with the initial aleth removed by the usual apocope. 

Toitr front Jerusalem to Jaffa ami the Country of Satuson. 159 

similar ponds. On seeking the signification of this word in Arabic, the very 
unsatisfactory one of " red-hot or burning coal " is all that can be found ; but 
if on the other hand, the Hebrew language be referred to, it will appear 
immediately that the word is one of the many old words that have survived 
in the speech of the natives of Syria. In fact, the very word, njJl bissah, is 
found in the Bible, meaning a " lake" or " marsh." " Can the rush grow up 
in a place that is not marshy?"* Hl'l K7i, says job (viii, 11). Further on 
(xl, 21) he describes to us the monster Behemoth resting " in the covert of the 
reed and fens," ni'm TM'^ inDl. The same word occurs again in Ezekiel (xlvii, 
11), in the form n^?2n. It has been preserved in the language of the Talmud. 
Commentators and lexicographers {cf. Gesenius and Fiirst) derive this word 

from a hypothetical root y^l, to which, relying on the Arabic j., badhdha, 
they ascribe the meaning " paulatim fluxit et emanavit aqua." This supposition, 
it appears to me, is erroneous. Knowing as we now do that the word bassa 
exists in Arabic with the same meaning as in Hebrew, we cannot connect this 
word with the Arabic root badhdha. On the contrary, I am of opinion that 
these words, both the Hebrew and Arabic, which mean "pond," may be 
adequately explained by the Arabic root bassa, taking it in its ordinary 
acceptation, to "shine, gleam, sparkle." The connection in meaning evidently 
is the " sparkling " of a large sheet of water in the sunshine. This is precisely 
the idea which led to this word being used to mean a "burning or red-hot 
coal." We might pursue these comparisons further, and show that the word 
'am, which like bassa is common to the Hebrew and Arabic, and ]3ossesses in 
each language the two not less widely separated meanings of "spring " and 
"eye," has in its turn borrowed these from one and the same primitive idea. 
In any case, as we have seen, the Bassa of Jaffa furnishes us with a small 
lesson in practical and topographical exegesis which is by no means without its 

Szmdries. — I append some items of information gathered at Jafta from 
the mouths of various inhabitants : — 

At Neby Rubin, in the inahjara worked as a quarry, above Hahxzoii, 
there is "a stone with writing on it, and a head of a small statue of a man ;" 

At Mejdel Yaba there is an ancient inscription in the house of 
Mohammed es Sadek ; 

* " \\'ithout mire,'' in note, .Xuliioiised Version. 

i6o Arclueoloirical Researches in Palestine. 


At Saferiyeh an ancient burial cave* has been recently found and opened ; 

At Selemeh there are sarcophagi and inscriptions ; 

At el Midieh there really is an inscription, but not at the Khurbeh. It 
is quite near the village, by the side of a wely situated towards the north, on 
the door of an ancient sepulchre (?). 

Selemeh. — On visiting for the second time the village of Selemeh, which 
we had passed through on our way to Joppa, and which is quite near that 
town, I noted nothing of any great interest, despite the glowing accounts I 
had heard of it. There is a wely taking its name from the place, and called 
Sheikh Selemeh (pronounce Selemeh, as a dactjl). Klmrbet Jains, a few 
minutes to the east, is situated on a low hill, from which quantities of ancient 
hewn stones and fragments of marble are got. We even saw there a capital, 
which would seem to show that some building of importance existed there. 
There are no inscriptions, but, however, it is a spot to be explored at some 
future time. 

From Jaffa to YebnA. 

We left Jaffa on Monday, June 15th. My plan was to make southwards 
as far as Ascalon, and from there to fall back on Jerusalem, crossing the 
region that may be called Samson's country. 

Btr edh Dhabe\ — We started at 8.35 A.^r. from our encampment, where 
for four days we had had a curious band of N'7.var, or Arab gipsies, as " next 
door" neighbours. We kept along the sea-shore, and at 9.55 reached the 
well of Bii- edh Dhabe', " the Hyena's Well," which lies actually on the beach. 

A Sea Serpent. — From here we kept steadily southwards, making for the 
mouth of the Nahr Rubin, which we reached at noon. On our way we saw a 
small snake of no great thickness and of a greyish-yellow colour, diverting 
itself in a singular fashion. It was wriggling on the sand, with its head 
pointed seawards, and kept dipping itself into the small waves as they broke 
on the beach, looking for all the world as if it were taking a sea-bath, or 
was the creature engaged in catching its prey ? So absorbed was it in these 
evolutions that it let us approach without moving, and not until it was almost 
beneath the horses' hoofs did it rear itself with a hiss, its eyes gleaming, 
to attack us. A blow from a kurbash cut short the reptile's aquatic 

* I was able to test the truth of this statement in 188 1. What is really there is a large 
sarcophagus with a cover, exactly like the one we noted at Neby Danian (see further on). 

Tojir Jroni Jcnisalcni to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 


gambols. I can give no further indication of its species, and much regret 
that I did not bring away the body. I wish to direct the attention of naturaUsts 
to these facts, which may be unfamiHar to them. 

'Ain cd Dckdkin. — Just after fording the wide estuary of the Rubin by 
means of tlie bar that it forms as it falls into the sea, we found at the foot of 
the rocky cliff a spring of fresh water welling up from several holes in the sand 
of the beach, at about eleven yards from the sea. It is called 'Ain ed Dekdkin, 
"the spring of the arch-works," on account of the ancient tombs hewn in the 
neighbouring cliff. 

The fellahin, it should be said, give the name of Dekdkin, the plural form 
of Dnkkdn, to the ancient tombs, on account of the locidi, whether arcosolia or 
kokim, which open into a sort of bench or platform running round the burial- 
chamber. They have thus preserved the primitive meaning of the word, 
which in the Arabic of the towns means nothing but " shop." This latter 
signification is derived from the conformation of Oriental shops, which consist 
of an arch with a bench beneath it. This sense of the word is quite ancient ; 
it is the dnkan, dnkana, or dakkon (]"l3"r. s:3"n, pit) of the Talmud. 

Quite near the spring, and a little to the south, there are, in fact, several 
tombs hewn out in the side of the low cliff, some accessible, others half buried 
in soil. Many others must be hidden under the sand. In past times there 

RUBIN. Sc.-ile -ji^. 

was quite a little necropolis there, extending to Khiirbet ed Dabbeh. Here are 
some specimens of these tombs, which arc hewn with great care,* one with a 

* In 1 88 1 I collected rather a large quantity of objects that had formed part of the contents 
of several tombs in the necropolis of Neby Rflbin. (See my Rapports siir xine mission en Palestine 

ct en Pi'ihiicie, y\>. 68 -74.) 



Arclueoloiyical Researches in Pales fine. 

small semicircular chamber, the other with a square chamber, in three walls of 
which kokim are hollowed out, three on each available wall. 


/ -V. 

,%I|I|IIH '"1 . 1 

-<-\ A 

.'Section on A B. 

The sea-shore forms at this place a small creek, where the ground rises 
in successive terraces like an amphitheatre. A huge pile of rocks is visible in 
the sea, that once served apparently for the mole of a harbour. 

Ed Dabbch. — The ruins are most conspicuous towards the south. In the 
direction of the promontory there are remains of an enclosure-wall, formed of 
stones of small size solidly cemented together. A little higher up, to the east, 
is a small rectangular birkeh of masonry, and a little aqueduct or canal, with 
pipes of terra-cotta, which starts from one corner of it, and after a course of a 
few yards opens on to a sort of square platform paved with flags. 

A prodigious quantity of fragments of pottery, of marble slabs, columns, 
glass, mosaic-cubes, etc., lie scatterecl over the sand-heaps. One small tell in 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jofja aud tJic Couuiry of Samson. 


particular is literally covered with them. The layer of sand is quite superficial, 
being not more than an inch or an inch and a half thick ; below it comes the 


black soil, also containing potsherds. In the course of turning over the 
rubbish, we came across a small piece of a terra-cotta vase, having scratched 
upon it, in Greek characters of the Christian period, the name of Athanasios, 


Half the original size. 

'A^avacri?, instead of 'A^ai'acrio?, by virtue of the before-mcMitionecl Syrian 
pronunciation of the finals, which converts ios and ion into is and ///. 

The promontory itself is called cd Dabhch, the adjacent ruin, I\hiirhct cd 
Dabbeh. and also Tdtura (particularly on the side fronting die spring of 'Ain 
ed Dekakin). There seems to have been here a town with its burying-ground, 
and a litde harbour defended by the belt of rocks which rise out of the sea 
some distance out, and a small sea fort, still called by the Arabs KaTat ed 
Dabbeh, commanding the coast. From this there is a clear view of Jafifa to the 
north, and of Neby Yunes to the south towards Esdud ; and signals could be 
easily exchanged between the three points. The ruins are worked by the 
Arabs for building material, and the rocks forming the cliffs by the quarrymen. 
The latter form the quarry called Mahjarat Rillnu. This spot might be 
worth excavating. It represents beyond doubt, as has been admitted long 

Y 2 

164 ArchcEological Researches in Palestine. 

since, the port of Jamneia, or rather the Jamneia on the sea coast mentioned 
by Ph'ny and Ptolemy, which formed a separate town, and played an important 
part in the time of the Maccabees. 

Neby Rfibin. — From here we deviated somewhat in a north-east direction 
as far as the wely of Neby Rubin. The place was utterly deserted at the 
time, and the wely shut, but it is the object of extraordinary veneration, and 
every year a great festival is held there, to which the Mussulmans crowd from 
several leagues round.* This most popular pilgrimage is doubtless connected 
with an ancient tradition relating to some old Semitic divinity under the guise 
of Riibui, which name to a Mussulman means Reuben, the son of Jacob. 
This is true in the case of the no less popular pilgrimage made every year to 
the Haravi of 'Aly ben A'leim, at Arsnf, which, as I have elsewhere shown, 
is simply the sanctuary of the Phoenician god Reseph, who gave his name to 
the town oi Arsiif. 

What divinity is hidden from us beneath the mysterious form of Rubin ? 
In answering this query, it has to be borne in mind, before all things, that the 
name Riibin is that of the river, the Nahr Rubin, near the mouth of which is 
situated the sanctuary of the homonymous, and probably eponymous neby. 

There is nothing in the Bible, so far as can be seen, which appears to 
relate to this river, important though it was in the hydrographic system of 
Judaea. By means of considerations which it would take too long to set forth 
here, I have arrived at the conclusion that the river Rubin is actually mentioned 
in the Bible, but in such a way that it was, I admit, hard work to find it. 

The end of the north border of the territory of Judah, coming over from 
Ekron way, crossed the "mountain of Baalah " before terminating at Yabneel 
and the Mediterranean.+ All search made on the spot for this "mountain" 
has been vain, and naturally enough. For a long time past the border 
described by Joshua has left the mountainous region to pass through the 
lower lying region of the Shephelah and even the plain itself. Between 
Ekron and Yabneel ('Aker and Yebna) there is nothing but mounds of the most 
insignificant size, utterly unworthy of the name of mountain. I am persuaded 
that the primitive Hebrew text read not : liar hab-Baalah rhv1r^ in, " the 

* At a later period, in i88r, it was my good fortune to be present at tliese festivities, and to 
observe the very curious ceremonies connected with them. Mujir ed Din calls this annual 
festival a mawsem, and informs us that the sanctuary was built by Sheikh Chehab ed Din, son of 
Arslan {Biilak Text, p. 420). He writes the name Riibin, Rubil. 

t Joshua XV, 1 1. 

Tour from Jcntsalcin /o Jaffa and t lie Country of Samson. 165 

mountain of Balaah," but \jia^Iiar hab-Baalah, nTii'^n ~in[;], "the river of 
Balaah." This confusion of nahar, "river." with /lar, "mountain," is a 
perfectly natural copyist's error, produced merely by dropping the initial ;/. 
This is just what has occurred, for instance, in Arabic, in the case of the name 
of the river (^^Ujs Harmds* the ancient Mygdonius, which is a wrong reading 
in Assemani for Nahar Mas, the river of the mountain of Masion {M.aai.ov), 
above Nisibis.t The arm of the Euphrates which was deflected by 
Nebuchadnezzar, and is called in Ammianus Marcellinus by its real name, 

Naarmalcha " quod ' amnis regum ' interpretatur," becomes in Pliny 

(VI, 26), slrmalchar, "quod significat )rgium fumcn," and in Eusebius;): it is 
wofully mutilated into \\pixaKd\-qv Ylorajiov. These are conclusive instances of 
the possible disappearance of the initial n from the word nahar alike on 
Semitic as on Greek and Roman ground. 

Accordingly it is not a "mountain," but a "river" of Baal that we 
must look for between Ekron and Jabneel. The old god of Canaan, 
Baal, who gave it his name, has suffered the usual change ; local tradition, 
faithful to his memory, I may add, to his cult, has transformed him into 
Reuben, son of Jacob. Precisely under the same circumstances the river 
Adorns, to the north of Beyrout, has been converted by the Arabs into Nahr 
Ibrahim, "river of Abraham." In this case Abraham takes the place of the 
Phoenician god Adonis§ for exactly the same reasons as Reuben in the 
present instance takes the place of the god Baal. It is a matter of common 
knowledge that rivers as well as mountains among the Semites were personi- 
fied into divinities. I could cite case after case of this even on the coast of 
Syria, but will confine myself to a single one, which has the further advantage 
of proving at the same time that rivers were in existence called after Baal 

* By a curious coincidence we happen to have in the neighbourhood of Nahr Rubin, to the 
north of Zernuka and quite near it, a ruin of the same name, Kluirhet Harinas. 

t Noldeke, Zcitschr. d. D. Morg. Gesellsch., XXXIII, p. 328. 

X Prepar. Evangel., IX, 41. 

§ To corroborate this substitution of the patriarch Abraliain for Adonis, which is quite local 
and absolutely certain, I will venture to point o\it a rather curious fact, which tends to show that 
the identity holds good all along the line. .'Velian {Nat. An., g, 36) tells us of a certain fish 
bearing the name of the Phoenician god ('Arici/^, Efyniol. mag., 'Acwinli). Now all along the 
coast of Phoenicia there is found a fish of some rarity and held in great esteem, a kind of red 
mullet, I think, but I cannot state its species exactly, though I have eaten it several times. This 
fish is called Sultan Ibrahim, from which name, taking as our basis the conversion of river Adoni.<; 
into Nahr Ibrahim, we get exactly the fish Adonis, with the addition of a reminder of the proper 
meaning of Adoii (" Lord, master") in the word Sultan. 

1 66 ArcJucological Researches in Palestine. 

This is the faniftus Belns at Acre, with its nuich-venerated INIemnonium ; this 
Galilaean river Baal has been transformed by the Arabs into the river ot 
N^dvidn. This latter again is a mythical personage with a very curious story 
of his own, but I cannot go into it here. 

More fortunate than his namesake of the north, Baal has here preserved 
his Memnonium, and even his cult, in the shape of the wely of Neby Rubin 
and the great annual feast that takes place there. 

And now we have to consider why local tradition selected Reuben from 
among so many popular Biblical characters as a fit inheritor of the old Baal of 
Phoenicia, when his connection with this part of the country is nil. There 
was Abraham equally available as in the case of the river Adonis, or No'man, 
as in the case of the river Belus. Why did the choice fall rather on Reuben ? 
It may be — I make the suggestion with all due reserve — it may be that it 
resulted from the alliterative likeness to the name oi Jabneel, which became in 
Arabic Yebnd (, Ju^O, and in early times Uhnd (, ^\)- The Nahr Rubin is, 
hydrographically speaking, the "river of Yebna." The usual practice among 
the Arabs of Palestine is to give to rivers the name of the chief town situated 
near their mouths. 

Accordingly either they or the previous inhabitants must have said, at 
one time or another, Nahr Ubnd, "the river of Ubna," and N'ahr Ubnd in 
popular pronunciation would naturally give; rise to the form Nahr Rnbnd, 
where the final r of the word nahr looked as if it belonged also to the 
beginning of the name Ubnd. This corrupt form Rnbnd, I take it, gave rise 
to the Reuben and Ritbin of native tradition. In this connection I may 
remind the reader that Stephen of Byzantium speaks of a certain mythical 
Jamnos as having given his name to Janinia, the ancient Jabneel. In reality 
the reverse was probably the case ; the name of the town was the parent 
stock that produced the name of the eponymous hero whose cult lies concealed 
beneath the devotion of the Mussulmans to Rubin, the inheritor of that Baal 
in whom the river was personified. 

From Neby Rubin we went down again to Yebna, where we were to 
pass the night. 

Tell es Snlldn. — As we followed the southern bank of the river, we passed 
a bridge called Jisr Rubin, near which I noticed a tell of regular shape, called 
Tell es Sultdn, which seems at one time to have been the site of a fortified 

Neby Kandeh. — On the other bank, towards the south-east, we perceived 
the well-known village of el K'beibeh, but were not able to visit it. It 

Tour from Jcrnsalsiii to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 167 

contains a sanctuary dedicated to a certain Ncby Kandeh (Kitndch), who is 
accounted a son of Jacob and brotlier of Rubin. My guide, however, assured 
me that this neby was not a man but a female sheilch, called Sheikha Gandeh. 
I have my doubts as to his accuracy about the sex of the person in question, 
who is commonly supposed to have been a man. Can there be, by chance, a 
female personage associated with the male, as is often the case in the tradition 
of the fellahin ? This would have to be investigated on the spot ; but a point 
worth preserving is the pronunciation Gandeh, which I particularly noted in 
my note-book. It implies an original form i'jJJ, Kandeh, with the emphatic 
kdf, and not i'jJi or \\.^* with the soft kdf. If the form Kandeh, with the 
kdf corresponding to the Hebrew koph, were definitely established, one 
would be tempted to find in this name a reminiscence of the undiscoverable 
town of Makkedah, which must have been hereabouts. Kandeh may easily, 
considering the common phonetics of fellah speech, be an inversion for 
K'akdeh, and A^akdeh (i'jujO might be connected with Makkedah (jry^d), either 
directly, by change of ni to n (though this mostly takes place at the end and 
not at the beginning of words, f or what is perhaps better, indirectly, the Hebrew 
Makkedah being for Mankedah ixry^ir^), and a derivative from the root nakad. 


At Yebna we pitched our tent near the wely of Abu Horeira. Inside 
this we noticed numerous fragments of marble, several stones with the 

media;val tool-marking, and two marble columns surmounted by their capitals. 
The outside of the building is rather a picturesque sight, with its leivdn of 
three arches, its cupolas and its courtyard planted with fine trees. 

* This is the spelling of the Name Lists, where the word is transHterated Kunda. 

t On this hypothesis we should have to admit that the change from the Hebrew m to the 
Arabic n took place while the name was actually undergoing the process of transformation, 
K<und(Ii : it is the contact with the dental d that would turn the m into an //, 

1 68 

Archceological Researches, in Palestine. 

The consecration of the Sanctuary to the famous Abu Horeira, "the 
father of the Httle she cat," the companion of Mohammed, though it can be and 
has been disputed, and is certainly spurious,'" must date very far back. 
Several old Arab writers mention it. At all events the inhabitants are very 
proud of it, and it would be most unwise to discuss its authenticity with them. 

Mediccval ChureJi. — Beyond the wely, which I shall shortly have occasion 
to speak of again at greater length, there is in the village itself a mosque 
{Jdvie'), which is part of an old Crusaders' church, and is very interesting. I 
had made a hurried sketch and plan of it already in iS/O.t but this tinie we 
made a detailed and leisurely survey. There is really nothing left of it now 
but the north-west corner, which the Arabs have arranged as a mosque, at the 
expense of some disfigurement. The rest of the original nave has utterly 
disappeared, razed to its foundations. These foundations might perhaps be 
discovered in the adjoining houses. This demolition had an extremely 
practical end in view, and I shall presently show why and when it was effected. 

But first of all, here is a plan of the building in its present state, with a 

P o 


* Mujir ed Din (Bulak Arabic text, p. 233) says in so many words that it is not he that is 
buried at Yebna, but one of his children. Tradition points out the tomb of Abu Horeira at other 
spots, for instance near Tiberias {Quarterly Sta/ement, 1887, p. 89). 

t Garnet III, pp. 34, 35- 

Tour frovi Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Cotmtry of Samson. 169 

section from E to F. This section is at right angles to the east and west axis 
of the church, and passes through the northern aisle and the nave. 

The Arabs, it will be noticed, have built firstly a south wall, blocking up 
three bays in the south arcade of the nave, and secondly an eastern wall, at 
right angles with the foregoing, blocking up a transversal bay of the nave and 
a transversal bay of the north aisle. Three of the four pillars that are built 
into these walls can still be traced inside. Two others remain, isolated in the 
middle of the present nave, and supporting six groined vaults. Two of the 
primitive windows of the church still exist in the original north wall, to the 
right and left of the modern door. This latter is pointed, and was probably 
built by the Arabs, perhaps rebuilt not from their own 

Next follows the inside elevation of one of the 
windows, which is splayed. t 

It is marked B on the general plan. 
The level of the floor inside the mosque is appre- 
ciably higher than the primitive level of the church, so 
that the bases of the pillars are hid from view. 
In the north-west corner a staircase (A), consisting of three flights at 
right angles, affords access to a minaret with a large square base, which 
projects outwards, and seems to correspond, in its lower part at any rate, to 
an old belfry of the church. The steps are formed of fine stones carefully set, 
and were probably built by the Crusaders. 

Present level of the floor. 

The plan next following, taken at the level of the terrace of the mosque. 

* Unless they utilized some side door by which the church communicated with a monastery 
lying to the north. 

t This window wrongly appears in the engraving as having a semicircular top. The 
windows are in reality pointed, but the arc is slightly broken. 


Archceolozical Researches in Palestine. 

shows the exterior configuration of the staircase and the minaret to which it 





Scale ji^. 

As one loolcs at the mosque on its north face from the outside, it appears 
as below. 


In the above engraving are visible: — the Arab door ; to the right, the 
base of the minaret essentially mediaeval in outline, with an ill-built Arab wall 
leaning against the right of it. 

There has been subsequently built into the north side of the base 
of the minaret an Arabic inscription. The rectangular border enclosing it 
can be seen in the engraving. A translation of it will be found in the 
Memoirs (Vol. II, p. 441). It states that the minaret was erected in the year 
738(1337 A.D.). 

On penetrating into the courtyards and rooms of the Arab houses 
clustering round the mosque, we discovered on the outer west side the 
primitive door of the church, which the Arabs have blocked up with rubble. 
This is a perfect gem of Gothic architecture. The curve of arch is so slightly 
broken that at first glance it looks almost a semicircle. 

Ton)' from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Conntry of Samson. 



X I// 11, ( 

•t//// A \Y/ WW ^/( -. 1 



Plan. Scale 




i7 /„.-.„,„„>//,. 

Detailed Section. Scale .t'jj . 
Z 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 


This door is composed of one archivolt and a series of recessing members. 
The details of these will be better understood from the accompanying section 
than from a long description. 

These arches rest on a simple abacus supported by pillars without 
capitals. The bases of the latter are hidden under the soil. 

I should like to draw special attention to the idea 
of the ornamentation of the large arch. It is grooved 
with canaliculi, presenting the appearance of tiny arch- 
stones or rather small tablets with their edges only 
showing, radiating from the same centres as those of 
the arch. This idea seems to have been a favourite 
one in the architecture of the Crusaders, and is found, 
among other places, in the arches of the doors of the 
Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of St. 
Anne at Jerusalem, 

To complete our study of these details, I give two 
sections showing the outline of the string-courses running 
inside and outside along the walls at the same elevation 
as the abaci. 

Our investigations among the Arab houses took us to the outer south 
wall of the mosque. This is of Arab construction, and forms a right angle 
with the primitive western wall, 
which has been destroyed from 
a point a few yards from the 
axis of the mediaeval door. In 
this wall we discovered a large 
pointed bay facing south, and 
now walled up (at F on the 

This bay, which has been 
blocked up afterwards by the 
Arabs, I think, consists of an 
arch supported by two pillars 
with moulded abaci, formed of 
a group of engaged pilasters. 
We were even able to distin- 

Scale 4a- 

Elevation on C D, showing the 
walled bay. Scale j^. 

guish the base of the pillar G, which furnishes an ^^^&§A«ssci? 
important feature in the architectural scheme, and determines the original 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 173 

level of the church. This bay belongs to the first transversal bay of the 
church, and separates the nave from the southern aisle. 

It is now easy to form a general idea of the plan of the church, and by 
estimating its whole extent to make out what parts have been destroyed. The 
axis of the church, which is orientated nearly from east to west, passed through 
the middle of the western door (P) ; to the left of this door there stood the 
belfry, forming a projection on the north-western corner of the church. The 
north wall of the mosque is the northern boundary wall of the church. This 
wall was continued towards the east, comprising one or perhaps two transverse 
bays, as far as the beginning of the apses, of which there are now no signs 
to be seen above the surface of the ground. If we start from the middle of the 
door P, which marks the central axis of the church, and draw a line to the 
south equal in length to the distance from the middle of the door to the north 
wall, it brings us to the dotted line indicating the boundary of the row of 
houses abutting on the mosque. The walls of these houses must be built over 
the foundations of the south boundary wall of the church, and have had 
probably their alignment determined by these foundations. We thus obtain 
the total breadth of the building, which must have been about thirteen yards. 
The length must have been proportionate. It becomes evident therefore that 
the whole of the south aisle has been destroyed, and also the transverse bay, 
forming a transept, the whole width of the three aisles, not to mention the apses, 
which have totally disappeared. 

The bridge. — In the immediate vicinity of Yebna, in the Wad ct Tdhiindt, 
"valley of mills," may be seen a bridge with three arches and cut-waters, like 
the one at Lydda,* with which it has much in common. At first sight one 
would say it was a bridge of Arab construction ; t but on closer inspection I 
noticed that the arches were formed of arch-stones with the mediaeval tool- 
marking. In this case also the Arabs must have availed themselves of 
materials borrowed from some erection of the Crusaders. It would not 
surprise me — unluckily I had not the time to settle it — if the building thus laid 
under contribution were in this case also the fine church at Yebna. This 
would account for the disappearance of a considerable part of its naves ; for 
only two triforia (transversal bays) have been preserved, and converted into a 
mosque ; the remainder has been probably utilized for building the bridge. 

* See supra, p. 1 1 o ff. 

t And such is the opinion of the authors of the Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 443, "probably Saracenic 
work." Irby and Mangles {Travels, p. 182) thought it to be Roman. 

174 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

and also most likely for building or repairing the wely of Abu Horeira. In 
particular I suspect that the three handsome ogive arches forming the porch 
or lewan of the Wely* were borrowed from the church of the Crusaders. 

There is one indication which appears to me to transform these two 
conjectures — at any rate the former.f concerning the bridge — almost to 

The Survey Party;]: noted in the courtyard or area of the wely an Arabic 
inscription to the effect that this blessed "cloister" was founded by Sultan 
Beibars in 673 (1274 a.d.), under the superintendence of " Khalil ibn Sawir," 
wall (governor) of Ramleh. 

This inscription is, as I shall show, much more instructive than it looks. 
It will be remembered that the bridge of Lydda was built by order of Beibars 
in 671, that is to say two years before the "cloister" of the Sanctuary of Yebna. 
Now an Arab chronicle which I have quoted from in this connection informs 
us that Beibars, in 672, \i'&.i\ txoo bridges hxxAx. of a strategic nature, "in the 
neighbourhood of Ramleh." I have shown that the first of these was that at 
Lydda, and it becomes to me extremely probable that the second is the one at 
Yebna. The object of Beibars was, as I have explained, to keep open his 
communications at all seasons along the high road from Egypt which passed 
through Yebna, Ramleh, and Lydda. The bridge of Yebna was intended to 
play the same part to the south of Ramleh as that of Lydda to the north. It 
was another fruit of the same idea, and, what is most interesting, made with 
materials of similar extraction. The same course was pursued at Yebna as at 
Lydda, and in each case it was the arches of the two churches of the 
Crusaders close at hand that were laid under contribution for the bridge. 
The whole proceeding was in pursuance of a system — the construction of the 
two bridges was ordered and probably carried out almost at the same time. 
The bridge at Lydda was constructed in 671, as the tarikh built into it bears 
witness, while the Arab chronicler assigns the date 672 to the construction of the 
two bridges. It may be supposed that this slight discrepancy of a year is due 
to the fact that the second bridge, the one at Yebna, was built a year after the 

* See the picturesque view already given, p. 167. 

t For the second, it would have been necessary to examine the arches in question with this 
idea in view, to see whether they did not present some detail indicative of the mediaeval origin 
that I assign to them. I regret now that I did not do this, and recommend the point to future 
explorers to settle. I only made a vague note in my note-book about the existence in the wely 
of some stones with the medieval tool-marking. 

X Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 442. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 175 

one at Lydda, but the chronicler only took into account the date of the one 
finished last (672). 

A further proof that the bridge of Yebna is really the second bridge built 
by Beibars, "in the neighbourhood of Ramleh," lies in the mention on the 
inscription of the wely of the governor of Ramle/i, who built the "cloister" 
there in 673. Thus at the very time when the two bridges near Ramleh were 
in building, which operation would naturally fall to the care of the governor 
of that town, we see this governor carrying out some important operations at 
Yebna. It seems well nigh certain that the governor killed two birds with 
one stone, and that after having taken part of the church at Yebna to make 
his bridge, he conceived the idea, which Beibars approved of, and for which 
the governor gives him all the credit, of utilizing the rest to adorn the 
Mussulman sanctuary with the "cloister," probably the three arcades we see 
there to-day. It is very possible that a diligent search may bring to light in 
the bridge of Yebna, as in that of Lydda, some tarikh declaring that it was 
built in 671, 672 or 673, at the bidding of Sultan Beibars and under the 
direction of the governor of Ramleh. It should be noted that the bridge of 
Lydda was not constructed under the direction of the governor of Ramleh, 
but of another personage, who doubtless was placed under his orders. They 
probably shared the work ; and perhaps the construction of the two bridges, 
which are some distance apart, was carried on simultaneously. 

The inscription in the wely of Abu Horeira happens also, unexpectedly 
enough, to be, as I will show, a document of the highest interest for the 
history of England ; this governor of Ramleh there called " Khalil ibn Sawir," 
being in fact none other than the Emir of Ramleh, who, three years before, 
had attempted to procure the assassination of Echvard Prince Royal of 
England, when his forces were threatening Lydda and Ramleh. Feigning a 
desire to be converted to Christianity, he had entered on secret negotiation with 
him, and had despatched two emissaries, agents of the Old Man of the Mountain, 
who wounded the Prince with daggers in five places. This dramatic incident 
made an immense sensation at the time in the Christian and Mussulman 
worlds. The Eastern and Western chroniclers, who relate it in detail, do not 
give the name of this Emir of Ramleh, some even make him Emir of Jaffa. 
The only one who gives his name is Ibn Ferat,* and he simply calls him by 
his patronymic, Ibn Shdwer, "the son of Shawer," waly of Ramleh. It is 

* See the passage in Defremery, Redierclies siir Flnstoire des Isinaclicns. {Journal Asiafigue, 
1885 Vol. II, p. 69.) 

176 Atrhceological Researches in Palestine. 

clear at once that it is our man, " Khalil ibn Sawir, KJialil son of Sdwtr, 
governor of Ramleh. There is a slight difference in the spelling of the 
patronymic, it being Sdwfr in the translation of the inscription given in the 
Memoirs, and Shdwer according to the manuscript of Ibn Ferat. It is 
difficult to check the transliteration Sawir, as unfortunately the actual text of 
the inscription has not been reproduced in the Memoirs. This transliteration 
implies an original form, ,^.L- ; but in an inscription where the diacritical marks 
are perhaps rare or even absent altogether, the editor of the Memoirs may 
very well have given this reading of the combination of letters which, on the 
authority of Ibn Ferat, ought really to be read ,.li, S/idzcer, which form is 
moreover well known. 

Thus the inscription of Yebna reveals to us authentically and fully the 
name of the man who instigated the assassination of Edward Prince Royal of 

These pages, devoted to the description of Yebna, were already gone to 
press when I had sent me a series of observations of the highest interest, 
which serve to remedy the incompleteness of my own, and confirm on 
several essential points the archaeological and historical conclusions I had 
drawn from them. M. Max van Berchem, whose name I have already 
mentioned in speaking of the Lydda bridge, has been so kind as to undertake 
to supply the desiderata I had pointed out to him for the description of the 
monuments of Yebna. He has studied them on two occasions, in 1893 "^"^^ 
in T894, the first time with the assistance of his young and courageous wife, 
whose untimely loss his friends unite with him in deploring. In the following 
lines I give the substance of the precious notes that he has placed at my 
disposal, and I am happy to thank him publicly for this graceful act. 

The Omrch. — "The outer facing of the walls is much worn away; there are 

shafts of columns built in the walls through the whole thickness The window 

has a charming profile ; it has a median joint (vertical) and the diagonal stride 

(mediaeval toolmarks) on the voussoirs The minaret has a square base, and 

the body of it is octagonal, after the style of the Egyptian minarets of the 
thirteenth — fifteenth centuries. It appears to be partly constructed of mediteval 
materials ; on some of the largest stones traces of diagonal striee are still visible. 
On the north front of the minaret, at about 13 feet from the ground, is a limestone 
slab about o"" 70 long by o™ -50 high, built into the wall, with an Arabic 

Tmir frotn Jerusalem to Jaffa and tlie Country of Samson. i 7 7 

inscription in neskhy Mameluke characters, of average size and pleasing style, 
but rather indistinct : — 

{sic) 'J^ J,.«Jt' ^' ^-'^J' ._«^J1 ii^\ 

*iJU t_Jw:. -vj'lj. ^.'w*J iju- ^r *_V.' , ^^ J < J 

'• The person spoken of is evidently the Emir Saif ed-din Bashtak en Xasiry, 
who played a part in politics under Sultan Mohammed En Kasir and built a 
mosque at Cairo, which has now disappeared, and a great palace of which some 
traces remain, which was terminated this same year, 738 . . . . " 

Tlie Wely. — A. " On the door of the enclosure of the wely, east side, is a large 
marble slab (i" '05 by o" '/o), with five lines of fine old Mameluke neskhy characters ; 
the letters are flat, white on a yellow ground, and have a i&fi diacritical marks. 

{sic) ^ llx^ AtiS r^. -J. J ^ iU! J^. iX^'\ i^\ '^\ 

(sic) ,.L.- ..j^ Jj1=- ^ X*^ (sic) "i^, iJUJ-:. .^^jtiw;. 
t  '■ , ' >. on y< /'M ■-- 71 M " 

"The proper name is as a matter of fact written KJudtl ben Sazvr („L:);i 
but as many diacritical marks are wanting, there is no objection to reading Chdwer 


* That is to say : " In the name of the merciful and piritul God. Ordered the building of 
this blessed minaret, bis exalted and lordly Eminence the great Emir Saif (ed-din) Bashtak, 
belonging to (Sultan) En-Nasir, at the beginning of the month Rabi' II, in the year seven 
hundred and thirty-eight" As will be seen, the tenor of the inscription, as copied by M. van 
Berchera, is appreciably different from the one given in the Memoirs, Vol. II, p. 441- The same 
remark applies to inscriptions a and b, reproduced further on : c is a new inscription. 

t The above transcription of the text is made from the copy and squeeze taken in 1893 by 
>L van Berchem. Here is the translation : " In the name of the merciful and pitiful God. 
Gave the order to begin building the blessed jwrch (rewai), our master, Sultan El-Malek 
edh-Dhaher, pillar of the world and of religion, Aboul Path (the father of conquest) Beibars, 
co-sharer with the Emir of the Believers, may God exalt his victories ! The completion of it 
took place in the month Rebi' I, in the year six hundred and seventy-three. AVas entrusted with 
the building Klialil son of Chawer, Governor of Ramleh, whom may God pardon, him, his father 
and mother, and all the Mussulmans." 

i Not _• ,'_■ as implied by the transcription Sdu'ir given in the Memoirs. 

% Thus there is no longer any doubt remaining as to the restoration of this name, which I 
pro|K)sed on the basis of the defective reading given in the Memoirs, nor, consequently, as to the 
historical results that spring theiefrom ; our personage really is, as I recognized, the presimied 

178 Archtrolo^^ical Researches in Palestine. 

11. " In the base of the door\va\', consequent!)- under tlie [jorch that is in front 
of this, on the Hntel of the door and on the sides of the bay. Length of front 
side 2'" -20, length of the sides, i"''iO. Two lines of fine nesk/iy Mameluke 
characters ; letters of medium size, numerous points, few vowels ; the inscription is 
whitewashed and very indistinct, though very well preserved: — 


, '^ a,.Jl.c ^ \.^\ Jc-^1 ^Jv-J (sic) ^ ^Jl.'A *A:5-J1 .r^=^l\ cd!^ *^.' (Line i) 

^Ui\ JS^ ^,;.v!^_. Ia;.jJ\ _\U ^j^\ ^<1J1 j1^\ aJjJI k.y,l ajj^I JjWI ^W\ 


^-- ,.vlUl .,.L- ,,.^J.^1 L_<1^^ JccJj\ ^,lLUt Ul'^. JJ. .v-^' .dSl Ut (Line 2) 
.♦•Jl -• v-\ji c'J ^)1<. jj^^ C-jU:?- cU-O. ,.,\JJi1\ v^'. l:.'^^^.-^- *Uc-J1 c-J*^ >X^^ ^^^ 

" L^nderneath the lintel, on the right and left sides of the door, are two lines": 

Aj' ,Uj: ^Ji aJU^wi ,„\JK^^'.', ,.,A,G^ •X.K^ ,».,,i , -i uJ iUj: ,.,.< i^jiSl ,.,^« ..f-^-:^ (Line i) 

* _^^!1 <^.^^.!. aJu.a!. .J c>JJ\ ^ ,J^'-.-l ,L^l.jJ\ ,..A..l (Line 2) 

" Sultan Khalil Abu '1-Feda is the conqueror of Acre (690 A.H.). Perhaps 
the works mentioned in this inscription were executed in consequence of a severe 
earthquake which did great damage all along the coast of Syria {see Quatremere, 

Histoire dcs Sultans Manitoiiks, II, A., p. 146)." 

author of the attempt on the Lfe of Prince Edward of England. It will be further noticed that 
the go-eernor of Ramleh bears exactly the same title {7i'aty) in the inscription and in the passage 
from Ebn Ferat that I cjuoted in comparison with it. 

* ■' In the name of the merciful and pitiful God. Began to build this blessed sanctuary 
{meshhed) of Abu Horeira, may God receive him, companion of the apostle of God, on 
whom be prayers and salvation, our Lord and our master the very great, learned, and just 
Sultan, resolute champion and guardian (of Islam), victorious, El-Malek el-Achraf, prosperity of 
the world and of religion, Suhan of Islam and of the Mussulmans, lord of Kings and Sultans, 
Abu '1-Feda Khalil, co-sharer with the Emir of the Believers, may God exalt his victory, son of 
our master the Sultan, hero of the holy war, El-Malek ElAIansiir Kelaun es-Salehy, may God 
water his reign with the rain of his mercy and his grace and the benefits of his indulgence, may 
he make hini to dwell in the gardens of Eternity, may he come to his aid on the day of 
resurrection, may he make him a place under a wide shade with abundant water and quantities 
of fruit without stiftt, may he grant him the reward and the delights he has deserved, may he raise 
his places and degrees into the .... Amen ! The building of it was finished in the months of 
the year six hundred and ninety-two, and there was entrusted with its building Aydemir the 
dewaddr ("bearer of the inkstand") E/,-Zeiny (? may God pardon him, him and his descendants, 
as also all Mussulmans." 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa, and the Country of Samson. 179 

C. To the left of the great inscription of Beibars (which is above the door of the 
enclosure) there is built into the wall another inscription consisting of three lines 
cut on a marble slab, length o™ '46 ; height 0"° "22. Small characters, in cursive 
Mameluke neskhy. 


•^■j^.*j ^i_ 


'— tU^— : (Jj-' 



Being exposed at each of his visits to the hostiHty of the fellahin, who 
were set on him by the sheikh, I\I. l\I. van Berchem was unfortunately unable 
to carry out all the archaeological observations in the wely which I had 
requested him to make in order to ascertain whether there really were, as I 
supposed, materials in the structure borrowed from the old Crusaders' church. 
On the first occasion his suspicions were aroused, on the second he managed 
to note certain details which seem to me to give support to my conjecture. 

Here, firstly, is a small sketch made from his notes in combination with 

our own, and giving a plan of the sanctuar}', approximately correct, and 
showing the position of the three inscriptions reproduced above (a, b, c). 

* This inscription, which was not noticed by the Survey, presents a few doubtful words. 
The translation is as follows : — " Renewed this pool, the conduit and the saliia, his Excellency 
En-Nasery (= Naser ed-din) Mohammed Anar (?), son of Anar (? ?), and his Excellency El-'Alay 
= 'Ala ed-din) Yelbogha, possessors (?) of the township of Yebna, may god in his grace and 
mercy grant to both of them Paradise as a reward. Ordered at the date of the month Rebi' I, iu 
the year eight hundred and six (1403 .a.d.)." There is an "Ala ed-din Yelbogha el-'Alay who 
appears on the brief list given by Mujir ed Din {op. cit., p. 612) of the naibs of Jerusalem, some 

2 A 2 

I So 

Anhceological Researches in Palestine. 

K K is ;m enclosure open to the sky. I add to this a partial view of the 
edifice made from two small photographs which M. M. van Berchem suc- 
ceedeti in taking-, in spite of riotous opposition, which at one time nearly took 
a fatal turn. 

The re-a'dk mentioned in inscription a is evidently the porch with three 
arches d, e, f, and two bays (each about lo feet wide), which stands in front 
of the sanctuary proper. The whole is formed of six groined compartments, 
and each surmounted by a small cupola. M. M. van Berchem estimates the 
width of the fagade at about 32 feet. 

Here follow the notes made by M. M. van Berchem : — 

" I searched for Crusaders' blocks in the side and rear walls (G, II, l), and I 

think I saw some in the front wall H, but I am not certain. Here are some details 

concerning the arches, D, E, F, of the portico. The central arch E, which, 

"brisce" at the top, is composed of two quite 

distinct parts : i. A moulding M, formed of 

a fillet and a cavetto ; middle joint at the 

top of the arch ; lengthened voussoirs. This 

moulding appeared to me Gothic, but I cannot 

assert as much, not having been able to 

examine it closely. 2. An archivolt N placed 

against the intrados of the preceding, with 

narrower voussoirs, and a voussoir at the top (key-stone) V. The front of the 

voussoirs is ornamented with a zig-zag line cut 
in the stone, and following the curve of the 
arch . . . The joints of the upper moulding do 
not coincide with those of the lower archivolt. 
The two side arches, D, F, have the "pudding" orna- 

" At the top of the shorter front (about 20 feet above the level of the ground) 

runs a cornice, which in its profile recalls the moulding of the central arch." 

I consider that these three arches are sufficiently established as being 
of mediaeval origin by their shape, the profile of the mouldings, the patterns 



of whom were at the same time inspectors of the two Harams, from about the year Soo to 840 or 
850 of the Ilegira ; this Yelbogha occupies the fourth place on the list. The names and dates 
are sufficiently in accord to tempt us to identify him with the second of our personages ; in this 
case, however, one would have e,\pected him to put into the inscription the titles of his high 
offices, if he really exercised them. As is shown by the appearance of the names, these two 
personages must have been of Turkish origin, at any rate the second of them, for the name of the 
first is still very doubtful, and would require to be verified from the original. 

* M. M. van Berchem gives this name to the ornamentation, consisting of canalicuti ; see 
above the picturesque view of the monunier.t. 

Tour fi-oni Jerusalem to Jaffa and t lie Count rv of Samson. i8i 

of their ornamentation,* and the placing of arches with vertical joints over 
arches with keystones. The two latter characteristics are notably present in 
the door of the church at Yebna vdiich I have given above. The arch of 
the latter, moreover, shares with the rwo arches d e, of the wely, the 
peculiarity of being very slightly broken. I will add further, that the profile 
of the cornice that runs along the top of the fagade, simple though it is, is in 
no way Arab, and bears a much greater resemblance to a Gothic string-course. 

It will be admitted that these facts add considerable weight to the notion 
I put forward, that the portico built by order of Beibars was for the greater 
part constructed from materials taken from the Crusaders' churcht, which at 
the same time, doubtless, was drawn upon for the bridge, situated not far away. 
The commemorative inscription was probably built in the first place into 
the portico itself, either on the front or under the arcades, and afterwards, 
upon occasion of some rebuilding, it was transferred to the place above the 
lintel of the door of the outer enclosure, which it occupies to-day. The sanc- 
tuary proper, or mcshhed, which was built nineteen years later— in pursuance 
perhaps of some original plan left unfinished by Khalil ben Shawer — must 
correspond to the part of the structure marked b, g, i, ii, which is surmounted 
by the principal cupola. 

The Brido-e.—Vi. M. van Berchem was also kind enoucrh to make a 

special study of the bridge, which confirms my conjectures as to its origin. 

* The canaliciili, as I have already said, are again met with in the arches of numerous 
Crusaders' buildings. As for the zig-zag ornament, it would be wrong to reckon this an indication 
of Arab work, for although rarer than the ornament just mentioned, it exists in Crusaders' 
buildings ; for instance in the archivolt of the church of Jebeil, which belongs to the 12th century. 

t It is possible, of course, that certain other architectural materials were borrowed by the 
Arab builders from another erection of the Crusaders which lay to hand at Yebna, namely, the 
castntm and presidium, flanked with its four towers, which King Fulk had had built at Hibelin, 
as Yebna was then called {William of Tyre, X^'', 24). 

1 82 Archa-olopical Researches in Palestine. 


He satisfied himself that, as I supposed, " Crusaders' arches undoubtedly form 
part of it " (I quote his own words). The analogy with the case of the bridge 
at Lydda is a striking one, and it now seems altogether probable that at 
Yebna, as well as at Lydda, Beibars, or rather his agents, laid the church 
under contribution for the building of the bridofe. I now give a susfofestive 
view of this bridge, from an excellent photograph taken by M. M. van Berchem, 
from the side of the village, i.e., from the south-west, and some items ex- 
tracted from his note-book. 

"Bridge with three ' brisecs' arches" (arches with broken curves), "resembling 
the bridge at Lydda ; browrj tufous h'mestone. The central arch is wider. The heads 
of the arches are of more careful workmanship than the other part of the soffits, and 
have diagonal strice tkroitgkoiit ; the vertical joint is at the top . . . The soffits, apart 
from the groins, are of porous rubble as at L}-dda. The difference between the two 
materials is very noticeable. On the side facing up stream (south) the central arch 
has only a few voussoirs with striae at the springing ; the rest is of small porous 
rubble ; here the difference strikes the eye at once. However, the vertical joint is 
also found on this arch, which is the only one not entirely constructed of material 
bearing Crusaders' tool-marks. On the up side are two pointed cutwaters, as at 
Lydda. The intrados of the central arch is made of materials carefully dressed as far 
up as the springings, where the small rubble begins. There are traces of cement, 
especially on the intrados of the eastern arch. Above the central arch, on the 
north side, in the crowning of the parapet, is a breach, which might have contained 
an inscription. . . . The fleche of the bridge is very conspicuous. Length about 
48 m., breadth 1 1'" -50 ; width of the central arch 6"' 'So ; width of the side arches, 
about 5 m. The height varies, the base of the bridge being buried in mud. I 
found masons' marks on several voussoirs, and Madame van Berchem made 
squeezes of them for you. Some of these marks are doubtful."* 

Miscellaneous Notes. 

Here are a few notes that I took of conversations with the fellahin of 
Yebna : 

Hibelin. — The town used also to be called 'Ebellin. ,.,Aj-.^ or ,.„vLio:-+ 
The tradition of the fellahin is curious, when compared with the well-known 
passage in William of Tyre, from which it appears that in the time of the 
Crusades, Yebna, then supposed to correspond to Gath, was called Hibelin. 
The presence of the 'ain in the Arabic name tends to show that this must be a 
genuine case of native name, and not, as might have been supposed, of a name 
manufactured or mutilated after the Crusaders. The H in Hibelin similarly 

* There are six of these. See the Special Table of Vol. I. I shall direct attention to one 
of them, a splendid A, quite Golhic. 

I I noted this name before when I visited Yebna in 1S70. (Garnet III, p. 34.) 

Tonr from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 183 

seems to prove that there was a guttural at the beginning of the name that 
the Crusaders heard. That they found the name already attached to the 
locality William of Tyre expressly testifies. However, Benjamin of Tudela 
and the Jewish authors write p'^n^S or pT2^^, but they perhaps do but give a 
direct reproduction of a western pronunciation of the word. It is difficult to 
explain the origin of this mysterious name ; but it may be useful to compare 
with the passage from William of Tyre one from Foulques of Chartres, which 
assigns to this same town the name of Ibeniim, and identifies it not with Gath, 
as does William of Tyre, but with Ashdod. These Biblical identifications 
are equally arbitrary and of no value ; what we should seize upon is the 
form Ibenum (if the reading of the MS. be certain), corresponding to the 
Hihclin of William of Tyre.* In any case there is no doubt as to the 
relation between Ibenum and Hibelin, for the chroniclers of the Crusades 
mention the two names in connection with the same episode in the war. 
The form Ibenum might easily be reduced to the Arabic form Yebnd. We 
ought also, however, it seems to me, to take account of the singular fact that 
the Jews of the Middle Ages — as their itineraries expressly state — placed the 
Yabneh of the Bible in Galilee, at a village called then as now 'Abellin 
^jdxi (quite near Shefa'amr to the north-east). Can the name of 'Abellin 
have been transported by a reverse operation to the real Yabneh, Yebna, of 
Judeea, and have been treasured up by the local tradition of the place ? In 
this case we should ascribe the origin of this name Hebclin, 'Ebellin, applied 
to the Yebna of to-day, to Jewish intervention. It was a confusion of the 
same kind that caused the Jews of the Middle Ages to identify for instance 
Ekron with Acre, whereas it certainly is at 'Aker quite near Yebna. 

The identification I have just made removes at all events any lingering 
doubt that there might be as to the identity of the Hibelin of William of 
Tyre with Yebna, since by the current convention of the time, 'Ebellin was 
reckoned to be Jabneh. 

Topography. — Various localities mentioned to me by the fellahin of 
Yebna : 

Khni-bet el Fat una, to the north of Beshshit ; 

Khiirbet edh-DIi hcisheh, near K'beibeh ; 

Dh'hur el Ghozldn, "the crests of the Gazelles," between Yebna and 'Aker; 

Hcbreh, towards Moghar ; 

And the Aliilin of Albert of Aix 

184 Archcvological Researches in Palestine. 


Stikreir, between Esdud and Yebna ; between Bechchit and Yasiir, 
according to others ; 

Be'elia, to the north, in the mountains, four hours' journey ; 

At Beshshit there is a Ahby Sliit ,• 

'Oy/iii Gdra, a pronunciation of the name 'Oyiui A'ara, proving tliat 
Kara really begins with the emphatic Kdf, and should be written \ .L- ; 

Khiii'bet Sitkriyeh, two and a half hours to the south of Yebna. 

The ethnic name of the inhabitants of EchiV (c^O is, in the singular, 
YesJmdny, and in the plural Sheicd'''neh. The discrepancy between the 
singular form ^llc^i^^ and the plural form Z>^^J:^ is very interesting. 
Yehsitdny is an archaic form, and credits the locality with an ancient name 
c^A-s which onomastically, if not topographically^'' is identical with tha Jeskiia 
(i^Tll") of Nehemiah (xi, 26). 

From Yebna to Ascalon. 

Our examination of the church at Yebna having taken us no inconsider- 
able time, we were rather late in starting for Esdud, which was to be our 
resting-place for the night. 

Sukreir. — About midway on our journey we inspected the ruins of 
Sitkreir, which was a little to the west of our road. Here there are visible 
the remains of a sort of Khan, with a deep cistern and a small birkeh ; an 
aqueduct led the water from it to a fountain right on the edge of the road ; 
opposite this, on the other side of the road, in a field, is a piece of a column, 
belonging perhaps to a milestone, and some fragments of marble. This must 
have been the site of some ancient inanzel or posting-house, on the Arab route 
from Egypt to Syria. 

I have come across this place Sukreir in an important episode of the 
history of the Mameluke Sultans. Makrizi narrates that in the month Mohar- 
ram, in the year 696 (October, 1296), at the camp on the 'Auja (to the north of 
Jaffa), the Emir Lajin, having conspired with some other Emirs, attacked his 
master, Sultan Ketbogha. The latter managed to elude his attack, and fled 
towards Damascus, over the bridge of the 'Auja. The Egyptian army then 
left the 'Auja to return to Egypt. On their, arrival at Yazur, in front of Jaffa, 

* From the contexl at any rate it looks as if the town in Nehemiah must have been much 
more to the south. 

Tour fro)u Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 185 

the Emirs proclaimed their colleague Lajin as Sultan, under the name of 
El-Malek el Mansur. From Yazur the new Sultan moved to Gaza, passing 
by Sekrir. It appears to me certain that the name y,.J~^^ which is thus read 
by Ouatremere, ought to be vocalized Sukreir, and that this locality corres- 
ponds to our Kliurbet Sukreir. This historical testimony is doubly valuable, 
as it guarantees at the same time the comparative antiquity and the exact 
spelling of the name Sukreir. 

The ruin, when all is said and done, is insignificant, but the name 
attached to it is extremely interesting. It has been variously transliterated, 
and in most arbitrary ways, e.g., Suk-rheir, Suk-kheir, Sugheir, Tokrair, etc. 
(Rey, Guerin, Tobler, Richardson, etc.). The true form in reality is Sukreir, 
.j^. As early as 1861, Knobel* proposed to identify it with Shikronah or 
Shikron, a landmark on the northern boundary of the territory of Judah, 
towards its western extremity. I was still very uncertain on this question, 
and rather inclined at the time, relying on faulty transliterations, to Shikronah 
with Zernilka, near Yebna and to the north-east of it. Three months later, 
on revisiting these parts, I gave up the latter conjecture and went back to 
Knobel's, in consequence of two new observations that I made there. The 
name Zernuka is written with the emphatic kdf, ^^jj't and consequently can 
have nothino: to do with Shikronah n21"l3'C On the other hand I have 
actually heard on the lips of the fellahin of Berka the variant Sukrein. for 
Sukreir, which is a complete justification of the hypothesis that this name 
may represent Shikron. 

My only doubt is whether there ever was a town — an ancient one, I 
mean — on the site of Sukreir or Sukrein. But then I am equally doubtful 
whether the place-name Shikron is applied, in the passage of Joshua, to a 
town. The name Sukrein — we are sufficiently authorised to give the prefer- 
ence to this form, now that I have shown that it really exists — the name 
Sukrein, I say, is properly the name of the small river, the Nahr Sjikrein, 
which flows by Esdud and falls into the Mediterranean about opposite 
Sukrein. It is, I think, as a river that Shikron figures in the delimitation 
of Judah, and not as a town. This problematical town is mentioned nowhere 

* Exeget. Handbuclt, xxx, p. 419. 

f Zernu/;d signifies properly "an a])paratus for raising water;" Mokaddesy says that it is a 
dolab, "machine for irrigating." It is the Aramaic word ZarntVia i^p"l^"lT, which has the same 
meaning, and is itself probably nothing else but the Greek ai'iH~i^, genitive avpr/r/o^, "pipe," 
whence on the other hand is derived our word " syringe." There actually is in the village of 
Zernuka a water-wheel which raises water for irrigation purposes from a deep well. 

2 H 

86 Arc/i(solop;ical Researches in Pa/csfiiw. 


else, which is very odd, for if it really existed it must have belonged to the 
territory of either Judah or Dan, the towns in which are mentioned in detail. 
In support of this theory I will adduce two facts; (i) the etymology of the 
name Shikron, which evidently comes from the root shakar, 13tr, s/ns/ikir, 
"vycyn, "to water;" (2) the fact that there is in Spain a river of the same 
name called by the ancients Sucro (by Ptolemy, 'S.ovKpcju ;* now the Jucar or 
Xtccar). This name is of Phoenician origin, just like that of another river in 
Spain, the BiXuv, which is the same as the Bclus, " the river of Baal," in 
Phoenicia, and the Nahar Baal in Palestine, represented by the Nahr Riibin 
mentioned a tihort time previously. 

And now, if we identify Shikron with the Nahr Sukreir, and the 
" mount," z.t'., the "river," Baal with the Nahr Rubin, how are we to follow 
out on the spot the marking of the boundary of Judah as described by Joshua? 
This presents serious difficulties, I admit ; but these difficulties are equally to 
be found in all the other theories hitherto propounded which involve the 
existence of a toivn Shikron and a iiiount Baal. I cannot enter here upon a 
discussion, which would require a thorough working out ; I will content 
myself with remarking that we have to take into consideration a possible 
change in the course of these two small rivers, on account of their having to 
make a way through sand-dunes in order to get to the sea. 

Esdud. — Before reaching Esdud, you cross the Sukreir by a bridge with 
three arches, which seems to be of Arab construction. I omitted to see if by 
chance it contained any mediaeval materials, like the bridges at Lydda and 
Yebna. If so they could not have come from Esdiid, for the Crusaders, so far 
as we know, had no important post in this neighbourhood. 

In the immediate neighbourhood of the village of Esdud, and to the west, 
is a high hill, covered with gardens enclosed within hedges of cactus, which 
makes it difficult to get about. I noticed here a considerable quantity of 
potsherds, some fragments of marble, some wells, and so on, indicating the 
existence of a town, which must have been the Ashdod proper of the Bible. 
This commanding height is called er-Ras, "the head," and also Jd/ud cr Rds, 
"Goliath of the head." According to the fellahin, Jalud was a Sultan of the 
Kuffars ; his daughter was Hilane (Helen), and his town was built on the hill 
er Ras ; a subterraneous passage placed the town in communication with the 
Minat Esdfid, "the harbour of Esdud," which is on the sea-coast to the west 
of the village, and is also called cl Miiia for short. I was told that a carved 

* \\'ith a town of the same name situated on its banks and called after the river. 

Tour fi-om Jaiisalcii; (o Jafja and lite Coitn/ry of Samson. 187 

block of marble had been found at el Mina, and I made up my mind to go 
and see it next day. 

The ancient name of Esdud, according to the fellahin, was Sidd cr Rum, 
"the barrier of the Rumis." This latter legend contains a curious play on the 
ancient name of As/idod, and has reference to the root shadad, s/iadd, with 
which it is connected.* It confirms me in the notion I have formerly 
expressed, that the name of Ashdod stands probably in the same etymological 
relation to that of the god Shaddai and Shed as the name of the town of 
Arsiif does to that of the god Reseph. 

From Esdud to Ascalon. — Next day, Wednesday, at a quarter past six, 
we were in the saddle, as we had a long day before us. My idea was, in fact, 
to go down as far as Ascalon, then to come back along the coast as far as the 
port of Esdud, and from there to make straight for el Moghar, where I had 
sent on the tent. 

Tell el Kurziim. — We cast a glance in passing at the great ruined Arab 
Khan near Esdud, but did not spend any time over it. To the south there is 
a tell called Tell cl Kurziim. 

Folklore. — We left on our right, some distance from the road, the 
wely o{ Abu Jahan. A litde while afterwards we met a worthy fellahah from 
one of the neighbouring villages, mounted on a small donkey. She was going 
like ourselves to Mejdel, to sell vegetables and fruit. She was a very good 
sort of woman, quite chatty, and received our advances in a friendly spirit 
that strongly contrasted with the distrust and ill-will we had nearly always 
experienced at the hands of the fellahin of the south. She had the gay 
good humour, the honest prepossessing face, and even the manners of a good 
substantial farmer's wife such as we see at home in Europe. She insisted on 
our tasting her fruit, and gave me as we went along some interesting information 
into the bargain. She could not be prevailed upon to accept the smallest 
bakhsheesh, and when I pressed her, she told me that we should see one another 
again at Mejdel, and that then I might if I liked buy some apricots of her. 

There is, she said, at Hamameh a sanctuary of Seiydna ("Our Lord") 
Abu 'Arkub, who came flying through the air from afar, and lighted there. 
None knew of his presence there, which was only revealed at his death. He 
was buried where he lay, and the place is every year the object of a great 

* It must not be lost siL'ht of that the Arabic name is in reahty j,_v_-, S'Jt'ui, and that the 
initial f//J/"that is heard in the native pronunciation is in fact prosthetic, Es'di/il. In the ancient 
Arabic form Azdiid, the jt has been changed into s, from immediate contact with the d. 

2 V. 2 


Ai'Lhcrohoical Rcscarclics in Palestine. 

pilgrimage from the country round about. I'he real name of Abu 'Arkub was 
Sheikh Ibrahim, and he was the son of 'Aiy ibcn A'/cim (the much venerated 
neby of Arsuf, who entered into the inheritance, mythologically speaking, of 
the old Phoenician Reseph). This series of names and surnames therefore 
gives a regular genealogy of this branch of fabulous nebys : A'leun, father of 
'Aly, father of Ibrahim, father of 'Arkub. The sanctuary of the founder of 
this little mythological dynasty is venerated at the present day at Dura, in the 
direction of Hebron. I have collected various legends about these flying 
nebys at other places in Palestine, especially at Nablus.* Here the 
characteristic feature of the tradition seems to have reference to the name 
of Hamdmch, which means "pigeon" or "dove," and has been suspected, not 
I think unreasonably, to contain a reminiscence of the divinity worshipped 
under the form of of a dovet at Ascalon near Hamameh. 

Tell el Fardny. — A little before you reach Hamameh you see on the 
left of the road Tell cl Fardny (or Fardiich), having on it ruins containing 
hidden treasure, so our travelling companion assured us. 

Havidnich. — We stopped a few minutes at Hamameh with an old native 



One third the 

original size. 

goldsmith that she told us of, one Yusef Abu 'Isa. He had a few rather 

* See i/ifia, ch. VI. 

t This bird figures on the coins of Ascalon. Compare what Philo, quoted by Eusebius, says 
of the worship of the dove-cote at Ascalon, and the legend, localized at Ascalon, of Semiramis, 
daughter of Derceto, who was fed by doves. Derketo was changed into a fish, and Semiramis 
into a dove. Ibrahim became the fish Sultan Ihrahhn mentioned already, and the sanctuary of 
A'leim at Dura is by the side of that of Noah. 

Totcr fi'OJi! Jei'itsaian to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. i8y 

interesting antiques in his possession, and let me have them for fifteen francs 

or so. Among them, a pretty head of Athene, with helmet, 

in white marble, half life size (see p. 188) ; and a piece of 

carved ivory o" •14 high, representing a woman inapeplum, 

elegantly draped and holding a crown in her left hand. 

Unfortunately the face is mutilated. At the back the ivory 

is traversed lengthwise by a hollow groove. These two 

objects, and most of the other antiquities, were got, it 

seems, from the ruins of Khalasa, the ancient Elusa, to 

the south of Gaza. 

I also saw in his possession a fragment of white veined 
marble, very finely carved, but unfortunately mutilated, 
having in one of its sides a representation of two fantastic 
creatures of the bird-kind, with crests of five feathers, and 
bodies in the shape of a fish or snake. To judge from its 
general shape, of which some idea may be got from this j^.,-,^^, ,,„.yKE. 

side view, this fragment appears to have formed part of ^'■''"^ "^'^ ongmai size. 
an architectural scheme, and may have been perhaps a corbel. I cannot 
decide whether the style of it is Byzantine or Romanic. In any case the tool 
marks on the blocks are not mediaeval. 




. 0"'- It 

Here is another fragment, similarly of white marble, with a yellow 
tinge and blue streaks, which was offered me at Jerusalem as coming from 
Ascalon, and bought by me. It is a slab o'" '025 thick, a trapezoid in shape. 
On it are carved in low relief two doves back to back, with their heads 
turned to look at one another, and holding in their beaks a fillet or garland 
from which a small disc depends. In the disc, which forms a central part and 
probably leading idea of the whole, there is inscribed a sort of rosette, of 

190 ArcJupoIogical Researches in Palestine 

ill-defined shape, perhaps a star or a cruciform emblem. 

Above are 

". 15 

two small plain discs, below, a lotus-flower. 

The question presents itself whether we should recognize here the 

eucharistic doves and bread, or 
merely a subject of a purely orna- 
mental character. At all events 
the 23resence of the doves is note- 
worthy, considering that the monu- 
ment, as it is said, comes from 

Mejdel. — We stopped for lunch 
at Mejdel, where we found our 
worthy peasant- woman. Her apri- 
cots formed the staple of our 
dessert, and very good they were. 

We started immediately after 
for (J aura) Jiirah, without having 
time to visit Mejdel. Here follow a 
: ' few notes that I made there during 

: a previous journey, m 1070:* 

I noticed in the houses at Mejdel a sort of receptacle for corn, made of 
clay, and called kJidbieh {h^\~^). The fcllahin call them saum'a (cilr^^.-^, 
sauiiia'a). These are filled with grain through a wide opening in the top, 
and when grain is wanted, it is let out by a sort of bung-hole, like wine out 
of a cask. 

They told me at Mejdel that there were several places of the name : 
Mejdel 'Askahxn\ (where I was), Mejde/ VaM, Mejdel Bdna.\ 

Furthermore several localities were indicated to me in the west of Mejdel, 
the names of which I took down : Khitrhct Ganids (^Ui) and KJmrbet Fithi 
{^jlj.i), Bazzeh, Bashsha.\ 

* Caniet III, p. 34, et seq. 

t Mujir ed Din (p. 484 of the Arabic text of Bulak) calls it Kariat Mejdel Hamiviuh. 
Mejdel, "the fortress," probably belongs to the TrXifaiov uxvpwfunn of Ascalon (I Mace, XII, 33). 

X Mejdel Ba'na is evidently the locality that appears on the Map (III Nf) under the name 
o( Mejd el Kenhn,]\ii\. hy el Ba nek znd to the south-west of it. According to my information, 
this transliteration is wrong ; it ought to be Mejdel Kerihn, as the author of the Niune Lists 
(ch. 52) rightly supposes, or perhaps better Medjdel el Kerum. 

§ These localities have been since noticed by the Survey, with the exception of Fi/ihi, which 
I have not been able to find on the Map. F'ltun cannot be far from Khurbet Gamas {Kemas 

Tour from JcnisalcDi to Jaffa, and the Country of Samson. 191 

Jaura. — At J aura we had a lively altercation — a regular barrfif — which 
threatened to have a serious ending, with some ill-conditioned fellahin, 
about an absolutely trivial matter. I record the incident, as it was very rare 
for me in my many wanderings in Palestine to meet with open hostility. The 
ethnic name of the inhabitants of Jaura is Janrdny in the singular, y^wa/w^/i 
in the plural. 

From Ascalon to Khulda. 

Time pressed, and we would not stop to explore the ruins of Ascalon. 
I felt some interest as I again beheld the high walls overhanging the sea, at 
the foot of which I and my horse were nearly drowned in the winter of 1870. 
We traversed the gardens, planted on the actual site of the old town, so as to 
get a general idea of it, without being able to enter into details. 

At 3 o'clock we left the beach of Ascalon and turned northwards, following 
the coast line as far as the harbour of Esdud. I give a summary account of 
the points observed during this hurried journey. 

At 3 past 3, a low mound covered with potsherds and ancient dc'bris, with 
some walls. No name ascertained. 

At 3.35, some walls of small stones : two large columns. 

At 3.57, a small ruin of no importance, perhaps Arab ; some tells covered 
with potsherds. 

At 4.30 we arrive at last at the Minat Esdtcd, where there are ruins 
comparatively important, great quantities of potsherds, a rectangular fort built 
of small stones, which must have been a marine defence. Quite near, on the 
west, is a group of small mounds with numerous architectural fragments of 
marble, pointing to the existence of an important building, and quantities of 
mosaic cubes. This part ought to be explored. Having no guide, we were 
quite unable to find the sculptured block which the fellahin of Esdud had 
particularly told us of 

I should have liked to push to the north as far as the Sanctuary of Neby 
Yunes, which is at the mouth of the Nahr Sukreir, and is perhaps connected 

of the Map), to judge from the .ippearance of the names on my list, where they are united by 
and. I propose to identify F'ltun with F/ietom, a mediaeval casal near Ascalon given to the 
Hospital by Jean d'Ybelin in 1256, and not found by Rey and Rohricht. Plietora must be a 
copyist's error, or perhaps a wrong reading on the part of the editor Paoli, for Plieton. This 
must not be identified — the resemblance of the two names being the merest chance — with the 
Fatliura, 'I'ltOov/xi, of the Onoinasticon. The latter is a village close to Eleutheropolis, on the 
road leading from that town to Gaza, and is perhaps identical with Tor Fiiriit and V..\\\\xhz\. Furut, 
four miles west from Beit Jibrin, suijposing a displacement of the r, which is of frequent 
occurrence in the pronunciation ol the fellahin. 

192 ArcJucoIogical Researches in Palestine. 

with the river by the same mythological bonds as unite the sanctuary of 
Neby Rubin with the Nahr Rubin. However, we had to give up the 
idea, for the sun was already very low in the sky, and we had still a good 
distance to cover before reaching Moghar, where our camp awaited us. 
It was even a longer distance than we thought, for, deceived by Van de 
Velde's map, the only one we then had at our command, we steered, or better, 
we believed we steered, for Berka, to the east, and became involved in an 
interminable tract of moving sand-dunes, where it was impossible to get on 
in places. Our horses, slipping over these mounds of sand as they gave way 
beneath their feet, sometimes sank in up to their chests, and we had to alight 
and extricate them. The poor creatures were worn out with fatigue and 
thirst, and their riders were almost in as sorry case. We had nothing all 
round us but an horizon of high dunes, which we had to climb and descend 
one after another, without a landmark in sight to steer by. The fact was that 
we had deviated a little to the north, and taken a diagonal course through 
this sandy belt, which was wide enough in any case, instead of cutting straight 
through it. At last after this toilsome journey, more like sailing through 
sand than a ride, we got to the end of the dunes and reached the river 
Sukreir, where both beast and men assuaged their thirst with delight. 

It was pitch dark. We directed our course towards Berka (Burkah), the 
lights of which were now visible, but only stopped there a moment to ask our 
way, and then went on towards Beshshit. At Berka, the name of which is 
pronounced Bergd, I made a flying note of the name of an anonymous neby, 
Neby Berg or Neby Bereg, son of Jacob as usual, of course. We reached 
Beshchit with some trouble, for we went rather out of our way in the darkness, 
and here I persuaded a fellah to guide us to Moghar. It was after midnight 
when we got back to our tent. Here everything was ready for our reception, 
and we enjoyed a well-merited rest. 

Moghar (El Mtighar). — Our tent was pitched about twenty minutes to the 
south of the village, near a well with sdkia, the pivot of which rested on an 
ancient white marble capital. The very spot is cdWcd. Khiirbet Hibreh. The 
bekd, ■' country, town," of Moghar, so the fellahin told me, was formerly some 
twenty minutes to the north, at Khiirbet Suninieil ; it was called Snimneil el 
Moghar. Five minutes north of the village is an ancient quarry. The 
village is called Moghar* because all the houses are built on ntghair, 
"caves." The wely of Moghar is called Abu Lavmn and Abit Tdka. He 

* Evidently the Moghar mentioned by Yakiit as a village in Palestine. 

Totir from Jcnisalcni to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 


is called Abu Taka, " father of the window," because, finding himself mahslmr 
(thrust) in a cave, he got out of it by a miracle, God having made an opening 
[tdka) through which he flew. This is the legend of the flying neby over again. 

I was told of several inscribed stones, among others of a column to the 
left of the road to 'Aker. This may be a milestone. A fellah also brought 
me a fragment of a Greek inscription on a small slab of white marble. As he 
wanted a good deal for it, I contented myself with taking a squeeze of the 

It is difficult to get anything certain from this mutilated text, the ends of 
five lines being all that is left. Perhaps the first two should be read : 




K^ , jJ.'qvo'i 

" the year 620 (?) the 

20th of the month of Hyperberetseos." 

The third line contained perhaps at the beginning the year of the 
indiction, followed by a verb avrj{?)e, or a name in the nominative ending in 
avr]o<;{?), and the fourth the final syllable of a patronymic in the genitive 
terminating in Svov {?). In the fifth, XovvrjTrjs may perhaps be the remnant of 
l^Aa-KojXowqTrj';, for 'AtrKaXwi'tTr/?, "the Ascalonite." These however are mere 
queries. The date should perhaps be reckoned according to the era of 
Ascalon, which I shall refer to later on a propos of the inscriptions of Gaza. 
The 20th of Hyperbereteos of the year 620 (there may have been in the lost 
portion of the inscription a letter expressing additional units) in the Ascalon 
era would correspond to November i6th, 515 of the Christian era, which 
date is pretty well in accord with the shape of the characters. 

Summeil el Mughdr. — Next day we went to see the ruins of Khiirbet 
Salltcjeh, about an hour to the south of el Mughar. They seemed to me to be 
considerable importance. t From here \ we proceeded to Summeil el Mughar, 

* The inscription afterwards came into the hands of M. PhiUbert the younger of Jaffa ; I 
found it at his house in 1881, acquired it, and took it to the Louvre. 

t There is an entry in my note-book about this, but it is illegible. 

X Between Mughar and Katra is a small tell, indicated on the Map without a name. It 
appears from a note of mine, which I cannot discover the origin of, but which certainly belongs 
to this journey, that this tell is called Tell el Fultis, 

2 C 

194 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

a namesake of another Summeil to the south, called for distinction-sake 
Suymneil el Khalil, "the Summeil of Hebron," or " of Abraham."* This 
name occurs at several spots in Judea. Thus there is yet another Summeil to 
the north of Jaffa and not far from it. 

Summeil el Mughar is on a small low hill, with no ruins to be seen ; here 
and there are scattered stones. At the foot of the hill, to the east, towards 
the road to 'Aker which skirts the chain of hills, is a beiyara well. Some way 
off we perceived, though we were unable to visit them, the yawning apertures 
of some caverns. 

'Aker. — At 'Aker the fellahin told me that the village was also called 
'Akriin by the Franks, which unfortunately shows that the peasants are already 
beginning to be informed by thoughtless travellers as to the ancient identity 
of their villages. This is a symptom of a malady that will cause trouble 
hereafter, for the end of it will be that this pure spring of real indigenous 
tradition, which has hitherto been drawn upon with confidence, will be 
contaminated. The village has its eponymous Saint, Neby Aker, whose 
name is by some pronounced 'Akel, " the wise." 'Aker was anciently a large 
deled extending over the whole dhahra (the brow of the hill). To the 
.... t of the village, about five minutes away, there have been found in a 
field a number of tombs built of stone, and covered in each case with one or 
two large slabs with " writing on them ;" they contained bottles of terra 
cotta, and sahdtit (coins). This field is worked by one 'Aly Abu Mouafy. 
There must have been a burying-ground here, one that would be very 
interesting to excavate, and might perhaps tell us something about Ekron, at 
any rate during some period of its existence. 

* This Summeil is too far from Hebron for tlie origin of its surname to be ascribed to its 
proximity to that town. I suppose that some part of the territory of Summeil was assigned as 
ivakcf io the sanctuary of Hebron. In fact, as Robinson (German edition, HI, 628, 736, 746) 
had already noticed, SummcU el Khalil is none other than the Casile of St. Samuel, which the 
western pilgrims in the fifteenth century came across on the road from Dhikrin to Gaza ; they 
fancied they detected in Summeil the name of Samuel. They expressly state, moreover, that 
this village paid a yearly contribution of 2,000 ducats to the support of the " Hospital of St. 
Abraham," otherwise called Hebron. This institution was probably the Bimarestan el Mansur 
founded in 680 by Sultan El Mansur Kelaun, as we are informed by Mujir ed Din {pp. cit., 
p. 426) ; or we may perhaps take it to be the famous semdt, or Holy Meal of Abraham, which was 
given away daily at a! fixed hour, without distinction of religion, to all strangers who happened to 
be at Hebron. Among the very numerous villages standing to Hebron in the relation of tvakef, 
there are several that we know, for instance Kariet Zakariya and Deir Astid, in the territory of 
Nablous, mentioned by Mujir ed Din. 

t The indication of the direction has been omitted in my note-book. 

Tour from Jerusalem io Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 195 

AmsdUra.- — To the east of Mansura and north of Khulda is a ruin 
called AinsdUra (=:Musabara ?). 

The ancient name of Ramleh, according to the fellahin of 'Aker, v^-d^sFrantis; 
others S2iy Falasttn, z.nd Faldsthi el Kubra (the Great).* Can this queer name 
Frantis be a corruption of the well-known name Falastin (which comes directly 
from the Greek naXaicrrtVij) ? Falastiiiz=Farastiii=^Farantis^=Frautis. 

Am Kelkha. — At el Mansura the inhabitants told us that the ancient 
balad ^3s at the ruins of Am Kelkha [AF kelkha?), a quarter of an hour to the 
south, on the further side of Wddy 'A in el Mansura. 

K'zdzeh. — To the south of Am Kelkha is K zdzeh, at about an hour's 

The site of K'zazeh sorely tempts one to identify it with an ancient 
locality. The name at first blush looks like a purely Arabic one, meaning 
"glass." We know however from the case of Tibneh 2.nd. others, that one 
has to be careful about these seemingly Arabic place-names, which often 
contain old Hebrew names brought into Arabic forms by folk-etymology. I 
wonder whether, by virtue of this principle, we ought to recognise in K'zdzeh 
the name of the town Makaz, mentioned along with a group of Danite towns 
in the jurisdiction of Ben-Dekar, one of the twelve m'cedbim, or governors, of 
Solomon (i Kings, iv, 9). 

j;U and ypQ (from the root ^P) contain the same radical elements, 
granting the generally admitted equivalence of the Y and the ; . 

El 6';;^'^a«w«'.— Half-an-hour west of K'zazeh there is a ruined town 
called Khiirbet el Uniganna' { = el Mukannct). The town was anciently 
surrounded by seven towers, and was the residence of a king of the name of 

Melek el Mtignd. The name of this fabulous king, -Jjul^ , is evidently 

derived from the same root as the name of the town, tJJUll ; the difference 
between the two verbal forms is to be noted. El MugncC, otherwise called 
el Muknd , signifies in Arabic not merely " he who has his head veiled," as it 
is translated in the Name Lists, but also " he who wears a helmet." This 
recalls a detail in the description of Goliath and his helmet of brass in the 
Bible. Native legend therefore would tend to localise Gath in the environs of 
el Um'ganna'. The problem of Gath is so hopeless, and so many difterent 
solutions have been suggested, that this one of the fellahin is really as good as 

* As will be seen further on (ch. VI), the name Falastin t/ie Great is, on the other hand, 
attributed to Sebaste by the inhabitants of that town. 

2 C 2 

196 A?r/!(ro/ooica/ Researches in Pales fine. 

most, and might, if need were, be supported by topographical and historical 
arofuments.* At all events Uni'o-anna' cannot for a moment be taken for 
the Mechamim or Machamivi (eight miles from Eleutheropolis, on the way to 
Jerusalem), t which St. Jerome has in view when he speaks of Bethmaacha ; 
neither distance nor direction would suit. Still less is it the Mec/tona/i of the 
Bible, which is written with letters radically different (n^STJJ). 

Khuldd. — From Mansurah (Mansura) we proceeded to Khulda 
(Khuldeh). Here we found an inhabitant of Ramleh, a good-natured, chatty 
fellow, by name As'ad Efendy Abu J a' far, who had come to settle some 
business connected with loans to the fellahin. The following are notes of my 
talks wath him : — 

Kal'at ed Dabbeh,\ the port of Yebna, was called Rnbil like the wely and 
the river ; 

* As an opportunity is now offered, I will draw attention to a more important point, which 
may perhaps rank as a factor in the problem of Gath, at any rate from the onomastic standpoint. 
In the marginal annotations to the Merafid, Yakiit mentions a karich in the Gaza country, which 
he calls _/i/t7«, observing that this name is the dual o[ Jit ( = "the Uvo Jifs"). This locality 
appears to me to be identical with the one which Khalil edh Dhahery, in his Description of the 
Empire of the Mamelukes, places between Gaza and Beit Deras. The name is barely legible in 
the MS. at the Bibliotheque Nationale (...jJu^;^); it hasbeen incorrectly read Habnin by Quatrembre 
and Jcnin by M. Ravaisse, but it is evidently \\\z Jitc'in ( .^Lv.^) of Yakut. It is also the Jatin 
( . jjj^ — to be vocal izedya/w;) spoken of by Makrizy as being on the road from Gaza to Ramleh. 
{History of the Mameluke Sultans, I, 239.) This namey?/«« ox Jatein, "the two Gtt's" or "the 
two Gat's," recalls in striking fashion, it must be admitted, the name of the celebrated Philistine 
town. I have long searched in vain for it on the Map, and am at length convinced that it is 
represented by Ejjeh, quite close to Barbara. The real name of this locality, written i,:>-\ in the 
Name Lists, is really, as appears from Robinson's lists, liLxsJl el Jieh, and the regular dual form of 
this must have been formerly used to denote a pair of places, the second being perhaps that now 
called Ba7-bara. It is perhaps the d'Wi/ reOBcifi spoken of by the Onomasticon (s.v. rc00d) in 
reference to Gath. It is a rather curious coincidence that there exists a place of the same name 
El Jieh (or El Jiyeli) between Saida and Beyrout, which is also called Khan Neby Ydnes. Now 
Jonas, whose name has a connection with the place in legend, was born at Gath Hefer in Zebulon, 
so that the two Hebrew homonyms had two Arabic homonyms corresponding to them. I will add 
the final remark that the modern Arabic form el Jieh, for the village near Barbara, is vouched for 
by a mediEeval charter of 11 26 (Delaville le RouLx, Cartulaire des Hospitallers, I, No. 74), which, 
as I think, actually alludes to our village in these terms : "casale nomine Algie ... in territorio 
Abscalonis {sic)." 

t Meshanum,- the form adopted by the generality of topographers after Reland, is a bad 
reading, invalidated by the MSS. St. Jerome means, when he quotes this name Machamlm, the 
Beth Maacah of 2 Sam. xx, 14, 15; moreover, with him it is a mere identification of names, 
valueless from the topographical point of view. 
+ See supra, p. 163. 

Tour frojii Jerusalem to Jaffa and tJie Country of Samson. 197 

Benjamin has a makam near Deir Turit, in the plain ; 

Stiltdn edii Dhdiier (Beibars) conquered the King of Jaffa, Yafil. There 
was at Lydda at the same time a king called ICfir el Lnddy, at Ramleh a 
king called Filastin, brother of Constantine ; he it was that built Ramleh. 

El Fenish was king at el 'Arish. Ibrahim el Haurany, vizir of el IMelek 
edh Dhaher, fought him and pursued him as far as Jaffa, where he took 
refuge. Ibrahim el Haurany entered the city secretly. He was recognised 
by a tavern-keeper, who said to him, "Thou art a Mussulman. What dost 
thou here ?" " I am come," Ibrahim replied to him, "to cut off the heads of 
the three kings." The tavern-keeper told him to wait till the morrow, hid 
him at his house, and gave him food. Then he pointed out to him a way by 
which to penetrate to the citadel. Ibrahim made his way in, and cut off the 
head of King Yafll, but el Fenish and the other king managed to get away. 
The proclamation of edh Dhaher, victor of Jaffa, is still extant, written on a 
large marble slab, in the Jame' el Abiadh, and a detailed account of these 
events is given in the book entitled FutiVidf edh Dhaher, " the victories of 
edh Dhaher." 

This narration is the oddest medley of history and legend — I give it for 
what it is worth. Here and there in it I seem to catch an echo of the old 
Pharaonic story : " How Tutii took the town of Joppa." 

The fellahin of Khulda, who were there in company with As'ad Efendy, 
gave me the following information : — 

At Dei'r er Ruhbdn, half-an-hour east of Musa Tali'a, there is an ancient 
inscription ; at Sejed (to the south of Khulda) is another; north-west of Deir 
er Ruhban is Deir Zdker ; 

Between Beit Far and Beit Susin is the sanctuary of Sheikh N'dhefr ; 

Near 'Ain Shemes there is a large threshing-floor called el Aleish, 
together with the well of Bir eth Themed ; 

The ethnic name of the inhabitants of Beit A'tab is "Atdby in the 
singular, and 'AtdUneh in the plural ; that of the inhabitants of Deir Eban is 
Deir Ebdny in the singular, DeidrbeJi in the plural 

Samson's Country. 

From Khulda we proceeded to 'Artuf, where we were to stay the night. 
Following the road which runs along the high ground, parallel with the Wad 
es Serar, we reached 'Ain Tarif, to west of Rafat and quite near it. A little 

1 98 ArcJicrological Researches in Palestine. 

further on, in the Wady Rafat, I noticed a well, with a vaulting and a defaced 
base of a column, called Bir el KebcC. 

Surik and Sorek. — Only a few minutes north from here there is a ruin of 
no great importance in itself, but extremely interesting, as will be seen, on 
account of its name, which greatly struck me. The fellahin of Rafat told me 
that it was called Khiirbet Siirik. What I had done was nothing more or less 
than to discover the CapJiar Sorech of the Ononiasticon, looked for in vain 
down to our day, and at the same moment to get proof that at the beginning 
of the fourth century the Wad es Serar was supposed to be identical with the 
valley of Sorek where Delilah dwelt. I have already briefly mentioned this 
discovery at the time of making it.* 

The various questions raised by it are of some consequence, and will 
repay a moment's attention. 

Eusebius says, s.v. tctiprjx, "a torrent (valley) whence came Samson's 
Delilah ; there is a village on the borders (opiots) of Eleutheropolis called 
Bap7))(^ (sic) near Saar, where Samson came from." 

This passage has evidently been tampered with by copyists. We 
certainly ought, as has been proposed by Vallarsius, relying on the version of 
St. Jerome, to correct optot? into ySopetois (northern); Bap7]x ^^^'^ Kacjiapacopi^X' 
and also tadp to Sapaa St. Jerome does in fact amend the passage, and 

makes it precise, as follows : " there may be still seen at the 

present day, to the north of Eleutheropolis, a village named Capharsorech, 
near the town of Saraa, where Samson came from." 

There can be no doubt as to the identity of the village spoken of by St. 
Jerome with our Silrik, which is situated less than two miles from Sara, the 
ancient Zorah, the home of Samson. The name and the position are in 
absolute accord, the more so as we are sure, from another passage,t that the 
Onomasticon located the Zorah of the Bible, as modern commentators do, at 
the present village of Sar'a. 

Elsewhere, under the word Swp'/y/c,]: the Onomasticon says : " in the 
territory of Dan, where Samson was, near Esthaol." The Danite towns 

* In a letter to the Committee, dated 25th June, 1874. Extracts from this were pubhshed 
in the Statement of the same year. 

t Onomasticon^ s.v. Xaped (sic), Saara : "On the borders of Eleutheropohs, on the north, 
as you go to Nicopohs " ("Amwas), "«/ about the tenth mile." The distance is rather too short, but 
the regulating expressions (is aisro and quasi, sufficiently show that it is only meant to be 
approximate. See my remarks in a note further on, concerning Esthaol. 

I Note the spelling, a k this time, instead of an x ; St. Jerome keeps to his Sorech. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and tlie Country of Samson. 1 99 

Eshtaol and Zorah, according to the indications given in the Bible, must have 
been tolerably close together ; so there is nothing surprising in the fact that 
the Onomasticon at one time places Sorech near Saraa, at another near 
Eshtaol. Moreover, in another passage the Onomasticon ascribes to Esthaol 
a position and a distance which again brings us to the environs of Sar'a : " at 
the tenth mile from Eleutheropolis, to the north, as you go to Nicopolis."* 

The Wad es Serar, which passes by the foot of Surik, undoubtedly the 
Caphar Sorech of St. Jerome, may perfectly well at some period have given it 
or have borrowed from it its name, as is constantly the case with valleys, and 
may have been called in the fourth century the valley of Sorech, and later on 
the valley of Surik. 

Is it then to be supposed that this valley of Surik, or Sorech, is really the 
ancient valley of Soi'ek of the Bible ? That is quite another question. 

The purely topographical view presents no difficulty, as this identification 
brings us right into the middle of the zone of operations of the Danite hero. 

From the onomastic point of view, there are certain doubts which I cannot 
pass by unexamined. The Biblical name is written with the koph, plti^. How 
did they write this Semitic name Caphar Sorech which St. Jerome preserved, 
and how ought the Arab name Sririk, which I have noted, to be written ? In 

* This time the distance is expressed without any approximatory qualification, there is no 
o)? fiTTo or quasi, the calculation is rigid. Taking it literally, one arrives at the conclusion that the 
Esthaol of the Onomasticon was at Beit el Jemal, where likewise a legend of the fellahin, which I 
shall treat of later, would place the Eshtaol of the Bible. This of course is not to say that the 
data of the Onomasticon and local tradition are to be taken for gospel. Enough for us to bear 
this in mind, that Sar'a and Beit el Jemal, being separated by the Wad es Serar, and this valley 
being in the eyes of the Onomasticon the Biblical Valley of Sorek, it would say with equal justness 
that Sorek was near Saraa or near Esthaol. 

In support of the identification of Beit el Jemal and the Esthaol of the Onomasticon, I will 
quote another passage of the same work which is quite conclusive {s.i'. 'hiiic~i<!,/arin!ut/i), "Jarimuth" 
(the Onomasticon means the Jarmuth of Joshua x, 3), "about four miles from Eleutheropolis, in 
ttie neiglibourtiood of tht village of Esthaol." Jarimuth, or Jarmuth, is certainly Khurbet Yarmuk; 
the distance mentioned by the Onomasticon is incorrect, but the position is beyond doubt ; more- 
over, the Onomasticon corrects itself about the distance under the word 'Upfiov^, Jermus, saying 
iha.t Jermiicha ('Upfioxd'i) is the place situated at the tenth mile from Eleutheropolis on the road 
to Jerusalem. Now Beit el Jemal, as a matter of fact, is just about an English mile from 
Khurbet el Yarmuk. 

Under the word 'AcOaX, Asthaol, the Onomasticon suggests another, totally different, and 
evidently erroneous, identification with a village called 'AaOw, Astho, between Azotus and Ascalon. 
It is superfluous to remark that this village, whatever it may be, can have nothing in common 
with Eshtaol of the Bible. 

oo Archaoloncal Researches in Palestine. 


the transliteration of Eusebius, \^oP\p-qx, and in that of St. Jerome, Caphar 
Sorech, the presence of the x ^^'^ '^^e ch would rather seem, to judge from the 
practice of these two authors, to imply the existence of a kaph rather than a 
koph in the name which they noted and compared with the Hebrew name ; 
and in fact we have seen that when they do quote the real Biblical name they 
usually write it tojpiJK and not 'Zcjpyjx- It is therefore a fair objection that the 
name of the place noted in the Ononiasticon was "J~lir and not pTlI*. If so, 
this would be a case of one of those arbitrary identifications which the authors 
of the Ononiasticon, anticipating the hardihood of certain modern com- 
mentators, sometimes did not scruple to make ; consequently, though we 
might have found the valley of Sorech of the Ononiasticon — which would be 
interesting enough — we should not any the more for that have found the 
valley of Sorek of the Bible, which would be much more so. 

The knot could be cut if we knew the exact form of the Arab name 
Siirik; but unluckily the same doubt confronts us on this very point. Is it 
J,.,,.? or ^^,,^^? 

I was not able to clear up the matter on the spot, and I recommend the 
filling up of this lacuna to future explorers. Everyone knows how difficult it 
often is when dealing with the fellahin dialect to distinguish between an 
emphatic kdf and a natural kdf, since in some parts they pronounce the first 
in the same way as the second ; on the other hand, it must be said, they 
frequently pronounce the second like c/i, though not invariably. All I can 
say is that I have heard and noted Surik and ne\-er Snrich, so the chances 
are in favour of the emphatic kdph, and, consequently, of the real onomastic 
identity between the Arab Surik and the Sorech of St. Jerome, on the one 
hand, and the Sorek of the Bible on the other : pTll^ = , ^' ,.-: 

The Survey Party, which noted the name some time after I had pointed 
out its importance, writes it cJo ,»-: • But this transliteration in the Name 
Lists is open to the same doubts as I have already enumerated, and these 
doubts seem to me to be substantiated bv the followino- observation, which I 
think the more necessary to be made, as it \\\\\ lead me directly — putting 
aside all questions of phonetics — to certain topographical and historical 
indications which are not without importance in the solution of the geographical 

At some distance from Khiirbet Surik there is a village that seems to me 
homonymous with the place we are dealing with. These cases of homonymy 
are frequent in Palestine, as everyone knows. This village is Beit Surik, in 
the direction of Kulonieh, to the north. Now the name of this village, well- 

Tour from Jcnisalcin to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 201 

known as it is, is involved in precisely similar difficulties of orthography. In 
Robinson's lists it is written cJ-j^,^- ; in a MS. official list which has been in 
my possession for the last twenty years, and was issued by the office of the 
Serai at Jerusalem, it is written, on the contrary, j:.; ,^._: ; the Name Lists oive 
the two spellings. It is clear that only one of these radically different forms can 
be right. But which is it ? This brings us back to the very same question 
that confronted us in treating of our Khiirbct Sjirik. 

This onomastic identification of Kh. Surik and Beit Surik leads us to 
another of a different kind, one that tends to prove that at one time the Wad 
es Serar may have borne the name of the Valley of Siirik, which is a strono- 
argument in favour of its identity with the Valley of Sorek of the Book of 
Judges. The village of Beit Surik lies just at the entrance of a short but 
deep valley which, joining the Wady Beit Hanina (a little above Kulonieh), 
helps to form the Wad es Serar. This branch may perfectly well have been 
regarded as the real head of the valley which further on assumes the name of 
Wad es Serar ; and I am not e\'en convinced that this view is not hydro- 
graphically admissible.* 

In this case a most natural explanation would be that Kh. .Surik and 
Beit Surik have taken the same name, since, in spite of the distance they are 
apart, they are intimately connected by the same valley, and have each of 
them borrowed its name in the same way. It w^ould follow that this valley 
from its head to Kh. Surik at least, and possibly beyond, was at one time 
called the Valley of Surik. 

It must be admitted that, if this view be taken, the probability of the 
geographical identity of the Wad es Serar and the Biblical Valley of Sorek, 
and also consequently of the onomastic identity of Siirik with the Sorech of 
the Onomasticon and the Hebrew Sorek, is sensibly enhanced. 

Lastly, then, is another consideration which strikes me as calculated to 
turn the scale in favour of this view. It is a matter of common knowledge 


that, in Hebrew, the word sorek (p~l11^) signifies a vine of a superior quality, 
characterised by the particular colour of the grapes it bears. The word is 
rendered in the old Arabic versions of the Bible by J-^-j and <_^:,^5 which is 
identiciil with one of the forms of the name of the two modern localities 
already treated of. The valley of Sorek must have been so called from being 

* In spite of the course laid down on the Map, and the considerations of W. Trelawney 
Saunders, it may be said that the Wad es Serar begins at Beit Surik and receives the Wady Beit 
Hanina as an affluent. 

2 D 

202 Archceolozical Researches in Palestine. 


planted with numerous vineyards, which were its characteristic feature.* 
Now, it is very impressive to notice, that, in the environs of this very Kh. 
Surik, one finds at every step magnificent wine presses cut out in the rock,+ 
the most remarkable perhaps in all Palestine, and bearing witness that vine- 
growing was practised to a high degree on the slopes of the Wad es Serar 
at an early period. 

I-^or all these reasons, and for others, too, that I could not give here 
without increasing this volume beyond measure, I incline more and more to 
the belief that the Kh. Surik, discovered by me, and identical with the Caphar 
Sorech of the Ononiasticon, has really preserved for us the name of the valley 
of Sorek, and that this valley is none other than the Wad es Serar which 
runs below Surik. 

Rdjdt. — At Rafat we came upon a commemorati\'e tuneral ceremony, 
an extremely curious one, accompanied by songs and dances. Some peasants 
from Beit A'tab, ensconsed beneath a great ersh of leaves supported by a 
stone pillar, gave us a most hearty welcome. In addition to the name Surik, 
which has just dragged me into this long but necessary digression, I got some 
more items of information from them : 

At Rdfdt there is a Sheikh Rdfdty ; at Si^ir'ah (Sara) there is the Sheikh 
Sdniet (ci-^tU or ktU) ; at Eshua' (Eshu') is Neby ShiTa ;\ 

About a quarter of an hour west of Deir Aban is the place called Tantilra, 
beside which is the well Bir ez Znrra ; eighteen men once were massacred 

Sara. — The sun was about to set as we reached Sar'a, behind a hill 
shaped like a promontory. I noticed on it numerous rock-hewn vaults. 
From the sanctuary of Sheikh Samet, which rises to the south of the village, 
we had a glorious view over 'Ain Shemes, Deir Aban, 'Arti^if, and so forth, 
and over the Wad es Serar, which here extends to an imposing breadth. 
On the further side of the valley, to the east, we descried by the last beams of 

* Samson, accompanied by his fatlier and mother, goes down to the vines of Timnah 
(Judges xiv, s)=Tibneh, a little lower down, in the Wad es Serar. 

t Several examples will be found reproduced with great fidelity by M. Schick in the 
Zeitschrijt des deutschen Palaestina-Vereitis, X, p. 131, d seqq., 1887. Compare those that we 
noted in the direction of Beit Nettif, which are engraved later on in the book. 

J Or Ne/>y Ishi'i'a {EshiYa) ; it is well-nigh impossible to make out from the pronunciation 
of the fellahin whether the name begins with an / or not, as this letter, if it exist.s, is merged 
into the final _)• o^. nehy. 

Tonr from Jcnisakni to Jaffa and the Coiintty of Samson. 203 

the setting sun, numerous mouths of tombs hewn in the side of the hill. A 
quarter of an hour later we had reached our camp at 'Artuf 

'Artilf. — 'Artuf has every appearance of being an ancient place. Its 
name, however, recalls no memories of the Bible, and is moreover difficult to 
explain in Arabic, whether we write it ^y^j^^ with Robinson, or i_?y.^, with 
the N'ame Lists. In the latter case one might sueeest (_i. ,1^, "stout " "strono- " 
turned into 1— jy^- by a metathesis similar t(j that which has transformed 
Latrfin into Rathhi in the dialect of the fellahin. If, on the contrary, the 
name is written with an emphatic t, we may, perhaps, regard the r as an 
epenthetic letter (equivalent to reduplication by daguesh ; cf. in Aramaic 
h^-\V for ^tay) ; in which case 'Artilf would be instead of 'Attiif ; Atnf 
means "curved," Attlf, "a harpoon." However, none of these various 
conjectures lead us to any etymology that clears up the ancient toponymy. 
1 thought at one time that 'Artuf might possibly represent, topographically 
at any rate, even if not onomastically, the town of Tappiiah, niDH. which is 
mentioned along with Zorah in this same group of the Shephelah. It must 
be allowed that the name would have changed remarkably on the way. Still, 
it is to be noted that in the ancient Syriac version it has already begun to 
undergo a marked change, Pathuh ; on the other hand, the Ii, especially when 
final, easily becomes 'ain in Arabic ; witness the name of the neiehbourino- 
town of Zanoah rn:t- now Zanfia. We should have then the following 
process, every step of which would have its phonetic justification : Tappuah — 
Patlmh = PattiT = Att?1f= Artnf* It is a rather curious coincidence that 
Robinson was once led to identify an homonymous Tappuah [Bn TappuaJi) 
in the neighbourhood of Sichem, with a place called Atif the name of which 
seems to be related to 'Artuf Nevertheless, the question seems to me far 
from settled, and I shall return to it anon when dealing with En Gannim, with 
which the Tappuah of Judah seems to be closely connected. 

Places around. — Next day, before starting on our way to Jerusalem, I 
devoted part of the morning to examining certain spots near 'Artuf that 
especially interested me. I should have greatly liked to explore thoroughly 
this most curious region, forming as it does the heart of the primitive territory 
of the tribe of Dan, and the scene of the traditional history of Samson. But 
for this purpose we shf)uld have had to stay there a day at the least, and I was 

* As for the change from / natural to / emphatic (if there really be one in the name) this 
would be explained by the influence of the guttural 'ain at the beginning of the word. This 
latter phenomenon is frequent in Arabic. 

r> 2 

204 Archffological Researches in Palestine. 

oblisfed to return to Terusalem on urtrent business. I resolved to confine our 
explorations on this occasion to 'Ain Shemes and Deir Aban, promising 
myself to complete them later on by a special excursion, which, unluckily, I 
was prevented by circumstances from carrying out. 

Before leaving 'Artiif, I had a small conference on archreology and 
topography with the village fellahin, in the course of which I gleaned various 
scraps of information ; I will lay them before the reader just as I received 
them. We had before our eyes, as we talked, the panorama of the places to 
which the information related ; this served as a text, so to speak, to these 
artless but interesting commentaries, which checked, completed, and sometimes 
even contradicted one another, according to the turns of the conversation or 
the personal character of the speakers. The eye beheld at one glance from 
the heights of 'Artuf : Eslma, 'As/in, Sara, 'Ain S hemes, Deir Aban, etc. 
Here is a small view taken from 'Artiif looking towards Sara, which is 
separated from it by the JVady Rlutlak. 


I now let my fellahin speak for themselves: 

The locality situated not far to the west of 'Ain Shemes, and which figures 
on the map of Van de Velde — the only one I then had at my command — 
under the name of 'Ain Jtneh, "the spring of Jineh," is really called 
Uvini Jina, and there is no spring there. This piece of information 
was opposed to a conjecture that I had formed for some time past, relying on 
the erroneous transcription of Van de Velde, which consisted in identifying 
this spot with the town of En Gannini. However, as I shall presently 
mention, the notion is still tenable. At Umm Jina there is the sanctuary of 
Afeb^' rieidar {j-^!^ is one of the names of the Hon in Arabic). 

Tour from Jerusalem io Jaffa and /lie Country of Samson. 20 ^^ 

— At 'Ain Shemes there is the sanctuary of Abu Meisar, brother to Sheikh 
es Sdmet, whose sanctuary is at Sar'a, opposite 'Ain Shemes. Abu Metzar is 
a nickname, meaning- " the father of the woollen mantle or head-dress." One 
Christian feast day Abu Meizar penetrated into the church, disguised as a 
monk. He seized hold of the central column sustaining the building, crying: 
Ya Ktidret Allah, "O power of God," and overthrew the church, which fell 
in ruins and crushed the congregation. He had said to the Mussulmans, 
" You will find me lying on my back, on the door post {^adliideh) ; bury me 
near it, on the western side." 

— The saint of Sar'a, Sheikh Samet, brother of Abu Meizar, was fiorhtino- 

o o 

against the infidels {Kuffd7'). He had been asked where he was to be buried. 
"At the place," he replied, "where my rr/^vs (javelin) shall stick into the 
ground." He was at 'Ain Shemes at the time. He hurled his reki'z, which 
planted itself in the soil to the south of Sar'a, where his makam stands to 
this day. 

— At 'Eselin is the sanctuary of Sheikh Gherib. The fellahin, those at least 
with whom I talked, knew of no legend relating to it. 

— At Deir el Hawa, to the east of Deir Aban, there is a sanctuary of 
Sheikh Selnidn el Fdr-sy. 

— Between Umm Jina and Tibneh is a bir (well or cistern) called Bir el 
Lewmn, but no spring; above, to the east, is a ruin of the same name. In 
old times a certain personage desiring to withdraw his daughter from the 
attentions of her lover, built for her a stronghold (kaser) right over the well. 
I was not able to get a complete account of this long and involved legend. 
The girl's name was Jam la, the lover's Jeinil. Jemil is buried at Rafat, to 
the west of Sar'a. 

— Between'Ain Shemes and Deir Aban lies a ruined place called '^///«('Alin). 

— Between Sar'a and Rafat is Deir et Tdhuneh, where one may see enormous 
stones, columns, and a door, still in position, said to be the church door. 

— Between Deir Aban and 'Ain Shemes, at the foot of the hill, is a sort of 
rocky pier hump, a wa'r, called Tantiira. A very long time ago the soldiers 
of the "government" cut off there the heads of forty-five fellahin; "eighteen 
pairs of brothers were massacred on these rocks." From thence forward it 
passed into a by-word, dabhat et Tantura, "a Tantura slaughter," being used 
to express a great massacre. 

— East of Tantura, between 'Artuf and Deir Aban, is a ruined spot called 
Kh. JenncCir. A musket shot to the east of Jena'ir is Kh. IJardzch. 
Not far to the east of this, between Deir el Hawa and Harazeh, is Kh. JMcrj 

2o6 Arche?o!ogical Researches in Palestine. 

'Elltn, "the ruin of the meadow of 'Ellin;" to the north of this last named 
ruin is Kh. Rabf. 

— Beit A'tab, to the east of Deir Aban, belonged of old to the Fenish. 
There is still to be seen, to the north of Beit Jibrin, at jVrdk el Finsh 
( = Fenish), an immense cave with an inscription carved over the doorway 
saying : " We have filled it with black zchib ditrtinily, do you fill it merely with 
chopped straw [iiben), and grain." It is a sort of challenge; zebib is dry 
grapes ; as for dnriini/y, I take it to be an adjective composed of the word 
duriim and the Turkish termination l)\ and signifying a particular sort of 
grape, I cannot tell which.* 

Wad es Sera?'. — After this long conversation, we took leave of our 'Artuf 
villagers, and directed by one of them, whom we had chosen as guide, we 
descended into the Wad es Serar, on our way to 'Ain Shemes. Several minor 
valleys join the main one at this point ; it is quite wide, and affords a level 
surface adapted for corn-growing. The harvest had been already gathered in 
when we passed, but the long stubble was left standing. The whole 
answers to the description in i Samuel vi, 13 ; this valley bottom is the e7)tek 
where the people of Beth Shemesh were getting in the harvest when they 
saw the cart bearing the Ark arriving. Somewhere hereabouts must have 
been the field of Joshua the Beth-Shemite, whose name has perhaps been 
handed down in that of the place and neby called E slut a. Numerous 
hypotheses have been put forward as to the origin of this latter, but this, the 
simplest and perhaps the most probable, has not been thought of 

Boundary. — Our guide pointed out to me in the distance the boundary 
of the territory of 'Ain Shemes, which descends from south to north, passing 
by a landmark situated to the east of 'Ain Shemes on the side of the hill, 
towards the outskirts of a small grove of olives. 

Thus 'Ain Shemes has a regular boundary, a hadd, exactly as Beth- 
Shemesh, which it represents, had its gebn/, its " boundary ;"t up to this 
gebe/ the lords of the Philistines walked behind the Ark, when they brought 
it from Ekron. I could not get anyone to show me which way the kadd 
went that bounded the territory of 'Ain Shemes on the west. It would be 

* For a moment I thought I could recognise in durum the name of the district of Darom, to 
which Eleutheropohs belonged. But in this case one would have rather expected to find a long 
form, such as durum, durum. Besides, the name Darom has been modified by the Arabs in 
quite a different way, viz., Danhi. 

t I Samuel, vi, ir. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jetffa and ike Country of Samson. 207 

interesting to verify this on tlie spot, since it is on tliis western side that 
we must look for the boundary at which the Phihstines, who came from the 
west, stopped their progress. It should be noticed, moreover, that the held 
of Joshua the Beth-Shemite, which I shall have occasion to speak of again 
shortly, was situated further to the east, since the Bible narrative (v. 13) 
says that the cart bearing the Ark still continued to proceed after the 
Philistines had stopped at the frontier. 

Rnjilm. — In the midst of the valley formed by the confluence of the 
Wad es Serar and the Wady Mutlak, between Sar'a, 'Artuf, 'Ain Shemes, 
and Deir Aban, I observed a low flat mound, covered with small stones, 
called Khiirbet er Rnjnm, and also Rjiim 'Artuf, "the heap of stones of 
'Artuf." I thought to myself how well adapted the spot was for the scene 
of the holocaust offered by the Beth-Shemites to celebrate the return of the 
Ark. Kh. er Rjum, our guide told me, was formerly "a Kal'a (fortress) 
like a church." 

En Gannim.— \\\ speaking to me oi Kh. Kkeishihn, he told me that it used 
to be the bekd " couniry. or town " of a King called Sultan el Jdnn. This 
name, Jdnn '^>r^ i^ ^i rather curious one. At first sight it appears to be 
merely the Arabic word signifying " demon, genie," but I should not be 
surprised if in reality it was a modification of the name of the ancient town 
of En Gannim Qi^a jijr. "the spring of the gardens," w'hich I have already 
mentioned in speaking of Umm Jina, near Kheishum. What made me 
hesitate to identify Umm Jina with En Gannim was, as I have said, my 
noticing that the word 'ain, "spring," formed no part of the modern name, 
and, more serious still, that there was not even a spring at Umm Jina. 
However, this last objection which I raised to myself loses much of its 
potency from the following fact : at 'Ain Shemes, well-established as the 
counterpart of the Beth-Shemesh of the Bible, there is no spring either, any 
more than at Umm Jina, despite the word 'ain, "spring," which enters into 
the composition of the modern name. It is, however, probable that there 
must have been at one time a spring at 'Ain Shemes to justify this significant 
appellation. The spring must have disappeared, no rare occurrence in Judaea 
or elsewhere. The case of Umm Jina may have been similar. I revert, then, 
to my original idea, confirmed as it is by the mention of this Sultan el Jdnn 
localised at Keishum. I am inclined to believe that the town of En Gannim, 
mentioned in Joshua as being in the district now under consideration, was 
situated on that remarkable ridge on the north of which Umm Jina was 
built, and to the south of which Kheishum stretches, "the countrv of the 

2o8 Archccolopical Researches in Palestine. 


King of el Jann ;" Jina and Jdnn, I think, preserved the name Gannini 
(plural of Can") in two slightly different forms depending one on the other. 
The memory of the "gardens" that gave the place its Hebrew name has also 
perhaps been preserved in a material way in the names of Bir el Leiniiin, 
Khurbet Bir el Letniun, which presuppose the existence of groves of citron- 

In the passage of Joshua (xv, 34) in which En Gannim appears, there is 
an anomaly calculated to arouse our attention. It is well known that there is 
a fundamental principle in this long list of the towns belonging to the various 
tribes of Israel ; the towns are grouped by threes in the verses, the few 
exceptions to this general rule having in every case their raison d'etre. 

Now in V. 34 the rule of three is broken, at least if the received 
translations be admitted, and we have four towns instead of three : Zanoah 
En Gannini, Tappuah, and Enani. A close inspection of the Hebrew text will 
reveal the fact that, owing to the peculiar employment of the conjunction and, 
the verse really contains only three towns, not four : And Zanoah, and En 
Gannini Tappiiah, and Enani. The absence of any conjunction between 
En Gannin and Tappuah would seem to show that the two places are really 
one, and that, consequently, if En Gannin is at Umm Jina, it is at the latter 
place also that Tappuah should be located. This conclusion would at the 
same time remove all possibility of placing Tappuah at 'Artuf.* 

The Ononiasticon places En Gannim near Bethel, which is a violation of 
all probability ; we should probably correct Bethel to Bethsames. 

Various Notes. — As we climbed the slopes of the hill of 'Ain Shemes, our 
guide continued to gossip in instructive fashion : 

— Between Deir Aban and Tantura, he told me, there is a well (or cistern) 
called Bir ez Zurra [Zera^) (already mentioned). 

— Between 'Ain Shemes and Deir Aban, to the north of 'Ellin ('Alin), is a 
ruin called Kh. Uinni ed Dahab, "the mother of gold." 

— Close by 'Ellin ('Alin) is a sanctuary of the saint of the same name, 
Sheikh Ellin. This is a h)pcethral niakdni, without masonry. 

The ancient nameof Deir Aban wasZt'/Vf/yJ/irY, "the increaseof the money."t 

* And .ilso the hypothesis that has been proposed, of identifying the Feta/i Enaim of the 
story of Tamar (Gen. xxxviii, 14) with a combination of Tappuah (by metathesis) and the Enam 
of the verse of Joshua. 

t Notice here again this expletive quahfication el inal, which the fellahin appear to have a 
strong liking for, and which they add to many ancient place-names. To the examples above 
quoted (p. 100) there should also be added one which occurs to me, namely Si'ir Bdlier, called 
bv the fellahin Sur cl )ual 

Tour from Jeritsaleiii to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 209 

— At EshiV is the makam of Neby AiisJid (j.-i^l), who fought against the 
Kufifar or pagans. He came from Beit Nebala.* Pursued by a numerous 
band of enemies, he escaped from his native land and took refuge at EshiV. 
" Here shall I die!" said he. He sat down, threw his ihimm (cloak) over his 
shoulder, and died. He used to slay the enemy with a " wooden sabre " {seif 
khashab).^ The sabre is still at Eshu'. 

"^Ain Shcmes. — On reaching the top of the hill, we inspected the ruins 
of 'A in Shemes,:j: which stretch over a considerable space, comprising numbers 
of hewn stones and courses still in sitn. The hill extends from west to east 
between the Wad es Serar and the Wady 'Ellin ('Alin). The western 
part of the ancient town occupies an eminence covered with ruins which goes 
by the name of Rmeileh. This quarter lies just west of the wely, a small 
insignificant structure called after the famous Abu Meizar ; I noticed there, 
however, a rude capital with double Doric \olute, having a cross within a 
circle between the two volutes. 

Here I came across a new version of the legend of Abu Meizar, who 
was also called, so my guide and other fellahin who were present declared, 
Abtil Azcm and Shemshtim cl Jebbdr^ " Samson the hero." There was 
once at R'meileh, which is the ancient name of 'Ain Shemes, a church of the 
infidels. Abu Meizar said to the inhabitants of Sar'a (SGr'ah), his native 
place: "What will you give me, if I kill the Christians and destroy their 
church ?" "We will give you a quarter of the country," they answered him. 
Then Abu Meizar entered into the church, where he found the Christians 
assembled for prayer, and pulled it down on top of them and him, by giving a 
mighty kick at the column, crying " Ya Rabb f" "O Lord!" He had said 
previously to his compatriots at Sar'a, " Search in R'meileh, you will find me 
lying on my back and the Christians on their bellies." The present makam 

* Beit Nebala takes us to quite anotiier region, to the north of Lydda and Modin. Perhaps 
there was some mistalce on my part or that of my informant, and Beit Nebala should be corrected 
into Bir Nebala, to the north of Neby Shamwil. 

t In my note-book is the note, "or handle of a plough." I cannot now undertake to say 
whether this is a variant derived actually from the narrative of my guide, or a commentary 
resulting from the explanations given me by the fellahin. 

\ I transliterate the Arab name S/ieiiiis and not S/icms, since it is really so pronounced : 
Shhna or S/idnics. The vulgar Arabic of Syria has in fact faithfully handed down to us in this 
word, as in other similar ones, the Hebrew vocalisation : Sliemesli ; it constantly applies the rule of 
the segolated forms ; this is why they say Kodcus (cf. the Hebrew Kodesli) and not Kods, for the 
name of Jerusalem ; be7iet, not bent, "daughter;" iehcn, not tebn, "straw," etc. 

§ Jebbar, it need hardly lie said, is the Hebrew gibbor, " hero." 

2 E 

210 Arch(£olos[ical Researches in Palestine. 


was erected to his memon,-. It is said that he was rather blind. His brother 
was Samet, born like himself at Sar'a (Sur'ah). 

The old people say : befii Sara il Beit el Jemdl enkatal S/tenishfitn el 
Jebbdr, "between Sar'a and Beit el Jemal* the hero Samson was killed." To 
this ver)- day the Sheikh in charge of the sanctuar)- of Abu Meizar, who 
comes from Beit A'tab, claims one-fourth of the produce of the olives between 
Deir Aban and 'Ain Shemes, in virtue of the promise made to the hero by 
his fellow citizens of Sar'a. One day a fellah who had refused to pay the 
traditional due, obtained blood instead of oil, when he came to press his 
sacrilesfious fruit 

'Ellin. — From 'Ain Shemes we turned down towards the east by south- 
east into the \\'ady 'Ellin ('Alin). The upper part of this is much widened 
out, and bears the name of Merdj 'Ellin, "the meadow of 'Ellin." If the 
word Abel^l^, "meadow," in i Sam. vi, i8, were not, as it seems it is, an 
old clerical error for pN, " stone," we might be tempted to locate there the 
great "meadow" of Joshua the Beth-Shemite, where the Ark was placed on 
its return from Philistia. 

At the head of the Wadv^ 'Ellin are the ruins of Kh. 'Ellin. Husre 
blocks lie strewn about in everj^ direction, some of them preserving traces of 
arrangement in rows, indicating that they form part of demolished buildings. 
The makam of SJieikh 'Ellin consists of a small rectangular enclosure of loose 
stones ; it is a liaram open to the sky, with no trace of masonr}" about it. 
The Sheikh 'Elhn came from Beit Xettif, three miles and a half to the south ; 
he was brother and enemy to Neby Heidar, who is worshipped not far from 
there at Umm Jina. 

'Ellin must have been a centre of population not so ver)- long ago, for it 
appears on the MS. administrative list in my possession, and in that of 
Robinson. The site tempts one to locate there one of the towns mentioned 
in the Bible as being in the neighbourhood. Two conjectures have been 
hazarded within the last few years. I had thought of those for myself, but 
even now am at a loss which to adopt. They are : Enam in Judah Qoshua 
XV, 34), and Elon in Dan (Joshua xix, 43). Both are philologically tenable. 

* The expression " between Sar'a and Beit el Jemal " curiously recalls one that occurs twice 
over in the account given in the book of Judges : " Between Zorah and Eshthaol " (Mahaneh Dan, 
and the family tomb of Samson) ; as well as the constant association of these two towns. It 
implies, as I have already remarked, the identity of Beit el Jemal and Eshtaol in fellah tradition, 
which seems in this respect to agree with the tradition recorded by the authors of the Onomasticon. 
I note this curious fact without attaching otherwise any importance to it. 

Toitr from Jeriisalein to Jaffa and the Conntry of Samson. 211 

As regards the second, I will add that one might equally well, if not better, 
from the topographical and onomastic point of view, identify Elott with 'Alein 
{D/iahr), a little west of Beit Mahsir. 

Tantilra. — An ancient road cut in the rock goes down from Kh. 'Ellin 
to the Wady Deir Aban. We took this in order to reach the village which 
gave it its name. Our guide either could not or would not take us to Tantura, 
the existence of which had been expressly mentioned to us by the fellahin 
of 'Artuf * I was keenly desirous of visiting this place on account of its 
suggestive name. From his confused account it would appear that Tantura 
is also called Sdfieh (L>jL, not ajjU). 

Neby Sh"eib. — Before arriving at Deir Aban, and while deviating left and 
right a little to find Tantura, we came to the Wddy Bir ez Zn7-ra, where we 
found a rocky mound with the ruins called Kh. Umni ed Dahab ; it is crowned 
by the wely of Neby SJi'etb.^ 

Bir ez Ziirra. — Opposite to the east, at the bottom of the valley, is the 
well of Bir ez Zurra. Above, on the hill-side, in the direction of 'Ain 
Shemes, we perceived at some distance a ruin called Kh. es Sidgh, "the ruin 
of the goldsmiths," the name of which seems to form a pendant to that 
of the neighbouring ruin Kh. Umm ed Dahab, "the ruin of the mother of 

To Deir Aban. — To ^et to Deir Aban from the bottom of the vallev, we 
had a nasty piece of climbing over rocks, where we were in continual peril of 
breaking our necks. As we neared the village, I noticed numerous cisterns 
and caves hewn out in the rock. The village rises in terraces on the side of 
the hill. The mosque is called by an insignificant and very common sort of 
name, el'Amery. There are in addition two w'elys, one oi Sheikh 'Obeid, the 
other of the Arba'm, "forty" (martyrs). In the upper part of the wall of the 
mosque we noticed a piece of sculpture, and M. Lecomte made a drawing 

of it.:^ 

IVdd Sherk. — To the south of Deir Aban is a small valley of no length, 
called She'b Wdd Sherk, W'hich joins the Wdd Deir Aban after passing by 
the foot of the village. I am not sure about the exact form of the name. It 
sounded to me like Sherk j^, but it may have been cherk, the initial ch being 

* Their statements were confirmed a few hours later by the fellahin of Deir el Hawa, but 
we were already too far off to go back. 

t Sho'eib, who is, as is well known, the representative of the Jethro of the Bible in Mussulman 

X This drawing cannot be found. 

2 E 2 

2 12 Archtpolorical Researches in Palestine. 

"i> ' 

partially merged in the final d of the word zudd: ludd clierk. In this case 
the original form would be j/, which is not likely ; tl// would do very well, 
but in that case it ought to have sounded to me cliereh, not cherk* 

Deir Abdn. — The question arises whether Deir Aban represents an 
ancient town, and if so, what ? The name is found in identically the same 
shape in other parts of Palestine,t and even right up near Damascus.^ This 
then makes three monasteries at least that have borne the name of Abdn. 
Their origin remains involved in obscurity, and the relation established between 
these three widely separated localities by this similarity of name defies 
detection. As to the Deir Aban near 'Ain Shemes, I have already asked 
myself the question§ whether this puzzling name Abdit might not stand for 
the Hebrew word Eben, "stone, rock," and whether, in this event, our Deir 
Aban might not be connected with that Eben which plays so important a part 
in two episodes of Israelitish history that appear to have occurred in this very 

The following is the manner in which I endeavoured to state the problem, 
in an article published in 1876 || :^ 

(i) The Great Eben. The Philistines, bringing back the Ark on a 
waggon from Ekron to Beth-Shemes, reach the verge of that city, now 
represented by 'Ain Shemes (i Sam. vi, 13). The waggon stops in the field 
of Joshua the Beth-shemite, where there was a great stone {Eben) ; the ark 
is rested on the "great stone," a sacrifice is offered in this place, and the cows 
which were drawing the Ark are sacrificed (vv. 14, 15). A little further on 
(v. 18), in speaking of the gold offerings, the narrator returns to this "great 
stone "^ on which the Ark was rested, and which is pointed out to this day 
in the field of Joshua; it seems this time to indicate clearly the limit of the 

Philistine territory ("to the great stone "), which, moreover, is confirmed 

by the fact that the Philistines go no farther, and that, after accompanying 
the Ark to this point, they return to Ekron. The memory of this event is, 
if my opinion is correct, preserved in the name of Deir Abdn. As to the 

* I doubt its being the Wady el Kerk'ak of the Name Lists {h6J), the valley of Deir Aban 
into which the little valley runs that I am speaking of. 
t Between Sebaste and Kalansaweh. 

I Yakdt, Mdjeth el Buldan, s.v. 

§ Quarterly Statement, 1874, p. 279. 

II Academy, October 28th, 1876. 

51 Abel, " meadow," must be corrected into eben "stone," in the opinion of all the com- 

Tour fro)u Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Sainsoji. 213 

extraordinary importance assigned it by the Bool; of Samuel, this is explained 
by the following considerations : — • 

(2) Eben. fia-ezer. The Israelites on their way to attack the Philistines, 
who had advanced to Aphek, encamp — probably on the confines of their 
territory— near the stone of succour {Eben fia-ezer). Beaten the first time, 
they bring up the Ark from Shiloh, and again try the fortunes of battle. 
They are completely defeated, and the Ark, which falls into the hands of the 
Philistines, is transported by them from Eben ha-ezer to Ashdod (i Sam., ii). 
These events occur, be it understood, before those we have just related. 

Is it not natural that later on the Ark should have been carried back to 
the same point where it had been captured ? On the very same spot where 
the sacrilege had been committed should the expiation be made. Now this 
spot bears precisely, as we have seen above, the name of "the great stone" 

There is yet another argument. It is only farther on (chap, vii) that 
the narrator tells us the origin of the name of Eben ha-ezer, whence it results 
that, at the moment of the return of the Ark, the place did not yet bear this 
name of Eben fia-ezer, and that the narrator only used it by anticipation when 
speaking of the previous defeat of the Israelites. As the religious outrage 
inflicted on the Ark had been repaired on the very same spot where it had 
taken place, so the national outrage was to be atoned for under identical 
conditions. It was at Eben ha-ezer itself that the Israelites, beaten at Eben 
ha-ezer, were to take under the leadership of Samuel a signal revenge. It 
was then only that the battle-field, determined by the position of Maspha, 
Bethkar, Sen (and Aphek) was consecrated by the erection of a stone, to 
which Samuel gave the name of Eben ha-ezer, "stone of succour."* It 
marked the point reached by the pursuit, and the Philistines never again 
crossed tfie borders of Israel. 

It results therefore from these comparisons, which I can now only briefly 
indicate, waiving certain obscure points, that — 

1. The place where the Israelites were beaten and where they lost the 
Ark did not assume till a later date the name of Eben fia-ezer. 

2. It was to this same spot, this time called Eben, that the Philistines 
carried back the Ark. 

* It results from a passage in Josephus that the stone must have borne in certain Hebrew 
MSS. the name of Azaz \Vi, "strength, strong," with a final zaiii instead of a resti, for he 
translates this name by iaxt'pdi', "strong." 

2 14 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

3. The Israelites, having beaten the Philistines in their turn at this same 
place, called it Eben ha-ezer. 

4. This place must have been on the confines of the Philistines and the 
Israelites — may perhaps even have been one of the boundary-marks. 

5. All these data, including that of the Onomasticon*' apply remarkably 
well to Deir Aban. 

Before leaving this in many respects most interesting region — the land of 
Samson as we may call it — to pursue the narrative of our tour, I think I ought 
to add a few words on certain questions more or less closely connected vvith it. 

'Eselin [Mslin). — The ruins of 'Eselin, lying just a little to the north-east of 
Sar'a, do not appear to have attracted the attention of archaeologists 
before 1874, at any rate from the onomastic point of view. M. Guerin 
confines himself to relating a local legend, unknown to the fellahin whom I 
questioned on the matter, to the effect that the sanctuary of Sheikh Gherib at 
'Eselin is the genuine tomb of Samson. This legend, if relied upon, and 
combined with the modern theory identifying Eshu' with Eshtaol, would 
involve the conclusion — Zoreah being indubitably Sar'a — that 'Eselin is 
identical with Mahaneh-Dan, which was situated, like the family tomb ol 
"Samson, "between Zorah and Eshtaol." But this legend, even supjDosing it 
exists, is far too weak a basis to support such a conclusion in topography, 1 
have shown above that the dim traditions of the fellahin concerning Samson, 
which are arbitrarily fastened on to various more or less fabulous persons, 
placed his tomb, either implicitly or explicitly, elsewhere than at 'Eselin. 
Accordingly we must not build on the notion. 

There remains for consideration the name 'Eselin, and whether it 
represents a Bible name. At first sight it has an entirely Arab appearance, 
and seems connected with the word 'asal, "honey." But we know that we 
often have to mistrust these names of purely Arab appearance. Tibneh, 
"chopped straw," one would swear was Arabic, but it is beyond a doubt that 
it is the name of the town of Timnah, brought into that shape by one of those 
popular etymologies which are as dear to the peasantry of Palestine as to 
those of our European countries. The same is true, I think, of the name of 

* The Onomasticon in fact {s.v., 'A/Seve^ep, Abenezer) places Eben ha-ezer near the village 
of Bethsames, between Jerusalem and Ascalon. This quite tallies with the position of Deir Aban, 
and seems to imply that Eusebius and St. Jerome were also of opinion that the "great stone" 
where the Ark rested on its return from Ekron, was identical with Eben ha-ezer. 

Totir from Jcnisalcni to Jaffn and tJie Coitntry of Samson. 2 1 5 

'Eselin ; it conceals from us some Bible name, but what name is it ? I have 
suggested that of the town of Ashnah mentioned in the same verse (Joshua xv, 
33) (between Zoreah and Eshtaol, forming the usual group of three) as 
belonging to Judah. 

From the phonetic stand-point, the Arabic ^^d..^ would quite exactly 
represent the Hebrew H-irt^ : the initial aleph, in contact with the shin, 
would have changed to '«/«, as in the name of Ascalon, (pVpt^ ^^ = ^iL*.j;) ; 
the mht to lam, as in the name of Skunem (U'yW = Saulam, Jj-.-)- As for the 
addition of the termination vi, so frequent in the Arab toponymy of Palestine, 
it is easy to explain. So we may say that from this quarter the identification 
of Ashnah and 'Eselin would encounter no difficulty. 

From the topographical point of view, the proximity of Sara (= Zoreah) 
forms another argument in its favour." But under this second head there is an 
objection that I have started against myself, and gives me pause. In 
chap, xix, 41 of the same book of Joshua, we see Zoreah and Eshtaol separated 
from the territory of Judah and assigned to that of Dan ; here also they form 
a group of three, but no more with Ashnah, that name being replaced by Ir- 
Shemesh (='Ain Shemes,* to the south of Sar'a). The alternative is obvious ; 
either Ashnah is identical with Ir-Shemesh ;t or else Ashnah, if it is to stay 
in the territory of Judah, must have been situated to the south of Sar'a, and 
even south of 'Ain Shemes, the territory of Dan being to the north of the 
contiguous territory of Judah. In either case it becomes difficult to identify 
Ashnah with 'Eselin, which is to the north-east of Sara, and consequently 
well into the Danite territory. This is why I am now inclined to ask whether 
'Eselin would not be simply Eshtaol. Certainly the onomastic identity in this 
case is not so immediately striking as with Ashnah, but still it is far from 

As to the first syllable 'cri^ = (o*j;, the proof is ready to hand; the/ is 
preserved. The disappearance of the t (n) remains to be accounted for, but it 
is provided with precedents, as it happens, in names of towns of analogous 
form, that is to say, in which the t is not radical; e.g., Eshtemoa TV^TWi^, 
J^Dnil^N = es Semu' c,.^*Jl • It is even possible that this t may have left a 

* The question would of course assume a new aspect if the generally admitted identity of 
Ir-Shemesh and Beth-Shemesh were to be rejected. 

t This hypothesis I cannot here discuss, but after all it is not quite untenable, if it be borne 
in mind that Ir-Shemesh is not mentioned, any more than Beth Shemesh is, in the list of the 
towns of Judah, though Beth-Shemesh certainly formed part of the territory of that tribe. 
(Joshua XV, 10, and, especially, xxi, 16.) 

2i6 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

slight trace behind it in the reduplication of the sin. This reduplication is 
hard for the ear to catch, but may still be a real one : 'Esse/in, 'Ess/ni, which 
would be for 'Estclin, 'Esi'lm.* To this should be added the power of 
attraction of the significant Arabic word 'asal, "honey," which may have 
brought about the deviation of the word towards this meaning. It is certain 
that 'Eseihi is phonetically speaking less distant from Eshtaol than Eshu', 
which hitherto found more ready acceptance. Topographically the two sites 
are equally likely, on account of their nearness to Sar'a.t 

Sdireh. — Just a little to the west of Beit A'tab is a ruin called 
Kh. es Sa'trek. I was unable to visit it, though its name, which appears on 
Robinson's list along with ZaniV, Yarmuk, Shueikeh, etc., had attracted my 
attention. I had proposed {Quarterly Statement, 1875, P- ^82) to recognise 
in it the Skaaraim of Joshua xv, 36. The onomastic identification is beyond 
reproach. The topographical position, which I had not been able at the time 
to determine exactly, may, however, raise some difficulties ; in fact, Sa'ireh 
seems rather too far to the east to fit in with the details of the narrative in 
I Samuel xvii, 52, where we see the Philistines, beaten by the Israelites in the 
valley of Elah, fleeing allong the road to Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 
It must be said, however, that several commentators, following herein the view 
of the Septuagint, regard Shaaraim as not being here the name of a town, but 
as a substantive meaning "the gates" or "the two gates." In this case 
naturally the difficulty vanishes, the topographical question itself being no 
longer existent. 

* The addition of the long termination hi — which is derived perhaps, as in many analogous 
instances, from an old ethnic plural ("the Eshtaolites ") — involved the reduction of the medial 
diphthong ao to ail [cf. vXn!."i<)j and paved the way for its transformation into a short vowel, 
destined finally to disappear or to become imperceptible. The strengthening of the initial akph 
to 'a'tn could only further the displacement of the centre of gravity of the word. 

t It is more difficult to bring back the Arabic form Eshu to the Hebraic form Eshtaol by 
the application of the ordinary principles governing the phonetic transformation of place names 
from Hebrew to Arabic. It is certain that, rightly or wrongly, native tradition points to some 
such name as JJIC" in this name Eshu ; accordingly, several commentators have proposed to 
recognise in it the town of Jeshi/a (Neh. xi, 26), although, to judge from the context, Jeshna 
appears to have formed part of a group of towns much more to the south. Has the Neby Eshu' of 
local legend given his name to the village of the same name, or borrowed it from it ? In the first 
case we might admit that the ancient name corresponding to Eshtaol had disappeared, and was 
replaced by this new name. The legend, as I have shown, assigns a foreign origin to this neby 
Eshu". I have already remarked that the name recalls both that of Joshua the Beth-shemite 
(i Sam. vi, 14, t8) and that of the Canaanite Shuah, the father-in-law of Judah (Gen. xxxviii, 2). 
I have previously noted (information obtained at Yebna, p. 184) that the ethnic of the inhabitants 
of Eshu' is Yeshuany in the singular, and Shcwanch in the plural. 

Tour from Jerusalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 2 1 7 

Crusaders' Casals. — Many of the villages of this region appear to have 
been occupied by the Crusaders. There is a group of five casals mentioned 
several times over in charters of the twelfth century* as having been given 
originally to the Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, along with their farms and 
dependencies, by a certain John Gothmann. 

(i) Bcthahatap; variants: Bethaatap, Bet /map, Be it at ap, Betatap. 

(2) Derhassen ; variants : Derassen, Derasen, 

(3) Derxerib ; variant: Derxerip. 

(4) C^di. 

(5) Vastina Leonis. 

The first, as M. Rey and Herr Rohricht have perceived, is certainly 
Beit A'tdb (to the south-east of Deir Aban). It is clear that the other four 
are to be sought for in the same region, and this debars us from the 
attempted identifications made by Herr Rohricht with various localities that 
are situated at much too great a distance. I therefore propose to identify the 
second (= Deir Hasan) with the Kh. Hasan,\ to the north-west of Sar a ; the 
third with Deir Shebib\ to the north of Sar a ; the fourth with Kh. Kila,\ to 
the north of Deir Shebib; and the fifth, Vastina Leonis, "the guastine of the 
Lion," with Kh. el Asad, " the ruin of the Lion,"|| to the south-west of 
Beit A'tab. 

Legends of Place Names.— \ have noted in the fellahin folk-lore a certain 
number of legends which, as we have seen, centre round the traditional 
memories of Samson. I am of opinion that these more or less superficial 
traditions are yet deeply rooted in the soil, and may be found attaching to 
certain place-names in the environs of Sara, the country of Samson. In 
the Bible narrative even a process of localization is perfectly evident, 
which consists in explaining the origin of certain place-names by certain acts 

* De Roziere, Cartulairc du Saint Sepulcre, pp. 195, 197, 266, 279. 

t Not far from here is the homonymous ruin called Kh. El Haj Hasan. 

% Derxerib, Derxerip, must result from a copyist's error for Derxebib (R for B). One might 
also take into account the S/ieik/i G/ier'ib of 'Eslin, but I have doubt about it. 

§ Herr Rohricht is divided between this Kila and one of the many names compounded with 
the word Kal^a, " fortress." 

II Here is perhaps an arbitrary localization of the legend of the lion that Samson slew as he 
went down to Timnah. It is hardly necessary for me to remark that this place, styled " of the 
Lion," is situated quite off the line of route from Sar'a to Tibneh, which probably represents the 
Timnah of the Bible narrative. On the other hand, there is another place also called 7ib>ta, 
half-way on the road to Sar'a, and lying to tlie south of Beit A'tab. It is possible that the legend 
has been diverted to this locality. 

2 F 

2 1 8 ArchiBological Researches in Palestine. 

attributed to the Danite hero. It appears strikuigly in the marvellous story 
of t\\<t jawbone of an ass, in the account of Ramath Lehi and the spring of 
En Hakkore ; it is less explicit, but still probable, as I think, in that of the 
three hundred foxes (which might have reference to the name of the Danite 
town Shaalbini {SImalwi) ; it exists perhaps, without being declared, in other 
episodes, where it is beyond our reach. It looks as if the compiler of the 
Book of Judges by multiplying these points of topographical connection had 
done his best to fix on Danite soil the more or less mythical personality 
that we know under the name of Samson.* Local tradition has, I think, 
subsequently carried on this process. It is one that is not peculiar to any 
epoch, and in some cases does not shrink from identifications of the most 
arbitrary description. I will confine myself to pointing out a few short hints : 

Khiirbet Ndkilra (^yU), to the north of Deir Aban, recalls En 
Hakkore ;t 

The sanctuary of Sheikh Nedhtr, to the north-west of Sara, recalls how 
Samson was consecrated as nazir ( jj^j', "i''W) ; 

Quite near this is Kh. Ism Allah, "name of God ;" cf. the appearance 
of the angel and the "secret name" to which he alludes; 

Also near this is Kh. Kefr Urieh ; cf. the young lion that Samson tore 
in pieces (mi"l« TED^, hj^y<>) \\ 

To the south-west of Sar'a is Deir et Tdhuneh, the name of which means 
"the convent of the mill;" but it must not be forgotten \}cv3X tdhtlneh ?\so 
means in Arabic "molar (tooth);" cf. the molar of the ass's jawbone, whence 
Jehovah made the miraculous spring to flow ; 

'Eselin, an ancient name brought in to the form of 'asal, " honey ;" cf 
the honey found by Samson in the carcase of the lion, etc. 

* Beginning perhaps with the actual name of Samson, though Zoreah is given in the Bible 
as the home of the hero, it may well be that his name has some connection with that of the 
neighbouring town of Beth Shanesh. Many different legends must have been current in the 
tribe of Dan about the origin and exploits of the hero, though the book of Judges has only 
handed down to us an insignificant part of them. 

t This identification was suggested to me as early as 1870 by the existence of the name, 
which was noted by M. Guenn without further comment. Since then, I see, in 1887, M. Schick 
has proposed it, but he takes up a position of historical reality and actual identity which I am not 
inclined to adopt. Nakiira, properly speaking, means "trumpet." 

X Cf. also Khiirbet el Ased, " the Lion's Ruin," to the south-west of Beit A'tab, which I 
have already mentioned. The legend has man.iged to take its course all about these parts, and 
to fix itself at several points in succession. 

Toitr from Jeriisalcm to Jaffa and tJie Country of Samson. 219 

A careful comparison of the Bible text and the toponymy of the district 
would probably enable us to increase the number of these popular allusions, 
which already form a homogeneous and significant whole.* 

From Deir Aban to Jerusalem. 

Deir el Hawd. — From Deir Aban we proceeded to Deir el Hawa, where 
we halted for lunch. I noticed in the village some ancient architectural 
remains, among others two bases, a column, and a carved stone, in which we 
thought we could detect a part of a balustrade. In the village itself are 
numerous caverns. One of these is a makam sacred to Sheikh Selmdn. I 
had already found a similar case of an old cave serving as a sanctuary, at 
el Midieh, the modern representative of the Modin of the Book of Maccabees. 
Entrance is gained to the cave by a stone door. Observing that the lintel 
was besmeared with a sort of reddish paste, I inquired the reason, which 
I found to be very curious. When the women make a vow, to obtain the 
cure of a sick child, for instance, they say, " I will give so much henna to the 
wely, one, two, or three piastres' worth of henna, if my child recovers." 
When their prayers are heard they make a paste with henna and smear the 
door of the sanctuary {bet'hannu 'l-bdb). This practice vividly recalls that of 
the anointing of the sacred stones. 

I observed likewise that before entering the sacred cave it was usual to 
touch the lintel with the hand, asking for dcstiir, "permission," and to avoid 
-Stepping on the threshold. t The cave is vast and irregularly hewn. The 
visitor enters a first chamber and passes thence to a second. There are 
probably other openings leading to chambers, but they are stopped up with 
large stones. 

Ancient Caves. — Opposite Deir el Hawa, on the other side of the wide 
and deep valley of Wad Isma'in, we saw, on the side of the mountain over 
against us, towards the north, the gaping mouth of a large cave forming 
a sort of enormous bay with a rounded top. This cave, I was told by the 

* I have already drawn attention to the existence of a makam of Neby Sh'eib, to tlie north- 
west of Deir Aban. It is not easy to see why the Arabic name of Jethro comes to be here. 
Sk"e'ib suggests the Se'i'ph of the rock Etam ; we know, as a matter of fact, that the Hebrew and 
Arabic roots :]yD and v_;i^ are very closely related as regards their form and the meaning of 
their derivatives. It should be noted that this S/i"dh is quite near Kh. Nakura. 

t Cy! I Sam. v, 5. 

2 F 2 

2 20 Archceoloo-ical Researches in Palestine. 


fellahin of Deir el Hawa, is also a makam, consecrated to Sheikh Ismain, who 
lived there once upon a time. It is called E'rdk Sheikh Ismain. It is huge 
enough to hold the whole population of the country-side, both man and beast. 
Inside it is an ancient keniseh (church). The appearance of this cavern, its 
position, and the peasants' description, tempted me to the idea of locating 
there the famous rock of Etam, where Samson is represented as hiding* in the 
Book of Judges. By the side of E'rak Ismain the fellahin indicated to me 
another large cavern called 'Aid/e 7 Bendf. They added that in former days 
all these caverns, on both sides of the valley, served as dwelling-places for the 

Khiirbet es Sciideh. — From Deir el Hawa we pursued our way towards 
Jerusalem, passing by way of Kh. es Sa'ideh, where I wished to copy an 
inscription, of which M. Guerin had only been able to take down two words. 
We bent our course towards the south-east, so as to rejoin the ancient Roman 
road, leaving on our right the wely el Hdiibany, and farther on, at some distance 
off, Kh. Fukin. Then we went up again in a north-easterly direction to 
el Kabu, where we made a short halt for a drink of the delicious water of the 
spring there. From here we proceeded to Kh. es Sa'ideh, along a deep 
valley. I hastened to get there before the sun, which was beginning to sink, 
should set ; so could make no observations during this last portion of the 
journey. We made a rapid survey of the ruins of Kh. Dcii- es Sa'ideh, utilizing 
the last rays of sunshine to look for the fragment of Greek inscription noted 
by M. Guerin. We came upon it placed upside clown in the corner of a dry- 
stone wall of modern construction. M. Lecomte immediately set to work to 
make a careful drawing of it. 

Meanwhile I examined the ruins, which are of considerable size, and 
appear to have belonged to a convent of the Byzantine period. The 
Crusaders, however, must have occupied it later, for among the materials of 
one ruined structure, graced with the name of wely, and consecrated to the 
Sheikh Ahmed, I noticed a block with the mediaeval tool-marks clearly shown. 
Not far south from here, in the valley, is another ruin, called Kh. Abii V- 
EKiveiz. However, it was too late to think of going to visit it, and I preferred 
to devote what little time we had left to finishing the exploration of the ruins. 
It was well I did so, for it was not long before I discovered, among the blocks 

* I see that M. Schick, on his side, came to this conclusion when he visited these places in 
1883 {Zdtschrift des Deuischen Palastina-Vereins, X, p. 133). Indeed he is much more positive 
than I care to be, 

Tour from Jerjisalem to Jaffa and the Country of Samson. 221 

that strewed the ground, to the south of the small wely, a second inscribed 
fragment. I saw at a glance that this must be a continuation of the former 
one. It becomes evident, in fact, on bringing together the two drawings that 
M. Lecomte made separately, that the primitive inscription can be recon- 
structed in its entirety, at least relatively so, as I shall presently explain. 

A is the portion mentioned by M. Guerin, b the portion discovered by me. 




It will be seen that the whole formed a large lintel 2"'8o long. The 
under surface of fragment v, is fitted with recesses, due probably to the block 
being used for a fresh purpose later on, either by Crusaders or Arabs. The 
inscription was divided into two symmetrical portions contained each within a 
cartouche with triangular ears, and separated by a cross inscribed in a circle.* 

K TovTO KTijcrixa MapCvov St.aK6(vov) 
" this is the foundation of the deacon Marinos." 

KxTjcr/xa is for KTio-jxa. Hitherto all that was known of this inscription 
was the beginning, which remained incomprehensible ; t but we now see that 

* Father Germer-Durand, who subsequently made a study of the object {Revue hiblique, 
1893, p. 209), declares he has distinguished in the four corners of the cross the well-known 
Christian sigles : 

t M. Guerin read: Kcii loZno Kti^ifut, "and this acquisition;" both the reading and the 
translation are altogether inadmissible. KriJ/tn is sometimes found in ecclesiastical language in 
the sense oiJ>rcediuiit ; on this point see the Bollandisls, 28 September, p. 622, note h. 

222 Archo'olos'ical Researches in Palestine. 


it gives us the name of the founder of the convent which formerly existed at 
Kh. es Sa'ideh, the tradition of which is contained in the appellation deir 
given to this ruin by the Arabs, as I have already remarked. 

In the Life of St. Euthymios (§ 14 and 29) mention is made of two 
disciples of this Saint, who play a great part in the religious history of 
Palestine in the fifth century, namely Loukas and Marinos, founders of 
monasteries not far from Jerusalem. The first, Loukas, built a monastery 
in the neighbourhood of Metdpa, now Unini Toba, between Jerusalem 
and Bethlehem, and his very name is preserved in that given to the 
neighbouring ruin, Kh. btdr Lickd ("the ruin of the wells of Luka"), near 
Deir el 'Anmd. The second, Marinos, founded in the same neighbourhood 
the monastery called monastery of Photinos. It occurs to me that the 
deacon Marinos of our inscription may be the same person, and consequently 
that the convent of Kh. es Sa'ideh may be the monastery of Photinos that 
he founded. It was not uncommon for deacons to be entrusted with 
founding monasteries ; thus that created on the site of the laura of this same 
St. Euthymios was built by the deacon Fidus. But though admitting the 
identity of the personage, we may hesitate as to the identity of the monastery 
founded by him. From Umm Toba to Kh. es Sa'ideh is six miles and a half 
This distance may appear rather great when we consider how closely the 
monasteries built by Loukas and Marinos are connected in the narrative 
where they appear. One would be inclined a priori to look for the convent 
of Marinos nearer Umm Toba, in one of the numerous ruins of Christian 
origin that have been noticed in the neighbourhood. However, the distance 
of Kh. es Sa'ideh is not great enough to form a fatal objection. A more serious 
difficulty is that the inscription does not contain the name of Photinos, which 
belonged to the monastery founded by Marinos. But is the inscription 
complete, in spite of appearances ? It begins with a K, having a mark of 
abbreviation appended, which is rather difficult to account for, not in itself but 
in its relation to the context. To explain it by the word Kypto?, Kvpte, "Lord," 
is not satisfactory ; the religious invocation would be short and somewhat 
awkward to bring into the construction of the sentence ; besides, the word 
Kvpto? is never abbreviated in this manner. As a general rule, this K is the 
abbreviation in current usage for K(ai), "and." If this value be assigned to it 
here, the aspect of the inscription is entirely changed: ''and this is the 
foundation of the deacon Marinos." It becomes merely the continuation of a 
lost sentence which perhaps contained the mention we should expect of the 
name of Photinos, after whom the monastery was called. We may suppose 

Tour from /enisala/i io Jajjct and the Count ly of Satuson. 223 

that this hntel formed a pair with another of the same kind, in some eirchitec- 
tural scheme such as we can easily imagine, a double door for instance. The 
way in which our inscription is divided into two parts enclosed in cartouches 
independent of each other would help to bear out this view. The proof of 
this hypothesis perhaps lies hid in the ruins, in the shape of one or more 
similar blocks containing the beginning of the inscription, the end being really 
all that we have. At any rate we are justified in supposing that the Marinos 
of the Life of St. Euthymios may have built, besides the monastery of 
Photinos, another one which is that at Kh. es Sa'ideh ; but, taking everything 
into account, I am rather inclined to regard this latter as the actual monastery 
of Photinos. 

Return Home. — The sun had already set when we left Kh. es Sa'ideh, 
and the rest of the journey was taken in darkness. It was a quarter past 
eight when we got back to Jerusalem, whence we had started seventeen 
days before. 


G E Z E R. 

I. — Gezer Revisited. 

After a few days of much needed repose at Jerusalem, I resolved to set out 
without further delay on my way to Gezer, with a view to making a thorough 
exploration there. 

Herein I was actuated by a twofold motive. 

First, I wished to ascertain whether there were any other inscriptions like 
the one I had discovered, the importance of which daily assumed greater 
proportions in my eyes. My train of reasoning, which, as will be seen, was 
amply justified by facts, was this : If this inscription really marks, as I think, 
the limit of a certain zone of country dependent on Gezer, it is extremely 
probable that it is not the only one of its kind ; a limit involves a line, and a 
line a series of points more or less distant from one another ; the moment one 
of these points has been determined by an inscription cut on a rock, it neces- 
sarily follows that there are some more boundary marks spaced out on the same 
epigraphic system. Further, I had been much struck with the fact that the 
Inscription discovered was situated exactly to the true east of Tell el Jezer. 
With this notion in my head, that the limit in question was likely to be not a 
line of demarcation between two adjacent territories, but a periphery normally 
orientated and enclosing the whole city, I said to myself that, by trusting to 
the orientation of the cardinal points, I had a good chance of coming across 
some other inscriptions belonging to the same series, in spite of the physical 
difficulty of exploring all the rocks of complicated shape that surround the 
tell ; in this way my researches would become circumscribed and notably 

The other reason that impelled me to return to Gezer was the desire I 
felt, apart from the study of all the questions raised by my find, to have this 
precious inscription cut out of the rock and put in a safe place, so as to remove 
it from those risks of destruction which it hitherto had miraculously escaped. 
My intention then was to have a short note of the occurrence cut in the rock, 
so as to mark the place. 



I secured the services of four good stonemasons, reliable, skilled work- 
men. . . . We started on Sunday, June 20th, 
Lecomte, our workmen, our servant, and myself. 

Reaching our destination at nightfall, I 

left our men in a dip of the ground, and with 
the aid of Lecomte began searching for our 
inscription.* We had no end of trouble in 
finding this again, for being on a flat rock level 
with the soil, it escaped observation. Though 
we had carefully taken our bearings with the 
compass at our last visit, it was no easy matter 
to find one's true position in the rocky ground 
with erratic undulations that extends all over 
this district. The sun was on the point ol 
disappearing behind the tell, and the bad light 
was not calculated to aid our search. Finally, 
we managed to find the rock just as the sun 
was dipping below the horizon. I immediately 
called up the main body of our forces, which 
was getting impatient and beginning to wonder 
at this long delay. The tent was pitched close 
to the inscription, and we slept on the ground. 

In the evening I studied the inscription 

afresh, by the light oi a fine moon which made 
every letter stand out in bold strokes, and was 
fully confirmed as to the accuracy of my first 
reading. Our master mason having examined 
the rock by this brilliant but deceptive light, 
declared it to be niizzeh yaJmdy. This was 
serious, for the luizzch yahndy is the hardest 


* I append two reproductions of the inscription, the 
first after photographs directly taken from the original, the 
second (p. 226) after a drawing made by M. Lecomte. In 
the first there will be noticed the difference oi colouring o{\.\\ii 
two first letters ; this arises from the fact that this fragment, 
the only one I was able to bring to London, was photo- 
graphed separately and fitted on afterwards to the photo- 
graph of the fragment now at Constantinople. 

2 (i 


Archcrolozicai Researches in Pa/esfi. 


stone in Palestine, a cold compact limestone most difficult to work, chisels of 
finest tempered steel breaking on it like glass. This portended a long and 
severe task, so I went to bed feeling rather anxious. 

Cir.ZRR (Inscriptiim A=). 

Next morning at daybreak I set our men to work, and heaved a sigh ot 
relief on seeing from the first strokes of the chisel that we had not to deal 
with the viizzek yalmdy, but a softer sort of limestone, though traversed, it is 
true, by cores of viizzeh. Even this was hard in places, especially at the 
surface, but still workable. Moreover, we had no grounds for complaint at 
this, since it was due to this hardness that the inscription had been 
preserved proof against the destructive alternations of dew, sun, and rain. 
. . . Meanwhile the work was making way. . . . Seeing this, I thought I might 
leave the spot and take a stroll with a fellah of Kubab as guide. Lecomte 

stayed behind to look after the workmen I began by taking some 

observations with the compass, with a view to determining the position 
of north and north-west, south and south-west, from our inscription. By 
means of a landmark I connected the position of the inscription with 
a point from which one could see the farmhouse of M. Bergheim 
rising above the tell of Gezer, and observed 270° as the bearing with the 
north-east corner of that building ;* consequently the inscription was clearly 
to the true east of the tell. From another standpoint, a few yards north of 
the inscription, I noted : — •j']^ on the axis of the guardhouse of Kubab, and 
1 18|-° on the wely of Sheikh Mo'alla (?) near 'Amwas. 

* Shortly afterwards, I went to M. Bergheim's farmhouse and tested my results in the other 
direction, noting, from the south-east corner of that building, an angle of 9i|° with our tent, 
which was visible from there. This is in pretty accurate agreement with my first observation. 

Gezer. 227 

Having clearly ascertained my position from the bearings, I called 
together some other fellahin from Kubab who had joined the former ones, 
and having pointed out to them by means of a series of landmarks, which 
were provided by conspicuous features of the landscape, what line they were 
to take, I directed them to examine carefully all the rocks along these lines, 
telling them, if they noticed one with any characters on it like those of our 
inscription, to let me know immediately, and promising, in case of success, a 
fair reward. I relied, not unreasonably, on their lynx-like sight, and on the 
stimulus given to their zeal by the hope of a good backsheesh. 

This done, I set off on my own account to roam about the neighbourhood, 
and examine various matters that I shall speak of later. . . . On the Tuesday 
afternoon. . . . The fellahin, whom I had sent out the evening before on the 
epigraphic chase described above, came running up, shouting gleefully 
that they had found "a second inscription carved on the rock; the sister 
of the other one {tikhfa)." I at once left the tent ... to go to the spot 
indicated, not being yet able to believe in such speedy success, and distrusting 
the imagination of my worthy " beaters." They were perfectly right. About 
170 yards from the inscription that our men were engaged in cutting, and 
in a line distinctly lying south-east and north-west, as I had foreseen, my 
fellahin brought me to a fiat rock, nearly horizontal like the other, bearing 
a magnificent bilingual Greek and Hebrew inscription. A glance was enough 
to assure me that it was an exact repetition of the other, except that the Greek 
and Hebrew, instead of being written one after the other on the same line, 
were here arranged in two lines back to back. This arrangement, which may 
at first sight appear peculiar, is easily explainable, the texts being cut not on 
a vertical but a horizontal surface, round which one could move reading in 
any desired direction. The characters, which here also were of very large 
size, were in a perfect state of preservation. Moreover, the Greek name was 
in this case written in full, AAKIOY, with the final npsilon, which I had judged 
to be lacking in the first inscription, partly from a defect in the rock, and 
partly from want of space, the cutter having miscalculated the length of the 
line, which had to be respectively begun from the left for the Greek, and 
from the right for the Hebrew. Thus the lingering doubts that might have 
clung to the reading and interpretation of the first and less perfect text, 
were utterly dispelled by the second. 

But what was above all invaluable, was, that we were at last certain, by 
means of this second fixed point, of the direction of the line of demarcation 
mentioned in the two inscriptions. Henceforth it became extremely probable 

2 ('■ 2 


Arc/ueoIoQ-ica/ Researches in Palestine. 

that another series of similar inscriptions might be discovered along this line 
by extending it till it reached well to the north of Gezer. It was then that 
I adopted the idea that the object of our investigations would turn out to 



..::SrXt^- -^"V^ 






-■"«•, -Stry. . 



-iW-»« \ 


\ -^ 






Gezer — (Inscriplion V^\ 

Gezer — (Inscription B-).* 




be a zone circumscribing Gezer, consisting ot a rectangle with its angles, not 
its sides, facing the four quarters of the compass. However, this is not yet 

* Bi was engravL-d after a poor photograph of the original; B- after a drawing by M. Lecomte 
made with great care from the squeeze. 



the phice to discuss the question. I resume my narrative. ... It was decided 
that the second inscription should be likewise cut out, and after the two 
operations were over the villagers should be paid the promised reward. . . . 
After having, in company with M. Lecomte, examined the inscription and 
made preparations for its excision, we returned to our tent. Suddenly, as we 
were going along, we noticed some way ahead of us on our right, large 
characters cut in the rock ; the sun was already low in the sky, and its rays 
catching the characters at a favourable angle, they were clearly distinguishable 
and at once attracted the eye. We went up, and I recognized with delight 
four fine Hebrew letters belonging to the same alphabet as the Hebrew part 
of the two other inscriptions. This third inscription, situated about half-way 
between the two others, is not cut like them on an almost horizontal slab of 
rock, but on a kind of almost perpendicular wall of rock, slightly concave. 
Though shorter — its length is o™"94 — it is complete and in pretty good 
preservation. My intention was to have it cut out, like the others, but the 
course of events did not allow of this. Happily I took the precaution of 
making a careful squeeze of it. We had had a really good day. . . . 

Gezer (Inscription C). 

Gezer (Inscii|ition C-). 

On the Wednesday I went on with my exploration of the surrounding 
country, while the stone-cutters went on with their task under the superin- 
tendence of M. Lecomte. At nightfall the cutting-out of the first stone was 
completed. On account of a Haw in the rock it broke into two unequal 
portions, the smaller containing only two letters, the first two in the name 

* Engraving C^ is made from a pbuKigrai.h of the squeeze; C- from a drawing by M. 

230 Arch(Tological Researches in Palestine. 

A/kzos* I kept the latter by us in the tent, which I had had erected afresh 
near the second inscription, the object of to-morrow's operations. The former 
portion, containing the greater part of the inscription, I had put on the back 

of one of our mules to be taken to On the Thursday morning, at the 

first hour, the workmen made a vigorous onslaught on the second inscription. 
I pressed them on to the best of my power, being in a hurry to have 
done. I made yet another reconnaissance in the neighbourhood. 

* * * 

[Here fol/oivs, in the Authors viannscript, an account of occurrences ivhich 
caused him mnch vexation, and considerably interfered with his plans. The 
Connnittee has deemed it desirable to suppress this account, and several passages 
referring to it in the preceding pages. These have therefore been struck out, 
and their hlaces indicated by dots.^ 

II. — Ultimate fate of the Inscriptions. 

For a long time I never knew what became of our inscriptions. 
The first news I had of them reached me in an amusing way enough. In 
1876, one of the pupils attending my lectures on Oriental archseology at the 
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, M. Sorlin d'Origny, of Constantinople, 
brought a copy of an inscription to show me that had been sent him by 
Dr. Dethier, then Director of the Ottoman Museum of St. Irene. He had 
already communicated it to MM. Lenormant and Renan, who took it to be 
a Hebrew inscription beginning with the word r>D2J2, '' cippus," and from this 
it had been supposed to be some Jewish funerary monument from Cyprus, 
where the Jews were formerly numerous. .'\t first glance I recognized the 
so-called epitaph as an old acquaintance ; it was none other than one of the 
Gezer inscriptions, the one that lacked the two first letters A A ! From 
information obtained from M. Dethier it appeared that the stone had been 
sent from Jaffa, and, oddly enough, it was said to have been regarded as 
marking " the boundary of the ancient Kondk of Jafta !" Here, it will be seen, 
was a regular legend in course of formation. t Afterwards, in 1SS5, my friend 

* See supra, note relating to engraving A^ 

t Already in 1874, popular legend had begun to seize upon this notion. The fellahin of the 
neighbourhood understood pretty soon that these inscriptions related to some boundary, 
and upon this basis their imaginations had set to work. A peasant of 'Amwas gravely assured me 
that these inscriptions were to mark the limit of the territory of Hebron or of one of the numerous 
waliefs attached to it. 



INI. J. Loytved saw the stone at the Constantinople Museum, and sent me a 
copy of the inscription. 

As for the other inscription, which was also removed from its original 
place, it has not been noticed in the museum, so far as I know. What has 
become of it ? The third is still in situ at Nejmet el 'Ades. Fortunately I 
had been able to take squeezes and copies of the three texts. Thanks to 
these, and the photographs that I procured later, I am able now, for the first 
time, twenty years after their discovery, to give faithful reproductions of these 
inscriptions. These will suffice, I hope, together with the explanations I shall 
give, to answer certain doubts which, until lately, some people have been 
pleased to leave hanging over their real worth and signification 

1 II. — Further Discoveries. 

In 1 88 1, seven years after this incident, I had occasion to return to 
Palestine, and resumed, on my own account, the exploration of the 
neighbourhood of Gezer, which had been so unduly broken off. I had 
been persuaded all along that some more inscriptions must be in existence, 
similar to those I had discovered, marking out the boundary of the town 
towards the north-west. I started searching in this quarter, with the help of 
the fellahin, as on the previous occasion ; it was not long before my labours 
were crowned with success, for about two or three hundred yards to the north- 
west of the first inscription I discovered some large characters, absolutely 
similar to the former, and cut into the face of a rounded rocky platform with 
almost perpendicular sides. I have no record of these characters, but a rough 
sketch hurriedly made in my note book. I meant to go back and take a 
squeeze of them, fix the exact position of the inscription, and pursue my 
investigations on the spot ; but, unfortunately, I was suddenly recalled 
to France, and was unable to carry out this intention. I regret this, for I 
am convinced that there still remains quite a series of these texts to 
be collected round about Gezer. I am certain that a search of this kind 
would not be unfruitful, and earnestly recommend it to future Palestine 

In any case, here is the copy of this fresh inscription from the rough 
sketch I made of it. 

232 Arcluroiogical Researches in Palestine. 

It is easy to recognize in the first line the word AAKIOY, in the second 
the remains of the words iW Dnn, which have suffered considerably. The 
two inscriptions, Greek and Hebrew, are ' lentical with the former ones, only 

mh' mj 

i-S^ " 

GEZER. (Inscription D.) 

in this case they are differently arranged, being placed one above the other 
in the usual way, instead of being placed side by side as in the first inscrip- 
tion, or back to back as in the second. The surface of the rock, moreover, 
approaches much more nearly to the perpendicular than in the two other cases. 
It really was a lucky accident of my search that I did not come upon 
this third copy of the text first of all, for the Hebrew part being in this one 
so much damaged, would probably have remained undecipherable ; I could 
never have guessed that it contained the name of Gezer, that it indicated the 
boundary of the city, and that, consequently, other specimens, in a better 
state of preservation, and calculated to afford a clue to the puzzle, ought to be 
searched for, and would be found at some distance from it. Certainly the 
Greek inscription could not have made up for the silence of the Hebrew one, 
for even now a number of people hesitate, wrongly enough, I must say, to 
interpret the word as AAKIO or AAKIOY. Doubt, however, is no longer 
admissible, the word is, as I shall prove, simply the genitive form of a man's 
name AAKIOZ, belonging to some magistrate or person of note who presided 
officially over the fixing of the boundary of Gezer. 



Is this fourth inscription identical with the one noticed at Gezer by the 
Survey Party after my earlier discoveries, and mentioned in the Memoirs ?* 
I cannot exactly say. The position marked on the plan might be made to 
agree with it, but the description given of it, and the only two marks that 
are reproduced (flu) in nowise correspond with the details given above. It 
may be merely a case of those marks of doubtful character, such as I have 
found specimens of in various places round about Gezer, which I shall speak 
of further on. 

The new find that I made in 1881 has allowed me to state the rule 
followed in setting out these curious epigraphical landmarks in the boundary 
of Gezer. The town is encircled by small low undulating hills, with the rock 
everywhere cropping out in them. Where the line of demarcation cuts through 
these hills, they selected as sites for the landmarks the points where the line 
touched the foot of the hill and where it left it on the further side, taklnof 
them more or less at the same level. This observation is calculated, I think, 
to facilitate further investigation of the ground containing the other similar 
inscriptions which doubtless exist. 

IV. — Various Marks on the Rocks. 

I resume the narrative of my researches in 1874. As may well be 
supposed, the discovery of these three inscriptions, one after the other, had 
put me on my guard, and while sending out several fellahin as sleuth-hounds 
and beaters, I utilized such leisure as was allowed me by the labours of our 
stone-cutters, to explore the surrounding country, making a careful examination 
of the smallest marks to be noticed on the rocks. I am persuaded that if we 
had not been compelled by circumstances to beat a hasty retreat, we should 
have discovered more of these texts marking out the Gezer boundary. 


II, p. 436; cf. Quarterly Statement, 1875, pp. 5, 74. 

2 II 

2 34 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

In several places the rock presents marks here and there, ot such a kind 
that it is difficult to say whether they are signs cut by human hands and more 
or less worn away, or merely freaks of nature ; for instance, furrows worn in 
the rock, by the running roots of certain shrubs which have now disappeared 
^.. . along with the vegetable soil in which they grew. Here 

i-' W \ V'^X- '^'"6 some specimens we noted of these marks of doubtful 
,^\ -i^LJl  origin (see engraving, p. 233). 

The one which more than any resembles real 
characters, suggesting the Hebrew alphabet, is the group opposite. I took 
the following notes of its position, but cannot guarantee the correctness of 
the angles, my time being so short: — Latrun blockhouse, 71°; great fig-tree 
of Sheikh Ja'bas, 17°. 

V. — Explorations around Gezer. 

To the south of ' Ain Yardeh and the east of Abu Shusheh is a mound of 
no great elevation which the fellahin call t'/ Kas'a. Here I noticed wide 
esplanades cut in the rock, steps quite regularly cut, and a number of those 
platforms once used as sites for houses, such as I have described in Chapter I. 
I suppose el Kas'a corresponds to the spot marked as "Khurbet Yerdeh " on 
the Survey Plan. 

P'rom here I crossed the widy separating 'Ain Yardeh from the tell which 
descends from Musa Tali'a to 'Ain Yardeh. Its name was given to me as 
Wddy 'E//eik ( ijj_;). Between the spot where I crossed the wady and the 
foot of the tell I noticed the site of a spring called 'Ain el Botnieh. 

At the eastern extremity of the tell, at a spot bearing 80° on 'Ain Yardeh, 
I noticed some fine presses and a double tomb with its entrance formed by a 
rectangular ditch with open top, as in the case of the tombs in the neigh- 
bourhood of el Midieh. 

Quite close to here, at the foot of a large fig-tree that rises above 'Ain 
Yardeh, there passes an ancient road, in great part rock-cut, running from east 
to west, and ending at Ni'aneh, so the fellahin said. 

I followed the other and more modern road which skirts the tell on the 
south, and goes up from 'Ain Yardeh to Abu Shusheh. Shortly before 
arriving below M. Bergheim's farm, and to the south-east of it, on a level 
with the word ruin on the Survey Plan, there are on the left of the road as 
you go up, a number of scattered blocks belonging to structures now vanished. 



Here a piece of rock placed upright marks the exact position of the Tamuir, 
or the 'Ain etTantmr, which plays a large part in local tradition, and will be 
more fully treated of in dealing with the curious legend connected with it. 

In spite of the name, there is not a trace of a spring ; however, I am 
inclined to believe that one originally existed there, but has dried up, and that 
the fellahin are not altogether in error when they say that the water of the 
Tannur goes underground and comes out at 'Ain Yardeh. They say further 
that the Tannur marks the origin of the Wady Tannur, which passes 
successively by Yardeh, then to the east of el-Berriyeh,* to the east of Ramleh 
and Lydda, between Kufiir 'Ana and Yazur, and finally flows into the sea, 
after traversing the gardens of Jaffa. 

On the Survey Plan the Tannur is marked in quite a different place, on 
the eastern slope of the tell, due west of 'Ain Yardeh. This is a mistake, the 
result of some confusion in the information got from the fellahin. i" I pointed 
this out in 1878 to Lieut. Kitchener, who kindly proceeded to verify the fact, 
and sent me a special sketch which fully confirms my observation. The 
Survey Plan ought consequently to be rectified. 

From here I went to the great cavern of Jaiha, to the south of the tell, 
and satisfied myself anew that it was an old quarry, whence materials were 
taken for the successive buildings of the town of Gezer. Here is the legend 
about it that I gathered from the conversation of the fellahin : "The Jews 
{Yahiid) had entrenched themselves in the cavern [inaghdra) of Jaiha in order 
to fight against Noah, while the latter and his followers occupied Tell el 
Jezer, which was formerly ' the town of our lord Noah ' {luedinet Sidnd NiVi). 
They fired at him unseen, but Noah returned the fire, aimed at the cavern " — 
an artillery duel, evidently, is meant — " and broke down the roof, which fell in 
on the Jews and destroyed them. From this time forward the cavern was 
called ya///^, because" — -jdhat'aleihein, — 'it fell in on them' (a-^jJ-: ^^j^i-l:^-)". 
This queer legend wears a look that recalls in striking fashion certain stories 
giving the etymologies of Bible place-names, but it has at least one merit from 
our point of view — that of helping us to fix the genuine spelling of this name 
which has been set down in the Memoirs under the rather divergfent forms 
of Hejjiha and Jdeiha. There runs through this story of a cave, as it were 
a vague echo of the drama of the Cave of Makkedah. 

Continuing my southerly course, I went on from here to visit the sanc- 

* Where there is a sanctuary dedicated to Sheikh Berry. 
t Letter of March ist, 1878. 

2 II 2 

236 Arch(Bological Researches in Palestine. 

tuary of Sheikh Jdbds, or rather Ja'dds, as the fellahin pronounce it. It 
consists of a plain tomb, in the Arab style, surrounded with an enclosure, open 
to the sky, formed of large blocks. A little beneath it stands a fig-tree, which 
is visible for a great distance, and serves to indicate the spot as you approach 
it from below. The tree is before the entrance of a cavern of considerable 
size, regularly cut out. 

Further on, and to the south-east, on the top of a hill, rises the sanctuary 
of Miasa Tali'a or Esh Sheikh Milsd Talfa. It consists of a small kubbeh of 
rough masonry-work, half in ruins, with a court in front of it ; the tomb is 
original. Close by is a large cistern, with its mouth fashioned out of a fine 
marble capital carved on two sides. I regret that I did not make a drawing 
of this. I found no trace of the inscription which I had been told the previous 
June was to be found there, but it does not follow that it is not really there. 
The holy person answering to the name of Miisa was placed there, so the 
fellahin say, as a ''scout" {tali'a) to "observe" (j-ii;) the movements of the 
Christians, who were fighting with the Mussulmans in the Wad es-Serar. 
The Christians surprised him at his post and killed him, he died the death of 
the martyrs [shchid). It is a fact that the spot is situated on a commanding 
point, whence there is a very fine and extensive view. The three points, 
Tell el Jezer, Sheikh Ja'bas, and Sheikh Musa, are similarly situated in this 
respect, accordingly the fellahin call them MUsa Tali'a, Jab'ds Tali'a, and 
Jezery Tali'a, making these three more or less real personages into three 
warriors of old, placed as scouts on the three places that command the region 
round about. I am greatly inclined to believe that there is a hidden historical 
basis to the legend of Miisa Tali'a, some incident of the great battle of Mount 
Gisart between Saladin and the Franks, and that Mount Gisart, the site of 
which has remained absolutely unknown up to the present time, was, as I 
shall explain later on, none other than our Tell el Jezer. 

From here I pushed on in the direction of Deir er Ruhban, passing by 
Khirbet Bir el Moiyeh, where I noticed some scattered ruins on a low rising 
ground between Deir er Ruhban and Kubab. 

At Deir er Ruhban there is a huge broken-down cistern or bciydra, built 
of stones with small irregular bosses ; the sides are covered with thick solid 
concrete-work. The ruins were overgrown with thick impenetrable brush- 
wood {i)inrrdr\ which made it very difficult to examine them. I made a 
vain search there for an inscription which the fellahin had told me was there. 
This perhaps may yet be discovered, for I have reason to believe their infor- 
mation to be correct. 

Gezer. 237 

VI. — The Legend of Noaii and the Flood of Gezer. 

Local tradition is strangely persistent in connecting the origin of Tell 
el Jezer with the name of Noah and traditions of the Flood. I shall shortly 
indicate what, in my opinion, is the reason of this. 

Abu Shusheh himself, the more or less fabulous personage who has 
given his name to the modern village is the subject of a curious legend,* 
evidently forming part of the same cycle. He met his death by drowning in 
a flood of water that came from underground. I will remark en passant that 
this name Abu Shusheh, which properly speaking is merely a nickname 
("the father of the tuft"), occurs again in other places in Palestine, for instance 
in the neighbourhood of Caifa and of the Lake of Tiberias (Map, VIII, L.j. 
and VI, O.g.). It is quite possible that in these cases also, as in that of 
Gezer, the trivial name has displaced some ancient name of an old Bible city.t 

I have already stated, in speaking of the Cave of Jaiha, that according to 
the fellahin the town of Tell el Jezer was the town of Noah, medtnet Sidna 
Nilh. Here is another legend that I gathered from their lips, relating to 
'Ain Tannur, "the spring of the Oven." 

Noah had said to his daughter (and not to his wife), "If anyone shall 
come and say to me, ' taff et-tanntir (the Tannur has overflowed),'! ^ ^'^' 
cut off his head." One day his daughter went to knead or bake the bread 
(tokhbcz), and found the water rushing out of the Tannur. She came back to 
her father, and he asked her, "Why hast thou not prepared the dough i^lcish 
nid khabczt e/'aj'tn) ?" " I have come back without the bread," she replied. 
" It is because the Tannur is overflowing," cried Noah. " Thou thyself hast 
said it," the girl at once replied, thus escaping his terrible threat. Noah then 
.sent for a vessel {s'fmeh), went on board it with all the inhabitants of the town, 

* Memoirs, II, 444. 

t We should perhaps take this circumstance into account in dealing with the problems of 
the identity of Capernaum and of Kinnercth. 

X This meaning of the verb , ^ appears to me to follow from that of the derived substantive 

taff, "over-full, of a pot brimming over." The geminate root faff, on the other hand, seems to me 
to be closely related to the hollow root tdf, by reason of the equivalence which is so frequently 
noticed in Semitic languages between a short vowel followed by a double consonant, and a long 
vowel followed by a single consonant. In this way the root would be connected with the word 
tiifihi, the usual Arabic word for "the flood," which is evidently pointed to in this legend. 
This word tufan is borrowed directly from the Aramaic tophana, " flood," and the very same 

meaning which I attribute to the verb 1 ic is also found, it seems to me, in the Aramaic tjBu, 

"to fill a measure up to the brim." 

238 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

and sailed away, passing by Ramleh. In the latter town there was an old 
woman whom he had promised to take with him in the vessel, but he forgot 
all about her. The water submerged the whole country round, except the 
mosque of Jame' el Abiadh at Ramleh, where the old woman had taken refuge. 
Noah came back to see what had become of her, and asked her what had 
happened to her. " I stayed there quite quietly," she replied, " and saw 
neither flood nor water." 

Everyone knows what an important part is played in the Koran and its 
commentators by the Tanniir. This oven, from which the water of the flood 
was supposed to gush forth, was according to tradition the one where Eve 
baked her bread, and had been handed down through the ages from one 
patriarch's wife to another until the time of Noah. This belief appears to have 
attained great popularity in Palestine and all over Syria, for we come across a 
considerable number of places called 'Ain Tannur or 'Ain et Tannur: as near 
'Ain bent Nuh (" the spring of the daughter of Noah"), in the neighbourhood 
of 'Allar es Sifla {see Appendix) ; a little to the north-east of Deir Estia ; near 
'Ain Feshkha, in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea ; a little way south-east 
of Zubkin ; near Riblah, close to the Orontes, etc., etc. Compare further the 
Tannur Eiyub, or Tannur of Job, a small spring near the supposed site of 
Capernaum,"" and also the place-name Tannurin, to the north of Beyrout.t I 
think that this legend, which has attached itself to various springs, probably 
of a particular sort (those that bubble up violently from underground), has Its 
basis In a very old Syrian religious tradition, traces of which are still discover- 
able in the Rabbinical traditions about the holy rock of Jerusalem. This 
Arabic word tannur, which, by-the-bye, Is an old Aramaic word, "ll^n, as to 
the origin and various meanings of which a good deal might be said, is a 
counterpart of the famous yaaixa /xe'ya that was pointed out at Mabug 
(Hierapolis), where the water of Deucalion and Pyrrha's flood Issued and 
returned. This Idea was very widely spread among the Greeks themselves, 
who were wont to show the ^da-jjiaTa of the Deluge at several of their 
sanctuaries, as at Delos and Athens, and In Samothrace. It would be very 
interesting to trace out the develoj^ment of the idea, and look for Its starting 
point, but that would take me much too far out of my way. I shall treat of this 

* Robinson, Zafer Biblical Researches, p. 345. It will be noticed that, by a coincidence 
which perhaps is not mere chance, there exists not far from the Tannur Eiyub a Kh. Abu 
SMsheh, which two characteristic names are grouped together at Tell el Jezer. 

t Ibid., p. 601, 602. 



question on another occasion, as also that of the curious legend of the so called 
Daughter of Noah, in whom we may discover an ancient mythical character." 
Returning to our local researches, it may well be asked why Arab 
tradition thus tends to group all these naive legends, drawn from the story of 
Noah and the Flood, around Tell el Jezer. Despite their well-nigh childish 
nature, I do not think them unimportant. They must have their raison 
dctre. I am inclined to believe that it was the actual name of Gezer that 
gave rise to them. Regarded in this aspect, they furnish us with a fresh 
indirect argument in favour of our identification, for they show that this name 
really did at that time belong to the ancient city that flourished there. What 
has been the process ? In the name 1W, ^ j^,-, folk-lore has thought it could 
recognize the Arabic word jazar, " reflux, tide going out, sea, part of the 
shore left uncovered by the sea," a word very closely related to "Jezireh," 
" island." The Hebrew root itself has given rise to derivatives of similar 
meaning: 1W, "partes maris discissi":t cf. rriy,: " desert, waste, isolated land," 
which has every appearance of being the prototype of 'ij\:>-. It is easy to 
understand that tradition, once set going on this track, and keeping in view 
the meaning which it ascribed (whether rightly or wrongly it matters little) to 
the old name of Gezer, was carried along in the direction we have noticed it 

VII.— Bezka. 

In reconnoitring the country north-east of Gezer, I extended my 
operations as far as Bezka. I was the more eager to make a fresh inspection 
of the ruins, which I had hurriedly looked over on the occasion of my first 
visit,J as I had been struck by the resemblance between the name and that of 
Bezek, the residence of the Canaanite kine Adoni-Bezek, " the lord of 
Bezek." This time I discovered there a very curious tomb, consisting of a 
sort of large sarcophagus, hollowed out of the living rock and projecting 
above the level of the ground, with a groove round the edge to fit the 
lid into. The front side was ornamented with carvings. They were 
greatly mutilated, but I thought I could make out what appeared to be two 
quadrangular altars within a rectangular border, each surmounted by a cippus. 

* I will content myself for the present with adding that this daughter of Noah, sometimes 
regarded as his wife, formerly enjoyed great popularity in Syria. Cf. the famous coins of 
Apamaeus of Phrygia, which represent the ark with Noah and his wife. 

t Psalm cxxxvi, 13. I Cf. supra, p 83. 

240 Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

and a sort of garland displayed at the top of them. The provisional sketch 
that I took is too crude to be reproduced by engraving. It was my intention 
to return to the spot and have a good drawing of the object made by M. 
Lecomte, but unfortunately the incident which cut short my exploration of 
Gezer did not allow of this. I give the bearings of this tomb, which will 
perhaps enable future explorers to find it more easily : Abu Shiisheh, 249° ; 
a tree conspicuous on the horizon, 5°. 

VIII. — Gezer before the Captivity. 

Gezer is one of the most ancient towns in Palestine ; it was in existence 
previous to the appearance of the Israelites. The testimony of the Bible on 
this point appears to be expressly confirmed by the find at Tell el Amarna, as 
the name of Gezer has been noticed several times on the cuneiform tablets 
discovered there. For instance :* " the town of Gezer, the servant of the 
king my master." It is mentioned on the tablets along with other towns with 
more or less doubtful names, Tumurka, Manhatesum, Rubute, etc. Now that 
we have material proof that Abu Shusheh represents Gezer, it would be very 
desirable that deep and methodical excavations should be undertaken there, 
since one is henceforth sure of being on the real site of an old pre-Israelite 
city, and that too under conditions of certainty that are exceptional, and may 
even be said to be hitherto unparalleled in Palestine. 

The first time that Gezer appears in the Bible is in the episode of the 
Book of Joshua that narrates the victorious campaign of Joshua against the 
six confederate Amorite kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Yarmuth, Lachish, and 
Eglon. Joshua goes up against them from the environs of Jericho (Gilgal), 
defeats them near Gabaon, pursues them by the road of the mountain of 
Beth Horon even unto Azekah and Makkedah. Here comes in the account of 
the sun made to stand still at Joshua's prayer. The five vanquished kings 
take refuge in a cave at Makkedah ; Joshua fetches them out and hangs 
them. After this he takes possession of the town of Makkedah and the town 
of Lachish ; "Then Horam, king of Gezer, came up to help Lachish, and 
Joshua smote him and his people, in such wise that he let none escape." 
(Joshua X, 33.) 

Later on (xii, 12) Gezer reappears in the list of the thirty-one kings of 
the country {rnalke ha-areg) beaten by the Bene Israel, kings belonging to 

* Meinoires publies par ks membres de la mission archeologiqiie fran^aise au Caire, vi, 2, p. 299 
(an article by Father Scheil). 



the people of the Hittites (Hitti), the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizites, 
the Hivites (Hiwi), and the Jetpusites. Gezer was therefore one of those 
ancient royal cities (Canaanitish, as we shall see) that had their own melek, 
and were numerous before the arrival of the Hebrews in the Promised Land. 

Gezer again appears once more in the Book of Joshua in chapter xvi, 3. 

This time more precise topographical data are given, which is fortunate, for 

no argument can be drawn from the names of towns linked with that of Gezer 

in the preceding passage, as the list does not appear to be arranged in a 

strict geographical order. The writer is speaking of the territory assigned to 

the tribe of Ephraim on the occasion of the division of the conquered country 

among the twelve tribes ot Israel. He describes the southern frontier of the 

territory as beginning at the Jordan near Jericho and striking out westwards, 

ihat is to say towards the Mediterranean, passing by Bethel, Luz, and 

Ataroth ; and he says, "it goeth down westward to the coast of Japhleti, 

unto the coast of Beth Horon the nether, and to Gezer, and the goings out 

thereof are at the sea." 

It may be as well to contrast this passage with the one in Josephus i^Ant. 
Jud., V, I, 22), where he describes summarily, but most exactly, the territory of 
Ephraim : — this territory extended in breadth (evpelav) from south to north — 
that is to say, from Bethel to the great plain, and in length {jx-qKovo^ivriv), 
from east to west, from the Jordan to Gadara {a^pi raSdpcou anh 'lophdvov 
noTafjiov). There can be no doubt as to the identity of Gadara, or rather 
Gazara, with Gezer, in spite of the changes in transcription. We shall find 
several times the name Gezer in Greek authorities rendered Gadara, though 
it is ordinarily transcribed, Fa^ep, Fe^ep. In fact, it was this that at a 
later period led Strabo to confuse Gezer with Gadara, the capital of Pera;a 
on the east of Jordan. As to the plural form of the word it is perfectly easy 
of explanation, it originated from the transcriptions Va^dpa, FaSdpa, which 
have the Greek feminine singular termination. This termination in course of 
time gave the name the appearance of a neuter plural, ra Vdi^apa, instead of 
■17 Val,dpa. The same transformation has taken place, as we shall see, in the 
incidents in the book of Maccabees in which Gezer plays a part. This 
confusion has likewise arisen under the same conditions in the case of other 
names of towns. It is in this way, for instance, that the name of the Moabite 
town Medaba, i^nT'C transcribed MrjSa/Sa, becomes ttoXi? "Sl-q^dfiiDv ,* 
TO. MijSaySa. 

* Confirmed by a Greek Christian inscription (on a mosaic) found at Madcba itself 

2 I 


Archceolooiccil Researches in Palestine. 

Thus it follows clearly from the above passages that Gezer must have 
been situated to the west of Beth-Horon the Nether and at no great distance 
from it, and it is the more important to have fixed its identity, as it marked 
the western extremity of the southern boundary of the territory of Ephraim. 

We again encounter Gezer in Joshua xxi, 21, as one of the Levite 
towns, that is to say, the forty-eight towns assigned by Joshua to the 
Levites, together with their suburbs {>)iigrasli), in the territories of the 
different tribes of Israel. The territory of Ephraim, contained four of these 
towns, among them being Gezer. We thus learn that Gezer not only marked 
the limit of the territory ot Ephraim but actually formed part of that territory. 
This view, moreover, is also explicitly confirmed by Joshua xvi, 10, and 
Judges i, 29. 

Joshua xvi, 10, gives a piece of information doubly interesting for us, 
since it shows that the primitive population of Gezer had not been destroyed 
by Joshua after the defeat of its king Horam, but simply laid under tribute, 
and that this population was of Canaanitish origin. This latter fact is like- 
wise confirmed by Judges i, 29. The Ephraimites became mingled with the 
old Canaanitish population of Gezer. There is then every likelihood that by 
making excavations at Abu Shusheh, a genuine Canaanitish stratum would 
be reached. The art and religion of the Canaanites is perhaps responsible 
for the rude terra-cotta figure that I spoke of above (p. 6). I am able to give 

here a faithful reproduction of this, having at last 
found the cast of it that I made but afterwards mislaid. 
We shall see however that the Philistines appear 
to have occupied Gezer for a certain period as well. 

Gezer is further alluded to in other books of the 
P)ible, but in these more light is thrown on its historic 
importance than on its location. However, no element 
in the problem we have to solve should be passed over. 
Gezer j^lays an important part in the history of 
David (2 Sam. v). Upon the news of the taking of 
Jerusalem by David and his being crowned King of 
all Israel, the Philistines, hereditary enemies of Israel, 
go up against him, and are beaten successively at two 
places difficult to locate precisely (the valley ot 
Rephaim and Baal-perazim). They must however have 
certainly been in the direction of Jerusalem, and even in its immediate neigh- 
bourhood. " And David did so as the Lord had commanded him, and smote 


Gezer. 243 

the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gezer" (v. 25). The same 
incident is related in pretty much the same terms in i Chron. xiv, 16. One 
fact at any rate, and that a very interesting one, seems to follow clearly from 
this passage, namely that Gezer, the furthest point to which David extended 
his pursuit, must have been well on the way to the Philistines' country, 
perhaps even formed part of it at that period. Josephus gives us to understand 
as much in narrating the same event after his manner (^Aiit. Jud., vii, 4, i). 
David, having beaten the Philistines, pursued them to the town of Gazara 
{p-Xpi. TToXeo)^ ra^dpcDv), zvhiclt marks the eastern extremity of tlicir territory 
(rj 8e iaiLv opos avTwv rrj'; ^copas). We shall see in a moment that he 
exjjresses himself elsewhere even more definitely on this point. 

It may very well be that this affair is again alluded to in two parallel 
passages (A and B) in the second book of Samuel (xxi, 18, 19) and in 
I Chronicles (xx, 4, 5). There is a very curious variation between these, 
they look as if they had been extracted from some old chronicle now lost, and 
had been copied differently in the two recensions that have come down to us. 

A, 18. "And it came to pass after this that there was again a battle with 
the Philistines at G06, then Sibbechai the Hushathite slew Saph, which was 
of the sons of Rapha." 

19. " And there was again a battle in God with the Philistines, where 
Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Beth-lehemite, slew Goliath the 
Gittite, etc." 

This town God, Gob (I'Jl, IIJ) is absolutely unknown. Comparison with 
the parallel passage B" seems to prove that this name is nothing but a 
modification of Gezer, which is found in this passage letter for letter.t The 
text of Chronicles is doubtless the right one, and the original form "lU has 
become 11^, through a wrong reading which can easily be accounted for by 
the Hebrew palaeographer. Josephus in his turn is of this opinion in his 
account of the same occurrence [Ant. Jud., vii, 12, 2).| 

Gezer plays an important part in the history of Solomon (i Kings, ix, 

* I am inclined to think that the verb ij;33M at the end of the verse in i Chron. xx, 4, 
contains a play on words having reference to the name of the Canaanitcs : " they were abased " 
or "treated like Canaanites." It is to be borne in mind that a Canaanitish population had been 
maintained at Gezer. 

t I Chron. xx, 5 corresponds to 2 Sam. xxi, 19, and relates the same feat of arms with some 
curious variations that do not concern me here, but this time it gives no place-name. 

\ Note that Josephus this time gives the correct transcription Vii'C,iijinv, in the fern, sing., and 
not neut. plur. 

2 I 2 

244 ArchcFological Researches in Palestine. 

15, etc). The Pharaoh of Egypt had conducted an expedition against Gezer, 
had taken the town, and had burnt it, after having exterminated the 
Canaanites who dwelt there. He gave the town he had destroyed as a dowry 
to his daughter, the wife, or rather one of the wives of Solomon. The latter 
rebuilt the demolished city, by which he appeared to set a particular store. 
Unfortunately we do not know either the name of this Pharaoh or the 
historical events — some revolt perhaps — which led to his making this 
expedition into the south of Palestine and destroying Gezer. According to 
the Bible the expedition appears to have been directed against the Canaanitish 
element, but it may be that the Philistines counted for something in this 
enterprise of Pharaoh's, since Gezer, as I have already said, and will proceed 
to prove, belonged at that time to the country of the Philistines, that is to say, 
a population that had been long feudatory to Egypt. In the parallel account 
in Josephus {^Ant. Jud., viii, 6, i), Gazara, one of the towns rebuilt by 
Solomon, is specifically mentioned as belonging to Philistia : ttjv Tpir-qv Se 
Fa^apa, t^;/ ttj? ITaXatcrTtVwv )(wpas vndp^ov(Tav. We had already arrived at 
this conclusion by inductions based on another passage in Josephus and on 
certain indications given in the Bible itself It may therefore very well be 
that at a certain period Gezer, which, as we shall see, is less than six miles to 
the east of Ekron, belonged to the Philistines, and served as a sort of advanced 
bulwark against Israel. 

IX. — Gezer under the Hasmon.^iANs. 

We have to proceed as far as the Hasmoneean period before we find 
Gezer reappearing in history. It plays one of the most important parts in the 
long wars kept up by the Jews against the Seleucids, and narrated in the 
books of Maccabees and the parallel accounts of Josephus. In order to grasp 
the full value of this testimony, which contains more than one precious bit of 
topographical information, we must not lose sight of one most essential point 
— the centre of the struggles of the early Hasmon^eans against the Greco- 
Syrian armies was the town of Modin, the place of origin of the Hasmoneean 
family, and consequently the region of el Midieh. 

The first incident in which Gezer figures is the battle between Judas and 
Gorgias (i Mace, iv). The Syrian general had taken up his position at 
Emmaus ('Amwas). Judas, who had retired to the south of that town, takes 
the offensive, and utterly defeats the army of the enemy, who leave the field 
in complete disorder, pursued by the victorious Jews as far as Gazera and the 

Gezer. 245 

plains of Iduma;a, Azotus, and Jamneia. Consequently Gezer must have been 
situated on one of the two lines of retreat, between Emmaus and the sea. In 
the expression ew? Va.'Qripuiv (v. 15) it should be noted that the feminine form 
of the name of Gezer when transliterated into Greek is yet treated as a neuter 
plural. The Latin version has made the error worse by taking this genitive 
plural form for a real proper name, and servilely translating usque Gezeron. 

A second episode, where Gezer again figures, is the battle between Judas 
and the Syrian general Nicanor, whom the former had previously defeated at 
Capharsalama"" (i Mace, vii, 39, 40). Nicanor is defeated and killed in the 
battle. He had taken up his position at Bethoron, whilst Judas occupied 
Adasa (30 stadia from Bethoron, according to Josephus).t The defeated 
army is pursued from Adasa to Gazera (v, 45) during a whole day, which 
does not necessarily imply the length of a day's march under ordinary cir- 

Later on Gezer is mentioned among the towns which Bacchides, after 
his defeat on the banks of Jordan, orders to be fortified (i Mace, ix, 52. 
Cf. Josephus, Ant.Jnd., xiii, i, 3). 

These various passages seem to imply that Gezer was an important 
strategical point, always remained in the hands of the Greco-Syrians, and 
that the latter managed to make it a refuge in case of a check, since on two 
occasions it is indicated as one of the points where the pursuit of the victorious 
Jews came to an end. 

The last passage shows us that up to the year 160 of the Seleucids, the 
Jews had not yet succeeded in getting possession of Gezer. Now a few years 
later we notice that it has passed into their hands: "And Simon saw that 
John his son was a valiant man, and he gave him the command of all the 
military forces, and he dwelt at Gazara (eV Vatfxpoii)" [i Mac. xiii, 53]. The 
sentence is somewhat ambiguous. Was it John or Simon himself that took 
up his abode at Gezer .'' The point is of little importance, but what is certain 
is that Gezer must in the meanwhile have been retaken by the Jews. 

The conquest of a city like this by the Jews was an event of considerable 
importance, so that it seems odd that no mention is made of it in the book of 
Maccabees between ch. ix and ch. xiii. Upon nearer investigation of the 
text this singularity vanishes. In reality the siege and capture of Gezer by 

* To the north of Lydda. For the site of Capharsalama, see i7ifra, Ch. VI. 
t Ant. Jud.,yM, 10, 5. Here again Josephus takes 'Afa<7a for a neuter plural, iv 'Araao7 
See (p. 76) my remarks on the position of Adasa. 

246 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

the Jews are related at length hi this same chapter (xiii, 43-48), immediately 
before the passage that speaks of the residence of Simon or John at Gezer ; 
only by a copyist's error the name of Gezer {Gazara) has become Gaza. It 
was long believed that this passage referred to the celebrated town of Gaza, 
but it is easy to show that for various reasons there could be no allusion here 
to the town of Gaza, and that the correction from to Vatp-pav is entirely 
warrantable. The narrative will repay a close examination, for it contains 
certain details which will be of the greatest interest to us, and may even throw 
some light on the interpretation of our inscriptions, if they really ought, as I 
doubt not, to be referred to Gezer. 

Here are the facts. About the year 143 b.c, the date of the definite 
liberation of Israel from the Seleucid yoke, and the starting-point, 
moreover, of the Jewish national era, Simon came and laid siege to the 
so-called Gaza, with a large park of artillery. After having effected a 
breach, he took the town by assault. He spared the lives of the inhabitants, 
but drove them out of the town, while he himself made his entry there, 
singing the holy hymns. He purified the places polluted by the idols, cast out 
all the pollutions of the town, and placed stich men there as zvould keep the 
law {oijiv^'i Tov vo/xov ttolov(tl), and fortified it and built there a residence for 
himself (v, 48).''' 

This town certainly cannot have been Gaza, as appears from the following 
facts. In ch. xiv of Book i of Maccabees it is stated that the land of Judah 
remained in peace all the days of Simon, and a list of his conquests is given — 
Joppa, Gazara, Baithsura and Acra. He had therefore made himself master 
(eKuptevcre) of Gazara. If he had likewise gained possession of Gaza, as above 
narrated, how could such a conquest have been passed over without mention 
in a recapitulatory sketch of the services rendered by Simon to the Jewish 
cause ? Now, as will be seen, not Gaza, but on the contrary Gazara is the 
place in question. 

There is a similar argument, even more decisive, to be derived from the 
same chapter (27-34), fo"" here we are dealing with an official document, a 
long honorific inscription, a regular decree of the people of Israel passed in 

* This latter detail appears to settle the question that arose just now in connection with 
V, 53. But John, son of Simon, being appointed generalissimo of the army, might very well have 
his headquarters at Gezer also, since the town was situated in a position of strategic importance 
and in the dangerous zone that was exposed to the first attacks of the enemy. On this point see 
the details which will be given later on, clearly showing that John was residing at Gazara at the 
time of his father's murder. 

Gezer. 247 

the general assembly at Jerusalem, exhibited, inscribed on brazen tables, in 
the peribolos of the Temple, and preserved in duplicate in the archives of the 
public treasury. It is an official eulogy of Simon and a narration of the 
services rendered by him to Israel: "and he fortified the town of Gazara,* 
which is situated upon the borders of Azotus (ji]v IttXtuiv opioiv 'A^wrou), and had 
previously been occupied by the enemy ; and he caused the Jews to dwell 
there and furnished them with all that was needed to establish them on a 
satisfactory footing." Here again is no whisper of Gaza, but, on the other 
hand the details given concerning Gazara, as to the means adopted by Simon 
to establish the Jewish population there, are in marvellous accordance with 
those related of the so-called Gaza in chapter xiii, 43-48. 

By comparison of these different passages with those in Josephus [Ant. 
Jitd., xiii, 6, 7, and Bc/l. Jnd., i, 2, 2), we arrive at one and the same 
conclusion, the Jewish historian expressly states Simon seized Gazara, and 
nowhere does he breathe a word of Gaza. 

Later (i Mace, xv, 28) we find King Antiochus sending to Simon his 
ambassador Athenobios to summon the Jewish prince to give up to him 
Joppa, Gazara, and the Acra of Jerusalem, which the latter had forcibly 
seized (/caTa/cpaTeiTe), or rather to pay him by way of compensation an 
indemnity of a thousand talents of silver. Simon replies that he has not 
taken another's goods, that he has merely recovered the inheritance of his 
fathers, and he adds (35), "As for Joppa and Gazara which thou claimest, and 
which have done great wrongs to the people in our land, we will give in 
exchange for them a hundred talents." Here again in the claims of Antiochus 
and the answer of Simon, Gazara and not Gaza is mentioned. If Simon had 
really seized Gaza, one of the most important towns in the kingdom of the 
Seleucids, Antiochus would certainly not have failed to include it in his 
demands, he ought even, logically, to have put it at the head of his claims, as 
beinof the gfreatest grievance he could have against the Jews. 

Lastly, there is one more argument, an historical one, which proves up to 
the hilt that all the interesting details of the siege, capture, and Judaization 
of Gaza by Simon, ought properly to apply to Gazara, or, to put it in another 
way, to Gezer. It is that it was at a much later date, in 98 B.C., under the 
Jewish king Alexander Janneus, that the town of Gaza fell finally into the 

* It should be remarked that the name uf the town is correctly rendered by the feminine 
singular, ^<\v rufo/m, indeclinable, and not as is generally formed by the neuter plural. This small 
fact seems enough to indicate that the text is really borrowed from an authentic official document. 

248 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

hands of the Jews, after a memorable siege that lasted no less than a 

However, Antiochus, irritated by the reply of Simon, had ordered his 
general Kendebseos to advance upon Judaea, making the base of his operations 
the town of Kedron or Kedro,t in the region of Jamneia (v, 39-41). John 
then came up from Gazara — which fact, we may stop to remark, is sufficient 
proof that he resided in that town, as I have said, — to warn his father Simon 
of the approach of the enemy (xvi, i). This passage at the same time shows 
that Gazara cannot have been far distant from Jamneia (Yebna) and from 
Kedron [Katrah), and that it was exposed in consequence to the first attack of 
Kendebaeos. The latter place may likely enough have been the chief object 
of his efforts in this fresh campaign. Kendebaeos was beaten and driven 
back to Azotus by the Jewish army, which issued from the neigbourhood of 
Modin (v, 4-10). ' 

It was at Gazara, again, that John was residing at the time when he 
heard of the death of his father Simon, who had been caught in an ambuscade 
and murdered in the fortress of Dok, near Jericho, by his son-in-law, Ptolemy, 
son of Abubos, the governor of that town. At Gazara also he was warned 
of the arrival of emissaries entrusted with his own assassination. Quite 
evidently, Gazara was his headquarters. 

The Second Book of Maccabees would seem at first sight to contain a 
passage of extreme interest concerning our town of Gazara (x, 32-37). But 
comparison with the First Book of Maccabees (v, 6-8), and the corresponding 
narrative in Josephus, will suffice to show that it is not Gezer at all that is 
referred to, but Jazer-, a quite different place, beyond Jordan, and that the 
names of the two places have got mixed. Ta^dpa is a copyist's error for 
la[,apa,l '^^ '}^^^ before Td^a was an error of the same sort for Td(,apa. This 
element then must simply be eliminated from the problem. 

On the other hand Gezer is certainly the place referred to in a document 
of rare interest that has been preserved for us by Josephus. About the year 
130 before our era, John Hyrcanus, son and successor of Simon, faithful to 

* Josephus, Ant. Jud., xiii, 13, 3, and Bcll./ud., i, 4, 2. Gaza remained in the possession 
of the Jews until the time of Ponipey, who took it from them. 

t The identityof Kedron or Kedro with the modern Katiali, a httle south-east of Yamneia, 
has long been admitted. 

X Josephus gives the vocalisation 'lag'tt'/jo,-; the First Book of Maccabees has 'loTv/' (variant 
'IniTiyi'). This of course is the Ammonite town Ja'ezzer, transliterated in the Septuagint 'I'/iT'}/'' 
The Oncmastkon renders it by 'Afny) at 'IniTv/'. 

Gezer. 249 

the Hasmonsean tradition, sent an embassy to Rome to draw tighter the bonds 
of an almost immemorial alliance, and one that the Romans also found to their 
profit, for it aided certain political views which were afterwards to be realised 
by the reduction of Syria to a Roman province. Jews and Romans at that 
time had interests in common, and were pursuing, by widely different means, 
the same purpose, namely the struggle against the power of the Seleucid 
kings. Josephus {Ant. Jiid., xiii, 9, 2) gives us the names of the members 
of the Jewish commission, and the actual text of the decision of the Senate in 
reply to the letters of Hyrcanus conveyed by his envoys. In these letters 
Hyrcanus asked the Senate, among other things, to convey to Antiochus an 
order to give back to him Joppa and its ports, Gazara and its springs (/cat 
Tdt,apa koX TT-qydi), as well as all the tov/ns and all the territories which the 
latter had seized by armed force, despite the decree of the Senate. We see 
from this, that in consequence of events unknown to us, Joppa and Gezer had 
fallen again into the hands of Antiochus. We ascertain, moreover, one 
precious detail of topography, on which I lay great stress, as it assists in 
confirming the identification of Gezer. It is that this town had considerable 
and well-known springs. These springs we find again near Abu Shusheh, 
firstly in the magnificent spring of 'Ain Yardeh, next in two, one of them now 
dried up, the other less important, 'Ain et-Tannur and 'Ain el-Botmeh. The 
abundance of water in this district is moreover borne witness to by the 
existence of the ancient aqueduct, Kanat Bint el Kafer, which, starting 
from Tell el Jezer, conveyed it as far as the neighbourhood of Ramleh, and 
perhaps beyond that to Lydda. 

X. — Gezer in Strabo and the Onomasticon. 

To complete the ancient testimonies concerning Gezer, it remains still to 
examine two of unequal value. 

The first, on which I shall not lay any great stress, is furnished by 
Strabo.'' In describing the coast of Judcea, from Joppa to Mount Cassius, on 
the Egyptian frontier, he mentions after Joppa and before Azotus and Ascalon, 
the town of Gadaris, as having been appropriated by the Jews. Although 

* Strabo, ed. Didot, p. 646, 16. 

^50 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

Strabo, to judge by the historical details* that he furnishes, appears to have 
confused this Gadaris with Gadara,t the capital of Pera;a, it is tolerably- 
evident that he is referring to our town Gezer, and that it is to this latter, in 
any case, that his geographical information relates. 

The second testimony is, or looks as if it ought to be, decisive in 
solving the problem. It is furnished by the Onomasticon, and in view of 
its importance I reproduce it in its entirety. Eusebius expresses himself 
as follows : — 

Tal,ip, Kkrjpov ^(^pdCp,, Aeutrats a<f>Q)picriJi.€vrj, koI TavTrjv iTToXiopKYjcrev 
'lijcrovs TOf /SacrtXea avTrj9 aveXcov' rjv koX coKoh6p.rj<j€. XaXop-cov' Kal vvv KaXetrat 
Tal^dpa Kcjpiy] ^ LKonoXecj'; airi-^ova'a cnqp-uois S' €v ySopetoi?. Ou jxy]v aveiXev ef 
avTrj? Toi'S dkXo(f>v\ov<; tj (f)v\rj 'E^pat/A. 

This St. Jerome renders : — 

Gazer, in sorte tribus Ephraim, urbs separata Levitis ; quam et ipsam 
expugnavit Jesus rege illius interfecto. Aedificata est autem postea a 
Salomone ; nunc Gazara villa dicitur in quarto milliario Nicopoleos contra 
septentrionem. Verumtamen sciendum, quod alienigenas ex ea Ephraim non 
potuit expellere.J 

This is categorical enough. As the position of Nicopolis Emmaus, now 
'Amwas, is perfectly well known on the one hand, and on the other the village 
of Gazara, is placed by the Onomasticon at four miles north of Nicopolis, it 
seems that nothing could be easier than to discover, at its site, the village 
which to Eusebius and St. Jerome represented the ancient Gezer. The 
unfortunate part of it is that there is nothing on the spot corresponding to the 
data. After having long exhausted themselves in attempts at verification, 
commentators and topographers had ended by regarding the problem as 
insoluble, or by proposing inadmissible solutions, which I will not stop to 
discuss, such as identifying Gezer with Yazur, to the east of Jaffa, making 
the old Canaanitish Gezer and the Hasmonaean Gazara into two different 
towns (Yazur and Katra), assimilating Gezer with Geshur in the tribe of 
Manasseh, and so on. 

It was, however, the more difficult to call in question the authority of the 
Onomasticon, as the Gazara mentioned in it seems to have prolonged its 

* Of more or less celebrated persons who came from Gadara. 

t We have already seen that even Josephus himself sometimes gives Gezer the name of 
Gadara, for Gazara. 

X Cf. S.V., Tt'^ijpa, Gazcra, with a cross-reference to the article Te^t'/j (sic) and Gazera,, Gazara. 

Gezer. 251 

existence well into the Byzantine period, under the name of Gadara, the seat 
of a bishopric in the province of Palsestina P.* 

It is as well to note this point in passing, as it suffices to explain the 
existence at Tell el Jezer "of an early Christian or Byzantine work," which 
some have thought to detect there by certain archaeological indications, and 
which has been most wrongly adduced as an argument against the great 
antiquity which I had assigned to the site.t 

XI. — Gezer in Arab tradition. 

Such was the condition of the problem up to 1871, when I was led to 
propose a solution, which I have every reason to believe a permanent one, 
by introducing into it a new factor, and I may say an unexpected one, since I 
borrowed it from a quite different and much more recent source, which no one 
had thought of using. This solution is based on a datum absolutely 
independent of all those we have discussed. These latter, in spite of their 
value and all the efforts made to utilize them, were insufficient by themselves 
to lead to it. It had the advantage of satisfying every term in the problem, 
without exception, and was destined moreover to receive a few years later a 
brilliant confirmation, in the discovery, on the very spot I had pointed out, 
of inscriptions containing at full length the Hebrew name of the much- 
sought-for city ! 

While reading in 1869 for the first time the Arabic chronicle of Mujir ed 
Din, often .so dry and tiresome, I lit upon a pas.sage which was to me as a ray 
of light. It occurs at p. 702 of the Arabic text printed at Bulak. Mujir ed 
Din there narrates to us in very great detail an incident of quite second-rate 
interest by itself, which took place in the neighbourhood of Ramleh on the 
1 2th of March; 1495. The author, then a cadi at Jerusalem, had been well- 
nigh an eye-witness of the occurrence. 

He is speaking of the bloody encounter between the emir Janbulat, 
Governor of Jerusalem, and his lieutenant at Ramleh, "on the one hand, and on 
the other a troop of Bedouin who had come to make a razzia on the territory 
of Ramleh, at the secret instigation of the Governor of Gaza, who had a 

* This fact has been long admitted, but has been recently disputed by Herr Schlatter, who, 
repeating the error of Strabo, thinks that the place in question is the Gadara beyond Jordan in 
Palrestina IP. However, Herr Gelzer seems to me to have met his objections conclusively. 
(See Zeitschrift des dcutschen Falceslina-Vereins, 1894, p. 36, eU. Cf. Georgii Cyprii descriptio 
orbis Ro7nani, pp. 52, 191.) 

t Memoirs, Vol. H, 431, 432. Cf. pp. 433, 434, 436. 

2 K 2 

252 Archc^ological Researches in Palestine. 

hostile feeling towards his colleague at Jerusalem. The territory of Ramleh 
was, and still is at the present day, separated from that of Gaza by the course of 
the little river called in its lower waters Nahr Rubin, and in its higher course, 
Wady Katra and Wad es Serar. The Kashef or under-Governor of Ramleh, 
at the command of his superior, the Governor of Jerusalem, who had gone 
in person to Ramleh, leaves the latter town to make a tour in the district and 
stop the depredations of the Bedouin who were marauding there. He 
advances in a southerly direction from Ramleh towards the village of 
Ni'aneh, which exists under the same name at the present day. He reaches 
the southern frontier of the district and meets a party of Bedouin, whom he 
chases as far as the territory of 'Amuria, a village now in ruins and equally 
well known, belonging to the territory of Gaza, to the south of the Wad es 
Serar. Here the Bedouin face about, resume the offensive, and in their turn 
pursue the Kashef, who falls back In the direction of the village of Khulda and 
the village of Tell el Jezer ( ,-^1 Jj- ajy), both belonging— the writer expressly 
mentions — to the territory of Ramleh. 

The Kashef, seeing that he is at a disadvantage, entrenches himself in 
a borj, a little fort, then existing at Khulda, and here an obstinate struggle 
takes place between his men and the Bedouin. The latter get the upper 
hand. Meanwhile the Governor of Jerusalem, who had left Ramleh a litde 
while after his subordinate to execute, on his own part, a reconnaissance, 
having arrived at the village of Tell el Jezer, hears in that place the cries of 
the combatants hotly engaged in mortal conflict at Khulda. He hastens to the 
rescue, guided by the cries (ej^l ^^j) to bring off his men, but is himself beaten 
and his small escort slaughtered, and hardly manages to escape with his own life. 

The latter phase of the affair must have taken place between Khulda and 
the village of Tell el Jezer, and quite close to the latter, for Mujir ed Din 
adds that the authorities commfssioned later on to make an inquiry into the 
affray, and to fix responsibility in the proper quarters,* proceeded first of all 
to Tell el Jezer, and noted that several of the men who had been massacred, 
some ten in number, were lying on the territory of the village (l^^^b). 

All the place-names that appear in this recital are still in existence in the 
locality, and were marked on Van de Velde's map, the only authoritative one 
then existing, except the name of the village of Tell el Jezer, the only one which 
was missing. I had been greatly struck by the perfect similarity which this 

In this inquiry Mujir ed Din took a personal part in his capacity of cadi. 

Gezer. 253 

name presents to that of the undiscoverable Gezer, and immediately proceeded 
to argue an actual identity from the onomastic identity, and though as yet 
unable to fix definitely the position of the place, I noted that the district re- 
ferred to by Mujir ed Din would agree marvellously well with what we know 
from ancient geography of the site of Gezer. What had to be done was to dis- 
cover the position of this village, which, though not marked on the maps, was 
still in existence nearly four centuries ago under a name that was a revelation. 

The statement of Mujir ed Din was explicit, and was moreover confirmed 
by the testimony of various other Arab authors, as I subsequently ascertained. 
Thus the secretary of Saladin, 'Emad ed-din,* tells us that the Mussulmans, 
who occupied Jerusalem and the mountain of Juda;a, and were in almost 
exactly the same situation as the Jews with regard to the Greco-Syrians 
commanded by Kendebseos, directed three cavalry raids against Richard Coeur 
de Lion who was quartered at Ascalon. In order to surprise the Franks 
at Yebna early in the morning, they went to Tell el Jezzr to pass the night. 

The historian Beha ed din,t also in Saladin's service, relates that in 
November, 1191, negotiations were begun (destined never to come to fruit) 
between Richard and Saladin, who was then encamped at Tell el Jezcr. 

A third Arab testimony is that of the celebrated geographer Yak<at,;j; 
who puts down Tell el Jezer as "a strong place in the province of Filastin," 
that is to say, in the province of Ramleh. As his custom is, he is careful to 
vocalise the name letter by letter, which is a guarantee for the pronounciation 
Jazar with two fat has. 

Thus there is no doubt as to the existence of a village of the name of 
Tell el Jezer not only in the 15th, but even in the 12th century of our era. 
It remained then to discover it in its place, and to see whether it really was 
built upon an ancient site, and whether this site answers all requirements. 

It was only in the course of the year 1871 that it was possible for me to 
proceed with this verification on the spot. I shall relate further on (see 
Appendix) how I managed, not without trouble, to satisfy myself that Tell 

* El-fath el Kossy, MS. in the Bibliotheque Nationale, No. 839, ancien fonds arabe, fol. 171. 
Cf. Arabic text, edited by Landberg, p. 419. 

t Historieiis Orientaux des Croisades, III, 291-292. Willten, and Stubbs, the editor of the 
Itinernrium Ricardi, led astray by the odd transliteration of Schultens {Te/al-Sjusur), wrongly 
imagined that this name stood for the Arabic .. „U J.; " The Hill of the Bridge," as Stubbs 

writes ; the text has , isJl Jj' letter for letter. 
X Mdjem e/-Bulddn, ed. Wiistenfeld, s.v. 

2 54 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

el Jezer, which had hitherto bafifled all the commentators, was to be found in 
the well-known village of Abu Shusheh, the modern name masking the 
ancient one, which however was still living in tradition. I noted there all the 
signs that characterise an important city of antiquity, and, referring back to all 
the texts discussed above, I convinced myself that Tell el Jezer satisfied all 
the conditions contained in them. 

I had therefore succeeded in discovering the real site of ancient Gezer, 
after having, if I may say so, theoretically fixed it beforehand. On returning 
to Europe in 1872,* I read before the Academie des Inscriptions a paper 
entituled " Decouverte de la ville royale chananeenne de Gezer," which has 
not yet been published. In it I set forth the reasons that led me to propose 
the identification of Gezer with Tell el Jezer. This part of my dissertation I 
have given in substance in the preceding pages, the other part, relating to the 
material operations of the discovery, is given in abbreviated form in the 

I had no suspicion then that two years later it was to be my lot to find at 
Tell el Jezer itself epigraphical proof establishing my thesis beyond the 
possibility of question. 

It still remains in my mind how when I had finished reading my paper, 
the President of the Academie, the lamented M. Miller, thought it incumbent 
on him to make some reservations in speaking of my conclusions, which 
appeared to him somewhat daring, saying it was to be regretted that I could 
not bring forward some inscription in support of my views, which could only 
be regarded, it seemed to him, as mere conjecture, in the absence of further 

This was perhaps a little too exacting, for at this rate which of all 
the topographical identifications in Palestine, though seeming most solidly 
established, could stand before this excessive scepticism ? We have seen 
however that it was not long before this desideratum was supplied in a way 
that could not have been hoped for, proving me in the right all along the line, 
and also, most valuable of all in my eyes, justifying in a striking fashion the 

* I cannot avoid remarking, by the way, were it only to anticipate those claims of prior 
discovery which are always possible, that the late lamented Tyrwhitt Drake proposed to identity 
Gezer with "Tell Jezar" in the Quarterly Statement of 1872, p. 40. He only omits to mention 
one thing, that this identification had been suggested to him by me, together with all the proofs 
in support of it, a year before, in the presence of poor Palmer and the late Sir Richard Burton. 
The Memoirs do not mention Drake's report, but on the other hand they ascribe to me (p. 439 
at the bottom) the paternity of a short notice which really belongs to him. 



very method of critical induction employed by me, the same as produced such 
grand results in the hands of Robinson and his successors. We are henceforth 
warranted in applying this method with greater confidence than ever, for we 
see that it is capable of leading us, upon occasion, to results of absolute 

XII. — Tell el Jezer and the Gazara of the Onomasticon. 
The Mount Gisart of the Crusaders. 

It would be easy, but too long, to show, by taking one by one the series 
of texts above quoted, that Tell el Jezer answers to all, absolutely all, of the 
data contained in them. I wish in this place only to touch on one essential 
point, which at the same time raises a general question that has an important 
bearing on our knowledge of the geography of Palestine, I mean the identity 
between Tell el Jezer and the Gazara of the Onomasticon. 

The Onomasticon, as we have seen, places Gadara at four miles north of 
Nicopolis-Emmaus, at any rate this was the meaning that had always been 
attached to the Greek expression eV /Sopetoi?, which St. Jerome renders contra 
septentrionein. Now though Tell el Jezer is obviously situated at the requisite 
distance from 'Amwas,* the ancient Emmaus-Nicopolis, with all the good will 
in the world, one cannot say that it is to the north of that town. In reality it 
is at most north-west of it, a difference of 45°, which is a good deal. At the 
distance of four Roman miles to the north of 'Amwas we find merely an 
unimportant place, Khirbet Rueisun, which cannot in any respect represent 
the Gazara of the Onomasticon, still less the Gezer of the Bible. How is one 
to explain this serious anomaly which seems either to set aside my identification, 
or else to impute a gross mistake to the Onomasticon? 

All we have to do is to attend more carefully than is generally done to 
this expression eV jSope.ioi<; ; literally translated it means not to the north but 
rather in the norths. From this starting point I arrived at the following 
most interesting general result, that in his orientations Eusebius constantly 
uses the plural form, the norths, the souths, the easts, the wests, when he 
wishes to imply a quarter intermediate between the four cardinal points, 
corresponding to our north-west, north-east, south-east, and south-west. I 

* I will remark eti passant that Tell el Jezer is directly united with 'Amwas by an ancient 
road, still marked out by large blocks, among which a diligent search might perhaps reveal one of 
the milestones which served as guiding marks to Eusebius and St. Jerome. 

256 Archcvological Researches in Palestine. 

have picked out in tlic Onoinasiicoii numerous instances of this hitherto 
unnoticed fact. I am keeping this question to treat thoroughly at some 
future date, when I mean to construct a very curious compass-card for the 
Oiioiiias/icoii, in which each expression, in the singuk^r or pkiral, combined 
with a judicious use of the prepositions with dehcatcly varying meanings, 
77/309, a.7ro, Kara, /xera^u, etc., corresponds to a fi.xed point on the horizon. 
This will clear away man)- so called inaccuracies and even errors in orientation 
of which the Onomasticoii has been groundlessly accused, and the geographical 
data which modern exegesis borrows from that work at every turn, will gain in 
precision to a remarkable extent. 

To confine myself to the present instance, I have no doubt that we should 
render eV /8o/oetoi?, " in the norths," by " to the north-west," and so become 
perfectly accurate. If Eusebius had meant " to the north," he would not 
have employed the plural, but the singular. Here is one case out of a score. 
The Onoviasticoii places Nazareth 1 5 Roman miles in the easts, tt/sos avaToXd^, 
from Legio (Lajjun). It would make absolute nonsense to translate to the 
east, Eusebius would in that case have used the singular. He means to the 
north-east, which is exactly right. 

Thus the last doubt that might have lingered on this head disappears. 
Tell el Jezer, by its name as well as by its distance from and position with 
regard to 'AmwSs, undoubtedly stands for the Gazara of the Onoviasticon. 

But is this Gazara really identical with the Gazara of the Hasmona;an 
period, and consequently with the Gazara of the ages preceding? Here 
aijain was crround for hesitation. Too often the authors of the Ononiasticon 
proceed in their geographical exegesis by way of guesses, sometimes very 
risky guesses too, just like certain modern scholars, allowing themselves to be 
led astray by superficial likenesses in names. Such might be the case here, 
and the objection might rightly be made, and was made, to my theory that 
if I had discovered at Tell el Jezer the village of Gazara, in which the 
Onoviasticon rightly or wrongly saw the Gezer of the Bible, there was nothing 
to show that the latter view was correct. The appearance of our inscriptions 
is a victorious answer to this objection ; whatever their date may be, they are, 
as we shall see, certainly earlier, and that by a long way, than the date when 
Eusebius compiled his Onomasticon, and they prove consequently that we are 
really on the site of the Hasmoncean Gezer, which, on the other hand, cannot 
be distinct from the Gezer of earlier times. Thus we have an uninterrupted 
chain of evidence uniting through the ages, in time as well as in space, the 
Canaanitish Gezer with the modern Tell el Jezer. 



There was only wanting in this chain a single link, the media;val link, 
that is to say a document bearing witness to the existence of Gezer under 
the sway of the Crusaders. This connecting link I have since managed to 
discover as I did the others, by demonstrating, in a special memoir,* to which 
I can only refer the reader, that Tell el Jezer was known to the Crusaders, 
under a name preserved as faithfully as possible, as Mount Gisart, a castle 
and fieft of the county of Japhe, which no one had yet been able to identify. 
In this memoir I prove, among other things, by a reasoned comparison of 
mediaeval and Arab chronicles, that the famous battle of Mount Gisart, where 
Saladin was routed by Baldwin IV the Leper, in 11 77, was fought at Tell 
el Jezer, and that in commemoration of this glorious feat of arms, which took 
place on November 25, the feast of St. Catharine, a priory of St. Catharine of 
Mount Gisart, in the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Lydda, was founded on 
Tell el Jezer. It may therefore be expected, when it is decided to make 
excavations at Tell el Jezer, that traces of occupation by the Crusaders will 
be found in the surface strata. It is very likely to the battle of Mount Gisart 
that we should refer the origin of the numerous skeletons discovered at the 
south-western extremity of Tell el Jezer, mentioned in the Memoirs, II, 
p. 436, as "apparently buried after a battle." Local tradition itself appears 
to have retained traces of this memorable event. (See the legend related 
above, p. 236, a propos of MCisa Tali'a.) 

XIII.— Explanation of the Inscriptions, and Commentary. 

I now arrive at the explanation of the inscriptions given already in 
fac-simile. They raise various questions of the highest interest. They may 
be divided into two groups: (i) the three bilingual ones. A, B, D, which I 
discovered in succession, and which being identical in tenour evidently form 
part of one and the same group ; (2) the small solitary inscription C. 

Inscription C. — I will devote myself first of all to the latter, which is the 
only one at all doubtful in its interpretation. It is complete, though very 
short, and is simply composed of four large letters, which certain people have 
wanted to make out to be Cufic characters !| This, need I say it ? — is a mere 

* Clcnnont-Ganncaii, Recueil d'Arckeologie On'enlale, I, 351-391 ; cf. p. 401 : Monf Gisart 
et Tell d-Djezer. 

t In documents of the Crusades we find mention of several lords of Mount Gisart. 
X Cf. Memoirs, II, p. 435. Even the reading ^,U^ ^ (!) has been boldly suggested. 

2 L 

258 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

delusion. Whoever has the least acquaintance with Semitic palaeography will 
have no hesitation in recognizing them as square Hebrew characters, of the 
same period as those of the other neighbouring inscriptions. As for the 
reading and explanation, I confess they present genuine difficulties. There 
is no possible doubt as to the second and fourth characters, which are certainly 
a teth and an aleph respectively. The case is otherwise with the first and 
third characters. Is the former a nuii, a kaph, or a bcth ? Is the latter 2iphe, 
a beth. or a mem ? I give below a table of the different readings that are 
paloeographically possible, without venturing as yet to pronounce a decided 








According to the value assigned to these letters, they lead to all sorts of 
combinations, but no one of these seems to me very satisfactory. 

i^2t}- recalls the name of the Bible town Netophah ; but it is hard to see 
how the name of this town comes to be here at the gates of Gezer, when, if 
we admit the conclusions of modern criticism, it must have been situated in 
quite another part. NCIO;;, the niphal form of V^"^, "to be impure," would 
suggest some ritual direction having reference to the sanctity of the boundary 
of Gezer, if that boundary is of religious and not civil origin, as for instance 
the indication of a zone beyond which the presence of tombs might give rise 
to pollution.! ^^^t}l, "terebinth," would suggest the name oCAin el-Botmeh, 
which I found quite close to the town, and so forth. Moreover, this must 
not be lost sight of, that if the first letter is a beth, it may perhaps not be a 
radical, but the preposition 2 . 

I leave to more skilful hands the task of solvino; this riddle. The 
answer is perhaps quite simple, but it baffles me. All one can say is that if 
this text is, as it appears, contemporaneous with the three others, it does not 

* I must especially remark that the loop forming the head of the last letter but one in 
M. Lecomte's copy, is nothing like so marked in the original (cf. the photographic fac-simile taken 
from the squeeze and given above). The lower stroke of this loop is anything but certain. 

t Cf. all the minute precautions to secure purification adopted by Simon at Gezer after the 
conquest of the town, in view of its being a hot-bed of idolatry. See also a curious passage in the 
Talmud (Tosiphta, Ohol. 18) relating to the impurity of a certain zone round Ascalon, where the 
words D'Dinn and D'XOD are actually used. 

Gezer. 259 

form part of the same series of the boundary-marks of Gezer. It is 
noteworthy also, that though placed between two of the large inscriptions, it is 
not quite on the north-east line that joins them, but a little inside that line, 
to the west. 

The three other inscriptions. A, B, D, are, on the contrary, certain in 
reading and sense. They repeat a single text, and illustrate and complete 
each other. They only differ from one another in the arrangement of the two 
parts, Greek and Hebrew, of which they are composed. Inscription D has 
suffered greatly, but the missing characters are supplied without trouble by 
comparison with A and B : 

A. 'KkKloiy) nu onn 

B. aoi>y\(y 

D. AX/ciou 

["i]tM »[n]n 

A, B, C: "Of Alkios" {in Greek). "Boundary of Gezer" (in Hebrew). 
At the time of the discovery of inscription A, I had been supposing that 
AAKIO must be a proper name of a man in the genitive case, for AAKIOY, 
and that the stonemason had omitted the final Y either by inadvertence or for 
want of room. This supposition was fully confirmed by the subsequent 
discovery of B and D, in which KKkIov is actually written at full length. The 
omission of the final Y in inscription A tends to show that the stonemason 
had cut the Hebrew inscription first, starting from right to left, and then 
the Greek inscription, going back from left to right. 

It is always a ticklish matter, and sometimes a dangerous one, to try to 
date an inscription from palseographical indications. The shapes of the letters 
are not always a strict guide in chronology. However, having regard only to 
Greek epigraphy, and setting aside the historic probabilities that I shall speak 
of presently, one would be inclined a priori to admit that it is earlier than the 
Christian era. The alpha, it will be noticed, has in all three cases its cross-bar 
horizontal (A) and not broken (a). Now on the stele of Herod's temple, 
which I discovered at Jerusalem in 1S71, the date of which is beyond a doubt, 
the alphas begin to have the broken bar (A).* The shape of the kappa, 

* The paleography of the stele is in strict accordance with that of the coins of Herod the 
Great, especially in the case of the characteristic letters A, E, Z, Xl. 

2 L 2 

26o Arclueolog[ical Researches in Palestine. 


though less decisive, corresponds fairly well with this diagnosis ; the two 
branches have the acuteness of angle and the shortness that characterise the 
ancient prototype |< ; whilst on the temple stele this letter has already 
assumed the more modern aspect, K , with the branches more open and 
prolonged at top and bottom to the level of the ends of the upright part. 

The palaeography of the Hebrew part is not at variance with these 
conclusions. As we know, the square Hebrew characters which came into 
general use from the Christian era onwards, were certainly in use before that 
date, and must date as far back as the Hasmonaean period. The fact that the 
Hasmonsean coins, and even those of Barcocheba, have their legends written in 
the old Phoenician alphabet, does not militate against this universally accepted 
theory ; it was from a deliberate archaism,* and from a desire to assert the 
reformed nationality of Israel, that the Hasmonsean princes and those who 
later on at the time of the supreme self-assertion of expiring Judaism resumed 
their traditions, used for the legends of their coins the ancient script of Israel, 
whilst for the daily needs of life this script had been replaced by the square 
Aramaic alphabet, a close relation of that of the Nabataeans and the 

What was the period when this change was effected among the Jews 
from one alphabet to the other .'' In my opinion, it was in the second half 
of the 2nd century before Christ, just about the time of the Hasmonaean 
ascendancy ; and I base my view upon historical considerations which it would 
take too long to consider. It is difficult to assign exact dates to the ancient 
Hebrew inscriptions in square characters, now so numerous, that have been 
discovered in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem, such as the epitaph 
of the tomb of St. James and others like it, the inscriptions on the ossuaries, 
and so on. All that can be said is that they border closely on the Christian 
era, and naturally involve the existence of an earlier period of a certain length 
during which the square character was in use. I shall base my remarks on 
two documents, which enable us, I think, to introduce into this still very 
obscure question of chronology two precise data, furnishing two fixed points, 
two really historical points, with a terminus ad queni and a termimis a quo. 

The first is the Hebrew inscription on the sarcophagus of the queen 
Saddan or Sadda, discovered in the Kubur el Muluk by M. de Saulcy. I have 
shown elsewhere by a series of proofs that the unknown queen resting in this 

* Cf. the use of the Gothic alphabet for the legends of certain English coins of the present 

Gi'zef. 261 

sarcophagus is none other than the very queen of Adiabene, the celebrated 
Helen, who may be supposed to have borne, after the fashion of the time, the 
Semitic name of Saddan in her national tongue, simultaneously with her 
Hellenic name of Helen. Here then is a text in square Hebrew characters 
exactly dated by the death of Queen Helen of Adiabene and her burial 
in the mao'nificent mausoleuni that she had had constructed at the g-ates of 
Jerusalem for herself and her family, which occurred between 65 and 70 a.d. 

The other document, on the contrary, takes us back to a period when the 
square Hebrew alphabet had not yet taken a definite place, but was already in 
the way of being introduced among the Jews. This is the famous inscription 
carved several times over on the rock at A'rak el Emir, which has given rise 
to so much palaeographical, epigraphical, and historical controversy. Of all 
the readings proposed, only one is possible, namely, rr^intD " Tobias." This 
one may be taken to be certain. The character is still akin to the ancient 
type, but the approach of the square character already makes itself felt. 

The great question is to make out who this Tobias is. I do not admit 
his being, as various scholars have proposed, Tobias the Ammonite, in the 
book of Nehemiah. The date (about 350 B.C.) would be much too early for 
the palaeography of the inscription and for the archaeology of the monuments 
of A'rak el Emir. I likewise refuse to identify the person with that Tobias, 
father of Joseph, who was a farmer of the taxes for Ptolemy V Epiphanes 
about 187 B.C., and was the grandfather of Hyrcanus, that is to say of the 
individual to whom, according to Josephus, we are to ascribe the foundation of 
the citadel called by him Tyros, and to-day by the Arabs A'rak el Emir. I 
have arrived at the conclusion that the Tobias whose name appears cut on the 
rock at A'rak el Emir, is none other than Hyrcanus himself, that is to say the 
actual founder of this most remarkable town. 

This is not the place to enter on a regular proof, it would take me too 
much out of my way, so I will confine myself to pointing out the principal 
argument on which I rely. 

Hyrcanus is a purely Hellenic name, and when borne by a Jewish 
personage implies the existence of another name, a national Hebrew one. 
This, as I have just reminded the reader in the case of Queen Helen, = Saddan, 
was a common practice among the Hellenising Semites, who assumed or 
received a double name. Greek and Semitic proofs of this usage are 
abundant ; to go no further than the name of Hyrcanus, I will point out, for 
instance, that, later on, in the Hasmonaean dynasty, we come across a prince 
Ihrcanus, who at the same time bears the Jewish name oi John {lojdvpri<;, and 

262 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

on his coins pnT^), in just the same way as his son and successor will bear the 
double name (Hellenic and ]&v^h\\) A/cxaiidcr JaniKeus.'* Thus the Hyrcanus 
who founded the citadel of A'rak el Emir might have borne, nay even must 
have borne, a Jewish name in his own tongue. Now what was this Jewish 
name ? I do not hesitate to reply, Tobias, and that a priori, quite apart from 
the existence of the name in the inscriptions at A'rak el Emir. My reason is 
this : Our Hyrcanus, son of Joseph, was -a. grandson of Tobias, and we know 
how often the name of the grandfather was transmitted to the grandson by 
onomastic atavism. This of itself is a strong presumption in favour of my 
thesis. But here is something else that appears to me still more convincing 
than this simple induction, which might perhaps be considered rash. 

Josephus tells us that Hyrcanus, being brought to bay in his citadel of 
A'rak el Emir, ended by committing suicide (about 175 B.C.), and that King 
Antiochus (IV Epiphanes) took possession of all the goods that had belonged 
to him {Ani. Jtid., xii, 4, 11). I am persuaded that we ought to identify this 
latter incident with what is told us in 2 Mace, iii, 1 1. The Seleucid General 
Apollonius sends Heliodorus to Jerusalem to call upon the high-priest Onias, 
in the name of Antiochus, to give up a considerable quantity of public treasure, 
of the existence of which he had been informed by a traitor. Onias in vain 
objects, saying that the treasure contains the savings of widows and orphans, 
and also "property belonging to a certain person of great consideration" 
((r(f>6Spa dvSpos ?f vnepoxfj Ki.ip.ivov) called Hyrcanus son of Tobias. This at 
any rate is the meaning hitherto attached to the expression 'TpKavov tov 
TwJBlov : " Hyrcanus (son) of Tobias," taking the second name to be a 
patronymic, with vlov understood, according to the usage of the Greek 
language. It is true that 'TpK-avo? 6 TwySiou, or rather 'TpKuvos TwySiov, in 
the nominative, would mean " Hyrcanus, son of Tobias ;" but when in this 
expression the name is in the genitive, there is ambiguity, and the phrase 
may also be equivalent to 'TpKavov tov koI Tco^lov," of Hyrcanus zolio is also 
called Tobias.t The latter meaning is the one that the Latin version has 

* It is very probable, in my opinion, that the homonymous Hyrcani, for instance Hyrcanus 
II, son and successor of Alexander Jannfeus, Hyrcanus, the nephew of Herod Agrippa, and 
Hyrcanus, son of the historian Flavins Josephus, also bore a national Jewish name independently 
of the Hellenic one. 

t We should then have in the nominative 'YpKut'o^; i Tu-'/i/o? and not o Twih'ov. It is in this 
way that the accusative 'laweav tov 'AXe^ai/qioi', which is found in Josephus, presumes the 
genitive, 'lavi/ea rSv 'AXe^ducpov. Now it would be absolute nonsense to translate the latter 
expression by, of Jannes son of Alexander, since we know perfectly well that the person was called 
Alexandcr-Janiies, and was the son of J ohn Hyrcanus. 

Gezer. 263 

taken, for Hyrkani Tobies can only mean in Latin, " of Hyrcamis-Tobias" not 
"of Hyrcanus, son of Tobias." This is how I understand the expression 
myself, and I draw from this series of comparisons the following formal 
conclusions: (i) that the Hyrcanus-Tobias of the Book of Maccabees, the 
important personage whose property Antiochus confiscated, is identical with the 
Hyrcanus of Fl. Josephus, whose property meets with a similar fate ; (2) that it 
was this Hyrcanus-Tobias who cut ^xx"?, Jeivish name Tobias twice over in monu- 
mental characters at AVak el Emir. Consequently the disputed inscription, 
thanks to this historical identification, can be exactly dated, as our Hyrcanus 
died in 176-175 B.C., and occupied his residence beyond Jordan during seven 
consecutive years, as we are informed by Josephus, until the end of the 
reign of Seleucus IV Philopator, the predecessor of Antiochus Epiphanes.'" 

I apologize for this digression, a somewhat long one perhaps, though I 
have attempted to compress into it a reasoning which really demands fuller 
treatment. It was however necessary, in order to ensure a firm basis for a 
fact of some importance for us, namely, that the use of the square alphabet 
must have been introduced among the Jews subsequent to the year 175 b.c, 
and only have been generally adopted under the Hasmonsean dynasty, which 
hardly came into official existence before 143 B.C., the date when the new 
Israel acquired its independence. Consequently our Gezer inscriptions cannot 
in any case date farther back than this, while on the other hand Greek 
palaeography binds us not to overstep the boundary of the Christian era. 
There is still a margin, it will be seen. 

The defective spelling of the word QPID, for Dinn, "boundary;" the 
appearance of the O, which in this word does not yet assume the final form it 
will take in the classic alphabet ; the structure of the component parts of the 

* It would in no way surprise me — but I can only put forward the notion here in brief^if 
our Hyrcanus, otherwise called Hyrcanus-Tobias, was really a descendant of the famous Tobias 
the Ammonite of the book of Nehemiah. According to Josephus the f;imily of Hyrcanus was 
known at Jerusalem under the popular name of " Children of Tobias " (<«' 'Xioftlov Truile<i or 
vcoi'= nUID ''22 Bene-Tobiyah). This generic appellation perhaps did not refer, as is supposed, 
to Tobias the grandfather of Hyrcanus, a person who appears to have played only an obscure 
part, but rather to a more distant and more illustrious ancestor, the Tobias of Ammonite origin 
who had played a conspicuous part in the history of Jerusalem on the return from the Captivity, 
and, to the great indignation of the orthodox party, had made himself a high position in the 
Jewish nation by exalted alliances. We could also much more easily explain why our Hyrcanus- 
Tobias, when driven from Jerusalem by the enmity of his brothers, went and established himself 
in the very heart of the Ammonites, if, by so doing, he was only returning to the land of his 
origin, where his family still perhaps had powerful connections. 

264 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

ri, the n, the 3, perhaps also the t (hi inscription A at least), are all indications 
of comparative archaism, agreeing with the probable age of the Greek 
characters. I think then that we shall not be far wrong in placing our 
inscriptions at or near the first century of our era, and rather before than after. 
We shall see if it is possible to reduce the problem within straiter limits. 

No doubt can remain as to the reading and sense of the three inscriptions 
A, B, D, despite the reservations made with singular persistency in the 
Memoirs* I have already anticipated certain objections more or less clearly 
enunciated there, but which have an evident tendency to lessen in the reader's 
eyes the importance of the conclusions that I drew at the first from these 
invaluable documents ; these conclusions I still maintain, and it now remains 
for me to justify them. 

With regard to the actual name of Gezer, which is repeated three times, 
there is nothing to be said : it is written "lU quite clearly, just as in the 
Biblical texts. 

The word Orfri, a defective, and even on that account ancient spelling of 
mnn, "boundary," does not belong to Biblical Hebrew, but is extremely 
common in the Hebrew of the Talmud under the forms mnn and NQinp, 
"boundary, limit, frontier." It likewise exists in Syriac {teJuimo). It is one 
of those many words of Aramaic origin that must have got into the language 
of the Jews at an early period, since the latter had come to speak an Aramaic 
or a strongly Aramaised dialect by the time of the Hasmoneeans, perhaps 
before it. In fact these profound changes in their language and their writing 
in the same direction were of simultaneous occurrence. At the same time that 
they began to speak Aramaic, they adopted the square character, in the form 
in which we see it in our inscriptions, that is to say, a type of alphabet allied to 
those in use around them among the Aramaic peoples. There is a synchronism, 
so to speak, in our inscriptions between the appearances of the Aramaic word 
nnn and the use of the square characters. The Judaeo-Aramaic language of 
the Targums even admits verbs closely related to this word : Dnri,, a piel, 
" to bound, to trace a limit," and ''^T\'r\-, a. paei, with the same meanings. 

The word ann is also used in the plural, D"<Qinn., ; for instance, to signify 
" the boundaries of Ascalon " {Tosiphla, Oholoth, 18). It even appears that 

• Memoirs, II, pp. 435, 436 : " The first word is supposed to be an abbreviated form of the 
later Hebrew form for oinn, "boundar)-." . . . The letter d . . . would have a medial, not a final 
form, if so read . . . The characters, if really Hebrew, approach most closely to the later square 
Hebrew forms, and not to the earlier character of the coins, etc., etc." 

Gezer. 265 

it finally passed into the general meaning of " territory ;" thus we find the 
expression n"'-)^ Qinn. "the territory of Ariah" {Tosip/ila, Kilaim i.), exactly 
similar to our "IW Dnn, " boundary " or "territory" of Gezer. The word must 
have been in common use in Syria, and consequently in Palestine too, which 
explained why the Arabs adopted it when they conquered those countries. For 
it is clearly evident that the Arabic ^^o', *oiv', JLt^', taklun, tokhiit, takhfmia, 
as well as the factitious plural ^^- tokhuni (identical, letter for letter, with the 
Aramaic mnn), are simply its immediate derivatives. These Arabic words 
signify in their special sense, "boundary part or border between two fields," 
and in their more general sense, "boundary, frontier." For instance, men said 
^UJjJl >^.^''> "the frontier of Balka," Aj:^\ *^ , "the frontier of Damascus, or 
of Syria," c/r. . . .* The word has likewise furnished verbal derivatives in 
Arabic as in Aramaic : ^^^ "to establish a boundary," and ^r^b', "to be 
bordering, contiguous." 

In the Talmud the word Qinn very often denotes a boundary of a very 
particular kind. I shall recur to this shortly, when I discuss the origin and 
intention of this boundary of Gezer. 

Whatever this origin and this intention were, it is clear that the appearance 
of the male proper name Alkios, written in Greek, by the side of the Hebrew 
text in each of our inscriptions, admits of but one explanation. This name 
can onty be that of some personage playing an essential part in the fixing of 
the boundary : either a magistrate who presided over it ex officio, or some great 
person for whose benefit the settlement took place, the land marked off being 
his personal property. I incline to the former hypothesis ; the use of the 
genitive is quite in conformity with the usages of Greek. We must understand 
the preposition eVt, or some verbal expression in the genitive, which determines 
the nature of his function. On the other hand, if it were a question of private 
property, one would think that the expression "boundary of Gezer" would not 
have been used; this would imply a boundary concerning the town itself and not 
a mere private individual. So I regard Alkios, till the contrary is proved, as 
a civil or religious magistrate possessing authority over the territory of Gezer. 

At the outset I thought myself able to assert that this name Alkios 

* I have my suspicions moreover that the present name of the village of Tc/iihn {^t^), 
on the sea-coast between Jebeil and Bathnui, is a weakened form of the word /•vbJ'; ind owes its 

name to its position on the boundary of the territories of these two latter towns. Several Greek 
and Roman inscriptions relating to the establishment of certain boundaries have been discovered 
in the neighbourhood {cf. Renan, Mission de Phhiicie, pp. 147, 149). 

2 M 

266 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

belonged to a person of Jewish origin. As a matter of fact, Alkios is a purely 
Hellenic name, rather rare even in Greek onomastics, and only appearing in 
documents that take us to a considerable distance away from Palestine, for 
instance, on Phrygian coins.* It even appears, from a comparison between a 
passage in Athenseus (XII, 547) and other authorities that mention a certain 
Alkios, of the Epicureean school, that "AX/cios is merely a variant of a much 
more widespread form 'A^Kaio?.! My impression was that in any case our 
name Alkios belonged to the well-known category of Greco-Jewish names 
chosen purposely by the Jews from Hellenic names because of their assonance 
with their own national names ; for instance -.Jason — Jesus, Joiakiin — Alkinios, 
Simeon — Simon, San/ — Paulos, and others like them. Taking this basis, I 
suspected Alkios of Gezer to be a Jewish personage having as his national 
name Hilkiyah, npbn ('E\/cta?j:), an abbreviation of Hilkiya/m, "ir^pvPI, 
and itself admitting abbreviation to Helka'i V^n (Nehemiah xii, 15), 
transliterated 'E\Kat in the Septuagint.§ 

There is another instance to be adduced which invests this conjecture 
with a high degree of probability, I mean the long Greek epitaph carved on 
the ossuary or sarcophagus at Lydda which I shall speak of later on (Ch. VI). 
Whatever meaning be attached to the somewhat obscure genealogy given in 
it, which will be treated of, in the proper place and at the proper time, one 
fact stands out clearly, that the name Alkios, identical with that in our Gezer 
inscriptions, is there found associated with names genuinely Jewish {Simon, 
Golmi-) ; consequently we are fully warranted in concluding, as I have done, 
that this name really did belong to the Jewish personal vocabulary. 

This last is a point of the first importance. We might even go a step 
further and inquire whether the Alkios of Gezer and the Alkios of Lydda might 
not by chance be one and the same person. || The distance between Lydda and 

* Mionnet, Description de medailles, etc., IV, 22B ; suppl., VII, 507. 

■f Sec Pape-Bensler, Woerterb. der griec/i. Eigennamen, s.vv. 

X This name was still much in vogue in the first century of our era. Cf. Josephus, Ant. Jud., 
xviii, 8:4; xix, 8 : 3 ; xx, 8 : 11. 

§ Cf. the Gospel name 'A\0a?o>:, which is an evident Hellenisation of •'sbn, Halphai 
(Talmud, "B^-n, Hilphai). 

II It may be as well to recall in this place that John Hyrcanus I had a brother, name 
unknown, who was given as a hostage to Antiochus VII Sidetes (Josephus, Ant. Jud., xiii, 8, 3). 
This unknown son of Simon is not generally inserted in the current genealogies of the 
Hasmonajans. Can he have borne the name of Alkios ? The practice of giving Greek names 
seems to have taken early root in the Hasmonaean family. John Hyrcanus set the example ; his 
descendants followed it, and his son Judas Aristobulus went so far in his taste for things Greek 
that he earned the surname of Plu/hellenus. 

Gezer. 267 

Gezer (about four miles) is inconsiderable enough to allow of the two towns 
being regarded as belonging to the same region. Thus there would be 
nothing improbable in the idea of the descendants of Alkios who were buried 
at Lydda, being buried in a family tomb belonging to Alkios of Gezer and his 
ancestors. In that case the latter would naturally have belonged originally to 
Lydda. It is interesting, with this in view, to compare the palaeography of 
the Greek inscriptions at Gezer with that of the epitaph at Lydda, since on this 
hypothesis the two texts would be separated by an interval of one, perhaps 
two, generations, according to the sense it may be thought necessary to attach 
to this ambiguous epitaph. Now to judge from the shape of the letters, this 
epitaph might perfectly well be placed about the beginning of the first century 
of our era, which would put the Gezer inscriptions further back, into the latter 
half of the century preceding. However, I do not insist on the second part 
of this comparison, for it is always possible that the Alkios of Gezer and that 
of Lydda are merely homonyms. But what remains certain, in any case, is 
that Alkios really is, as I expected, a name belonging to the Greco-Jewish 
personal vocabulary. 

XIV. — Nature and Origin of ■iiie Boundary, 

What was the nature of the boundary which our inscriptions helped to 
mark out ? For reasons to which it is useless to recur, I have already 
rejected the idea that we only had to deal with a mere boundary of private 
property belonging- to a person named Alkios. The tenour of the texts is 
explicit : boundary of Gezer, so that the boundary is one concerning the town 
itself not a private individual. But what is the nature of the connection ? 

It may occur to us to inquire whether this boundary may be a line ot 
demarcation between two contiguous territories subject to two more or less 
neighbouring towns. We have in Greek and Roman epigraphy, and even in 
Syria, numerous instances of inscriptions fixing boundaries of this sort. In 
the present case one is almost tempted to think of a passage in Josephus, 
{Ant. Jud., xiv, 5:4; Bellnni Jnd., i, 8 : 5), where he states that in 69-63 B.C. 
Gabinius, sent by Pompey, divided the Jewish nation into five Sanhedrins, 
having as their centres Jerusalem, Gadara, Amathous, Jericho, and Sepphoris. 
Gadara, as we have seen, is often put for Gazara. Can it be, then, that we 
have come across the territorial boundary of the Sanhedrin of Ciczcr, and 
that the latter was placed under the chief jurisdiction of Alkios, a member 
of that Jewish aristocracy, (dpicrro/cparta) which Gabinius, according to 

2 M 2 

68 Ai'chcrolozical Researches in Palestine. 


Josephus, substituted for the royal dynasty ? The idea is assuredly attractive ; 
but it raises more than one difficulty. In the first place, it is by no means 
proved that in the passage quoted Gadara stands for Gezer, and not rather for 
Gadara in Peraea. Again, the boundary of the territory of the Sanhedrin, 
which must have been of great extent, would have passed very near the town 
that was its capital. On the other hand, it is to be noted that in the division 
of Judaea into eleven toparchies, which was in existence in the time of 
Vespasian (Josephus, Belhuti Jud., iii, 3:5; ef. Pliny the Elder, Hist. 
Nat., 5 : 14) we hear nothing of a toparchy of Gezer, although there is one of 
Emmaus and Lydda, which are important towns not far away. Lastly, and 
most forcible objection of all, if the "boundary of Gezer" was that of some 
district having Gezer as its capital, this district would have been of necessity 
contiguous to some other district, and in this case our inscriptions would have 
to mention, as the custom always is, the tivo districts separated by the line of 
demarcation : " boundary of Gezer and 0/, etc." 

From this I conclude that the boundary of Gezer can only be a line 
encircling the whole city, and marking out a certain zone of comparatively 
limited extent, which formed an integral part of the immediate dependencies 
of this city, was considered by itself apart from any contiguous exterior 
territory, and formed the perimeter of a suburb — of a shape yet to be 
determined — having Gezer as its centre. 

Before searching in the Biblical and other sources for analogies that 
might enlighten us as to the nature and purpose of this perimeter, it will be 
as well to examine more nearly the position of these inscribed landmarks, and 
particularly their orientation with regard to Tell el Jezer and their distance 
from that spot. Circumstances did not allow of our going on with these 
observations, but of course it was my intention to make them with the greatest 
possible accuracy, reckoning them as an essential factor in the solution of the 
problem. However, at my request the Committee was pleased to give 
instructions for their being made by the Survey. The results will be found in 
a plan on a large scale published in the Memoirs (II, p. 429). 

This plan, though very detailed, still leaves some doubt at certain points. 
Thus the exact spot of the inscriptions mentioned in the explanation of the plan 
is not clearly indicated. The numbers used, i, 2, 3, do not correspond to the 
order in which I made the successive discoveries. They answer, in my series, 
to B, A, C, not A, B, C. As regards my inscription D, I cannot say whether 
it is identical with No. 4 on the plan (see stLpra, p. 233). At all events, it is 
pretty nearly in the same direction, and I shall argue as if it were identical. 

Gezer. 269 

Moreover, as far as I can judge, there is an appreciable difference between the 
Map and the special plan as regards the orientation of the medial axis of the 
Tell. I will mention, just to remind the reader, an error I have already 
pointed out, in the position of 'Ain et Tannur. This was more a mistake 
as to toponymy than to topography. 

According to the Survey plan my inscription A (=No. 2) is on the right 
and to the east of the Tell, which agrees precisely with my own observation, 
and at a distance from the middle of the Tell that may be reckoned at 5,600 feet.* 
Inscriptions B (=:No. i), C (:=No. 3), and D (=:No. 4) appear set out at 
irregular intervals along a line starting" from A (No. 2) and bearing to the 
north, which amounts to saying that the texts are easily seen to be arranged 
in a row from south-east to north-west. The orientation is perhaps not 
faultlessly exact, but the slight variations in the relative positions of the 
inscriptions are not sufficient to warrant us in denying this visible tendency 
towards a scheme of position depending on the four points of the compass, to 
say nothing of the fact that when the inscriptions were cut the cardinal points 
were perhaps not the same as those that we use now-a-days. I do not mean 
the variation due to the lessening of the mean obliquity of the ecliptic — that 
would only give, for 2000 years, an inconsiderable difference of 15' — but we 
cannot be sure whether at that time observers fixed their positions by the 
equinoctial or (quite possibly) the solstitial points. Taking the rising sunt as 
the basis, there might be a difference of 27° 55' under this head, on the 
horizon of Jerusalem, either to the north or south of the true astronomical east. 

If we attempt to discover a circumference passing through the points 
marked out by our inscriptions, by attaching an importance to their slight 
deviation from the straight line, which in my opinion they do not possess, 
we should find for the centre of this more or less regular circumference a spot 
very far from Tell el Jezer, and nearly at Sheikh Ja'bas, which seems 
extremely improbable. 

From these various considerations therefore, I am finally persuaded that 
we should regard our group of inscriptions as marking out a straight line running" 
grosso iiiodo from south-east to north-west. This straight line could only forni 

* Memoirs, II, pp. 431 and 434. 

I I need hardly remark that in practice the ancients, and especially the Semites, when they 
wished to determine the bearings of a place or building, did not look to the north, as we do, but 
looked to the east, having on their right hand the south and on their left the north : that is to say, 
if they had had maps they would have placed the east at the top. This is indicyted by the 
Semitic names of the cardinal points ; "before," "right,'' "left." 

270 Ai'chccological Researches in Palestine. 

part of a quadrilateral, having Tell cl Jczer in the middle, and its angles 
pointing to the four quarters of the compass. Inscription A ( = No. 2) would 
fix the east corner of the square, inscriptions B, D, would give the line 
from east to north, and by following the lines of the four sides, a whole 
series of inscriptions might be still discovered. It will be noticed that one 
very important point is included in this area, the fine spring of 'Ain Yardeh, 
the possession of which must always have been a question of \'ital interest 
for the town of Gezer. In this connection it is worth while recalling the 
closely-related passage of Josephus quoted above : " Gazara and its springs." 

It must be admitted that this figure by its shape, and as we shall see by 
its dimensions, is remarkably like the niigrash of the Levitical towns that 
enjoyed the right of refuge, a suburban zone encircling the town proper, and 
in various respects resembling the trpoadTtiov and the ponia:riunt. I cannot 
undertake to give in this place a thorough treatment of this question of the 
niigrash, and to follow so many predecessors in discussing the classical passage. 
Numbers xxxv, 2-5, on which it rests. I will content myself with remarking 
that from comparison of this passage with the other Biblical data the following 
results seem clearly established : 

(i) That the Levitical towns were surrounded by a first zone distant 
1,000 cubits from the outer wall. 

(2) That from this first zone 2,000 cubits were measured in the direction 
of each of the cardinal points, and that the second zone thus formed, encircling 
the first, formed the niigrash proper. 

The niigrash therefore, with its four equal dimensions, could only be a 
square, and this square was normally orientated.* All we want to know is 
whether it was the sides or the corners that were orientated ; whether it was 

or a 

* This arrangement of the inijrrash recalls in more than one respect that of the ager publicus 
of the Roman cities, and especially the Roman colonies. This territory was marked out according 
to minute rules borrowed from Etruscan practice, and formed an exactly square area, orientated 
on the cardinal points according to two main lines E — W {itecionanus inaximus) and N — S 
(cardo maximus) ; the main bounding lines, or extremitates, were marked out either by posts, or 
marks, or inscriptions on the roclts. These were the termini terriforiales. 'I'he square was 
orientated by its sides, not its angles. 

Gezer, 271 

In the second case, if we consider the eastern corner, there must have 
been between this corner and the wall of the town a total distance of 2,000 
+ 1,000 (=3,000) cubits. It will at once be noticed that the latter is just 
the state of the case at Tell el Jezer. Our inscription A, to the right and the 
east of Gezer, at the beginning of a line running from east to north, is easily 
found to be 3,000 cubits distant from the base of the Tell. 

The comparison becomes still more striking if the reader will bear in 
mind : 

(i) That Gezer was one of the towns of Ephraim assigned together 
with their migras/iQS, to the Levites, and possessing the right of refuge. 
(Joshua xix, 21. Cf. i Chronicles vi, 52.) 

(2) That apart from the data above set forth in brief, which necessarily 
imply the existence of a fixed line limiting the viigrash, this line encircling the 
inviolable territory is expressly mentioned by the name of gebiil (" boundary," 
Numbers xxxv, 26, 27). 

(3) That according to a Jewish tradition,* which is valuable at any rate 
for the Talmudic period in which it first appears, the zone of protection of the 
Cities of Refuge seems to have been marked by conspicuous signs, such as 
stelae, a sort oi cippi poiiKerii, bearing written notices. 

At the time of my discovery, I put forth the idea that the landmarks on 
the Gezer boundary probably were not only indicated by inscriptions on rocks 
lying flat, and rather difficult to detect, but that they may have originally had 
at the side of them some prominent indications, better adapted to catch the 
eye, such as stelce or cippi poincerii. Although my researches on the spot 
have not enabled me to find any indications that are conclusive in this respect, 
I keep to my idea. It appears to me moreover to be confirmed to a certain 
extent by the Jewish tradition just related, which I was not acquainted with 
at the time. 

Does this mean that I propose to regard our Gezer boundary as the 
boundary of the ancient Levitical viigrash spoken of in Numbers ? By no 
means, of course, for the mere palaeography of our inscriptions brings us 
down to between the Hasmonaean and Herodian periods; only we must not 
lose sight of this, that the state of things described in the Book of Numbers 
may very well hold good of a much more recent period. To say nothing of 
the dates, some of them extraordinarly late, assigned by the hypercritical school 

* See the curious passages collected under the word '^VODX in Levy's Neuhebr, u. Chald. 
W'^rterhuch,  - 

272 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

of exegesis to the drawing up of the priestly code, we may at all events 
suppose without rashness that this code may have remained in force until 
quite late. It is not improbable, under the Hasmonaeans, who were bent 
on reviving what they regarded as the oldest traditions of Israel, special 
importance was attached to the delimitation of the viigrash of the towns 
which, like Gezer, had been, and perhaps still were, assigned to the Levites. 
Have we not seen that when Simon had retaken Gezer from the Greco-Syrians, 
he had the place carefully purified, meaning to make it his own residence and 
that of his son John Hyrcanus, and that he settled in it men charged with 
observing the law, that is to say, the religious law? It is, of course, a tempting 
idea to see one of these individuals, who were endowed with both civil and 
religious functions, or one of their successors, in the person of our Alkios, by 
whose diligence the inscriptions were cut that mark the boundary of Gezer. 
We might even go so far as to wonder whether by chance the Alkios of Lydda, 
son of Simon, identical with the Alkios of Gezer, may be, on the other hand, 
if not some other son, to us unknown, at any rate some more or less distant 
descendant of the illustrious Hasmoncean prince who brought back Gezer, as 
we have seen, into the patrimony of Israel. But this is the mere mirage of 
history — I should not dare to go such lengths. The palaeography of the 
inscriptions, the presence of the Greek name we find in them, even the possible 
relation between these inscriptions and the Lydda epitaph are not in favour of 
this daring hypothesis, the effect of which would be to put back the Gezer 
texts to the second century B.C. 

What may at all events be admitted, without danger to probability, is that 
our Gezer boundary corresponds to the famous Sabbatical boundary, which 
plays such an important part, and which is mentioned in the life of Jesus 
(o-aySySarou 680s, Acts i, 12).* Now, on the other hand, critics are generally 
agreed in thinking that the Sabbatical boundary was calculated in precisely the 
same way as that of the migrash, and was to some extent confused with it. I 
cannot take up afresh the whole of this much-discussed question, but will content 
myself with recapitulating the essential data, laying stress on those which have 
a particular interest for us. 

The basis of this Sabbatical limit is well known ; it was the distance from 
the city beyond which one could not go without risking a violation of the law 
enjoining absolute rest on the Sabbath. To go beyond it was to make a real 

* Denoting the distance from Jerusalem to the spot on the Mount of Olives where the 
Ascension took place. 



journey, and all journeys on the holy day were forbidden. This distance was 
strictly fixed at 2,000 cubits, according- to the rabbis" and the weightiest 
of the ancient commentators. The 2,000 cubits were to be reckoned from 
the first imaginary perimeter within which the city was supposed to be 
inscribed. Now we have seen that this first zone had a uniform breadth of 
1,000 cubits, so that we get, starting from the outer wall, a total length 
(measured towards one of the cardinal points) of 1,000 + 2,000 = 3,000 
cubits, a length identical both with the total width of the iiiigrash and 
the distance actually existing between our inscription A and the base of 
Tell el Jezer. 

The specific word used in the Talmud to denote this Sabbatical 
boundary is just the one that appears in our inscriptions, namely rQti^ Dinn, 
b^rQiyi ^^'^inn, " Sabbatical boundary," and often, too, for short, Oinn, 
"boundary," without the following word Twy, " Sabbath." 

It may be supposed that the Sabbatical limit, at any rate in most 
important towns,t was properly marked out on the ground and in a more or 
less conspicuous way, were it only to enable people to avoid involuntary error 
in the observation of the law. This was the more necessary, as in practice 
the application of this law involved a curious compromise, which itself implied 
the previous existence of a well-defined boundary : this was the middle 
course, called in the Talmudj □"'Qinn ''n"l''y, " the mingling of the limits." 
In order to be able to go on the Sabbath day further away than the regulation 
distance, the following fiction was resorted to : On the Friday evening the 
traveller went and deposited at the limit food ready prepared for the next day's 
meal, and then it was allowable on the Saturday to make this extreme point, 
which in this way was regarded as an inhabited place or legal domicile, the 

* Sometimes certain rabbis admit variable distances, 2,800, 2,000, or 1,800 cubits. These 
variations are perhaps due to the actual variations of the cubit in the different systems 
happened to be used. 

t It is odd that, in spite of the attention attracted by the finds at Gezer, no similar inscriptions 
have been discovered at other places in Palestine. This must be for want of looking ; I have not 
any doubt that others might be found elsewhere. Recently Father van Kasteren {Zeitschrift des 
deutschen Faldstina-Vereins, 1891, p. 148) has claimed to discover an inscription of this kind in a 
few not very intelligible Greek characters, cut on the rock between Shefa 'Amr and Khiirbet 
Husheh ; but I think he is under an illusion. If this obscure inscription relates to a boundary, 
which is very doubtful, it is not, in my opinion, the Sabbatical limit of Jewish ritual. 

X See the special treatise on the Erubin. These erubiii, or mixed combinations, were also 
applied to various other injunctions of the same kind, such as the one relating to the preparation 
of food on the Sabbath, and allowed of a partial evasion of these commands, which were very 
troublesome in practice. 

2 N 

2/4 ArcJucological Researches in Palestine. 

starting-point for a fresh journey of 2,000 cubits ; so that the Sabbath day's 
journey was doubled in length. 

It is likely enough that this was the essential object of our Gezer boundary. 
The observance of the Sabbatical limit, which we find in full vigour at the 
beginning of the first century of our era, must certainly date farther back than 
that. Without going so far as to assert, with certain rabbis, that it was 
really Biblical in its origin — though the telmm are evidently shaped on the 
migrash — we shall not exceed historic probability if we allow that it must have 
existed during the Herodian and Hasmonaean periods, when the sacerdotal 
and religious organization of the Jewish nation assumed their most characteristic 
and narrowest forms. We know how strict the observance of Sabbath rest 
was under the Hasmonceans.* It needed the application of force majenre 
before the infringement of it was thought warrantable (i Maccabees ii, 32-41 ; 
ix, 43, 44. Cf. Josephus, Ani. Jud., xiii, 8 : 4, etc.). So naturally every 
precaution was taken to ensure a full and complete observance of the rules 
required by it, and the material settling of the limit allowed — the tehnm — was 
assuredly the most effectual of these precautions. 

XV. — Gezer and the contiguous territories of Ephraim, Dan, 

JuDAH, AND Benjamin. 

The reader will be able, from what has been already said, to form a 
tolerable idea of the importance and variety of the questions which the identi- 
fication of Gezer, henceforth immovably fixed on a basis of epigraphy, either 
solves or raises. I have for the most part confined myself to skimming the 
surface of these questions, so as not to be drawn away into too lengthy develop- 
ments. There is, however, one among them possessed of exceptional interest, 
which I cannot refrain from shortly noticing before I finish this study of Gezer, 
which, for all its length, is nothing but a sketch. The fixing the site of Gezer 
furnishes us with the key to a riddle which was the subject of much vain search 
before that discovery, namely, the direction of an important part of the southern 

* Cf. the curious episode related by Josephus {Ant. Jud., xiii, S : 4), on the authority of 
Nicholas of Damascus : Antiochus VII, Sidetes, being accompanied on his expedition against the 
Parthians by John Hyrcanus, out of deference to Jewish customs, stops the march of his army 
for two consecutive days, the Saturday (Sabbath) and the Whitsunday immediately following. 

Gezer. 275 

boundary of the tribe of Ephraim. We have seen, It will be remembered, that 
Gezer belonged to the territory of this tribe, and marked its extreme western 
point; the Hne, starting from Jordan, passed by Bethel [Bciiin), and lastly by 
Bethhoron the Nether {Beit Ur et Tahia), finally coming to an end at Gezer.* 
Henceforward, therefore, we can with absolute certainty draw the line through 
the three known points, Bcitin, Beitur, and Tell el Jezer, otherwise called 
Abu Shusheh. It is extremely remarkable to find that Gezer is in an exact 
line with Bethoron the Nether and Bethel ; the fact is assuredly not a mere 
coincidence. In this way we obtain for this portion of the southern boundary 
of Ephraim (the northern one of Benjamin, and then of a part of the territory 
of Dan) a tolerably straight line, running uniformly from north-east to south- 
west. Gezer was thus situated at the actual intersection of the boundaries of 
Ephraim, Dan, and Judah, which hitherto have been so difficult to clear up. 
This point then is a definite acquisition for Bible geography, and one of 
capital importance. It will tend to modify much theoretical mapping-out 
suggested by more or less ingenious commentators. It strikes me that in all 
these systems, both old and new, that have been continually putting forth their 
first buds or coming into flower anew ever since the discovery of Gezer, 
sufficient account has not been taken of this henceforth all-important datum ; 
yet it would be easy to show that it also has a bearing on the much-discussed 
determination of the line which, leaving the southern boundary of Ephraim at 
Bethhoron, dipping southwards at Kirjath Jearim, and branching oft along the 
northern boundary of Judah, separated the territory of Benjamin (on the east) 
from that of Dan (on the west). I have my own ideas on this subject, and 
hope I may some day take my turn and set them forth. I cannot think of 
doing so here, it would mean writing a fresh chapter. 

* Joshua xvi, 3. {Cf. Josephus, Ant.Jiid., v, i : 22.) 

2 N 2 




{August 26th to September 2gth, 1874.) 
From Jerusalem to 'Ain SiniA. 

We set out from Jerusalem on Wednesday, August 26th, for this tour, 
which was to last five and thirty days. I had resolved to push north as far as 
Sebaste, then to make south as far as Gaza, stopping at El Midieh to make a 
thorough search over the ruined edifice which it had been proposed to identify 
as the burial-place of the Maccabees ; and, finally, to return from Gaza to 
Jerusalem by way of Beit Jibrin. 

'Andta. — After passing through the village of 'Isawiyeh we reached 
'Anata, where we stopped to lunch. The better to loosen the tongues of the 
fellahin, I bought a huge dish of fresh figs, and asked them to join us at 
dessert. This attention much deliijhted them, but it was near costing us 
dear. A Bedawy, who was in the village on business, insisted on having a 
share of the treat, with a rudeness that I could not tolerate. I put the ruffian 
back in his place with some sharpness, whereupon he got up in a rage and 
rushed on me, sword in hand, yelling forth abuse. By pointing our revolvers 
at him we kept him at a respectful distance, and the fellahin themselves 
undertook to bring him to reason, and make him respect their hosts. This 
was one of the very few occasions when we required, I will not say to use our 
fire-arms, but to show that we had them. 

The inhabitants of 'Anata, whose ethnic name is 'Andty in the singular, 
'Andtiyeh in the plural, did not originally belong to that village. Their 
ancestors, they say, came from Khurbet 'Almit, situated a mile to the north- 

From Jerusalem to Scbastc [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 277 

east. The village has two sanctuaries, that of Neby Sdleh and that of Neby 
Rumin, called by some Rubin and by others again Ritmia* This last form, 
I must say, looks as if it had been connected by the folk-lore with the name of 
Jeremiah, the initial Je being removed by aphseresis, as so frequently happens 
in Arabic. 'Anathoth, which indubitably is represented by 'Anata, was, as is 
well known, the home of the prophet. 

We noticed here the ruins of an ancient church that had just been 
brought to light, with a pavement of fine mosaic carefully laid. Probably 
some Byzantine church ; we could detect no signs of anything mediaeval 
about it. 

— From 'Anata we went on to Jeba', passing through Hizmeh, the ethnic 
of which is Hesmdtvy in the singular, Hezaw'meh in the plural. 

We cast a passing glance at the curious tombs of which I had made a 
detailed study some years before. This time they were pointed out to me 
under the name of ICbiir beni Isnin {sic). 

I think it desirable at this point to give some extracts from my note- 
books, containing a few short observations made by me in 1871 at 'Isawiyeh, 
'Anata, and Hizmeh. They will serve to complete what has gone before :t 

— Near 'Isawiyeh, to the south-east, separated from it by the valley, is a 
tell called Tell el Midbcseh. The valley is called Mudawwara ("the round"); 
there was a spring once, but it has now disappeared. There are numerous 
excavations in the rock, which itself has been levelled in places ; presses, 
threshing-floors, sepulchres with "ovens." The fellahin of the place tell me 
that an hour to the east there is a ruin called Deir es Sidd ; half-an-hour to 
the east is Kliitrbet B'ki' edlidn (or B^kV edhdhdn ?), near Sheikh 'Anbar. On 
the way you meet with a iiighdret I mm cs Sicltdn (" the cavern of the King's 
mother ") ; Kh. Khardzeh ; a little below, but quite near, is a Khiirbet Ij'ivar 
er Rummdn {^^^\z= ^^\=^,^ ? perhaps ,1^^ ?). 

— To the south of Rds el Kharrilb, on a small mound of lesser height, 
is a well called Bir Imrd, which must at one time have had masonry over it. 
I note here some fragments of fluted pottery. 

— At Rds el Kharrilb, on a high hill surmounted by a plateau, are caverns 

* The co-existence of these two forms .,Xt. , and lj..<., is curious ; it suggests the question 
"whether this mythical name may not conceal an ancient Aramaic plural which has been preserved 
in the two states, the absolute and the emphatic : Riaiiin ;<on and Ei'imia x'Dll (Rumaiyd). 

t Carnet IV, pp. 14-17, February, 7, 1S71. 

278 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

converted into tombs with "ovens;" four or five rock-hewn cisterns; old 

— At 'Anata is a small mosque dedicated to Ncby Sdlcli, and a cave called 
M'ghdrt Rubin ("cave of Reuben"). I noticed a piece of ancient stone- 
work of large blocks with coarse bosses, with a modern built wall round it ; a 
capital of a pilaster in the Corinthian style is imbedded in the lower part ; 
some fraijments of columns and bases. 

— At Hizmeh, numerous rock-hewn caves (troglodytes). 

— Exactly opposite Hizmeh, and separated from it by the Wddy Rds el 
Fdrd, are to be seen the tombs, properly called ICbur b'ni Isrdin, "the tombs 
of the sons of Israel." A peasant-woman told me that K'bur el 'Amdl'ka 
(" the tombs of the Amalekites ") was not their name. 

— Just near Fara there are some rocks (^etwkdn), called Abu M'sarrah 

— The fellahin tell me of the K'biir lakhkhein {=■ el akhein, "the two 
brothers), tombs situated an hour or an hour and a half from Hizmeh, near 
En N'kkcilch ; these are the tombs of the two brothers [cl ikhwcin). 

— Many of the fellahin use the pronunciation Fdrdn instead of Fdrd. 
Near Fdrd, at the spring, there is a reservoir called DJibi'Abd Allah. 

K'biir beni Isrdin. — I proceed, with the assistance of Brother Lievin, 
who is good enough to accompany me, to examine these remarkable re- 
mains. For reasons that I cannot here set down, I had a mind to locate 
there the real Tomb of Rachel. The hypothesis may seem a very daring one. 
Some day perhaps I will discuss it, and I shall not hide from myself the 
various difficulties it calls up, which I have been and shall be the very last 
person to disregard. 

* * * -;;- # * # 

The five tombs* rise in tiers one above the other on the hill-side, on the 
right bank of the Wdd Z'reik, which joins the IVdd Fdrd at an oblique angle. 

* * # # -j;- # # 

The blocks used in the construction of them are generally of the square 
rather than the oblong shape. The courses deviate considerably from the 
horizontal. . . . The corner stones are of larger dimensions than the others. 
The rock as a rule has been levelled underneath the courses Here are 

* I merely wish to give here some few details from my notes which serve to complete the 
very exact study of these remains which has since been made by the Survey {Memoirs, III, 100). 

From Jerusalem to Sebastc (Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 279 

transverse sections of two of these tombs, which will give an idea of the way 
in which they are placed on the sloping ground : 


V \ 

k'bur bexi israin : section and doorway 

r^r\;. :; -^^v-^SSS^S-^v:-;,;;? 

To this I add a small sketch of the door of one of the central chambers 
or recesses.* 

JebcC. — At Jeba' we made our arrangements for passing the night. My 
idea was to make a detailed study of the neighbourhood, so as to try to clear 
up if possible the vexed questions of several Bible places mentioned as being 
in these parts : e.g., Migron, " the teeth of rock," Seneh and Bozez, lying the 
one to the south, the other to the north of the valley separating the Israelites 
from the Philistine camp at Michmash (Mukhmas), etc. 

According to my custom, before I began my search on the chosen 
ground, I drew the fellahin into conversation. Here are various bits of 
information that I got from them : 

— The ethnic \s Jeb'y in the singular, Jebciiyeh in the plural. The sanctuary 
of the village is called after Neby Ydkiib. Sidna Ya'kub, " our Lord Jacob," 
came there in the guise of an old man riding on a white horse. There was 
formerly in the midst of Jeba' a Ka/'ah, " fortress," connected by a thread with 
a bell (Jaras) at Rama. Rama is probably er Ram, the ancient Ramah, rather 
less than two miles south-west of Jeba'. This legend, with its interesting 
pronunciation of Rama, harmonises with the statements in the Bible, which 
establish the close connection of Geba and Ramah. Jeba' was in the days of 
old the residence of Su/tdn esh slihddeh, " the king of the profession of faith," 
or of " the martyrdom." 

— The modern inhabitants declare that they came originally from the 
country east of Jordan. 

— An old fellah of the village told me the following story, which he received, 
he said, from his ancestors and from the Christians of Bethlehem. A Christian 

* Different from the one given in the Memoirs, 

28o Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

of Bethlehem was going to Tayibeh, with his wife or his daughter. Night 
coming on, they stopped at Jeba' to sleep. Some men of the town entered 
the house where they were sleeping, and outraged the woman, who was found 
dead next morning. The Christian thereupon cut her dead body in two and 
sent one half to Tayibeh and the other to Mukhmas to the people of his party. 
These instantly rose at his call, one band coming from the east, the other 
from the west. They first feigned flight in order to entice out the Jeba'iyeh, 
who were caught between the two troops and all slain. The massacre took 
place in the plain called El Merj fil-MunkcC (jJLxJl ^ -v^')' between Jeba' 
and the source of the Wddy Bab esh Shcib, in the immediate neighbourhood 
of Jeba'. To this day the corn at this spot is of considerable height, but 
produces no ears {ind bisabbilisli). 

This legend, which reproduces in naive fashion the narrative of Judges 
xix-xx, is not without interest, in spite of the avowed influence of Christian 
tradition ; it is particularly curious in its localization of the episodes. 

— In conversing with the peasants of Jeba', I noticed the usage of an 
expression frequently employed by them, namely, tufdn, in the sense of 
"much." The word J^ya appears in Arabic lexicons in this acceptation, but 
this was the first time I had noticed it in the popular speech. It is much 
better known in the sense of " flood ;" from this one might say a " heap," or 
"flood" of things and so "a quantity." It is certainly a word of Aramaic 
origin that has got into Arabic : cf. ■'Oip> N;''''D1t3) n31Q''l3, of the Aramaic of the 
Talmud, bearing the same sense of " much." 

— I proceed to extract, as they stand, from my note-book, the topographical 
observations I made either in exploring the various physical features of the 
ground between Jeba' and Mukhmas, or in questioning the fellahin of those 
two localities. Many of these names do not figure on the Map, and it is 
unfortunately difficult for me, as my recollections have grown dim after twenty 
years, to indicate their exact position. I should premise for the better 
understanding of what follows, that I copy the fellahin in giving the name 
IJ'ddy Stnveinit to the upper part of the valley of this name, to the north of 
Tell Miriam. The Wddy en Netif oi the Map was pointed out to me by the 
peasants under the name of ]]'ddy JcbcC ; others disputed the existence of 
this name. ' 

I give these notes in the same order and in the same form as I took 
them, leaving them in their condition of brevity, which often involves 
ambiguity, sometimes contradiction : 

— Deir Abu Zidd. 

From fcrusaloii to Scbastc [San/aria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 281 

— Kuskttn (and Wddy Kushttn) is the slope below Tell Miriam,* between 
the tell and Deir Abu Ziad. 

— A little to the north of Mukhmas is Tell cl 'Asker, with ruins (this 
from hearsay). 

— Between Wady Jeba' and Wady Suweinit is Dhahrat imiii 'Asiveijeh. 

— Dhahrat Abu Rif'a and Wad Abu Rif'a (between Wady Jeba', Tell 
Miriam and Sammtika). 

— The name of Wady Suzuciiiit is pronounced and must be written with a 

Jrt(/ and a td : k>^u.w. 

— Can Tell Miriam and Deir Abu Rif'a be the two conical hills spoken of 
by Robinson ? 

— According to others of the fellahin, there is no such place as Deir Abu 
Ziad, it is merely Abti Zidd. 

— The KUl'at Abu Damns of the Map (to the east of Jeba' on the edge of 
Wady Suweinit) was pointed out to me as Da'mns ,^w^cj, and not ^j^y^S^. 

— Between Jeba' and Mukhmas, to the north when you have crossed the 
wady, you find some high rocks, called E'j'-dk el Munser (^.^J^l) ; to the south 
of the wady are the corresponding E'rdk Abou Zidd. 

Notes made next day between Jeba' and Mukhmas : 

— The false Wady Jeba' is called Wad el Meisa. 

— The "back" [dhahrak) between this wady and Wady Suweinit {sic ; 
possibly Wad el Medineh ?) is called cl Khashmch. 

— The Ras Abu Ziad is bounded by Wady Suweinit. 

— Five or six minutes east-north-east of Jeba' there is a vast cave of 
irregular shape, with two fig-trees planted at the entrance ; it is called 
Meo-hdret Tin Mnsd, "the cave of Moses' fig-tree," or &rdk Mihd, or Shikaf 
Tin Mnsd.\ The inhabitants of Jeba' pronounce the word tin, "fig-tree," as if 
it were written with an emphatic ta. Probably this is the same word as enters 
into the composition of the name Knshtin given above. 

— At the foot of Ras Abu Ziad, above the wady (after the bend), a large 
cavern of irregular shape, called itrdk or Shikaf Abu Zidd, comes into sight. 

— After crossing the little glen of Khallet erArildh, we found opposite the 

* Can the name Miriam be altered from Migron? 

t In ordinary Arabic ^_sjj^ shul;af means "bits of broken pottery or glass, potsherds." 
In the dialect of the fellahin it means " rocks." This is the word that is found forming part of 
several Syrian place-names, the best known of which is S/ialiif Arniin. It is a direct survival of 
the Aramaic shekifa and shel;apha, XD'pC", XDpC, "rocky peak." The permanence of the cJiuin- 
tant sound of the .f {sJi) is remarkable. 

2 O 

282 Archccoloo-ical Researches in Palestine. 


E'rdk Abii Zidd, as we followed the mountain side round, some jagged rocks 
called Skhtirel'Arudh* (to the south-south-east of Abu Ziad). 
— ^ In the bend of Wady Suweinit (?) is a rocky promontory bearing the 

name of Reucheiib (^ <■,) el Lozeh; the mountain stretching above it is called 

Hari/it es Sa'da.f 

— To the east is /orel Bdb el Wdd, "the hole of the gate of the valley," 
with pointed rocks on the right and left of the valley ; those on the left are 
called Jaiet Hassuneh,\ and those on the right Jdiet Bdb el Wad. 

— There is no such valley as Wddy E'l-dk ; it should be IVdd EUradiyeh 

— At Reucheub el Lozeh and at Abu Ziad there are great patches of 

Over above el Munser are some e'rdk of the same name. 

— Various names of rocks {eurkdn, e'rdk, shikaf, nighdir) between Jeba' 
and Mukhmas : 

Shikaf ed Dora ; M'ghdrt csh Sli'ir ; M'ghdrt el Hnwdr ; Krdk Abu 
'Aitn ; RFghdrt el Battikh. 

— At Mukhmas the people say Deir, not Rds Abu Zidd. 

Mukhnids. — When we reached Mukhmas, we found a funeral going on. 
It was an interesting scene. A cortege of weeping women, with raiment rent, 
their breasts bare, uttering cries of anguish in regular rhythm — veritable 
threnae — were attending the corpse. The latter lay with his head foremost 
on the bier carried on men's shoulders. The widow walked alongside with 
her hand placed on the body. Behind followed the old father, supported and 
consoled by another aged fellah, who repeated to him incessantly, Ktdlnd 
hetk, " we are all thus." 

In the village there is the makam of Sultan Ibrahim. Just a little to the 
north we examined a piece of ground that had been recently e.xcavated to get 
squared blocks from it. There is a quantity of them, without a trace of 
mediaeval origin, and many white mosaic-cubes, not one of them in situ. 

* 'Arudti means a narrow path along the side of a mountaui. 

t Cf., further on, in the Appendix, the place-name Har'ik't el Ka/iMie/i, which I noted 
near 'Ellar, and which is compounded with the same word ; harika properly means " confla- 
gration." It must have some peculiar meaning in the fellahin dialect, but I did not think of 
elucidating the point. 

X I cannot possibly remember whether I heard Hassuneli pronounced with a ha or a he. I 
doubt very much whether one is justified in taking it to be the rock of Seneh of the Bible 

From Jcrnsalciii to Scbaitc (Saiiiai-iii), and front Sebastc to Gaza. 283 

Among the hewn stones we noticed a few sculptured fragments ; here 
is a specimen of one, a sort of ridge-shaped piece of stone rather curiously 
fashioned, and displaying a decorative treatment of Byzantine style : 

Elevation. Section. 


While M. Lecomte was engaged in drawing, with fellahhi crowding round 
him, one of them managed to rob him, with a dexterity that professional 
pickpockets might envy, of his handkerchief, a silk wrapper, and various 
small articles. We only discovered the theft when the drawing was done, 
and it was impossible to find the thief 

It is possible that the important edifice that existed here was the convent 
founded by Abbot Firminus, disciple of St. Sabas,* near Mukhmas. 

On the western side of Wad Abu Rif'a are visible the doors of rock-hewn 
tombs, which must represent the ancient burying-ground of Mukhmas. At 
the end of the hill on which the village is built are a quantity of irregular- 
shaped caves. 

Dcir Dubzvdn. — From Mukhmas we proceeded to Deir Dubwan. The 
inhabitants of the village pronounce the name Dcir Diwdn. The ethnic is in 
the singular Diwdny, in the plural Debdivneh. According to them the ancient 
town was at the ruin of Khurbet Haiydn, just a little to the south ; Deir Diwan 
is only the convent. The great plain Hanking it is called Haiydn. The name 
of the tell lying immediately to the north of Deir Diwan is Tel/ Silr. At 
Burjmus there is no Khurbeh, absolutely nothing but rocks, my guide assured 
me. Opposite is el Mentdr. 

— At el Mukater we took a hurried survey of the ruined basilica. The 
stones are "pock-marked" and not mediaeval. 

— At Burj Beitin we noticed a quantity of ancient remains used to enclose 
the fig-gardens, consisting of architectural fragments in the Byzantine style, 
capitals, cornices, mouldings, &c. M. Lecomte made sketches of a few. 
Some of the fragments are actually built into the tower.t Here are a great 

* Life of St. Sabas, by Cyril of Scythopolis, in the Monuinenta EcclesicB GrcBcce of 

Cotellerius III, 16: u fniKiijHi t^^ ^lU/t^iiro'^, o Uttl t« fic/ii/ M«^^i«9 Xui'/tcw (riiGjijtTa^ici'Ov. 

t Drawings not to be found. 


284 ArcJuTological Researches in Palestine. 

quantity of large blocks well cut, not one of them looking mediseval. These 
materials may very well have been worked up in Crusading times, but I think 
they come from the basilica of el Mukater. 

— At Beitin, on the contrary, I noticed in the remnant of the church some 
stones with the mediaeval tool marks clearly showing ; the cornice of the apse 
is certainly of the Crusading period. 

— The oreat birkek oi Beitin \s cdiWcd Bahdr Bciiin, "the sea of Beitin." 
The name recalls that of "the sea of Jaezer" in the Bible. The ethnic is 
Beitiny in the singular, Beidfiieh in the plural. 

El Bireh. — From Beitin we descended again towards el Birch. The 
ruined church is entirely mediaeval, as is shown by the tool-marks on the 
stones, and the nature of the masons' marks. At the beginnings of the apses 
the blocks have the grooves entirely oblique, even in the concave parts, 
contrary to what I noticed at Abu Ghosh and elsewhere. 

I discovered the inscription that I had been told of some time before by 
the natives of Lydda,* hidden behind a pomegranate-tree, as they described. 
It is carved on a pillar imbedded in the inner south wall.t 

The ethnic is Birdivy in the singular, Beidrweh in the plural. 
Jefneh or Jiifna. — From el Bireh we went again to Jefneh, where we 
were to pass the night. The ethnic is Jefndivy in the singular, Jefdw'neh 
in the plural. The vines of Jefneh are highly celebrated, whence probably 
the village derives its present name, ja/n meaning "vine-stock." This 
peculiarity, I think, finally establishes the identity of Jefneh with the Gophna 
{oiiJLTTe\o<;, " vine ") of the Onomasticon, the Gnphna, Gnphnit, Beth Guphin of 
the Talmud {Gu/na likewise meaning a "vine-stock"). 

As for the attempted identification with the Ophni of the Bible, it appears 
very doubtful, the change of the initial 'ain to ginicl and to jini being 
improbable, to say nothing of the topographical difficulties, Ophni being in 
the territory of Benjamin, and Jefneh, from position, more probably in that 
of Ephraim. 

— Next morning, as we left Jefneh on our way to 'Ain Sinia, we noticed 
on the left hand on the outskirts of the village numerous rock-hewn tombs. 

'Ain Sinid. — We made rather a long halt at 'Ain Sinia, which is an 

* Cf. supra, p. 100. 

t By an unaccountable fatality I can find no trace of this inscription among my notes and 
squeezes, and now I do not even remember what language it was in. I counsel future explorers 
to supply this want. 

From Jcntsalcm to Scbastc {Samaria), and front Scbastc to Gaza. 285 

important locality, as we shall see. The ethnic is 'Ansdivy in the singular, 
'Andsweh in the plural. There are two sanctuaries : the makam of Sheikh 
H'sein and that of Sheikh Ahmed el 'Adjemy. The village has numbers of 
springs, called as follows : 'Ain el Mezrdb, 'Ain Sheikh H'sem, 'Ain el farab, 
'Ain el Merj, 'Ain el Ballitta. 

I explored the rock-hewn tomb with its Hebrew inscription carved above 
the door, discovered in 1872 by the lamented Drake.* On having the inside 
cleared out a little, I saw that it consisted of a chamber of irregular shape, 
with an attempt at a funerary loculus (arcosolium ?) on the right hand side, 
I picked up a ring or small bracelet of copper, but found no trace of the 
ossuaries that Drake saw fragments of. The fellahin told me that two 
foreigners, H'n/id, " Indians" (probably dervishes from central Asia), had been 
buried there a few years before ; and, in fact, we saw their bones at the 
surface of the soil that filled up the cavity. Here are the elev^ation and the 
section of the entrance to the tomb, with the position of the inscription 
marked : — 

Front view. 


ROCK TOMB NEAR 'aIN s'lNIA. .Scale yJ^r 

I copied the inscription, and took a good squeeze of it. It consists of a 
longish line of square Hebrew characters difficult to make out. The characters 

Inscription on the above. 

are, however, cut, as a rule, carefully enough and deeply, but at the end ot 

* Qiiarterty Statement, July, 1872, p. 87. Memoirs, II, p. 302. 

286 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

the line the work is more negligently done ; they are larger, not so well kept 
in line, and disfigured by broken places. The beginning is easily deciphered : 

•••-a -W-h^ 'yi rr^liry* •• Hananiah, son of Eleazar, son of . . . ." 
This reading, which was my suggestion, has been rightly adopted in 
the Memoirs (1882, II, p. 302!); those that have subsequently been put 
forward in the Quarterly Statement {1883, p. 170, and 1885, p. 14) are 
inadmissible. It is absolutely impossible to read " Moses bar Eleazar bar 
Zechariah the priest." 

The use of the Aramaic form bar, " son," instead of the Hebrew form ben 
is in no wise extraordinary. We have many examples of this in the language 
of the Talmud and in inscriptions. From the palaeographic point of view 
attention should be given to the very peculiar shape of the aleph in the name 
of Eleazar, which strikingly reminds one of the Nabattean aleph. This is not 
the first time I have noticed analogies of this sort between certain Nabataean 
letters and the corresponding letters of the Hebrew alphabet used in ancient 
inscriptions in square characters. This holds good, for instance, of the shin 
and the final mem in the inscriptions on the ossuaries of the Mount of 
Stumbling {see Volume I). 

The word bar after the name of Eleazar was certainly followed by a 
third proper name, that of the grandfather of Hananiah, but I have no 
hope of making it out. I will content myself with giving, for the end of 
the line, a transcription of the characters as far as I can distinguish them, 
with their different possible values : — 

(?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) (?) 

-r T n j : 1 o -1 n 3 1 (?) 1 "^ 
"I "I n "^ 2 "^ T n "I "• T 

t 1 ^ t ST T T 

It will be seen that with the exception of the n and the Q, all the characters 
are more or less doubtful, and lend themselves to many combinations too 
conjectural to detain us: Joseph {}), Jacob {}), of /?«;;/ ("^rDin ?), or of Rim- 

* The long upright stroke after the 'ain is not, as might be supposed at first sight, the stem 
of a lamed, but a wrong stroke. 

t Only it is doubly inaccurate to say that the inscription was plainly legible, but so roughly 
cut that a squeeze was impossible. 

From Jerusalem to Scbastc {Samaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 287 

man (?) ? ?,* and so on. The style of the characters is strongly reminiscent 
of that of the inscription cut on the architrave of the so-called Tomb of 
St. James at Jerusalem, the epitaph of the family of Bene Hezir.t They 
probably belong to the same period, that is to say to the beginning of the 
Christian era. 

Considering the well-known alternation of the same proper names in the 
same family from generation to generation, it might be asked whether our 
Hananiah, son of Eleazar, may not have been related to Eleazaros, son of 
Ananos (or Ananas = Ananias) the High Priest, who was himself appointed 
High Priest by the Praetor Valerius Gratus, the predecessor of Pontius Pilate.J 

Jeshanah. — The village of 'Ain Sinia has been known for a long time — 
Robinson, Guerin and others have visited it. Hitherto, however, no one had 
thought that it might represent a Biblical spot. After an attentive examina- 
tion of the locality and the texts, I have come to the conclusion that we 
probably ought to recognise in it the town of Jeshanah, which plays a very 
important part in ancient Jewish history. This will I hope be clear from the 
historical and topographical considerations following. 

Rehoboam, King of Judah, Solomon's son and successor, does not appear 
to have engaged in a regular war against Jeroboam, though the latter had 
brought about the secession of the Ten Tribes, and managed to set up in 
his own interest the Kingdom of Israel in opposition to the Kingdom of 
Judah, without meeting with any serious opposition. 

The Bible says, indeed, twice over, that the two rivals were perpetually 
in conflict (i Kings xiv, 30, xv, 6); but this state of chronic hostility does 
not seem, at least so far as our documents go, to have resolved itself into any 
great military adventures. 

The real cause of the inaction of the King of Judah is to be sought in 
the terrible Egyptian invasion under Shishak, probably provoked by Jeroboam 
himself, who, fleeing before the wrath of Solomon, had formerly been the 
guest of the Egyptian Pharaoh, and afterwards probably his agent. A curious 
addition in the Septuagint version (BacrtX, iii, 12, [15]) declares further that 
Jeroboam married the sister-in-law of Shishak, Ano, the elder sister of Theke- 

* Ra7n and Rammon are places near 'Ain Sinia. 

t At the time I had an idea that the end of the Hne might be -\tn ]1, "son of Hezer" (for 
Hezir), but this is very doubtful. " Son of Hod " (i Chron. vii, 37) is hardly more probable. 

I Josephus, Ant. Jud., xviii, 2:2; <■/. Bell. Jud., ii, 17: 2 ; 17: 5 ; 20 : 4, where there 
appears an Eleazaros, son of Ananias the High Priest, who plays a most active part in the great 
Jewish rising under the Procurator Florus. 

2 88 Archcsologkal Researches in Palestine. 

mina, own wife to the Pharaoh. This matrimonial alliance could not fail to 
draw tighter the political bond uniting Jeroboam and Shishak. 

Not until Rehoboam saw his kingdom invaded and his very capital 
pillaged by the Egyptians, did it occur to him to assert by force of arms his 
rights against an all-powerful usurper. 

The first intention of Rehoboam was surely to attack the Israelite 
secession. With this view he gets together a considerable army (2 Chron. 
xi, i), but all at once he thinks better of it, and at the bidding of Jehovah 
abandons this fratricidal struggle [id., iv) : " Fight not against your brethren." 

It is allowable to suppose that the threatening attitude of Egypt counted 
for something in this sudden change of front, which this mere sentimental 
reason is not adequate to explain. We see, in fact, that while Rehoboam 
abandons his expedition against insurgent Israel, he diverts all his warlike 
activity to putting his country in a state of defence. He fortifies the towns, 
stores in them provisions and material, puts in them garrisons with their 
captains, and so forth. The position of these towns shows well enough from 
what quarter the storm was expected. They are all to the south, or south- 
west of Jerusalem : Bethlehem, Thekoa, Etam, Beth-zur, Shoco, Adullam, 
Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and 
Hebron (2 Chron. xi, 6-10). 

Despite these measures of defence, the kingdom of Judah was unable to 
resist ; but it survived the invasion of Shishak, which in reality was nothing 
but a ^r^diX. ghazzi a, with pillage for its main object, and seems to have borne 
as hardly on Israel as on Judah, to judge from Egyptian sources of information. 

Abijah or Abijam, the son and successor of Rehoboam, was the first to 
approach Jeroboam arms in hand, and to call him seriously to account for his 

The chapter of the First Book of Kings already quoted (and xv, 7) contents 
itself with remarking laconically, using the same expression as in verse 6, 
that there was "war between Abijam and Jeroboam." We are therein 
referred for fuller details to the "Chronicles of the Kings of Judah" {sepher 
dibre hayyamini), where, it says, the words and acts of Abijah are related. 

It may be this source, now unfortunately lost, that furnished the com- 
piler of the Book of Chronicles with the more circumstantial details that he 
gives us about the history of this war.* 

* 2 Chronicles, xiii. The narrative (v. 2) begins by repeating the same formula as that 
in the passage of i Kings (xv, 7). 

From Jerusalevi to Scbaste {^Sa)uaria\ and from Scbaste to Gaza. 289 

Here we see Abijah taking the offensive against Jeroboam, who for 
eighteen years had enjoyed the fruits of his usurpation without any serious 
anxiety. Abijah assembles an army of "four hundred thousand chosen men." 
These figures of course cannot be taken seriously, any more than those of the 
army of Jeroboam, which is reckoned at "eight hundred thousand men " in 
the Hebrew text. The Vulgate reduces these figures to forty thousand and 
forty-eight thousand respectively. It is enough for us to suppose that Abijah 
attacked with forces half as numerous as those of his adversary. 

According to Josephus, the King of Judah invaded the enemy's territory 
[Antiq. Jttd., viii, 11, 2), but the fact of the matter is that it was Jeroboam 
who assumed the offensive. However, even according to the narrative of 
the Jewish historian, the King of Judah does not await the arrival of his 
opponent, but advances to meet him : dmjvTrjcre tS) 'lepofiodfKi). At all events, 
Abijah takes up his position on Mount Zemaraim, "in Mount Ephraim": 
D''-1Q!J •^rh hyCi n^inW ap^T (H Chron. xiii, 4). 

Mount Zemaraim is near the town of the same name belonging to the 
territory of Benjamin. No one has yet succeeded in discovering either the 
town or the mountain. I wonder whether it could by chance be the Ras ez 
Zeiinera, a little to the south of Taiyibeh.'" Despite its thoroughly Arabic 
appearance, the name Zcimara would be the strict phonetic equivalent of 
Zemaraim, the Arabic rMin often standing for a Hebrew or Aramaic zade. 

* The same idea, I see, has occurred to Mr. Trelawney Saunders {Old Testament — map). It 
follows naturally from the identification of Jeshanah which I had proposed and he adopted. Up 
to this time it had been supposed that the Benjamite town of Zemaraim might be identified with 
Ktiurbet es Samra, which is situated on the side next Jordan. This identification, which is still 
adopted in the 21-sheet Map, seems to me to deserve rejection on several grounds. In the first 
place, from the onomastic point of view : — the resemblance between Samra and Zemaraim is 
merely on the surface, and disappears upon comparing the real forms of these names. Samra is 
written with a sin, which cannot correspond to the Hebrew zade. The two letters are two 
radically different sibilants which can only be interchanged under particular circumstances, which 
do not occur here, namely, when another eniphatic consonant is present in the word. Samra is 
nothing more or less than the feminine of asmar, " black," or, if it be preferred, the collective 
plural "Samaritans;" it has no sort of connection with the Hebrew Zemaraim. From the 
topographic point of view the identification is no less unsatisfactory, for Kh. es Samra is much 
too far away from the neighbourhood of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron. Now the town of 
Zemaraim could not have been far from Bethel, being mentioned along with it in Joshua xviii, 22. 
It is no less clear, from the general tenour of the account of the battle between Abijah and 
Jeroboam, that Bethel and Mount Zemaraim (a namesake of the town) were in proximity. The 
latter must have been in the south-south-east part of the disputed belt, near the boundary between 
the kingdoms of Judah and Israel. From the point of view of onomastics and of topography, 
therefore, Ras ez Zeimara stands a very good chance of being identical with Zemaraim. 

2 P 

290 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

At this point the Bible narrative puts into the mouth of Abijah one of 
those conventional discourses that reminds us of the rhetorical declamations 
so dear to the heart of the historians of classical antiquity. This long and 
vehement harangue, addressed to the traitorous and sacrilegious rebel, extends 
from verse 4 to verse 13. 

However, Jeroboam taking advantage of his superiority of numbers 
had turned the position that Abijah occupied, taking him in front and 
rear. Battle is joined, and in spite of, or rather on account of the man- 
oeuvre of Jeroboam, who seems to have been as poor in generalship as 
he was good at diplomacy, the result is the utter defeat of the army of 
Israel. The latter, while trying to carry out a flanking movement, had let 
itself be cut in two. 

I do not wish to lay any stress on the total losses — five hundred thousand 
men! Here again the Vulgate reduces the figure to fifty tliousand. It 
would perhaps be better still to read five thousand, and to suppress without 
further ceremony the "hundred" in this passage, as in that already quoted. 
This would bring the number of combatants to four thousand on one 
side and eight thousand on the other. Or, if you prefer it, eliminate the 
word "thousand" from the figures of the losses, which would bring 
them down to five hundred, a reasonable proportion enough, if we 
admit four thousand and eight thousand as being the real numbers of the 

In a word, Abijah wins all along the line. He pursues Jeroboam, and 
takes from him three towns, " Bethel and her daughters, Jeshanah and her 
daughters, Ephron and her daughters" (verse 19). 

Of these three towns Bethel, JeshanaJt, and Ephrait)!, one only, Bethel, 
can be located with any precision. Topographers agree in placing Bethel at 
Beitin ; Ephron, or according to the variant of the " Keri," Ephi'ain, is gene- 
rally regarded as identical with Ophrah, which is located with some probability, 
but without absolute certainty, at the village of Taiyibeh, nearly an hour to 
the north-east of Beitin. 

This leaves us with Jeshanah, which up to now had been classed by 
commentators among the desiderata of Biblical topography. 

I am not here concerned with the subsidiary question whether Jeshanah, 
the name of which is transliterated 'Icrava in the corresponding account given 
by Josephus {Antiq. Jud., viii, 11, 3), is the same locality as the village of 
'lo-ava?, which, according to this same writer, was long afterwards the scene 
of the meeting between Herod and Pappus, the general of the army of 

Frojn Jerusalem to Sebasie [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 2gi 

Antigonus.* If these two places are really one, so much the better; what I 
am going to suggest for the first will in that case apply to the second, and 
thus we shall kill two birds with one stone. 

Even if we did not know from another source what kind of place the 
famous Bethel, one of the three towns, was, the mention of their banotk, 
" daughters," would suffice to show that we had to deal with important cities 
with the characteristics of a metropolis. Josephus has no hesitation in 
rendering thus : " Bethel and Isana with their toparchies, koL Tr]v Tonapx^o-v 

The three towns mentioned together in the Bible narrative must be 
pretty close to one another and form a strategic group in the same region. 
Their capture is the immediate result of the defeat of Jeroboam, and Abijah 
makes himself master of them as he pursues the King of Israel. 

Moreover, they must have been on the confines of the two kingdoms ; for 
Bethel stood almost exactly on the frontier of Israel and Judah, and it is 
difficult to imagine Abijah annexing anything but a strip of territory that 
bordered on his own. This strip, clearly marked out by three points, and 
seized upon in a moment of surprise, must have been strictly limited. As a 
matter of fact we do not hear of Abijah pushing the pursuit any further and 
extending his conquests. 

This granted, we must look for Jeshanah in the neighbourhood of Beitin, 
preferably to the north of it. It should therefore occasion us no surprise if 
this single passage is the only place in the Bible where we come across the 
name of a town as important as Jeshanah appears to have been. It must 
have belonged, from its presumed position, to the territory of Ephraim. Now 
we know that as the book of Joshua omits to include the list of the cities of 
Ephraim from its catalogue, or rather systematically excludes them, we have 
but little information about anything that concerns the district occupied by 
this tribe. 

These various considerations induce me to propose as the desired site 
our village of 'Ain Sinia, which is about ^ve kilometres almost due north of 

'Ain Sinia is beyond doubt on an ancient site. Two facts sufiice to 

* Antiq. Jud., xiv, 15, 12. The contrary view is rather favoured by the fact that when this 
narrative is repeated in Xhejewisk Wars (i, 17, 5), the name of 'iTrirrc.- is replaced by Kava. This 
variant is easy to account for palEeographically in the uncial characters of the MSS. : IC^N^, 
KXN^(IC = K). What we now want to know is, which of the two forms gave rise to the other 

292 Archarological Researches in Palestine. 

prove this : first, the existence of the numerous and abundant springs already 
enumerated by me, which must at all times have marked out the place as a 
desirable site ; and secondly, the presence of the rock-hewn necropolis of 
which I have already spoken. 

The site would answer perfectly well to the general requirements of the 
problem, only we must consider whether the Arabic name complies with the 
exigencies of onomastic tradition, which is an essential preliminary to right 
identification in Biblical geography. 

The village of 'Ain Sinia, literally, "the spring of Sinia," lies in a valley 
that bears like itself the name of Sinia. This detail has an importance of its 
own, for whenever we find in Palestine the same name, with a well-marked 
form, attaching simultaneously to a village and to a Khiirbeli, a zuddy, or an 
'ain, that are close to one another, we should bear in mind that this tenacity 
implies the antiquity of the name. 

In the present instance the homonymity of 'Ai7i Sinia and It'ddy Sinia 
also justifies us in confining our attention to the word Sfnid. Now this name 
Sinia Loj^; offers a most unmistakable likeness to that of Jeshanah 'nl'^^- 

In fact there was every likelihood that the word. JesJianah, which rightly 
or wrongly is explained by the root ""m-^ yachan, "to be old,"* should lose its 
initial yod in passing to the Arabic, whether it was radical or not. This 
aphceresis is normal, so to speak, for most geographical names of this type : 
Ye7'icho = Rika, Yezrael = Zei'in, etc. 

In conformity wuth another rule of no less certainty, the Hebrew shin 
becomes an Arabic sin : so shanah = sanah. As for the modification of the 
a towards i, this phenomenon need excite no surprise on the shifting ground 
of the Semitic vowels. Besides, it is notorious that the Masoretic punctuation 
has to be received with considerable caution. I would remind the reader, 
though without desiring to attach too much importance to the fact, that the 
Septuagint transliterates the name of our town : 'lecmi-a. We are at liberty 
to regard this n as a step towards the i (by iotacism), but it may be simply 
a copyist's error. 

As for the origin of the termination id U, which must not be confused 
with iyah, iyeh, ^,, the feminine ending of the adjective or relative, this is met 
with in scores of Arabic place-names in these parts. I mention at haphazard : 
Kebbid, Deir I slid, Beit Unid, 'Ain Kef rid, Sirisid, Jiljilid, Ferdisid, 

 Jeshanah would thus mean " the Old," just as Hadasha means " the New." 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste (Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 293 

Tarjidid, Rashanid, etc.* In several of these names the termhiation id is 
seen to be distinct from the radical theme : Kefr . . . , Jiljil . . , Ferdis . . . , 
etc. We are therefore within our rights in likewise isolating the theme Sm in 
Stnid, by removing the adventitious termination id, whatever its origin may 
really have been. 

Sinid, which constitutes a successive contraction and expansion of the 
Hebrew -word Jcshana/i, itself undergoes in Arabic a much more curious and 
pronounced contraction when it appears in the ethnic form. As I have 
already stated, a man of 'Ain Stnid is called 'Ansdwy ^^.1.,^^, plural 'Andswek, 
iyJ\ls^. It is certainly less difficult to admit ilxAt Jcshanah has become Sinid, 
than to believe that the constituent parts of 'Ansdivj are 'Ain Sinid, which 
is however beyond a doubt. 

So then topographically and onomastically 'Ain Sini^ may with perfect 
justice be accepted as the ancient Jeshanah. 

It is a striking fact that Beitin, 'Ain Sinia and Taiyibeh, that is to say, 
Bethel, Jeshanah and Ephron (?) happen to form a triangle of which the 
southern apex is represented by Beitin (Bethel) ; this triangle must have had 
a real strategic value, since it is comprised in an elevated plateau formed by 
the intersection of the watersheds of the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, 
and a great number of valleys radiate from it. On this territory, reft from 
Jeroboam, stood the banotli, "the daughters," that is to say, the villages 
depending on the three towns. These villages are represented at the present 
day by a number of ruins and hamlets dotted about over this region. 

Schwarz proposed to identify Jeshanah with a village Al-sanim, two miles 
west of Bethel, which village Sir G. Grove rightly declared to be "undiscover- 
able in any map which the writer has consulted."! In any case it does not 
even appear on the map accompanying the work of the learned rabbi. Can it 
be, in spite of the marked differences between the names and positions of the 
two villages, that 'Ain Sinid, or perhaps, the ruins of Sali^niya, which are 
actually to the ivcst of Beitin, was the place that Schwarz had in view .'' 
It is hard to say.| I will merely observe that the German edition of 

* Compare the place-names of Palestine in the Talmud that end in ^^i : Kepher Lekitia, 
Gozeria, Talmia, Touria, Migdal Notinia, etc. 

t Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, s. v. Jeshanah. 

% This is evidently the Khiirbet Selemiyeh of the P.E. Fund Map, which is in fact two miles 
7L<est of Bcltin. Name, distance, and position agree. Consequently it is certainly not our 
"Ain Sinia that Schwarz had in mind. 

2 94 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

Schwarz* has Al-Sania, which would not be so far from Ain Sinid. At 
all events Schwarz seems to have been making- in this instance one of those 
random shots to which he was only too prone. 

There exists another place in Palestine bearing exactly the same name 
as 'Ain Sinia, namely, the ruin called Klnwbet Si7iid,\ situated a little to 
the east of Tubas, the ancient Thebez, according to a generally received 
opinion. This northern Sftiid would, from its position, belong to the territory 
of Issachar, near the boundary of Manasseh. Possibly in this case Sinia, 
ljJuw> may be the onomastic topographic equivalent of Shion pN''\t^, a town of 
Issachar mentioned between Haphraim and Anaharath (Joshua xix, 19). 
The book of Joshua, if the reader remembers, instead of enumerating the 
towns of Issachar by groups, mentions them in order as they lie along the 
boundary of the tribe. The Onomasticou, it is true, suggests the identification 
of this Shion with a locality bearing a name probably analogous, near Mount 
Tabor, which is utterly removed from our second Sinia. But we know too 
well on what slender bases the identifications of Eusebius and St. Jerome 
sometimes rest. In geographical matters they have all the boldness of the 
most adventurous of modern commentators. If this Khiirbet Sinia does not 
represent Chion in Issachar, it is perhaps a Jeshanah of the same name as that 
in Ephraim, and no mention of it has survived to our day. The name is one 
of those that by their very meaning are destined to have duplicates at different 
places, since it means simply "the Old." 

In the Talmud mention is made of a magistrate (or archon ?) of Jeshanah : 
TOIl^TJ "'31^^. Does this passage really refer to our Jeshanah in Ephraim ? 

From 'Ain Sinia to Nablus. 

Yabrud. — From 'Ain Sinia we ascended again to Yabrud. Near the 
village the tomb of Neby Yousef is pointed out by the inhabitants. The 
ethnic is Yabroudy, plural Yabdr deh. 

The Arab geographer Yaktat speaks of the two villages Yabriid and 
'Ain Yabrud (which is less than a mile and a half to the south of the former). 

* Das heilige Land, page 125. Al-salimia, for as-salimia ; in his Arabic transliterations 
Schwarz always neglects to mark the insertion of the article before the " solar " letters. 

t Guerin, Samarie, I, 361. It does not appear on the Map. See the observation on this 
subject in the Memoirs, II, page 240. 

Fi'oni J cm sale in to Scbaste [Samaria), and front Sebasfe to Gaza. 295 

He mentions some notable persons as coming from Yabrud, and says that 
'Ain Yabrud was formerly distinguished by a double ivakf (pious foundation), 
which was bought up by Sultan el Melek el Mo'addham, and set apart by him 
for the support of the Sebil.* 

He adds in a rather ambiguous jDassage, which, however, can only be 
interpreted in one way, that between "'Ain Yabrud and Yabrud" there is 
Kefcr Ndthd. This reading is certainly incorrect, for it is impossible that 
Yakut should have been thinking of the village of Kefer Nata, which lies far 
distant, to the south of Deir Dubwan, and besides he would have no plausible 
reason for mentioning it here. He must undoubtedly be alluding to the now 
ruined village of Kefcr 'And, which is actually between Yabrud and Ain 
Yabrud, and which some have wished to identify with the Chephar 
Haammonai of the tribe of Benjamin.t We should, I think, be justified in 
correcting in the Arabic text, UU yi to UU^. 

Geba. — We should expect to find in these parts a village rr;/3a, Geba, 
which the Onomasticon locates five miles from Gouphnai (Jufna), on the way 
to Neapolis, and ventures to identify with the Gebini of Isaiah x, 31. The 
identification is worthless of course, but the village alluded to in the 
Onomasticon must none the less have a real existence. At the requisite 
distance, and in the requisite direction, there is a certain IVdd d Jib, running 
alongside the Roman way. This, it appears to me, has preserved the name 
of the vanished village.| 

TaiyibcJi ; Roman Milestones. — From Yabrud we made straight for 
Taiyibeh. I particularly busied myself with examining the milestones that 
Major Conder had remarked to the south-east of Taiyibeh, on the ancient 
Roman road going down to 'Ain Duk, which is none other than the highway 
that in ancient times united Neapolis (Sichem) with Jericho. 

These stones are divided \\\\.o three groups : the first at somewhere about two 
Roman miles from Taiyibeh ; the second just a mile further south (by the place 
called Mimtdr er Rfeif) ; the third a little less than a mile from the preceding. 

* Sebil means both " road " and "public fountain." The former meaning is, I think, the one 
here assigned to it. The object was, as YakCit explains, to keep up the north road from Jerusalem, 
which unites that town with Nablus by way of 'Ain YabrCid. 

t Memoirs, II, page 299.— Cy for the passage of Yakut the abridged translation of it given 
by M. le Strange {Palestine under the Moslems, page 550), which should be modified in the way 

I One might also be inclined to consider the claims of /ibia, which is about five Roman 
miles from Jefneh (Jufna), but this village is to the north-west of Jefneh, and so not on the 
road to Nablus. 


Arch(roiogical Re sc air lies in Palestine. 

Scale 4z 

The first group consists of three rectangular bases, with fragments of 
shafts adhering, two of which at least look as if they had been meant to lean 
against a support. I had them turned over, and discovered 
on the broken shaft of one of them some traces of an in- 
scription, but unluckily I could not manage to make it out, 
as the shades of night were coming on. M. Lecomte made 
a drawing of it, showing the letters .... EG . . . . FR 
(perhaps Legio X Fretensis, or /egatns Aug. proprcetore ?). 
On the base itself is carved a kind of symbol, but I could 
not determine the nature of it. There are also six small 
holes, nearly equidistant from each other, which seem to point further to the 
existence of some object affixed, which has'now disappeared. 

As for the rest, my notes were hastily made on a dark night, and are 
in a state of great confusion. I content myself with reproducing them, and 
do not answer for their exactness : — 

— Group I : Five bases and three or four fragments of bases, in addition to 
a large piece of a shaft with a fragment of base adhering ; remains of an 
inscription on one ; a fragment of a shaft, inscribed. 

— Group 2 : Three or four bases and some shafts ; these I could not get 
turned over. 

Group 3 : Four bases ; we had a lot of trouble in finding them in the 
darkness. Here follow drawings made by M. Lecomte of three other columns, 
but I cannot state to which group each belongs : — 



From Jcntsalciii to Scbastc [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 297 

It is highly desirable that the study of these interesting monuments 
should be resumed. A careful examination would be sure to lead to the 
discovery of inscriptions which would be extremely interesting. I commend 
this search to the explorers of the future. This extraordinary accumulation 
of milestones at one spot is not unique in Palestine. I have noticed the 
same thing near Beit Jibrin,* and other places. 

Ophrah.- — ^I shall not here discuss the question of the identity of 
Taiyibeh with Ophrah, much as there is to be said on the matter, but will 
confine myself to a few short observations on points of detail. One of the 
principal arguments that have been relied on to support this identification is 
the passage in the Onomasticon, s.v. 'A(f)pd, which speaks of a village called 
'A(f)p-qk, Effrem, five miles east of Bethel. It has been generally concluded 
without hesitation that the spot alluded to by the Onoviasticon was the Ophrah 
of Joshua xviii, 23; but it remains to be shown that it was not Happarah, a 
place mentioned in the same verse. As for the origin and real meaning of 
the Arabic name Taiyibeh, which is to be met with more than once in the 
toponymy of Palestine, we ought perhaps to bear in mind this fact, that the 
surname Taiyibeh is given to the town of Medineh. This surname, which 
means properly "the perfumed," is derived from the presence of the tomb of 
the Prophet, who is buried there, and the very old idea that the tombs of 
the saints exhale a divine perfume. This notion is also contained in the 
familiar expression, "to die in the odour of sanctity." It may be that in the 
ancient town, whatever it may be, that Taiyibeh represents, there was at one 
period some celebrated tomb which won for it the characteristic surname also 
borne by the various other places of the same name. It has been supposed 
that Taiyibeh was a translation of Ophrah, but I greatly doubt it ; first, 
because of the want of distinction about the name Taiyibeh, which, according 
to this explanation, would fit a number of other Ophrahs of the same name ; 
and next, because no proof has ever been given of the supposition commonly 
made to suit the requirements of the case, that HlSy comes from a root 
having meanings akin to those of the Arabic word Taiyibeh, " the good," or 
as I think "the perfumed." The play on words in Micah i, 10, on the name 
of Ophrah, Afrah, seems to connect it with afai-, " dust " [cf. ^-^)- The Arab 
geographer Yakut speaks of a place as existing in the province of Palestine 
called o^ 'Ifrd. This name would represent with great exactness that 
of the Bible town, but unfortunately he gives no clue as to its e.xact position. 

* See further on. 

298 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

There is a place, Khi'irbet 'Afriteh, which might do, only it is up near Yetma, 
much too far north to be a town of Benjamin. The name of it, l~^_ls^i which 
signifies, to all appearance, "the female demon," would represent very closely 
the name of Ophrah, which also belongs to a town of Manasseh, and perhaps 
belonged to other towns not mentioned in the Bible. 

— We passed the night at Taiyibeh, and departed from there next morning, 
directing our course north-north-east. As we left the village I noticed an 
edifice of ancient appearance, with sloping walls and stones with bossages 
at the corners, called by the common-place name of el Boberiyeh. 

— We passed successively xkixow^ Deir* Jerir ; by Kufiir Malek, the ethnic 
of which is JMaFchi, plural Jllawdrchc/i, having a sanctuary dedicated to 
Neby Shentdil ; and by Khiirbet Jaradeh. Our road lay through a regular 
forest of fig-trees loaded with delicious fruit. I had been told of an inscription 
hereabouts, but it turned out to be simply a capital ornamented with a cross 
and rosettes. 

— We reached Khiirbet Si', the site of an important town which once 
extended over a pair of hills. Here were quantities of fragments of mouldings, 
and at the top cuttings in the rock for presses. Near Kh. Si' is Kh. et 
Tardmeseh, "the ruin of the inhabitants of Turmus 'Ayd," also called K/i. 
el Bdlid, "the ruin of the presses. "t 

We saw in the distance, to the east, Mughayir ; ethnic M'ghetrdwy, plural 
M'gheirdzviye/i. Between Mughayir and Domeh they pointed out to me 
Khiirbet Jeb'it (ci^-a-ia,?-) and Kh. el Mardjein. Jeb'it, which is written in the 
Name Lists (p. 255), wrongly I \ki\vik, Jibeit, k^jc?- ("the hollow thing, or 
the idol"), belongs to the numerous class of ancient Hebrew place-names 
connected with the root i^lJl. 
- —  Towards noon we reached the ruins of Kefr Istuna, where we were to 

* I am sure I heard it called De'ir, not Dar. 

t Plural of hadd, a word that freiiuently recurs in the toponymy of Palestine, and has been 
wrongly rendered '■idol" {Name Lists, passim). Major Conder {Stalcinent, 1889, p. 134) recognized 
its real meaning, which is familiar enough to all who have travelled in Palestine. I shou'd add, 
that, like so many others of the fellahin speech, it is an old Aramaic word : "1^, i^~Q, Tli 
iadd, badda, baddad, "press, especially for olives;" ^ilil^' N~1"'"I"I2. bedida, bodida, "small 
press;" "Iin T^l^ beith hab-bad, "the building where the press is." In Syriac bado has the 
same meaning ; the Syriac lexicographers, among others Bar Bahloul, who sets down expressly 
the Arabic equivalent, ji.i , say that it is properly " ea pars torcularis qua descendit in id quod 
pieinenduin est." The word is probably akin to the Hebrew badd, "tree, wooden bar" (the vectes 
for carrying the Ark), and must originally have denoted the lever by the aid of which pressure 
is applied. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 299 

lunch ; but not a drop of water was to be found. Our guide having ventured 
into the wely, which was full of chopped straw [tebai) came out at once in a 
fright, his legs literally encased with fleas. The ancient remains visible at 
Kefr Istuna have been so often described that I need not again refer to them. 
Remarkable as they are, especially from the size of the component materials, 
they nevertheless lose somewhat of their interest since it has been definitely 
proved that Kefr Istuna cannot be, as was for a long time supposed, the 
fortress of Alexandreion, which in reality is far distant, at K'rein Sartaba 
(Kurn Surtiibeh), near Karawa (the A'(?;r«/ of Josephus, where Judaea began). 
So Kefr Istuna, which was beyond doubt an ancient town of some importance, 
again becomes available for a fresh identification. 

Seilun. — From here we proceeded to Seilun. I noticed en route some 
more peculiarities of the fellahin speech : the frequent use of the verb bahhar 
"u, in the sense of " to look, seek ;" the use of zvdhi and viaiyeli in the sense 
of "much," etc. The seldrn 'aleiknm, which in the south is exclusively 
reserved for salutations among Mussulmans, is here addressed to Mussulmans 
and Christians without distinction. 

At Seilun we found the ndtdr of Kuriyut (Keriut), who was there to 
guard the fields of dura [d'ra). The inhabitants of Keriut, he told me, were 
formerly settled at Seilun, and left that place in the time of Ibrahim Pasha. 

T" ' 

- .\\m\\v 

j.\me' el arba'in. 

We examined the strange edifice generally called Jdme' cl Arba'tn, "the 
Mosque of the Forty." The natur called \\. Jdme es Si'ttin, " the Mosque of 
the Sixty." Inside we noticed two fine capitals. Here is a view of the 

2 Q 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

building- made by M. Lecomte. It has been too often described by travellers 
for me in my turn to describe it. In common with most archceoloqists, I 
think we can detect in it the remains of an ancient synagogue which has been 
altered at various periods. 

Here is a detailed drawing of the carved lintel placed over the door : 

CARVED i.iNTEi, AT jame' EI, arba'in. Scale J^. 

The vase'" between two wreaths and two altars, recalls an exactly similar 
motive on the reliefs of the large vase from the caverns of the Via Dolorosa, 
described in Volume I. 

Opposite the Jame' is a large sarcophagus-lid with acroteria, which 
M. Lecomte also made a drawing of: 

' j!f'//] '^^f^wp^^^ 

sarcophagus lid at seilCn. Scale -V. 

Another and not less remarkable building goes by the name of Jame el 
Yetdim (^^UjJ\). The first probably represents the Mesjed es Sekineh, " the 
Mosque of the Ark,"t and the second perhaps the Hajar el MdideJi, "the 
Stone of the Table," which 'Aly el Herewy locates at Seilun.J This 

*■ In M. Lecomte's drawing the vase appears with only one handle. I beheve, though I 
will not vouch for it, that this detail is accurate. 

t Or, more exactly " of the Divine Presence in the Ark." 

X Archives de F Orient Latin, I, p. 600; cf. Le Strange, Palestine under ttie Mostems, p. 527. 
As has long been known, the Selzhieli of Mussulman tradition, which was enclosed in the Ark, was 
directly borrowed from the S/iet;kina of Judaism, where it is properly a more or less metaphysical 
conception of ilie real presence of God. In Arab belief the seldneti has turned into a quaint con- 
crete notion, recently the subject of an interesting study by Prof. Goldziher {Revue de rhistoire des 
religions, 1893, tome ii, p. i, etc.). I will add that this divine emanation, with all the fantastic 
details with which the Koran and the IiadWis embellish it, appears to me to have borrowed 
certain features both from \k\tt:erub and the /yi!'(7(/ of the Hebrews, the latter (the ci^a, or "glory," 
of the Septuagint) seeming to have originally been the counterpart of the Egyptian winged disc. 

From Jerusalem to Sehaste [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 301 

Mussulman tradition, which is connected with the stay of the Arlc at Shiloh, 
seems to have disappeared. It was still in existence in the time of the Jewish 
geographer Esthori Ha-Parchi, who says: "This place still contains a vault, 
called n;"i3D h^ nilp ("the cupola of the Ark"), and, near it, a place called 
JMaida (^Tlr^Q),* i.e., "the tables of the Children of Israel."t 

We explored some thirty tombs in the necropolis of ancient Shiloh, in 
hopes of finding some inscription, but without result. 

— From Seiliin we went up to the spring of 'Ain Seilun. Over the spring 
is an enormous mass of rock that has become detached from the mountain and 
has rolled down as far as there. It appears to have formed the back wall 
of a large sepulchral chamber, having a pair of arcosolia covering two trough- 
shaped tombs separated by a pilaster. 

^i^^^y^ii^TJjfff/M^^ "'" " 

Elevation. Transverse Section. 


The two troughs are furnished with head-rests formed by leaving a 
portion of the rock uncut, each placed the same way. In the upper part is 
what appears to be the remains of a third trough hewn out in the roof: 


/ -o 

(- ' 


^ ( 

 ^1 I 


View from above. Scale -r'n 

I can only make passing allusion to these curious relations, and will content m5-self with remarking 
that one of the gates of the Haram at Jerusalem even at the present day goes by the name of 
" Gate of the Sekineh {Bab es SeMne/i)." This name was not given it yesterday either, for it is men- 
tioned not only by Mujir ed Din, but by the pilgrim Naser ed Din Khosrau previous to the arrival 
of the Crusaders. This gate is the one adjoining the gate Bab es Selseleh, on the western front. 

* These words are exact transcriptions of the Arabic iAjiLull LJ and i'joU. 

t Zunz, On tJie GcograpJiy of Palestine, forming an appendix to the Itinerary of Benjamin of 
Tudela (Asher's edition) II, p. 435. 

302 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

This third trough seems to have been transformed later on into a sort 
of small reservoir, with a short conduit for letting off the water. There are 
further noticeable some fifteen holes,* several of which go right through the 
ceiling. This is perhaps the place where Jewish mediaeval tradition was 
inclined to locate the tomb of Eli the high-priest and of his two sons. 

A considerable number of the inhabitants of Keriut were round about 
the spring. In my conversation with them I was struck with the way in 
which they pronounce the long «'s, which in their mouths become regular o's.. 
They say, for instance, 'ajjan/, or 'ajjol, for 'ajjd/, "cattle-drover." This 
Aramaising vocalization is an interesting archaism, and explains why in the 
Greek inscriptions of Syria the alpha is often replaced by the oniicron. 

Jdltld. — We arrived at Jalud at five o'clock. The inhabitants received 
us well, especially an aged fellah, Sabbah en Naser by name, who was 
neatly dressed in the style of an Effendi. He had served as a soldier 
under Ibrahim Pasha ; he spoke Turkish quite fluently ; and was delighted 
to be able to converse with me in that language. The town, he told me, 
was a fortified place, and was once surrounded by a wall of circumvallation. 
It was tJie town of Jdliit, zvho zvas killed by David. It once belonged to 
Abraham, who has a makam there. Right on the edge of the plateau on 
which the village is situated we were shown the entrance to a tomb that had 
been opened a few years before. There was a stone door accurately hung, 
and inside a chamber with three arches covering over some ran (" burial 
troughs ") closed with stone lids. The entrance to this curious tomb being 
quite stopped up, I arranged with the courteous old fellow to have it 
re-opened. It was agreed that we should come by Jalud again next day, and 
that — iti slid Allah ! — we should find the clearance effected. 

'Akrabd i^Akrabeli). — From here we set off to 'Akraba, which I had 
selected as our abode for the night. The pronunciation is 'Akrabd L, Jix , not 
'Akrabeh hjis.- The ethnic is 'Akrabdny, plural 'Akdrbeh. (See p. 304.) 

Next morning we visited the mosque. The inside of it was transformed 
for the time being into a workroom for plaiting mats. According to local 
tradition the place was originally a church ; the correctness of this is shown 
by the presence of various ancient remains. I noticed built into the enclosure 
some fine carved capitals and a small square moulded cippus, like those at 

* Carmoly, Itineraires, pp. 186, 250. The holes perhaps served for the illuminations spoken 
of by Isaac Chelo. 

From Jerusalem to Sebasie {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 303 

Palmyra. At the entrance an ancient lintel, used as the left upright of the 
present door, bears a Greek inscription, much mutilated unfortunately. I 
append a copy : 

\i !■ "■':'.,. 

" .111 -- ■\--::.> -■ y 

I'- , • •.".;'■,■' ill, -■ -I I,'' '■.'i'..- i|'-.rt|V-' ;' 

■:'■'•■"  '.'■'■'■"' ' •!:;! -■:'■> -. ..''iitui,; ,^ 


The average space between the letters is a centimetre. The lintel and 
the inscription have been cut almost exactly in half. Above the line there is 
a carved ornamentation of a geometrical nature. The cross at the end of the 
line marks the termination of the inscription, a Christian one of course. The 
whole of the left portion, bearing the beginning of the inscription, is wanting. 
I found a fragment of it built in upside down over a small square niche inside 
the building facing the door. 

This fragment, as is shown by the similarity of the ornamentation and 
the shape of the letters, evidently forms part of the beginning of the inscrip- 
tion. On placing the two fragments end to end, and comparing my copy 
with the transcription given in the Memoirs (II, p. 389), I am tempted to 
read as follows : 

. . v^a. . . Iv Tfo dyi'w iTToi7]cra vnep crv/xySiov Koi \_Tje[_KV^O}V. >J< 

in the holy .... I have made, for my husband and my children." 

Just near 'Akraba is e/ Heusen {el Hosn), which, as its name and the 
appearance of the ruins indicate, is an ancient fortress. 

The fellahin of 'Akraba have kept alive the memory of a famous governor 
who resided at 'Akraba and was called el Kdciery. He lived in the times of 
Jezzar Pasha, say some, in the times of the Kuffdr, say others. He erected 
some considerable buildings. His authority extended as far as Turmus 
'Aia, from the Jordan to the Nablus road, and in the north to Wad el Bidan, 
in the direction of Telluza. There may perhaps be in this tradition a more or 
less accurate reminiscence of the ancient toparchy of Acrabatena and its 
boundaries, which were Samaria on the north and the toparchy of Gophna on 
the south. 

Jdlud. — Ne.xt morning we started back to Jalud. On the hill facing 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

'Akraba on the south-south-west I noticed several rock-hewn tombs, with a 
small arched porch over a square door. 

We found our friend Sabbah en Naser, who was engaged in clearing out 
the entrance to the tomb at Jalud, as he had undertaken to do the night 
before. The operation was carried out under our inspection, and we were 
soon enabled to penetrate into the tomb. It consists of a rectangular chamber 
with three arcosolia on three of the walls, placed over funerary troughs, which 
are covered with slabs laid crosswise. In these we found a few bones still 


_r— )■/ ^-': 




Section on A B. 

ROCK TOMB AT jai.i)d. Scale -1 J-p. 

In the right-hand corner as you go in is a small rectangular ditch, 
admitting to a lower chamber. This I was unable to explore, as it would have 
taken much work to clear it. I am sorry for this, as I 
might perhaps have made a good find there. I picked 
up there a small bronze object, but cannot now identify 
it, owing to a lacuna in my notes. 

The most interesting peculiarity about this tomb 
is the existence of the stone door that shuts it in. 
This is a regular shutter of stone, which turns easily 
even now on its upper and lower hinges. Here 
are two more detailed drawings, which will give an 
accurate idea of the shape of this door and the way 
it works. 

Various Notes. — Here are the various bits of information that I took 
down from the mouth of Sabbah en Naser : 

ill silu AT JAI.UD. 

Sc.ile ^. 


From Jerusalem to Sebaste [SainaiHa), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 305 

— There is at Nablus a stone with writing on it, which was brought from 
Balka three years ago for the governor. It is deposited with the bakkdl 
Ahmed 'Othman Hamameh, near Bab el Jame' el K'bir esh Sharky." 

— There is at Hareth the tomb of Neby Kefil, which is the genuine one, 
the other shown in the direction of 'Akrabat being unauthentic. From him 
the village is called Kefil Hareth, which is its proper name. 

—  Seilun.j Between the two mosques is a dried-up birkeh, where, according 
to the ahddith or "canonical traditions" of the Mussulmans, the maidak, 
"table," of Jesus came down from heaven to his apostles. 

— The mosque at Seilun is properly calledy«;;// es Sittrn and not el Arbdin. 
This queer name, "the Mosque of the Sixty," instead of "the Forty," — a 
name established by usage (the Forty Martyrs) — might very well, 1 think, be 
a mere corruption of sekineh^ "the Ark." This name, as I have shown, 
belonged to the sanctuary of Shiloh in the ancient Jewish and Mussulman 

— The ancient King of Jalud was called yrt/??(ycz ,■ he it was that was slain by 
David. He also built the fortress there and gave his name to the town. 

— Some of the places in the neighbourhood : 

— KImrbet el Chirieh {^J^\)- 

— Kh. Sard (not "Sarra"). 

— Near this latter, in the direction of [ebel el Leii/if [}), towards the east: 
K/i. EkJineifis (y^J^jJ^), "the little Scarabseus ;" 

— A7/. 'Ar/it, a vulgar pronunciation of 'Afrit (for Kh. 'Afriteli). 
Boundaries of the Territories of Ndbliis and Jerusalem. — This, says my 

informant, is where the boundary passes that separates the territory of 
Jerusalem from that of Nablus, from east to west : 

The Jordan, el 'Audja, M'ghayir, Seilun, el Lubban, 'Ammuriyeh, Khiirbet 
Keis, Farkha, Deir Balluta, Mejdel es Sadek (another name of Mejdel Yaba), 
Jeljulieh, Kufur Saba, J'lil and the Haram of 'Aly ben 'Euleil. 

All these boundary marks belong to the territory of Nablus. This line, 
which at several points fails to coincide with the present official boundary-line, 
doubtless has a traditional value, and corresponds to a more or less ancient 
state of things. It should be taken into account in studying the vexed 

* See later on (p. 317) for this inscription, which I actually found in the house indicated. 

t Sabbah en Naser was certainly thinking of the sanctuary of cl Kifil Aim 'Ainiinir, between 
'Akraba and JCirish, and in the immediate vicinity of the latter village. 

X See supra, p. 299. § See supra, p. 300. /■ and / arc easily 

interchangeable in the dialect of the fellahin. 

2 K 

3o6 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

problem of the boundaries of Samaria and Judaea, which in certain parts at 
any rate can hardly have varied. It agrees tolerably well with the boundary 
between the province of Nablus and the province of Jerusalem as given by 
Mujir ed Din :* 

"Sinjil, 'Arzen, both belonging to the territory of Jerusalem, and the 
head of the Wady Beni Zeid, belonging to the territory of Ramleh." Sinjil 
and the territory of Beni Zeid (to the north of Neby Saleh) are perfectly well 
known. This is not the case with 'Arzen, which is certainly a mutilated 
name ; one MS. has 'Arun. My opinion is that the two readings, ^^y^ and 
^si_f--> are equally faulty and should be corrected to ij^y^ or '^y^j^i Antra, 
a village to the south of K/mrbet Kets.\ This 'Ariira appears to me to 
be none other than the 'Apovep, Amir, alluded to in the Onomasticon as being 
twenty Roman miles north of Jerusalem. It is also perhaps the problematical 
'Apovpd which Josephus has in view in his Ant. Jitd. (p. 344 of Haverkampf's 
edition), where he follows the Septuagint version of i Sam., x.\ii, 6. 

— According to a saying that I heard a little further on, the inhabitants 
of Jalud never live to be more than fifty. 

— From here we went to Keriiit (Kuriyut), which is divided into two 
quarters, one called the Deir. I was not able to make any observations there, 
as the Government aq-ents were eno;aofed in extracting the tenth, or rather 
eighth, from the fellahin 

Vdstif. — We passed hurriedly through Yasiif. According to an ancient 
tradition related by the Arab geographers of the Middle Ages, J Seilun was 
the dwelling-place of Jacob, and the pit is not far distant where Joseph was 
thrown by his brothers " between Sinjil and Nablus, on the right of the road." 
What can the place be that the legend points to .-* It is quite at variance with 
the one current at the present day, which attaches to Jubb Ytisef to the 
north of the Sea of Tiberias. I am inclined to believe that it is Ydsuf, which 
is on the right of the road as you go, not from Sinjil to Nablus, but from 

* Bulak, Arabic text, p. 340. 

t I should, however, state that I find mention in my note-book of a Merj 'Eurzcul, 
"meadow of 'Eurzeul," extending to the west of Sinjil, to the north of El Burj, to the south of 
el Lubban, as far as abreast of 'Abwein. Can I have heard the name aright ? The Map inserts 
it under the form 'Erzy. If the form 'Eurzeul J;^ really exists, one would be inclined to 
see in it the name of 'Arzen. 

X Clermont-Ganneau, Recueil d' Arclieologie orientate, 1888, I, p. 332. Cf. Le Strange, 
Palestine tinder tlie Moslems, pp. 465, 477, 527. 

From Jerusalem to Scbaste [Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 307 

Nablus to Sinjil. The name of this village, which is also borne by a neigh- 
bouring wady,* is written i_i^~lj.> and it appears in Samaritan documents in the 
form nOD'^ Yusepheh. It is probably the mere name of this locality that has 
attracted and fixed there the legend of Joseph, and it may be that when the 
Mussulman pilgrim 'Aly el Herewy says : " I was assured, &c.," he alluded 
to some more or less fanciful tradition that he got from the Samaritans. 

JMerdd. — At Merda I noted in passing a sanctuary consecrated to a 
certain Neby Ithiria (UyU or Uy) ; I cannot account for the origin of this 
strange name. According to the fellahtn, Merda was formerly, in the time of 
the Romans, a bcled (town) as large as Nablus. There was a butcher 

[tah/idm) who gave his name to a large kh ;t he used to kill forty 

sheep every Friday before noonday prayer. The place is spoken of in the 
old Arab geographers. Mujir ed Din mentions \t\ a propos of another 
neighbouring village ed Deir, which is probably Deir Istia. The name seems 
to me to be of Aramaic origin, and to be connected with the Syriac merdo, 
" fortress. "§ 

Kefer Hares. — We stopped the night at Kefer Hares. The Sheikh, 
under a pretence of protecting us against thieves, insisted on thrusting the 
company of two fellahin upon us. 

In order to keep themselves awake, our moukres spent the whole of the 
night in intoning their interminable but not unpleasing ya left, accompanied 
by the agreeable piping of a flute played by a young virtuoso of the village. 
In addition to this, a blindlngly bright moon made our tent as light as day, 
so, taking it altogether, it was not a restful night. 

The mosque of the village, which is graced with the name of Jame', has 
in its walls a few large blocks apparently ancient. I remarked among them 
a wide arched bay with its archivolt ornamented with those kind of canaliculi 
or tablets which are met with on the mediaeval archivolts of Yebna (see 
pp. 171, 180) and various other buildings in Palestine. There are besides this 
three other sanctuaries : 

* I }j.^b jL in the Name Lists, p. 249, must be an error for (_Jj--l.; J\j {<■'/■ P- 250). 

t The word is illegible in my note-book; I think it is Khallcf, "valley." 

% Bulak, Arabic text, p. 560, i_>J_<:. 

§ The word merdo is used, for instance, to denote the fortress of Acra, at Jerusalem. 
Compare the names of towns Marde, Mard'in, &c., and other places with similar names near 
Aleppo, in Mesopotamia, and in Adiabene. There is a locality exactly homonymous, TiU 
Merda, in Galilee, to the north-west of Teirshiha, and quite near il. 

2 R 2 

3o8 Archcrolooical Researches 'in Palestine. 

(i) That of Neby LSslid, consisting of a Kubbeh sheltered by a great 
terebinth and fronted by a small courtyard. In one of the corners of the 
inner room, the walls of which are bare, there is an antique marble capital. 
In the courtyard, facing you as you go in, there is an Arabic inscription in 
Neskhy character, built into the wall. It is cut on a stone with a rough 
surface, but finely grained, looking something like a page of manuscript with 
an ornamented border. There is said to be a cave underneath the chamber, 
and, in fact, when you strike the ground in the south-east corner it sounds 

(2) The Kubbeh of Neby Kefil, with a large cenotaph of masonry. 

(3) The Sanctuary of Neby Nun, consisting of a cenotaph like the 
preceding, but lying open to the sky, the holy man having never consented, 
in spite of all temptations, to let a building be erected over his tomb. 

These three nebys, say the fellahin, belong to the same family : Kefil 
is the father of Nun, who himself is the father of Losha'. It has been long 
recognized that Losha' (V Usha'), son of Nun, was none other than Joshua, the 
son of Nun, whose tomb is in fact located in the village by Samaritan and 
Jewish mediaeval tradition. As for Kefil, whom the legend manages to connect 
genealogically with Joshua and Nun, he, according to the Samaritans, is 
Caleb, the companion in arms of Joshua. Kefil, it would seem, is an alteration 
from Caleb, pronounced Calev, Calef. This name, thus transformed, has 
reacted in turn on the name of the village, which is often called Keftl Hares, 
instead of Kefer Hares. It is possible that the word Refer itself may have 
had a disturbing influence on the form Caleb. 

Mujir ed Din* says that among the sons of Job there was one called 
Bashar, and surnamed Zu 7 Kefil {Klfl, Kef el), whose makam is at Damascus, 
and whose tomb is in the village of Kefil Hares, in the territory of Nablus. 
I found no traces existing on the spot of this fabulous personage. Elsewhere 
he says (p. 94) that Joshua was buried in the village of Kefil Hareth (the 
name is written this time ^ij U. instead of j_^,l:>.).t 

Tell Hareth — In the distance, to the south-west, is seen Tell Hareth, 
which was formerly a town of the Jews [medinet el YaJmd). Here are still 
visible some remains of ancient structures called Karat Hd^-eth, " the fortress 
of Hareth." A hidden treasure exists there, and an enchanted spring. 

* P. 68 of the Bulak Arabic text. 

t The same discrepancy is existing to-day in the pronunciation of the name I/dres or 

From Jerusalem to Scbastc {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 309 

— At Deir Istia is a Neby Istia. 

— To the south-east of Karawa is the Ddr edh-dharb* which was once an 
old mint worked by the Rums. 

— The tobacco of Kefr Hares is in great repute. 

Jemmdin. — Next morning we set out in the direction of Nablus. At 
Jemma'in we met an old bitdr, "veterinary surgeon," who had come to attend 
to some cows, and was going back to Nablus in company with his son. They 
proposed to travel along with us, and I accepted with alacrity, being only too 
glad to find some one to talk to by the way. 

— To the north of Zita is a place in ruins, called Khiirbet Tafsa. 

Fardis. — We left to the right of our route the small wely of Fardis 
{^j^:iji), to the south of which is R'weisiin (^^*^;j ,),t and we halted for lunch 
at 'Ain 'Abus. 

'Aiverta. — At 'Awerta, or 'Awertah, we visited the three sanctuaries 
where Mussulman tradition perpetuated the Jewish and Samaritan legends. 
The first is sacred to Sheikh eTOzeir, called also by some Abu '1 'Ozeir. In 
the middle of a large courtyard, with a sort of vestibule open to the sky in 
front of it, stands an enormous cenotaph, with a triangular lid with acroteria ; 
it appears to have been originally constructed of hewn stones, now disfigured 
by a thick coating of white plaster. 

— — rp-nf --TTTi^i^^i 

Side elevation. 

Elevation of tlie sliort side C. 
CENOTAPH AT " AWERTA. Scale jljj. 

The base must be more than half sunk below the present level of the 
o-round. Close to it, on the south side, a small rectangular opening let into 
the pavement of the court admits of a small recess constructed of masonrj-, 
with a slighdy arched ceiling. This belonged likely enough to an ancient 

* Literally "the house of the coining;" the name is written Deir ed Dab on the Map, and 
is explained as " the Monastery of the Road " in the Name Lists. 
t Sh. Ahmed el Fiirddis, and (?) Kh. 'Azzihi in the Map. 


Archcsological Researches in Palestine. 


Scale T77- 

sepulchral chamber. There are built into the walls four Samaritan inscrip- 
tions, or fragments of such, on marble slabs. One bears, in Arabic, the date 
Ramadan, 1185, and is carefully cut. The characters are in relief, as also are 

those of the other two inscriptions. There is 
one quite small fragment, with sunken characters, 
that looked to me of somewhat older date. 

In the enclosure I noticed a fine bit of 
moulding, undoubtedly antique. 

In the village itself is the mosque [Jdaie') 
of c/ Mans/tr, with a Samaritan inscription in 
relief and a large cenotaph of masonry-work, 
after the manner of the preceding. 

Lower down is the wely of e/ Mofadhcihal, 
" the Jew." 

Lastly, to the north of the village, is the sanctuary of El 'Oseirdl, the 
burial-place of seventy-seven yJi^V/(75)', "champions." 

According to the fellahin, el 'Ozeir is the son of Hariin and the father of 
el Mansur ; el Mofadhdhal is brother to el 'Ozeir. They are in harmony with 
the ancient Mussulman tradition, for Mujir ed Din locates at 'Awerta the 
tomb of el 'Eizar, son of Harun, and Yakut that of el 'Ozeir, that of 
Mofadhdhal, son of the uncle of Harun {sic), and those of the seventy 
prophets, who correspond to the seventy-seven M'ghazy of el 'Ozeirat. The 
seventy prophets represent the seventy old men, or elders of Israel,* in Jewish 
mediaeval tradition ; el 'Ozeir or el 'Eizar, son of Harun, is Eleazar (third son 
of Aaron) ; his brother el Mofadhdhal is Ithamar, brother of Aaron, whose 
tomb was actually pointed out by Jewish tradition at 'Awerta, in the lower 
part of the village ; while el Mansur, son of el 'Ozeir, is Phinehas, son of 


We reached Nablus a little before sundown, and stayed there four days, 
from the Monday evening to the Saturday morning. My investigations were 
limited to certain matters of detail, and I will give a succinct account of these, 
omitting other most important matters which I could only superficially 

* Cf- Numbers xi, 16, 24. 

From Jeritsalevi to Sebasfc {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 3 1 1 

examine. The reader must therefore excuse the fragmentary and imperfect 
nature of these notes. It would have been easy to swell them to a great 
bulk, by following my numerous predecessors in the fruitless discussion of the 
various problems connected with the history or topography of this ancient city 
and its immediate vicinity. 

Inside NAblus. 

Jdme el Kebir. — We did not make a plan of the great mosque, which 
is an ancient church built or adapted by the Crusaders. On examining 
the great mediaeval doorway of the east front, and noticing how the order of 
the stones was disarranged, we wondered whether it had at some later period 
been taken down and put up again on the east side. This was merely a 
casual notion, and I give it with due reserve. The church is altogether 
disfigured, and the inside is covered over with whitewash, and adorned with 
various coloured paints in the worst possible taste. I am sorry we had no 
time left to make a plan of the building. We could have managed it in spite 
of the proverbial fanaticism of the Mussulmans of Nablus, having won them 
over by correcting with the aid of a compass the orientation of their mihrabs. 
I discovered a small Greek inscription cut on a Corinthian capital surmounting 
the second column in the north row. The capital has been painted afresh, 


Aou/ctou \6.Kyov, 
"of Lucius lacchus." 


and the letters are picked out in black. Below, on the volute of the left hand, 
is carved a B, which I look upon as a numeral with the value "two." It 
must be an ordinal number indicating the place of the capital and the column 
belonging, in the architectural scheme of which they formed part. This 
inscription is probably a dedication, to the effect that Lucius lacchus paid the 
cost of the column and its capital, which are destined for some religious edifice. 
There are examples of these partial anathemata. The shape of the capital 
and of the characters of the inscription point to the Grteco-Roman period.* 

* In an inscription cut on the shaft of a column at Rakhleh (Waddington, I/iscr. gr. et lat. 
de la Syrie, No. 2557d), and dating from the year 404 of the Seleucids (82 a.d.), there appears 
the name of one BrixxL'"^] -^ovkiov, who seems also to have dedicated this column. 


ArcJicrological Researches in Palestine. 

Possibly an attentive search would bring to light similar inscriptions on 
the other capitals that have been utilised in building the great mosque of 

Below the minaret, in the inside of the courtyard, a long Kufic inscription 
is cut. I took a squeeze of this. All the outer walls of the great mosque are 
full of stones with mediaeval tool marks and with masons' marks, which we 
made a note of {See Special Table, Vol. I.) 

A little further on, on the side that does not look over the bazaar, are 
remains of an edifice with stones bearing mediseval tool marks with extremely 
fine strokes. I took a squeeze of a specimen. 

Jdnie' en Nascr. — This mosque is an ancient church with three aisles, 
regularly orientated and in a good state of preservation. Unfortunately 
the whole of the interior is covered with a thick coating of mortar, which 
prevents the dressing of the stones from being seen, and fills up all the 
architectural details. The present entrance is by the central apse, where the 
Arabs have made a new door which opens on to the street, and from which 
you go down into the mosque by a flight of six steps. The arches are 
pointed. The walls of the aisles are each pierced with five narrow windows 
with wide reveals. I made a note of some projecting buttresses between 
these windows, but they do not appear on the following plan, which was made 
by M. Lecomte on the basis of our observations : — 

I'LAN OK JaMe' en NASER, NABLUS. Scale j^^ 

Front Jerusalem to Scbastc {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 


The middle aisle, which is higher than the side aisles, is separated from 
them by two rows of square pillars and of columns surmounted by capitals of 
the Doric style. The columns C, D, E, F are of red granite, and are in two 
pieces. Under the columns E, F are circular discs, one of ordinary stone, the 
other of marble. A moulded string-course runs completely round the inside 
of the building on a level with the spring of the higher arches. The primitive 
door was on the west side. On the flags that cover the ground 1 noticed in 
several places the mediaeval tool marks, as also on the steps of a staircase 
leading to a high gallery set up to meet the requirements of Mussulman 
worship in the north aisle. The church in its final form must have been built 
by the Crusaders, but the depth of the central apse, as well as the character of 
certain architectural features, would incline me to the belief that they erected 
it on the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church, and were guided by its previous 

Jdme' {Jdmia') el JMasdkin. — " The Lepers' Mosque," is in an ancient 
structure with large arches seemingly mediaeval. The leprosy of Nablus in 
no way falls short of that of Jerusalem in the hideous aspect of the sufferers 
and the interest aroused by their frightful sores. The lepers of Nablus are 
under the command of a sheikh, who is himself not afflicted with the 
disease. A native Christian who accompanied us on this repulsive visit, 
assured me seriously that the horrible disease was exclusively confined to 
the Mussulmans ; but 1 have my doubts as to the correctness of this 
observation. In a stable was a horse said to be likewise afflicted with 
leprosy ! 

Habs ed Dam.'* — -Two pointed arches arranged at right angles, one 

* Literally "the prison or cell of blood." In consequence of my notes being disarranged, I 
am not absolutely sure that this one applies to the drawings that accompany it, but in any case 
the latter are representations of an edifice we saw at Nablus. 


ArcJuroloi^ical Researches in Pales due. 

open, the other blocked up. The arch stones of the arches and the 
blocks on the facade ha\'e tlat bossages, and are pock-marked, with small 

delicate tool marks, not diagonal, round 
the edees. Above the two arcades is a 
twin ogive bay, the two archivolts of 
which rest on a small column with capital 
and base, and on a cornice which is 
extended right and left along the fa^ide. 
In one of the angles is a small spring 
of water. 

Ma/iall Uldd Neby YdMb.—K 
modern mosque, opposite Bmvdb cl Unbid 
(" the gate of the Prophets "), marking the 
spot, according to Mussulman legend, 
where the ten sons of Jacob are buried. 

Opposite, on the other side of the 
street, is the Khdn ez Z'bib, with a lofty 
ogive arch in the middle of a wall of 
bossed stones, and e.xactly resembling in 
style that at Habs ed Dam. 

Hizn Sidnd Ya'kitb (called also el 
KhadJird). — At the entrance, stones with 
the mediaeval tool marks. Three large 
ogive bays with moulded archivolts. The arch of the mihrab is adorned 
with handsome carvings. There is an Arabic inscription in so-called Car- 
mathic characters. To the right of the great chamber where the mihrab 
is they show a small room where Jacob wept for the loss of Joseph, 
whence the name of the sanctuary, "the sadness of our lord Jacob." 
In this place the soil sounds hollow to the tread. At the base of the 
minaret a long Samaritan inscription is built in. I took a squeeze of 
this, as also of two other small and imperfect ones (one in the door frame 
of an Arab room at the foot of the minaret, unfortunately plastered up with 
lime ; the other in the opposite wall, low down, and defaced by hammering). 

I likewise squeezed a Samaritan inscription consisting of eleven lines in 
relief, and mutilated on the right hand side, from the lintel of a door of a 
house adjacent to the Hizn Ya'kub ; and another of two lines in relief, in the 
house of Sheikh Yusef Zeid, in the street called Hdrt el Ydsininch. 

Not far from the Hizn Ya'kub is a spring, ''Ain el'Asel, with excellent 


Scale TTm- 

From Jc7-nsa/c)n to Scbastc {Saii/an'a), and jrom Sehastc to Gaza. 31 


water that well deserves its name, " the spring of honey." Near there is built 
in an ovolo-moulded fragment. M. Lecomte made a sketch of it. 

'Aiii Kariihi. — This spring is situated inside the town. It seemed to me 
that the name was pronounced Karioii rather \\vA.n Kariun. It is covered over 
with a large and curious structure which, according to local tradition, was an 
ancient Kutidb, " school." It consists of a high semi-circular arch openino- 
over a semi-circular apse. The archivolt, which is ornamented with a 
moulding, rests on a cornice, also moulded, which runs round the apse. In 
the latter a niche has been subsequently made, to serve as a mihrab. The 
cornice is continued to right and left along the facade. 



A Plan. E Elevation. C Section. D Profile of the moulding of the archivolt. E Profile of the cornice. 

Scale irn-a- 

The stones are fine large blocks, presenting neither the medixn-al nor the 
Arab tool marks. The axis of the apse is orientated to the south-west. The 
edifice seems not to be of Christian origin, or at any rate not to partake of the 
nature of a chapel. Perhaps it was a kind of nymphsum intended to protect 
the spring. The latter is copious, and we noticed that there were fish in it. 

Sarcophagus.— Ox\ Fridays, at the hour of prayer, while the men are 
at the mosque, all the women and girls go out into the streets with faces 
uncovered to fill their water jars at the fountains. They gather together and 
converse freely in the absence of the men. During this time the shops are 
minded by the children, who constitute the police of the public highways, and 
chevy without mercy any men they see out of doors. We were indebted to 
our being foreigners for being able to cross one of the quarters thus given 
over to feminine occupation, the Har't Karion, where I wished to e.xamme an 

s 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

ancient sarcophagus that served as a ran, or trough, to a fountain. The 
women rather looked askance at us ; but, however, we were suffered to pass. 
We owed it to this curious custom that we were able to get a glimpse of some 
very pretty female types, under conditions that are rare in Mussulman 
countries. The sarcophagus came, I was assured, from near the tomb of 
Joseph. Its front side is ornamented with three discs in relief, two of 
which display a rather curious decorative idea ; the central disc contains 
a rectangular cartouche with triangular ears, where there was perhaps 
originally an inscription cut. It is very possible that this inscription may 
have been obliterated at the time of the find, and I noticed in fact that the 
tool-marks inside the cartouche were rather fresher than those of the other 
parts of the sarcophagus, as if the surface had been subsequently worked 

Masbanet el Ghazzdivy. — An ancient building of mediaeval origin turned 
into a soap-works, as is shown by the name ("the soap-works of the man of 
Gaza"). The mediaeval tool-marks appear on the whole of the lower part of 

.. 0.16 


the door and a part of the arch that surmounts it, which has a moulded torus 
and rabbeted edges. The threshold is formed of two stones of the same 
period. Inside are large pillars of hewn stone, with moulded cornices. At 
the back is an orientated apse. All the stones display mediaeval tool-marks. 
Here (p. 316) are two fragments of the same period built into the outer wall. 

One is an engaged dwarf-column from a corner, forming the upright of a 
gateway ; the other presents a sort of cross with two cross-pieces, recalling 
the type of the so called patriarchal cross. 

Ancient JMasbaneh. — Another soap-works, now the oven of Selim Bek, 
with a door like that of Khan ez Z'bib. In the (modern) wall opposite, on 

From Jerusalem lo Scbastc [Samaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 3 1 7 

the other side of the street, there is a fragment of mediaeval cornice built 
in, which extends over several yards. Here is a profile of it. 

Nabatcean Inscription from the Land of Moab. — I 
managed to find the owner of the inscription from the 
Balka, which an inhabitant of Jalud had previously mentioned 
to me as existing at Nablus.* 

After makins some difficulties, the bakkal who had it in Scale j^. 

his possession consented to show me into his back-parlour, where he had 
hidden it beneath a heap of flour. It was the former governor Mohammed 
Said Pasha who had had the stone fetched, and Sheikh R'meih el Faez of 
the Beni Sakher that brought it. F"ive hundred mejidiehs was the price 
asked. As they could not come to terms, the Sheikh deposited it with 
the bakkal. 

I recognized at first glance the Nabatsean inscription of Umm er Resas. 
of which my Bedouin had brought me a poor squeeze at the time of 
the negotiations about the Moabite stone. Delighted to meet this old 
acquaintance, I hastened to make a good squeeze. 

The stone is a hard basalt, analogous to that of the Moabite stone. It 
measures o™-40 high by o"'-38 broad and o"-20 thick. The inscription consists 
of five lines, the last of which is mutilated, as are the ends of the four others. 
Nevertheless, taking it as a whole, it reads well enough. It is the epitaph 
of Abdmalku, son of Obaisu, the strategos, made by his brother Yaamru, 
the strategos. I have since shown, in a monograph t to which I can only 
refer the reader, that this inscription, which came from the district about 
Madeba, was of the greatest value for Jewish history, inasmuch as the 
strategos Yaamru must be considered to belong to the family of the Sons of 

* See supra, p. 305. 

t Journal Asiatiqui\ May, June, 1S91, p. 538, et seqq. Thanks to the fresh squeezes that I 
took of this inscription at Nablus, I have managed to decipher completely the fifth line, which 
until lately had resisted all attempts. It furnishes us with the exact date of the inscription. 
Here is the transcription : — 

ion: n'pD Nb'pD] \:hrh 

The translation is as follows : '• This is the sepulchre of .\bdmalku, son of Obaisu, the 
strategos, which was made for him by Yaamru, the strategos, his brother, in the ist (or 2nd) year 
of King Malku, King of Nabatene." King Malku is Malchus III. The monument therefore 
belongs to the year 9 or 10 a.d. {Sec the Corpus Jnscriptionuin Seinilicaruin, part II, torn. I, 
No. 195.) 


1 8 Arch(rolooical Researches in Palesfiiic. 

Jaiubri (=: Bene Yaamru), established at Madeba,"" which plays an important 
part in the tragic episode which is narrated at length in the first book of 
Maccabees (ix, 32-42). 

Greek Inscription. — In the wall of a house in the quarter called Hart es 
Samara. I noticed a Greek inscription in five lines which had been built in 
after the wall was originally erected. I took a copy and a good squeeze, I 
afterwards found that it had already been noticed by M. Renan,t who 
published it, with learned observations by M. Leon Renier. It relates 
to the construction of a building, perhaps of a military nature, here called 
lLecroxb)pLov\ ("central fortress"?), under the direction of two officers of the 
Roman army, the tribune Flavins Julianus§ and the primipilus Marcellinus, 
and under the superior command of a consularis of Palestine whose name 
was contained in the first line, which unluckily is missing. 

The characters, M. Renan says, appear to be of the fourth century. 

_ ^40TAT0YAieTi 




M. Renan reads it thus : — 

[StacrrjJ/xoTaToii || SteVo[t'ro?] Ty]v vTrariav, to /xecro^wpt[oi'j ^ ck dey-eKeioiv 

iKTicrdrj, ipyohiui\_K\TovvTO)V <I>X. 'louXtai'ou ■y^iki.dp^ov\ /cat Map/ceXXeiVov tttt. 

* Another very important Nabatffian inscription has since been discovered at Madeba itself. 
(^See Corpus Inscripiiontim Seiidticarum, loc. cif., No. 196). 

t Mission en Phenicie, p. 808. 

\ My squeeze confirms the reading of the first three letters ^ica, about which M. Renan was 
still doubtful ; on the other hand it indicates an o rather than i after the /). 

§ I find a tribune of the same name as ours, Julianus, and belonging to the legion XIV 
Gemina, mentioned in a Greek inscription at Soueida (in Batansea), which is only known from a 
bad copy in Burckhardt (cf. Waddington, Inscr. gr. et lat. de Syrie, No. 2316(7). This legion 
moreover does not appear to have even been garrisoned in Syria. I find yet another Julianus in 
a Greek inscription from Auranitis (Waddington, op. at., No. 2407), centurion of the IV Scythian 
Legion, which, on the contrary, actually was quartered in this province. 

II Aino-zy/ioTnTov corresponds to the official title in the Roman protocol : prefcctissimus. 

IT See remarks in the note above. 

From /cntsa/ciii to Scbastc {Samaria), and from Scbaslc to Gaza. 319 

" . . . . the most perfect such-a-one exercising the consular functions, 
the Mesochorion (?) was built from top to bottom, the operations being 
directed by Flavins Julianus, tribune, and (Flavins?) Marcellinus, primipilus."'" 

What was the building called RIesochoron or MesocJiorioii ? Perhaps, as 
is shown by its name and the military functions of the persons entrusted with 
building it, a " central fort," designed 
to hold in check the Samaritan popu- 
lation of Neapolis, which was always 
inclined to insurrection. If we could 
bring the inscription down to the 5th 
century, which is perhaps not pala;o- 
graphically impossible, we might be 
inclined to think of the fortress erected 
on Mount Gerizim in consequence of 
the terrible Samaritan revolt which 
broke out under the Emperor Zeno.t 

Another Greek Inscription. — 
Nablus must contain another Greek 
inscription of great interest, which was 
noticed there at the end of the six- 
teenth century by J. van Kootwyck.| 
I have made a fruitless search for it on 
the spot. As it has been completely 
lost to sight by savants for three 
centuries past,§ I think it may be as 
well to draw attention to it, by pointing 
out to future explorers, who will perhaps 
be more fortunate than I have been, how it may be found again. It is a large 
marble base, moulded at top and bottom, which was built into the wall of an 
old tower on the left or south side of the street, in the new bazaar (in Bazarro 
novo), in the western part of the town. The Flemish traveller gives a drawing 
of it, which is doubtless correct, but only contains unfortunately the beginning 


ixscRirriON sekn in ihe bixteemii century 


* Or prctpositus, as M. Egger preferred. The two - tt do in fact lend themselves to this 

t Procopius, V, 7. Malala, xv, 567. 

X Itinerariuiii Hierosotymitaniim ; Antwerp, 1619, p. 431. 

§ It does not appear in the Corpus Inscr. Gncc, nor in the Recucil oi M. Waddington. 

320 A^'chcrological Researches in Palestine. 

of the inscription, the remaining characters being too much worn, he says, for 
him to decipher them. Here (p. 319) is -a fac-siniile of the cut he gives. 

The proper reading is, correcting a few sHght faults made in copying : — 

AvTOKparopi 'XSpLav^w) 'AvTOJveivw Kaia-api Se/SacrTai Evcre/Sl .... 
"To the Emperor Hadrian Antoninus Caesar Augustus, the Pious, . . . ." 

I will not venture to transcribe the words following, which have evidently 
been wrongly read, on account of the worn state of the inscription, and, what 
is worse, read by someone who thought he understood them. A naively 
faithful copy of the strokes that were visible would have been better. Several 
possible restitutions present themselves, in conformity with the known 
formulae,* but in such a doubtful case I prefer to refrain. 

It was evidently a dedication to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, in whose 
name also those splendid coins were struck at Neapolis, bearing a representa- 
tion of the temple built a few years before by Hadrian on Mount Gerizim. 
It is well known what clemency Antoninus showed the Jews, and the 
Samaritans were doubtless no less well treated. It was natural enough that 
they should have testified their gratitude by an official dedication ; the object 
dedicated is more likely to have been an altar than a statue, in the latter 
case the accusative would have been used instead of the dative. 

Sundry Antiquities, — While walking about the bazaar, I saw a few 
interesting small antiquities in the possession of the goldsmiths, notably 
several intaglios, of which I took impressions. One of these appeared to me 
to be of exceptional worth. Some years later I managed to acquire the 
original, an exorbitant price being then asked for it.t Here is 
■A facsimile enlarged from the impression. It is a flat carnelian, 
ellipsoidal in shape, the larger diameter being o™' 008. It has a 
design cut on it with some rudeness but much character, repre- 
senting a personage of Egyptian appearance standing, seen in 
profile, and walking to the left, dressed in a tunic descending to 
the middle of the legs, bare-headed, his hair long, plaited, and 
hano-ing behind. The two arms are stretched out in front ; the right hand 
appears to be holding a sort of short stick (a commander's baton?); a fracture 


* For example : Kvplic fiov, 0(\/«s [ . . . . /ixica . ? . . 

t I gave up the gem to M. Loytved of Beyrouth, and it afterwards went to the Berlin 

From Jcrusalan to Schaste {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 


in the stone prevents this detail from being clearly recognized. In front 
of him is a symbol placed upright, in the shape of a Y with a very long 
stem. Behind are three Phoenician letters, cut backwards, so as to give an 
impression the right way, which thoroughly proves that this gem was used as 
a seal. The first letter has an acute angle like a s^imel, but a gimel does not 
lend itself to any possible combination with the two letters following, which, 
for their part, are certain ; this cannot therefore be anything but a phe. 
This gives HpD PckaJi. This proper name, signifying " vigilance," is quite 
Israelite. It occurs in the Bible assigned to a celebrated personage, the 
Captain of Pekahyah, King of Israel, who bore almost the same name as his 
master. He was a soldier of fortune, who usurped the throne after having 
slain Pekahyah at Samaria. If the son of Remalyah* ever had a seal, it must 
have been remarkably like this, and if it is rash to regard it as his, it is 
allowable at any rate to look upon it as that of some contemporary of his who 
bore the same name. 
— The same goldsmith had a small objectt of quite another character and 


period, a genuine relic of the Crusades, and very interesting in its way. This 

* The name Renialyahu occurs on two other archaic Israelite seals that I have already 
mentioned in a special memoir : one of a woman, Neehabaf, daughter of Reiiialyahii, and the 
other of a man, probably of the same family as the latter, Rcmalyahu, son of Ncryahu. I give this 
reading Remalyahu, so as to conform with the reading of the Bible text, which has Remalyah, 
with a resh, but I have shown by the aid of these very seals, \vhich are much earlier than the 
period when we find the Septuagint using the form "Po/teX/nv, that the primitive reading of 
the text was probably Demalyahu, with a daleth, and that the name ought to be thus transcribed 
from our seals, and the Bible form Remalyah corrected into Demalyah. 

t I afterwards managed to acquire it. 

2 T 

Air/ueoloncal Researches in Palesthie. 


was a small disk of great thickness (about i™), o"" '038 in diameter, made of 
enamelled bronze, having its edge milled with twelve rounded notches. 

On one side is seen a shield, havin"- in it a clidtcl of blue enamel or 
azure turreted, with a draw-bridge, or rather a double gate. The shield 
is inscribed in a circular border of crosslets and fleurons occurring alternately 
on the notches of the edge. On the other side, within a similar border, 
is another shield, cotticed with enamel of no particular colour and with 
azure. The edges are of red enamel or gules, to speak the language of 
heraldry, for the character of these ornaments is indubitably heraldic. The 
clidtel is also iiiafonitd gules. I suppose that the field, which has been worn 
down till the brass shows beneath, may originally have been of gold or silver, 
more probably of gold. The design is certainly formed of armorial bearings, 
arranged in a way strongly reminiscent of those on certain seals of Crusaders 
that have come down to us. I would instance a comparison with a seal of 
Gerard, Viscount of Tripoli,* on which there appears on one side a shield of 
the same form as those under discussion, charged with fasces, surrounded by 
the legend S{igi//H}n) Gjra{r)di vicecomitis, and on the other a turreted clidtcl 
with the legend Civitas Tripolis ; that is to say, the individual emblem side by 
side with the attributive emblem of the functionary, his name and quality, or 
rather his condition, symbolically expressed ; to put it shortly, his arms 
accompanied by the representation of the city of which he was Viscount. The 
heraldic field not being there, it is difficult to read with accuracy the shield 
represented on the object in question, which must have belonged to some 
Prankish seigneur who died in Palestine. There suggest themselves, among 
others, the arms of Crillon (Balbis-Berton), which are cotticed with gold and 
azure. Several members of this family repeatedly took part in the Crusades. 
However, I do not lay any stress on this identification. 

This object is not without elegance of workmanship ; what can have been 
its use ? 1 he answer is not doubtful ; it was the pommel of a dagger. There 
is still visible in one of the notches the hole for inserting silk. I have marked 
by dotted lines the way in which the pommel may be supposed to have been 
joined to the handle of the weapon. In 1881 I found the pommel of a dagger 
exactly similar, at Jerusalem, only it had eight notches instead of twelve, and 
had not any real armorial bearings on it, but simply an emblematical flower, 
though this perhaps was of an heraldic nature.t 

* Drawn in Paoli Codice Diplomatico, I, pi. IV, No. 40. 

t Clermont-Ganneau, Rapports sur line mission en Palestine et en F/icnicie, p. 65, No. 22. A 
third pommel of a dagger, of the same kind, also from Palestine (from Saida, it is said), has been 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 

Environs ok NAblus. 

E'mdd ed Din. — We went first of all to visit the sanctuary of E'mad ed 
Din, on the mountain rising to the north of Nablus, and representing the 
Mount Ebal of tradition. The interior is daubed all over with votive henna. 
In a second chamber is a large cenotaph covered with white plaster; at the 
foot of it was a broken pot with cinders and incense, bearing witness to the 
veneration in which the holy man is held. It is said that there is a ruin 
above the sanctuary. When any good man has met with a misfortune, he 
comes and spends the night in the wely, and lies down to sleep by the tomb. 
The saint — he is still living — then appears to him and brings him gold from 
his treasure, which the worshipper finds under his head when he wakes. 
E'mad ed Din, or, as he was often called, Sultan E'mad ed Din, was the brother 
of Mujir ed Din, whose tomb is below his own, at the foot of the mountain, in 
the valley. Both were kings, and had a sister, Sitt S'leimiyeh (cLx^--). whose 
sanctuary is not far distant, to the south-east, and has given its name to the 

Sitt Slcimiyeh. — To get here, we had a very tough climb over rocks, 
prickly cactus, dry stone walls, and so on. At the foot of a rocky scarp is 
seen an irregular-shaped cavern, and above, a hole, whence a piece of wood 
projects : this, it is said, is the end of the coffin [tabbCtt) of the holy woman. 
All round the tomb are quantities of holes for putting lamps in. Silt 
S'leimiyeh, according to the Mussulmans, was a prophetess, who died at 
Damascus or Cairo. When she was placed in her coffin and they were going 
to bury her, she flew away, coffin and all, and came and alighted in a hole 
in the rock on the top of the mountain at Nablus, to which mountain she 
o-ave her name. This is the coffin, of which one end is seen protuding out 
of the rock. At a late time, a man who attempted to go up there and e.xamine 
it closely, was struck with blindness for the sacrilege. This curious legend 
belongs to the fabulous cycle of the flying nebys, which I have several times 
had occasion to refer to, and which is a relic of ancient Semitic myths. It 
is possible that the story of Sitt S'leimiyeh contains some reminiscence of 

described by M. Schlumberger {Bulletin de la SociHe ties Antiquaires de France, 1878, p. 78). It 
has only ten notches ; on one side it displays a chAtel with three towers, not unlike the one on 
the pommel from Nablus, on the other side a griffin. I have likewise seen another, which came, 
it is said, from Aleppo, in the collection of M. (lay at Paris. 

2 T 2 


Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

the dove which the Jews, rightly or wrongly, accused the Samaritans of 
worshipping on Mount Gerizim. 

El-"ncis. — At the top of the mountain, just above 'Askar, is a ruin called 
KImrbet cl-"neis ;* others pronounce it Kuneiseh, '' i\\& little church." The 
first pronunciation, as I took it down, involves the existence of an original 
form j^>-^*) which may be for ,^/-.>i-*) coming directly from the Greek iKKXyjcria, 
while ^^jJo is an old Semitic word. 

Rijdl el \4niuc/. — The sanctuary is held in extreme veneration by the 
Mussulmans. We found there a box for the offerings of the faithful. A 
tomb of a "son of Mahomet" is shown there. It was at this place that 
Adam prayed for the first time. A green column sjarung up there. At a 
later time forty nebys were buried there, whence the name of Rijdl el "Anmd, 
" the men of the column." 

Baldta. — Between the barracks and the little village of Balata, at the 
foot (^f Mount Gerizim, I noticed in passing an ancient tomb, consisting of a 
deep rectangular trough hewn out in the rock, open to the sky, and without 
any trace of grooving on the edges. Length i'"-85, breadth o" 70, depth 
o"" '95. It must originally have been covered with a large block. 

At Balata I saw, in the house of a fellah, a cover of a small sarcophagus, 
which, considering the scantiness of its dimensions, must have been really 
more like an ossuary. It has a roof-shaped top, adorned at the four 
corners with acroteria, and one of its ends is furnished with a projecting 
appendage which is exactly reproduced in the drawing below : 


The name Balata at first sight looks as if it might be quite naturally 
explained by the Arabic word balata, ''paving-stone." It has, however, been 
thought that it might correspond to the Arabic word Ballut, "oak," which is 
of Aramaic origin, and so represent the sacred oak of the Shechemites (Judges 
ix, 6), which even in Eu.sebius' time was shown in the suburbs of Neapolis, 
by the tomb of Joseph. It should be noticed that Yakut vocalises this name 

* The sign " represents the /!'i?/(J) as dropped in the Syrian pronunciation. 

From Jcnisalcm to Schastc [Samaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 325 

Biildta, a fact that would tend to supptjrt this conjecture. On the other hand, 
he certainly mentions the traditional tree distinctly, when he says that the 
tomb of Joseph, who was buried at Bulata, is under "the tree" {esh 
Shadjara) ; this is evidently the S/iajar cl Kheir of the Arabic version of 
the Samaritan chronicle, which is a translation of ilanah tabaJi ("the good 
oak "). Yakut further locates here a spring of Khidr, which is the name, 
though it has now died out in local tradition, of the fine spring of Balata with 
its ancient structures. I wonder whether by chance the name Balata could 
be connected with that of the famous Sanba/Iaf, the satrap of the king of 
Persia who ruled over the Samaritans of Shechem, and who is credited, in a 
legend that Josephus gives a confused account of, with founding the temple 
on Mount Gerizim, the rival of the one at Jerusalem. 

Well of Jacob. — The natives declare that there is a subterranean conduit 
uniting the Well of Jacob with the Sanctuary of Sheikh Ghanem on Mount 

'Askar. — At 'Ain 'Askar there is a long tunnel, partly of masonry, with 
water running along it. We got into this, but were not able to follow it out 
to the end. 

It was proposed long since to identify 'Askar with the Sycliar oi the 
Gospel, which itself appears to be a corruption of Sichcm. The prothesis of 
the \iin in front of the sibilant initial, is quite in conformity with the phonetic 
processes of Syrian Arabic. The name in this form is an ancient one : Yakut 
speaks of the village of "Askar ez Zcitiin ("'Askar the olive-tree") near 
Nablus. In this state it greatly resembles the well-known Arabic word 
'askar, " army, soldiers," which, I think, has a similar origin, and helps to 
confirm the onomastic identification of Sychar and 'Askar, for I regard the 
word 'askar as being derived, if not directly, at least through Aramaic or 
other intermedials, from the Hebrew sakar, " to hire," saklr, " mercenary 
soldier,"* etc., with prosthesis of the 'ain which has occurred under the same 
conditions as in the case of the place-name. These two parallel cases seem 
to me to explain each other. 

Mount Gerizim. — We paid the regulation visit to Mount Gerizim, and 
examined the various ruins there, which have been often described. The 
few observations I made there in the course of this rapid survey are no great 
addition to those of my predecessors. I made a note in my memorandum-book 

* Cf. esJAar, akin to sliatiar, in which form the prosthesis starts with atef'ti, whence to -ain 
is a natural transition {Aslilielon = '.Istrntd/i). 

326 Archcroiogical Researches vi Palestine. 

that the great apse of the octagonal churcli, and even the side chapels, might 
have been a subsequent addition to an older building. This impression of 
mine would perhaps have been removed by a more attentive examination, but 
I think I had better mention it, of course with all due reserve, if only to 
provoke some one into setting me right. In front of the birkeh is a well 
called Bir or Resds, which, so legend declares, is in communication with the 
Well of Jacob in the valley. 

I must say that I was particularly struck by the appearance of the conical 
mound situated to the north of the traditional site of the Samaritan temple. 
People concern themselves too exclusively perhaps about this latter site. 
This mound, which bears the rather insignificant name of Tdhunet el Hawd, 
" the windmill," seems to me to have been wonderfull)- well adapted for the 
site of one at least of the temples that succeeded each other on the summit 
of Mount Gerizim. 

Here are two sketches of this double peak which I took from two 
standpoints and from different levels : I. From the Sanctuary of E'mad ed din. 
II. From the Mussulman cemetery lying at the foot of the mountain of Sitt 
S'leimiyeh ; a. Sheikh Ghanem, b. Tahunet el Hawa. 

No. II. 

iioui;iE it.ak: on mount i;eri/.im. 

I believe, moreover, that this mound is expressly represented on the 
coins struck at Neapolis in the name of the Roman emperors. These show 
the Holy Hill with its two summits, one surmounted by the temple built by 
Hadrian, the other by an ill-defined building. The first was approached by a 
staircase, represented on the coins as perpendicular, the other by a winding 
path. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux actually saw, and probabl)' climbed this 
staircase, which, says he, had 300 steps in it. If the figures are correct, and 
if he means real steps, the length of a man's stride, we might manage by 
calculation to arrive at the height and distance of the portico, or colonnade, 
which, on the coins, seems to enclose a portion of the mountain-side, and from 
which the staircase leading to the temple doubtless started. This staircase 
may have led straight down from Tahunet el Hawa towards Rijal el 'Amud ; 
If this notion be accepted, the general view represented on the coins must 

From [crusalcin to Schastc {Samaria), and from Scbash: to Gaza. 327 

have been taken from a point lying north-north-west. It is even perfectly 
conceivable that the characteristic name Rijal el 'Amud, " the men of the 
columns," may contain some trace of allusion to the colonnade of the portico 
that must have stood not far away, on the lowest slopes of Mount Gerizim. 

'Ayfin Sarin. — Local tradition at Nablus often speaks of a place in the 
neighbourhood called 'Ayfni Sarin, or 'Ayihi es Sarin, " the springs of Sarin." 
It is situated, I was told, above Dawaimeh, and must be the place marked on 
the Map 'Aiu Sarin, on the eastern side of Jebel et Tor, above Dawerta. 
According to the Samaritans, this is where judgments were held and where 
the Last Judgment will take place. The story goes that a Samaritan girl, a 
great beauty, having been accused of fornication by two Samaritan priests, 
whose lustful desires she had refused to gratify, was about to be condemned 
to be burned alive. The judge having happened to hear some children who 
were amusing themselves with playing at this canse cdlcbre, was struck by the 
ingenious method which the one who played the cadi adopted to ascertain the 
truth — he put a question to the accusers on a material point which produced 
contradictory answers. The judge, inspired by this childish wisdom, 
succeeded in breaking down the evidence of the slanderers. The innocence 
of the young girl was clearly established, and the two priests were burned 
instead of her at 'Ayun Sarin. This, it will be recognized, is the story of 
Susannah, with a variant that is also found in one of the Arabian Nights. 

Miscellaneous Observations. 

— There are at Nablus a great number of baths, several of them of ancient 
construction, which would repay an attentive inspection, as the explorer might 
perhaps discover in them old materials utilized afresh. In one of these baths, 
belonging to the Tokan family, I was told there was an inscription hidden 
beneath a layer of mortar. I tried to find it, but without success. 
The following is a list of these baths : — 
Hammam es Sumard (old). 
,, el Kddhy (new). 

,, cl Jcdidch (new). 

,, el Beidara (ancient). 

,, ed Dcrejeh (the most ancient of all). 

,, et Temimy (new). 

,, el Khalil (old, now in ruins). 

328 Aych(coh\i^ical Researches in Palestine. 

— Many of the Mussulman houses in Nablus have over their doors long 
inscriptions painted in red, nearly all containing the same formula, and 
designed to inform the passer-by that the owner has performed the pilgrimage 
to Mecca. Here is one taken at hazard, which I will translate as a specimen: 

" In the name of the gracious and merciful God. Victory comes from 
God, and the triumph is near ; and he has announced to the Mussulmans 
that Paradise is theirs. Has made the pilgrimage to the House of God, to 
the Haram, and has visited the tomb of Mohammed (to whom be blessings 
and salvation) the Hajj Mustapha, son of the deceased Ahmed Karakush. 
Consecration made the blessed day Monday, in the year 1288." 

— Here are a few notes, corrections and additions to Rosen's plan of 
Nablus, from information acquired on the spot : — 

Jebel Sitt S leimiyeh, with makam not of masonry ; 

^Ain 'Askar (not el 'Askar) ; 

'Ain Da/nek (not dc/na) ; 

The tell formed of ashes is called Malaton ; 

A fishpond called Birkct et Tatvireh (iojLll) ; 

Habs cd Dam ; 

K/idn ez Z'bib ; 

el Karion (not Kariihi) ; 

Ukdl et Tujjdr ; 

Mosques : — Jdnie' el Kebir ; 

,, en Nascr ; 

,, el HandUleh [oS. the Hanbalites) ; 

, , es Sdtiir {,^\A\ ) ; 

,, el Khadhrd'; 

, , et Tineh ; 

,, el Anbid ; 

,, el Masdkin ; 

„ el Bek. 
ed Derimshiyeh (tombs of Mussulman Santons). 

— A fellah at Sebustieh had in his possession the head of a statue of black 
stone, that might be got for a mejidieh. 

— Sem'an Ishak, the present Latin curate at Ramallah, has in his possession 
an ancient censer found in the course of the excavations made in building the 
barracks at Nablus. 

— The Samaritan Yakub Sheleby assured me that the true tomb of Joshua 
is at Kifir Nininuh'a (I give his pronunciation of the name). I have not 

From Jcmtsalein to Scbastc iySaniaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 329 

been able to determine the position of this place. I found it mentioned in the 
Samaritan Chronicle in the form Kefr N^cmarch. and perhaps also as Tirath 
Nemarch. According- to others the tomb of Joshua is at 'Awerta.* At Kefil 
Hares is the tomb of Kifil, who is Caleb, son of Yefenni {Jeplmnncit). 

— To the west of the town, at the place called Siteitcrch or Skucifrch^' 
where there was formerly a convent called Dcir clJSondok, two large columns, 
one of them adorned with a cross, are said to have been discovered some time 
ago during an excavation. 

— Near 'Ain Dafneh arc remains of ancient masonry and dekdkin. 

— Martin Bulos, a mason by trade, while working at the rc^pairs of th<i 
Nablus barracks, saw in the foundation a column or pillar i^amud), with an 
inscription, thirty inches long, in large characters, which, as he said to me, 
resembled those on the Moabite stone, specimens of which I showed him. 
Unfortunately the column was left where it was, and a wall has been erected 
upon it. I 

— A Mussulman living in Jerusalem, by name Abu s-S"ud, told me that a 
cave had been recently discovered near Nablus with several large sarcophagi 
and that one of them had been taken to the town and used as a trough {j-dn) 
for a fountain, the others being left in the cave.§ 

* The old Arab geographers also mention Joshua's tomb as being at 'Awerta. 

t I noticed that at Nabkis the s and the s/i are frequently interchanged. Thus shajara, 
" tree," is often pronounced sajara. 

\ Note made in 1871 (Carnet IV, p. 29). — It was the same Martin wlio was once sent with 
some other workmen to cut out the has-rcUcf of FigiV (discovered in the land of Moab by 
M. de Saulcy, and presented to the Louvre by the Due de Luynes). He assured me that the 
block was square, and the rear face iicrfectly smooth, without any trace of characters on it. 

lie saw at Karak, in the drystone wall (jednr) of one of the gardens round about the town, 
a magnificent block of black basalt, representing an eagle in high relief, the workmanship being 
of the same kind as that of the FigiV bas-relief, but of a superior kind. Irby and Mangles 
(Travels, etc., 184}, p. iii) say that they saw at Karak, "close to a well, a great wing sculptured 
in basso-relievo, bearing much resemblance to those which we had seen attached to the gloi)e in 
Egyptian buildings." They did not notice in it any trace of a globe, and could form no idea of 
its intended use. This fragment, 7 ft. long and 4 ft. broad, belongs perhaps to the monument 
described by Martin, whose account is sufliciently in agreement with that of the two explorers to 
give it credibility 

S November, 1870, Carnet IV, j). 9/'. The same Mussulman told me also that he had 
seen at 'Amman, on the north-eastern side of the town, the ruir.s of a building called by the 
Bcdawin El Masbagha (" the dyeing-house "), and that (here were outside the ruins five or six large 
carved s.arcophagi placed on benches {tnaslaba). This must be the remarkable tomb described in 
the Survey of Eastei-n Palestine, pp. 47, 48. The verification of this i)iece of information is a 
ceneral witness to the veracity of Abou s-S"iid, whose testimony I quote in Part I with regard to 
the ancient Arab archives of Jerusalem. 

2 U 


ArchcEological Researches in Palestine. 

From Nablus to Sebustieh (Sebaste). 

We left Nablus on the Saturday morning for Sebaste. 

Zaimta. — We followed the water-course of Wad esh Sh"ir as far as the 
little village of Zawata, where we halted for lunch on the banks of a pretty 
little stream flowing northwards, with delicious watercress growing in it, quite 
a treat for our horses and ourselves. The inhabitants of the village brought 
me two antique objects, which I lost no time in acquiring. 

The first was a kind of small vase of very curious shape, made of marble, 
or rather hard white limestone, polished and carefully cut. It is a nearly 
hemispherical block, the lower part, from which a .segment has been cut off, 
formino- a wide base with a rim. On the sides two handles are carved in 
relief lying very close to the rounded sides. On the flat side is a small 
cup-like depression, so that the whole looks like a kind of basin with an 
extremely thick edge. The cupule is surrounded by concentric incised circles, 
one ornamented with notches, that make it look as if it were, so to speak, 
graduated, the other with fifteen squares, each subdivided into twelve parts. 

.Side view. 

FROM NABLUS (diameter o"i '86). 

Section (diameter of the central aipide o'n'04). 

What can this strange object have been used for? Was it meant for 
libations of a religious character? It seems very small for such a purpose, 
and the capacity of the cupule is quite insignificant.* I wonder whether by 
chance it was a sekonia, that is to say, a standard of measure of capacity. 

* 2i fluid drachms 

From Jerusalem to Schastc {Sa?iiaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 



A little later I iuund in the possession of a fellah at Sebaste, and bought 
of him, a tiny fragment of an exactly similar vase. It may 
have come from the same place as the other, and matches it 
completely. So then we have not to deal with an isolated 
relic, but an object which must have been in tolerably general 

The second ancient object that I got at Zawata was a small rectangular 
tessera of Egyptian style, measuring o"' '28 X o'" '20, 
and pierced lengthwise to allow of its being hung 
on a strin''. The edsres are milled. On one of the 
sides there is a representation of Anubis, crouching, 
his head surmounted with the- disc, and having a 
pyramid -shaped mark in front of him ; behind him 
is the hawk of Horus, wearing the double crown ; 
lastly, there is a serpent, perhaps the image of the goddess I sis, serving to 
complete the divine triad. On the other side is seen Horus as a child 
(Harpocrates), crouching, carrying his hand to his mouth with the traditional 
eesture of the little Sfod as he issues from the lotus-flower ; in front of him is a 
lotus-stalk, bent. Judging by the style, M. Maspero considers that the object 
must belong to the Ptolemaic period. 

Sebaste. — At Sebaste, where we went to camp, we began by e.xamining 
the ancient church of the Crusaders, principally with regard to tool-marks on 
the stones, and masons' marks. Most of the blocks with level facings have 
the normal diagonal striature. The concave facings of the courses in the 
apses also have it,* whilst in other Crusaders' churches, for instance in the 
church at Abu Ghosh, the striated chisel-marks on the concave surfaces 
approach the vertical, as I have already remarked. The facing of the inner 
south wall has an admixture of stones with the " pock-marking ;" in the outer 
facing of the same wall are several blocks which certainly have not the 
mediaeval marking. The striature on the cylindrical shafts is normal, and 
tends to become nearly vertical. 

M. Lecomte made a sketch of the stone door that lies on the ground in 
the crypt of Neby Yahya (St. John the Baptist), and once perhaps closed the 
entrance to it. It is made of basalt, and divided into four panels handsomely 
carved. Two projecting hinges have been left at top and bottom, the upper 

As in the church at EI Birch (see supra, p. 2S4). 

2 U 


Archaeological Researches in Palestine. 

one longer than the lower. The door has been pierced, after setting- up, with 
two holes intended to receive a bolt. The character of the stone would 
appear to indicate that it was brought ready hewn from the Mauran, where 
basalt doors of this kind are frequently met with. 



' ! 

I'i'h " ° 

Scale, ^'3. 

Section on a-e. 

The two rows of three loculi constructed in the wall at the back were 
perhaps surmounted by a third row, which would make the original number of 
loculi to be nine. 

Sarcophagi.— \w the course of e.xploring the western slopes of the hill on 
which Sebaste was built, we came across a great number of vats and lids of 
sarcophagi belonging to the Greco- Roman period. There was at this place 
a burying-ground, of some size, traversed by the ancient road, which ascended 
to the colonnade, and to-day even passes between the ruins of what appear to 
ht propylcsa, marking one of the principal entrances to the city. To judge by 
the number of the tombs we saw dotted over the surface, a great quantity 
of them must yet be hidden in the ground, and if excavations were under- 
taken at this spot the result would be certainly some interesting finds. All 
the covers are of the same type, being- ornamented with acroteria at the four 
corners and occasionally on the long sides. Several of the vats have an 
ornamental pattern on them. The vats and the covers are of limestone. 
Here follows a list of those we observed, in their order as I noted them in 
my field-book. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 333 

Just at the foot of the hill, fragments of an enormous sarcophagus with a 
head-rest and a piece of a cover, near the mouth of a cistern. 

Some fifty yards higher up, another sarcophagus, with a roof-shaped 
cover. Yet higher, as you mount towards the right, is another group of 
fragments of sarcophagi, one of them carved on one of its longer sides. 

A httle to the left of the tirst sarcophagus, fragments of a cover and of a 
fine cornice. Further on still to the left, a fine cover. A little below to the 
left, another cover. Further on to the left, near a clump of olives, a third 

To the left of the road, yet another group of covers and vats. Not far 
from there, a fragment of an arm of a colossal statue.* 

I had some of the covers turned over, and several half-buried vats cleared 
out, in the hope of finding some inscription, but to no purpose. 

The cemetery was not confined to the west ; it must have extended over 
the other side. In fact, I found more or less mutilated vats and tomb-covers 
on the hill opposite, in the direction of the Arab aqueduct, and as far as the 
neighbourhood of Beit Imrin. 

* The existence of colossal statues at Sebaste is attested by a magnificent marble head found 
some years ago, and taken by me to the Louvre in 1882. (See my Rapports siir une Mission en 
Palestine et en Fhaiicie, Rapport No. 5, p. 58, Plate II, A.) It is a woman's head, in the best 
Greek style, measuring o^'jo from the chin to the roots of the hair. The fragment of an arm 
now under discussion perhaps belonged to the same statue. I regret that we did not make a 
drawing of it, or at all events make a note of the kind of stone. 


Arc hceo logical Researches in Palestine. 

Here are a few specimens of these various funerary remains, which will 
give an idea of the rest : — 

A B 








Fngment of sarcophay;us (with head-rest), sunk vertically in the ground : 

A. Elevation. 

B. Section. 
Fragment of a cover : 

C. Short side. 

D. Long side. 
Fragment of sarcophagus, E. 
Cover : F. Long side. 

G. Short side. 

Cover ; II. Long side. 

L Short side. 

J. Longitudinal Section. 

K. Transverse Section. 
Sarcophagus with decorated sides (upper 
part mutilated) : 

L. Front. 

M. Side. 
Cover : N. One of the longer sides. 

O. The other longer side. 

r. Short side. 

From Jcritsalevt to Scbastc {Santaria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 335 

Finally, about 100 )ards to the cast of Sebaste, we found a twin rock- 
hewn burial cave open to the sky, with a small round hole, also rock-hewn. 
A groove running round the edges of the two graves, which are rectangular, 
and separated by a partition of rock, w-as intended to fit close to the two 
blocks that served as covers. 



I made my men clear out one of the columns in a long rectangular group 
there was of them, in order to ascertain the character and take a side-view of 
the base, all the colonnades at Sebaste being at the present day deeply sunk 
in the soil. The result of the e.xcavation is appended : — 

■70^ /'/,;■//"//■ 



PROFILE OF THE liASE.. Scale 1*5. 

The base itself rests on a bed of hewn stone. 

At another spot in the ruins— I cannot indicate it precisely — we found a 
quadrangular base. The very peculiar shape of this base strikingly recalls 


Archccolocical Researches in Palestine. 

IleiHit, o'-'-eo. 

Front, height im- 18. Side face. 


that of a base of large size discovered at Jerusalem near the arch 

called Ecce Homo. Below is a detailed drawing of the 


There is a certain dissimilarity between the profiles of 
the lower mouldings, but that is all. 

Lec;ends. — Sebaste, the natives say, was formerly called 

Falastin el Kubra, " Falastin 
the Great " (to distinguish it 
from the usual Falastin Ramlch).* It was 
the town of Queen Helena, and she it was 
who brought the water from Nablus to 
Sebaste. When the work was ended, she 
said in the church, " I have brought the 
water with my money and my men," for- 
getting in her pride to add, " with the ht^lp of God." To punish her, God 
caused tht; water to disappear {khasaf) at the village of Nakura, at 'Ain 
Harun. I must confess that I do not quite grasp the meaning of this last 
detail in the legend. As a whole, it may be a faint memory of the Hoods by 
means of which, according to Josephus, John Hyrcanus completed the 
destruction of the town when he took it after a long siege. 

This legend was narrated to me by the inhabitants of the neighbouring 
village, called Beit Imrin and also Beit Niuirin.^ This last variant is 
confirmed by the existence of an eponymous saint, Neby Niiuriiu whose 
sanctuary lies at the bottom of the village. 

Medieval Topography. — In the north-west vicinity of Sebaste is a whole 
group of villages of particular interest with regard to the historical geography 
of the Crusades and the ancient Arabic statements. I have written a separate 
account of them, and can only refer the reader to \\..\ I will merely add here 
that the \-illage of Fcndahhniyeh appears to me to be mentioned by Yakut (in 
the marginal annotations to the Mardsed), only in an altogether mutilated form, 
which misled Mr. Guy Le Strange : " Fiiiiaidik Daiiidyah, a village belonging 
to and lying among the hills of Nablus."§ Anyone who will consider the 

* Cf. supra, p. 195. 

t Cf. the Samaritan Kefr Nemare/i before alluded to (p. 329). 

X Clermont-Ganncau, Rccueil d' Arcliculogic Orientate (188S), p. 326, et segq. : Entre Lad]- 
djotin et Sel'aste. I wish to point out in particular the identification I suggest for the casals 
Age, Loie or Loia, Tare or Lat/iara, Fendeeumia, Setetes, St. Sainuel. 

% Palestine under ttie Moslems, p. 441. 

From Jerusalem to Sebastc {Samaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 337 

original Arabic form given in Lord Lindsay's manuscript, '^A*-^ jjoJ.j, which 
Mr. Le Strange servilely transliterates Ftinaidik Damdyah, will easily convince 
himself that this form must represent a primitive form c'oU Jj>1jJ, Faiiidckilmcia. 
By the aid of this slight correction we get the ancient spelling of the name 
of this spot, which tends to confirm the derivation proposed for it from 
TTei/raww/xia "the five villages," the vocalization of the initial syllable lie being 
ascertained by the combination j-i. 

From Sebustieii (Sebaste) to Lydda. 

On Monday morning we quitted Sebaste, dropping south-west again in 
order to regain the direct road to Lydda, as I was in a hurry to get there in 
order to begin the excavations that I purposed making at el Midieh. 

Deir Seriir. — At Beit Lid we made a deviation so as to look at the ruins 
to which attention had been directed by Lieut. Conder, and which are entered 
on the Map under the name of Deir Serur. 

We did not notice there a single stone bearing the mediaeval tool-marks. 
Below is the plan and section of a rather curious little rock-hewn tomb. 


Sozusa. — The ruins are certainly those of a town of some importance in 
the Byzantine period. It has been proposed to identify Serur with the 
ancient Sozusa, the seat of a bishopric. From the onomastic point of view 
there is no relation between the two names, the forms Sosciiris and Soma's 
that have been adduced in support of the theory, being wrong readings and in 
reality quite valueless. There is therefore plenty of room for guess-work 
concerning Sozusa. Here is a suggestion, or rather two, which I offer for 
criticism, without however claiming for them a certainty which they do not 

2 X 

338 ArcJucokii^ical Rcscarc/ics in Palestine. 

Frequent mention is made in the old Arabic writers of an important 
town situated between Cresarea, Nablus and Ramleli, and called Kcfcr Sclldvi. 
The name of this town, which means literally "the village of the Saviour," 
offers a striking resemblance, as far as meaning is concerned, to the name of 
Sozusa, "she who saves," and one might be rather tempted to identify the 
two towns, which must have been in the same neighbourhood. Kefer Sellam 
has long since disappeared, and unfortunately its name has not come to light 
or its site. We know that it cannot have been far from Kefer Saba, and 
must have been on the direct road from Caesarea to Ramleh.* This does not 
hold exactly good of Deir Serur, which may be, if you will, the same as 
Sozusa, but cannot in any case be Kefer Sellam. Of course, one of the 
consequences of the theory I have hazarded would be to nullify the proposed 
identification of Kefer Sellam and Antipatris, wherever the latter town may 
be located. In order, however, to neglect no aspect of the question, I ought 
to mention a rather singular fact which would lead to the supposition that, 
setting aside the attempted identification with Kefer Sellam, Sozusa inight 
correspond to Arsuf The Greek name of Arsuf was Afio/loiiias, as 
is well known. Now there was in Cyrenaica a town of the same name. 
Apollonia, which during the Christian period changed its pagan name to this 
very name Sozusa; similarly in Thrace another Apollonia became Sozopolis. 
One is naturally led to inquire whether the same thing may not have 
happened to the Apollonias of Palestine, and whether, consequendy, Arsuf 
may not be the bishopric of Sozusa. This onomastic transformation may 
possibly have been facilitated by the existence of the name Apollo Sotcr, 
" Saviour." However this may be, the noticeable fact remains that the town 
Apollonias- Arsuf, though of considerable importance, does not appear on the 
ecclesiastical lists, and that Sozusa is mentioned there in conjunction with 
Joppa, which would harmonize well enough with the geographical position 
of Arsuf 

In any case, whether this lost Kefer Sellam be Sozusa or not, I think we 

* Kefer Sellam is mentioned in a medieval document of the eleventh century under the name 
of Camasalim, tiie context showing that the place could not be far distant from Ranileh. I hope 
I may be allowed here to claim the paternity of this latter identification, which was proposed by 
Mr. Schefer; I had suggested it to hiur at the time when he was printing the Sefer-nameh of 
Nasere Khosrau. Dr. Sepp had gone altogether astray in wanting to identify Carvasalim with the 
village of Kefer Lam, in the direction of 'Athlit. It is certainly the Cafarsalein mentioned in a 
medieval charter of the year 1131 as existing in the country of Ca;sarea, towards Kakim and 

From Jcntsalcii! to Scbasfc (Sa//mr/a), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 339 

need scarcely hesitate to identify it with the Kap/iarsalaiiia''' of I Maccabees 
and Josephus, where Nicanor was defeated by Judas, which has been hitherto 
sought for in vain. This makes it all the more regrettable that the name of 
Kefer Sellam has disappeared from local tradition, and that we arc left in 
such uncertainty as to its exact position. I believe that a fresh investigation 
on the spot would be the means of supplying this want and of recovering the 
lost name. I need hardly add that if Kefer Sellam really is Kapharsalama, 
and if the two represent Sozusa, it becomes as impossible to identify Sozusa 
with Arsuf-Apollonias as Kefer Sellam with Antipatris, Josephus clearh 
distinguishing between Capharsalama, Antipatris, and Apollonias. 

This question is of extreme interest, but very complicated, and I do not 
pretend to go into it deeply. I merely think that I have introduced into it 
certain new data which will have to be reckoned with in order to arrive 
at a definite solution. 

Appearance of the Fcllahtn. — From the lime of our leaving Sebaste I 
noticed a marked difference in the fellahin of the country from those of the 
parts we had hitherto traversed. This difference extends even to the 
costumes, and particularly to the head-dress, which here consists of a tall 
tarbush flopping behind the head, not unlike the cotton cap of the Norman 
peasantry, except that it is red instead of white. 

Kalkilia. — From Deir Serur we proceeded without a halt to Kalkilia, 
where the inhabitants gave us a most cordial welcome. 

Kefer Saba. — At Kefer Saba 1 was told that the ancient name of the 
place was Mitlfik (jXLv-) Saba. Quite near to this place and to Kalkilia 
stand two sanctuaries side by side, one of Neby S'raka, the other of Neb\- 
Yamin. The Jewish pilgrims of the i6th century speak of a so-called Tomlj 
of Benjamin (which -.nitil that time was assigned by Jewish tradition to 
Rumat to the north of Sepphoris) as existing at Sardka. This legend 
evidently relates to these two sanctuaries : Neby Yamin is the l>enjamin in 
question, and Neby S'raka is the epon)mous saint of an ancient locality, 

* Cf. Ttic Kepliar SJiatem of the Ta]inuds, located at one time near Kushitli or En Kusliith, 
at another near Zagdor or Ogdor. 

t Now Klifirhet Rihneh. The tradition attaching to this place has undergone curious 
variations and has changed patriarchs. '.My el Herewy locates there the tomb of Judah ; the 
ancient Jewish pilgrims that of Ucnjaniin, and then that of Reuben. With these substitutions 
before us, we see ]>lainly in what an arliitrary way sacred tomlis of this kind might lia\e been 
assigned to various occupants. (Cf. my J\triieit d'Antilotogic Orieiilalr. 1, [ip. 323, 1/ saj<j.) 



Archctological Researches in Palestine. 

that was still in existence three centLiries agfo* under the name of S' rdka, 

Bir 'Adas. — At Bir 'Adas we made a fruitless search for an inscription 
which the fellahin told us was to be found there. 

liljulid. — We encamped at Jiljulia. Next day we passed by Ras 
el 'Ain, where I examined on the spot the question of Antipatris and other 
points connected with it. I intend in my turn to treat of it one day, as I 
have certain fresh data to introduce which it would take too long to set 
forth here. 

Mejdcl I'ddd.— At Mejdel Yaba I copied the Greek inscription, which 

was first noticed by Van de Velde. 
It is carved within a cartouche with 
triangular auricles, on a great lintel, 
above the door of an old building now 
utilized as a stable. 

The lintel is surmounted by an 
arch, which is very slightly pointed, 
has a keystone, and is blocked up. 
The incongruous position in which the 
lintel is placed would alone suffice to 
show that the whole arrangement is 
heterogeneous, and of no great an- 
tiquity, though the materials themselves 
are ancient. 

The inscription can be read without 
difficulty: MaprvpLOu tov ayiov KrjpvKov, " Chapel of .St. Kerykos." 

St. Kerykos, according to Christian tradition, is a boy martyr, who was 
put to death together with his mother. His cult appears to have had some 
popularity in I^ilestine. According to Johannes Moschus+ there was a 
church dedicated to him at P/msi/ais {i.e., Phasaelis) near the Jordan. + Not 

ljp|:ir]iji|pis:Hin^(ia5iiiiai|i|ipii| ' 



Scale :f\. 

* Can it be the Biiath Serikah (npno) of the Tahiiuds, which is located at one time in the 
neighbourhood of En Kushith or En Kiishi, at another near Borgatha or Barkatha ? 

t PratutH spiri/iiale, ch. 92. This perhaps is the place alhided to in the Roman Martyro- 
logium under date of September 29th : In Palestina sancti Quiriaci anachoretfe. The names 
Ki'jiH'kO', and Kiv-zHkov appear to have become confused. An inscription from Bosra in Nabatrea 
(Waddington, cp. cit.. No. 1920) mentions a monastery of St. Cyriac (Kii/j(*:o'v). 

% It is mentioned among the monasteries destroyed by the Arabs on the 28th of March, 809, 
between the laura of St. Chariton and that of St. Sabas (de Muralt, Essai de Chronogr. Byzantine, 
I, P- 392). 

From Jcnisalcvt to Scbaslc (Samaria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 341 

far from here are some ruins, which the fellahui say belong to an ancient 
church ; it was perhaps the martyrion to which the inscribed hntel belonged. 

Neby Yahyd. — On reaching Mezeir'a, we went to see the curious 
monument of Neby Yahya, which is not far distant, and is well known. 
We had to be content with e.\amining the exterior of the ancient building, 
the interior happening at the time to be full of peasant women in a state of 
nudity, who had converted the place into a bath-house, and hailed us with 
screams of fright. Their perfect ugliness, I must say, was a complete 
justification for their modesty. 

Mirage. — Between Rantieh and el Keniseh we observed to our right, 
in the vast plain that stretches westwards, a magnificent effect of mirage. 
I never saw this phenomenon in .Syria exhibited with such intensity, and in so 
gorgeous a fashion. 


On arriving at Lydda we spent that night there, and also the whole ot 
the next day and the night following. I made some more researches there, 
and append a resume' of them. 

T/ic Church. — We were going to make a fresh examination of the 
ruins of the church of St. George, who bears the title in Arabic of El Idbes 
cdh dhafar, "robed in victory," a translation, apparently, of the proper epithet 
of this Saint, Tpoirai6(f)opo<;, which alludes to his victory over the dragon. 
During this visit I further discovered traces of another pillar of the media;val 
church, belonging to the outer northern row, beneath the eastern lewan of the 
present courtyard. 

Ancient Jcxoish Sepulchre. — I next occupied myself with the ancient 
tomb at Lydda that I had explored in 1S71,* being desirous of making an 
exact plan of it with the valuable assistance of M. Lecomte. I also wanted 
to have another look at the large ossuary with an inscription on it, of which 1 
had formerly taken a squeeze, and to get possession of it, it that might be. 
After considerable hesitation, the owner of the garden where the tomb was 
agreed to let me make an excavation. This time, instead of getting in 
through a hole in the top, as I had had to do previously, we were able to get 

See infra. Appendix, p. 471. 

342 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

in by the proper door, which was now cleared of the earth and stones that 
choked it up. 

Q A 

fc — r 



A. I'lan nf the tomb.' ^' Longitudinal section on A-B. 

C. Cross section of the chamber with the loculi, on C-n. D. Cioss section of the antechamber, on E-K. 

* At G there is a detail marked tliat I cannot remember the nature of, and I forgot to take a 
note of it. 

Front Jcnisalcni to Schastc [Samaria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 343 

The tomb consists of two chambers, entirely built of hewn stones and 
vaulted (semi-circular) roofs. The first chamber, which is reached by 
descending a ilij^ht of steps, was narrower and lower, had no loculi, and 
served in reality as an antechamber to the second, which forms the funerary 
room proper, and communicates with the first chamber by a square door. 
This structure never formed part of a building intended to project above the 
ground ; it is subterraneous, and reproduces in stonework the characteristic 
features of the Jewish rock-hewn sepulchres. The second chamber is square, 
covered with a vault appreciably higher than that over the antechamber, and 
is furnished on its three available walls with nine loculi or kokim arranged in 
threes. The openings of the loculi are square, with blocks above forming 
lintels, except in the case of the middle loculus of the back wall, which is 
covered by a small vault with a semi-circular top formed of three arch-stones. 

I am inclined to think this last-mentioned loculus was the place of 
honour in a family tomb. I was assured that the ossuary, of which I am 
about to speak, was found in it. The general orientation of the tomb, 
according to my observation in 1871, is N. 30^ E. 

The whole of the interior is choked up with earth, which I could not get 
removed. In digging among it, I found a few fragments of ossuaries of soft 
stone, one with traces of ornamentation, and a small ring of blue glass. 

As for the large inscribed ossuary, it is nearly intact, cover and all. Its 
dimensions e.xceed the usual ossuaries that I have come across in Palestine : it 
is over a yard in length. It approaches the size of a small sarcophagus, and 


A. Plan of the ossuary found at Lydda, without the cover. 

B. Cross section, with the cover on. 

C. Longitudinal section of the cover. 

it is a fair question whether it was not really a sarcophagus intended for a 
child. I do not, however, think so, as it displays the chief characteristics of an 


Archceolozical Researches in Palestine. 

ossuary, only it is an ossuary of an unusual kind, both from its size, its 
decoration, and the importance of the inscription cut on it. The receptacle is 
mounted on four small feet forming part of the stone, which is a soft lime- 
stone. The cover is semi-cylindrical, hollowed out inside, and provided at 
the ends with two notches to help in moving it. 

On the four sides are carved in semi-relief various decorative patterns. 

/<■ ^i1■'."-■-S<«'^-.-.*.*^S^' 


1.' ^ ' - d IL'l. 

1 fl- 


B S 




The front side i-: (shown to be so by the position ot the inscription about 
to be described) is ornamented with a sort of colonnade with high narrow 
arches, which appear to be incomplete, and has moreover suffered from the 
ravages of time. There was perhaps a design in the middle as well, but it is 
now impossible to determine this. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samai-ia], taid from Sebaste to Gaza. 345 

The two small sides, left and right (d and f), have two geometrical 
rosettes of different designs, the first of which is inscribed in a hollow square. 
The large rear side o displays two long upright palm-branches between two 
rosettes of geometrical pattern, different from the foregoing. 

Finally, and this is the most interesting feature for us, a long Greek 
inscription is cut on the upper part of the receptacle, quite near the edge. It 
begins on the small side D, and continues along the side e. The copy formerly 
taken of it is incorrect and moreover incomplete, the whole of the beginning, 
which is on the small side, having escaped the notice of those who made the 

This is a transcription made from the squeeze and the copy that I took 
in 1871 : 


W.vpivov ^{eaiTepov) ? Koi MaX^a/o^?, vloJi' 'AKklov St/xaifo? Vw/Sap. 

"of Pyrinos(.'') the younger (.'') and of Malthake, sons (=: children ?) 
of Alkios (son of.-*) Simon (son of?) Gobar." 

Although there is no doubt worth speaking of as to the reading of the 
actual letters, except perhaps in the case of one or two, the interpretation of 
this text presents serious difficulties, connected with the names of the persons 
and the nature of the family ties that united them. I have marked these 
doubtful places by notes of interrogation on the above translation, which 
seems to me the most probable of all the combinations which might be 

I hesitated a long time over the first name, which might conceivably be 
read Uvptvovv, perhaps even TlvpLv0vi^, but finally rejected the latter reading 
after a careful examination of the original. The sixth character can only be 
an O. not a © with the stroke in the centre worn, for in this part* the letters 
are deeply incised, and the middle stroke, if it ever existed, must have left 
more palpable traces. As for Uvptvovv, this would be a name nearly as 
inexplicable as Uvpivdw, at any rate in Greek. Trut', we might say it was 
a Semitic name, but for my part I do not see which to fix upon. In front 
of Koi there is a blank space on the stone, where no letter appears to have 

* On the short side of tlie sarcophagus. On the long side tlie reverse is the case, the 
characters being rather suiierficially cut. 

2 Y 

34^ Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

ever been cut.* All that one can see is very faint traces of a sort of small 
flourish. If it were admitted that there was originally an o in this blank 
space, we might conjecture YlvpivOvv, or Ylvpivow, [6] /cat MaX^aAcjjs, 
" Pyrinthyn, or Pyrinoun, also called Malthakes." Under this hypothesis 
our sarcophagus or large ossuary would only have contained the remains ol 
a single person. In that case, however, vlwv, "sons," in the genitive plural, 
becomes absolutely inexplicable ; we should have to suppose it to be a 
barbarous or an abbreviated form for vtwi'(ei;?) or viwv(o9), "grandson." 
Even then, why have given only the name of the grandfather of the deceased, 
and not his father's name ? Lastly, the form of the name MaX^a/cTj? necessitates 
a genitive construction, which again is already implied by vlwv. In fact 
MakOaKTj'i cannot be; a nominative, it is the genitive of a well-known 
female name MaXOaKy], belonging to the Greco-Jewish personal vocabulary. 
In my opinion therefore we must necessarily take the words to mean "of 
Pyrinus . . . and of Malthake, sons of Alkios, etc." In so doing we conform 
to the general type of Judseo-Greek funerary inscriptions, in which the names 
of the deceased persons are very often in the genitive, as here. 

Here however a new difficulty arises. Malthake is a woman's name, not 
a man's ; we find the name borne by one of Herod's wives, a woman of 
Samaritan oritrin, and amonsf the Greeks it is likewise a woman's name, never 
a man's. More than this, it may be said that it is essentially a woman's name 
by signification, MaXOaKT) being for MaXa/fif, "tender." How does it happen 
then that Malthake, danghter of Alkios, and her brother, are called vXoiv, 
" sons ? " An expression of mixed gender is at least required, such as reKvuw, 
" children." There are only two wajs out of this, cither to suppose that the 
name Malthake might have been borne by boys as well as girls among the 
Jews, a fact of which we have no proof, or else that in this inscription, which 
is of Jewish origin, vlCyv has improperly the force of TeKvuv. This second 
hypothesis would square very well with the general sense of "children," which 
sometimes seems to belong to the Hebrew plural ai^a {cf. the Thcsanriis of 
Gesenius, s.v.). At Palmyra in a family inscriptiont in Palmyrcnian and 
Greek, mention is made of four brothers and their sons (pn"^;i and ^1019), but 
among these so-called sons (pn, vioi) a number of daitg/itcrs appear, mentioned 
byname. In another Greek inscription, likewise from Palmyra.j "the male 

* 'Ihe O that appears in this place on the engraving is due to an arl)itrary interpretation on 
the part of the draughtsman, and no notice need be taken of it. 
t De Vogiie, Syrie Cent rale, Inscr. No 37. 
1 Id. op. cit., No. 71. Cf. n3t p, " male son " (Jer. xx, 15) and ;■/</''.■ u'ju'tm' (Rev. xii, 5). 

From Jerusalem to Scbastc [Samaria), and from Sclnis/c to Gaza. 347 

sons " (titots dpaeai) are specified. Lastly, and most characteristic of all, in 
an epitaph in the Jewish burying-ground at Venosa,*- I find: " Andronicus 
et Rosa,///// Boni." So the word vIol on the Lydda sarcophagus might have 
the general sense of children, by virtue of a sort of Jewish idiom. In this 
case Malthake would remain what it always must have been, a feminine name, 
and we should really be concerned with an epitaph, not of two brothers, but 
of a brother and a sister, lying in the same tomb.t 

As regards the name of the brother of Malthake, with which the 
inscription begins, after much refiection I am decidedly inclined to regard 
it as Uvpifo^. livpivo'i is a Greek word that may have a double meaning : 
(i) "fiery, red like fire" (derived from nvp) ; (2) " of corn, like corn" (derived 
from TTVpos). The name, as borne by a Jew, may perhaps correspond, as 
often happens, to a Hebrew name with a meaning somewhat analogous.^ 
We meet several times with the name IlvppLuo? among purely Greek personal 
names, the original meaning of it appearing to be "red."§ In ;uiy case the 
fact suffices to warrant our recognizing it here. The absence of any doubling 
of the p could be easily justified by numerous instances of this orthographic 

But the name Pyrinos, being regarded as in the genitive on the model of 
Malthakes, is here followed by an N that has to be accounted for : Uvpii^ow. 
I am quite prepared to believe that this N, which is isolated from the word 
next following by a blank space, is an abbreviation for i'{ecoTepov), " the 
younger," an epithet often used in Greek inscriptions to distinguish between 
the younger and elder brothers [irpeafivTepoC), and capable of being shortened 
in various ways : NEIITEP, NEI2TE, NE, N, Nil 'i^id even simply N, as here. 

Two ossuaries at Jerusalem, that I described some time ago.lf prove that 

* Ascoli, Jscrizioni, etc., p. 56, No. 11. 

t I have satisfied myself from the actual inscriptions, that with the Jews a single ossuary 
might in certain cases receive the bones of two persons united by family ties, for instance a 
husband and a wife. Cf. Bc/ioLnniiioi' knl Xi^nVf/Joc, on an ossuary at Jerusalem described in my 
Rapports sur line mission enireprise en Palestine, etc., en 1881, p. 100, Series II, No. 29, and other 
ossuaries besides. 

X Cf. for instance the name p»TS Adinon, which appears in the Talmud, and may be 
connected with 'JiDTS, " red ; " or such names as Uri, Uriel, Uriyah, etc. 

§ Cf. Tlfi>pn'ij'!, masculine proper name, Wvpph'ij, feminine proper name, rii'/j/jos-, and its 
congeners. See : Pape, IVdrferb. d. Gr. Eignnamen, s.vv. 

II Cf for instance, in a Christian inscription at Smyrna (Corp. Inscrip. Gra;carum, No. 3169): 

^ Rapports sur line Mission, etc., iSSi, pp. 100, 102, Seiies II, Nos. 28, 32. 

2 Y 2 

34^ Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

the use of these distinctive epithets was also widespread among the Jews, one 
of them running thus: Tpu^wi^o? irpeafivTepov, "of Tryphon* the elder," the 
other : Bepovrapiov vewrepa';, " of Berutariost the younger." It is also possible 
that in the blank space following this isolated N in the Lydda inscription 
there was a small sign of abbreviation more lightly cut than the letters. At 
times it seems possible to make out in front of the k of the /cat something like 
two dots, not deep ones, it is true, which might also have served to mark the 
abbreviation of the preceding word. 

Thus, by this process of feeling about, we arrive at the reading : " of 

Pyrinos the younger and of Malthake, sons, i.e., children, of Alkios " 

With regard to the father's name, Alkios, I shall merely refer the reader to 
my remarks on the subject already made in speaking of the Gezer inscriptions, 
where it reappears accompanying the Hebrew words "boundary of Gezer." 
Whether the two persons are identical or merely homonymous, it is at any 
rate certain that both of them are of Jewish origin. The name Simon, which 
here follows that of Alkios, is significant enough in this respect. The same is 
true of Gobar, which is palpably a transliteration of a Semitic name or 
surname. We cannot fix exactly the original form of the latter, but it is 
assuredly a derivative from the root 113. Vocalization of the Greek seems to 
lead us to the Aramaic forms 113 j and 1113, § Gubar, akin to the Hebrew 113 
gcber, "man." Now this latter Hebrew word is used as a proper name, 
Ben Gebei'W and Geber, son of Uri'l which warrants the supposition that the 
Aramaic form** was similarly used. Ought we to go further, and assign to 
this name the meaning of "strong, valiant man, hero," which belongs to the 
derivative 1113 gibbor ? 

What it concerns us to know is whether the three names found in 
juxtaposition : 'AX/ctou, St/Awi'os, Toj^dp, indicate three steps of a genealogy : 
" sons of Alkios, (son of) Simon, (son of) Gobar," in accordance with the usual 

* Tpv(/)aH> is the origin of the name TarJ'hun, borne by several ancient rabbis. 

t Note this name, quite masculine in form, but borne by a woman. 

X The existence of this singular is implied in the plural "13? and S^'l^.J, which appears in 
Dan. iii, 8, 12, etc. Cf. the Talmudic form of the name of the town Beth Gubrin, |naiJ. 

i^ Form found in the targums. 

II I Kings iv, 13. 

*\ I Kings iv, 19. Given as rdlie/i in the Septuagint and r«/in'/<i/v in Josephus. 

"** To the same onomastic group may also be assigned the name Gabriel, and Viiiifua^ which 
appears in the Book of Tobit. I may just remind the reader of the Persian names Twftnpi^'i 
(cf. YucfiufH^) and Yufipia^. 

From Jcrusali'iii to Scbastc {Samaria), ami from Sebaste to Gaza. 349 

Greek construction, which expresses the patronymic by the simple genitive ; 
or else, having in view the custom of double names that prevailed among the 
Jews, we might interpret either: "sons of Alkios Simon, (son of) Gobar," or 
"sons of Alkios, (son of) Simon Gobar." I leave the question wrapt in 

The palaeography of our inscription has a very special interest for us, 
because of the chronological problem that arises if it be connected with the 
Gezer texts already discussed. The characters are not of the cursive kind 
like those of ordinary inscriptions on ossuaries, they are proper lapidary 
characters. The A, W , and C recall the shapes of the letters on the coins of 
Herod Agrippa. From the end of the first century B.C. the forms W, C 
prevail, as is well known, in Egypt and in Syria. The crescent-shaped sigma 
(C) is already to be found on a coin of the Hasmonsean prince Antigone, 
40-37 B.C. In C1/AWV09 the /x tends to the form AA, which is more archaic 
than M. Everything considered, I think there are no obstacles, from a 
palaeographical point of view, to locating our inscription about the end of the 
first century before our era. 

If, as I suppose, we have here an epitaph on two persons, a brother and 
a sister, it follows that we must regard the repository of their remains not as a 
small sarcophagus but a large ossuary. 

The exploration of this very important sepulchre took us several hours, 
and was a most troublesome task. The heat was suffocating inside, and we 
came out bathed in perspiration. However, we had to go just as we were 
without changing, along with the owner, Daud Hajir, who insisted on our 
joining him at his family meal, a repast in the open air, and not particularly 
enticing. I accepted, because I hoped I could induce him to let me have this 
precious ossuary for a reasonable sum. He had offered it me three years 
before for about thirty piastres, but his ideas on the subject had undergone a 
remarkable expansion. Finally, at dessert, he told me that, as he was in 
debt, he was willing to sell the garden with the article in question, and I 
might take the offer or leave it. Some years later the French vice-consul at 
Jaffa persuaded him to listen to reason, and the relic is now added to the 
collections in the Louvre. 

Neby Danian. — Next day we went to Neby Danian, where M. Lecomte 
made a sketch of the large tomb-cover that I had noticed there in 1S71.* 

Sec infra, Appendix. 


ArctuEological Researches in Palestine. 



- ,BI'll 


B. Plan (as seen fiom above). C. Side elevalion (long side). 

D. Side elevation 
(short side). 

I was ao-ain told, what I h;i.d noted the time before, that the ancient 
name of the spot was Kufiir Tab. It was occupied some thirty years since 
by a band of fellahin from Rafat (near Ram Allah). This is a fresh e.xample 
of those migrations which have to be guarded against in Palestine, and may 
exercise considerable influence on toponymy, by contributing either to the 
disappearance of ancient names, or even, in some cases, to the appearance of 
new ones, which is worse still, and calculated to disorganize the process of 
topographical exegesis. It was from this time that the place began to lose its 
name of Kufur Tab.*' 

The Toioer of Randeh. — On our way back we stopped at the Tower of 
Ramleh, called the Tower of the Forty Martyrs, where we noted some stones 
with the mediaeval dressing, and bearing ma.sons' marks. (See the Special 
Table in Vol. I.) 

Sundry Itcuis. — Miscellaneous data gathered at Lydda from the 
natives : —  
—  The old road (a Roman way) which goes to Jerusalem by way of Kiileh, 
Lubban, 'Abbud, etc., is called Er Rsif ^^^J.\ that is to say, '^the paved 
causeway." The road that goes by Jifneh, Jalazun, el Btreh, Er Ram, 
K'bur el 'Amal'ka.t and Jerusalem, is called Tarik es Seisaneh {Z\^^J.\ J-;,)^), 
"the horses' road." These two appellations, which are taken from the 
technical terms of camel-drivers, are curious, and doubtless ancient. The 
second contains a word, seisaneh. which must not be confounded with seisaneh 
(I took particular notice that it was seisaneh), plural of sd'is. "ostler," and 
which seems to be connected with the Hebra^o- Aramaic sils, susd, ''" 

Boundaries of Lands. — The boundaries of the lands belonging to all 

* In this place in my note-book I see I have written down the name Djemal ed Din in 
connection with the place called 5/;?//(Z {see infra, p. 472); but I cannot now remember the 
reason of this scanty note. 

t The camel-driver from whom I had this information must certainly have meant by this 
legendary name, " the tombs of the Amalekites," something different from the K'biir Bene Isram 
near Hizmeh, probably the Tombs of the Judges, or rather, the K'biir el Muliik, as the road, 
which he briefly described, does in fact pass by them. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 351 

the villages in Palestine are minutely set forth, it is said, in a kind of great 
catalogue called El Kitr7uniyeli, or El Kddeh, which is in the care of 
Mohammed Dervvish, at Jerusalem. In case of dispute, the fellahin refer 
to him as their authority. I have not been able to assure myself of the 
correctness of this statement, and I earnestly beg those who are in a position 
to do so to supply the needed information. It is unnecessary to add that if 
such a document is really in existence, it would be of priceless value for 
the study of topography, and would partly compensate for there being in 
Palestine no counterpart of the valuable cadastral ruk, which has been 
preserved in the case of Egypt. 

The fellahin of Syria, like all peasants, attach great importance to the 
delimitation of their lands. With this view they adopt various expedients, 
probably of immemorial antiquity. In addition to the more or less rudimentary 
stone landmarks, rujfim, etc., they make use of underground marks consisting 
of egg-shells and pieces of charcoal buried at a great depth. In case of 
dispute they dig down, and the; affair is settled by these indications, which, 
they say, remain permantMitly white and black. In order to find the spot 
again they plant over it a thorny sider, which is extremely hardy and always 
grows up again if injured. As early as the Koran this same tree is spoken of 
as forming a landmark (indicating the boundary of heaven, to the right of the 
throne of God). In other parts the fellahin told me that the tamarisk was 
used for the same purpose. The reader is requested to take particular note 
of this point, as I shall shortly have occasion to refer to it In the Middle 
Ages mention is made in the regulations instituted or confirmed by the 
Crusaders* of similar devices, involving the use of stones and bits of charcoal. 
The Talmud also says that boundaries are marked by stones and by hasubotli, 
a tree or plant with a root that strikes vertically, which was said to have been 
used by Joshua to mark the boundaries of the land of Israel. 

The Tree of Jh^er-Slieba. — I could mention numbers of i:)arallel instances 
of these customs from the various notes I have collected, t but that would 

* Assises of Antiocli (Armenian text), p. 38. In tlie charters of the Crusaders there are 
curious details about the traditional boundaries of the lands they treat of. In order to determine 
them, recourse is often had to the old fellahin of the neighbourhood. At times crosses or signs 
were cut on the rocks, which may help to explain the origin of tiie m.nrks we sometimes notice in 
such places. 

t This practice is moreover ancient and universal. For instance, in ihe laws of Manu it is 
said that secret marks ought to be Innicd in the ground to fix landmarks, which may be the 
subject of dispute (ihrough the possihilily of llicir being displaced), such as clia>\-oa!, pel>bles, aslies, 
bricks, sand, etc. .Mso large trees of certain species should be p! int^'d there. 

35- ArcJurological Researches in Palestine. 

take me out of my way. I will merely ijoint out one small matter of exegesis 
on which I think the rustic tradition still current throws unmistakable light. 
This is the story of the tamarisk planted by Abraham at Beer-Sheba : "And 
he planted a tamarisk* in Beer-Sheba, and called there on the name of the 
Lord, the everlasting God."t This is not, as has been generally supposed, | a 
case of a purely religious act, which would point to the existence among the 
Hebrews of a worship paid to sacred trees. The tree placed in the ground 
by the pious patriarch was not put there in a casual sort of way. Abraham 
had a more practical motive for doing it, one that the Bible narrative hardly 
thinks it necessary to mention explicitly, but which seems to me to result 
clearly from the following considerations. 

First, what were the circumstances of this planting, which seems at first 
sight to happen so unexpectedly ? Immediately after the treaty of alliance 
concluded at Beer-Sheba between Abraham and Abimelech, King of Gerar, 
after a dispute among their followers for the possession of a well in the 
neighbourhood. This treaty is accompanied by every kind of ceremony 
calculated to perpetuate the memory of it. The planting of the tree in my 
opinion is directed to this same commemorative end ; it is just simply a detail 
artlessly and faithfully borrowed by the narrator from old popular customs, 
which, as I have just pointed out, still survive among the autochthonous 
peasantry of Palestine. And now for the proof. 

The tree in question, the tamarisk, is called in the Hebrew text ^-.j/zr/ 'Tw-'h^, 
which is exactly, species for species and word for word, the cthcl or c thick, 
JJU cUjU of Syrian Arabic, that is to say one of the two trees used by the 
fellahin as living witnesses, so to speak, of the harmony prevailing when a 
boundary is fixed, and as landmarks of the boundary itself Such, I think, is 
the function we should assign to the tamarisk of Abraham, a tree planted in 
consequence of an arrangement about the po.ssession of a disputed territory. 
The invocation of the name of Jehovah performed by Abraham on planting 
the tree, is of no more consequence than the hisniillah of the Mussulman 
peasant as he plants an ethleh with a similar object. Thus, the sanctity that 
may have attached to the tamarisk of Abraham belongs essentially to the 

* Genesis xxi, 33. The account of this incident begins at v. 22, and the whole should be 
read in order to understand the new meaning that I assign to it. 

t In the A. v., "tree " (margin, "or grove"). (Translator's note.) 

; See, for instance, von Baudissin, Studien zur semilisc/ieti Gesctiuhte, II, p. 218. 

FrotH Jerusalem to Sebaste {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 353 

same category as that which attaches to any memorial erected to commemorate 
an agreement, for instance, a boundary-stone, which may be venerated qua 
boundary, and not necessarily qua stone {baitulion). 


On Friday morning we left Lydda for el Midieh, where I had made up 
my mind to excavate thoroughly the so-called Tomb of the Maccabees. 


'//. •" 



'I. A 

C>' ^ 





A. Plan of the tomb. B. Section on a-b in the plan. 

C. Elevation of the entrance (inner side). 

2 Z 


ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

Harvest being over, there could be no longer any objection on the part of the 
fellahin. I took with me my old friend Daud Abu Hanna, who had acted 
as my middleman when I w^as treating with them before, and whose devoted 
assistance was again to stand me in good stead. 

Ornamented Sepulchre. — We stopped by the way at Khurbet Zakariyeh, 
Khiirbet el Kelkh and el Habis, to make plans of the various remains that I 
discovered there in 1871.* 

We occupied ourselves first of all with the fine rock-hewn tomb with 
carved facade. The entrance, which I had had cleared three years before, 
was now obstructed by a decaying carcase, which made our work most 
irksome ; moreover the heat inside was stifling. The engravings will give 
an exact notion of this remarkable tomb. The inner chamber, which has 
five arcosolia, must originally have been lined with a layer of stucco, traces 
of which we found here and there. It is choked up with soil and stones. 
The bird carved on the tympanum of the triangular pediment of the facade, 
over the entrance, must be an eagle. This ornament recalls those on certain 
Nabataean tombs of the first century b.c. and the first century A.D.+ The 
whole of the architectural decoration is most carefully executed. 


D. Section on c-D. 

E. Elevation of the entrance (outer side). 


* See infra, Appendix. 

t See the plates of Mr. Charles Doughty's work : 
nord de. T Arable'' 

' Documents epigraphiques recueillis dam le 

From Jeriisalem to Sebaste (Samana), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 355 

I ."'ilt ' / ■..UKllt" _*■'■ \ •t*M I 1 ) t ' ■. 

Scale t.'tj. 

■■';^ - 1^ '-■'111 ■in;'i(;"(|i| 

'' III - -il 

'. V'l 

■'■1 '\;m['") 



Scale -iV- 

Scale J3. 

F. Detail of the entrance. 

H. Profile of the moulding over the pediment. 

G. Profile of the moulding on the coping of the pcd'ment. 
I J K. Capitals of the engaged pilasters in the interior. 

Inscribed Tomb. — I next searched for the tomb where I had formerly 
copied a Greek inscription, and found it with some trouble. It consists of 

2 z 2 


Archceological Researches in Palestuie. 

two loculi with demi-cupolas, joined together, access being gained by a square 
opening hollowed out of the horizontal surface of the rock. 

Plan. Section on D-E. 


Each of the vaults has a cross carved on it ; one of them, shown by 
the section on ii-i. 

Section on f-g. 

Scale - 

Section on h-i. 

has in addition a short Greek inscription consisting ot two words, accompanied 
by crosses, the whole being deeply incised : Miyxopiv rea)pyto(u), " Tomb of 
George." Mt/xo/Dtt- is for [i.-r\\L6piov, a hybrid Latin and Greek word already 
familiar to us in Christian funerary epigraphy.* 

Inscribed Font. — Last of all I turned my attention to a fine baptismal 
font with an inscription, which latter I had taken a squeeze of and copied on 
the previous occasion. Here is a facsimile of it. 

* This tomb is very like one of those at K'bfir cl YahQd which I describe further on (p. 375, 
A B c D E f). . ' " , 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Sajnaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 357 

' ^'V'liffT' JTmrrr'T 



Top view. 

This font is made of a large cylinder of " mizzeh " stone, carefully polished, 
and about three feet high ; the basin is hollowed out in the shape of a four- 
lobed cross, formed by four intersecting circles. At the bottom of the basin 
a hole has been made to let off the water. On the upper side has been 
carved a Greek inscription of one line. It is rather carelessly cut, and is 
moreover defaced by pieces being chipped off ; therefore certain portions, 
towards the end especially, present some difficulty in deciphering. 

►J^ 'Tntp crcjTT]p(La<;) "ZaxjipovTJai; (sic) (/cat ?) dj'a7r(ai;cre(U? ?) 
BayD[i]T^a *.... + fxov t ( ^) 

" For the salvation of Sophronia, and (?) for the rest(?) of Baricha(?) . . . 

* The io/a is doubtful. 

t Here, a lacuna of about four letters. 

+ After I directed attention to this monument, it was seen and described by Frfere Sejourne 
(Revue Bibliqiie, 1892, p. 123; cf. 1893, p. 212). His copy of the inscription is not quite 
correct and is incomplete in the latter part. On the other hand, his numbered drawing api)ears 
to have been very carefully done ; he gives i°''56 as the diameter of the object and o"9o as its 

358 Arclueological Researches in Palestine. 

The deceased person, Barcha, or Baricha — the name has a very Semitic 
look — whose memory is associated by Sophronia with her dedication, was 
perhaps her son or husband ; there is room for some such word as viov before 
\x.ov, if this latter word is the personal pronoun, "of me." In this case, 
however, there would be a very sudden transition from oratio obliqua to 
oratio recta, so one may ask whether [lov is not the last syllable either of a 
patronymic, or a substantive, expressing some degree of relationship. 

El Midieh and Modin. 

On arriving at el Midieh I immediately entered into negotiations with the 
peasants to begin the excavations. The process was laborious, but at length 
came to an end, thanks to the intervention of Abu Hanna, who had had 
dealings with the inhabitants before. We agreed upon the indemnity to be 
paid to the owners of the ground, and the wages of the workmen. I took 
on about a score, but had to more than double the number within the next 
few days in order to satisfy all demands and avoid spiteful opposition. This 
gang of lazy, clumsy fellows, ill-provided with tools, was extremely difficult to 
keep going. We had constantly to be at them to get any work out of them. 
The operations lasted from Saturday the 12th to Friday the 1 8th of September. 
I had to be away for two days of this time, being summoned to Jerusalem 
on important business, and the superintendence of the work devolved entirely 
upon M. Lecomte, who was admirably seconded by our trusty Abu Hanna. 
The owner of an old fig-tree that had grown into the interior of the principal 
chamber remained for some days so deaf to reason, that in order to make him 
lessen his claims, I diplomatically kept the clearance of that chamber till the 
last, pretending meanwhile that 1 had given up the idea. The manoeuvre 
succeeded, and the fellah, thinking I had made up my mind on the matter, 
finally consented for a reasonable backsheesh to sacrifice the tree, I fancy 
there was some superstitious tradition connected with it. In order to get on 
faster we set light to the tree, and also to the brushwood round it. The 
flames dislodged an enormous black snake, which had taken up its abode in 
one of the loculi invaded by the roots of the fig-tree. I had already noticed 
the presence of this genius loci in the course of the partial excavation that I 
made in 1871. This time he did not manage to get away, and our men 
despatched him with their shovels. 

From feinisale))! to Sebaste [Saniaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 359 

One day we had rather a fright. An effendi came riding up, accompanied 
by two Government troopers. I dreaded a repetition of the disagreeable 
episode at Gezer, but luckily I got off this time with nothing worse than my 
alarm. The effendi, a son of the mufti of Jaffa, farmed the tithes of el Midieh, 
Na'lin and other villages in those parts, and was come in person to see to 
their collection. He proved to be very good-natured, and did not worry us 
about the excavations, so we were able to go on with them without restriction. 

The Name. — The fellahs gave me confused and conflicting information 
as to the name of the ruined building that I had undertaken to thoroughly 
explore. Besides the names Gherbdwy and Gherbdzvy Abu Stibha, which 
have been already noted," it is called Beit Glibirreh, El Khiirbeh, and 
el KufriyeJi. GJibirreh, according to some, is the plural of Gherbdwy ; but, 
according to others, the name of a certain Glibirreh, father of Gh'bdr, the 
owner of the famous fig-tree that had cost us so much trouble. This tree 
was said itself to be a shoot from an old stump of much greater antiquity, 
belonging to the personages above mentioned. It was called Tint sitt 
Gh'birreh. "the fig-tree oi sitt Gh'birrch." The name is quite ambiguous, 
and I could not make out whether sitt was the word meaning " My lady," and 
used to denote a holy woman (this was the idea of several of the fellahin, who 
told me that sitt Gh'birreh was a "female dervish") ; or whether it was the 
word sitt, "six," so that one should take the expression to mean the six 
Gh'birreh (Gh'birreh being reckoned a plural). In the latter event some 
argument might be derived from this name in favour of the identity of the 
building with the mausoleum of the Hasmonaean brothers.! 

Modin. — Before going on with the description of the monument as the 
excavation revealed it to our gaze, I will state succinctly the condition of the 

It is Father Emmanuel Forner, Latin Vicar of Bethlehem, who appears 
to have first, in 1866, conceived the idea of identifying the name and site 
of el Midieh with those of the Modin of the Maccabees, for which various 
suggestions had been confidently put forward. The identification appears 

* This latter by the Survey ; the fellahin did not mention it to me. 

t Among the derivatives of the root _xji there is one, *1 _xx , ghabra, which has the 
two-fold meaning of "earth " and "tomb" (cf. the same double meaning of h J, turbeh). Taking 
the latter meaning, one might consider whether Sitt Gh'birreh may not have originally signified 
"the six tombs." However, all this remains most obscure. 

360 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

extremely plausible, and I think I have myself contributed a few new 
arguments of a toponymic nature tending to confirm it.* 

Three years later M. Sandreczki.t for his part, arrived at the same 
conclusion. He further inclined to recognize the tombs of the Maccabees in 
the K'bur el Yehud, of which we shall shortly have occasion to speak. In 
1870 M. Guerin, whose attention had been drawn to this problem by Frere 
Lievin, took it up in his turn, and announced that he had discovered in the 
ruined building of el Gherbawy the genuine mausoleum of the Maccabees, 
with characteristic traces of the famous pyramids that surmounted it, and even 
bones presumed to have belonged to members of the illustrious Hasmonsean 
family. The announcement of this discovery caused a great sensation, but 
it was in reality far removed from the certainty with which M. Gudrin invested 
it, and to say the least the indications that he relied on, and that he had noted 
somewhat loosely, were highly debateable, as we shall see. I believe he 
allowed his imagination to run away with him, taking a hint from a suggestive 
passage in the Guide of Frere Lievin. In that work, Frere Lievin, in 
speaking of the ruins of el Midieh, which he, following Father Forner, 
identified with Modin, expressly mentions " a rectangular ruined structure, 
the history of which could only be learned by excavating it.";]: If one day 
it comes to be proved that this structure is identical with the celebrated 
Mausoleum, it will really then be Frere Lievin who ought to have the credit 
of it, just as the credit of having identified el Midieh and Modin belongs to 
Father Forner. As regards the latter point, it may even be said that 
M. Guerin passed by the truth without seeing it, for he actually visited el 
Midieh on his first tour in Judsea in 1863, § and mentions it in his report 
under its correct name, but without suspecting in any wise its importance. 

However this may be, M. Guerin in the year 1870, after a superficial 
clearance of the ruins in question, thought he detected the existence of a large 
building, in shape a rectangular oblong, appearing to be divided into seven 
contiguous chambers, one for each member of the Hasmonaean family. The 

* The form of the ethnic, cf. supra, p. 89, and infra, p. 376. 

t Quarterly Siateim-nt, 1870, p. 245. 

X Frere Lievin, Guide indicateur des sa/tctuaires et lieux historiques de la Terre Saitite, 
(ist edition) (p. 43, note), Jerusalem, 1869. 

§ Arc/lives des missions scientifiques, 1864, I, i""^ serie, p. 405 : "el Mediah Lj^l, a small 
village of 250 inhabitants, on a hill." Cf. p. 380 : "I have gone through all the ruins of Lydda, 
and not one was pointed out to me unth a name remotely resembling Modin. This celebrated 
name has therefore died out in Palestine." ( 1 ) 

Front Jonsalou to Scbasfc [Samaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 361 

first chamber, on the east contained, he thought, a funerary trough hewn in 
the rock, and had two entrances, north and south ; the six other chambers 
were similarly arranged. M. Mauss, who made a plan of the building at the 
request of M. Guerin, considered, on the contrary, that there were only tive 
chambers, the first and the last, at the two extremities, containing two troughs 
each, to the right and left, and the three intervening chambers a single one 
each ; which would make the total as before seven tombs, to which figure 
essential importance appears to be generally attached. 

Further, having noticed certain recesses on the upper side of a slab 
belonging to the ceiling of the eastern chamber, as well as on two blocks of a 
transverse wall situated about halfway up the rectangle, these gentlemen 
concluded that these recesses were intended to admit the base of the pyramids 
surmounting the building. I will content myself with mentioning the many- 
coloured mosaic cubes, and the fragments of bones which M. Guerin took to 
be " the ashes of the heroic and holy old man Matathias, who, being the first 
to die. had probably occupied the first sepulchral chamber of the mausoleum." 
The reader will in a few moments be able to judge of the worth of these 
various hypotheses. 

— Let us consider, first of all, the general bird's-eye view and the 
longitudinal section of the building in dispute as it was laid bare by our 
excavations, which extended down to the rock, and were conducted with all 
requisite precautions. I lay stress on this latter point in order to controvert 
certain insinuations made by M. Guerin. 

We notice, at the first glance, a kind of long parallelogram, with an 
evident tendency to an east-and-west orientation, divided into four contiguous 
chambers without any direct communication between them. On inspecting 
our plans more closely, it immediately appears that we have to distinguish in 
this whole two quite different parts, which must have been built on two 
distinct occasions, and, to all appearance, at two periods separated by a 
noticeable lapse of time. The primitive portion forms the parallelogram, o{ 
which the angles are numbered i, 2, 3, 4. This primitive portion has had 
later additions made to it, prolonging it westwards. Although in the course of 


■• ^ -' ■'' v ^■' '■ -4 ' s *'^'^''^— -w^s-^s^ '^io^'"' ' 

, fl""'',' I. 






Fi-oi)i JcnisalcD! to Scbaslc {Sa))iaria). and from Sr/xis/i' lo (iaza. 36- 





this prolongation tlic line of the north and south walls has been adhered to, the 
join is conspicuous, and the straight joint at (2) and (3) 
plainly indicates the outer angles of this first building. 
The side elevation, o-p on the jjlan, will conclusively 
establish this essential point, and at the same time show 
the general appearance of the north side in its whole 
length, the respective levels of the rock and of the courses, 
and various details which I will proceed to mention. 

Let us first confine our attention to the primitive 
parallelogram i, 2, 3, 4. 

I will begin by drawing the reader's attention to a 
point marked 5 on the south side, where there is a lower 
ij course of masonry, which was a bottom course, and 
^ deviates from the general direction of this south side, 
■^- forming an appreciable angle with it. This deviation is 
= remarkable. Does it point to a still earlier state of the 
E buiding than that in which we now see it ? I cannot 
:; undertake to say, but assuredly it is significant of something. 
2 Along the small (east) side certain vestiges of masonry 
^- are also to be noticed. They are not so apparent, but may 
- point to an eastern extension or addition at some period. 
y The primitive parallelogram i, 2, 3, 4 is divided into 

i; two chambers of unequal size, separated l)y a thick wall, 
z which completely isolates the one from the other. The 
■■i smaller and more interesting cf these chambers, which 
occupies the eastern extremity of the parallelogram, is 
(juadrilateral. It is a burial chamber, with its entrance 
opening out of the north wall. This door, which is high 
and narrow, was surmounted by a semi-circular arch, 
formed of three lartre arch-stones, that fell down durintj 
the excavations, and are depicted in their original position. 
The lateral elevation o-p shows this doorway as seen from 
the outside. The section on i-j (p. 364) gives a view of it 
seen from inside as you look to the north. 'i"he reader will 
notice the groove cut to receive the leat ol the door, 
which opened inwards. 

3A 2 


Arclucological Researches iii Pa/es/iiie. 

-- ,jx:T^s^'^_ 

SECTION ON i-i. Scale ^,. 

The entrance must have had in front of it a vestibule formed of two 
thick walls to right and left, meeting the north front at right angles. Outside, 
on a level with the threshold of the door, we found some fragments of mosaic 
consistino; of cubes of small size, indicating: that the vestibule had a mosaic 
pavement. In the exterior angle formed by the west side of the perpendicular 
wall and the principal front was the shaft of a monolithic column (v), standing 
upright, and certainly not in situ. 

The chamber to which access is obtained by this door contains on each 
of the a\'ailab]e sides a lunerarv loculus, makinQ- three in all. 


Fro»i fi'nisali'Di lo Sc/xis/c [Samaria), and froDi Scbastc to Gaza. 365 

SaiC^ <^l 

, -^ W'l III 

— *.■ . 




The lower part is hewn out in the rock, the upper 
part buik of squared stones. The floor of the chamber, 
in which the rock is visible, was covered with a mosaic 
pavement, of which only traces here and there are left. 
The roofs of the loculi were formed of o^reat slabs restino- 
on quadrant shaped blocks that acted as brackets. 

Most of these slabs, which must have covered the SmIc^'tt- 

whole of the vault, have disappeared ; the chamber has been broken down 
and blocked up with soil and with the great fig-tree which had extended its 
roots into the eastern luirial trough. The sections below, if compared with 
the foregoing, will give a better idea of this arrangement than any description 
could do. 

'"*>,■■ - ~ 

ski; I KIN ON i-;-F. Scole 


^-l rc/iiTo/iiQica/ Researches in Pa/esline. 


1 m^i 

Scale - 

SBcriON ON c-D. Scale -j-Tiir- 

The front wall (7 on the plan) of the eastern trough q must originally 
have been recessed in the rock, like those of the two other troughs. It has 

been partly destroyed, and restored by the aid 
of a slab placed edgewise, and the intervals 
filled up with rubble and miscellaneous debris, 
containing among other things a fragment 
covered with plaster. 

The rtoor of the sepulchral troughs was 
paved with coloured mosaics. M. Guerin had 
already secured some scattered cubes from 
the floor of the western trough, and I am afraid that the spades of his 
workmen have destroyed the whole of which they formed part. We also 
found traces of mosaic in the southern trough, not, in this case, in a state of 
disorder, but in patches still /;/ situ : we could not, however, make out the 
scheme of the decoration. 

This is not true of the eastern trough [n on the general plan), which, 
having been partly preserved by the famous fig-tree, afforded us a find which 
throws a bright light on the origin of these much debated buildings. While 
cautiously clearing this trough of the soil that choked it up, I found to my 
ijreat delight an almost intact mosaic coverinof the whole of the fioor of it. 

The engraving (n) shows the plan of this trough, which is hollowed out 
in the rock, together with the projecting head-rest on the south side formed 
by leaving" a portion of the rock uncut, and indicating the position of the head 
of the deceased. The mosaic, which is preserved almost entire, stops at the 
head-rest, and must have extended to the place occupied by the feet. It is 
formed of small cubes of white stone. On this floor, just below the head-rest, 

From fcnisa/ii/i hi Scbas/c {Saiiiai-ia). and from Scktslc to Gaza. 367 

there appears a fine cross, of the shape called iininissa, which certainly cannot 
be earlier than the fifth century, and may be of distinctly later date (a). 



.Scale -iV- 

Scale -'- 

A. Details of the Mosaic of cl Ghcrbawy, showing the Cross and the Ilcad-icst D. 

15. Plan of the Tiouijh hollowed out in the Rock. 

C. Detail of the Bordcf .\, showing the Fitting of the Mosaic Cubes. 

Its exterior outline is marked by a row of dark green cubes. Its four 
arms are ornamented with alternate red, white and yellow bands. At the 
intersection of the two arms is a yellow square with a small white square 
in the centre of it. The engraving (c) shows exactly the arrangement of 
the cubes. 

It is very probable that the two other troughs were ornamented with 
mosaic crosses similar to these, and that this ornamentation was contempo- 
raneous with the laying down of the mosaic on the floor of the chamber and 
of the vestibule. 

The unexpected discovery of this symbol, belonging as it does to an 
advanced period of Christianity, in the deepest part of a structure which had 
been thought to contain not only the Tombs of the Maccabees but even their 
relics, naturally calls in question the too hasty conclusions which had been 
arrived at from insuOicient ob.servation. This structure, whatever it may be, 

368 Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

must Iicnceforth be regarded as not earlier than our era, at any rate in its 
present shape. However, before I return to this unavoidable conclusion, I 
will Imish describing the rest of the structure. 

The large chamber next the one just described and occupying the 
remaining portion of the primitive parallelogram, afforded no trace of tombs, 
though we cleared it right down to the rock. The two irregular depressions 
and the small rectangular basin without any depth to speak of, which we 
found in the rock, can never have been utilized as tombs. The partial 
sections on g ii and m n will give an idea of the interior arrangement 


SECTION ON M-N. Scale yi^j. 

of this chamber. It seems originally to have com- 
municated with the outside by a small door opening 
on the north side. Above the left upright we found 
the first stone of a semicircular arch, which may 
have formed part of it, but does not appear to be 
in situ. Outside, indications of a wall, not such a 
thick one as those forming the vestibule of the 
eastern chamber, join perpendicularly the wall of the facade, in a line with 
the left upright of the doorway. Inside, against the eastern side, was a 
rather badly built vaulted structure, now in part destroyed, beginning at the 
north wall and probably reaching the south wall. The western wall, forming 
the boundary of the primitive parallelogram (from 2 to 3 on the plan), is 
capped by two blocks t and s, the latter of which has been displaced, which 
display groved recesses on their upper side corresponding with each other. 
It was ih'xs grooving, according to MM. Guerin and Mauss, that admitted the 
bases of the famous pyramids which play so important a part in their scheme. 
This hypothesis will not bear looking into. In order to appreciate it at its 
proper value, it is sufficient to consider the small size of these insignificant 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 369 

recesses, and the level of the blocks that bear them, which level is sensibly 
lovoer than that of the ceiling over the eastern chamber. 

These gentlemen assigned the same signification to another recess 
existing on the upper side of one of the slabs (u) covering the western 
loculus of the eastern chamber. Now we have ascertained beyond doubt that 
this latter groove is merely one that existed in the rock before the block in 
which it appears was cut out in the quarry. It has no connection with the 
grooves on the blocks s and t. 

It is hardly necessary to add that the base of the supposititious pyramid 
would have rested, according to this system, directly on the ceiling of an 
almost subterranean chamber, and would have been insecurely supported on 
thin slabs suspended over an empty space and liable to break beneath the 

The western portion of the building is, as I have said, evidently of later 
construction, joined on to the primitive parallelogram which stops at the line 
2 — 3. The join is everywhere apparent, and it belongs probably to a late 
period ; the walls are very carelessly built and are not of the same thickness 
as those of the primitive parallelogram. We even found towards the western 
end of the south wall, at the spot marked k, a slab that had been removed 
from the ceiling of the ancient eastern chamber and used as building material, 
perhaps by the Arabs. 

ELEVATION ON K L (S.W. ANGLE). .Scale -f^. 

This second part is composed of two chambers touching one another, 
each having a door opening out in the north front. The smaller and more 
easterly of these chambers is divided into two by a low wall formed of a 
few small blocks placed together ; we noticed there an excavation in the 
rock (6) too irregular to have belonged to a tomb. 

The last chamber, which is larger than the foregoing, is likewise divided 
into two by a low wall formed of blocks laid together ; a part of the floor is 
covered by four large slabs. These two last chambers, as well as the larger 
and older one which divides them from the first chamber of the eastern end, 
seem to have served at one time for dwelling-houses or store-rooms. We 


ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 


PLAN. Scale 

found there a piece of a bracelet of Arab glass-ware, and, what is more 
significant in this connection, a fragment of a basalt millstone. 

Besides these, the excavations did not lead to the 
discovery of any really interesting object, except a small 
figurine of bronze which seems to represent a recumbent 
quadruped, perhaps a ram(?), and a frag- 
ment of white moulded marble, with a 
slightly convex surface. It would require 
a strong imagination to recognize in it a 
part of the planking of one of the ships represented in the 
sculpture of the Hasmonaean mausoleum. 

In the course of the first excavations that I made in iS/i, 
I noticed (at the point marked 6 in the 
plan) a roughly carved capital ; a drawing of it follows. 
The upper part measures o"''55 by o'""48, the diameter 
of the column that it surmounted was about o"'"42. 

I had also picked up a badly squared block, with 

the following mark cut on it. This mark measures o'"'30 in 
height and o"''2 5 in width ; it resembles a large theta, but I 
doubt its being really a letter. 

To sum up, there are no characteristic traces of sculpture 
which might be adduced in favour of the identification sug- 
gested for this structure ; its age is doubtful and its formation 
hybrid. I have examined all the blocks with great care, and have not 
found a single one with a slanting face, which might have allowed of its being 
assigned to one of the pyramids. These pyramids might, it is true, have 
been formed of successive steps — we have examples of this — and consequently 
constructed of squared blocks. 

To complete this general description, I will add that I noticed to the 
north of the northern wall of the structure, some 19 yards from corner (3) — see 
plans, pp. 362 and 371 — of the primitive parallelogram, the entrance to a 
rock-hewn tomb, and, a few yards to the south-west of this tomb, a round 
aperture forming the mouth of a cistern, also rock hewn. 

Finally then, if we examine this complex and heterogeneous structure 
without being biassed by any preconceived notions, we shall arrive at the 
following conclusions. Before the unascertained period when the building 
was begun, there existed at the spot where the eastern chamber to-day is, a 
small burial vault, altogether rock-hewn, walls, roof and all ; to this vault 


From Jerusalem to Sebaste {Samaria), and from Scbasfe to Gaza. 371 

access was obtained" by a small door formed by cutting vertically into the 
rock, and opening out on the north side. On entering you discovered on the 


three available walls of the chamber three arcosolia, with dcmi-cupola arches 
such as the tombs hereabouts have (notably at K'bur el Yahud),* one in front 
of you in the back wall, the two others to the right and left. This sepulchre 
must have been hewn in the living rock, and have been bare, and without 
ornament of mosaics or masonry work. It is one of the ordinary type of the 
Palestine tombs, and not of the most ancient kind. 

Later on, the whole of the upper part of the sepulchre having been 
broken in, either accidentally or intentionally, this upper part was rebuilt with 
hewn stone ; all the curved surfaces of wall and ceiling being replaced by 
plane surfaces ; the entrance door was raised and a small semicircular arch 

See infra, p. 375. 

Archcsolozical Researches in Palestine. 


added on the top of it. The tomb thus restored was enclosed in a rectangular 
structure of which it occupied the eastern extremity, and which may be 
noticed at points i, 2, 3, 4. In front of the door of the tomb a vestibule was 
built, formed of two thick parallel walls joining the north front, perpen- 
dicularly, and perhaps forming part of some structure that extended out 
northwards, to what distance we cannot say. 

The insignificant elevation of the roof of the chamber above the level of 
the adjacent rock, would seem to indicate that the walls that remain standing 
only represent, so to speak, the lower portions, and that the edifice erected on 
this basis must have been of much greater height, judging by the thickness of 
the walls. Possibly the chamber still remained subterranean, and the roof of 
it formed the floor of the vanished building. What was the nature of the 
latter ? Was it a Christian sanctuary, to which the burial chamber formed a 
kind of crypt ? If the addition of the mosaics took place at the time when 
the chamber was rebuilt with its walls of squared stone, the question would 
be decided ; but one can never be sure that this ornamentation was not added 
as an afterthought to some previously existing structure. In any case it 
indicates a thorough re-arrangement of the jarimitive structure, whatever the 
origin of the latter may have been, and explodes the sentimental theories of 
M. Guerin and his followers. 

As for the much later additions forming the western prolongation of the 
structure, beyond the line 3-2, I think I have sufficiently shown that they 
may be disregarded for the purposes of the problem. 

It is open to anyone to believe that the tomb of the Maccabees was 
formerly here, but nothing hitherto brought to light proves it. The fact that 
there are only three locitli, instead of the seven which were supposed to have 
been discovered, has, I think, no significance. Although I assert the non- 
existence of the seven sepulchral chambers which M, Guerin considers 
indispensable for his hypothesis, I am far from assigning similar importance 
to this small point. If an inscription, a characteristic fragment of sculpture 
or an architectural detail should happen to-morrow — which I should be glad 
of and do not regard as impossible* — to bring the hitherto missing proof 
that this is where the mausoleum of the Maccabees really stood, I should 

* My idea is that if the monument of the Hasmonsans ever existed in this place, it is in the 
actual materials used in constructing the ruined building itself and the neighbouring wely, or else 
in certain houses at Ramleh or Lydda formerly pointed out to me by the Arabs, that we might 
have a chance of finding some conclusive remains. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. i-]i 

have no difficulty for my part, in lodging in this narrow chamber, with its 
three receptacles, not only the seven historic members of the illustrious family, 
but their predecessors too. Many Jewish tombs, that have served for 
centuries the needs of whole generations, have been of no greater size. As 
deaths took place, room was made for the new arrivals by removing the old 
bones from the receptacles, "ovens,'" troughs or benches, and putting them 
into those small coffin-shaped ossuaries of soft stone of which we have such a 
number of examples, and which I have found existing in the immediate 
vicinity of el Midieh. The texts tell us expressly that the Hasmonaeans were 
successively buried in the tombs of their fathers (consequently in an old family 
tomb), and that it was over this tomb that Simon afterwards erected the 
remarkable structure that we know of. 

Have we the remains of this structure in the present ruins ? Appearances 
go rather to prove that the transformation of the sepulchre took place after 
the Christian era. These transformations are not unprecedented in Palestine. 
It might be and has been said that the mosaic cross that decorates one of the 
troughs was in fact placed there by the early Christians to hallow the memory 
of the Maccabees, whom they held in great veneration, confusing them with 
the seven martyred Maccabee brothers of the legend. If such was the origin 
of this cross, the fact would not even then be decisive. It would merely 
tend to prove that the Christians regarded the place as the tomb of the 
Maccabees, but they may have been mistaken as well as we of to-day, inas- 
much as Christian tradition concerning the site of the tomb of the martyred 
Maccabees has undergone numerous variations. Moreover since M. Gu^rin, 
so he assures us, has found human bones in one of the troughs above the 
mosaics, which latter are certainly Christian, this re-utilization of the tomb 
for burying purposes is hard to reconcile with the idea of a purely religious 
consecration by which he has attempted to explain the inconvenient and 
unexpected appearance of this cross. 

Briefly, the identity of el Midieh and Modin does not necessarily imply 
an identity between the ruins of the Christian tomb of el Gh'birreh and the 
mausoleum of the Maccabees, any more than the identity of Tibneh and 
Timnath-Serah implies, to the scientific mind, identity between one of the 
tombs in the necropolis there with the tomb of Joshua. To adopt this plan, 
it would be easy to people Palestine with historic tombs, for there is hardly 
a place of any antiquity which has not its necropolis attached, where the 
boundless field for selection is all that hinders one in finding places as fancy 
dictates, for the celebrated personages who were doubtless buried there. 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

A good critic will therefore do well, I think, to maintain an attitude of 
prudent reserve with regard to the identification of the ruins of El Gh'birreh 
with the mausoleum of the Maccabees, after the precise information I have 

As for the aspect that this mausoleum must have presented, judging 
from the Book of Maccabees and from Josephus, I consider that nothing can 
give a more accurate notion of it as a whole and in detail, than certain 
sepulchral monuments that are still visible at several places in Syria, for 
instance at Hurmul, Sueideh, Hiss, el Bara, Dana, and elsewhere.'" 
However, I will not here involve myself in this archaeological discussion, 
it would take me far out of my way. I shall resume it elsewhere. 

K'biTr el Yahild. — We availed ourselves of our stay at el Midieh to make 
a detailed examination of the very curious necropolis in the neighbourhood, 

k'bOr el yahCd near el midieh. 

which is known by the name of K'bur el Yahud, and made some drawings 
of it. First, a general view, showing the exterior aspect ol some of these 
tombs, with their rectangular graves hewn in the rock and furnished with a 

* Renan, Mission de Phenicie, p. iiS. De Vogiie, Syrie Centrale, Architecture civile et 
religieuse, plates, i; 70, 74, 75, 77. The first of these monuments especially, with the pj'ramid 
that surmounted it, the colonnade that surrounds it, and the trophies of arms sculptured upon 
it, seems to me to correspond in rather a striking way to the descriptions of the Mausoleum of 
the Hasmonaeans. 

From Jertisalaii to Sebaste (Samaria), and from Se baste to Gaza. 375 

groove to hold the 1 

arge blocks that covered them. Alongside the 
opening of one of these tombs traces of vats and 
presses are visible. 

Here are a plan and sections of one of the most 
remarkable of these tombs. The rectangular grave 
forms the frame of a staircase of four steps, leading 
to a chamber with a low ceiling and three demi- 
cupolas covering three sepulchral troughs, an arrange- 
ment that strikingly reminds one what the primitive 
chamber in the edifice at El Gh'birreh must have 
been like originally, before it was restored. 


A. Plan (the doHed lines indicate the groove intended to admit the covering block). 

B. Section along the axis on A-B. 

C. Cross section on E-F (the observer having his back turned to the door). 

D. Cross section on c-D (the observer looking towards the door and the steps). 

E. Plan of the covering block. 

F. Lateral elevation of the same block. 


Arcfusoloncal Researches in Palestine. 

Here again is another tomb of a similar type ; the rectangular grave 
opens directly into the vault, which consists of two arcosolia (devil-cupolas'), 
arranged symmetrically to right and left. 

A. Plan at ground level. 

B. Plan at level of the bottom of the cavity. 

/ •-. ^^- 

C. Section on a-b. 

Scale fi^. 

D. Section on c-D. 

The sections show the covering block in its place in the groove running 
round the top of the hole. 

This tomb presents a striking likeness to the one with a Greek 
Christian inscription that I have described a short way back (p. 356), near 
Khurbet Zakariyeh, and both are strikingly reminiscent of certain tombs at 
Kokanaya in Northern Syria, which are well known to be of the Christian 

El Midieli and its Neighbourhood. — The various groups of ruins near 
el Midieh which I had examined some years beforet are called : Khilrbet 
el Hammdni, Khiirbet el Laiiz, Khurbet cl Kal'a ; they belong, say the 
fellahin, to a town formerly called el Munieh. The plural of the ethnic 
Medndivy is MeddntveJi, and also Meddwneh. The inhabitants of el Midieh 
came originally from Ya'bad, to the north of Nablus, at any rate one branch 
of them did ; they belong to the clan {Jiainmuleh) of cs Sadakiyeh 

* Cf. particularly the one represented in Plate No. 96 of M. de Vogiie's Syrie Centraie. 
The epitaph cut on this is exactly assignable to the year 368-369 of our era. 
t See infra, Appendix. 

From Jerusalem to Scbastc [Saumria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 2)11 

Variotts Observations. — On making a fresh visit to the village of 
el Midieh I noticed a fragment of a marble slab having incised on it a 
Greek cross inscribed in a wreath. It closely resembled a slab used in 
the decoration of the Sakhra at Jerusalem. 

— One of our workmen at el Midieh declared he knew of an inscribed stone 
at Khiirbet el Hammam. He was to look for it next day, but I never heard 
any further tidings of it. 

— At Beit Likia there is said to be an inscription over a door. 

— Another inscription was mentioned as being near Khurbet Rakkubis. 

— One of the workmen engaged on our excavations, who belonged to 
Na'Iin,* a little to the north-east of el Midieh, brought me some fragments of 
an ossuary of soft stone, ornamented with rosettes of an ordinary type 
engraved with point, which he had found in an old tomb near the village. I 
went there myself to make sure of the fact, and saw there another ossuary in 
a complete state, also of soft stone, furnished with four rests, a roof-shaped 
lid, and notches to assist in moving it about. The fact is interesting, as it 
.shows that the use of these ossuaries, which properly belong to Jewish 
archaeology, extended at least as far as these parts, 

Beit '(/r and el Jib. — On Monday, September 14, I left el Midieh for 
Jerusalem, where I was wanted on business in the matter of Gezer. I merely 
went straight there and back, returning late the next night. 

On this hurried journey I could only make very short observations. 
The ascent between the two Beit 'Urs (Beth-horon the Upper and the Lower) 
is called el 'ArkiU ; it is a bad road, cut in the living rock, with small steps 
here and there. At the top, on the left hand, is Khiirbet Rds Snobar, 
where are hewn stones and lintels with rosettes. After the first hill, in the 
middle of the road, is a piece of a milestone (?). Near Beit 'Ur el Foka, on 
the ancient way, to the right, are numbers of small steps cut in the rock ; a 
birkeh with a staircase hewn out in the rock. 

— At el Jib, the ethnic of which \s Jizmby in the singular, Jeivdbeh in the 
plural, I was told of a cave with writing over the door. I visited it on my 
way back. It is a rock-hewn tomb, one of a group lying near the rather 
extensive ruins of Iben Nada, to the west of el Jib. I did, in fact, notice over 
the door the remains of an inscription in square Hebrew characters, but 

* One of the subscribing witnesses to a deed of gift of Baudoin dc Mirabel, in the year 1167 
(Paoli, Cod. Diplom,. I, 213), bears the name of Isaac of Naahin. I believe he belonged to our 
village of NaTin. 

% C 


Archceological ResearcJies in Palestine. 

could only make out the first letters 
(Commencement of a proper name) ? 



Froji el Midieii to Gaza. 

We left el Midieh on the Saturday morning for Gaza, passing through 
Ramleh and Berka, where we slept. At Berka is the sanctuary of the 
eponymous saint A'^'cby Bark (j^t').* regarded in tradition as a son of Jacob. 

Ascalon. — Next day we proceeded on our way to Gaza. As we 
passed through Jorah, near Ascalon, I copied some Greek characters of the 

*JS V 


Christian epoch, cut on two fragments of a marble slab. The letters A C K 
that appear on one of them may perhaps have been part of the name 
'AcTKCiXwi' or 'AcrKaXc<Ji^iT>7?. 

A Greek monk from Jerusalem named Parthenios had told me some 
years previouslyt that there was at Ascalon a large sarcophagus of white 
marble with bas-reliefs of men and horses and an inscription, " Syriac inter- 
spersed with Greek characters." 1 was not able to ascertain what foundation 
there might be for this statement, so I set it down here for the benefit of 
future explorers. 

Bai-bard. — At Barbara is a wely consecrated to Sheikh Yihef. This 
is quite an historical personage. We are in a position of certainty on this 
matter, thanks to a passage in the Arab chronicler Miijir ed Din,X who tells 

* Also pronounced Neby Berg {see supm, p. 192). 
t 1870. Carnet III, p. 29 b. 

+ Bulak Arabic text, p. 491. 

Ff'oiii Jerusalem to Schaste [Saman'a), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 379 

us that there is at Barbara 0^;^), a village in the province of Gaza, near 
Ascalon, the venerated tomb of a celebrated lawyer, Abu'l IMahasen Ynsef 
el Barbardivy. 

Beit Jerja. — A little south of Barbara is the village of Beit Jerja. I 
have no hesitation in identifying this with the puzzling T^XsiCO. Jarha, a village 
of Ascalon according to Yakut, which has had its name mutilated into 
Jarhar by the Mardsed {cf. Le Strange, Palestine tinder the Moslems, 




p. 462). I consider the two readings of the MSS. 'i.^j:>- and ^^:= 
erroneous. The mere restoration of the point of the letter //;;/, which has 
disappeared, suffices to give the name of the modern village 01?-^?-). 


We stayed at Gaza from Sunday the 20th till Saturday the 26th of 
September. We had pitched our tent in the courtyard of the Greek convent, 
beside the interesting little church, which it was part of my programme 
to study. 


These six days were taken up in making notes of the numerous 
inscriptions and other remains at Gaza, most of which I had already had 

.■^0 2 

3S0 ArchcFological Researches in Palestine. 

an opportunity of examining on the occasion of my former visit in January, 
1870, when I was summoned to that city by my consular duties to direct the 
salvage of a French brig that had been wrecked off the coast. 

Various Observations. — I will begin by making some extracts from the 
notes I took at that time.* I am not speaking of the numerous Greek 
inscriptions that I copied there and took squeezes of, — these I shall give later 
on, together with some new ones. 

— " On the beach at Gaza, about a quarter of an hour to the north of the 
Quarantine building, I noticed some sand-hillocks with luins underneath, com- 
prising walls, cemented masonry, potsherds, etc. The spot is called cl B'lakhiycli 
{^Lk~>\A\)- Quite close to the Quarantine building are some more heaps of ancient 
debris, without name." 

— " Nisleli (the Nesleh of Van de Velde) is someway inland, and, according to 
information I received, must be about opposite the spot where the French vessel 
'Clemence' went down, further north than el B'lakhiyeh, and about one hour distant." 

— "There is a part of the town called Bab cd Ddrun. This quarter is near 
el Muntar, and a market is held there. The Christian Arabs pretend that this 
name is a corruption of Bab Deir er Rum (' the gate of the convent of the 
Christians ')." 

— " Between Sheikh 'Ajlin and Sheikh Hasan, as you go along the shore from 
south to north, the following places occur: S/icikh ' Ajlin ; Zazvalan (? a word 
partly obliterated); el Kishdneh (cULiJi-n); the Quarantine Building; Sheikh 
Hasan; then (?) : el E Idkhiych ; Hajar en Nusrauy ('the Christian's stone'); 
cs Sid/eh (iLiLuJl)." 

— "Sheikh 'Ajlin ( .aLso), according to local tradition, was a son of Jacob and 
brother to Rubin. The place with which his name is connected is about an hour 
to the south of Gaza, on the sea-shore, and comprises a few small houses built of 
loam or mud, and a small mosque on a picturesque cliff by the edge of the sea. 
On a block of marble built into a well apparently of some antiquity, quite close to 
the sea, was an Arabic inscription considerably worn, which I copied. Translated 
it runs thus : ' Restored this blessed well the Emir Ahmed Agha, niiitcsclleni of 
the liwa of Gaza at the present time. Year . . . {figures obliterated)!' 

— " The memory of Samson has been kept alive in local tradition at Gaza. He 
is called in it Shetnshuui Abiil' Azeni (.»;W1 _jj1 *^.^^.i) and Sheinshuui cl Jabbdr 
(^,LVv!^) 'tbehero')." '" 

— "I paid a visit to the Great Mosque. There I noticed on one of the columns, 
very high up, a wreath carved in relief, with the seven-branched candlestick inside 
it ; below, a cartouche containing an inscription in four lines. I could not make 
out what character it was in on account of the distance, but some of it looked 
like Greek." 

* 1870. Garnet III, p. 30, and Garnet IV, p. 6. 

From Jerusalem to Sebastc [Samaria), and from Seliaste to Gaza. 381 

" I ascended to the top of the minaret so as to get a general idea of the 
disposition of the town, but had to come down again hastily and get out of the 
place, for some soldiers of the garrison having noticed me from outside, rushed in a 
body into the mosque, threatening to do me violence." 

— " M. Koutzourelli, the Greek consul at Jerusalem, who has lived in Palestine 
for many years, told me that there existed at K/iiirbct Tabiyehi}) about four hours 
south of Gaza, in the interior,* an ancient sarcophagus, on the lid of which the 
figure of a man was carved. Can this be a sarcophagus with anthropoid lid like 
those at Sidon ? 

The small JMcdiccval Church. — The small church of the Greek convent, 
close to which we were encamped, is rather, from its diminutive size, a chapel 
than a church. It is in its way an architectural gem, in a rare state of 
preservation, having all the features complete, even to roofing, eaves, and 
buttresses. The building consists of a single nave with only two bays, and 
was erected by the Crusaders, though apparently on the plan of a previously 
existing Byzantine chapel, to judge by the depth of the apse, and also from 
materials provided by an earlier structure. 

Throughout the building ancient marble columns are used (i) as 
bonding-pieces, with the object of binding the walls, which are built of small 
blocks; (2) as horizontal courses, lintels, moulded string-courses, and corbels. 
The bases of the columns are likewise of marble. The columns and the 
capitals belong to another period (earlier than the Crusades). The capital 
has neither the proportions nor the general character of the medieeval period 
to which the church belongs. 


* Perhaps the Kliitrl'ct Zettanicli of Guerin, near the ancient Gerar? The name Tabiyeti 
recalls that of Tiiabatlia. an ancient locality that I speak of further on ; but the distance will not 


Airhceological Resea^rkes hi Palestme. 

We noticed the following masons' marks on several marble or stone 
blocks that gave signs of the mediaeval tool-marks. [Sec Part I, the Special 
Tabic of Masons'' Ma7-ks.) 



From Jerusalem to Sebaste {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 383 




] ;';'l|pili 



D. Profile of the marble string-course on the front. 

E. Profile of the stone string-course inside. 

Scale Jtt. 

F. Bases of the columns in the nave. 

G. Marble corbel of the side entrance-door. 

The Great Mosque. — As has been recognized long since, the great 
Mosque of Gaza is simply a Crusaders' church, altered and disfigured by the 
Mussulmans, who have appropriated it to the needs of their worship. This 
church was built by the Crusaders out of older material, most skilfully 
adapted. I will not follow in the steps of so many other travellers by giving 
a general description of this edifice. The excellent drawings of M. Lecomte, 
executed on a large scale from our detailed observations, though engraved on 
a reduced scale, speak for themselves, and are worth more than any descrip- 
tion. I will confine myself to putting forward a few statements, laying stress 
on those that have escaped the attention of my predecessors. 


Archccological Researches in Palestine. 

Scale ^j. 
(The black portions denote the parts built by the Crusaders; the hatched portions those built by the Mussulmans). 

A. Pier containing a column with carved shaft ; this will be discussed later on. 

B. Pier " of the oozing of blood " (after a native legend connected with the origin of the church, which is said 

• to have been dedicated to St. John the Baptist). 
C C C C. Niches for mihr&bs. D. Menbar (pulpit for the kliatib).  E. Tribune for the readers of the Koran. 

F. Remains of a small apse. G. Minaret, occuping the position of the central apse. 

From fcnisalciii to Scbaslc [Sa/iian'a). ami from Scbastc to Gaza. 


The church is not regularly orientated, which would seem to indicate 
that, though it may have utilized the materials, it has not exactly followed the 
original plan of the Byzantine basilica which it is supposed to have replaced, 
and which perhaps was not far distant. The Mussulmans have destroyed the 
whole of the boundary-wall of the right aisle (as you look in the direction of 
the apse), and have carried it further to the south, giving it quite a slanting 
direction with regard to the axis of the building. Furthermore they have 
destroyed the apses and set up in the place of the central one a large minaret, 
from the top of which the eye can rove over the whole extent of the town. 
However, we detected (at f on the plan) the remains of the small apse on the 
left side. 


The church consists of three aisles. The middle one is much hit^her 
than the side aisles, and is formed by two orders of pillars superimposed. On 
the four sides of each of the pillars are engaged columns of bluish-grey 
marble, with handsome capitals of the Corinthian order. 

In the left boundary wall, and in the axis of the three bays nearest the 
apse, are cut three square openings, two of which are closed by railings and 
serve as windows, and the third serves as door communicating with a large 
courtyard belonging to the mosque. Above these three openings are cut 


Archceological Researches in Pa/estiiie. 

three pointed windows of less breadth, with deep reveals. The fourth bay, on 
the side next the door, has only one window, similar to the preceding ones, 
but without a corresponding square opening above it. 

The wall of the facade is pierced with two similar windows on the same 
level, in the axis of the two side aisles, and in the midst, in the axis of the 
central nave, with a rose-window, at the same height as the upper story. 
This upper story is itself lit (on the left side as you look at the apse) by four 
other windows like those below, and cut, as they are, in the axis of the four 


The left boundary- wall is flanked on the outside by buttresses, formed of 
four weatherings, and corresponding to the bays on the inside, in such a way 
as to sustain the side thrust of the cross arches of the aisle. 

The original door, which opens out of the north-west front, has before it 
a porch supported by four large pillars. This porch, which is well preserved, 
though half sunk beneath the rubbish accumulated outside, is extremely 
curious, for as far as I know it is the first certain instance we have of the kind 
in a Crusaders' church. 

In the facade, over the door, is the rose-window, with a very refined 
moulding. This facade, with its pointed gable, its two buttresses, its rose- 
window in the centre, and its porch, exactly resembles those of western 

From Jcntsa/on to Scbastc [Sauiaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 387 

churches of the 12th century.* The general effect, though very simple, is 
quite charming. The stones of the facade have suffered a good deal ; they 
are deeply weather-worn, and the characteristic tool-marking of the Crusaders 
is only recognizable here and there. 



The principal door of the church, which opens out under the porch, is a 
pointed arch of three orders, each of which is formed of a torus and a bead, 
and resting on an abacus which is prolonged as a string-course to right and 
left along the wall of the facade. The abacus beneath the inmost covering 
rests directly on the uprights of the door ; the springs of the two front 
coverings are supported, by the aid of the abacus, on two dwarf columns 
surmounted with crocketed capitals. The columns rest on square bases, 
ornamented with three vertical flutings.t The archivolt, formed of a 
moulding of a plain description, displays at its two springing points a small 
acanthus-leaf bent back, handsomely carved in relief. It should be noticed 
that the archivolt has a vertical joint in the middle, whereas the inner arches 
have keystones. 

* (Jaza having been occupied and partly rebuilt by the Crusaders in 11 49 (William of Tyre, 
VII, 12), sacked by Saladin in 11 70 and finally taken by him after the battle of Hattin in 11S7, 
the building of the medieval church should probably be assigned to a date between 1149 and 
1 170. It was probably set on foot by the Templars, who were established at Gaza by Baldwin III, 
The documents of the time unfortunately give us no information about this church. 

t Compare the similar fluted bases in the porch of the mosque of el Aksa, and another built 
into the rampart wall of Jerusalem (near the so-called Gate of Herod, above a loop-hole). See 
also supra, that of Neby Musa, engraving p. 49. 


Arch(colo<^ical Researches in Palestine. 








From Jcnisalcni to Scbastc [Saviaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 389 


All the component parts of this doorway are of marble, as well as the 
lintel which rests, in the tympanum, on the 
abacus. On examining from the interior the 
back of the door, I noticed that this lintel 
was made out of an ancient column of which 
there is still visible a cylindrical portion, 
polished ; the surfaces where the shaft has 
been squared by the Crusaders show the 
characteristic diagonal tool-marking. 

The inner side of the tympanum, above 
the lintel, is covered with plaster of modern 
date, beneath which there appears some more 
of older origin, with painted imitation courses. 

The three sections below, compared 
with the plan given above, will conduce to a 
better understanding of the interior disposition 
of this remarkable edifice, disfigured as it is by the alterations to which the 
Mussulmans have subjected it. 


o'" 40. 

ARCH I VOLT. Scale !. 


I give also below the details of the construction of the first lower string- 
course, which will show how the architects of the Crusaders managed to 
incorporate with their work the ancient columns that they made use of. 

Bilingual Inscription in Greek and Hebrerv. — I had noticed in 1870, as I 
said before, on the shaft of one of the upper columns of the central nave 
(marked a on the plan) a carved bas relief representing the seven-branched 
candlestick inscribed in a crown, and below it a cartouche with an inscription 


Archa:oloo-ical Researches in Palestine. 

of three lines. I had taken a sketch of it as well as I coukl, but even with the 
help of a field-glass I had only been able to make out a few Greek characters, 
the inscription being placed too high, and the letters being moreover partly 
obscured by a thick coating of dust. This time I resolved to set my mind at 



rest. I caused several ladders to be tied together, and managed to scramble 
up to the bas relief. I must confess that I did not feel very comfortable when 
I found myself perched at a height of over twenty feet on this unsteady support, 
the bottom of which rested on the slippery flags of the mosque, and the top 

From Jcntsalein to Schaste (Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 391 

only touched at one point the smooth cylindrical shaft of the column. A 
single false step, and I should very likely have been thrown down and dashed 
on the ground. I nevertheless attempted, under these precarious conditions, 
to take a squeeze of the bas relief and the inscription after having carefully 
cleaned them. The operation was a long one, as I had to deliberate on every 
movement, in order not to lose my balance. "Finally it succeeded, and I 
uttered a sigh of relief when I got back to terra firma with good squeezes. 





--- f''-^':- 


It miofht have cost me dear, but these are the slight risks attendant on the 
archaeologist's calling. 

However, I was well rewarded for this risky climb by the importance ol 
the inscription and bas relief. I succeeded in obtaining a faithful reproduction 
of it, the interest of which will be shortly apparent. I give, first of all, 
the geometrical elevation of the pier A, with the two columns placed one 
above the other, of which the upper one bears the bas relief \n question. 


Arclucological ResearcJics in Palestine. 






- ^ 



From Jerusalem to Sebaste {Samaria), and from Sebasle to Gaza. 39- 
Next comes a reproduction on a larger scale of the bas-relief [ts,ii[L 



It measures o""48 in height. It consists of a crown of leaves closed at 
the top with an egg-shaped gem, and bound round the bottom with a fillet 
with its two ends terminating in ivy-leaves. In the centre is carved a 
conventional representation of the seven-branched candlestick, Hanked as 
usual by the horn lor holy oil and the sacrificial knife. This syniljol alone 

;; K 

394 Arclicrological Researches in Palestine. 

would suffice to ascribe a Jewish origin to the carving, and the ascription is 
expressly confirmed l)y the inscription below it. This consists of three lines, 
incised in a cartouche in relief furnished with triangular auricles, in which 
are cut two small palms. The first line is in square Hebrew characters, 
apparently of some antiquity.* I read it thus ; 

npy -12 IVim, " Hananiah son of Jacob." 

From the palreographical point of view, the shape of the nn/is, and 
from the philological point of view, the use of the Aramaic i'ar for den, " son," 
are to be noted. 

The two other lines are in Greek characters, perhaps of the 2nd 
or 3rd century a.d., they read: 'Avai'Lo. vlw 'la/cw, "To Ananias son of 

The inscription therefore, it will be seen, is really bilingual, and the two 
parts, the Greek and the Hebrew, explain each other in the places where an 
isolated examination might result in doubt. The name of /aco6 is written 
'laKO), instead of 'laKw/3. It is impossible to suppose that the final /3 has been 
accidentally destroyed, my squeeze shows not a trace of it. It was therefore 
never cut. Was this an omission on the part of the workman ? I do not 
think so. I am rather inclined to believe that a popular abbreviated form 
laM existed, together with laeob, among the Hellenising Jews. Another 
instance is to be found, if I mistake not, in a long and curious tabella 
devotionis incised on a sheet of lead discovered at Hadrumetum in 1890, and 
published by M. Maspero.t Here we read twice over : rov O^bv tov 'A/Spaav 
Kal TOV 'law TOV tov 'laKov, " the God of Abraham (Jao Sabaoth is here meant) 
and Jao, the God oi lakos." M. Maspero proposes to correct to: 'l(cr)aKou, "of 
Isaac ;" but is this correction absolutely necessary ? I should believe that it is 
the God of Jacob rather than of Isaac that is meant, at any rate the name of 
Jacob has as much right as that of Isaac to figure in this well-known formula. 
The Hadrumetum text, confronted with that from Gaza, proves to us that the 
name of Jacob in its form 'laww became finally assigned to a nominative 

* The shape of the /ut/i is not very accurately rendered in the engraving; it is really like 
this: ri. 

t Collections du Musce A/aoiti, Ser. I, Livr. 8, p. loi. It is a magic incantation by which a 
certain Uomitiana tries to win the love of a certain Urbanus to whom she is attached. 

From Jerusalem to Sebasie {Samaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 395 

'IctKos.* We have grounds perhaps for taking this form into account, now 
that it has been shown to exist, in explaining those which the name of Jacob 
has assumed in the Romance languages : lago {Diego, Tiago), and Jacques. 
This tendency to alter proper names by eliminating the final consonant is 
moreover noticeable at an early period among the Jews. There are several 
examples of this, but one of the most striking is afforded by the name of 
Joseph F]DV. which commonly becomes in the Rabbis: ^dV, nDT, ^nd t<DV, 
Jose, Josah, Josa, and in Greek and Latin (in the inscriptions of Syria) : 
'\(iicrr]'i, EtocrrJ, lose. 

The dative vim in the Greek portion of our inscription shows that we 
have before us a dedication made to Hananiah son of Jacob and not one 
made by him. On the other hand it is difficult to suppose that this is a 
funerary dedication, considering the nature of the object on which it appears. 
This great column over 4 metres in height, with its handsome capital, is 
evidently a portion of an architectural scheme of considerable size. I am 
rather inclined to think that it is an instance of a column of honour, on which 
the name of our personage, together with the bas-relief, has been carved, in 
order to reward him for some services of a religious or perhaps civil nature. 
If so, the column would be of the same kind as those of Palmyra, with long 
dedications to such and such a personage.f These columns at Palmyra (of 
the Corinthian order just like ours) form long avenues or adorn the courts or 
porticos of the temples, and mostly, though not in all cases, have brackets 
fixed into their shafts, for holding the statue or bust of the personage. As 
the Jewish religion does not allow of the representation of the human form, 
this representation has been replaced here by the symbolical bas-relief 
surmounted by the name of Hananiah. 

It is very probable that this column belongs to a colonnade that formed 
part of some Jewish edifice, perhaps some monumental synagogue. This 
conclusion is interesting, as it might be applied to the other kindred materials 
used over again by the Crusaders in building the great church at Gaza, which 
have been the subject of various more or less plausible hypotheses. We have 
too little information about the history of Gaza during the early centuries of 

* I believe I have come across another instance on a /i/u/iis from the Jewish necropolis at 
Joppa, which I took a squeeze of in i88r. This ends with : -n-aim 'Iukw. I find the same form, 
abbreviated, in a graffito from Mt. Sinai (Lepsius, No. 84 ; Euting, Siiiait. Itisc/ir., No. 510) 
where the name lAKCO occurs in combination with that of ItOB = {J<'cob andyf/'). 

t De X'ogiie, Syrie cmlrale. Ijiscriptions scmiliqties, p. 2, and passim. 

396 Archcrological Researches in Palestine. 

our era, to assert the possible existence in that town of a synagogue as 
important as this fine column would imply, at the time to which the 
inscription on the latter refers us.* Gaza remained till quite late in the arms 
of paganism. It does not appear that the Jews had ever got a footing 
there, and they would not have been allowed to choose the time when 
Christianity was established there for building a sumptuous edifice devoted 
to their cult. 

Accordingly I begin to wonder whether by chance our column was 
originally in some other town, and was brought to Gaza. One's thoughts 
turn to Alexandria or Ceesarea, these being two important centres of Judaism, 
and sea-carriage from them being easy. It must not be forgotten that when 
the Empress Eudoxia, at the beginning of the 5th century, built the basilica 
called after her Endoxiana, on the very site of the Sanctuary of the god 
Marnas, she sent thirty-tivo columns to help build it.+ Where did these 
columns come from ? Perhaps the one we are dealing with, and its fellows, 
was among the number. According to a not improbable tradition, the church 
of the Crusaders of which it now forms part was erected on the site of the 
basilica of Eudoxia. However that is a mere conjecture. There were other 
Byzantine churches at Gaza, which might have been transformed by the 
Crusaders, for instance the churches of St. Sergius and St. Stephen the 
protomartyr, built by Bishop Marcianus under Justinian, also with old 
materials fetched from a distance : in Proconnesos, at Lacedoemon, at 
Karystos, at Sangarios in Caria, etc. Choricius of Gaza has left us some 
most curious details about these two churches. The first stood in the north 
part of the town, not far from the market, the second near the eastern gate, 
on an eminence. 

I will add, to complete this description, that this column displays the 
mediceval tool-marking over all its lower part, up to about a yard below the 
cartouche ; above which point it is polished. The primitive surface evidently 
must have been touched up in parts by the Crusaders, but, luckily for us, they 
have left the bas-relief mt3.c\.. 

Ancient Columns. — Another column displays a cross, originally carved 
in relief, and then scraped down by the Mussulmans, leaving, however, 
distinguishable traces. On another column I noticed a symmetrical arrange- 

"" The i\i>o(y<;vx>i at Claza, mentioned by the Deacon Mark in his Life of St. Porphyry, was a 
Pagan, net a Jewish place of prayer, 
t The Deacon Mark, op. cif., § 84. 

From fcTusalcin to Scbastc [Samaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 397 

ment of holes, which doubtless serv^ed to fasten on a cross, probably a 
metal one, with two cross-beams. This cross is of the type known as the 
patriarchal, and dates from the Crusading period. 

Another column presents numerous horizontal cuts, evidently made by 
the rubbing of ropes. This detail alone would suffice to prove that it was 
existing before the Crusaders, and has been like the others used over again 
by them to build their church. These deep cuts, resulting from long friction, 
can only be accounted for in one way. The column must have been placed, 
in accordance with a practice still existing, near the mouth of a, cistern or well, to 
serve as a support for the ropes belonging to the buckets by which the water 
was drawn up. It must have taken years, perhaps centuries, to score the marble 
so deeply. 

Another indication helps to show that the columns were not made by the 
Crusaders themselves, and that is that the columns and capitals, although 
built into the piers, are complete. If we had to deal with architectural details 
of really mediaeval origin, we should probably find applied semi-columns, 
divided into drums corresponding to the blocks behind, as for instance in the 
great church at Lydda. 

Besides, numerous shafts of cokimns have been built into the walls 
as bonds. 

In the inner walls, at projecting corners, I noticed many marble blocks 
displaying simultaneously the characteristic diagonal tool-marks of the 
Crusaders on one side, and a quite different marking, of the kind known as 
"pocking," on the other. It is probable that these blocks also are part of the 
old material that was re-utilized in the twelfth century. Several masons' 
marks are carved on them, some occurring repeatedly. (See the Special 
Table, Vol. I.) The mark ^ appears again on several blocks on the outer 

Sculptured and Inscribed Fragments. — In the flagging of the Mosque I 
discovered several ancient fragments : two pieces of marble flagstones with 
traces of wreaths carved in low relief. 

In the left aisle (as you look at the original entrance-door from the 
inside) is a fragment of a marble flagstone, cleft in two, and worn by the tread 
of feet, with remains of a Greek Inscription, which I copied and took a 
squeeze of. It was at least five lines long, one line being In much smaller 
characters than the rest. It Is too much mutilated for a restoration to be 
possible, but was doubtless a dated Christian epitaph, after the manner of 
those that I shall give later on. 


Arc hceo logical Researches in Palestine. 

can only make out with certainty tlie words [/i,]rj(i'i) [H]ai/^t/<-o[{}], " in 

the month Xanthikos," in line 4, which 
were doubtless followed by numeral letters 
indicating the day of the month ; and, in 
line 5, the word Iv\iktiu)vo%), denoting the 
indiction, which must also have been fol- 
lowed by a numeral. Line 4 may, perhaps, 
begin with the well-known funerary formula, 
dvevdrj, " rested." 

From another marble flag in the central 
nave I copied the letters O N, forming part 

of an inscription that has been quite worn away. 

On a marble flag in the pavement of the outer courtyard are almost 

indistinguishable traces of a Greek inscription, with remains of a cross below. 

The first line, which is worn away all along the tops of the letters, seems to 

me to be also the beginning of an epitaph :* 

[E]N0AAE K[EITAI] ..." Here lies." 

Among these flags are perhaps 
some of still older date, belonging to 
the sanctuary of the god Marnas, if it 
be admitted that the Crusaders' church 
was erected on the site of the basilica 
of Eudoxia. We know, as a matter of 
fact, that the marble slabs which lined 
the Pagan temple were placed in front 
of the basilica so as to be trodden 
under foot. 

Inscriptions Discovered at Gaza. 

Up to 1870 nothing was known of any inscriptions at Gaza, with the 
exception of a small square leaden object, measuring o™'o63 by o'"'o65, which 
was obtained in Syria by M. Waddingtont and presented by him to the 
Department of Medals at the Bibliotheque Nationale. This object, probably 

* For these scraps of inscriptions, compare what is said further on under the Iicading of the 
Gaza inscriptions. 

t Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Sjrie, No. 1 904. 

Pro/n Jcntsakiii to Sebas/e {Samaria), and from Sebasle to Gaza. 399 

a weight, bears on its face the mark 4=^, the Phoenician mem, which is the 
well known initial of the name of the god particularly connected with Gaza, 
A/arnas; and on the reverse a Greek inscription of five lines ; Kokoivla's Fa^r^?, 
eVt 'H/DwSou ALO(f)di'Tov, " Of the colony of Gaza, under Herodes Diophantos " 
(probably some magistrate of the town). Below are the two letters IE which 
appear to be numerals=:i5, expressing perhaps the value of the weight, '■' or 
else a date(?).t 

* The object in its present state weighs i78'5 grammes. 

t If these letteis «, which, by the by, cannot be read with absolute certainty, represent a 
date =: the year 15, two explanations suggest themselves : The year meant may be the year 15, 
according to the special era instituted at Gaza by the Emperor Hadrian in 130 a.d., which era 
appears (harmonized with the ancient era of Gaza) on a series of coins of the Emperor struck in 
that town; in this case the date would be 145-146 a.d. Again, this date may mean the year 15 
of the reign of Hadrian, and would correspond to the year 13C-131 a.d., if reckoned according 
to the calendar of Gaza. It is rather a striking fact that we have coins struck at Alexandria in the 
name of Hadrian in 130 a.d. bearing this very date, year 15 (L. IE), representing the 15th year 
of the reign of Hadrian as calculated by the calendar of Alexandria, and this calendar, as we 
shall see, presents a close similarity to that of Claza. (Compare likewise the famous Greek 
inscription carved on the colossus of Memnon and bearing witness to the visit of Hadrian in the 
i^t/i year of his reign (November 21st, 130 a.d.).) In the latter case we should arrive at the 
interesting fact of which no memory has been handed down by ancient authors or by numismatics, 
namely that when Hadrian, on the occasion of his journey to Syria and Egypt in 130, visited 
Gaza, where as we know from other sources he had founded important institutions, he bestowed 
the title of Colony on that ancient Philistine town. 

One of my former pupils, M. I'Abbe Chabot, who had occasion to visit Gaza early 1893, has 
just sent me copies of various antiquities which he saw there. Among them is a square leaden 
weight, weighing 144 grammes, and presenting strong affinities with the one above described; it 
bears the following inscription in relief: 


My reading of it is: ' V^jovs r^i>' ii'/niKtronut't'-us Aimi/oc, "Year 164, Dikaios being agora- 
nomos." According to the statement made to my corresjiondent the weight comes from a [jlace 
near Gaza they called Kliurbet Lakiyah {sir, I suppose it must be Be/t Lahya, north and near to 
Gaza, the ancient Bethelia of Sozomenos). If this object really does belong to that neighbourhood, 
it may be presumed that the date on it is calculated by the local era of Gaza, which, as will appear 
further on, is reckoned from October 28th in the year 61 u.c, this date being therefore 103-104 
A.D. I do not think we may consider the era of the Seleucids, which would give us li.c. 14 8, 
much too far back of course for the pateographic character of the inscription. 'I'he reverse of tiiis 
new weight bears no symbol as does the other, merely displaying a network of small lines crossing 
one another so as to form lozenge shaped compartments. 

400 Arclueological Researches in Palestine. 

I had already collected a number of inscriptions* at Gaza in 1870, and 
these were added to during the stay I made there in 1S74. Since then new 
texts have been discovered there, and everything points to the conclusion that 
Gaza is one of the places in Palestine which has the richest crops of 
inscriptions in store for future explorers. To say nothing of the excavations 
that would need making and would certainly prove most fruitful, we may 
meanwhile discover quantities of texts merely by a careful inspection of the 
houses, which are built for the most part with ancient materials. The task is 
one of some difficulty, as the inhabitants of Gaza are not as a rule inclined to 
be friendly, and the Christian Arabs, who are well-nigh as fanatical as the 
Mussulmans, do not like allowing strangers to enter their homes. They have 
much altered since the 6th century, and are no longer the homines honestissiini, 
the aniatores peregrinoriun that Antoninus the Martyr found there. An 
excellent method, which I employed with success during my two visits to 
Gaza, and can recommend to future explorers, is to get an introduction from 
the Greek Vicar [Khihy). Few are the Christian doors that remain closed 
when this aid is invoked, and one has a chance even of obtaining access to 
certain Mussulman houses. 

Here are the texts that I collected in 1870 and 1874, by hunting through 
the houses in this fashion.! 

The exact sources of these inscriptions are difficult to determine. Many 
of them were found on the sea-front, not far from the place where the ancient 
Maiumas, the port of Gaza, must have stood. In any case they do really 
belong to Gaza, at least the greatest part of them, as appears from an exjDress 
statement to that effect on one of them, which will be found in its chrono- 
logical place ; for most of the inscriptions have this interesting feature about 
them, that they are dated with great exactness. 

With a view to complete this series, I have incorporated with it some 
new inscriptions that have been noted at Gaza since I was there, ;[ as also 
those which had already been copied or squeezed by me and were done over 
again. Several of these inscriptions have just been published by Father 

* They are set forth in the Revue Archtologique for June, 1872, pp. 398, et seq. 

T To this series must be added the three more or less well preserved inscriptions discovered 
by me in the Great Mosque, and given above. 

% A letter from the Abbe Chabot, informs me that the Greek vicar of that town has at his 
house several Greek inscriptions recently discovered in the environs, particularly at Gerar. I am 
sorry that I cannot add these new texts to the present list ; but I hear we may hope to see them 
shortly published in the Revue Biblique (1S93, P- 244)- 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste [Sanian'a), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 401 

Germer-Durand/'' but I did not know of this till after these pages were written. 
As will be seen, my readings differ from his in some points, and I have drawn 
attention to these in a note when I thought it worth while. There is a more 
serious discrepancy in the calculation of the dates of the era, or rather eras, 
employed in these inscrii^tions. The chronological discussion that will be found 
further on will, I hope, place beyond a doubt the conclusions at which I arrive, 
and which are distinctly at variance with those of Father Germer-Durand. 

I. In the house occupied by M. Pickard, an employe in the Egyptian 
Telegraphic Service. A slab built into the facing of the embrasure of a 
window. Width o'"'32. Copied and squeeze taken in 1870. The inscrip- 
tion is imperfect, and the characters carelessly cut. 

/..o. ^ ^. ^.,(.1) . . . . ^f |^(^[^S\1M^ 

'A/LteX?) oe ^, 

. . . mios ? in the month (in the year) 

540. Amen 

inP"'" ^ " J 

This is an epitaph, perhaps with the name Abraamios.^ The isolated 
ju, before iv iJ-rj^vl) appears to have a sign of abbreviation on the right stroke 
of the letter. In front of the numeral letter jx (line 2) there may have been 
another numeral letter denoting the units : " the year five hundred and forty 
something." 'Ajxeu is for ^Ajx-qv (as in No. 20). We shall find in these 
inscriptions several cases where the 17 is replaced by an e, and it is not 
necessary to suppose that this liturgical word was here borrowed directly from 
the original Hebrew form Amen. 

2. House of 'Ata'llah et Terzy. Small marble slab in the flagging, 
o'"'24 X o""24; found near the shore. Squeeze taken in 1874. 

-^"©HkHTOYJ-l^KAPI ^ @-i]Kr] Tov fj.aKapi{oi)TaiTov Zyjv{(o)vo'; vlov BaXuos 

I OT^kIOY^HNONOC-VI Koi 'MeydXrj'i- iKareTedr] fi7]i>l ''T{TT)epfiepeT€ov /3k', 

^VUAAYoCjr^lJLi^trA '^°^ ^f<^' ^tov?, IvS{lkti.u)vo';) yi' (and a palm-branch). 

AHCtjC^T €T6eH " Tomb of the blessed Zeno, son of Balys and 

UHH|YU£pU6peTeo't of Megale; he was deposited on the 22nd of the 

UKT0Y^<4y^T OyC month Hyperberetaeos of the year 565, in the indic- 

INA. ri f^ tion XIII." 

* Rtvue Biblique, 1892, p. 239, and 1893, p. 203 {.cf Cosmos, April 2nd, 1892). 
t As in No. 10. 

% F 

402 Archaological Researches in Palestine. 

The B's incline to a cursive small capital form, of which examples are 
found in Byzantine palseography at the end of the fifth century ; we shall 
notice the same phenomenon in the case oi alphas in No. 7a. In the name of 
the month, the tt has been replaced by a yS, and ai rendered by e. 
'EKaTerediq is a solecism* for Karere^r;, and will be encountered again. The 
genitive patronymic BaXvo? implied a nominative BaXu?, on the analogy of 
IxOv'i, L^dv6<;. The origin of this name, which is here first met with, remains 
in obscurity. I am not convinced that it is Semitic.t Might BaXu9 be for 
BaX>j? (= Vale us, Ova.hq<i), incorrectly referred to the lxGv<; type or declension ? 
The metronymic Megale, "the Tall" [fein.), may be reckoned among proper 
names already known : Meyioro?, a man's name in an inscription from 
Sueida, in Bataneea, 2.\ Meyto-rw, a woman's name, in books and inscriptions, 
and Meya?, which is quite common. § The name RIegale occurs again in 
inscription No. 4, which, although carved twenty-four years later, so 
essentially resembles this, that one is forced to conclude that it relates to the 
same Megale, mother of Zeno. I shall revert to this question. 

3. From a copy made at Gaza by the Russian Archimandrite of 
Jerusalem, Mgr. Antonin, and kindly communicated by him in 1870: — 

►J- €NeAA€ 


OMAKAPIOC ^ 'Ei'^ctSe KareTeOr] 6 ixaKdpLo<; 

repovTio?, Ty k/3' fx.r)[v6?) Awou 



KBMAWOYINA^A 's/ - \s' - r " 

T O Y A O <l) € T O Y C 


" Here was deposited the blessed Gerontios, on the 22nd of the month 
Loos, indiction IV, of the jear 571." 

* The occurrence of it has perhaps been favoured by the oft-recurring formula ei^edce 
KaTeTeOi], the final cpsilon in ei'Odce having managed to get joined on to the verb. 

t C/., however, Ba\«? in an inscription from Sala in Batansa (Waddington, o/. a'/., 
No. 2260). 

J Waddington, oJ>. cit.. No. 232S. 

§ Cf. for the meaning, 1^3, ^ Nabatsean female proper name, and n^nj, a Palmyrenian 
male proper name, both taken from the root "jtj, " to be tall." 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste {Saniaria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 403 

4. House of 'Ata'llah et Terzy. Small marble slab in the flagging of the 
courtyard, broken away on the right side, and broken in two. Height o'"'30. 
Squeeze taken in J 874. 

Below, a cross and a palm-branch. 

lAUHIsnTliv^, jjjj 07^K7^ T^\_r\'i ju,a/<:apta?] ^^o^orri^, 6[vyaT/3os] tov 

-TAvrii A w A ft  K aaKapLlwTOLTOv) rBaXuos] Kal MeydXr]<;' dlvelTrdri ^Jirjlv'i■^ 

TOYHAl^ A? lo>\ Z J ) ^.^ - a A' " r 1 ^ /'\ s / - \r^ 

K MHf rA/\HC;W\ aavULK{ovjf . . . Tov UTT(p €TOvl<;j ^ (i)^6t(/<:7ta)t'Os)4 ^ 

1TAHH^AN^I^-Q"\ "Tomb of the blessed Theodote, daughter of the 

TOT-QTrT^Or^ l^lggggtj [Balys] and of Megale ; she rested on the 
■"" """I (?)9th of the month Xanthikos, in the year 589, 
indiction VI I." 

The form dvend-)-} is well known in Christian epigraphy.* Hai'^tKos is 
perhaps written in the abbreviated form ^avOiK., and the 9, which might to 
some eyes look like an O altered by the stonecutter, stands perhaps for the 
figure 9, and belongs to the indication of the day of the month, which is 
always expressed in these inscriptions. 

This epitaph, as I have already remarked, offers so many features of 
resemblance to No. 2, that it cannot be doubted that they belong to the same 
family ; the resemblance between the characters and the shape of the palm 
branches, as well as the occurrence of the metronymic Megale, hitherto 
unknown in Greek onomastics, seem to be conclusive on this point. We 
must likewise take into account the significant fact that the two funerary 
slabs, having been conveyed to the same building, cannot have been found 
very far apart. Accordingly I have not hesitated to restore the patronynjic 
Balys, which has been removed by the breaking of the stone. Unluckily this 
latter prevents one seeing whether the B assumes here the same characteristic 
shape as in No. 2. Theodote was the sister of Zeno, both were the children 
of Balys and Megale. Theodote died twenty-four years after her brother. In 
the interval their father Balys himself had died, as is shown by the epithet 
" blessed " which is here attached to his name. The mother Megale was the 
only survivor. 

5. House of Saliba 'Awad. 

A. Marble slab in the flagging of a high chamber; o"'-36 X o"'-25. The 

* Renan, Mission de Ptunicie, p. 391. 


Archceological Researches in Palestine. 

lower half of the inscription is wanting. Copied in 1870; squeeze taken in 

e{i\a^(ecrTaTOs), jJ-yjivl) 

" Here has been laid Stephanos, the very pious, 
on the 8th of the month. 

B. Marble slab in the flagging of the same chamber ; is probably the 
lower half of the preceding inscription. o'".36 X d^-2^. Copied in 1870. I 
unfortunately did not make a squeeze of this second fragment, which would 
have enabled us to judge whether it fitted on to the preceding. It has every 
appearance of being the sequel to it. 

Aerrtw r]', IvB^LKTtavo';)^' , tov Opcf}' iTOV<; 
Daesios, indiction II, of the year 599." 


For the use of the title euXaySeVraros compare an inscription from Deir 
Eiyub,'" in Auranitis, where it is ai^plied to an Igumen. 

6. House of Saliba 'A wad. Fragment of a marble slab trimmed and 
used in the flagging of a mashrabiyeh. Breadth, o^'ao. Squeeze made in 
1874. The greater part of the inscription, which was a dated Christian 
epitaph similar to the preceding ones, has disappeared. 

IdJ . ... 70V ^' eTOVS 

of the year 500 " 

The numeral letter (f)' only gives us the hundred figure of the date ; it 
may have been preceded by one or two others expressing the tens and units. 
J A. On a Hmestone slab, evidently intended to be built in somewhere. 

* Waddington, oJ>. cii., No. 2413 a. For this reason I prefer to restore tl^Xafiia-rmoi rather 
than ci'iXdii,]-; which is suggested by Father Germer-Durand. {Jici-ue Biblique for 1893, p, 204.) 

From Jeritsakiii to Sebasie {Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 405 

The inscription was copied by Lieut. Kitchener and published in the 
Qtiarterly Statement of 1878, p. 199, with an attempt at a transcription and a 
translation by me, from the copy that had been sent me. According to the 
somewhat vague information I received, it appears to have formed part of one 
of the four pillars marking the four corners of the race-course at JMctddn ez 
Zeid, to the east of the town, above the Muntar.* 

The object was afterwards acquired by M. Chevarrier and presented by 
him to the Louvre, where it is now exhibited as No. 3266 in the room 
devoted to Christian Antiquities.t 

The characters are deeply incised and in a perfect state of preservation. 
It is still possible to make out the lines ruled by the stone-cutter and traces of 
red pigment at the bottom of the letters. The inscription has been cut away 
at the bottom at the 7th line, of which only traces remain. 

(^ Tov K{vpLo)v 7] y^ Kal ro TrXrypw/xa avTi)i. __^,.^-^-,^,,^^^„^^.^^, 

>^ 'Enl 'AXe^dvSpov SiaKOVOv inXaKcudr) \'i'f>^\ii'f/'~'rij^i^'^ 


^ "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness 
thereof. ^ Under the direction of the Deacon 
Alexandros was executed the paving, in the 
year 6oo(?), in the month Peritios 

The rirst two lines are word for word the first verse of Psalm xxiii 
(xxiv) in the Septuagint Version. This same verse appears in an epitaph 

* Another of these pillars (the one marking the south-west corner), formed of grey granite 
and 18 inches in diameter, is said to likewise bear an inscription, but much worn and half buried. 
It was not copied unfortunately. The Meidan of Zeid, or Abu Zeid, of Gaza, is stated by 
Makrizi [K/ii/nt II, p. 397) to have been founded in the year 723 of the Hejira by the famous 
Emir Sanjar el Jauly ("Alam ed din Abu Sa'id), who had successively filled the posts of Mokaddem 
of Syria, inspector of the two Harams, and Naib of Jerusalem, Hebron and Gaza. He had 
erected in these three towns numbers of important structures mentioned by Mujir ed Din (op. cit., 
PP- 58, 390, 266). It was he, says Makrizi, who made Gaza a flourishing town; he built there a 
bath, a fine mosque, a chafeite medreseh, a khan ( J_io^j.J.l ), a hospital {inarestan) and the castle. 
The same authorinforms us that this Sanjar erected various buildings at other places in Palestine: 
the great Khan of Kakun ; the Khan of Kariet cl KetJiib ( i_,.oJk^!l ; cf. the el Kethib et A/imar, 
mentioned supra in my account of Neby Miisa) ; th^ arches { ^s'l^j ; perhaps aqueduct) in the. 

forest of Arsuf {t, '%^\ <LLi); the Khan Resldn, at Hamra in Beisati (probably the modern 

Khan el Ahiiiar, cf. Memoirs, II, pp. 105, 119; I believe that the mosque there, now called that 
of 'Alam ed Dm, actually took the name of our famous Emir for its designation). 

t Father Germer-Durand has published it anew {Revue Bihlique, 1893, p. 205). 

4o6 ArchcEological Researches in Palestine. 

at Deir Sahibil (Cassiotidc and Apamcne), dated 420.* The second alpha of 
'AXe^afSpou and the alpha in Sia/coVou incline to the shape of cursive 
minuscules, as I noticed in the case of a Judseo-Greek inscription at Jaffa 
already given (p. 134). Compare also the cursive minuscule shape of the /3 
in No. 2. The word wSe, which is an unmistakable reading, is rather 
embarrassing. Is it w8e, "here" : "the (...) which are here" ? or can wSe 
be a mis-spelling of otiSea, plural of ovla.%, "ground, pavement" ? {cf. wSds for 
ovSo's, threshold). The word belongs, it is true, to the language of poetry, 
but it is not an uncommon occurrence for poetical words of this description to 
be used in certain dialects. In any case the inscription relates to a fixing of 
slabs, executed under the direction of the deacon Alexandros, covering the 
ground or inner walls of some edifice, probably a religious one. This 
operation is mentioned in other Syrian inscriptions, for instance on a stele 
dated 272 a.d., at 'Ayun in Nabatena : 'E7r\a«c<j[(?]>y lo Upov eVt ' AXe^dvolpjov 
B[a9]ovpov ov£Tp{avov)A At Abila of Lysanias | we read in a Christian 

inscription ; 'Em, etc toC iepa7roX(etou) 6 e/x^SoXos e73-XaK&j^[i7]. Here the 

work is ascribed not to a simple deacon, but to a bishop. The operation is 
always denoted by the expression inXaKcodr], "was covered with slabs," 
balated as we might say with the Syrian Arabs. Is the M preceding the 
name of the month Peritios to be regarded as a number, equivalent to 40, and 
to be connected with the x' going before it, which is certainly a number, thus 
making the date 640 ? § I do not think so. I regard this M as the first 
letter of the word /i,iy(vd?) or \iri(yi), "month," which is always expressed in 
our inscriptions before the name of the month by an M surmounted with a 
small H. This H, which is not essential, has been omitted. Besides, we 
have noticed in our Gaza inscriptions that in a number made up of several 
figures the figures always follow in order of magnitude from small to great. 
Consequently if in this case the engraver had meant to write the year 640 
(600 + 40) we should have MX (40 + 600) and not XM (600 + 40). The 
name of the month Peritios was doubtless followed in line 7 by one or two 
figure-letters denoting the day of the month and perhaps the number of the 
indiction ; but unfortunately there is nothing left except the tops of the letters, 

* Waddington, op. cit.. No. 2665 

T Waddington, op. cit., No. 1984b. We must understand by iV/joV not a building, but the 
sacred precincts open to the sky, which the Semites call the haram. 
X Id. ib., No. 1878. 
§ Father Germer-Durand is of this opinion. 

From Jcrnsalc)}i to Sebaste {Samaria), and fi^om Sebastc to Gaza. 407 

and it is impossible to make anything out of them. Although this inscription 
is not sepulchral, it is to be presumed that the date is calculated by the 
special era used in epitaphs at Gaza. I shall shortly treat of this era at 
greater length. 

713. I will recall here pro memoi'ia an inscription cut on another of the 
four pillars of the same race-course, which was only given as a transcription 
in the Quarterly Statement (1875, p. 159), and a little more correctly in the 

Memoirs (III, p. 250): AoyitecrrtK:o(s) virlp AofiecrTLKov vlov aveOrjKe jx 

e " Domestikos consecrated for his son Domestikos . . . . " The 

inscription does not read like an epitaph, it seems rather to have been a 
consecration of a religious kind, made by a father for his son, bearing the 
same name as himself This name AojaecrTt/co?, a Hellenised form of 
domesticus, exists in an epitaph in the Greek Anthology (App., 345); some 
have sought to read it on a Carian coin (Mionnet, Siippl., VI, p. 550). 

8. House of Saliba 'A wad. Slab of marble o'"'86 by o'""43, built into 
the flagging in the interior of the mashrabiyeh. Copied in 1870; squeeze 
taken in 1874. 

•i< K(i;/3t)e, ava/navcTov tyjv BovXtqi' aov i^tyovv- fi-'j-t' j /] / . 
6av AeovTiov iuOdBe KareTcdrj jitj^vI) Acjov Ka, tov • " • - •' 

a^', ivS{LKTL(t)l'0<;) 8'. ^ 

" O Lord ! grant rest to thy servant J^^- 
Digountha, daughter of Leontios ; she was laid ^ 
here on the 21st of the month Loos in the 
year 601, indiction IV." 

.■<r ,. 

The female name Digountha is new, and does not appear to be Hellenic."" 
The large cross carved below the inscription is placed on a trefoiled symbol, 
which in the convention of ancient art stands for a mountain or a hill. 
I think this should be looked upon as a symbolical representation of Golgotha 

* I should be inclined to assign to it, as Fatlier Germer-Durand does, a Germanic or at 
least Occidental origin. 


Arch(sologicaI Rcscajr/ics in Palestine. 

or Calvary, which popular belief in very early times began to regard as an 
eminence ("Mount Calvary"). This arrangement recurs 
in Nos. II and 13, and (probably) 24. 

The expressions SovXos, hovXr^ " (male or female) 
servant of God," when used of a person in an epitaph, 
imply that he or she is dead. 

9. House of Jiries Na'mat. A long slab of marble 
broken in two ; o™70 by o'"'2 7. Squeeze taken in 1874. 

►J^ 'Ev^aSe K(e)rT(ai) 6 tov X(pto"To){) hov\o<; K(at) iv j ', 
dyioi?, 'A/3p(xdfiL0<; HaTpiKiov, 8LdK[ovo';), rfj in'x.'yoiJi[evr]) 8', hif'g^i, ,-.,-^q 
TOV a^ erous, ivo[i.KTL(ui'Os) o. f ■^- . ,,"' 

" Here lies the servant of Christ, and among the 
Saints, Abraamios, son of Patrikios, deacon, the 4th 
epag07iicuc (or additional day) of the year 601, 
indiction IV." - - -- ^ -^ 

10. Greek convent. Marble flagstone; o""65 by o'"'5u. 1 he right 
corner is wanting. Below the footed cross, which appears on the engraving 
below the inscription, is an egg-shaped symbol. Squeeze taken in 1874. 

^ jMrjrpas Aca ■umv to Xoi[7roi'] . . 

fteiov avTOv, ej'^a[8e] 7rapayeVeT[o]' dvevdr) Be e/c 
T(ou avTOV ix6)(dwv iv ixrj[vl) Top7T[i.a(.ov) §', tov 
a;)^' eT(ou)9, ti'S(i/CTta)i'o<;) e' • 

" Metras .... the remainder (?) of his life, 
came here ; he rested from his troubles on the 
4th of the month Gorpiaeos of the year 601, 
indiction V." 

Metras is a contracted form, already known, 
of Metrodoros. Father Germer-Durand, who 
also noted this inscription in i892,t proposes 
to restore thus : Ka[TaXet7rwf] to Xot[7rov xoO] 
/8(e)iou, " having left the rest of his life." The 
formula is a singular one. It points perhaps to an early death. UapayeveTo is 
solecism for napeyeveTo. The formula dvendr] Ik twu p.o)(6u3v, " he rested from his 
troubles," which recurs in No. 16, is interesting. It shows the special sense 


* Father Germer-Durand reads 'Ajii>aufi (ti)(o? TlaTfitkiou, which is not impossible. For the 
form which I take to be 'Afipan^uoi, cf. No. i. I prefer to assign the title of deacon to the 
deceased, rather than to his father. 

t Rei'ue Bibiiqite, 1892, p. 241. 

From Jcnisalcni to Scbastc {Samaria), and from Sclastc to Gaza. 409 

in which we ought to understand the expression dvindr], "he rested," which 
is so frequent in Christian sepulchral epigraphy, and is, properly speaking, an 
abbreviation of the other. M. Le Blant has very appositely pointed out to 
me that it is a curious echo of the passage in Revelations xiv, 13: tVa 
dvaTTaijcroPTai. iK tojv kottcov avTcov, "that they may rest from their labours" 
{requiescant a labo7^ibns suis). The comparison appears to me the better 
founded as the verse begins with these words, \x.aK6.pioi ol veKpot, " Blessed are 
the dead." We may incidentally notice here the characteristic expression 
fj-uKapLOL applied so often to the departed in our epitaphs, and in Christian 
epigraphy in general. It is especially in Egypt that /xa/capios is thus used, 
and I am not disinclined to believe that the old Egyptian word Makheru 
which uniformly denotes the deceased, has had some influence on the remark- 
able career of the Greek word, popular imagination having detected a fancied 
relation between these two words, which, of course, are radically different. 

II. House of Saliba 'A wad. Marble fragment in the flagging of a high 
chamber. Height of the cross, o"''i2; squeeze 
taken in 1874. 

This inscription was doubtless an epitaph 
similar to the preceding ones. Only a few letters 
of it are left. Below is carved the cross, standing 
on a trilobed Golgotha. 

.... T<^ a^', tz^StKTtwt'O';] .... 
of the year 601, indiction " 

1 2. At the house of the Greek Vicar ot Gaza. 
Copy and reading by Father Germer-Durand.* 
On a slab of white marble o'""72 X o"'' 29, 
ornamented at the top with a large cross in open 
work; to right and left two stars and two palm-branches; on the cross a 
lozenge ; below, a small vase. Six lines : — 

^ 'Ai'ETraTj (1^) fiaKap^io) 'AOavacria, fiy]{vl) ' A.pTep.[i)(TLOv lL,', tov t^y erov;. ^ 

"The blessed Athanasia rested on the 17th of the month Artemisios in 
the year 608." 

* Cosmos, April 2nd, 1S92, p. 18. Cf. Revue Bibliqne, 1892, p. 242. — According to a copy 
made by M. Max van liercheni in 1894, wliich lie has kindly communicated to me, the second 
line runs thus : El MAKAPH. He noted the dimensions of the slab as being o^-.^o x o"- 80. 

.^ G 


Archcsological Researches in Palestine. 

It is noteworthy that, contrary to custom, the year of the indiction is not 
expressed in this epitaph. 

13. Marble slab. Squeeze taken in 1874.* 

^ 'Ei'^aSe KiXTeTrjdj] rj tov 6[€o)v So^jXttj 
OvcrCa, Ovydrrip TlixoOcov, iv iJi7][vi) Aatcrtou au, 
TOV Kara ra^(aiou?) •/«)(', tz^S(tKTiwj'os) at'. >J| 

" Here was laid the handmaid of God, 
Ousia, daughter of Timotheos, on the iith 
of the month Daesios, in the year 623 
according to the people of Gaza, indiction 

XI r 

The female name Ousia ("essence") is 
new. KareT-qdr) is for KareTedr) ; we shall 
find this error repeated in the ne.xt inscrip- 

The era of Gaza, mentioned at length in 
cs us the chronological key to this series of dated epitaphs. 
I shall shortly revert to this important question. We might also restore 
Kara. rdC{ai>) " according to Gaza," instead of Kara ra^{a(,'ou?), " according to 
the people of Gaza," and put the name of the town or the ethnic in the 
genitive instead of the accusative, Kara governing either case in this formula, 
as various examples prove. I have preferred to rely on the form of the 
expression as given at length in the passage where the death of St. Porphyry, 
the famous bishop of Gaza, is mentioned by his disciple the deacon Mark, 
a passage that presents more than one analogy with our epitaphs : — 

'Ev S,'pTJvr) -^KOLfjiyjdrj jj-erd tuiv 'Ayiwv p.rjv\ ^varpco Sevripa erovs Kard 
Fa^atovs oySorjKocrTcv TeTpaKocn-ocrTov. 

t "He lay down in peace, with the Saints, on the second (day) of the 
month Dystros, in the year four hundred and eighty, according to the people of 

* This squeeze has unfortunately been lost, and I cannot give the information as to source 
and dimensions that I wrote on the back of it. All that I have is a photograph of the squeeze. 
Father Germer-Durand has since noted this inscription in his turn {Eeviie Biblique, 1892, p. 243); 
it measures, he says, o^'<,z x o™'4i, and is now in the keeping of the Greek vicar. 

\ See the text of the Life of St. Porphyry published in the Abhatidlungen of the Berlin 
Academy of Sciences ^1874, p. 215), by Haupt. 

X Corresponding, as we shall see, to Fe' ruary 20, in the year 420 of our era. 

Fro77i Jcriisalou to Sebaste [Samaria), and from Sebastc to Gaza. 411 


-^1 1 , 

/ ;■ 

— ,' 


- r^ 




1  K - 


1 ■^'~ 


p. T" 

"" t' 


14A and i;. House of Yusef Saba. Marble slab built into a window-sill, 
o'"'29 X o'"'26. The first line is cropped at the top. Squeeze taken in ]874. 

)^ Ka[T]e[T]r^[^7^ 17] SovXr] tov X(pLaTo)v 
@€oS(6pa, IJi-ri[vl) Atttcrtou e', To{y) fi^X'' 
Ii'S{lktlSi'o^) e'. (Palm-branch.) 

>J^ KaT€TT^dy] 6 TOV X(ptcrTo)u SovXo? 
HA.ia?, /^^(I'l) 'TTTep^epeT{aLOv) yS/c', Toi) 

^f^' tt'(StKTtOJt'Os) yt'. |J< 

" Was laid the handmaid of Christ, 
Theodora, on the 5th of the month 
Daesios, in the year 662, indiction V. 

>J^ Was laid the servant of Christ, 
Elias, on the 22nd of the month Hyper- 
bereteeos, in the year 669, indiction XIII."* 

This double epitaph carved on the same slab is probably one of a wife 
and husband, whose deaths occurred at an interval of seven years. The 
mis-spelling KareTijOrj which we have already found in the inscription before 
this is here twice repeated. 

15. At the house of the Greek vicar of Gaza. Father Germer-Durand's 
copy and reading.t On the white marble slab, o'""36 x o™'2i. Six lines. 

^ 'Ep6d8e K(e)rTai rj tov X(picr7o)C 
SovXy MeyLcrT7]pia, Ti,p.o6eov dvyaTrjp, 
TOV jiiov anoOep.ei'e, iv fJiTjiyvl) 
Aatcr[r]w 8t', tov yk' eTOv?, 
lvS(t,KTI.(OV0<;) ySt'. )>J< 

" Here lies the handmaid of Christ, Megisteria, daughter of Timotheos, 

* Father Germer-Durand has also noticed this inscription, and pubHshed it in his turn in the 
jRevue jBi'Mi'^ue (i8g4, p. 248), but he is mistaken in reading in the fourth line iXtoi;?), "of the 
year," instead of e', lov. The c has over it a mark clearly showing that it is the figure 5. Besides, 
one is bound to expect the day of the month after the mention of the month Daesios. Similarly 
at the end of the 7th line the reading vTrep^epeT(aiov) ?', the 6th of the month " Hyperberetajos," is 
a mistaken one. My squeeze shows clearly BK ( = 22). The dates he gives as being the 
coiresponding ones in the Christian Era (years 723 and 730) instead of 602 and 609, result from 
a palpable slip on his part in adding the number 61 to the years as given in the era of Gasa 
instead of deducting it. 

t Cosmos, April 2nd, 1892, p. 18. C/. Reiue Bihlique, 1892, p. 243. 

\ 2 


Archcsological Rcseair/ics in Palestine. 

having hud down her hfc on the 14th of the month Dcesios, in the year 33, 
indiction XII." 

The name of Megisteria is new. ' AiroOeixeve is for a-rrodeixivq, from 
aTroTiOr^yLi, and not for aTTOTe^iivrj as Father Germer-Durand supposes. 

It is evident that in 33, the figure denoting the date, the hundreds have 
been omitted ; we shall find the same pecuharity in the two next epitajjhs. 
This apparently was a custom on all fours with our modern one of writing 93 
for 1893. What figure is to be supplied? ^', = 500 or ^', = 600? In the 
latter case one might perhaps suppose that the deceased was a sister of the 
Ousia, herself a daughter of a Timotheos, whose epitaph has been given 
above as No. 13 : the two sisters, on this supposition, would have died at an 
interval of ten years. However, I do not think we need take up time with 
this conjecture, for, as will shortly become evident, the date (6) 33 is entirely 
at variance with the mention of the indiction. The restoration (5) 33 
would be nearer the mark, but there is still a discrepancy of a year to be 
accounted for. This question will be examined later. 

16. In the house of a native of the Greek faith, whose name I have 
forgotten to note. A marble slab, imperfect at the top ; breadth o'""55 
Copied and squeeze taken in 1870. 

- , - ^-OTJ-^W 

r\ t ■•r-rr-: VC.^i -^^ /. if > 

[^dveTTajr] 6e eV twj/ avTov jjiO-^Ooii', iv /i,7y(i'i) Atou ^', tov 6k' 

eVous, li'S^LKTtwi'os) y' (?). 

" he (cir she) rested from his (or her) troubles, on the 7th of 

the month Dios, in the year 39, indiction III " (?). 

The letter expressing the hundreds is omitted, as in the preceding 
inscription. The number of the indiction is not sure, the y' having partly 
disappeared, but a numerical calculation will show that it really is that letter, 
which stands for III. 

From Jcnimlcv! to Sebastc {Samaria), and from Scbastc to Gaza. 413 

1 7. House of 'Abdallah es Serraj : Marble slab said to have come from 
Ascalon. Breadth o" -45. Squeeze taken in 1874. Small palm-branch after 
the final cross. 

■^ 'H Tov X{pLaTo)d K{al) j^v ayio^v BovXr), r^ ^^^ 'f'^/WfP%^¥~ 

'AvacTTacria, 'icodvvov MaprjafiSrjvov, ivOdSe 1 ^JL? . ^ ,' ].^S 

KaTeridr], lJir](vl)' Alo) 6k', tov tjtt' eT(oLrs) 


ipBiLKTcSpo^) C- ^' .-CT/^\C1 AlGOANN^^ 

"The servant of Christ and the Saints, ) HAP HABA-,Hvr6eN 
Anastasia, daughter of John, a Mareabdenian(?), 6AA.B KAl ETLdH 
was laid here, on the 29th of the month Dios 4^A-lt06KTO H 1 it- J J 
of theyear 88, indiction VII. ^!W-^;^^5iiL--~li 

The hundreds omitted as in the two fore- 
going. The shape of the dc/ta in SovXtj is worth noting, it recalls that of the 
Latin uncial D. The rj and the v in Maprja/S^rjuov are joined together. 
This latter name has the look of an ethnic, and indicates perhaps that the 
father of the deceased, John, came from some town or country which I cannot 
identify, called Mareabda. If on the contrary, it is a regular patronymic of 
John, it might be compared with the name Mapea^Sy]<;* borne by a. c/ioreJ>iscoj!>!(s 
who came from the banks of the Tigris or the Euphrates, and was put to 
death by the Persians. 

18. Copy made at Gaza by Mgr. Antonin, who was kind enough to 
communicate it to me in 1870. 


^ K{vpi)e, dvanavcrov ttju SovXr]v crov ' A-vacTTacrtav 'ETTip-d^ov S(f>e(rT{?). 
EvOdSe KaTeijiOri) 

" O Lord ! give rest to Thy handmaid, Anastasia, daughter of Epimachos, 
she was laid here " 

* Sozomenos, Ecclesiastical History, Chap. II, § 13. The name seems to contain the Syriac 
elements Mar, " Saint " and aMo. For the latter element compare the name of the Persian 
martyr Abdon, whose cult is associated with that of his fellow-countryman Sennen or Zennen ; 
for the former element compare the Nahatrean name M«/i;/«r>,;<^ in an inscription from Batanfea 
(Waddington, op. cif., No. 2104). 


Archcsological Researches in Palestine. 

The end of the inscription, which doubtless contained the date, is 
lacking. I do not know what to make of the letters following the name 
'E7ri|iiaxou ; they may perhaps have been copied incorrectly.* M. Omont has 
suggested to me the correction, (d)(^e'crTr;/ce, "has departed;" but it is not 
easy to see how this verb can be got into the construction of the sentence. 
The participle {o)^eu-T{riKvia.v) I hardly dare suggest. Possibly this group of 
letters contains some description relating not to the deceased but to her father 

19. At the house of the Latin missionary of Gaza. Father Germer- 
Durand's copy and reading.! Three lines, flanked by palm branches, on 
a slab of black schist, cut at the top in the shape of a semicircle and broken 
in two. Letters of the 5th century, roughly cut, with red pigments in the 
hollows : 

>J^ Mr^va KoaiiLcivr) Kaa{iyvy]Tr)) (av)Tov. 
" To Menas, Kosmiane, his sister " (}?) Avtov is spelt 6tov. 

20. House occupied by M. Pickard. Slab built into the flagging of the 
courtyard, at the foot of a staircase, o™'35 X o"'2 8. Copied and squeeze 
taken in 1870. 

fm: ::}\^' t ', A'^fft' yI "'"'^^ ^^^^ '^ broken across and much worn ; 

V *'V '^'^ V • '^ ^he inscription is very difficult to decipher, and 
(J f jf Vs^ f^£V ]^M appears to be imperfect on the right side. 

■''^IrjM.— llw^J ^ 'AveTr[^dy]) ? 6 /xa/cap[(,os] 'Iwavt'[i7s] 

 •A- .>^^^' Kw^iP^^ 'Auev 7) eo" 

" Rested the blessed Johannes 


'Afx-qv is spelt 'A/ieV as in No. i ; this fragment is 
perhaps of the same period. 
21. In the house occupied by M. Pickard. Fragment built in (to the 
flagging of the courtyard .''). Length of the line o™"6o. Copied and squeeze 

* Father Germer-Durand, who has pubhshed this inscription in the Revue Bibliqiie (1893, 
p. 205) from the same copy, reads: AI<I>6CT instead of A<I>€CT, but this reading does not 
lead to any more satisfactory meaning. 

t Cosmos, April 2rid, 1S92, p. 16. Cf. Revue Eihtique, 1892, p. 239. 

From Jerusalem to Sebastc [Samaria), and from Sebaste to Gaza. 415 
taken in 1870. Characters roughly cut, greatly worn and difficult to decipher. 

' — •'   — < \. " 1'. " : — •'■' I . I. r ... 

>J< 'AveTTCie (6) [JiaK[dpio<;). . . . 

" Rested the blessed " 'Ai^eTrae for di/endr], w for 6* 

22. House of Haji 'Othman. Fragment of marble used in the flagging 
of a terrace. Length of the line o"'"2i. Squeeze made in 1874. 

Icrawos 'lov 

" Isakos, son of lou . 



Isakos is the usual Greek transliteration of Isaac. The patronymic was 
some such name as loulianos. 

23. Fragment of a marble slab brought to our tent by a native. 
Breadth o"'23. Squeeze taken in 1874. Remains of two lines probably 
belonging, like the foregoing, to a Greek Christian epitaph. 

. fi (or w)t K? Lavo<; 

. . . Lavos is the termination of an Hellenised Latin 
proper name. 

24. In a Greek house.| Carved marble slab. Height o"'-6o. A large 
cross placed on a trilobed symbol after the kind of that in Nos. 8, 11, 13, 
representing Golgotha. On each branch of the cross, and also where they 
intersect, is carved a Greek letter. Sketch taken in 1870. 

* We have several instances of this in the Greek epigraphy of Syria. 

t Or, perhaps, cursive t'efa, of the shape noticed in No. 2. In this case, /if might he the 
number 22 used to denote the day of the month. 

t I have forgotten the name of the owner. The stone, according to an entry in my note 
book, probably came froro Ascalon. 


Archceolosiical Researches in Palestine. 

The four characters in the corners and the fifth in the middle make the 
followinpf combination : 

Z W H 

This is formed of the two words, {wij, " life," 
and ^ws, " light," arranged in the shape of a cross, 
with the omega common to both. These two holy 
words denote two essential characteristics of Christ, 
and there are several instances in Syria of crosses 
\^4- ~ formed by the intersection of them, for example, on a 

bronze patera found on the Mount of Olives, which I 
published in 1883,* and on an amulet from Jeball.t These two words, which 
the symbolists had used, by an ingenious and mystic combination, to form the 
component parts of a cross, are found connected in the well known verse of 
St. Damasus which sets forth the symbols of Jesus : " Spes, via, vita, ratio, 
sapientia, lumen." They are found side by side in the octett set out by 
St. Irenseus.l 

Aoyov, Kal Mopoyepov';, kol Zwtj?, koI <l'aJTos, kol Swrr^po?, Koi XptcrroG, 
/cat Ttou @eov. 

25. In a house at Gaza. Portion cut off a marble flagstone, broken into 
three, o"''40 X o"''45. Found on the sea-shore. Copied and squeeze taken 
in 1 8 70. 

* Jievue critique, September loth, p. 194. I will mention one more analogous case of these 
two symbolical words on a monument at Anayunt, in Phrygia {Bitllctin de Co)-rcspondance 
hellenique, 1893, p. 288) : they are thus disposed : 


I will cite yet another example of the formula ZWH ^WC, recently found at 'Akrabah in 
the Hauran {Statement, 1895, p. 51, No. 26). In this case it docs not present the usual cruciform 
arrangement ; but the order in which the two words follow one another is interesting as showing 
in what direction the combination should be read. First the Iwrizonial and tlien the vertical line 
is to be read : ^uii], 0tt>?, '• life, light." Note that this order is the very same as in the definition 
given by St. Irensus, which I adduced to explain the formula. 

t Renan, Missioji de Phcnicie, p. 216. 

X Contra tucrcseos (Mij^nc, Patrologie, ^'II, Col. 54j). 

From Jerusalem to Sebastc {Samaria), and from Scbas/e to Gaza. 417 

The inscription is incomplete on the left-hand side ; possibly quite 
half is wanting. 

it e sic Juvenali 

de omnes una 

[una or (fteryni trinita \/\ in* 

e dignetur ^ 

? Ao)u.eT[i]ai'os 

0.1' (J< 



The Greek portion consisted of two lines, the ends only ot which are 
left ; the first terminates with the name of Domctiaiios, and the second with 
the figure XI, which is probably that of the indiction. 

The four lines with which the inscription began are in Latin. This 
iuxtaposition of the two languages is a very curious fact, and it is a great pity 
that this fragment, difficult both to understand and to restore, is all that we 
have of the original. The es and ^'s are of Greek form in the Latin text ; 
the type of the m points to a late period, perhaps somewhere about the tenth 
century. The inscription appears to be a profession of faith concerning the 
dogma of the Trinity, possibly derived from the Athanasian creed. ''^ 

What is particularly interesting about this inscription is the appearance 
of the name Jiiveiialis, probably the celebrated Bishop of Jerusalem who 
lived under the Emperors Theodosius II and Marcianus. I do not mean 
to assert that it is really contemporary with this personage, who played so 
great a part in the political and religious history of Palestine in the fifth 
century. Although the name Dometianos, contained in the Greek portion, 
recalls that of Dometianos, disciple of St. Euthymius, ordained by Juvenalis ; 
and although Juvenalis knew Latin, as appears from the Acts of the Council 
of Ephesus, in which he took a most active part, it seems impossible, pakeogra- 
phically speaking, to make our inscription date back to his time. It may 
however be a reference to some episode in the life of Juvenalis that was 

* Or trinita[i]i n . . . . 1 

t Cy! in an inscription at Ezra', in Trachonitis (Waddington, op. cit. No. 2501): >) fiovai cV 
Tpia?ei Kai >) t/>(«? c'l- !toi'a?ti. See also No. 2261 of the same collection, a mention of the oym 
Tfudv or Holy Trinity. 

? H 

4i<S Arclurolooical Researches in Palestine. 

concerned with Gaza. We know that he consecrated several bishops on the 
coast of Palestine, and in so doing acted for the first time as MetropoHtan, to 
the great scandal of the Archbishop of Csesarea and the Patriarch of Antioch, 
and asserted the supremacy of the see of Jerusalem.""' What inclines me to 
think that the name Juvenalis here is really that of this historical personage 
is the allusion to the dogma of the Trinity that accompanies it. We know, as 
a matter of fact, that Juvenalis must have had a particular devotion for the 
Trinity, the nature of which was much discussed in the troublous times that 
saw the birth of the heterodox doctrine of Nestorius and Eutyches concerning 
the two natures of Christ. We are indebted for this characteristic detail to 
a letter of the Emperor Marcianus himself in which he ascribes to the 
particular favour of the Trinity the almost miraculous preservation of 
Juvenalis, who was menaced in his dignities and even in his life by the terrible 
rebellion headed by the monk John. The Emperor expressed himself in the 
following terms : " Juvenalem sanctissimum episcopum et Sancta Trinitas, et, 
ut res ipsa ostendit, fidei constantia servavit."t 

26. At Sheikh Rached, on a piece of marble ; two lines. Copy made by 
the Survey Party {^Quarterly Statement, 1875, p. 159; and Memoirs, III, 
p. 253). I did not visit the spot, and cannot get any satisfactory result from 
the two reproductions, which do not tally with one another. It appears to be 
a Christian epitaph on one Elias. 

27. The Survey Party discovered at Deir el Belah, to the south of Gaza, 
on the coast, two fragments of inscriptions which were given first in the 
Quai'terly Statement (1875, P- '59)- ^^'i"^'! 'i" attempt at transcription which is 
certainly defective ; and afterwards in the Memoirs (III, p. 248) in fac-simile. 
I did not visit the locality, and am only acquainted with these fragments from 
these very imperfect reproductions. They appear to be very interesting, and 
it is a matter for regret that they were not noticed with greater care. They 
seem to belong to one and the same inscription. I recognize in the second 

line the umwqs M(arciis) Aurelius (Aupe\tos for AupifXios) Hadriaiuis {}) 

and Apollodoros in the dative preceded by a/xa, "with." The end may 
perhaps have run thus : 

0.770 tvT^s Tov Xi^[o(Trpwr]ou eu;i(a[/3tcrTowx€S ? ? 

* Juvenalis went to the Council of Ephesus with several of these bishops that he had 
appointed, notably Nestoras of Gaza, who were his supporters in that memorable struggle. 

t Bot/andists, July 2nd, Vol. VII, p. 855 et seq. 

From Jerusalem to Sebaste {Samaria), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 419 

It is to be hoped that some explorer passing that way will take a squeeze 
of these fragments, after having removed the mortar which covers part of one 
of them. The circle appearing in the drawing of the first, as given in the 
Memoirs, is a round hole made through the inscription at some subsequent 

The Era of Gaza. — As we have seen, the majority of the Christian 
epitaphs in this series bear exact dates, containing as a rule the day of 
the month, the year of the indiction, and the year according to some era, 
which is only specified in one case. Before attempting to determine the 
origin of this era, and to harmonize these dates with the Christian era, 
I will draw up a table of our dated inscriptions, classifying methodically 
the chronological indications they contain. No. 7A is the only one that 
is not of a funerary character, but the date on it must belong to the 
same era. In several mutilated inscriptions only a part of the date has 
been preserved. In others, the hundred-figure has been systematically 
suppressed by the stone-cutter himself (see Notes to No. 15). I express 
the deficient figure letters by ciphers in parentheses in the first case (o), 
in brackets in the second case [o]. In the last column I have inserted the 
corresponding date according to the Christian era, based on calculations 
which will be explained further on. 

I have divided this series of dated inscriptions into two groups : the 
first. A, comprising from No. i to No. 14B ; the second, B, from No. 15 to 
No. 17. My reasons will be .shortly apparent. The latter of the two groups 
is characterized by the intentional suppression of the hundred-figure in the 
number expressing the years. I shall examine how far it is expedient to 
connect or separate these two groups ; but first of all I shall proceed to a 
separate discussion of the group A, which constitutes a thoroughly coherent 

Group A. — What is the era to which the years expressed in this series 
of dates is to be referred? Inscription No. 13 gives a categorical reply to 
this question — the Era of Gaza. 

The starting point, or, as the phrase goes in chronology, the epoch of the 
Era of Gaza, is indicated on the one hand by a well known and much discussed 
passage in the Chronicon Paschale, and on the other by a series of coins struck 
at Gaza, in the name of the Roman Emperors, up to the time of Gordian. 
By putting these dates together we manage to fix the epoch of the era of 
Gaza somewhere about 60 b.c. ; I say "somewhere about," for the numerous 
savants who have successively taken up the question for two centuries past 


Archcsological Researches in Palestine. 

are not altogether at one, the discrepancy between their systems being no 
less than four years.'" According to the most commonly received notion, the 

Group A. 

No. of the 

Vear, according to 
the Era of Gaza. 

Year of the 


Day of the 

IJale according to the 
Christian Era. 


54(0) t 



Hyperberetaeos ... 


16 October, 505. 






15 August, 511. 






(0)4 April, 529. 




Daesios ... 


2 June, 539. 



440 +.v= ? 

from 26 January to 74 
February, 540. 









14 August, 541. 






27 August, 541. 






I September, 541. 

1 1 



12 May, 548. 

I 2 






623 of the 
Era of Gaza. 


Dresios ... 


5 June, 563. 






30 May, 602. 




Hyperberetaeos ... 


19 October, 609. 

Group B. 












For possible agreements 
with the Christian era, 
see the observations to be 
made later on. 

year 1 of Gaza would coincide with portions of the years 62-61, or else 
61-60 B.C. As we shall see, this latter conclusion is the right one. 

* A good account of them will be found in Ideler, Handbuch der matheviatischen und 
technischen Chronologic, I, p. 474 and p. 438, and in Stark, Gaza und die Philistaeische KiisU, 
p. 513 and p. 5 1 8. Cf. Clinton, Fasti Romani, p. 116. 

t The (o) indicates a possible unit, or ten-figure, which the worn state of the inscription 
prevents us from determining; the [o] (in the case of Nos. 15, 16, 17) a hundred-figure which 
has been purposely omitted by the stone-cutter. 

\ If the indiction had been expressed, it would have been XI. 

Froi/i Jciiisa /('/>! to Sebastc [Sainarici], and frotn Sebaste to Gaza. 421 

It seems as if our inscriptions ought to aid the problem with new 
an-d possibly decisive data, their dates being not only calculated by the era 
of Gaza, but harmonized with the years of the indiction. As is well known, 
the indiction is a system of computation, Byzantine in its origin, based on a 
periodic cycle of 15 years, and commencing with the year 312, each year 
being reckoned from September i to September i. Here then we have the 
means of checking our calculations, which before was wanting, and the best 
system will be the one that agrees with the year of the indiction. 

Furthermore, our inscriptions afford us, in addition to the year in the 
era of Gaza and the year of the indiction, the month and the day of the 
month. To attain to absolute precision the day of the week would be required. 

My first step is to note that these latter indications (viz., of month and 
day), which are simply concerned with the common calendar, justify in a 
remarkable way the conclusions that had been reached about the special 
calendar used at Gaza, and more particularly the views of Ideler concerning 
the part played in this calendar by the intercalation of the five epagomenal 
days. Let us first attend to the calendar, before discussing the era. 

It follows from the tables preserved in the famous and invaluable Florence 
Hentcrologion, that the special calendar used at Gaza was arranged as follows : — 

Order of the 

Names of the 

Beginning of the 

Length \n 



28 October 




27 November 




27 December 



Peritios ... 

26 January ... 




25 February ... 




27 March 




26 April 




26 May 




25 June 




25 July 


X.* .\ 


(24 August) ... 




29 August 



Hyperberetaeos ... 

28 September 



* The asterisk denotes the names of the months that occur in our inscriptions. 
\ And iix days every four years. 

422 Archaologiial Researches in Palestine. 

This calendar is identical with that of the Alexandrians, and like it is 
based on the practice of a fixed solar year (corresponding to the ancient 
Egyptian solar year) of twelve months, of thirty days each, with the addition 
of five epagomenal days (to which a sixth was added every four years). 
The only difference was that at Alexandria the months retained their ancient 
Egyptian names in Greek, and the year began on the 29th of August (the ist 
of Thoth = I St of Gorpiaeos) ; whereas at Gaza they preserved the Syro- 
Macedonian names of the months, and the Syrian custom of beginning the year 
in the autumn, on October 28 (= the ist of Dios). On this point we have 
the explicit testimony of the Deacon Mark of Gaza, in his Life of St. Poi'phyry, 
which was written in the first half of the 5th century. Mark expressly says 
that Dios and Apellaeos were the two first months in the year at Gaza. To 
this chronological datum, which Ideler availed himself of, I will add others of 
equal importance that I have gathered from the same source, and that he also 
might have utilized, (a) At Gaza the months are five days in advance of 
those of the " Romans." (n) The month Aiidynceos corresponds io Janiiarins ; 
the nth day of this month is the feast of the Theophanies of our Lord, 
corresponding to January 6, Roman style. (r) The 23rd of Xanthikos 
corresponds to the i8th April among the Romans.* (d) And lastly, the 
Deacon Mark gives us the precise date of the death of .St. Porphyry, using 
the expression I quoted just now.t 

A comparison of the table of the Gaza Calendar with the table of the 
dated inscriptions that I found there, will show at once that nearly all the 
names of the months occur in the latter. (They are marked there with an 
asterisk.) The only ones that do not appear are Apellcpos, Audyiicros, and 
Panemos : but it is evident that this is a mere chance, and that some day or 
other these three gaps may be filled up by fresh discoveries. Thus the 
identity of the calendar is clearly j^roven. 

* All the equivalences given by the Deacon Mark, who was in a position to know all about the 
matter, agree exacily, day for day, with the calendar given above, and attest its perfect accuracy. 

t See, supra, the commentary on inscription No. 13. M. Omont, the learned Assistant- 
Keeper of the Bibliotheque Nationale, has directed my attention to a manuscript (nth century) 
in our collections, containing an abridgement of the work of Mark (probably by Metaphrastes). 
The passage relating to the death of St. Porphyry runs thus: — 'O cV oV/o? Ilo/j0i'/j,o9 Uavn JV;/ 

tirtpiuiaa'! koXw vttvu^ e/coifu/Oij, fir/vt (pevpovapi'iv eiKaCa t/iTj-y, ewiaKOTn'/aa^- iTtj liicoaiTciTaafja, fu,vas 

LvrcKo, KiH Jj^ie/m^ okTit'. The author of the abridgement has suppressed the date of the year, and 
has converted that of the month (2 Dystros) into the Roman style, "26 February," which is in 
entire agreement with the date obtained from the calendar drawn up by modern criticism and 
with that of the commemoration of St. Porphyry in the menologies. 

From fcj-iisalcDi lo Sed(uh' [Samaria), a/id from Scbaiic to Gaza. 423 

We have moreover — and this is particularly interesting — a mention made 
of the fourth of the epagoiiioial days. Further still, our inscriptions furnish 
categorical proof that the five complementary epagontotal days — which the 
Copts and Arabs ingenuously call "the little month" — were intercalated, in 
the Gaza calendar, not at the end of the year as Noris supposed, but, as Ideler 
rightly imagined, between the icth and the i ith month (Loos and Gorpiaeos), 
at the 24th of August ; that is to say that these 5 days, intended to supply 
the deficiency in a year of 360 days (12 months of 30 days) had kept 
the place they originally occupied in the calendar of Alexandria, on which 
the calendar of Gaza is visibly modelled, despite the change made by the 
inhabitants of Gaza in the starting point of the year. This is plainly 
shown by Nos. 8, 9 and 10 of our inscriptions, which are all dated the same 
year 601. This year 601 is made to coincide with the year IV of the indiction 
in Nos. 8 and 9, but with I he year V in No. 10. Why this discrepancy ? 
We at once perceive the reason of it, thanks to the specification of the three 
different months belonging to this same year. No. 8 is dated the 21st of 
Loos, corresponding to August 14; No. 10 is dated the 4th of Gorpiseos, 
corresponding to September i. Now we know that the year of the Byzantine 
indiction began with the ist of September ; consequently the 14th of August 
was still in indiction IV, which ended on August 31 (=3 Gorpiaeos); but 
September 1, on the contrary (=4 Gorpiseos), began the 5th year of the 
indiction, and that is why our No. 10, dated the 4th Gorpiaios, is dated 
year V of the indiction, and not IV. Thus as we traverse in our inscriptions 
the year 601 in the era of Gaza, we have before our eyes the actual transition 
-from one year of the indiction to another on the ist of September. 

This however is not all. No. 9 is dated the 4th of the epagomenae of 
this same year 601, and has IV and not V as the indiction date. Conse- 
quently we are obliged to place it before No. 10, which is dated 4 Gorpiaeos 
(= September i). The five epagomenal days then were intercalated before 
the month Gorpiaeos, and in the interval betiveen August 23 (^ 30 Loos) and 
August 29 {=■ I Gorpiaeos), that is to say in the very place occupied by the 
epagomenae in the calendar of Alexandria. 

These three dates thus instructively juxtaposed, teach yet another lesson. 
This is, that in the year 601 of the era of Gaza the year was reckoned from 
the same starting point as in the origin, namely October 28, in contra- 
distinction to certain towns in Syria which, in the Byzantine period, had 
chan^^ed the starting point of their local calendar so as to make the first day 
of the year in their own era coincide with the first day in the Byzantine year. 

424 A re hcso logical Researches in Palestine. 

that is to say the ist of September. This certainly is not without its value, 
for it will enable us presently to found our calculations on a basis that is not 
liable to be disturbed by this doubt. 

I now enter upon the main question, the real starting point of the era of 
Gaza. No. 13 of our inscriptions yields a decisive indication on this point, 
since it is expressly dated the year 623 of the era of Gaza, the i \th day of the 
month DcFsios (= 5 June), the nth year of the indiction. 

It will be seen immediately that in order to get the date coinciding with 
the indiction, we must admit that the 5th of June in year i of the era of 
Gaza corresponded to the same day in the year 60 i;.c. ; because, if we 
subtract 60 from 623, we get 563 ; now the 5th of June, 563, in our era, was 
in the i ith year of the indiction, which began on September i, 562, and ended 
on the night before September i, 563.* Consequently the year i in the era 
of Gaza must have begun at October 28, in the year 61 i;.c., and ended on 
October 27, /// the year 60 B.C. From this proceeds the following rule: 
having given a date in the era of Gaza, if you want to find the corresponding 
year of the Christian era, deduct from it : — 

I. 61, if the day of the month expressed in the date lies between 

28 October and 31 December, both inclusive. 

II. 60, if it lies between i January and 27 October, both inclusive. 
Applying this rule to the dates of inscriptions Nos. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13. 

14A. 14B, and making this the basis of conversion, the coincidence of the 
results with the indictions is absolutely correct, and this agreement in nine of 
our inscriptions is quite conclusive. 

Only one — I am alluding all this while to the first group — constitutes an 
exception, namely No. 2. There is no doubt about the reading in the 
excellent squeeze in my possession, and the figure of the indiction is 
indisputably XIII. The inscription being dated the 19th of October of the 
year 565 of Gaza (= 505 a.d.), we ought to have the indiction XIV, which 
began on September i, 505. and ended on September i, 506. This solitar)- 
exception is not .sufficient by itself to upset the results obtained by the perfect 

* I think it may not be amiss to mention the rule I have followed in calculating the 
indictions from the years of the Christian era. The manuals in use do not always set it forth 
as clearly as could be wished, (i) For the months from September to December, add 4 to the 
year of the Christian era and divide by 15 ; the remainder gives the year of the indiction ; if there 
is no remainder, the indiction is XV. (2) For the months from January to August, pursue the 
same process and make the same deduction^, but add 3 instead of 4. 

From Jerusalem to Scbasfe {Samaria), and from Sebasfc to Gaza. 425 

agreement displayed by all the other inscriptions in the first group, and to 
make us put back the starting point of the era of Gaza to 62 instead of 61 b.c. 
We must suppose it to have been due to an error on the part of the composer 
of the inscription, who forgot that on October 19, 505, the XlVth of the 
indiction had been in progress for 49 days past. Mistakes of this description 
have been noticed several times in inscriptions dated by indictions. Moreover 
we must dismiss the idea of separating this inscription from the group to 
which I have assigned it, and of supposing for instance that some other era 
than that of Gaza is meant. In fact the mere tenour of it shows that it is 
closely connected with No. 4, these two epitaphs being those of the brother 
and sister who died one 24 years after the other.* 

Group B. — I now enter upon the second group, formed by inscriptions 
Nos. 15, 16, and 17, and characterized by systematic omission, in the date, of 
the hundreds-figures, the tens and units alone being expressed : thus, years 
33, 39, and 88. This omission is the only possible explanation of the 
smallness of these figures ; for it must not be forgotten that the Christian 
inscriptions that contain them are, from the point of view of palaeography and 
epigraphy, manifestly of the same period as those of the first group, which are 
dated between the years 540-669 of the era of Gaza, and belong consequently 
to the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries of our era. 

Our task, then, is to find a combination approaching this period as 
closely as possible, or, in other words, to determine the figure which is under- 
stood and must stand for the hundreds. 

The first idea which naturally presents itself is that we have to deal in 
this case also with the era of Gaza, and that hundreds figure to be supplied 
might be either ((^' = 500) or y^ ( = 600). 

A moment's calculation shows that the figure ;)^' = 6oo must be dismissed 
from consideration ; it would involve dates in the Christian era for the three 
inscriptions altogether at variance with the years of the indictions as given. 
Moreover, it is not possible this time, as we did just now with No. 2, to 
suppose an error on the part of the cutter of the stone, the discrepancy in this 
case being six years, and being reproduced throughout. 

* Besides, even if we admit, for instance, as I have attempted to do further on in the case 
of Group B, that the era employed is that of Ascalon, and not of Gaza, we shall not even then 
get at the right indiction. The 22nd of Hyperberetceos 565 would correspond, in the era of 
Ascalon (which is reckoned from the 28th October in 105 li.c.) to November 18, year 460. But 
this day was in the XlVth of the indiction, not the Xlllth. 

3 I 

426 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

For the three indiction-years on these three inscriptions are separated by 
intervals of six and forty-nine years respectively. Now, if we set aside the 
unknown hundreds-figures, and look at the three dates on their own merits, 
we shall notice that they follow one another in perfectly regular fashion, and 
form a series of such a kind that the three terms — 

{x\ :,3 (8 June)* XII + |.r| 39 (3 Nov.) Ill -f M 88 (25 Nov.) VII 

coincide exactly with the periods of the indiction-cycle of fifteen years. 
Consequently the figures of the indictions must be held to be absolutely 
reliable, + and any combination will have to be dismissed from consideration 
that does not harmonize with the indictions given in the three epitaphs. 

If instead of the figure 600 we work with the figure 500 {=(f)'), we shall 
get the following dates according to the Christian era : — 

No. i5 = 8th June, 473 a.d. (the indiction of which is XI). 
No. i6=3rd November, 478 a.d. (the indiction of which is II). 
No. i7 = 25th November, 527 a.d. (the indiction of which is VI). 

Here again we do not get the indictions right, these being XII, III, and 
VII in our inscriptions, so that they would be a year behind throughout. 
The difference is indeed appreciably less than in the preceding hypothesis, 
but it is still so large that we are bound to account for it. The result is even 
more striking if we compare Nos. 17 in the second group and 4 in the first 
group ; then if we take the hundreds-figure to be 5, these two inscriptions 
would belong to two consecutive years in the era of Gaza. If this were the 
case, we ought not to have the same indiction figure (VII) in both these 
inscriptions, inasmuch as they are divided by an interval of about seventeen 
months (25th November, 527-April, 529), and in this interval indiction VI 
had become indiction VII (ist September, 528). These two dates are then 
irreconcilable, and the series of indictions in tlie first group cannot possibly be 
reduced to the series of those in the second. I conclude from this that the 
era used in this second group cannot be the era of Gaza, at any rate, not as 
the latter is used in the first group. 

It may be asked whether perchance the disagreement, which after all 
does not exceed a year, might not arise from an operation that I have already 

* Presuming that we have to deal with the Gaza calendar. 

t I may mention incidentally that this calculation proves that the correct reading of the 
indiction number in No. 16 really is 7'= Til, although the letter has not been preserved in its 
entirety on the stone. Thus the slight doubt in which this point may have been involved is 
swept away. 

From [emsalem to Scbastc iSaiuarla'), and from Scbaste to Gaza. 427 

spoken of, which has taken place in the case of some other towns of Syria. I 
mean the changing of the beginning of the local )ear to make it agree with 
the beginning of the Byzantine indiction year on the ist of September. A 
change of this kind may at some time or other have made a year's difference 
either way in the computation of the era of Gaza. Only if it be admitted that 
our inscriptions of the first and second groups are very nearly contem- 
poraneous, we should have to suppose that people used the old and the new 
style concurrently, and that the latter did not manage to supersede the former, 
since our series of inscriptions from No. 4 to No. 141;, dated alter No. 17, 
invariably uses the older style.* 

The reader now sees how complicated the problem is. These difficulties 
are such that I have been induced to ask myself whether the era employed 
in our second group is the era of Gaza at all. The idea occurred to me that 
it might be the era of the Seleucids ; — but the calculation of the indictions 
is quite opposed to this ; or, perhaps it might be a special era of Maiumas 
connected with its erection into an autonomous town by Constantine, who 
called it Constantia after his son Constantius ; — but we do not know the exact 
datet of this autonomy, and moreover it had but a fleeting existence, as 
Julian converted Maiumas back again into a dependency of Gaza. 

Can the era be by chance that of Ascalon .'' It would be quite possible 
that amonaf these slabs of marble brouo-ht from the sea coast to Gaza bv the 
Arab masons there should be some from the neighbouring town of Ascalon 
or its dependencies. In support of this conjecture I will mention an important 
fact, which only struck me on reading over these pages. I see from the note 
appended to No. 17, J that the marble slab bearing this inscription did actually 
come froju Ascalon, or so I was assured by \ibd Allah es Serrdj, in whose 
house I found it in 1870. This native had no sort of motive for giving me 
wrong information, and failing proof to the contrary we may admit this 
testimony of his. I attached no particular importance to this circumstance 
at the time, but it now assumes a character of exceptional interest. It would 
be very desirable to ascertain whether Nos. 16 and 15 came from the same 
source, but unfortunately in the case of No. 16 I omitted to note the name of 
the owner, and in the case of No. 15 I did not note the inscription myself. 

* Could the explanation, in this supposition, be that there were two modes of computaiion 
used simultaneously, one at Gaza, the other at Maiumas, a seaport, erected into an autonomous 
town by Constantine ? 

t About 334. 

; This note is an exact copy of whai I wrote on my squeeze at ihe time of making it. 

^ I 2 

428 ArchcBological Researches in Palestine. 

Let us then reason on the supposition that these three inscriptions came 
not from Gaza but from Ascalon, and see where this leads us. 

Ascalon, like Gaza, had an era of its own, and the starting point of it, 
according to the testimony of ancient writers and the science of numismatics, 
has been fixed by archaeologists at 104 a.d. Moreover, the Ascalonites also 
used a special calendar, which has been handed down to us, like that of Gaza, 
by the Florence Henierologion. As far as relates to the names, duration, and 
succession of the months, and the intercalation of the epagomenal days, this 
calendar is identical with that of Gaza. It only differs from it in one essential 
point — the year begins October 28, as before, but this beginning is on the ist 
of Hyperberetaeos, instead of the ist Dios. The result of this was a difference 
of a month right throughout, and the epagomenae were intercalated (at 
August 24 as before) between Panemos and Loos, instead of between Loos 
and Gorpieeos. 

Bearing in mind these data, and taking the ist year of the era ot 
Ascalon to begin on October 28 (ist of Hyperberetseos) in the year 105 b.c. 
and finish on October 27, 104, we obtain for our three refractory dates in the 
era of Gaza the following dates in the era of Ascalon, and, further, in the 
Christian era : — 

No. 15 : 14 Dsesios [5]33, XII = 8 July, 429, XIL* 

No. 16: 7 Dios [5]39, 111 = 3 December, 434, III. 

No. 17 : 29 Dios [5]88, VI I = 25 December, 483, VII. 

Accordingly under this system the indictions would be in exact agree- 
ment. It still remains, I acknowledge, to consider whether these dates, which 
bring us to the fifth century, would not be at variance with palaeographic 
and historical probability, and whether there are not historical or numismatical 
counter-indications leadinor to the conclusion that the era of Ascalon began 
with October 28, 105, and not lO-j, before our era. 

Upon the whole, putting aside that part of the problem which relates 
to the dates in Group B, I think we may sum up by saying that our 
examination of Group A clearly proves that the proper starting point of the 
era of Gaza should be fixed at October 28 in the year 61 b.c, and I have no 
doubt that the double method already explained (that of deducting 61 or 60 
according to the month and the day of the mojith) will enable us to solve alt 
the chronological problems that may be raised by the discovery of fresh 

* Here again it will be of course necessary in making calculations to use alternately the 
figures 105 and 104, according as the day of the month expressed in the inscription lies between 
2Sth October and 31st December, or bet«'een ist January and 27th October. 

From ferusalcni to Sebastc iSdiuaria), and from Scbasfc to Gaza. 429 

inscriptions or coin.s dated by the era of Gaza. If we apply it for instance 
to the date of the death of the celebrated Bishop of Gaza, St. Porphyry 
(2 Dystros, 480, according to his biographer the Deacon Mark), it is imme- 
diately seen that this date answers exactly to February 26, 420 of our era 
(and not 421, as .several writers have it). 

This also holds good for those most interesting coins struck at Gaza in 
the name of the Emperor Hadrian, and bearing a double date, one according 
to the era of the town, the other according to a special era, which depends