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Its Waterways, Plains, & Highlands. 









y a it b n : 


Publishers in Ordinary to Her Majesty. 





Limits of the Survey ; Area ; and Time devoted to it. The results. 
The Large Map. The Reduced Map. Special Plans of Towns, 
etc. Memoirs. G-eneral Index. Three editions of the Eeduced 
Map. Character of the Survey. Its extension urged. The 
New Survey and former Maps. 

of the Map : Waterways, Basins, Waterpartings, and Water- 
sheds. The Survey included in two Great Watersheds, that of 
the Mediterranean Sea on the West, and that of the Jordan 
on the East. The OROGRAPHY : Lowlands and Highlands. 



THE BASIN OP NAHR KASIMIYEH. Outfall, 33 20' 16" N. Lat. . . 9-12 

The Southern Waterparting. Wady Hajeir. Wady Selukieh. 
Wady 'Aizakaneh. Rectifications of former Maps. Two 
classes of Basins. Out of 30 Basins along the Coast, only four 
drain the Upper Plateau of the Interior. 

THE BASIN of WADY EL HUBEISHIYEH. Outfall, 33 17' N. Lat. 12-14 

Waterparting. Former Names and Misrepresentations. Two Main 
Channels : the Huheishiyeh draining the centre and south, 
and the Humraniyeh draining the northern part. Wady 
Ashur. Wady el Ma. Castle of Tibnin or Toron. 


NORTH. Outfall of Wady el EzziyeTi, 33 11' 40" N. Lat. . . 1 1-16 

Position. Previous inaccuracy of the Minor Basins. Wady el 
'Akkab. Wady Nettarah. Contracted Limits of the Lower 
Part. Expansion of the Upper part. Waterparting. Jebel 
Adather. Khurbet Belat. TeU Belat. Rectifications of former 




THE BASIN OP WADY KEEKEEA. Outfall, 33 4' 48" N. Lat. . . 16-18 
Overlooked formerly. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL KUEN. Outfall, 33 3' N. Lat 18-19 

Relation to Wady el Ezziyeh. Waterparting. Contact with Jordan 
Basin. The lower G-orge. Kulat el Kurein or Castle of 
Montfort. Two main branches. Jebelet el Arus. Jebel 
Jurmuk. El Bukeiah. Q-orge of Suhmata. 


Outfall, 32 54' 30" N. Lat. Minor Bavins between N'amein and 
Kurn. Semeirlyeh, Majnuneh. Castle Jiddin. Nahr Mefshukh. 
Villages. Fountain el Kabry. Wady es SaUk. Nahr N'amein 
Basin. Waterparting. Southern Range of Upper G-alilee. 
Extent of Basin. Wady el Halzun and Wady Shaib. Wady esh 
Shaghur. Wady el Waziyeh. Base of Southern Range of 
Upper G-alilee, and the highway between Acre and the East. 
Wady 'Abellin. Three natural divisions of Lower Gralilee. 


N. Lat 23-26 

The Waterparting. Outfall. Wady el Melek, and the Northern 
Divisions of the Basin. Four Main Channels of the Southern 
Division. Affluents of the Central Division. 


Its eastern and western slopes, paths, wadys, main ridge, and 
parallel ranges. 


Outfalls (!) 32 35' 42" ( 2 ) 32 32' 20" N. Lat 30-32 

(1.) Three permanent Streams. El Khashm. Plain of Tanturah. 
Depression of Belad er Ruhah, dividing Mount Carmel from 
Jebel Sk. Iskander, etc. (2.) Two divisions of the Nahr ez 
Zerka Basin. Notable rectifications. 

THE BASIN OF NAHE EL MEFJIE. Outfall, 32 28' N. Lat. .. 32-35 

Formerly Nahr Akhdar, and misunderstood. Merj el Ghuruk. 
Wady es Selhab, Plains of Dothan and 'Arrabeh, Wady el 
Ghamik and Wady Abu Nar. The Nuzlet Villages. Wady 
el Maleh, Wady el Khudeirah, and Nahr el Mef jir. Wady er 
Roz, and Wady Abu Kaslan, Sheikh Beiazid Mountains. 
Wady Arah. Wady el Asl, and Wady Bir Isir. Wady 
Samantar, Wady el Yahmur, and Wady Rasein. The Upland 
of Umrn el Khataf . Rectifications. 

falls, 32 23' 50" and 32 16' 30" N. Lat ' .. 35-37 

Outfall of Nahr Iskanderuneh and Waterparting Rectification 
Nahr el Falik. Wady esh Shair. Nablus. Mount Ebal or 
Eslamiyeh. Wady Zeimer. Jebel et Tur or Mount Gerizim. 
Wady et Tin. Wady el Haj Musa. Wady Kulunsaweh. 
Wady en Naml. Highways. 



THE BASIN OF NAHB EL 'AujA. Outfall, 32 6' 10" N> Lat. . . 37-45 

Outfall. Permanent streams. Waterparting. Merj Sia. Northern 
and Southern Divisions, and their partition. Northern Division 
Wady Kalkilieh. Wady Azzun. Rectification. Wady 
Kanah, the biblical Brook Kanah. Wady Eabah. Rectification. 
Wady Ballut, Wady Bushanit and Wady Ishar, Wady er 
Rumt, Wady el Kub, Wady Seilun, Wady en Nimr, Wady el 
Jib, Wady er Reiya. Wady Suhary. Southern Division 
Wady Nusrah. Khallet es Salib. Wady Shahin. Wady esh 
Shellal or Budrus, and Wady Ludd, their partition. Tribu- 
taries of Wady esh Shellal : Wady en Natuf, Wady Malakeh, 
Wady Hamis, Wady Kelb, Wady Delbeh, and Wady Shamy. 
Wady Ain 'Arik, Wady el Imeish, Wady es Sunt, Bethhoron. 
Wady Muslih. Tributaries of Wady Ludd : Wady Harir. 
Wady 'AtaUah. Wady Aly. Wady Jaar. Wady Suweikeh. 
Wady Selman. Wady el Mikteleh. Wady el Burj. Wady 
Mozarki. Wady el Hai. Wady Khushkush. Wady Aly. 
Wady Alakah. Rectifications. 

THE BASIN OF NAHB RTTBIN. Outfall, 31 56" 10" N. Lat 45-50 

Outfall. Waterparting. Curvature of the Basin. Headwaters on 
the Plateau of el Jib, or Gibeon. Wady ed Deir. Wady 
'Amir. Wady Jillan, ed Dumm, and Beit Hannina. Wady 
el Abeideh. Wady Buwai. Rectifications around Jerusalem. 
Wady es Surar. Wady esh Shemarin. Wady es Sikkeh, Wady 
el Werd, and Wady Bittir. Wady Ismain. Wady en Nagil. 
Wady el Ghurab. Mount Seir, and Mount Ephron. Separa- 
tion between the Mountains of Judah and the lowland Hills of 
of the Shephelah. Samson's Country. Plain of Akir (Ekron). 
Valley of Sorek. Wady Deiran. Wady Ayun Do. Wady en 
Nahir. Wady el Menakh. Mount Baalah. 

THE BASIN of NAHB SUKEBEIB. Outfall, 31 49' 10" N. Lat. . . 51-54 

Waterparting. Three main branches. 1. Wady es Sunt. Wady el 
Jindy. Wady es Sur. Division of the Mountains and Low- 
land. Cave of Adullam. Gorge of es Sunt. Tell es Safi. 2. 
Wady el Afranj. Wady Kaideh. Rectification. 3. Wady ed 
Dawaimeh. Wady el Ghhueit. Outfall. Rectifications. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL HEST. Outfall, 31 36' 20" N. Lat. . . 54-56 

Outfall. Waterparting. Basin of Wady Bireh. Main Sources 
and Channel of Wady el Hesy. Wady edh Dhikah, and en 
Nas. Gheith, the site of Gath. Huj. 

THE BASIN OF WADY GHTTZZEH (GAZA). Outfall, 31 27' 54" N. Lat. 56-61 

Waterparting. Wady el Zhulil. Wady el 'Aawir. Yutta. Wady 
Kilkis. Wady ed Dilbeh. Wady Deir el Loz. Wady Itrny. 
Wady es Seba. Ziph and Carmel. Wady el Khan. Wady el 
Habur. Wady el Ghurra. Wady Saweh. Wady es Seba. 
Wady el Khureitein. Wady es Seba. Wady esh Sheriah. 
Shaaraim. Hazor Susah. Darum and Bizjoth-Jah-Baalah. 






HuleTi Marsh at es Salihiyeh, 33 10' N. Lot 62-64 

The head of the Jordan Basin. Wady et Teim and Nahr el Has- 
bany. Merj 'Ayun. Perennial Fountains of the Jordan. Tell 
el Kady. Dan. 'Ain and Nahr Leddan. Banias, fount and 
stream. Nahr Bareighit. 

THE HULEH PLAIN, MARSH, AND LAKE. Outfall, 32 2' 16" N. Lat. 64-65 
The affluents of the Huleh from Kades and Meis. Wady Arus. 
'Ain el Mellahah. 

THE BASIN OP WADT EL HINDAJ. Outfall, 33 3' 3" N. Lat. . . 65 
The Waterparting. 


Wady Musheirifeh. Wady Loziyeh. Wady Zuhtuk. Wady 

THE BASIN OF WADY 'AMTJD, SAFED. Outfall, 32 51' N. Lat. . . 66 

THE BASIN OF WADY RUBTTDIYEH . Outfall, 32 50' 30" N. Lat. . . 66 

THE BA%IN OF WADY EL HAMAM. Outfall, 32 49' 50 N. Lat. . . 66-67 

THE BASIN OF WADY FEJJAS. Outfall, 32 41' 50" N. Lat.. . : . 67 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL BIBEH. Outfall, 32 36' N. Lat 67-68 

Wady Dabu, Yebla, or Esh-sheh. 

THE BASIN OF NAHR JALUD. Outfall, 32 31' N. Lat 68-70 

'Ain Jalud. Zerin (Jezreel). Beisan (Bethshean). Head of the 
Basin. Valley of Jezreel. Wady el Hufiyir. Wady es Sidr. 
'Ain Tub'aun or Tubania. Kanat es Sokny. Wady el 

THE BASIN OF WADY SHUBASH. Outfall, 32 24' 30" N. Lat. . . 70 

Elevated glens, or lateral valleys of el Mughair and Raba. Ka'aun, 
the ancient Coabis. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL KHASHNEH. Outfall, 32 23' 35" N. Lat. 70-71 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL MALEH. Outfall, 32 21' 25" N. Lat. . . 71-73 

Waterparting. Three main branches : Wady el Maleh and Castle. 
Wady Helweh. Wady ed Duba. 


FAR' AH .. , * 73-76 

The Slope. Wady Umm el Kharrubeh. Wady Shaib. Wady el 
Bukei'a and Abu Sidreh. The Ghor and the Zor. Sh'ab el 



THE BASIN OF WADY FAR' AH. Outfall, 32 2' 20" N. Lat. . . 76-8 1 

Waterparting. Dimensions. Head of the Basin in two parts. 1. 
Southern part Plains of Rujib, Askar, and Salim, Chasm of 
Wady Beidan. 2. Northern part Two centres at 'Ain and 
Tell Far'ah, and Wady Beidan. Wady Far'ah. Sea Level. 
Fall. Three divisions. El Fersh. Buseiliyeh. G-orge. The 
Kurawa. Masudy Arabs. Archelaus. Affluents. Shab esh 
!Shinar. Nukb el Arais. Wady el Jozeleh. E-oute of Abram, 
Jacob, and Benhadad the Syrian. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL HTTMR. Outfall, 32 1' 30" N. Lat. . . 81-84 

Waterparting or Boundary. Wady el Humr. Wady el Kerad. 
Wady Zamur and ed Dowa. Gorge. Wady el Ifjim. Preci- 
pitous Chasm. Wady Zakaska. ILurn Surtubeh. Wady Fusail. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL 'ATJJAH. Outfall, 31 55' 10" N. Lat. . . 84-87 

Waterparting. Three divisions. (1.) Wady el Mellahah. Wady 
Unkur edh Dbib. Wady Bakr. Wady Mekur edh Dhib. 
Change in the base of the Mountains. Expansion of Low Hills. 
Intermediate Plain, probably the Plain of Keziz. (2.) Wady 
el 'Aiijah. 'Ain Samieh. 'Ain el 'Aujah. Wady Abu el 
Haiyat. Wady Sebata. Wady el Abeid. Wady en Nejmeh. 
Wady Dar el Jerir. Wady Lueit. (3.) Wady Abu Obeideh. 
Wady Umm Sirah. Rectifications. 

THE MINOR BASIN OF WADY MESA'ADET 'AisA. Outfall, 31 53' 10" 

N. Lat 87 

A Traditional Mountain of the Temptation. 

THE BASIN OF WADY NUEI'AMEH. Outfall, 31 52' 28" JV. Lat. . . 88-90 

Sources. Waterparting or Boundary. Curvature of the Basin, 
and its effect on Lateral Communication. Watercourses. Wady 
el 'Ain. Khallet es Sultan. Wady el Kanabis. Wady Muhei- 
sin. WadyAsis. Rumm6n("the Eock Rimmon"). Wady 
Abu el Haiyat, and Wady el Asa. Wady es Sineisileh. Wady 
Rummamaneh. Wady el Harik. Wady el Makuk. Wady 
Abu Jurnan. 'Ain en Nuei'ameh. 'Ain ed Duk. Osh el 
Ghurab. El Grhoraniyeh Ford. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL KELT. Outfall, 31 49' 30" N. Lat. . . 90-97 

Waterparting. Extent. Watercourses in two parts. (1) Wady 
Suweinit. Ai. Wady el Medineh. Wady en Netif. Jeba (G-eba). 
Mukhmas (Michmash). Site of Philistine camp. The Rocks 
Bozez and Sen eh. (2) Wady Farah. Wady Redeideh. Wady 
esSenam. Wady Zimrij. Wady en Nimr. Wady en Nukheileh. 
'Ain el Kelt. Wady el Kelt. Wady Abu Duba. Khan Hathrurah 
and Talat et Dumm on the Jericho Road. Defile. Jericho. Khaur 
Abu Dhahy. 'Ain Hajlah. Wady Rijan. Roads and tracks. 
Valley of Zeboim or the Hyenas' Ravine identified with Wady 
Sikya. Note on Ai. 


NORTH. Outfall of el Kueiserah, 31 45' 40" N. Lat 97-102 

Formerly Wady Dabor. Slight contact with Mediterranean Slope. 



Waterparting or boundary. Minor Basins falling into the Dead 
Sea. Wady Talat et Dumm. Wady Mukarfet Kattum. Wady 
Joreif Ghuzul. Watercourses of el Kueiserah Basin. Wady 
Seleim. Gorges of Deir es &idd. Wady Euabeh from Mount of 
Olives. Wady es Sidr. Pass of Thogret ed Debr. Wady el 
Lehham from Mount of Olives. Wady el Haud. Wady el 
Jemel. Jebel Ekteif . Wady el Mudowerah, and Wady ed Deda- 
kin. Eoads. Gorge of el Mukelik. David's Flight from 

BASINS ON THE NORTH. Outfall of Wady en Nar, 31 40' 20" 
N. Lat 103-108 

Wady Jofet Zeben. Wady Kumran. Plateau of el Bukei'a. War 
ez Zeranik. 'Am Feshkah. Wady es Sammarah. Waterparting 
of Wady en Nar Basin. Valley of Jehoshaphat and the Valley 
of Hinnom. Bir Eyub. Wady Abu Aly. Mar Saba. Eoads 
from Jerusalem to Mar Saba. Wady Akhsheikh. Wady Jerf an. 
Wady 'Alya. Wady el Areis. Wady Umm eth Theleithat. Eec- 

THE BASIN OF WADY ED DERAJEH Outfall, 31 34' 35" N. Lat. 108-110 

Wady el Q-huweir. Waterparting. Divisions. (1) Wady el Kaah. 
Wady Sainurah. Wady Lozeh. Wady Umm el Kulah. Wady et 
Tin. Wady el War. Wady D'abud and Wady el T'amireh. Wady 
el Meshash. Wady el Bussah. (2) Wady el Biar. Valley of 
Berachah. Aq\iedu<?t. Wady Fureidis. Cliffs and Caves of 
Khureitun, the traditional Adullam. Wady Jubb Iblan. Chasm 
of Wady Muallak. (3) Wady Mukta el Juss. 


THE NORTH. Outfall of Wady el 'Areijeh, 31 27' 30* N. Lat. 110-116 

Outfall. Minor Basins : Wady Husasah, Wady esh Shukf, Wady 
Sideir, Wady Marjari. Eoads from 'Ain Jidy. Waterparting or 
boundary of el 'Areijeh Basin. Watercourses of el 'Areijeh. 
Plateau of el 'Arrub. Wady el "Arrub, and its affluents. Gorge 
of Wady el Jihar and Wady el Gbar. Plateau of Jihar and 
Ghar. Wady Umm el 'Ausej. Wady es Suweidiyeh and Wady 
es Sukiyeh. Eoute. 

THE BASIN OF WADY EL KHTJBERA. Outfall, 31 24' N. Lat. 116-117 
Waterparting or boundary. Three divisions. (1) Wady Jerf an. 
Wady el Kuryeh. Wady Nimr. Wady es Sihaniveh. Wady 
Umm Kheiyirah. (2) Wady Malaki. Wady Kueiwis. Wady 
el War. Malaki and Khubera Gorges. (3) Wady Eujm el 
Khulil. A scene of David's exploits. 


Outfall of Wady Seiyal, 31 19' 47" N. Lat 118-120 

Wady Mahras. Wady el Kasheibeh. W. Sufeisif. Waterpart- 
' ing of Wady Seiyal Basin. Wady Khurbet et Teibeh. Wady el 

Kureitein. Wady es Sennein. Wady Mutan Munjid. Wady 

Umm Jem at. Wady el Khuseibiyeh. 






The Maritime Plain of Tyre. Eas el Abyad to Kas en Nakura. 
The Maritime Plain of Acre and the Plain of Megiddo. Inter- 
mediate Range of Hills. The Plain of Eameh. The Plain of 
'Arrabeh. The Plain of Buttauf. The Plain of Toran. General 
view of the Plains of Acre and Megiddo. Six great arms. (1) 
The Plain of Acre. (2) W. Halzun, and the plains of Eameh 
and 'Arrabeh. (3) The plains of Buttauf, Toran, and Seffurieh. 
(4) Between Mt. Tabor and Jebel Duhy. (5) Nahr Jalud, or the 
Valley of Jezreel. (6) Between Mt. Gilboa and Mt. Ephraim. 
The Central Plain. Eoads. 


(1) The Plain of Tantura. (2) The Plain of Sharon. Forest of 
Oaks. Falik Hills. Dhahr Selmeh Hills. Eamleh Hills. Three 
divisions of the plain of Sharon. (3) The Plains of 'Arrabeh or 
Dothan. (4) The Plains of Mukhnah, Eujib, 'Askar, and 
Salim. (5) The Plain of Philistia. Line of highland prolonged. 
Plains at Akir and 'Arak. Intermediate hills and hollow. Plain 
of Akir or Ekron, and plains west of Jerusalem. Plain of Yeb- 
nah (Jabneel). Sandy downs. Plain of 'Arak el Menshiyeh, and 
Heights of Hebron. Ashdod. Advance of Hills towards the 
coast. The Sukereir Eange. The Keratiya or Bureir Valley. 
Askelon. Site of the Port of Askelon. The guardianship of the 
Five Cities, and the site of Gath. 



Ijon. Ain Derderah. Nahr Bareighit. Deadly Ftorm. Altitude. 
Eelation to the Kasmiyeh or Litany Elver and the Eiver Jordan. 


Total dimensions. Four divisions. (1) Huleh Plain. Surrounding 
heights. (2) Huleh Marsh. Dr. Tristram's notes. Mr. J. Mac- 
gregor's boat survey. Channels. Dangers. (3) Huleh Lake. 
Form and extent. Altitude. Soundings. (4) Ard el Eheit. 


Fall of the Jordan. Bridge of Jacob's Daughters. Western afflu- 
ents. Eastern end of the Southern Range of Lower Galilee. Its 
relation to the depression of the Jordan. 




Entrance of the Jordan. Plain of Batihah. Bethsaida Julias. 
Tell Hum. Kh. Kerayeh. Et Tabghah, Bethsaida of Galilee. 
Plain of Gennesaret. Interesting Wadys. ' Ain 'el Mudauwerah, 
Capernaum placed at Khan Minia. Magdala at el Mejdel. Chin- 
nereth at Abu Shusheh. Wady Abu el 'Amis and the Ayun el 
Fuliyeh. Merj Hattin. Wady el Hamam. Irbid, Arbela, or 
Beth Arbel. Kulat Ibu Man, fortified Caverns. Hajaret en 
Nusara. Horns of Hattin. Tiberias. Ernmaus, Lofty Cliffs. 
Kerak. Exit of the Jordan. 


JISR MUJAMIA TO NAHR JALTTD . . . . . . . . , . 153^154 

Wady Bireh. Wady el Esh-sheh. The Zor. 


Nahr Jalud and the Valley of Jezreel. Mt. Gilboa. Remarkable 
bank. Altitudes. Irrigation Channels. Wady Shubash. Wady 
el Khashneh. Mounds. Succoth. Lieutenant Conder's Megiddo. 


Relation to Wady Maleh. Contraction of the Ghor and Zor. Ten 
fords. Comparative lists of names. 

THE PLAIN OF PHASAELIS . , . . 162-166 

Northern limit. Three parallel valleys connected with the plain. 
(1) Wady Sidreh. Wady el Bukeia and its peculiarities. El 
Makhruk. Archelaus. (2) The Kurawa and Wady Far'ah. 
Kurn Surtabeh. Recess. End of long line of cliffs. (3) Wady 
If jim and its peculiarities. Khurbet Fusail, the [site of Phasaelis. 
Wady el Humr. Wady el 'Aujah. Expansion of low hills across 
the plain. Recess of the Mountains and enclosed plain. 'Ain 
Duk. 'Ain en Nuei'ameh. Vale or Plain of Keziz. Special 
features. Wady el Jozeleh. Wady el Mellahah. Mankattat or 
' Strips." Wady Mesa'addet 'Aisa or the " Ascension of Jesus." 
'Osh el Ghurab or the {Raven's nest. Traditional sites of the 
Mountain of Temptation. Zemaraim. 


Limits. Kusr el Yehud or Jew's Castle. The Zor. Mouth of the 
Jordan. Dead Sea coast. Mountain and Cliffs. Jebel Kuruntul. 
Erlha. Sites of ancient Jericho. 'Ain es Sultan. Wady Kelt. 
Interruption of the line of Cliffs. Slope of plain. Fertility. 
Wadys. Wady Nuei'ameh. Wady Kelt. Jiljulieh, the site of 
Gilgal. Ain Hajlah, site of Beth Hoglah. Kusr Hajlah. Kusr 
el Yehud or Jew's Castle, a ruined convent. The Pilgrims' 
Bathing places. Reputed sites of Our Lord's Baptism. Greeks 
and Latins. Khaur el Thumrar. Wady Makarfet Kattum. 
Wady Joreif Ghuzal. Wady el Kaneiterah. Wady Kumran. 




KAS FESHKAH TO HAS MEESID . . . . . . . . . . 170-172 

Dr Tristram's Map and the New Survey. Kas Feshkah. The 
Shore. Sulphur Spring. The intersecting Wadys. Plain of 
Engedi. Wady Sideir. Wady el Areijeh. Pass, plateaus, spring, 
and vast cliffs of 'Ain Jidy (Engedi, Cliff of Zor). 


The Shore. Terraces. The Rock of Sebbeh. Ruins of Maasad. 
Wady Kuberah. Wady Seiyal. 




Relations of Streams and Plains to the Highlands. The Culminating 
Summits. Ranges. Edges of Plateaus. Altitudes. 



Summits. Base. Choice between Wady el Waziyeh with Wady esh 
Shaghur, and Wady el Halzun with Wady Shaib. Wady el 
Tawahin or the Safed Gorge. 


Summits. Altitudes wanting. Slope. Altitudes along the base 
line. Peculiar Descent of the Jordan into the Huleh Plain. The 
line of lowest depression between Mount Hermon and the Medi- 
terranean Waterparting. The slopes around the Huleh Plain. 
Dr. Robinson's six terraces. The western slope of Nahr Bareighit. 
The hypsometrical connection between Jebel Hunin, Abl, and 
Banias. The summit north of Jebel Hunin and south of it 
around the Basins of Meis and Tufeh to Neby Muheibib and 
Deir el Ghabieh. Parallel Range on the west of Wady 'Aizakaneh, 
continuous with the range running south from Neby Muheibib. 
Plateau of Kades. Terraces of Malkiyeh and Belideh. Wady 
'Arus. Ard el Dawamin. Ard el Kheit. Wady Selukieh, 
Wady Hindaj, and Wady 'Amud. Jebel Kan'an. 


The lower slope interrupts passage parallel to the coast-road by its 
valleys and ridges. Parallel passage restored by the upper 
plateaus of the Hubeishiyeh, Ezziyeh, and Kurn. 




Kisra. Line of heights. Corresponds with Waterparting of W. el 
Kurn. Gorge of the Kurn. Kulat el Kurein, the Crusaders' 
Montfort. Khurbet Belat. Line of Heights. Gorge of the 
Ezziyeh. Crusaders' Castle of Tibnin and its curious situation. 
Three divisions of the western slope. The Central Division. The 
Northern Division, upper and lower parts. Southern Division. 



The Jermuk Eange. The Marun Range. The Main valleys 
of the Upper Kurn. El Bukeiah. The Plains between the Jer- 
muk and Marun Ranges, and between the Marun and the Eastern 
and Northern ^Ranges. Common base of the Jurmuk and Marun 


INTEODUOTOEY . . . . 199 

The Limits. Different aspects and altitudes of Upper and Lower 


Its base lines. It culminates in a plateau between two ranges. Al- 
titudes wanting. 


Its base lines. Curvature. Scarps and cliffs. Plain of Hattin. 
Plain of Ahma. Culminating points. Hajaret en Nusara or 
Nazarite Rocks, a traditional site of " the Feeding of the Five 


Its base lines. The Summits. The Western Division. Oak 
Forest. The Central Division. Semunieh. Yafa and Mujeidil. 
El Warakany. Jebel Kafsy, the traditional Mount of Precipita- 
tion. Mount Tabor. Wady el Mady. Woods and chalk downs 
in contrast. Jebel es Sib. El Meshhed. Seffurieh. Wady 
Kefr Kenna. The Eastern Division. Wady Shubbabeh and 
Wady Fejjas. Basaltic Cliffs. Depression of Base line below sea 
level. Wady Mu'allakah. The Plateau of Sh'arah, its streams 
and villages. Successive descents from Mount Tabor to the Sea of 


The group, its limits and dimensions. Three divisions. (1) Jebel 
Duhy. Nein. Endor. Tell el 'Ajjul. Eastern base. Kh. Maluf. 
El 'Afuleh and Aphek. Solam and Shunem. Saul's last battle. 
Tub'aun and Tubania. Camps of the Crusaders and Saladin. 
Kleber's decisive victory. Eastern Plateau diagonally divided by 
Wady Dabu and Yebla. (2) Northern range with the Kaukab el 
Hawaor Castle Belvoir. Bold features. (3) Wady Kharrar. 
Four successive terraces from the northern range to Nalir 




Its basins, 'lowlands, ranges, uplands, plains, and scenery. 


INTRODUCTORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215-216 

The Geographical analysis of these mountains impracticable before 
the present Survey. Dr. Robinson's aims and labours. The new 
Survey now supplies the materials. Five divisions adopted. 

THE NORTHERN SAMARITAN HILLS . . . . . . . . 216-223 

The North Eastern base. The Western face. The Eastern face. 
The northern and southern division distinctly marked. The east- 
ern end of the dividing line indicated. The features on either 
side contrasted. The Wady el Ifjim. The eastern side of the 
northern part described. The prolongation of the dividing 
line described westward to the sea, from Wady el Ifjim, through 
the Plain of Salim, the Nablus gap, Wady esh Shair or Zeimer, 
and Nahr Iskanderuneh. The northern escarpment of the nor- 
thern part, and its summit. Mount Oilboa or Jebel Fuku'a. 
Double Summits in the south. Three spurs at northern end. 
Broad western branch and lesser spur. Abrupt eastern slope. 
Elevated lateral valleys. Valley of Jelbon. The contortions of 
the waterparting. Y alleys of el Mughair and Raba. Southern 
boundary indicated by the drainage. Summary view of the west- 
ern division of the Northern Samaritan Hills in six sections. 
Connected plains. Routes. 


The Southern limit. The Eastern Side contrasting the Southern 
with the Northern Hills. Eastward projection of the water- 
parting. Merj Sia. Eastern side also contrasted with the next 
section on the south. Elevated lateral valleys. Jehir 'Akrabeh 
with upper and lower terraces. Wady Nasir. Wady ed Duba 
and Wady el Merajem. The Western Side. Undulating plateau. 
Western and Eastern altitudes. Plain of Mukhnah. Wady 
Ishar. Interior ranges. Wady Kanah. Falik Hills. 


Northern limits. Mount Ephraim. Summit of Northern Slope, 
culminating points. Shebtin heights and valleys. Lateral com- 
munications. Southern limits. Five Parallel ranges. Isolated 
hills in the Plain of Sharon. 


Separation of the Mountains and Lowland Hills, on the south of 
Wady Malakeh. Wady el Muslib. Wady el Mikteleh. "Valley 
of Ajalon. Interruption and recurrence of Meridional valleys at 
Yalo. Wa v dy en Najil. Wady es Sur. Hills and Mountains 
distinguished by altitudes. Plains of el Jib and Rephaim, or the 
Western Plateau of Jerusalem. Southern limits of the group. 
The low hills of this group distinct from the Shephelah. (1) Wes- 
tern Slope from Jerusalem Plateau. (2) Southern or Middle 
Slope. (3) Eastern or Jordan Slope. The Plain of Bukeia. 
Line of Eastern Summits. Eastern Plateau of Jerusalem. 
Middle Range. 



Limits. Main Range. Western Slope. Eastern Slope. The 
Middle Kange continued. Eastern Range continued. Triple 
terraces. Highest Plateau. Wady el Khulil or valley of Hebron. 


In five groups : 1. From Wady esSurar to Beit Dejan. 2. Between 
Wady es Surar and Wady es Sunt. 3. Between Wady es Sunt 
and Wady el Afranj, 4. Between Wady el Afranj and Wady el 
Hesy. 5. South of Wady el Hesy. 


THE first instalment of the Survey of the Holy Land, which 
the Committees and Subscribers of the Palestine Exploration 
Fund have for so many years persevered in producing, is at 
length published, and together with^ the work at Jerusalem 
and minor results, it may well be offered as a justification of 
all the exertions, and outlay, which have been expended. 

This portion of the Survey of Palestine is bounded by the 
Nahr el Kasimiyeh or Litany Eiver on the North, and by the 
Wady es, Seba on the South ; with as much of the Jordan 
and the Dead Sea on the east, and of the Mediterranean 
Coast on the west, as the northern and southern limits 
admit. Within this extent are the southern part of Phoenicia 
including Tyre but omitting Sidon ; nearly the whole of 
Galilee ; all Samaria ; and the greater part of Judsea ; indeed 
from Dan to Beersheba. 

The whole of the surveyed area covers more than 6,000 
square miles. The survey occupied seven years in the field, 
and more than two years in addition were spent in the 
preparation of the work for publication. The immediate 
results of this survey in particular include : 1. A large map 
on the scale of one mile to an inch, reproduced and published 
in 26 sheets, each of which measures 22 inches by 18, the 
whole when joined together extending to 13 feet by 7. 
2. A reduction of the large map for general purposes, on the 
scale of about 2-f- miles to an inch, in six sheets, the size when 
joined together being 5 by 3 feet. 3. Numerous special plans 
on large scales of towns, buildings, and ruins. 4. Memoirs 
composed from the field notes of the * surveyors, and from 
abstracts of authentic works. These treat on the natural 
features and products of the country, its hills and valleys, 
springs, wells, cisterns, water-courses, and streams ; its present 


divisions, towns, villages, ruins, and highways ; the identifi- 
cation of Biblical and other Historical sites ; the inhabitants, 
their languages, legends and traditions, manners and customs, 
and superstitions. 5. A general index to the native names 
of about 9,000 places, with their signification as far as 
possible. 6. Photographs, sketches, and other illustrations. 
The plans, memoirs, index, and illustrations, will be combined 
and published in quarto volumes, now in the press. Three 
editions of the reduced map are in hand, illustrating : 1. The 
Modern Geography. 2. The Old Testament, and 3. The New 

The publication of this remarkable survey with its 
accompaniments, goes far to throw open a splendid field of 
critical research, in the most satisfactory way. Without such 
a map of the country as the Fund has produced, the student 
of the History of Palestine, sacred and profane, ancient, 
mediaeval, and modern alike, had to grope about in the midst 
of uncertainty. Even the most gifted explorers on the ground, 
could only partially note and record the facts connected with 
their actual route, while they had no adequate means of 
bringing the neighbourhood beyond their reach on either 
side, within the scope of their research. A map constructed 
on the basis of route surveys must be unequal to the require- 
ments of modern science. It is but an imperfect substitute 
for such a work as the present. Few unsurveyed countries 
had received more able or more abundant attention than 
Palestine in the form of route surveys; these indeed 
being combined in its case with more pretentious works, for 
which neither adequate time nor proper arrangements had 
however been provided.* To form a judgment on the com- 
parative value of the new survey with former publications, 
the best of which are the latest, but by no means the largest, 
it is only necessary to examine them together, in any part, 
when the inexpressible superiority of the new work will at 
once be observable. 

* E.g., Jacotin's map in five sheets, 1798-1801. Zimmermann's map in 
sixteen sheets, 1850. 


To one who laboured with Dr. George Grove to produce a 
map of the Holy Land from the materials in existence before 
the Palestine Exploration Fund Survey, it may be allowed 
to express a lively and grateful sense of the merits of the 
new work. Unlike all its predecessors it is an original 
survey of the ground as a whole, on the best scientific 
methods. It is derived entirely from actual observation, 
carried on throughout on the same accurate and exhaustive 
basis ; and it conveys all the information that is usually desired 
in a topographical map. It is a sound foundation for every 
kind of research in Palestine connected with topography. 
Such is the work that has been designed and executed by a 
body of private individuals depending on voluntary subscrip- 
tions. It excites the hope that the same successful instru- 
mentality will now be directed to the completion of the 
survey of the Holy Land, including Lebanon on the north, 
the Negeb and Desert of the Wanderings on the south, and the 
interesting regions east of the Jordan. In the first " State- 
ment of Progress " issued by the Committee, it was said that 
" so long as a square mile in Palestine remains unsurveyed, 
so long as a mound of ruins in any part, especially in any part 
consecrated by the Biblical history, remains unexcavated, the 
call of scientific investigation, and we may add the grand 
curiosity of Christendom remains unsatisfied." The spirit 
thus manifested cannot fail to derive great encouragement 
from the successful results of the labours which it has 
accomplished, encouragement to persevere in the good work 
of applying the evidence existing on the land, to the elucida- 
tion of the record in the book. It is gratifying to add that 
since these remarks were in type, the Trans Jordan Survey 
has been decided upon. 

A comparison of the new survey with former maps, 
displays an immense accession of detail, in such a form as 
to make one feel familiar with the country, and able to 
follow up the most obscure tracks along which any of the 
Biblical or other Historical narratives may lead. The map 
will doubtless elicit a general overhauling of the records of 



the past relating to the Holy Land, both sacred and secular. 
Next to visiting the scene of great exploits is the delight of 
tracing them on a faithful map of adequate scale, and even 
on the ground itself the map is a needful expositor. A map 
like the present, has all the character of a new revelation, and 
the exercise of the critical faculty, is sure to be brought into 
play on Palestine to an unprecedented extent, with regard to 
every interesting site, whether it have been identified, or have 
hitherto escaped identification. The discussion of such 
questions opens up a lively prospect for the editor and 
readers of future " Quarterly Statements." 



To appreciate the use and value of the New Survey, it is 
necessary to examine it in some detail, and to bring it into 
comparison with the information that existed previously. 
Passing over the methods by which a survey is accurately 
made, it is enough at present to observe that the foundation 
of a geographical map is its Outline, consisting chiefly of the 
delineation of its Waterways. A distinct acquaintance with 
this branch of the subject is a fundamental element of 
geographical knowledge. 

To describe the waterways of a country intelligibly, it is 
needful to adopt a simple method, based on the following 
facts. In tracing a watercourse from its source to its final 
outfall, it is found that some outfalls dispose of the waters of 
very small areas with simple systems of watercourses ; while 
other outfalls are the drains of very large areas, with a great 
complication of watercourses, not easily unravelled. The 
area drained through each distinct outfall or mouth, is called 
a Basin, whether it be small or large ; and its boundary is a 
Waterparting. The surfaces descending from a Waterparting 
to a Watercourse are called Watersheds or Slopes. The 
term Watershed or Slope is equally applicable to the sides of 
the smallest valley or of the largest continent. In the latter 
case, the term includes all the basins into which the same 
continental slope is divided. In like manner a Waterparting 
may be a simple ridge or mere swelling of the ground between 

B 2 


two of the smallest streams, as well as the natural division 
of the waters of a Hemisphere. 

The New Survey is included in two great Watersheds, 
that of the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and that of the 
Jordan on the east. The main Waterparting between these 
sheds or slopes, runs through the map between the Jordan 
and the Sea coast, in a very zig-zag course, which it is 
difficult to follow on the map, without prominent distinction 
by colour or by detailed description. About three-fourths of 
the country west of the Jordan are on the Mediterranean 
slope. The Basins of the Mediterranean Watershed will be 
examined first, then those of the Jordan. Afterwards the 
Orography or Eelief of the country, its Plains and Highlands, 
will undergo a systematic examination, bringing out the dis- 
tinctive forms of the ground, taking further notice of . the 
Valleys, and rendering the intricate combination of the moun- 
tains intelligible. This will be the limit of the present work ; 
but other investigations will follow. 




Only a part of the basin of the Kasimiyeh, or Litany, falls 
within the Survey, its northern limit being chiefly the lower 
course of that river. The southern waterparting of the basin 
commences on the sea coast, about midway between Tyre and 
the mouth of the river. It is not well-defined at first, but it 
comes within a mile of the river on the west of Bidias, and 
here divides the Kasimiyeh from the Hubeishiyeh basin. The 
waterparting continues eastward as far as Sarifa, where it is a 
mile and a half from the river, but it bulges southward on the 
way, to a distance of two miles. 

From Sarifa, the waterparting passes south-eastward to 
Burj Alawei, then southward to el Yehudiyeh, eastward to 
beyond Safed el Battikh, southward round Berashit, and 
westward through Beit Yahun to Ras et Tireh ; where the 
Kasimiyeh basin ceases to be in contact with the Hubei- 
shiyeh, and becomes contiguous with the Ezziyeh basin. The 
waterparting runs on to Marun er Ras, having the villages' of 
et Tireh and Bint I) mm Jebeil on the west, and those of 
Ainitha and Marun er Ras on the east. 

The Kasimiyeh basin now runs with that of the 
Jordan, and proceeds from Marun-er-Ras east to Deir 
el Ghabiyeh, then north towards Meis where it makes 
another bend to the east, and then north to Hunin and 
el Khurbeh, separating the Wady 'Aizakaneh and other small 


branches of the Kasimiyeh from the ISTahr Bareighut or 
Derdera and other tributaries of the Jordan. Beyond the 
survey, the Kasimiyeh rises on the eastern side of the highest 
part of Lebanon, on the Dhor el Khodib or Jebel Akkar, 
about 70 miles north of the great bend where it falls into the 
Palestine Exploration Map. It drains the central and south- 
western parts of the valley of Hollow Syria, lying between 
Lebanon on the west, and Anti Lebanon with Mount Hermon 
on the east. In the south-eastern part of Hollow or Ccele Syria, 
the Kasimiyeh is divided from Herrnon by Jebel et Dahar and 
the Wady et Teim, in the basin of the Jordan. The Kasimiyeh 
basin is here confined to the eastern slopes of Tomat Niha, 
and the riyer runs in a vast chasm at the foot of that moun- 
tain, the twin peaks of which form the culminating summits 
of Southern Lebanon. At the southern end of that range, the 
chasm opens up into a small plain, and the basin expands a 
little, so as to include the Jermuk River which descends from 
the western side of Tomat Niha, and joins the Kasimiyeh 
about two miles north of Kulat esh Shukif or Belfort Castle. 
Here the river falls within the Survey, which, however, only 
extends to its southern bank, where it bends westward to 
the sea. On the north bank the basin is confined to narrow 
limits, and gives off only a few short branches to the main 

Within the Survey the basin of the Kasimiyeh is chiefly 
within the Wady el Hajeir and its tributary Wady Selukieh. 
The latter rises at Marun er Ras and joins the Hajeir in a 
deep gorge on the east of Burj Alawei. The Hajeir rises at 
el Jumeijmeh, and falls into the Kasimiyeh near the Bridge 
of K'ak'aiyeh. The direct distance between Marun er Ras 
and the Kasimiyeh exceeds fourteen miles. The width of 
this part of the basin varies from three to eight miles. 

On the east of Wady el Hajeir, the Kasimiyeh, in bending 
to the west, receives the Wady 'Aizakaneh, from a valley on 
the south. The Wady 'Aizakaneh is in the same line as the 
main stream, before it bends to the west, but the course of 
the 'Aisakaneh is directly opposite. It rises near Hunin, and 


has a length of about six miles. Further east another valley 
divides the 'Aizakaneh from the waterparting of the basin. 

On the west of the Hajeir, the southern margin of the 
Kasimiyeh basin contains several villages ; and some small 
tributaries cut their way to the main stream through its high 
and rocky banks. One of the streams runs parallel to the 
waterparting by two channels for some distance. 

The basin of the Kasimiyeh has been corrected as follows : 
The Hajeir is found to rise near el-Jumeijmeh, instead of at 
Aitheran. It is the Selukieh (Seluky), a branch of Hajeir 
which carries the basin of the Kasimiyeh so far south as 
Marun-er-Eas. West of Wady Hajeir the basin is deprived 
of a considerable area reaching south in former maps 
beyond Ter Zibna (now Teir Zinbeh), the new survey having 
discovered that this tract belongs to the Hubeishiyeh basin, 
which has its outfall into the sea, between the mouth of the 
Kasimiyeh and the city of Tyre. 

Another geographical explanation is necessary before 
proceeding further. The basins of the Mediterranean Slope 
may be divided into two classes. Those of the first class are 
coterminous with the Jordan Basin. The second class basins are 
separated from the Jordan by the interposition of the upper 
parts of first class basins. This remark bears especially on the 
structure of the country which includes Tyre and Acre on its 
coast. In that part it will be found that only four consecu- 
tive basins in the interior divide the Kasimiyeh (or Litany) 
from the Mukutt'a (or Kishon) Basin. The four are the 
Hubeishiyeh, Ezziyeh, Kurn, and N'arnein ; although there 
are about 30 distinct outfalls along the coast within this area. 
The Hubeishiyeh is reckoned among the first class basins, 
although it is divided from the Jordan Basin by the southern 
extension of the Kasimiyeh. But the latter is an exceptional 
case, for it conforms rather with the upper part of the first 
class basins of the Jordan's Western Slope, than with similar 
features on the. Mediterranean Slope.* The second class 

* See pages 186, 187. 


basins in some cases are nearly as important as those of the 
first class, while others scarcely deserve notice. The follow- 
ing are of the second class between Tyre and Acre, viz. : 
Wady el 'Akkab, Wady Shema, Wady ez Zerka, Wady 
Kerkera, Nahr Mefshukh, Wady el Majnuneh, and Nahr 
Semeiriyeh. The consecutive upper portions of the first class 
basins, constitute an elevated plateau, between the water- 
parting range, and an irregular, ill-defined, outer range, which 
gives rise to the streams of the second class basins, while it 
is intersected by the gorges through which the streams of the 
plateau descend to the sea. 


This basin is in contact with the Kasimiyeh Basin from the 
sea eastward 'and southward to a mile west of Beit Yahun; 
thence to Kef rah, it joins the basin of Wady el Ezziyeh ; 
and from Kefrah to the sea, it is bordered by the basin of 
Wady el 'Akkab, and smaller channels near Tyre. 

Wady el Hubeishiyeh was named Wady el Mezra'ah, by 
Dr. Eobinson and others. Mezra'ah is a place on the Wady 
Ashur , the name of the middle part of this wady. Scarcely 
anything beyond the name is found in Dr. Kobinson's map. 
The map to Mons. V. Guerin's " Galilee " is more ample in 
detail, but the only name given to this wady in it, is 
0. Achour, the equivalent in French to Wady Ashur. Much 
more complete in this part is Lieutenant Van de Velde's map, 
and also the map of the Holy Land in Dr. William Smith's 
Ancient Atlas. But in those maps as in Mons. Guerin's and 
others, the Wady Humraniyeh (which is the northern branch 
of el Hubeishiyeh) is unnamed and misrepresented, its upper 
part being made tributary to Nahr Kasimiyeh. The addition 
of the upper Humraniyeh to the basin of el Hubeishiyeh 
extends the basin as far north as Sarifa (Therifeh in some 

The Basin of Wady el Hubeishiyeh is how found to be 
drained by two main channels, of which the Wady el 


Hubeishiyeh includes the outlet into the sea on the north of 
Tyre, together with the central and southern parts of the 
basin. The northern part is watered by the Wady el 
Humraniyeh and its tributaries. 

The Hubeishiyeh is so named from the sea to the village 
of Jilu, where it receives the drainage of the chief part of the 
centre of the basin, which lies between Kefr Dunin and 
Mezr'ah. This part is further distinguished by the villages of 
Dibal, Teir Zinbeh, Kefr Dunin, Juweiya, Mujeidil, and 
Deir Kantara. It is drained by four parallel valleys and 
their branches, which unite on the east of Jilu. 

From Jilu upwards, and beyond its confluence with the 
Wady el Ma, the main channel is called Wady Ashur . 
About two miles south of Jilu, the Ashur receives a small 
affluent from the east of Mezr'ah, which completes the 
central part of this basin. 

The Wady Ashur is prolonged southward beyond Deir 
Amis, so as to make it the recipient of Wady el Ma. Still 
it is the latter wady which should be considered as the main 
stream or channel. For south of Deir Amis, the Ashur 
derives its supply from two channels and their branches 
which embrace the drainage between Kh. el Jelameh (alt. 
1,560 feet), and Kh. el Yadhun (alt. 2,512 feet), including 
the village of Kefrah. This area may be regarded as an 
equilateral triangle with each of its sides about three miles in 

The Wady el Ma is the outlet of an area much more 
considerable and remarkable. To its outlet at Deir Amis, 
the Wady el Ma descends from the east, through a deep 
gorge with a very winding course, which leads up to the 
village of Safed el Battikh (alt. 2,220 feet). The direct 
distance is about five miles, increased to seven miles by 
the windings. This represents the length of the southern 
division of the basin, its breadth varying from two to four 

At Safed el Battikh, the main channel conies down from 
the north-east corner of a parallelogram, extending in length 


about six miles south-westward, and about four miles in 
breadth. A mountain spur, projected from Kh. el Yadhun 
(alt. 2,512 feet) is the northern limit of this parallelogram, 
all the drainage of which descends to the channel which 
skirts the southern base of the spur, and runs in a north-east 
direction to Safed el Battikh, where it bends round the end 
of the spur, and follows its northern base to the Wady el 
Ma, in a direction parallel, but contrary to its higher course, 
until it is deflected by a great bend to the north on its way 
to Deir Amis. On the summit of the eastern end of the 
spur is the Crusader's Castle of Tibnin or Toron. 

The northern division of this basin is drained by the 
Wady el Humraniyeh. It has on the north the waterparting 
dividing it from the Kasimiyeh ; and its division from the 
central part of the basin on the south, may be defined by a 
line from the outfall through M'arakah and Kefr Dunin. It 
is nowhere so much as three miles wide. The course of the 
main channel is north-westerly until it approaches its out- 
fall, when it turns to the south-west. The head-waters are 
collected in two parallel valleys, dividing the villages of 
Silah, Baflei, and Neifakiyeh and uniting in the main channel 
below Baflei. 


This basin joins that of el Hubeishiyeh in its upper part, 
although towards the sea they are divided by no less than 
six minor basins with distinct outfalls. Of these Wady el 
'Akkab and Wady Nettarah are the chief. 

The Palestine Exploration Survey has revealed much 
inaccuracy in the former delineation of the minor basins. The 
wady which passes the villages of Siddikin and Kana was 
called Wady Shemaliyeh, and was supposed to reach the sea 
on the north of Tyre. This wady is now found to be the 
upper part of Wady el 'Akkab, which makes a sharp bend at 


'Ain Ibal, (formerly 'Ain Baal) and enters the sea at er Rushei- 
diyeh, within three miles south of Tyre. 

Next on the south is another minor basin beginning near 
Yater, on the south-west of Kefrah. Its main channel, in 
the upper part, bears the name of Wady Nettarah. It runs 
north-west to el-Kuneiseh, where it receives a small branch 
from the village of Kana, and there bends at right angles on 
its way to Deir Kanun, Shema'aiyeh, and the coast, which it 
reaches at Ras el 'Ain. The relation of this wady to the 
places connected with it in former maps is materially altered 
by the new survey. 

The basin of Wady el Ezziyeh is quite confined to the banks 
of the wady for three miles above its outfall into the sea. It 
becomes about two miles wide where the main channel is 
sunk in a deep gorge below the village of Zubkin, which 
stands on the waterparting between the Ezziyeh and the 
minor basins on the north. East of the mountain of Kh. 
Belat (alt. 2,467 feet) and crossing the villages of Beit Lif 
and Ramia, the basin has a width of about four miles. 
Further east the basin attains to its greatest width, or ten 
miles, between the waterparting at Haris on the north, and at 
Sasa on the south. From the mouth of Wady el Ezziyeh on 
the west to Marun er Ras (alt. 3,083 feet) on the east, the 
distance in a straight line is about 16 miles. At Marun er 
Ras the waterpartings of the Ezziyeh, Kasimiyeh, and Jordan 
basins meet. 

Between the sea and the neighbourhood of Kefrah, the 
basin of Wady el Ezziyeh is coteiminous with the minor 
basins of Leileh, Nettai ah, and 'Akkab. Near the villages of 
Kefrah, Haris, and Hadd&tha, it meets the Hubeishiyeh basin. 
From thence to Marun er Ras it runs south-easterly with the 
Kasimiyeh basin. From Marun er Ras to Sasa its course is 
south-westerly along the waterparting of the Jordan, or more 
particularly, the tributary basin of the Jordan which has its 
outfall through Wady Hindaj into Lake Huleh. Near Sasa 
is the southernmost limit of the Ezziyeh basin ; and here the 
waterparting bends at a right angle to the north-west, crossing 


Jebel Adather (ait. 3,300 feet) which divides the first class 
basins of Wady el Ezztyeh and Wady el Kurn. From the 
foot of Jebel Adather, the waterparting runs with second 
class basins, beginning with the important Wady Kerkera ; 
north of which it meets a series of small basins confined in a 
triangular space between the lower part of Wady el Ezziyeh 
and the mountain range of Jebel el Mushakkah, so well 
known by its termination on the coast in Ras en Nakurah. 
This group of minor basins has undergone much rectification 
from the Palestine Exploration Survey. The largest of them 
are Wady Shema and Wady ez Zerka,* the latter rising in 
the mountain of Kh. Belat (alt. 2,467 feet), from which is a 
panoramic prospect of great extent and beauty. The Tell 
Belat (alt. 2,020 feet), is a distinct summit to the south in 
the midst of the Wady Kerkera basin. 

Among the dubious questions set at rest by the Palestine 
Exploration. Survey, none is more striking than the topo- 
graphy of the Ezziyeh basin. Robinson's map throws but 
little light upon it. Van de Velde's map and the " Holy Land " 
edited by Dr. George Grove for Dr. William Smith's Ancient 
Atlas, are remarkable approximations to the truth. But the 
latest map in Mons. V. Guerin's elaborate " Description de la 
Galilee " erroneously throws the whole of the southern part 
of the upper Ezziyeh basin from Kh. Shelabun (Guerin's 
Kh. Cha'laboun) to Kh. el Kurah (Guerin's Kh. Koura) into 
the Kerkera basin. So also does Lieutenant Van de Velde. 


Although this basin is only of the second class, being 
divided from that of the Jordan by the southern part of the 
upper plateau of the Ezziyeh, it is of some extent and not 
devoid of natural features. These however seem to have 
escaped the travellers who have visited this region, among 

* The Wady Hamul of Dr. Robinson, " Bib. Res.," iii, 65. 


whom are Dr. Tristram, who camped at el Basseh, but was 
drawn off from the smoother features of Kerkera, to the 
bold gorge of Wady el Kurn and ita fine ruined castle 
which he has so well depicted. Mons. Guerin has reported 
on several of the ruined sites and villages of the Kerkera 
but he had no eye for the river basins, or for the moun- 
tainous and other natural features, except in a picturesque 
point of view, his attention being chiefly attracted by the 
present inhabitants, and the remnants left by their far 
more numerous and wealthy predecessors, who have passed 
away, leaving only abundant proofs of the natural capacity 
of the country at large to support a much larger popula- 
tion than the present. These smiling fields and pastures ; 
woodlands, orchards and gardens; picturesque hills and 
valleys ; amid high mountains and deep, precipitous gorges ; 
would naturally swarm with people, if good government 
could be secured. In this desideratum all the manufacturing 
and trading nations of the earth have a common interest, 
no less than the sovereign and people of the localities 
immediately concerned, for whatever adds to the productive- 
ness of the soil promotes consumption in general, and enlarges 
the demand for every article that adds to the comforts of 

Dr. Eobinson ignores Wady Kerkera altogether, and 
generally confuses the topography of this tract.* For it 
is the Kerkera, and not Wady el Kurn, which drains the 
southern slope of the range that terminates in Eas en 
Nakurah. And as for Teirshiha, it is quite within the 
basin of Nahr Mefshukh (Mabshuk), instead of being on the 
southern side of Wady el Kurn ; although no doubt it may 
appear to be so from the distance at which Dr. Eobinson 
made his observation. In tracing the Wady el Kurn up to 
Jebel Jurmuk, Dr. Eobinson is quite right as he generally is 
in dealing with the broader aspects of his subject. No one 
can be a greater admirer of Dr. Eobinson's geographical 
genius than the present writer, and these remarks, far from 

* "Bib. Res.," vol. iii,66. 


being meant to be personally invidious, are only recorded as 
proofs of the value of the Palestine Exploration Survey, and 
the impossibility of placing dependence on observations of 
a less exhaustive claracter. 

It remains to be said that the Kerkera basin stretches 
southward from the summit of Jebel Mushakkah over a 
distance of three or four miles, its southern margin 
passing through Kh. 'Abdeh, Kh. Jelil, and Fassutah. Tel 
Belat (alt. 2,020 feet) rises in the midst of the basin. The 
head of the basin on the east, runs with the southern part of 
the Upper Ezziyeh, between Kh. Belat (alt. 2,467 feet), and 
Jebel Adather (alt. 3,300 feet). Its length is about 15 miles. 


This is the Nahr Herdawil of some writers. Although, at 
its outfall into the sea, this basin is separated from the outfall 
of Wady el Ezziyeh, by several minor basins and the great 
headlands of Eas en Nakura and Eas el Abyad, these two 
basins meet together in the highlands at Jebel Adather, 
(alt. 3,300 feet), and by their junction divide the basins of 
Wady Kerkera and the Jordan, both of which also approach 
Jebel Adather on the north-west and south-east respec- 

Between the sea and the north-western roots of Jebel 
Adather, the basin of Wady el Kurn is bounded by that of 
Wady Kerkera. Next to Jebel Adathar and the Ezziyeh 
basin, the Kurn basin falls in contact with three great divi- 
sions of the Jordan basin, which have their outfalls : (1) by 
Wady Hindaj into Lake Huleh ; (2) by Wady Amud, which 
drains Safed into the Sea of Galilee ; (3) by Wady er Eub- 
budiyeh, which like Wady Amud reaches the Sea of Galilee 
through the Ghuweir or Plain of Gennesaret. This section 
of the boundary of the basin is the source of its head waters, 
and encircles them by mountains of the greatest height in 
Galilee, for south-east of Jebel Adather is Jebel Jurmuk (alt. 


3,934 feet), and further south is Jebelet el 'Arus (alt. 3,520 
feet). South of Beit Jenn, the waterparting of the Kuril 
basin passes from contact with the Jordan basin, and meets 
for about three miles the north-eastern extremity of the great 
N'amein basin, which divides the Kurn by a wide interval 
from the Mukutt'a basin, and empties itself into the sea on 
the south of Acre. Between the Kurn and N'amein outfalls 
and basins, a series of minor basins occur, of which those of 
Wady el Majnuneh and Wady Mef shukh abut on Wady Kurn . 
The villages of Seijur in the N'amein basin, Kisra in the 
Majnuneh basin, and Teirshiha with Malia in the Mef shukh 
basin, mark the course of the Kurn waterparting, till the 
basin contracts into the narrow gorge through which the 
stream descends from the highland, to the Maritime plain. 
The extensive ruins of Kulat el Kurein, the Crusaders' Castle 
of Montfort, dominate this gorge, and control the road which 
passes through it between the coast and the interior. 
Onward to the sea at ez Zib, the biblical Achzib, the basin 
remains confined to the banks of the stream. 

The upper basin of the Kurn is drained by two main 
branches which unite at Kh. Karhatha. The eastern branch 
descends by deep gorges north-westward along the western 
base of the mountain range which extends from Jebelet el 
Arus (alt. 3,520 feet) to Jebel Jurmuk (alt. 3,934 feet) ; and 
it receives from the northern end of the same valley, but 
flowing in an opposite direction, a branch from Jebel Adather 
(alt. 3,300 feet). At the foot of a long spur from Jebel 
Jurmuk the wady bends from the junction to the west, then 
to the north, and again westward to the junction at Kh. 
Karhatha, and onward to the sea. 

The western branch rises near Beit Jenn and skirts the 
western waterparting of the basin up to Kh. Karhatha. It 
flows through the fertile plains of el Bukeiah, but it descends 
to the junction through a deep and rocky gorge between 
Suhmata and Teirshiha. 




This basin has its outfall into the sea at the northern 
end of the Bay of Acre and near the fortress. On the north 
it is coterminous with the minor basin of Nahr Semeiriyeh, 
which reaches the sea about four miles north of Acre, and 
forms one of the series of minor basins between the Nahr 
N'amein and Wady el Kurn. 

The Minor Basins. 

The Semeiriyeh rises on the west of Deir el Asad in two 
branches, which are named Wady el Humeira and Wady el 
Jezzazeh, and have the village of Julis between them, a third 
and shorter branch rises near the village of Yerka, and 
passing between Kefr Yasif and Abu Senan, takes the name 
of Wady Abu edh Dhaheb. The waterparting between this 
minor basin and that of Wady el Majnuneh on the north, is 
marked by the villages of Kuweikat, Amka, and Deir el Asad. 

The Majnuneh basin extends four miles further into the 
interior than the preceding, and is bounded on the east by 
the upper basin of el Kurn. Its principal branch rises near 
Kisra (alt. 2,520 feet) and skirts the southern edge of the 
basin. Another branch rises on the south of Teirshiha and runs 
close to the northern edge of the basin, under the imposing 
remains of Kulat Jiddin, the vast Castle Judin of the Crusaders, 
and said to have been repaired as late as 1750 by Sheikh Dhaher 
when he governed Galilee. Another wady drains the centre 
of this basin and comes down between the villages of Yanuh 
(alt. 2,200 feet) and Jett, and empties itself at Kh. Akrush. 

The basin of Nahr Mefshukh lies between the Majnuneh 
and el Kurn. At its head are the villages of Malia and 
Teirshiha, near which rise three branches which skirt the 
northern and southern edges, and the centre of the basin, 


respectively. Their junction takes place amidst a group of 
villages, including Kabry, et Tell, el Kahweh, el Ghabsiyeh, 
el Ferj, and el Jebakhanjy, amidst miles of gardens and 
orchards. The great fountain called el Kabry is here, and it 
supplies Acre with water through an aqueduct. The whole 
basin appears to be extremely fruitful and picturesque, and 
it retains many vestiges of antiquity. 

The Semeiriyeh, Majnuneh, and Mefshukh basins, together 
with a very small but distinct tract between the outlets of 
Mefshukh and Kurn, named Wady Sillik, complete the area 
surrounded by the basins of Wady el Kurn and Nahr N'amein. 

The Nahr N'amein Basin. 

The Nahr N'amein is identified with the Belus or Pagida 
mentioned by Josephus and by Pliny. Its northern water- 
parting divides it from the Semeiriyeh, the Majnuneh, and 
the upper basin of Kurn. This waterparting is, besides, a 
mountain range extending from the Jebelet el 'Arus (alt. 3,520 
feet) and presenting many bold and precipitous escarpments on 
its southern face, until it sinks into the maritime plain near 
Acre. The range forms the natural division between Upper 
and Lower Galilee. Except Jebelet el 'Arus, the only height 
given along the range on the Palestine Exploration Survey is 
Jebel Heider (alt. 3,440 feet) ; until the mountain slopes 
downwards to the plain at el Judeiyideh (alt. 295 feet) and 
at el Mekr (alt. 191 feet). Captain Mansell's observations 
partly supply this want. He gives for Kurn Hennawy (alt. 
1,110 feet); for Mejd el Kerum (alt. 1,294 feet); for the 
summit south of el Bukeiah, probably on the road to Seijur 
(alt. 2,657 feet). As the Southern Eange of Upper Galilee, it 
is further noticed in page 177. 

The eastern waterparting of Nahr N'amein divides it from 
the Jordan basin, and from that division of it in particular 
which has its outfall by Wady er Eubudiyeh into the Sea of 
Galilee. It extends from Jebel Heider, near Beit Jenn to 
Eas Hazweh, near Arrabet el Buttauf. The direct length is 



seven miles, but, in consequence of a bold projection of the 
Jordan basin westward, the length along the dividing line is 
about 12 miles. The only altitudes observed on this line 
are at its extremities in Jebel Heider (alt. 3,440) and Eas 
Hazweh (alt. 1,781 feet). The heights of Jebel el Kummaneh 
and Jebel 'Abhariyeh are desiderata. 

The southern waterparting of Nahr N'amein runs altogether 
with that of Nahr el Mukutt'a. The only altitude observed 
on this line is at Jebel ed Deidebeh (alt. 1,781 feet). Between 
Eas Hazweh and Khurbet Jef at, the parting runs from east to 
west; from Khurbet Jefat it takes a south-western course till 
it closes on the permanent stream of Wady el Melek on the 
south of Shefa 'Amr; and from thence it proceeds north- 
westward to the Bay of Acre. 

The greatest width of this basin is about ten miles north 
to south, through Shefa 'Amr ; and its greatest length is 
about 19 miles. 

Its principal channel is the Wady el Halzun, called also 
higher up, Wady Sh'aib. It is the recipient of two head-waters 
which come respectively from Jebel Heider on the north-east, 
and Eas Hazweh on the south-east. Another affluent is Wady 
esh Shaghur which joins it from el Baneh on the north. It has 
several tributaries along its left bank or from the south, among 
which the chief are the Wady el Balat which passes Kabul ; 
and a smaller one rising near Tumrah and passing er Eueis. 

North of Wady el Halzun, is Wady el Waziyeh, which, 
with the affluent of the Halzun rising near el Baneh, suc- 
cessively defines the southern base of the mountain range 
between Upper and Lower Galilee. These wadys are 
traversed by the principal route between Acre, Safed, and the 
noted passage of the Jordan at Jisr Benat Yakub. 

South of Wady Halzun, is the Wady 'Abellin, which 
rises on the west of Kh. Jefat, passes Kaukab and Kh. 
'Abellin and falls into the swamp of Nahr N'amein. Parallel 
with Wady Abellin on the south-west, are three small 
wadys, of which the first descends from 'Abellin ; the second 
comes from Tell Saraj Alauneh and passes Shefa 'Amr ; while 


the third skirts the waterparting up to Jidru, and then falls 
with the others into the end of the N'amein Swamp. The 
N'amein basin forms the north-western part of Lower 
Galilee. The south-western part is the Basin of the Mukutt'a 
and the whole of the eastern part is in the Jordan basin. 
The delineation of this important part of the country has 
undergone great improvement from the Palestine Exploration 
Survey, especially along the line of communication between 
Acre, Safed, and the East. The Halzun also is now found to 
proceed straight into the swamp, instead of making a great 
bend to the south to join the 'Abellin, from which it is really 
quite separate. The relation of the plains of Eameh and 
Sukhnin, and the correct position of the confluence of their 
main channels is now made intelligible. The proper alloca- 
tion of the Valley of Jipthah-el may now be discussed, with 
a knowledge of local conditions that leaves nothing to be 


" The great battle-field of Jewish History and the chief 
scene of Our Lord's ministrations," to use Dean Stanley's im- 
pressive words, are embraced in this basin and its counterslope. 
The defeats of Sisera, Saul, and Ahab ; Elijah's conflict with 
the priests of Baal ; the deadly wounding of King Josiah ; the 
Saviour's home at Nazareth ; the marriage at Cana of Galilee ; 
the resurrection of the widow's son at Nain ; all occurred 
here. The great plains of Esdraelon and the lesser plains 
of Buttauf and Toran, the mounts of Carmel and Gilboa, and 
the highlands of Nazareth, characterise the scene. 

The northern boundary of the basin, dividing it from 
Nahr N'amein, and extending from the Bay of Acre, to Eas 
Hazweh has been already described. The eastern boundary 
reaches from Eas Hazweh along the waterparting of the 
Jordan to Tannin (alt. 1,460 feet). The direct distance is 
30 miles ; but following the windings the length is 50 miles. 
Several of the western affluents of the Jordan descend 



from the border of the Mukutt'a basin. Four of them occur 
between Eas Hazweh and Neby Duhy (alt. 1,690 feet). 
Between Neby Duhy and Sheikh Barkan (alt. 1,698 feet) is 
the Nahr Jalud or the Valley of Jezreel, which falls into the 
Jordan below Beisan. Three more outfalls into the Jordan 
complete this series up to Tannin. 

From Tannin to the sea, the waterparting takes a winding 
north-westerly course. As far as Musmus road, the Mukutt'a 
is contiguous with the maritime basin of Nahr el Mefjir, 
formerly named Nahr Akhdar. The Nahr el Mefjir has a 
common waterparting with the Jordan, and is therefore of the 
first class. From Musmus road north-westward, the water- 
parting divides the Mukutt'a from the second class basins of 
Nahr ez Zerka, and Nahr ed Dufleh, the latter ending at 
Wady el Milh. Here the waterparting ascends the main 
ridge of Mount Carmel, which it pursues up to the deflection 
of the ridge road down towards Haifa, and following this 
descending route it meets the coast on the east of the town. 

The Mukutt'a Eiver falls into the southern part of the 
Bay of Acre near Haifa. About four miles from the bay, it 
is joined by the Wady el Melek, near the village of el Harbaj. 
The Wady el Melek is the main drain of the northern part of 
the basin. Its most distant sources are at Ailbun, Nimrin, 
and Lubieh, including the plains of Buttauf and Toron, and 
the hills as far south as Neby Sain (alt. 1,602 feet), close to 
Nazareth, from whence the southern boundary of the affluents 
of Wady el Melek may be traced by Ailut to Beit Lahm, 
Umm el 'Amed (alt. 643 feet), and Harbaj. The eastern part 
of the Plain of Buttauf has usually no outfall beyond its own 
swamp, which dries up in summer ; but judging from Dr. 
Thomson's account of his passage from Eummaneh to Kana,* 
across *a spongy morass, the overflow in floods probably 
reaches Wady Eummaneh. The Eiver Mukutt'a itself drains the 
central and southern divisions of its basin. Its course is from 
south-east to north-west, the distance between its farthest head 

* " The Land and the Book," p. 426. 


near the village of Jelbon, and its outfall at Haifa, being 
22 miles in a direct line without reckoning the windings. 

The separation between the central and southern divisions 
may be identified with the highway between Musmus, el Lejjun, 
and el 'Afuleh. For south of this road the basin is prolonged 
between Mount Gilboa, and Mount Ephraim, and its drainage 
passes down through the intermediate plain by four main 
channels with numerous branches, all of which unite in one 
outfall before crossing the road. This distinct hydrographical 
area forms the southern division of the basin. 

Between el 'Afuleh and Zerin, the waterparting marks the 
separation of the Plain of Esdraelon (Merj Ibn 'Amir) and 
the head of the broad valley of Jezreel (Nahr Jalud), which 
here begins its steep descent to the Jordan. 

The four main channels of this southern part of the basin 
have their sources (1) between Zerin (Jezreel) and Eas esh 
Sheiban ; (2) between Eas esh Sheiban, and Kh. el Medeka- 
kin, including a considerable extent of waterparting which 
may be traced through Jebel Abu Madwar (alt. 1,648 feet), 
Jelkamus (alt. 1,308 feet), Tannin (alt. 1,460 feet), and Kh. 
Umm el Butm; (3) between Kh. el Medekakin and Sh. 
Iskander (alt. 1,699 feet) ; (4) between Sh. Iskander and el 
Mesheirfeh near Musmus. The final confluence of these 
channels occurs close to the crossing of the boundary road, at 
an altitude of only 203 feet. 

Two affluents of the Mukutt'a, forming the head of the 
central division, descend in opposite directions from the 
north-east and south-west respectively, and join the main 
stream from the southern division near Ludd. Their con- 
fluence is about 2 miles below the boundary of the divisions, 
and its altitude is 181 feet. The north-eastern affluent rises 
at et Tireh on the north of Iksal, the biblical Chesulloth, and 
east of Nazareth. It receives a branch from Neby Duhy (alt. 
1,690 feet) and from Nein, the biblical Nain (alt. 744 feet). The 
south- western affluent descends from an alt. of 1,290 feet through 
the Wady es Sitt and waters the village of el Lejjun (alt. 403 
feet). Three noticeable affluents descend to the right bank 


of the main stream from the highlands of Nazareth ; and 
three smaller ones come from the oak-clad hills which are 
interposed between the Plain of Esdraelon and the Maritime 
Plain of Acre. These forest hills rise to altitudes of 600 feet, 
and the Mukutt'a forces its way to the sea through a gorge 
which divides them from Mount Carmel (alt. 1,810 feet). 

The tributaries on the left bank are more numerous than 
noteworthy. West of el Lejjun a spur descends from the 
waterparting (alt. 1,290 feet) to the village of Ludd (alt. 275 
feet) and the Mukutt'a Eiver (alt. 150 feet). On the slopes 
of this spur are found remains of the ancient city of Megiddo. 
On the east it sends off a perennial branch to the Lejjun 
tributary. On the west its numerous rivulets are spread 
out from Buseileh to Abu Shusheh and reach the Mukutt'a by 
four outfalls. 

Northward of the spur, the steep descent of the highlands 
of Ephraim, terminates in the plain about midway between 
the waterparting and the course of the Mukutt'a, until the 
foot of Mount Carmel is reached, when the Mukutt'a dives 
into the gorge which leads it to the maritime plain and the 
Bay of Acre. Between Abu Shusheh and Mount Carmel 
three notable affluents on this side of the Mukutt'a are (1) a. 
perennial stream which descends from the village of Jarah 
(alt. 834 feet) ; (2) another perennial stream which waters 
Kh. er Rihaneh and Kh. el Farriyeh ; and (3) the Wady el 
Milh, which drains the southern end of Mount Carmel, 
including el Mahrakah (alt. 1,687 feet) the place of Elijah's 
conflict with the priests of Baal, also the eastern face of Umin 
ez Zeinat, passing from the hills at the foot of Tell Keimfm 
(lit. 248 feet). 

Mount Carmel, Eastern Slope. 

The north-eastern face of Carmel with the watercourses 
which furrow it and descend to the Mukutt'a, and the path- 
ways that surmount it from various points of the highway 
that skirts its base on both sides, are now so distinctly 


delineated by the Palestine Exploration Survey, as to lay 
bare its topographical features with a precision of detail, 
which the most attentive of previous travellers and surveyors 
could not have contemplated, and certainly did not achieve. 
As Mount Carmel is a special favourite and of limited extent, 
its treatment will be made more complete than other pa,rts. 
From the foot of Tell Kaimun, paths ascend to the ridge of 
Carmel by the Wady el Milh, and also by el Mahrakah. The 
ridge road extends through Esfia to the convent, all along 
the summit. Northward up to Jelameh the watercourses of 
this face of Carmel are precipitous and there are no paths. 
At Jelameh, there is a zigzag track up to the village of Eslia 
on the ridge (alt. 1,742 feet). Erom Esfia the Wady esh 
Shomariyeh has an oblique and therefore easier drop into the 
Mukutt'a. The Wady abu Haiyeh is the next on the north, 
and descends from the south side of Jebel 'Akkara (alt. 1,715 
feet). About a mile from Esfia, a path descends from the 
ridge over Jebel 'Akkara to the foot of the mountain at Belled 
esh Sheikh. The northern side of Jebel 'Akkara is drained 
by Khallet (Eavine) en Nury, which runs north-westwards for 
two miles in a valley parallel with the main ridge of Carmel, 
when it breaks through a gap in an outer ridge, and descends 
north-eastward, through Wady et Tabil, to the Ashlul el 
Wawy, an affluent of Mukutt'a, the latter ceasing to be the 
direct recipient of the mountain wadys, north of the village 
of Yajur. The elevated valley or ravine of en Nury is pro- 
longed for a third mile parallel with the ridge up to Eas ez 
Zelaka (alt. 1,535 feet). At Eas ez Zelaka a path descends 
from the ridge through this valley and Wady et Tabil to 
Belled esh Sheikh. The drainage of this prolongation is south- 
eastward, in direct opposition to that of the other part of the 
valley, which it joins before entering the gap in the outer 
ridge, on its descent to Wady et Tabil. 

Besides Wady et Tabil, the Ashlul (cascades) el Wawy 
receives some short channels near the village of Belled esh 
Sheikh, and also the Wady Hawasah and another unnamed 
wady from the north side of Eas ez Zelaka. It becomes a 


permanent stream at 'Ain es Sadeh, and falls into the Mukutt'a 
about a mile from the coast. 

The remainder of Carmel is independent of Mukutt'a. 
The Wady Abu Mudauwar, the Wady Kushmia, and some 
others have a common outfall in the Nahr Mantney, close to 
Haifa, and complete the drainage of this side up to a mile 
and a half of the convent. A path comes from the ridge at 
the head of Wady Mudauwar, and follows the edge of the 
wady to Haifa. Four more paths descend from the ridge to 
Haifa, at intervals between this point and the convent. 

The Palestine Exploration Survey of the great basin of 
the Mukutt'a, well deserves to be remarked before leaving it, 
as a notable example of the surveyor's work ; for although its 
general aspect was delineated in previous maps, rectifications 
and very numerous additions occur in every part of the new 


South of the Mukutt'a, the next basin which extends 
back to the waterparting of the Jordan, is that of Nahr el 
Mefjir; the outfall into the Mediterranean Sea being near the 
ruins of Caesarea. 

All to the north of the Mefjir basin, and between the 
Mukutt'a on the east, and the Mediterranean on the west is 
included in a triangular area, drained by numerous petty 
wadys with many independent outfalls. The western slope 
of Mount Carmel forms the northern part of this triangle, and 
recalls attention to this mountain, the account of which will 
now be completed. The chief of the channels which descend 
from the western side of Mount Carmel are, (1) the Wady el 
'Ain, which in its middle course runs parallel to the range, and, 
reaches the maritime plain at the village of et Tireh. (2) the 
Wady Fellah with its outfall near 'Athlit, which receives the 
Wady el Miftelah from a valley which runs parallel with the 
main range of Carmel for about four miles. The Wady 


Fellah receives two affluents from the villages of Daliet el 
Kurmul (alt. 1,245 feet) and Ain Haud (alt. 357 feet). (3) 
The Wady el Mikteleh which rises on the south of Daliet el 
Kurmul and reaches the shore if not the sea near Khurbet 
Malhah. (4) The Wady el Matabin, which rises in Eas el 
Meshahir (alt. 1,510 feet), an outlying summit of Carmel on 
the east of el Mahrakah. It receives a tributary from Umm 
ez Zeinat, flows by Tjzim (alt. 387 feet) and reaches the plain 
near Kef r Lam and Suraf end. Wady el Milh, and the Wady 
el Matabin, together define the southern base of Mount 
Carmel, and its separation from the lower region of Mount 
Ephraim. These Wadys are also traversed by a road 
which completes the communication round the bases of the 
mountain. The southern limit of Mount Carmel will again 
be discussed in connection with an account of the range of 
hills on the south of Nahr ed Dufleh. 

Mount Carmel has been hitherto delineated as a single 
ridge ; but the Palestine Exploration Survey has brought to 
light parallel ranges more or less developed on each flank of 
the main ridge. The central or waterparting ridge extends 
from the Convent (alt. 470 feet) through Eas ez Zelakah 
(alt. 1,535 feet) and the village of Esfia (alt. 1,742 feet), to a 
point east-south-east of Daliet el Kurmul, where four tracts 
meet, coming from Esfia, Daliet el Kurmul, Umm ez Zeinat, 
and Tell Keimun. At this point is the head of Wady el 
Milh. Its altitude is not given, but about three-quarters of a 
mile northward is the highest observed point of the mountain 
(alt. ,1,810 feet). 

The parallel range westward of the waterparting is 
defined as follows : From the junction of the four roads, the 
culminating ridge bends round to the westward, or west 
by north-half-north, and is traversed by the track to Daliet 
el Kurmul. But before reaching the village, the height of 
land turns northward and again westward to the summit of 
Eas Umm esh Shukf (alt. 1,607 feet). The northern flank of 
Mount Shukf continues this range to the gap of Wady 
Shellaleh, where Wady el Miftelah, after distinctly dividing 


the central and western range for about four miles, breaks 
through the western range to reach the sea at Athlit. From 
the gap of Wady Shellaleh, the western range skirts the Wady 
el Ain and descends to the plain at the village of et Tireh. 

The eastern slope of Carmel presents a similar parallelism, 
chiefly displayed in the Khallet or Eavine of en Nury, which 
divides an outer ridge from the central one, for a distance of 
nearly three miles, between Eas ez Zelakah and Jebel 
'Akkara. Towards the south the outer ridge is found below 
Esfia, between Kh. esh Shelkiyeh and the Wady esh 
Shomariyeh. North of Eas ez Zelakah, the outer ridge 
descends by Tell Abu Mudauwar, and encloses numerous 
channels between it and the central range. These channels 
unite before they break through the outer range to reach the 
sea through Nahr el Mantneh, near Haifa. Dr. John 
Wilson noticed this feature as exhibiting " a lateral gash in 
the hill, running in the direction of the promontory, which is of 
some magnitude. It is here that the best cultivated fields 


There are two minor basins between the southern base 
of Mount Carmel and the first class basin of Nahr el 
Mefjir. These have their outlets by Nahr ed Dufleh, on the 
south of Tanturah, the biblical Dor of Manasseh; and by 
Nahr ez Zerka, which is identified with the Crocodile Eiverf 
of Pliny, and the Shihor Libnath of the Bible. Together they 
drain the principal part of the hilly tract now called Belad 
er Euhah. 

The Basin of Nahr ed Dufleh. 

Three permanent streams with tributary wadys drain the 
head of the Nahr ed Dufleh, between the villages of Daliet 
er Euhah and Umm et Tut ; and between Umm et Tut and 

* " Lands of the Bible," ii, 242. 

f See Macgregor's " Rob Roy on the Jordan," 6th edit., p. 387, note. 


Shefeia, the Wady Madhy falls in from Kumbazeh, on the 
northern margin of the basin. Its length is about 11 miles, 
and its breadth about four miles. The hills which form the 
southern waterparting of this basin, and divide it from the 
Nahr ez Zerka, terminate on the west in the remarkable 
promontory of el Khashm, on the north of Caesarea. Here also 
the narrow plain of Tanturah* which extends along the western 
foot of Mount Carmel, and has a width of one mile and a half 
between el Khashm and the sea, suddenly expands into the 
famous Plain of Sharon, which attains a width of ten miles, 
and will be further noticed hereafter. 

At the Zerka and el Khashm, the summit of the receding 
hills extends eastward in an arc behind Subbarin and 
Kefrein, to Umm el Fahm and Kefreireh, where the range 
sinks down to the Sahel or Plain of 'Arrabeh, and the Wady 
Selhab in the Mefjir basin. The hills on the east of the 
plain are offshoots of Mount Gilboa ; and those on the south 
culminate in the range of Sheikh Beiazid (alt. 2,375 feet), on 
the north of Samaria, and a portion of the southern water- 
parting of the Mefjir basin. 

The eastern waterpartings of the basins of Nahr ed Dufleh 
and Nahr ez Zerka, form a low saddle, which, with those 
basins and the Wady el Matabin on the north, as well as 
Wady el Mihl and the wadys of the perennial affluents of the 
Mukutt'a rising at Kh. er Ruhaneh and Jarah, occupy a de- 
pression of the hills called Belad er Euhah, dividing Mount 
Carmel from the range of Jebel Sh. Iskander and Umm el 
Khataf, in the Basin of Nahr el Mefjir. See pp. 34, 222. 
The altitudes and other incidents lead to this conclusion, and 
thus is added orographic to the hydrographic evidence on 
this subject, which was first noticed in page 29. 

The Basin of Nahr ez Zerka. 

The basin of Nahr ez Zerka lies between the villages of 
Subarin on the north, Kefrein on the east, and Kefr Kara 011 

* So called by the present writer, in the absence of any previous name. 


the south. Its principal wady with many small tributaries, 
drains the northern and eastern margins of the basin. The 
southern part supplies two main Wadys, one skirting the 
margin of the basin, and the other passing the village of 
Kannir, their confluence being due east of Caesarea. 

From Cape Carmel to the Nahr ez Zerka, the delineation 
of the country has been very much altered by the Palestine 
Exploration Survey. For example, Sindianeh, ez Zerghani- 
yeh (Surganiyeh), Kh. Khudeirah (Gudara), Kannir (Kanir), 
and el Bureij, were all included in the basin of Nahr el 
Akhdar (now Nahr el Mefjir) ; whereas they belong to the 
more northerly basin of the Zerka. Koteineh appeared on 
the northern edge of the Zerka basin ; it is now found on the 
northern edge of the Nahr ed Dufleh. Formerly the Dufleh 
basin was represented by Nahr Keraji, which was supposed to 
be near Iksim (Ijzim). That village is now found to be in the 
basin of Wady el Matabin. 

It is only just to the Palestine Exploration Fund's Survey, 
and at the same time an assistance to students, to unravel 
the tangled geography which route surveys, casual observa- 
tions, and compilations from such materials have hitherto 
supplied. Transpositions from one basin to another, like that 
which has just been described in the connection with the 
Zerka and Mefjir, will be found repeatedly necessary in 
pursuing this account. 


Under the name of Nahr Akhdar, this basin was supposed 
to have very narrow limits, the waterparting between it and 
the Mukutt'a basin, having been wrongly confined to two or 
three miles on- either side of the village of Umm el Fahm. 
Its waterparting is now known to be coterminous, with that 
of the Mukutt'a from the north of Umm el Fahm (alt. 1,400 
feet)* to Tannin, a ruin on the south-east of Jenin, the 
direct distance exceeding 20 miles. At Tannin, the Mefjir 

* Sk. Iskander, near here, is 1,699 feet. 


basin joins the basin of the Jordan, and continues with it up 
to Ras el 'Akra (alt. 2,230 feet), a further distance of six 
miles. At Eas el 'Akra, it is diverted from the basin of the 
Jordan by the remarkable inland basin of Merj el Ghuruk, 
forming a parallelogram with an area of about 30 square 
miles, without any outlet. The Merj is enclosed on three 
sides by the Mefjir basin, which again comes in contact with 
the waterparting of the Jordan for about two miles, north of 
Yasid. The area now known to be covered by the Mefjir 
basin has ^been hitherto wrongly divided between the basins 
of Nahr Falik, now reduced to very narrow limits, Nahr Abu 
Zabura, and Nahr Akhdar. 

The main channel of Nahr el Mefjir descends from the 
Jordan waterparting between Tannin and Ras el 'Akra. It is 
there called Wady es Selhab, and by that name it passes 
Kubatieh, and the Plains of Dothan and 'Arrabeh. It passes 
from the western end of the Plain of 'Arrabeh in a southerly 
direction, till it receives a stream from the village of 'Arrabeh, 
when it turns westward with a winding course, and takes the 
name of Wady el Ghamik. Here it receives several small 
branches from the range east of Saida, and is diverted to the 
north, and soon again to the west, taking the name of Wady 
Abu Nar, and skirting a group of hamlets bearing the generic 
name of Nuzlet ; as Nuzlet esh Sherkiyeh, Nuzlet el Wasta, 
Nuzlet et Tinat, and the Nuzlet el Masfy is not far off. The 
Wady Abu Nar enters the Plain of Sharon, between Jett and 
Baka, and joins the Wady el Maleh, near el Mejdel. After 
the junction the Maleh proceeds north-westward, and becomes 
a permanent stream in Wady el Khudeirah and Nahr el Mefjir. 

The Wady el Maleh is also the recipient of Wady er 
Roz, which skirts the southern waterparting. This Wady 
rises at Yasid (alt. 2,340 feet) between the waterpartings 
of the Jordan, Merj el Ghuruk and Nahr Iskanderuneh, and 
bears the name of Wady Abu Kaslan. It passes the northern 
foot of the Sheikh Beiazid Mountains on which the villages of 
Jeba, Fendakumieh, Silet edh Dhater, and 'Attara are situated 
at altitudes between 1,200 and 1,573 feet. Near 'Attara 


a branch unites which drains the north-west border of Merj 
el Ghuruk (alt. 1,770 feet). The main channel continues 
along the southern edge of the basin, passing Deir el Ghusun 
(alt. 827 feet), Attil (alt. 385 feet), Jelameh and el Mejdel to 
the junction at Tell edh Dhrur. Above Deir el Ghusun, a 
branch falls in from Batn en Nury (alt. 1,660 feet), and the 
village of Ellar (alt. 760 feet). Jelameh on the edge of the 
plain is 260 feet high, while the wady at its foot in the plain 
is 60 feet. 

Another considerable affluent joins Wady el Khudeirah 
from the north-east. Its principal branch is Wady Arah 
which skirts the north-western limit of the basin, and rises at 
Umm el Fahm, on the mountain of Sheikh Iskander fait. 
1,699 feet). The Wady Arah passes between Kefr Kara 
(alt. 451 feet) and Ararah (alt. 707 feet), and enters the 
Plain of Sharon between Kh. ez Zebadneh (alt. 320 feet) and 
Kerkur (alt. 160 feet), joining Wady el Khudeirah near Tell 
edh Dhrur (alt. 152 feet). Its principal branch is the Wady 
el 'Asl, which rises near Yabid (alt. 1,220 feet), and passes 
Kuffin (alt. 460 feet), where it receives a tributary from 
Ferasin (alt. 727 feet). At the ruins of el Medhiab, the 
Wady el 'Asl is joined by a wady from the north, which 
unites Wady Samantar, Wady el Yahmur, and Wady Easein, 
all draining the western slope of the wooded upland of Umm 
el Khataf. Below el Medhiab, the wady is called Wady Bir 
Isir, and it enters the plain near el Mes'ady (alt. 142 feet), 
and soon joins Wady el Khudeirah. See p. 218. 

The whole of the Mefjr basin, with half of the Zerka on 
the north, or as far as Kannir, and a small part of the 
Iskanderuneh on the south, or up to Kakon, was supposed to 
have its outfall by Nahr Abu Zabura, which is now called 
Nahr Iskanderuneh. Dr. Eobinson on his last journey in 
Samaria, travelled from Umm el Fahm to Ya'bud (Yabid) 
along the waterparting. From Ya'bud he had a view of the 
Plain of Arrabeh and passed Ferasin to Abu Nar, on his way 
to Attil, thus crossing the basin at its widest part.* 

* Eobinson's "Biblical Researches," iii, 121 IJI. 


With regret, it is observed that Monsieur V. Guerin in 
his " Description de la Palestine, Samarie " omits all that part 
of this basin, encircled by a line connecting Umm el Fahm, 
Tell edh Dhrur, Baka, Attil, Kefr Kaay, Arrabeh, and Yabid; 
as well as a large tract to the north in the Zerka basin. 


The outfall which bears the first name on the Palestine 
Exploration Survey, enters the sea at Minet* Abu Zabura, by 
which name the river also was called by former authorities. 
The basin is coterminous on the north with that of Nahr 
el Mefjir, and the waterparting on this side runs almost 
direct from Tell el Akhdar on the coast, to Yasid. There the 
Jordan basin is met, and continues along the eastern 
boundary, which runs from Yasid through Jebel Eslamiyeh 
(Mount Ebal) and Nablus (Shechem), to the southern base of 
Jebel et Tur (Mount Gerizim). The southern waterparting 
divides this basin from that of the Nahr el 'Auja. It runs 
westward from Jebel et Tur, through Kh. Jafrun, Ferata, Kh. 
Askar, el Funduk, Kuryet Hajja and the road to Kefr 
'Abbush, Kefr Zibad, Kefr Jemmal, to Khurbet Nesha, 
round the Bir el Hanutah, where it turns northward aod 
parallel with the course of the Wady Kulunsaweh, to Umm 
Sur, where it turns seaward through Mukhalid. 

All this, with part of the Mefjir basin on the north, per- 
tained in former maps to the outfall of Nahr Falik ; which is 
now found to be restricted to a part of the maritime plain 
between Mukhalid, Umm Sur Miskeh, Kh. Sabieh, and el 
Jelil, a village on the coast, south of Arsuf, the site of 
Apollonia. The length of the Falik basin is about ten miles 
along the coast, and its greatest width towards the interior 
scarcely exceeds seven miles. 

The entrance of the Iskanderuneh into the sea, is on the 
north-western angle of its oblong basin. A branch rising 
near Belah (alt. 1,367 feet) drains the western part of its 

* Minet signifies a harbour. 


northern boundary and passing Kakon in the plain, joins the 
permanent stream not far from its outfall. The north-eastern 
part of the basin is drained by its most noted watercourse, 
the "Wady esh Shair and its tributaries. This wady rises at 
the town of Nablus and flows by Zawata, where it receives a 
tributary from Asiret el Hatab (alt. 2,036 feet) at the northern 
base of Mount Ebal. Then it waters Deir Sharaf, and flows 
on to Eamin (alt. 1,095 feet) where another feeder unites, 
which rises at Yasid (alt. 2,340 feet) in the north-east angle 
of the basin, and washes the remains of Samaria (Sebustieh). 
Below Eamin it passes Anebta (alt. 545 feet) and takes the 
name of Wady Zeimer, up to its confluence with the Wady 
from Kulunsaweh, near Jisr (Bridge) el Maktabeh. On 
the south of Wady Zeimer are the villages of Kefr el Lebad, 
Dennabeh (alt. 506 feet), and TulKeram (alt. 370 feet), below 
which the wady leaves the hills. 

On the south of Wady esh Shair is another large water- 
course which rises in Jebel et Tur (Mount Gerizim) and 
drains the south-eastern part of the basin as far west as el 
Funduk. This is the Wady et Tin, which after a very 
winding course leaves the hills between Irtah (alt. 340 feet) 
and Feron (alt. 581 feet) and joins the Wady Kulunsaweh at 
Burin. West of its source, it passes el Arak, Till (alt. 2,084 
feet), and Surra (alt. 1,647 feet), where it flows due north, 
and then bends round to the west, and again turns to the 
north passing Kusein. At Kh. ed Deir, it meanders to the 
west-south-west to the foot of the village of Kur (alt. 1,257 
feet). Above Kur, it receives a tributary from Kh. Jafrun, 
Ferata (alt. 1,715 feet), Amatin, el Funduk (alt. 1,295 
feet), Kuryet Hajja (alt. 1,300 feet), Kuryet Jit (alt. 1,686 
feet), and Kefr Kaddum (alt. 1,206 feet), villages on the 
southern margin of the basin. This is the Wady el Haj 

The south-western part of the basin is drained by the 
Wady Kulunsaweh, which comes from Bir el Hanutah 
(alt. 365 feet), in the south-west angle, and runs to the north 
along the western edge of the basin. The Wady en Naml 


joins it from the east, and rises between Kur and Kefr 
'Abbush (alt. 1,365 feet), and passes Kefr Zibad (alt. 910 
feet), Kefr Jemmal (alt. 642 feet), and Felamieh (alt. 434 
feet), all villages on the southern edge of the basin. 

Two highways cross this basin at its eastern and western 
sides respectively. The eastern road passes through Nablus, 
and connects Jerusalem with all parts on the north. The 
western road runs on the east of the Kulunsaweh, at the foot of 
the hills ; and connects the ports of Jaffa and Acre. Other 
important routes radiate from Nablus in every direction. 
Nevertheless the Palestine Exploration Survey proves that 
only the crudest notions previously existed concerning the 
topography of this important basin. 



This is one of the most considerable basins on the 
western watershed of Palestine. It empties itself into the sea 
about five miles on the north of Jaffa. It becomes a permanent 
stream below the hills in four of its branches, two of which 
have their perennial sources in the Plain of Sharon, between Bir 
'Adas and Jiljulieh ; another, which is reckoned the principal, 
has immense fountains at Kulat Eas el 'Ain, rising at the foot 
of a mound, on the Eatnleh road, near the village of el Mirr, 
where it forms a marshy tract covered with reeds and rushes. 
The fourth permanent branch has its fountain also near el 
Mirr, on the south of that village. These unite at Tell el 
Mukhmar, and form a river which is said to be nearly as 
large as the Jordan at Jericho, with a bluish tinge, dark, deep, 
usually sluggish, and hardly to be forded at any place. There 
is an old bridge over the stream, on the high road from Jaffa.* 

The basin of Nahr el 'Auja has its northern waterparting 
along with the Nahr el Falik, and Nahr Iskanderuneh. 
The waterparting begins at the sea on the south of el Jelil, 
runs north-west with the Falik basin nearly up to et Tireh, 
and then follows the Iskanderuneh basin, up to the foot of 

* Kobinson, " Phys. Geog. Holy Land," 176, 177. 


Jebel et Tur (Mount Gerizim), the details of which have 
been described. From Mount Gerizim it runs with the 
Jordan basin across the Sahel or Plain of el Mukhnah, and 
bends southward to Kh. el Kenim (alt. 2,700 feet), Akrabeh 
(alt. 2,045 feet) and the curious basin of Merj Sia, which 
lies between heights of 2,835 feet on the north and 2,710 feet 
on the west. Here .the waterparting takes a south-westerly 
course, crossing Tell Asur (alt. 3,318 feet), the village of 
Beitin or Bethel (alt. 2,890 feet), and Bireh (alt. 2,820 feet). 
At this point is the junction of the basins of Nahr el 'Auja, 
Jordan, and Nahr Kubin. The southern waterparting running 
with the basin of Nahr Eubin forms a great arc, continuing 
south-westward from Bireh to Saris (alt. 2,347 feet), and 
Beit Mahsir (alt. 1,790 feet), where it takes a north-west 
direction through Abu Shusheh, skirting er Eamleh, Surafend, 
and the road to Jaffa on the west, till it turns towards the 
coast at the trigonometrical points with altitudes of 261 feet 
and 240 feet. 

The intricate system of watercourses composing this basin 
is primarily divisible into a northern and southern division. 

The northern division includes the four streams and their 
tributaries, which unite near Tell el Mukhmar. They drain 
the whole of the northern waterparting, and also the eastern 
side southwards to Bireh. The northern is separated from 
the southern division, by an interior or sub-waterparting, 
which runs from Bireh, to Abu Kush, first by the " Eoman 
road " and then by the " ancient road." From Abu Kush, 
the dividing line proceeds close to Bir ez Zeit (alt. 2,665 feet), 
and round by the high road to Umm Suffah (alt. 1,997 feet), 
and so on through Deir en Nidham (alt. 1,934 feet), to 
Tibneh, Abud (alt. 1,240 feet), and along the northern side of 
the road from Abud to Deir Dakleh, whence it skirts the 
south side of Wady Sahury to Eantieh, and bending round 
north-westward to Khurbet Shaireh, passes over an altitude of 
275 feet to the confluence at Jerisheh, where the two divisions 

The southern division has its outfall into the Nahr el 


'Auja, by a permanent stream, which flows from the south, 
passing Jaffa and Sarona. This stream is the recipient 
chiefly of the Wady Nusrah. Near the junction of Wady 
Nusrah, two small streams also join, which only drain a 
small portion of the southern waterparting included between 
Eamleh and the coast. The Wady Nusrah on the contrary is 
the recipient of all the rest of the drainage of the southern 
division of the basin. 

The Watercourses of the Northern Division of el 'Auja Basin. 

An account of the chief watercourses of the two divisions 
of this basin, is the next step towards understanding its 
topography. Of the four streams which unite near Tell el 
Mukhmar and receive all the watercourses of the northern 
division, the most northerly is the Wady Kalkilieh, which 
receives the drainage of the north-western edge of the basin 
as far east as el Funduk (alt. 1,295 feet). The Wady 'Azzun 
is its most southern tributary, and rises between 'Azzun and 
Kefr Lakif. Yet 'Azzun was supposed by Dr. Robinson to 
mark the northern limit of the 'Auja basin. " Phys. Geog,, 
Holy Land," p. 176. 

The next of the four streams is the Wady Kanah, which 
has been identified with the Brook Kanah of the Bible, the 
boundary between the tribal territories of Ephraim and 
Manasseh. The Palestine Exploration Survey appears to 
throw remarkable light on this much contested subject. See 
the Quarterly Statement," October, 1880. The Kanah is 
one of the two great wadys of this division which derive 
their origin from the edge of the Jordan basin. The Wady 
Kanah drains the north-eastern part of the division, from el 
Funduk, by Mount Gerizim and the Plain of Mukhnah, to 
Yanun and Kh. el Kerum (alt. 2,700 feet). 

The third stream is the Wady Eabah, which rises at 
Haris (alt. 1,560 feet), a village identified by the Talmud 
with Timnath Heres, allotted to Joshua. This valley is only 
about half the length of the Kanah valley, and, like the Kal- 


kilieh, it does not extend back to the Jordan basin. This is 
the Wady Eibah of Dr. Eobinson, " about half an hour north 
of Mejdel Yaba," which was supposed to be in continuation 
of the Wady rising on the edge of the Jordan basin at 'Ak- 
rabeh, and passing Kubalan ("Phys. Geog.," p. 100). The 
Palestine Exploration Survey connects Akrabeh and Kubilan 
with the fourth of this series. 

The southern part of the northern division of the el 'Auja 
basin, is drained by the Wady Ballut and its feeders, the 
fourth of the series of streams uniting at Tell el Mukhmar. The 
heads of this Wady extend along the eastern waterparting of 
el 'Auja, in contact with the Jordan basin, from 'Akrabeh to 
the south of Beitin (Bethel), a direct distance of 15 miles. 
The principal channel runs from 'Akrabeh, south-westward, 
in a straight course to Kurawa ibn Zeid. It bears the names 
of Wady Bushanit and Wady Ishar ; and all the drainage 
between 'Akrabeh and Bethel flows into it at the three follow- 
ing points (1) Near Yetma, the Wady er Burnt falls in from 
Jurish, Kusra, and Jalud. (2) At Khurbet Keis, the Wady 
el Kub unites an intricate system of valleys as follows : 
From Eh Sawieh, a channel descends south-westward to el 
Lubban, and joins the Wady el Kub at Abwein. At Lubban 
this channel receives the Wady Seilun with branches from 
Kuriyut, Shiloh, and Turmus Ay a. Between Lubban and 
Abwein another wady falls in from Sinjil ; and at Abwein 
another descends from Jiljilia. (3) At Karawa ibn Zeid, a 
long and winding wady comes down from the eastern water- 
parting which it drains from Sinjil to Beitin, as follows : 
A series of valleys rising between Beitin and Abu Kush unite 
at Ain Sinia, and run on northward to 'Attara. At the east of 
'Attara, Wady en Nimr falls in from Tell Asur on the south- 
east, after receiving a wady traversed by the Jerusalem Eoad 
from Kh. Kefr Ana on the south ; and also the Wady el Jib 
from the north-east near Sinjil. From 'Attara the main 
wady proceeds to Ajul, Deir es Sudan, and Karawa ibn Zeid. 

From Kurawa, the Wady Ballut zigzags westward to el 
Kefr (alt. 1,290 feet), Deir Ballut (alt. 895 feet), and Mejdel 


Yaba (alt. 495 feet), where it leaves the hills, and passes 
north-westward to its junction with the Nahr el 'Auja. 

Below Kurawa, the Wady Keiya takes up the drainage of 
the southern edge of the division, rising on the south of Neby 
Saleh (alt. 1,866 feet), and running on to 'Abud (alt. 1,240 
feet), to join the Ballut at 'Ain Sarina. 

West of 'Ain Sarina, the Wady Suhary rises, and skirts 
the southern edge of the division among the hills, entering 
the plain between Kuleh and Eantieh ; where the wady turns 
to the north and north-west, by Neby Tari and Fejja, to join 
the Ballut on the east of Mulebbis. 

On the right bank, the Ballut receives only one notable 
valley, which rises between Merda and Ishaka, has branches 
from Selfit and Furkhah, and falls into the Ballut on the 
south of Berukin. 

The Watercourses of the Southern Division of El 'Auja Basin. 

At Kefr Ana all the watercourses of this division unite in 
Wady Nusrah, which runs on by Ibn Ibrak, Selmeh, and 
Sarona, to the Nahr el 'Auja at Jerisheh, the junction being 
only about a mile and a half from the sea. 

Between Selmeh and Kantieh, there are three small but 
distinct tributaries to Wady Nusrah. They come from the 
north-western edge of the division, and have their junctions 
at Selmeh, Ibn Ibrak, and Kefr 'Ana, respectively. 

Between Rantieh and a point on the east of 'Abud (alt. 
1,240 feet), a combination of wadys arises, which unite at 
el Khurab, and run on to Kefr 'Ana. The first descends 
from the edge of the division, on the west of ed Diurah, runs 
under Kh. el Muntar and Deir Alia (alt. 675 feet), and 
enters the plain to reach et Tireh and el Khurab. The 
second rises in the Khallet (ravine) es Salib, which skirts the 
northern edge of the division between Abud and el Lubban, 
where it bends round sharply to the south-west, passing in a 
gorge below Rentis (alt. 685 feet), to Khurbet 'Azzaz. Here 
it receives a tributary coming from Abud, and from Deir Abu 


Meshal (alt. 556 feet) and then zigzags south-westward to 
Beit JSTabala (alt. 260 feet), where it receives the Wady Shahhi 
from Shukbah (alt. 1,058 feet), and Kibbiah (alt. 840 feet), 
and enters the plain, through which it proceeds by Deir Tureif 
and Kh. er Eas, to the junctions at el Kurab and Kefr 'Ana. 

The next outfall at Kefr 'Ana receives the greater part of 
the drainage of this division. It combines two separate 
drainage systems, which respectively concentrate in the 
Wady esh Shellal and the Wady Ludd, and these unite 
midway between Kefr 'Ana and the ancient town of Ludd. 
The Wady esh Shellal was formerly known as Wady Budrus. 

The interior or sub-waterparting between the systems of 
Wady esh Shellal and Wady Ludd, is traceable from Jindas 
on the north of Ludd, over a trigonometrical station of 
222 feet in height, to Deir Abu Selameh, Kh. Midieh (the 
remains of Modin of the Maccabees), and by the high- 
road to Shilta and Kefr Eut (alt. 1,290 feet), where it skirts 
Kh. Fa'aush and Kh. ed Dirish, and reaches Beit Ur et Tahta 
or Lower Beth Horon (alt. 1,910 feet). Here it ascends the pass 
to Beit 'Ur el Foka or Upper Beth Horon (alt. 1,022 feet), and 
follows the high road between Jaffa and Jerusalem, till it 
reaches the top of the descent into Wady el Askar, where 
this sub-waterparting joins the main waterparting, between 
the Basins of Nahr el Auja and Nahr Eubin, 

The Watercourses falling into Wady Shellal (Budrus}. 

The northernmost of these channels rises at Kh. Bir ez 
Zeit (alt. 2,665 feet) and runs north-westward alongside of the 
sub-waterparting and the high-road to Jaffa, nearly to Neby 
Saleh (alt. 1,866 feet). Here the channel bends about con- 
siderably in advancing westward, through a valley having 
Deir en Nidham (alt. 1,934 feet), Tibneh, Deir Abu Meshal 
(alt. 556 feet), and Shukbah (alt. 1,058 feet) on the north ; 
while on the south are the villages of Kubar (alt. 2,021 
feet), Beit Ello (alt. 1,797 feet), Jemmaleh (alt. 1,694 feet), 
and Shebtin (alt. 904 feet). 


At Shebtin, another winding valley falls in from sources 
between Bir ez Zeit and Batn Harasheh (alt. 2,490 feet). 
This valley is further bounded on the south by Janiah (alt. 
1,813 feet), Eas Kerker, Khurbetha Ibn Harith, and Deir el 
Khuddis (alt. 1,264 feet). Below Shebtin, the Wady takes 
the name of Wady en Natuf, bends round to the south-west, 
and reaches the foot of N'alin. The village is 860 feet, and 
the wady below is 500 feet above the sea. West of N'alin, 
the Wady en Natuf is joined by the Wady Malakeh, a con- 
siderable affluent from the southernmost part of the Shellal 
system. The Wady Malakeh has several important branches, 
as follows : (1) The Wady Hands is a permanent stream 
derived from fountains on the north of Earn Allah (alt. 
2,850 feet), and joined by branches from the waterparting 
between Bireh and Abu Kush. (2) The Wady Kelb has a 
parallel course on the south of Wady Hamis, and also comes 
from Earn Allah ; these unite between Janiah and Deir Ibzia, 
and take the name of Wady Dilbeh, which lower down is 
Wady Shamy. The Wady Dilbeh or Shamy passes Kefr 
Namah (alt. 1,483 feet), and Bel'ain, and enters the Wady 
Malakeh, which at the same point receives (3) the Wady 
Ain 'Arik from the west of Earn Allah. The Wady Ain 
'Arik is the recipient of (4) the Wady el Imeish, which runs 
parallel with the Jaffa-Jerusalem road, and after receiving 
the Wady es Sunt from Beitunia, passes the Beth Horons, on 
its way to the junction with Wady Ain 'Arik. Where the 
Wady Malakeh receives the Wady Shamy and the Wady Ain 
'Arik, the Wady el Muslih (5) also falls in, from Lower 
Beth Horon and Suffa. From this confluence (alt. 713 feet) 
the Wady Malakeh finally proceeds by Shilta to Midieh, and 
the junction with Wady en Natuf on the west of Nalin. 
Below the confluence the single channel of Wady esh Shellal 
runs westward to join Wady Ludd. 

Tlie Watercourses of Wady Ludd. 

Two branches unite on the eastern side of the town of 
Ludd. The western branch is the Wady Harir, which 


collects the drainage of the southern waterparting from the 
neighbourhood of Abu Shusheh to Er Eamleh. The eastern 
branch is the outlet of the Wady 'Atallah and Wady Aly 
with their tributaries, which drain the country between the 
southern boundary of the Shellal or Budrus system, and the 
southern waterparting of the el 'Auja basin. 

Four small wadys carry to the right bank of Wady 'Atal- 
lah, the drainage of a triangular space bounded by Deir 
Abu Selameh, Kh. Midieh, Shilta, and Kefr But (alt. 
1,290 feet) ; where the limits of this space bend round south- 
ward by Bir Main (alt. 940 feet), to Selbit, and the confluence 
of Wady Suweikeh with Wady 'Atallah. The village of 
Jimzu lies between two of these wadys on the north ; the 
third is Wady Jaar, with the villages of Annabeh, Berfilya, 
El Burj, and Bir Main ; the fourth is Wady Suweikeh in the 
midst of several ruined sites. 

At El Kubab on the 'Atallah, is the junction of Wady 
Selman (or Suleiman), which rises on the waterparting of the 
el 'Auja basin, at an altitude of 2,065 feet, on the west of el 
Jib, or of the plain around Gibeon. The ordinary camel 
route between Eamleh or Ludd and Jerusalem follows this 
valley. It has the villages of et Tireh and Kurbetha-ibn-es- 
Seba on the north, with Beit Dukku and Beit Likia on the 

The Wady Selman receives a branch on the north or 
right bank, from the south of the high road between the Beth 
Horons. Before the junction, the Wady el Mikteleh from 
Beit Sira (alt. 840 feet) joins the branch which falls into 
Wady Selman about a mile lower down at an altitude of 
625 feet. 

Below this junction the Wady el Burj joins the Selman 
on its left bank, on the north-west of Beit Nuba. It rises 
between el Kubeibeh (alt. 2,570 feet) and Beit Anan (alt. 
2,070 feet), in the Khallet or ravine of el Kuta. 

West of Beit Nuba (alt. 737 feet), the Selman receives, on 
its left bank, the Wady Mozarki, which rises at el Kubeibel^ 
md passes Katanneh and Yalo (alt. 940 feet). At Yalo, & 


branch falls in, which rises near Kuryet el Enab, takes the 
name of Wady el Hai, and receives the Wady Khushkush. 

Lastly, about three miles east of el Kubab, the Selman 
receives a small wady from the east of Am was. 

At el Kubab, above the junction of the Selman, the Wady 
'Atallah takes the name of Wady Aly, and rises on the 
southernmost portion of the waterparting of the el 'Auja, near 
the village of Saris (alt. 2,347 feet). South-west of Latron 
(alt. 800 feet), the Wady Aly receives a feeder from the 
margin of the basin which has several heads on either side of 
Beit Mahsir (alt. 1,790 feet). On the north, near Deir Eyub 
(alt. 1,070 feet), the Wady Aly receives the Wady Alakah 
skirted by the road to Kuryet el Enab. The direct road 
between Eamleh and Jerusalem follows Wady Aly ; but if 
less circuitous it is more difficult than the route by Wady 

Dr. Eobinson was under the impression that a branch of 
this system originated in the rugged chasm on the north of 
Ram Allah, and issued from the mountain north of the lower 
Beth Horon ; but here he was at a loss to say whether it 
proceeded to Beit Nuba, or went on directly west to Wady 
Ludd (" Phys. Geog.," p. 102). This misconception was 
corrected by Lieutenant Van de Velde ; and further improve- 
ments were represented in the map of the Holy Land pre- 
pared under Dr. Grove for Dr. Wm. Smith's Ancient Atlas. 
But the difference between such approximations and the 
actual topography, as it is delineated in the new maps, can 
only be duly appreciated after a study of the maps, for 
which these notes may afford some preparation. 


Between Jaffa and the town of Yebna (bib. Jabneel), the 
Nahr Eubin enters the sea, near the Neby Eubin, from which 
the name is derived. The basin of Nahr Eubin, with its 
central wady, follows the curvature that characterises the 
waterparting which divides it from the Nahr el 'Auja basin 


on the north. The eastern waterparting extends along the 
Jordan basin from Bireh to er Earn, Shafat, Jerusalem, 
Bethlehem, and Urtas, about three miles west of which, at a 
point south-west of el Khudr (alt. 2,832 feet), it joins the 
southern boundary. The southern waterparting dividing it 
from the larger basin of Nahr Sukereir passes from el Khudr 
along a highway towards Kefr Som and Beit Atab. South of 
Kefr Som, where the road bifurcates, the waterparting follows 
the south-western road towards Beit Netif (alt. 1,517 feet) 
along the northern edge of Wady el Werd. From Beit Netif, 
it passes to the north of Zakariya (alt. 940 feet) ; and with a 
bend to the north, proceeds westward to Mughullis, where it 
turns to the north again, and impinges on the Wady el 
Menakh to the south of Jilia. Hence it goes westward to el 
Kheimeh (alt. 300 feet), passing Beshshit (alt. 197 feet), and 
Yebnah, to the coast at the Minet or Harbour of Rubin. 

TJie Watercourses of Nahr Rubin Basin. 

The Nahr Rubin appears in the Palestine Exploration 
Survey, as a permanent stream at a further distance from the 
coast than any other river in Palestine, except the Kasimiyeh ; 
its perennial sources being traced up the Wady es Surar 
to the hills about Surah and Tibnah, made famous by 
Samson and the Patriarch Judah. Dr. Robinson, however, 
has recorded that in autumn the Nahr Rubin sometimes 
dries up.* 

The head of the Nahr Rubin basin lies in a recess pro- 
jected northward between the basins of the Jordan and el 
'Auja. It contains the historical plateau of el Jib or Gibeon, 
which extends southward to the heads of the descending 
ravines and gorges of Wady el Ghurab, Wady es Surar or 
Ismain, and the " deep and rugged " Wady el Werd. This 
southern edge of the plateau,f is denned by the road from 
Jerusalem, which runs along the ridge on the south of Lifta, 
to the Wady es Surar on the north of Kulonieh, and thence 

* Robinson's " Phys. Geog. H. Land," p. 177. t " Bib. Res.," iii., 159. 


to the waterparting through Beit Surik, along the wady 
desceuding to W. es Surar, from that village. The western side 
of the recess extends along the waterparting from near Beit 
Surik, to the east of Biddu, Beit Izza (alt. 2,621 feet), and 
Beitunia (alt. 2,670 feet), to el Muntar, a trigonometrical 
station of the Palestine Exploration Survey with the altitude 
of 2,685 feet. It may be observed that the heads of Wady 
el Imeish and Wady Selman rise in the plain of el Jib, 
and are not separated from Wady ed Deir by any prominent 
elevation. From el Muntar the northern side passes through 
Earn Allah (alt. 2,850 feet) to Bireh (alt. 2,820 feet), the 
biblical Beeroth, a village on the Jerusalem-Nablus road. 
The eastern side passes along the edge of the Jordan basin, 
from Bireh by Kefr Akab (alt. 2,740 feet), er Earn (alt. 
2,600 feet), and Tell el Ful (alt. 2,754 feet), to the west of 

Two parallel watercourses with tributaries run through 
the plateau from north to south. The western is Wady ed 
Deir, which rises at Earn Allah, and " winding among low 
hills,"* has el Jib (alt, 2,535 feet), and Neby Samwil (alt. 
2,935 feet) on its right bank. On this side the Wady Amir 
comes from near Biddu, and passes between el Jib and Neby 

The eastern watercourse rises as Wady Jillan near Bireh, 
and skirts the Jerusalem road in passing Kefr Akab and er 
Earn (alt. 2,600 feet) on its left bank. South of er Earn, the 
wady takes the name of ed Dumm, and turns to the south- 
west, to meet the western branch, on the south of the village 
of Beit Hannina, which lies between the wadys. The villages 
of Tell en Nasbeh, Eafat, Kulundia, Jedireh, and Bir Nebala, 
are also situated in a (( beautiful plain "t between the two 

Below the confluence the wady is called after the village of 
Beit Hannina, and it runs on southward for about two miles 
to Lifta, where it bends to the westward for a mile and a 
half, receiving the Wady el Abbeideh from Neby Samwil and 

* Robinson's " Bib. Res.," i., 454. f 


Beit Iksa. The Wady Buwai from Beit Surik, joins the 
Wady Beit Hannina where it bends round on a southerly 
course to the village of Kulonieh. 

Having some time since paid close attention to the 
cartography of this interesting plateau, in constructing the 
map of the environs of Jerusalem in Dr. Wm. Smith's 
Ancient Atlas, the present writer may be allowed to express 
the gratitude of a geographer for the light which the Palestine 
Exploration Survey now throws upon the subject. This part 
of Palestine had perhaps been more closely and generally 
studied than any other, thanks especially to the late Dr. 
Barclay of the American Mission. And yet if the Committee 
of the Palestine Exploration Fund needed a proof of the 
necessity for its exertions, it would be supplied by a com- 
parison of their survey with the aforesaid map of the 
Environs of Jerusalem. 

Below Kulonieh, the central Wady of the Nahr Eubin 
basin, runs as Wady es Surar southward and westward, in a 
deep and winding valley to Setuf, Kh. el Loz, and 'Akur, 
receiving on its right bank between Loz and 'Akur, the Wady 
esh Shemarin from KustuL and Soba ; and on its left bank 
opposite 'Akur, the Wady es Sikkeh, the recipient of the noted 
Wady el Werd, and Wady Bittir, which drain the eastern 
and part of the southern margin of the Eubin basin from 
Lifta and Jerusalem, to Bethlehem, el Khudr, and Kefr Som. 
West of Kefr Som, another wady descends to the left bank of 
Wady Surar now called Ismain, at Deir esh Sheik (alt. 
1,595 feet). The Wady Ismain continues westward at the 
foot of Deir el Hawa (alt. 2,090 feet) to 'Artuf (alt. 910 
feet), where it receives the Wady en Najil direct from the 
southern edge of the basin, near Beit Nettif. This northward 
course of the Najil will be mentioned hereafter in connection 
with other features, which serve to define the base of the 
mountains, and separate them from the lowland hills of the 
Shephelah. A tributary of the Najil skirts the southern edge 
from the south of Kefr Som ; and a parallel tributary on 
the north joins the Najil from the same direction, passing 


Beil Atab and Jerash, Deir Aban and Deir el Hawa also send 
branches to the Najil. 

At Artuf also falls into the right bank of Wady el Surar, 
the important Wady el Ghurab, which drains the northern 
waterparting of the Eubin basin that extends from Beit Sunk 
westward through Kuriet el Enab, Saris, and Beit Masir, The 
Ghurab washes Beit Nakuba, el Ammur, Kesla, Eshua, and 
Artuf, and receives small branches from Soba and Kuryet 
el Enab in its upper part, and from Surah near its outfall. 
Between Eshua and Surah a branch of Wady el Ghurab 
comes direct south from the northern waterparting, and forms 
a part of the long depression that separates the mountains of 
Judah from the lowland hills. 

Between the deep and precipitous valleys of the Ghurab 
and the Surar, is a rugged mountain which appears to 
correspond with the Mount Seir of Joshua. On the north 
of the Ghurab is perhaps the Mount Ephron of Joshua. It 
is the range which forms the waterparting of the Auja 
and Eubin basins, between the heads of Wady Ghurab 
and Wady Amir and those of Wady Selman and Wady 

Below the confluence of the Ghurab, the Wady es Surar 
crosses a plain in the midst of Samson's country and 
surrounded by many biblical sites. This plain is a pro- 
minent part of the depression which runs north and south 
between the foot of the mountains of Judah on the east and 
the lowland hills of the Philistine Shephelah on the west. 
Where the Wady es Surar enters the lowland hills, it has the 
remains of Ain Shems (the biblical Beth Shemesh) on a 
southern eminence ; while Surah, the Zorah of Samson and 
the tribe of Dan, looks down upon it from the north. The 
wady passes through the hills for about nine miles in a 
north-westerly direction, and skirts the southern edge of the 
plain of Akir (Ekron), which has a low ridge on the west, with 
a gap between el Mughar (alt. 236 feet) and Katrah (alt. 
195 feet). Through this gap the Wady es Surar passes on 
its way to Yebnah (Jabneel) and the sea ; near which it 


takes the name Nahr Rubin, from a shrine dedicated to the 
Patriarch Reuben. 

The north-west waterparting of the Nahr Rubin basin runs 
along the summit of the hills on the north of Wady Surar, 
from Beit Mahsir, to Abu Shusheh, and beyond Ramleh. 
From this slope many affluents join Wady es Surar. 
1. From the extensive ruins of Rafat, and Surik near Surah, 
comes a wady which may be identified with Samson's 
Valley of Sorek, although the Wady Surar itself has hitherto 
been adopted. Samson's En Hak-kore, is also placed at Ain 
ek Kharyeh or Ayun el Kharjeh, and his Ramath Lehi at 
Kh. Ism- Allah.* Mahaneh Dan or the Camp of Dan, is 
probably at Khurbet Kila or the Ruined Fort. These are on 
the Wady el Khayeh, which becomes Wady el Baght towards 
its junction/with Wady Surar. 2. Other wadys fall in below 
Khuldeh. 3, The slope around the plain of Akir (Ekron), 
is drained by many channels which all unite near Ekron, and 
join the Surar at the gap below el Mughar. These include 
the villages of Sidun, Na'aneh, el Mansurah, and Akir. The 
Wady Deiran and the Wady Ayun Do, drain the hilly tract 
between Ramleh and Yebnah, and join the Nahr Rubin 
about two miles from the sea. 

On the south or left bank, the Wady es Surar receives 
the Wady en Nahir, on the west of Ain Shems. It comes 
from the southern waterparting at Beit Nettif (alt. 1,517 
feet), and passes the remains of Jarmuth and Zanoah. West 
of the Wady en Nahir, the southern edge of the basin is 
drained by the Wady el Menakh which descends from el 
Bureij (alt. 830 feet), Mughullis, Jilia, and Kezazeh to enter 
the Surar near Shahmeh (alt. 186 feet). Small drains also 
join the left bank at Katrah, Beshit, and Yebnah. These 
descend from a group of hills which culminate in a height of 
305 feet, and correspond with the Mount Baalah of Joshua 
xv, 11, on the border of the tribe of Judah, which "went 
out unto Jabneel (Yabneh)." 

* Conder's "Tent Life," i, 27G-7. 



The delineation of this basin has undergone great changes 
from the Palestine Exploration Survey. Its northern border 
is coterminous with the Nahr Rubin basin. The eastern 
side, beginning on the south of el Khudr,* divides the heads 
of Wady Musurr on the west from the springs of Wady 
Urtas, which descend through Wady Derajeh to the Dead 
Sea. The eastern side continues southward along the edge of 
the Dead Sea basin, through Ras esh Sherifeh (alt, 3,258 feet) 
and along the road to Hebron, until the waterparting 
bends to the westward towards the village of Safa, whence it 
goes south again to rejoin the highway to Hebron, near 
Khurbet Jedur ; then it passes Beit Ummar, Beit Sur, and 
Hulhul, where this basin ceases to be connected with that of 
the Dead Sea, and follows the basin of Wady Guzzeh up to 
the south of Dura. Here and westward to Kh. Ejjis er Raz, 
the southern limits of this Sukereir basin divide it from the 
basin of Wady el Hesy, which falls into the sea on the north 
of Gaza. From Kh Ejjis er Raz, the waterparting follows a 
line of hills up to Kh. Yasin, near Esdud (Ashdod), which 
divides the Sukereir from the small basin of Wady el Bireh, 
a coast basin like that of el Falik, on the north of Jaffa. The 
basin of Wady Guzzeh is continued from Dura, along the 
eastern and southern sides of el Hesy. 

The drainage of Sukereir basin is divided between three 
main branches. 

1. The northern branch is Wady es Sunt, which takes 
the whole of the eastern drainage from el Khudr on the north 
to Hulhul on the south, and that was known before the 
present survey. The main channel of Wady Sunt begins 
with Wady Musurr, which rises on the west of el Khudr 
(alt. 2,832 feet). It takes the drainage of the north-east 
angle of the basin from Kh. Umm el Kulah on the north to 
Kh. Beit Skaria on the south. At Jeba it receives a feeder 

* The Convent of Saint George, three miles west of Bethlehem. 


from the northern margin at Kh. el'Ahbar and Wady Fukin, 
and runs westward as Wady el Jindy to Kh. Shuweikeh 
(Shocoh). Here it receives a tributary from the northern 
margin of the basin, on the south of Kefr Som, which follows 
the margin westward as far as Beit Nettif. At Kh. Shu- 
weikeh also is the junction of Wady es Sur, which rises at 
Kh. Beit Nasif near Terkumieh and runs almost due north, 
in a line prolonged by the plain of es Sunt, the Wady en 
Najil and the Plain of Surar, the Wady Ali, and the Plain of 
Beit Nuba to the foot of the Beth Horon Pass. This 
remarkable depression is about thirty miles in length, and 
serves to divide the mountains of Judah from the lowland 
hills of the Shephelah. The Wady es Sur is the recipient 
of a succession of valleys which have their heads along 
the eastern margin of the basin, between a point west 
of Safa and Beit Sur near Hulhul. The cave of Adullam 
according to Mons. Ganneau is at Aid el Ma in the Wady 
es Sur. 

Below Kh. Shuweikeh, the Wady es Sunt enters a gorge 
through which it zigzags on its way to the Plain of Philistia 
which it reaches at the foot of Tell es Safi, the Blanche garde 
of the Crusaders, and perhaps the Libnah of the Bible. The 
altitude of Tell es Safi is 695 feet, and the wady at its foot is 
395 feet above the sea. In its passage through the gorge it 
receives a valley from the south, traversed by the Eoman 
road from Beit Jibrin. Near its entrance into the plain it 
receives another affluent from Kudna (alt. 810 feet), Eana 
(alt. 660 feet), Dhikerin (alt. 680 feet) and Deir es Dhiban 
(alt. 665 feet). It crosses the rolling plain in a north-westerly 
direction to Jisr Esdud or the bridge of Ashdod, where it 
joins the outlet of the central and southern parts of the 

2. The central branch is best known as Wady el Afranj 
(Feranj of former maps). This branch drains the eastern 
waterparting, where it abuts on that of Wady Guzzeh, about 
the heads of Wady el Khulil, around Hebron. It rises from 
two small feeders skirting the border on the east of Dura, and 


it receives five tributaries which rise along the eastern border 
to the northward of the main sources. The northernmost is 
the chief of these. It has its most northern source in the 
Wady Kaideh which rises close to the Hebron road on the 
west of Hulhul. But the most easterly source of this 
tributary is about half a mile further south, on the east side 
of the Siret el Bella'a (alt. 3,370 feet), a prominent height on 
the east of the Hebron road. Lower down this tributary skirts 
Terkumieh and joins Wady el Afranj on the north of Idhna. 

This branch has been supposed hitherto, to belong to a 
drainage system, quite distinct from Wady es Sunt. On 
leaving the hills at Zeita, instead of running as it does to the 
north-west to join the Sunt at Ashdod, the Afranj was 
reputed to cross the plain towards the south-west, and to join 
the Wady el Hesy at Simsim. See map of Holy Land in 
Dr. William Smith's Ancient Atlas ; also Lieutenant Van de 
Velde's map ; and Dr. Eobinson's "Phys. Geog.," 107. 

3. The southern branch of the Sukereir basin, rises from 
south-eastern angle at Dura, and receives tributaries from the 
margin of the Wady el Afranj north-westward to a point on 
the west of Beit Jibrin. It is the Wady ed Dawaimeh of 
former maps, and was so called from a village of that name 
on the main channel. On the east of this place it receives 
the drainage from between Dura and Idhna. At el Kubeibeh 
it receives the drainage from the margin of the Wady el 
Afranj, between Idhna and Beit Jibrin. From Kubeibeh, it 
flows north-westward to 'Arak el Menshiyeh, where it receives 
a branch rising on the west of Dawaimeh, and taking the 
drainage of the southern edge of the basin from its source to 
Kh. Ajlan (biblical Eglon). Another affluent rises at Kh. 
Ajlan, and taking the drainage of the western border up to 
Kh. Mamin, joins the main channel at Keratiya. At Kera- 
tiya the main southern branch is called Wady el Ghueit, and 
runs on north-westward to join the el Afranj at Beit Duras, 
from whence the junction with the northern channel is made 
at Jisr Esdud. The passage to the sea then proceeds north- 
ward for three miles, when it finally turns to the west and 



reaches the coast at Neby Yunis, a shrine of the Prophet 

Of course this southern branch of the Sukereir basin was 
supposed to follow the central one to the basin of Wady el 
Hesy ; which indeed has been entirely deprived of its reputed 
channels, and has been furnished with a newly discovered 
series by the present survey. Such was the recent state of 
the geography of an important part of Philistia and Judsea. 


The outfall of Wady el Hesy lies between the ancient 
cities of Gaza and Ashkelon. The northern limit of its basin 
runs with the Sukereir basin, and beginning at the sea, and 
the sandhills at the mouth of the river, proceeds north-east- 
ward between Berberah and Nalia to Kh. Erzeh, Khurbet Samy 
and Kh. 'Ejjis er Eas (alt. 331 feet). [These places mark the 
division between Wady Kemas in the basin of el Hesy, and 
Wady Bireh. The latter belongs to a small but distinct 
basin, including the villages of Nalin, Askalan (Ashkelon), el 
Mejdel, Hamameh, and Julis. Its outlet is at Tellul el 
Ferani (alt. 50 feet) where it appears to be lost in the 

From Kh. 'Ejjis er Ras (alt. 331 feet; the northern water- 
parting turns to the south-east and south, through Neby 
Ham to Khurbet Melita (alt. 336 feet). Here it strikes 
south-eastward again to Kh. Ajlan (Eglon), and more 
easterly along a succession of ranges by Tell Jabis (alt. 
450 feet), Muntaret el Kaneiterah, and by a long sweep to 
Khurbet er.Resum (alt. 1,090 feet). From this point it 
bends round the heads of the Valley of Dawaimeh, and 
then makes another bend around the valleys on the west 
of Dura ; finally reaching Ras el Biain (alt. 2,950 feet). 

At Ras el Biain, the eastern side of the waterparting 
begins, dividing the Hesy from the Ghuzzeh (Gaza) basin. 
It passes south to Khurbet Kharsa (alt. 2,857 feet), Kh. Sirreh 
(alt. 2,746 feet), Ras Sirreh (alt. 2,601 feet), and Merj 


Domeh, to a point about one mile north of edh Dhaheriyeh ; 
whence it proceeds westward to Sheik abu Kharrubeh (alt. 
2,070 feet), then south-west to Eas en Nukb (alt. 2,023 feet), 
and on to Tell Khuweilfeh, the southernmost point of the 

Here the waterparting strikes north-westward by the 
track of Kanan es Seru to Kh. Umm Ameidat (alt. 560 feet), 
and Tell Abu Dilakh (alt. 470 feet) ; still continuing along 
the Kanan es Sera to the heights of Saleh Burber ; whence 
the waterparting strikes southward to Kh. Zuheilikah (alt. 
450 feet) and Kh. el Jindy ; then north-west to Kh. Hurab 
Diab (alt. 490 feet) ; and westward, near Khurbet Sihan and 
Kh. Mansurah to the gardens of Gaza, and to the sea. 

From Tell Khuweilfeh westward, the waterparting divides 
the affluents of Wady el Hesy from the Wady esh Shertah, 
which runs to Wady Ghuzzeh, and forms the northern 
boundary of the pastoral nomadic tribes of the 'Azazimeh and 
the Teiaha. West of the 'Az^zimeh are the Terabin, whose 
territory reaches from Gaza to Suez. 

The Watercourses of the Basin of Wady el Hesy. 

The main channel has its origin at the north-eastern 
extremity of the basin. Six wadys rise along the eastern 
waterparting between Eas Biain (alt. 2,950 feet) and Eas 
Sirreh (alt. 2,061 feet). These unite at different points on the 
east of Kh. 'Aitun, and flow north-westward, receiving an 
affluent from Beit Auwa (alt. 1,495 feet) on the northern edge 
of the basin. The next of importance falls in on the left 
bank, from a wady which has its sources along the eastern 
waterparting, between Eas Sirreh and Sheikh abu Kharrubeh 
(alt. 2,070 feet). The main channel hugs the northern edge 
of the basin, and has only short tributaries on that side, till 
it reaches the plain at Simsim (alt. 219 feet), where an out- 
fall takes place from Umm Lakis (Lachish), el Huleikat, and 

At L>eir Sineid, a longer branch falls in, which rises at 

E 2 


the northernmost part of the basin at Kh. 'Ejjis er Eas (alt. 
331 feet), and takes the drainage of Kaukabah, Beit Tima, 
Ejjeh, Burberah, and Beit Jerjah. 

From the southern waterparting, between Sk. abu Khar- 
rubeh and Tell Khuweilfeh, the Wady edh Dhikah proceeds, 
and takes the name of Wady en Nas on the way to its 
junction at Kh. Suml Another considerable branch rises 
near the same part, and skirts the waterparting up to Kh. el 
Mukeimin, when it turns to the north-west and passes Kh. 
abu Gheith (alt. 640 feet) on its way to the main wady at 
Tell el Hesy (alt. 340 feet). The modern name of Gheith, its 
position on the southern frontier of Philistia, midway between 
the ancient fortresses of Hebron and Gaza, and particularly 
its connection with " the way to Shaaraim " (Tell esh Sheriah) 
have caused the remains of Gheith to be regarded as the 
representative of the long lost, ancient Gath, one of the five 
cities of Philistia, and the birth-place of Goliath. 

Another affluent from the south, rises at Kh. Umm 
Ameidat, waters the modern village of Huj, and joins the 
Hesy at Khurbet Jelameh. The next from the southern 
waterparting, rises at Kh. Zuheilikah (alt. 450 feet) runs 
nearly up to Gaza where it receives a tributary from the 
south, and bending northwards, reaches the Hesy at -Deir 


The Palestine Exploration Survey only includes the 
northern part of this basin. Where the southern limit is to 
be drawn, it would be rash to affirm with any pretension to 
certainty, after the proofs supplied by the Survey of the 
unreliable character of existing maps dependent on route 
surveys in respect to questions of this precise character. The 
present southern limit of the survey corresponds with the 
division between Philistia and the Hill Country of Judah on 
the one hand, and the exceedingly interesting but unsurveyed 
and therefore very imperfectly known region including the 


Negeb or " South Country " of Scripture on the other. How 
attractive that part of the Holy Land is to the student of the 
Bible, is amply attested by that admirable work, which the 
Eev. Edward Wilton, M.A., Oxon., has devoted to it,* That 
book alone yields abundant evidence of the desirability of 
extending the survey work of the Palestine Exploration Fund 
to the southward. No doubt it is an undertaking which 
must be approached with ample precautions, but there is 
sufficient evidence to warrant the belief that a good under- 
standing for the purpose, might be entered into with the 
chiefs of the tribes, whose goodwill it would be necessary to 
secure. They are able to appreciate reverence for the Sacred 
Writings. It would be possible to explain to them the desire 
of believers to recover such a knowledge of the sites of the 
holy places in the " South Country," as the Survey now 
supplies further north. Their objections and apprehensions 
may be ascertained and provided for. A conviction that the 
welfare and prosperity of these pastoral people would be 
studied and promoted by the supporters of the Survey, might 
be justly impressed upon them. Such are some of the notions 
that seem to encourage the confident expectation that the 
Survey of the " South Country " of the Holy Land, will soon 
be taken up with the same earnestness and ability, which has 
already brought so large a part of the Fund's work to a most 
successful issue. 

The northern limit of the Wady Ghuzzeh (Gaza) basin, 
runs with that of el Hesy from the coast eastward to Kuweil- 
feh, and thence north-eastward to Ras Biain ; beyond which 
it runs in the same general direction nearly to Hulhul, on 
the north of Hebron, having in this part the basin of 
Nahr Sukereir on the west. Here it becomes attached 
to the basin of the Dead Sea, and runs southward along 
its margin through Beni Nairn, Tell ez Zif, el Kurmul, 
Tell Main, Khurbet el Kureitein, Khurbet Beiyud, and 

* The Negeb or " South Country " of Scripture. By the Eev. Edward 
Wilton, M.A. Oson., Macmillan & Co., 3863. 


Tell Arad, where the map terminates, leaving the rest of 
the waterparting really unknown. Every one of the names 
along this eastern margin of the basin are sites of biblical 
interest and correspond to Janum, Ziph, the Carmel of Caleb, 
Maon, Kerioth Hezron, Beth-Lebayoth, and the Canaanite 
capital Arad. 

The southern limit of the Palestine Exploration Survey, 
runs from the Dead Sea by Wady Seiyal, corresponding to 
the Wady Hafaf of Wilton, thence by Wady el Kureitein to 
Khurbet el Milh, the Moladah of Scripture, thence by the Wady 
es Seba to Bir es Seba, the biblical Beersheba, and the junction 
of Wady esh Sheriah, whence the Wady Ghuzzeh runs on to 
the sea near Gaza. 

The Watercourses of the Basin of Wady Ghuzzeh. 

The head of -the Wady el Khulil is the origin of the 
principal channel of the northern part of the basin. It com- 
mences in three wadys which unite at Hebron, and in others 
further north towards Khurbet Beit Anun, the biblical Beth 
Anoth (alt. 3,085 feet), which unite on the north-west of 
Hebron, and contribute to the Wady el 'Aawir, which joins 
the Hebron Wady, a few miles south of the city. The Wady 
el Khulil zigzags from this confluence south-westward to 
Kujrn ed Deir (alt. 2,612 feet) near Yutta (alt. 3,747 feet), 
the scriptural Juttah, and, according to Eeland, the homely 
retreat of Zacharias and Elisabeth and the birth-place of 
their son John the Baptist. The bottom of the Wady el 
Khulil is thus 1,135 feet lower than Yutta, near which it 
receives the Wady Kilkis and also the Wady ed Dilbeh on 
the right bank. Both come from Khurbet Kanan, on the water- 
parting south-west of Hebron, and both are partly skirted by 
the high road which further south impinges on the Wady el 
Khulil, where the channel encircles the remains of Khurbet 
Rabud. Here it receives an affluent on the left bank. The 
Wady Khulil continues down the deep valley in a winding 
course to the foot of a spur surmounted by a track from the 


village of edh Dhaheriyeh (Debir of Caleb) on the western 
hill-side (alt. 2,150 feet). This is the first village in Palestine, 
by the road from Sinai through Beersheba and Hebron. At 
the foot of the spur, the Wady Deir el Loz falls in on the left 
bank. The wady continues to wind about in its south- 
westerly descent, receiving the outfall of a group of wadys 
which come from the waterparting between Eas Sirreh and 
Eas en Nukb (alt. 2,023 feet), and passing Khurbet Tat 
Eeit, skirt the north-western side of the Dhaheriyeh ridge. 
Afterwards it proceeds on a straighter course, and is joined 
by Wady Itmy from the northern edge of the basin at Kh. 
Khuweilfeh (Eobinson's " Bib. Ees." i, 207) ; finally reaching 
the Wady es Seba at Tell es Seba (alt. 950 feet) on the 
east of Beersheba (alt. 788 feet). This confluence is also 
joined by another wady from the north, which skirts the 
Khashm el Buteiyir. 

The interval between the basins of el Hesy and the Dead 
Sea, widens between Dura on the west and Tell es Zif on the 
east, and gives rise to another system of watercourses, on the 
east of Wady el Khulil. It rises on the eastern water- 
parting, on the north of Tell ez Zif (alt. 2,882 feet) the biblical 
Ziph " immortalized by its connexion with David." It skirts 
the waterparting to el Kurmul (alt. 2,067 feet) the Carmel of 
Saul,* David,f and UzziahJ and, appearing again in the 
history of the Crusades. Here it turns to the west, receiving 
a tributary from Yutta (alt. 3,747 feet), and doubling upon 
itself, bends south to es Sernua (alt. 2,407 feet), the Eshtemoa 
of David's exile, near which it receives tributaries from the 
eastern waterparting about Maon (alt. 2,887 feet), and Bir el 
Edd (alt. 3,000 feet). Pursuing its south-westerly course as 
the Wady el Khan, it reaches Zanuta, the biblical Zanoah, 
where it receives a branch 'from Kanan el Aseif (alt. 3,002 
feet) and Eafat (alt. 2,312 feet). It passes Kh. Attir, the 
biblical Jattir (alt. 2,040 feet) ; receives the Wady el Habur, 

* 1 Sam. xv. 12. 

f 1 Sam. xxv. 2, 5, 7, 40 ; xxviii. 3 ; 1 Chron. iii. 1. 

1 2 Chron. xxvi. 10. 


the Wady el Ghurra, and the Wady Saweh, and joins Wady 
es Seba near Tell es Seba. 

Above this junction, the Wady es Seba may be traced to 
its origin on the eastern waterparting about Khurbet el 
Kureitein ; from whence it runs southward as Wady el 
Kureitein to Khurbet el Milh, the site of Moladah (alt. 1,210 
feet), where it bends abruptly to the west on its way to 

From the confluence of the Wady el Khulil, the Wady es 
Seba proceeds by the west through the pastures of the 
'Azazimeh and Terabin Arabs, to its junction with a great 
wady from the south, which will be an attractive feature in 
the extension of the Survey. At this point the Wady es Seba 
changes its name to Wady Guzzeh, and runs north-westward 
to its confluence with Wady esh Sheriah, and its further 
passage to the sea on the south-west of Gaza. 

The Wady esh Sheriah drains the northern margin of the 
basin of Wady Ghuzzeh, from the sea to Tell Khuweilfeh. 
On the east it has the Wady It my and another affluent of 
Wady el Khulil, being separated from the latter by Tuweiyil 
abu Jerwal and Khashm el Buteiyir, names which are applied 
to a spur which stretches southward from the range of the 
northern waterparting to the Sahel Umm Butein or plain of 
Beersheba. The southern boundary of Wady Sheriah is the 
summit of a broad down, which undulates between the Sheriah 
and the Seba. 

Two main branches divide the basin of Wady esh Sheriah 
and meet at Khurbet 'Erk. The northern branch is the 
recipient at Kh. Umm el Bakr, of several wadys which rise 
along the north-eastern edge .of the basin, from Kh. Umm 
Dabkal round by the east to Tuweiyil abu Jerwal (alt. 1,500 
feet). The Wady Sheriah passes westward from Kh. Umm 
el Bakr to Tell esh Sheriah (alt. 400 feet), an ancient site 
identified with Shaaraim, the way to which place is connected 
with the long-lost city of Gath, in the account of the flight of 
the Philistines, after Goliath was slain by David, 1 Sam. xvii. 
52. Between Tell esh Sheriah and the junction with the 


Ghuzzeh seven wadys join the Sheriah from the northern 
edge of the basin. 

The southern branch collects all the south-eastern affluents 
of the Sheriah and carries their waters to Khurbet Erk. 
Monsieur V. Guerin has contributed some additional sites to 
this part of the survey, which the surveyors left incomplete. 
But it is difficult to make his routes fit with the Palestine 
Exploration Map, and his own map like the best of others 
relating to this part, only serves to repeat the proof of the 
imperfect results of route surveys. 

At the junction of Wady Sheriah with Wady Ghuzzeh, 
the survey places the Khurbet el Kutshan, which appears to 
be Arabic for the " Euins of the Horse Village." This at 
once suggests its identification with the biblical Hazor Susah 
or Susirn, which has the same meaning. The site has been 
long looked for in this locality. It has been supposed to be 
connected with the trade in horses with Egypt in Solomon's 
time; but its association with this neighbourhood is more 
fitly explained by the fact that horsebreeding is a prominent 
pursuit in the pastures about Gaza. The Henady Arabs of 
this part are famous for it. 

On the south of Wady Ghuzzeh and near the sea, the 
Survey places the remains of Deir el Belah, which Mons. V. 
Guerin identifies with the Crusaders' fortress of Darum. 
The Rev. E. Wilson applies his cogent reasoning to connect 
it with the Bizjoth-Jah-Baalah of Joshua xv, the Balah of 
Joshua xix, and the Bilhah of 1 Chronicles iv. It is un- 
doubtedly the site of a sacred fane of high antiquity, suitable 
for the worship of Baal, and still more to give expression to 
the contempt of the Almighty (Bizjoth-Jah) for that idolatry. 

Here ends the present examination of the Survey within 
the Mediterranean watershed. The remainder includes the 
western slope of the Jordan and Dead Sea Basin. It will be 
subjected to the same analysis as the former part ; and the 
comparison of the knowledge acquired by the Survey with 
earlier work will be not less instructive and interesting. 




The head of the Jordan basin lies about twenty-four miles 
beyond the present limits of the Palestine Exploration Survey, 
among the sources of the Wady et Teim, and surrounded by 
the villages of Medukhah, Bekka, and 'Ain el Arab. Near it 
passes the high-road from Beirut on the Mediterranean, over 
Mount Lebanon to Damascus by way of the Wady el Kuril. 
The wady runs to the Barada river, and divides the northern 
flanks of Mount Hermon from the southern extremity of Anti 

The Wady et Teim drains the western slope of Mount 
Hermon ; and, as the Nahr el Hasbany, it comes into the 
Palestine Exploration Survey. It has on its right bank the 
Jebel ed Dahar, a narrow ridge on a portion of the water- 
parting between the Jordan basin and the Kasimiyeh. South 
of Dibbin, the plain of Merj 'Ayun lies between the Kasimiyeh- 
Jordan waterparting and the southern prolongation of Jebel- 
ed-Dahar. The waterparting skirts the western side of the 
Merj, and is continued along the southern prolongation of the 
Kasimiyeh, as described in the notice of that basin. The 
Kasimiyeh rises more than forty miles further north than the 
Wady ed Teim, on the flanks of the highest summit of Mount 
Lebanon ; from whence it descends along the eastern base of 
that mountain, till it passes the Crusaders' fortress of Belfort 
now Kulat esh Shukif. There it turns abruptly westward to 
the sea, and falling within the limits of the Survey, it came 
under notice at the commencement of this investigation. 

The Nahr Hasbany and the Wady et Teim are without a 
record in ancient geography. They are discoveries made 


since the Palestine Association began the work which has 
been taken up by the Fund. The study of watersheds and 
basins commenced since accurate surveying supplied the 
requisite information, just as anatomy originated with the 
precise examination of the human frame. Formerly nothing 
was known of the Jordan further north than the fountains 
which supply its perennial waters on the south of Mount 
Hermon. The chief of these gushes out of the western side 
of Tell el Kady,* or the Judge's Mound (alt. 505 feet), 
and is one of the largest in the world, while another 
springs from the top of the same Tell directly above, and 
forms a distinct and considerable stream running to the south- 
west, and driving two mills, before it joins the other river. 
The ruins on the Tell are the remains of Dan, the northern 
counterpart of southern Beersheba, the foundation of which is 
recorded in the Books of Joshua and Judges. Its name is 
still retained by its fountains and stream, the 'Ain and Nahr 
el Leddan. The change from Dan to el Leddan is plainly 
traced by Dr. Smith in a note quoted by Dr. Robinson 
(" Bib. Res.," iii, 392), and Dr. Wilson remarked that Kady 
and Dan are respectively Arabic and Hebrew for a judge 
(" Lands of the Bible," ii, 172). 

The next fountain in importance springs up at Banias (alt. 
1,080 feet) in a nook of the mountain at the inner or north- 
eastern angle of the terrace, on which are the remains of this 
ancient place. The stream is called Nahr Banias and joins 
the Leddan in the plain. Not far below the confluence, a 
third affluent adds to the bulk of the stream ; it is the Nahr 
Hasbauy which comes from the Wady et Teim and the 
northern extremity of the basin. Near its outfall (alt. 140 
feet) the Nahr Hasbany receives (1) the Nahr Bareighit, 
which has its source in the Merj 'Ayun at 'Ain ed Derderah 
near the Kasimiyeh, and a few miles above its great bend. 
The Bareighit becomes nearly dry in autumn. (2) The 

* An artificial looking mound of limestone rock, flat topped, eighty feet 
high, and half a mile in diameter, its western side covered with a thicket of 
reeds, oaks, and oleanders. Tristram's " Land of Israel," 580. See also 
Monsieur Guerin, " Galilee," iii, 338. 


outlet of fountains rising along the eastern foot of the hills, 
above el Khalisah and en Na'ameh. Dr. Robinson considers 
the Banias stream to be twice the bulk of the Hasbany, 
while the Leddan is twice that of the Banias. Dr. Wilson 
found the Hasbany to be seven yards broad and about two 
feet deep. The Leddari measured ten yards wide and two 
feet deep. At Banias, Dr. Wilson only remarked that the 
spring appeared to be " about as copious as that of Dan." 
According to the Memoirs of the Survey, the Nahr Banias 
is the principal source, and the fountains at Tell el Kady are 
mentioned as one in " Memoirs," 17A, but not in p. 24. 


The confluence of the perennial streams which unite 
to form the Jordan of the Bible and History,* takes place 
on the Huleh Plain, described on p. 144 ; and the river 
enters the marsh and lake of el Huleh, at es Salihiyeh. Here 
are the Waters of Merom (Josh, xi, 5, 7); and Lake Semechonitis 
of Josephus. Both lake and marsh have been examined by 
Dr. Tristram who nearly lost his life in the marsh ; and by 
Mr. Macgregor who penetrated them at great risk in the 
"Bob Roy" canoe. Tristram's "Land of Israel," 585-590. 
Macgregor's " Rob Roy on the Jordan/' 

The principal wady entering the marsh from the west 
drains a recess of the waterparting, which affords space for 
the plateau of Kades, the famous Kedesh of Naphtali. On 
the north of this plateau is one still more elevated, and 
having no outlet for its waters. It contains the villages of 
Meis, and its waters form lagoons in the rainy season. 
Robinson's " Bib. Res.," iii, 369. From the south-west angle 
of Meis plateau, the Kades plateau flanks the most southerly 
part of the Kasimiyeh basin between Meis and Aitherun. 
It is the recipient of several branches before it descends 
from the hills as Wady Arus. Another wady from the 
hills unites with the abundant waters of 'Ain el Mellahah, 

* As distinguished from its extension northwards throughout Wady et Teiin. 


which enters the lake through the southern edge of the 
marsh. This wady does not impinge on the Mediter- 
ranean waterparting, but is divided from it by the next ; and 
as a rule only those wadys will be noticed separately here- 
after, which are in contact with the Mediterranean basins. 


The western side of Lake Huleh receives one wady from 
the Mediterranean parting, and two which are divided from 
it. The first is known in its lower part as the Wady el Hindaj. 
On the north the waterparting commences on the edge of the 
lake at Tell Abalis, and touches on the plateau of Kedes, 
passing the southern extremity of the Kasimiyeh basin on its 
way to Marun er Ras (alt. 3,035 feet). Turning southward, the 
basin of the Hindaj, runs with the Ezziyeh basin between 
Marun er Eas and Sasa. From Sasa the boundary of the Hindaj 
ascends to the top of Jebel Jurmuk (alt. 3,934 feet), the culmi- 
nating summit of Galilee. Here the Hindaj adjoins the Medi- 
terranean basin of Wady el Kurn. After descending the north- 
eastern slope of Jebel Jurmuk, the boundary goes towards Ras 
el Ahmar, and reaches Lake Huleh at et Teleil. Between 
Jebel Jurmuk and Ras el Ahmar, the Hindaj basin runs with 
the northernmost part of the Wady Amud or Safed basin, 
which falls into the Sea of Galilee. Eastward of Ras el 
Ahmar, it is bounded by the minor basin of Wady Shebabik. 
This basin is more fully noticed in pp. 185 to 188. 

The basin of Wady el Hindaj includes the village of el 
Jish, the ancient Giscala (alt. 2,370 feet), and also those of 
Farah (alt. 2,160 feet), Salhah, 'Alma, and Deishun. The 
biblical sites of Edrei and Hazor are reputed to be in this 
basin, at Hadireh and el Khureibeh. 


The Wady Shebabik is the most northerly of a series of 
minor basins which are divided from the Mediterranean 
Slope by the basin of Wady Amud or Safed. It is followed 
by Wady Musheirefeh, properly Loziyeh, and both fall into 
Lake Huleh. At Kh. Benit, between the heads of Shubabik 


and Loziyeh, is a commanding view over the Huleh basin. 
Eobinson, " Bib. Bes.," ii, 434. The Wady Loziyeh, properly 
Musheirefeh falls into the Jordan on the south of Jisr Benat 
Yakub, or the Bridge of Jacob's daughters. Besides it, this part 
of the Jordan only receives a few short wadys. The remainder 
of this secondary series falls into the Sea of Galilee. The first is 
Wady Zuhtuk, which runs nearly parallel with the Jordan, 
and joins the lake near it. The next, with a trifling inter- 
vention rises in Jebel Kanan, on the east of Safed, and 
enters the sea at Tell Hum. The Wady Jamus has its mouth 
at 'Ain Tabghah. 


This is an important basin, containing the noted town of 
Safed. It comes into actual contact with the Mediterranean 
slope on the margin of Wady el Kurn, but it is only divided 
from the Kasimiyeh on the north by the Hindaj, and from the 
N'amein and the Mukutt'a basins on the south, by the 
Eubudiyeh basin. It enters the sea through the plain of 
Ghuweir or Gennesaret, at Tell el Henud. See p. 186. 


Its mouth is not far south of the preceding wady. The 
head of the basin is spread between Jebel el Arus (alt. 3,520 
feet) and Jebel Abhariyeh, where it is divided from the Wady el 
Kurn on the north, and on the east from the Plain of Bameh, 
watered by the principal branch of the Wady Halzun in the 
Naiman basin, which empties itself near Acre. On the east 
it has the Safed basin. At Ailbun, on its southern border, it 
approaches the Plain of Buttauf, in the north-eastern part of 
the Mukutt'a basin. From Ailbun to the Sea of Galilee it is 
bordered by the Wady el Hamam. 


The Mediterranean waterparting here approaches closely 
to the Sea of Galilee and confines this basin within a short 


extent. It is, however, of much interest, for it rises near 
Hattin, where the Crusaders suffered a decisive defeat ; and 
includes the site of Irbid, and also the biblical Magdala, 
now el Mejdel, where it falls into the sea. 

A series of minor basins skirt the rest of the coast of 
the Sea of Galilee between Wady el Hamam and Wady 
Fejjas, which falls into the Jordan at the Jisr es Sidd. The 
only one at all notable is the Wady el Amis next to Wady el 
Hamam. For from Tiberias to Jisr es Sidd the basin of 
Wady Fejjas skirts the sea closely, and at a height which 
attains to 1,650 feet above its depressed surface, leaving only 
a steep and narrow margin furrowed by precipitous channels 
towards the shore. The level of the Sea of Galilee as deter- 
mined by the Survey is 682*5 feet below the level of the 


The waterparting of the Jordan is thrust inward at the 
head of this basin, which is coterminous with the most 
easterly extension of the Mukutt'a at the Plain of Toron. It 
has however some length, in consequence of its oblique 
direction from north-west to south-east. On the south it is 
bounded by the more considerable basin of Wady Bireh, 
except towards the outfall into the Jordan at the Jisr es Sidd, 
where a few short secondary channels are interposed along 
the right bank of the Jordan between the out Calls of this 
wady and Wady Bireh. Among them is the Wady umm 
Walhan with a permanent stream falling from a height of 
2,000 feet in a short distance. It falls into the Jordan on 
its right bank, about a mile above the junction of the 
Yarmuk on its left bank, where the depression of the valley 
below the level of the Mediterranean is 835 feet. About 
two miles lower down, the Jordan is crossed by the Jisr el 
Mujamia, on the road to the Yarmuk and Um Keis (Gadara). 


The heads of this basin extend along the margin 'of 
the Mukutt'a between the villages of esh Shejerah and 


Nain. On the south-west it is bounded by the heads of 
Nahr Jalud, until the secondary basin of Wady Yebla 
or 'Esh-sheh ('Osheh formerly) intervenes, along with three 
others of no magnitude. 

The principal channel of this basin rises at its northern 
extremity and flows at the eastern base of Mount Tabor, 
receiving on the south-west of the mountain another branch 
which rises on the east of Nazareth, and descending between 
Iksal and Deburieh, the Chesulloth and Dabberath of Scrip- 
ture, passes the south of Mount Tabor to join the northern 
branch. There are many tributaries on both sides of the 
main stream, and one of them comes from the biblical Endor. 
The river passes from the hills into the Ghor or Valley of 
Jordan, by a fine gorge which has Kaukab el Hawa " the 
Star in the Air," on the southern summit. It is the remains 
of the Crusaders' Castle of Belvoir, and the ruins are occupied 
by a miserable peasantry. 


The permanent stream rises at 'Ain Jalud and 'Ain el 
Meiyiteh, near the village of Zerin, the ancient Jezreel. It 
waters the noted Valley of Jezreel, and the village of Beisan, 
the site of biblical Bethshean, and the later Scythopolis. 
Below Beisan it crosses the Ghor to enter the Jordan through 
the ravine of ed Duwaimeh. 

The head of the basin lies between Jebel Duhy (alt. 
1,690 feet), and Jebel Fuku'a or Mount Gilboa, which at 
Sheikh Burkan is 1,698 feet. It skirts the edge of the plain 
of Esdraelon through the villages of el 'Afuleh and Zerin. 
The plain is called also the Valley of Megiddo, and by the 
present inhabitants, Merj Ibn 'Amir. Esdraelon is the well 
known Greek form of Jezreel, and the " Plain " which extends 
from Zerin westward, must be distinguished from the " Valley " 
which descends rapidly from it, eastward to the Jordan. 

The descent of the valley is thus defined. Zerin is 
402 feet above the sea. The 'Ain Meiyiteh at the foot of 
the village, is only 60 feet above the sea ; the 'Ain Jalud 


within two miles of Zerin, is 120 feet below the sea level. 
Beisan is on the edge of a broad terrace, which extends 
southward along the foot of the mountains for several miles 
at a height of 322 feet below the sea. The terrace has a 
steep descent to the Ghor or upper valley of the Jordan, 
which is here between 700 and 800 feet below the sea. The 
edge of the terrace above the Ghor, is traversed by the ancient 
road between Nablus and Beisan. The Eiver Jordan itself runs 
in a narrow trench through the Ghor, at a still lower depth, 
which does not appear to have been observed nearer than 
Jisr Mujamia, minus 845 feet, and at the foot of the 
ancient road which leads from the Jordan south-westward 
to Wady Farrah. At this point the river is minus 1,080 feet, 
which would make it about 950 feet below the sea near Beisan. 

From Sheikh Barkan to Beisan and the Jordan, the southern 
edge of the Nahr Jalud basin is undistinguishable among an 
intricate network of irrigation works and neglected swamps, 
which extend from Beisan southward to Wady Shubash. 

The wadys descending from Mount Gilboa (Jebel Fukua) 
to Nahr Jalud appear to be mere seams in the side of the 
mountain and require no further notice. 

The wadys from the northern edge of the basin are 
more remarkable. The head of the basin including the 
south side of Jebel Duhy (alt. 1,690 feet) and the edge of 
the valley passing through el 'Afuleh to Zerin is drained 
by the affluents of Wady el Hufiyir, which with another 
distinct wady from Jebel Duhy, joins the stream from 'Ain 
el Meiyiteh, before its junction with the waters of 'Ain Jalud. 

From the slopes east of Jebel Duhy and around the 
village of en Naurah, the Wady es Sidr descends to 'Ain 
Tub'aun, a spring which rises close on the left bank of the 
Nahr Jalud, facing 'Ain Jalud on the right bank. The Wady 
es Sidr does not however join the Nahr Jalud, for it main- 
tains an independent and parallel course as an aqueduct 
called Kanat es Sokny as far as the Khan el Ahmar, where it 
runs off' northward of the village to the Wady el Khaneizir. 

The discovery of 'Ain Tub'aun is of historical interest. It 


solves a passage in William of Tyre where Saladin is said to 
have encamped by a fountain called Tubania, at the foot of 
Mount Gilboa, near Jezreel ; " circa fontem cui nomen 
Tubania," etc.* The same event is related by Boha-ed-din. 
in his Life of Saladin, as having taken place at 'Ain el Jalut, 
or Ain Jalud, which considering the proximity of the 
fountains, involves no real discrepancy. Mons. Guerin in an 
instructive notice of 'Ain Jalud, draws attention to these 
passages and concludes that 'Ain Jalud is meant by both 
of the historiaus.f Thanks to the Palestine Exploration Survey, 
it will now be seen that the old French chronicler was quite 
exact, and that the name which he records exists to this day. 
The Kan at es Sokny continues to intercept all the 
drainage of the northern slope; It is sufficient to note that the 
Wady el Harriyeh drains the villages of Kumieh and Shutta. 


The head of this basin is in contact with the south- 
eastern extremity of the Mukutt'a at Jelkamus, and with the 
north-eastern end of the Nahr Mefjir basin between Tannin 
and Eas Ibsik. One of its sources descends from Eas Ibsik 
(alt. 2,404 feet) and the secluded village of Eaba. Another 
rises on the north of el Mughair. The wady descends from 
these elevated glens by a gorge, which terminates at the 
south-western extremity of the Beisan Terrace, where it 
appears to end in a continuing slope with the lower level of 
the Ghor. It also receives branches from the projecting hills 
on which the village of Khurbet Ka'aun is situated, which 
although 213 feet below the Mediterranean, is still about 
700 feet above the Ghor at its foot. This Ka'aun is probably 
the Coabis of the Peutinger Tables, in this direction. 


The basin of the Shubash is succeeded by the Wady 
Khashineh, and its affluent the Wady Selman, which unite 
at the foot of the mountains, below the village of Berdeleh. 

* " Hist. Belli Sacri," lib. xxii, rap. xxvi. f Guerin, " Samarie," i, 309. 


The Khashmeh barely touches the Mediterranean water- 
parting at Eas Ibsik, being almost wholly intercepted by 
Wady Shubash on the north, and by the heads of Wady 
Mukhnawy on the south. The watercourse seems to come to 
an end in the Ghor, without reaching a collection of five 
fountains, amidst the ruins named el Fatur, ed Deir 3 and Umm 
el Amdan, which unite in a single channel passing direct 
to the Jordan. There are wadys on either side of Khashmeh, 
but these only rise on the hillside skirting the Ghor. 


Between Eas Ibsik (alt. 2,404 feet) and Eas el Akra (alt, 
2,230 feet), this basin is in contact with the northern arm 
of the Mefjir Basin. On the south of Mount Akra, it is 
divided from the tributaries of the Merj el Ghuruk, which 
has no outfall to the sea. 

The northern boundary or waterparting extends from the 
confluence with the Jordan westward to the southern flanks 
of Eas Ibsik where it turns to the south-west, over Eas el 
Akra to a point east of Judeideh. 

The southern boundary of the basin starts from its contact 
with Merj el Ghuruk, between Judeideh and Tubas> reaches 
Tubas (alt. 1,227 feet), runs south to ed Deir, then east to 
Eas Jadir (alt. 2,326 feet), and pursues the summit of this 
range to Kh. Umm el Kotn (alt; 342 feet) ; thence it passes 
eastward to Kh. Mofia (alt. 590 feet). 

At Kh. Mofia, the eastern boundary commences, and runs 
north to Eas Umm Zokah (alt. 840 feet) continuing in the 
same direction to Tell Fass el Jemel, and onward until the 
range of hills bends round to the east, following the course of 
the Wady el Maleh up to the Jordan* Thus the basin forms 
an irregular triangle, with its faces towards the north, south- 
west and east, and its outfall at the north-east angle. 

This basin is drained by three main branches, viz. (1) 
the Wady el Maleh, (2) the Wady Helweh, and (3) the Wady 
ed Duba. 

The Wady el Maleh has its sources at the western extremity 

F 2 


of the basin. Two wadys extending in the same line, 
descend from Eas Akra and Eas Jadir in opposite directions, 
and meet in a fine elevated plain on the north-west of Tubas 
(alt. 1,227 feet). Eunningon northward, this wadyis met by 
another coming towards it from Eas Ibsik (alt. 2,404 feet), 
and both turn eastward and descend through a gap in the 
hills to meet at Teiasir (alt. 995 feet) which overlooks 
another fine plain stretching out eastward. The wady 
advances round this plain by the north-west and then by the 
south-east, taking the names of Wady Mukhnawy and Wady 
el Hirreh, and receiving a tributary from the south side of the 
plain at a point between Kh. el Akabeh (alt. 732 feet) and 
Burj el Maleh (alt. 718 feet). From this confluence the 
wady takes the name of Wady el Maleh, and advances east- 
ward to the end of the range of Eas er Eaby on which stands 
the Burj or ruined castle of Maleh. It receives on its way 
affluents from Eas er Eaby on the north, and Eas J adir (alt. 
2,326 feet) on the south, the former washing the south- 
western face of the castle hill, and the latter passing the 
village of Kh. Yerzeh (alt. 950 feet). On the south-east 
of Maleh Castle, the wady receives another tributary from the 
range of Eas Jadir, the southern margin of the basin ; and 
bends round to the north-east. At the eastern foot of the 
castle range, it receives a tributary which washes the north- 
eastern face of the castle hill, and thence it proceeds eastward 
to 'Ain Maleh and 'Ayun el Asawir, where it receives the 
Wady Helweh from the south. 

The Wady Helweh rises along the south-western edge of 
the basin from Kh. Mofia (alt. 590 feet) to a point on the 
north of Kh. Umm esh Sheibik. These wadys meet at the 
toot of Kh. Umm el Hosr and run on northward to the 
confluence with Wady Kau Abu Deiyeh from the eastern 
margin, at the foot of Kh. Umm el Ikba (alt. 276 feet), where 
two tributaries from the west also fall in. The Wady 
Helweh continues northward to 'Ain Helweh and to the 
confluence with the Wady el Maleh. 

The main stream or Wady el Maleh continues for a very 


short distance eastward to receive the Wady el Tubkah 
which skirts the eastern border. Then it runs northward to 
the confluence with the Wady ed Duba or esh Shukh (alt. 
723 feet below the sea). 

The Wady ed Duba skirts the eastern moiety of the 
northern edge of the basin, and drains the area between it 
and the range of Eas er Eaby, which is prolonged by a spur 
extending eastward between the affluents of ed Duba and the 
Wady el Maleh. 

Below the confluence of the Duba, the Wady el Maleh 
receives small affluents from the north-eastern part of the 
basin, near 'Ain el Helweh ; and then runs on eastward to the 
Jordan ; which it enters where the plains on the south of 
Beisan, are terminated by the mountains closing in upon the 


The eastern edge of the Maleh basin is only from two to 
three miles distant from the Jordan. The steepness of the 
slope towards the valley is best expressed by the actual 
observations. The river is 1,080 feet below the level of the 
Mediterranean, at the Makhadet (ford) es S'aidiyeh, and 1,120 
feet at Makt. Umm Sidreh. The summits on the eastern 
edge of the Maleh basin, and on its continuation along the 
basin of Wady el Bukei'a are as follows : Eas Nukb el Bakr 
(alt. 95 feet), Dhahret el Meidan (alt. 653 feet), Kh. Mofia 
(alt. 590 feet), Eas Umm Zokah (alt. 840 feet), Eas el 
Jibsin (alt. 110 feet). These elevations above the sea, 
added to the figures representing the depression of the river 
below the sea, are equivalent to heights of 1,100 to 2,000 
feet above the stream, and they frequently terminate in 
rocky,, precipices. 

This bold and abrupt slope is broken up by numerous 
ravines and wadys, rising near the summit, and exhibiting 
much variety in their descent. The Wady Umm el Khar- 


rubeh runs for three miles parallel and near to the summit 
before zigzaging downwards to the Jordan. The Wady Shaib 
has a very oblique course, and it is followed by an ancient 
road which crosses between the Wady Far'ah and the Jordan, 
at Makt. ez Zakkumeh. On the east of the ford, in a 
prominent situation, rises the Saracenic castle of Eubud. 
About a mile from the river the road to Wady Far'ah is 
crossed by another road which traverses the valley of the 
Jordan, between Beisan and er Eiha, the site of Jericho. 
South of the Far'ah Eoad, ten other distinct wadys occur 
along the Maleh slope, 

The south-western slope beyond the Maleh basin around 
the south of Tubas, is drained by the Wady er Eesif, an affluent 
of Wady Far'ah. Two roads from Nablus run ij\ the same 
direction, side by side along the ridge and furrow of the Eesif 
wady. On a spur from Eas Jadir, descendipg between two 
southern branches of Wady er Eesif, is Ajnftn, which Lieut. 
Conder considers to represent the ^Enon of Scripture (John 
iii, 23); but although he claims Dr. Eobinson's support, 
the site is rejected by Dr. Eobinson, on account of its deficiency 
of water,* There is a still graver objection to this identi- 
fication, which will be considered in another work. 

Further south, and still at the foot of Eas Jadir, the 
basin of Wady el Maleh is succeeded by Wady el Bukei'a. 
Although this wady is of considerably greater extent 
than the wadys which descend to tjie Jordan from 
the eastern edge of Wady el Maleh, it is still only a 
secondary valley, being cut off by the head of Wady Fa'rah 
from the Mediterranean waterparting. Its lower extremity 
is remarkable, for in approaching the valley of tke Jordan, 
the wady enters a rocky chasm, through which it proceeds 
southward for more than half a mi}e, when it doubles back on 
a serpentine course northward, then north-east and east, 
through Wady Abu Sidreh, to an offset of the Jordan, at Tell 
Abu Sidreh. 

* Kob., &, 305, 333. Conder, "Tent Work," ii, 57: "Handbook," 
320. Smith's " Bib. Diet.," art. Salem. 


The Ghor or upper ground at the foot of the hills, must 
be distinguished from the Zor or bottom of the valley, about 
150 feet lower, in which the channel of the river, cut still 
deeper, meanders. On the north of Wady el Maleh the 
Ghor is widened out to the foot of the terrace of Beisan 
which is about 400 feet higher, and the hills, at first only 
set back from the edge of the terrace, gradually recede further 
and further westward, up the yalley of Jezreel, and along the 
Plain of Esdraelon, to Mount Carmel and the Sea. 

South of the Wady el Maleh, the hills encroach upon the 
Ghor, and reduce it to a narrow terrace, which comes to 
a minimum on the east of Eas Umm okah (alt, 840 feet). 
The Zor also frequently cuts gaps in the Ghor, where the 
wadys descent} into it. This narrowed part of the Jordan 
Valley extends southward to the Wady Abu Sidreh, when the 
hills "begin to recede westward, and the Gfyor again expands, 
widening gradually (except where the Wady Far'ah opens 
into it), till it acquires its fullest breadth in the plains 
of'Jericho, on the south of !urn Surtubeh. 

Southward between the Wady 'Abu Sidreh and the great 
Wady Far'ah, only one secondary wady can be singled out for 
notice. It comes from the hills between the Bukei'a and the 
Far'ah, and rises in Eas IJmin el Kharrubeh (alt. 690 feet), 
entering the Jordan about three miles below Tell es Sidreh, with 
the name of Sh'ab el Ghoraniyel}. About two miles and a half 
on the south-west of this confluence, the hills on the left 
bank of Wady Far'ah terminate in el Makhruk. The Wady 
Far'ah which has entered the Ghor from the north-west, now 
takes the name of Wady el Jozelelj, and bends round to the 
south, meandering in that Direction for six miles through the 
Ghor, to its junction with the Jordan ; its distance from the 
Jordan being only about three-quarters of a mile, nearly 
all the way. The watersheds here between the Far'ah and 
the Jordan, being thus contracted, leave no room for any 
other secondary features than mere corrosions in the face of 
the descent from the Ghor to the Zor. The latter is here 
remarkable for the remains of the Jisr (Bridge) ed Damieh, 


with other ruins of the same name, and also for the junction 
of the Wady Zerka from the east, which is identified with 
the Eiver Jabbok of the Bible. 


The western edge of the basin has its northern extremity 
at a point midway between Tubas and el Judeideh, the latter 
being in the inland basin of Merj el Ghuruk, which runs 
with the raV ah for about three miles. For a,bout a mile and 
a-half north east of Yasid (alt. 2,240 feet) the Far'ah basin 
runs with that of Nahr el Mefjir, which has a source of its 
southern branch near Yasid. From Yasid to the south of 
Mount Gerizim or Jebel et Tor, the western edge of the 
Far'ah runs with the basin of Nahr Iskanderuneh, and passes 
over Mount Ebal or Jebel Eslamiyeh, and on the east of the 
town of Nablus. From Mount Gerizira, the edge of the 
Far'ah basin takes a south-easterly course across the plains, 
between the plains of Sahel Mukhnah and Sahel Eujib, and 
reaches the ridge of el Jeddua. Along this part the Far'ah basin 
runs with the Kanah section of the el 'Auja basin. From el 
Jeddua it makes a bend to the north-east, over et Tuwanik 
(alt. 2,847 feet) to Sheikh Kamil (alt. 1,920 feet), here the 
south-easterly course of the edge of the basin is resumed; 
and continues through Daluk, Umm Halal (alt. 1,360 feet), 
Eas Kaneiterah, and the noted Kurn Surtubeh (alt. 1,244 feet) 
to el Mermaleh in the plain which is here depressed 889 feet 
below the sea, and about three miles south-eastward it reaches 
the Jordan. From el Jeddua to the Jordan, the Far'ah is coter- 
minous with Wady el Humr, which succeeds it on the south. 
The length of the basin is about thirty miles from north-west 
to south-east ; and its greatest breadth is about twelve miles 
in its upper part, and about six miles lower down. 

The Water Courses and other features of the Fdr'ah Basin. 

The western extremity or head of the Far'ah Basin is 
divided into two distinct parts, northern and southern ; the 


latter being a thousand feet higher than the former, in the 
lowest grounds. 

(1.) The southern or more elevated part, includes the con- 
tinuous Sahels or Plains of Rujib, Askar, and Salim. 

The plain of Rujib is a continuation northward of the 
noted plain of Mukhnah, and it is commonly considered to 
be a part of the latter. Both are traversed by the high-road 
between Nablus and Jerusalem. The only separation between 
them is the waterparting of the basins of Wady Far'ah and 
Wady el 'Auja, on the south-west of the village of Rujib. 
It is indicated by the commencement of a more rapid descent 
on the side of Rujib. 

On the north, the Plain of Rujib is succeeded by the 
Plain of Askar, the biblical Sychar, John iv, 5. The division 
takes place where the hills recede westwards towards Nablus, 
and eastward towards Salim, the Shalem of Jacob, Genesis 
xxxiii, 18 ; but not the Salim of St. John's Gospel, ch. iii, 
ver. 23. " Now Jacob's well was there " (St. John iv, 6), and 
is still, on the southern edge of the plain, just half a mile 
south of Askar. The plain of Askar is bounded on the 
north by a range of mountains, an extension eastwards from 
Mount Ebal, dividing the southern part of the Far'ah basin 
from the northern part, and culminating in Jebel el Kebir 
(alt. 2,610 feet). The connection of the watercourses on 
either side of the range, is effected through its intersection 
by a deep and narrow gorge or chasm named Wady Beidan. 
The chasm at the entrance from the Plain of Askar, is about 
1,500 feet above the sea ; but it is only about 600 feet at its 
exit on the north side of the range, at the foot of Neby 
Belan (alt. 2,500 feet). The altitude of Wady Beidan is 
considerably lower, at a distance of a mile and half to the 
east, where the stream from the mouth of the chasm, joins 
the waters of Wady Far'ah. 

Towards the east, the Plain of Askar is followed con- 
tinuously by the Plain of Salim ; the division between them 
being defined by the Wady esh Shejar. The eastern extremity 
of the Plain of Salim is the waterparting between this por- 


tion of the basin of Wady Far'ah and the basin of Wady 
Humr, which is the next tributary to the Jordan on the 
south, and the recipient of the better known Wady Fusail. 
The altitude of the Plain of Salim is 1,500 feet at its western 
end, and only 1,800 feet at the edge of the descent into 
Wady Kerad, which is one of the heads of Wady el Humr. 
But the mountains on the north and south of this end of the 
plain, rise to 2,510 feet and 2,547 feet respectively. The 
plain of Askar thus forms the junction of two broad valleys 
or plains at right angles to each other, and of an equal length 
of six miles, with an average breadth throughout that seldom 
exceeds a mile except at the southern and eastern extremities. 
The Askar plain is the collecting ground of the drainage of 
this part of the basin before it is carried into the chasm of 
Wady Beidan to join the lower region in the main valley on 
the north. 

(2.) The northern part of the head of the Far'ah Basin is 
surrounded by a semicircle of hills with a oUameter of seven 
or eight miles. The villages of Asiret el Hatab, Yasid, Tubas, 
and Tammun, indicate the course of the circular margin, 
from which the wadys converge towards two centres. One 
of them, taking four-fifths of this track, is about half a mile 
below 'Ain and Tell el Far'aji ; and the other is at the lower 
end of Wady Beidan. The inequality of these areas is com- 
pensated by the junction with the smaller centre of the out- 
fall of the southern division. 

From these central junctions, two streams run, one south- 
ward, and the other eastward ; and they meet after a course 
of a mile and a half each. Here the Wady Far'ah begins its 
south-eastern course to the Ghor, with the summits on 
each side about four or five miles apart. After a descent of 
three miles and a half, the valley is found by the observations 
'of the survey to be on a level with the sea. At Yasid on 
the western edge of the basin, and eight miles and a half 
distant, the altitude is 2,240 feet. At the junction of Wady 
Far'ah with the Jordan, the depth is 1,160 feet below the sea 
level, the direct distance from the sea level point being about 


fifteen miles, which by the winding of the river is increased 
to not less than eighteen miles. The fall from Yasid to the 
sea-level-point in Wady Far'ah, is therefore about 264 feet 
per mile, or exactly one in twenty ; while the fall from the 
same point to the Jordan is only about 77 feet per mile or 
about one in sixty-eight. 

The Wady Far'ah below the junction of its head waters, 
presents three natural divisions of about equal length, accord- 
ing to the variation of its landscape. In the uppermost part, 
the river flows through a beautiful basin of meadow land 
with the stream flowing in the midst bordered by oleanders. 

In the central part the river descends chiefly amidst 
precipitous rocks, which here separate its bed from the fertile 
slopes above. Towards the lower end of this part, on the 
right bank, occurs a beautiful tract which descends to the 
river bank, where it is covered with oleanders. It is called el 
Fersh, and by Dr. Eobinson " Fersh el Musa/' " Bib. Res." iii, 
304. On the left bank are the ruins of an ancient town 
now named Buseiliyeh, visited by Van de Velde, Guerin, 
and the Surveyors of the Palestine Exploration Fund. The 
central part is terminated by the projection of a spur of the 
hills on the north, met by precipitous rocks on the south, 
which close in upon the river, and reduce its passageway to a 
narrow gorge, which is remarkable for its caverns and the 
colour of its rocks. 

The lowest part begins below the gorge, and spreading 
out over the marshes of the Kurawa, extends to the Ghor. 
Van de Velde describes the Kurawa as a " well watered and 
richly wooded oasis, with luxuriant fields and gardens, and 
oleander-bordered brooks." It is the principal encampment 
of the Mas 'udy Arabs. Euins only now remain of mills and 
houses, where once stood the city of Archelaus. 

But few affluents from either side occur in the upper and 
central parts of the valley, of sufficient importance to call for 
special notice. At the higher end of the upper part, and on 
the left bank, the Shab esh Shinar descends very obliquely 
from the northern slope of Jebel Tammun and the village of 


the same name. At the lower end of the same part, a wady 
descends from a pass (Nukb el Arais) which facilitates com- 
munication with Wady el Bukeia, and divides Jebel Tammun. 
from the heights of Jurein, Homsah, and Kharrubeh. These 
heights are broken and precipitous, more so than those on the 
opposite bank, which although terminating in cliffs along the 
course of the river, descend to them by broader slopes. The 
cliffs on both sides of the stream distinguish the central part. 
The Kurawa receives all its notable affluents from the right 
bank, including Wady ez Zeit, Wady Jabr, Wady el Khur- 
zeleiyeh, and the Talat el Kurein from Kurn Surtubeh. 
Below the Kurawa, the Wady Far'ah takes the name of Wady 
el Jozeleh, which has been already noticed. 

Dr. Kobinson remarks that the Wady Far 'ah (Fari'a) is 
"justly regarded as one of the most fertile and valuable regions 
of Palestine," "Bib. Kes." iii, 304 Being subject to the 
nomadic Mas'udy Arabs, it is without villages, except on the 
western margin of the basin. But it abounds with pastures 
and cornfields, and supports large herds of cattle and quan- 
tities of goats. "Nowhere in Palestine had I seen such 
noble brooks of water," exclaims Dr. Eobinson ; and Mons. 
Guerin expatiates on the delicious shade of gigantic fig trees, 
the magnificent shrubs and beauteous oleanders, which line 
the banks of the streams, Guerin, " Samarie " i, 258. "A most 
delightful place," "knee-deep in beautiful flowers," "this 
charming valley," are among the praises heaped upon Wady 
Far'ah by Lieutenant Conder, " Tent Work " ii, 57. 

Important roads intersect Wady Far'ah in various direc- 
tions. The great north road from Jerusalem to Nazareth, 
Beisan, the Sea of Galilee, and the regions beyond, cross the 
western head of the basin in it^ widest part. Several main 
highways to Gilead and the east of the Jordan coming from 
Tubas, Sannur, Yasid, Tulluza, and Nablus, meet in the 
Wady Far'ah, and then pursue a common route to the Jordan 
at the ford of Damieh ; various cross tracts will also be found 
on the map. 

As " Abram passed through the land unto the place of 


Sichem," Gen. xii, 6, he probably followed the road across 
the head of the Far'ah Basin. Jacob returning from Laban 
by way of Mount Gilead with his wives, children, and 
servants, his herds of cattle, flocks of sheep and goats, camels, 
and asses, ascended the Far' ah from the Jordan, and " came 
to Shalem, a city of Shechem," Gen. xxxiii, 18. Benhadad 
the Syrian, fleeing from his siege of Samaria, panic-stricken 
by the Almighty, hurried down the Far'ah Valley, " and lo ! all 
the way was full of garments and vessels which the Syrians 
cast away in their haste," 2 Kings vii. 


This is the Wady el Ahmar of Van de Velde, " Sinai 
and Palestine," ii, 315; "Memoirs," 123. Eobinson calls it 
Wady Ahmar, "Bib. Ees." iii, 294. It is better known in 
connection with Wady Fusail, a minor branch of the basin, 
containing the site of Phasaelis. Its general outline may be 
compared to a right angled triangle, with the southern 
boundary for its base, dividing it from the basin of Wady el 
'Aujah which falls into the Jordan next to this on the south. 
The southern boundary passes from the Jordan through el 
Araka, Kh. Jibeit (alt. 2,146 feet), and el Mugheir (alt. 2,246 
feet), to the eastern edge of Merj Sia, a small natural basin 
with no outlet. The length is about eleven miles. 

The perpendicular of the triangle forms the western 
boundary, running north and south with some small sinuo- 
sities ; on this side also the basin is coterminous with the 
'Auja basin, but here it is quite another 'Auja from the 
'Aujah on the south, and is indeed the great basin of Nahr el 
'Auja, which falls into the Mediterranean Sea on the north of 
Jaffa. The slight difference in spelling may be unintentional. 
The western boundary is traced from Merj Sia, along a ridge 
between Istuna and Kulason, and east of the sources of 
Wady Seilun, then to about midway between Jalud and 
Domeh, and onwards to a point nearer to Kusrah than to 
Mejdel Beni Fadl; further north it crosses Akrabeh, and 
passes north-west of Yanun, to the mountain of el Jeddua 


and et Tuwanik (alt. 2,847 feet), then near Tana to the 
northern extremity of the basin near Sheikh Kamil (alt. 1,923 
feet). The length is about twelve miles. 

The hypotenuse of this triangular basin faces the north- 
east and is coterminous with the Wady Far'ah, in connection 
with which it has been already traced. Its length is about 
thirteen miles. 

The Watercourses of Wady el Humr Basin. 

Two main streams receive the channels of this basin, and 
unite about a mile from the Jordan. These are the Wady el 
Humr which drains the northern part of the basin, and the 
Wady Fusail which is the outfall of the southern part. There 
is an intermediate channel which rises about two miles from 
the edge of the plain, and passes straight across it to the con- 
fluence, a further distance of five miles. 

The sources of Wady el Humr extend along the western 
waterparting for about eight miles, between Sheikh Kamil 
and Mejdel Beni Fadl, and they form two divisions. The 
first rises at Tana and runs with the Koman road as Wady el 
Kerad into the Sahel or Plain of Ifjim. It receives a branch 
from Sheikh Kamil at a point midway between Tana and the 
plain ; and another branch comes from the same range of hills 
through Lahf Salim, and joins the Kerad at the upper end of 
the plain of Ifjim. At the lower end of the plain the Wady 
Zaniur joins the Kerad. The Zamur has the name of Wady 
ed Dowa above its entrance into the plain, and is the 
recipient of a series of tributaries which severally rise at Kh. 
Yanun, el Jeddua, Yanun, Akrabeh, and north of Mejdel Beni 
Fadl. These drain an upland tract, enclosed between the western 
waterparting and spurs which proceed from it and are drawn 
together at the gorge of Wady ed Dowa, the streams having 
united at the entrance of the gorge. After the junction of 
the Zamur the wady takes the name of Wady el Ifjim and 
receives short branches from the north-east parting at Bir 
Abu Deraj, Umm Hallal (alt. 1,360 feet), Ras el Hufireh, and 


Eas Kuneiterah. It receives longer branches on the opposite or 
right bank, descending from the eastern face of the spur already 
mentioned, which extends from the western parting at Mejdel 
Beni Fadl northwards to Wady ed Dowa. These are named 
Khallet 'Aseirn, W. el Menakhir, called also es Subhah, Wady 
Abu Hummam, and Wady Saddeh. . 

The Wady Ifjim proceeds towards the Ghor from the 
north ; but before reaching it, a deflection takes place which 
causes the wady to pass into the plain through a precipitous 
chasm from the west, which meets at its entrance from the 
plain, a similar chasm coming from the north, as if it had 
been the passage of the Ifjim before some convulsion diverted 
the stream to the western chasm. 

At its entrance into the Ghor the wady is called Zakaska, 
and runs at the foot of lofty rocks on its right bank, while 
the slopes of Kurn Surtubeh have their base about a mile off 
on the left, and finally reach their southern extremity where 
the wady proceeds westward across the Ghor, as Wady el 
Hurnr. Its junction with Wady Fusail takes place in the 
low ground of the Zor, the descent to which is here less 
abrupt than usual, owing to the channels having worn down 
the surface of the Ghor, giving it a rough and broken aspect, 
for a considerable distance from the river. 

The *Wady Fusail has its sources on the western water- 
parting between Mejdel Beni Fadl and Merj Sia. The Wady 
Bursheh running eastward on the south of Mejdel Beni Fadl, 
receives two small feeders from the west, and two from the 
east of that village, and then goes to the south-east, receiving 
the Wady Arak esh Shaheba from the village of Domeh (alt. 
2,006 feet), and continuing in the same direction for three- 
quarters of a-mile, lower down, as the Wady Arak Hajaj. 
Here it receives the Wady er Eishash from the south-west, 
the numerous sources of this branch being spread out along 
the south-western margin of the basin, between Domeh and 
el Mugheir (alt. 2,245 feet). 

After the junction of the Eishash, the Arak Hajaj pro- 
ceeds eastwards for a mile and a-half. Then entering the 


Ghor it takes a south-easterly course across the plain of 
Wady Fusail, and reaches the confluence with Wady el 
Humr, through Melahet Urnm 'Asein. As the Fusail deflects 
from the foot of the hills, it receives from them Wady el 
Makthayeh, Wady Abu Zerka, and Wady el War, also Birket 
Fusail and another fountain in the plain, amid aqueducts and 
ruins that denote the site of the ancient Herodian city of 


The shape of the margin of this basin may be compared 
almost to an ellipse or to a rhomboid, with the four sides bulging 
outwards, the two longer being on the north and south. The 
parallel inclination of the shorter sides in passing from the 
northern border southward, is slightly to the east. The eastern 
waterparting follows the course of the Jordan at a distance from 
the river of about one mile and a-quarter at the northern end, 
tapering to half-a-rnile at the southern end, where the basin 
has its outlet into the Jordan. This narrow ridge is about 
seven miles in length, and its summit being on a level with 
the Ghor, denotes its identity with that feature, from which it 
is only separated by the gradually declining course of the 
Wady el Mellahah, to join the 'Aujah, near the outlet of the 
basin into the Jordan, where the depression below the sea is 
1,200 feet. The Ghor seems to be here about 400 feet 

The northern waterparting concurs with that of Wady el 
Humr as far as Merj Sia, and this part is described in the 
account of that basin. But it is prolonged further westward 
for about three miles so as to include Kh. Abu Felah. Here 
the western boundary begins, running south to Tell Asur 
(alt. 3,318 feet). From Merj Sia to Tell Asur, this basin 
impinges on the Mediterranean waterparting of Nahr el 'Auja. 
Southward of Tell Asur, the Mediterranean system trends 
south-west, and the boundary of this basin trends south-east, 
following the Koman road as far as Kubbet Kummamaneh 


(alt. 2,024 feet), allowing the head of the Nuei'ameh, the next 
Jordan basin, to intervene. From Kubbet Kummamaneh it 
runs eastward to Umm Sirah, where it passes to the south- 
east to make a precipitous descent into the Ghor, on the 
north of 'Ain ed Duk and 'Ain en Nuei'ameh, from whence it 
bends round to the north-east by 'Osh el Ghurab, Maidan el 
Abd, Khurbet es Sumrah, and the Jordan on the south of the 
outfall at el 'Aujah. 

The Watercourses of el 'Adjah Basin. 

Three divisions of this basin may be distinguished, 
namely, Wady el Mellahah in the northern part ; Wady el 
'Aujah in the centre ; and Wady Abu Obeideh in the south ; 
with their respective affluents. 

Wady el Mellahah originates in a long swamp at the north- 
eastern extremity of the basin, and running along the eastern 
margin, joins el 'Aujah near the outfall. At the upper end of 
the swamp, it receives Wady Unkur edh Dhib, which rises 
on the south of Kh. Jibeit (alt. 2,146 feet), and skirts the 
northern margin of the basin. Two wadys with parallel courses 
to edh Dhib enter the swamp lower down ; and two more, in- 
cluding Wady Bakr, flowing in a similar direction, enter 
Wady Mellahah after it leaves the swamp. The Wady 
Mekur edh Dhib, on the south of Wady Bakr, is dispersed by 
irrigation channels in the Ghor, otherwise it would contribute 
to Mellahah. 

From Wady Zakaska, where the Wady el Humr enters the 
Ghor, to Wady Bakr, the descent of the mountain side, at 
first precipitous, continues steep, and in the same line north 
and south. But on the right or south bank of Wady Bakr, 
the base of the mountains begins to be extended in the form 
of low hills for a mile and a-half eastward, and continues so 
southward to the Wady el 'Aujah. 

South of Wady el 'Aujah, these hills are separated from 
the mountains by a plain (the Emek or Plain of Keziz 
Joshua xviii, 21), until they reach their southern limit, and 



approach the rocky cliffs and precipices of the mountain base 
about Jebel Kuruntul, where the Wady Nuei'ameh intervenes. 

They are intersected by the Wady el 'Aujah, and also by 
the Wady Abu Obeideh, called also Abideh, probably by an 
oversight. Between the Wadys el 'Aujah and Obeideh, the 
hills throw out a long, low, and narrow tongue across the Ghor. 
At el M'adhbeh, they attain to an altitude of 283 feet above 
the sea, the mountain of en Nejmeh on the west having the 
alt. of 2,391 feet. The Ghor at Kh. es Sumrah, at the eastern 
foot of el M'adhbeh, is 840 feet below the sea, while the 
enclosed " Plain of Keziz " between the mountains and the 
hills, is about 200 feet below the sea. 

The Wady el 'Aujah has its principal sources in the 
north-western extremity of the basin, and receives several 
tributaries from its margin between el Mugheir and Tell 
Asur. At 'Ain Samieh it acquires the name of that source, 
and enters the rocky defile by which it proceeds to the en- 
closed plain, that it has been proposed to identify with the 
Benjamite settlement of Emek Keziz. About a mile and a 
quarter before leaving the mountains, it takes the waters of 
'Ain el 'Aujah, and becomes a permanent stream with that 
name. After 'crossing the enclosed plain, it enters the hills 
at the northern foot of el M'adhbeh, and receives in the 
gorge, the Wady Abu el Haiyat on the left bank, and the 
Wadys Sebata and el Abeid on the right bank. The two 
Wadys el Haiyat and Sebata only rise on the outer slope of 
the mountains ; but the Wady el Abeid takes the waters of 
Wady en Nejmeh, which descends from Mount en Nejmeh 
(alt. 2,391 feet) ; also those from the deep and rocky chasms of 
Wady Dar el Jerir and Wady Lueit. 

The Wady Dar el Jerir comes from the highland villages 
of Kefr Malik and Dar Jerir, on the eastern slopes of Tell 
Asur (alt. 3,318 feet). It is the Wady Habis and Wady 'el 
Musireh of former maps. The Wady Lueit in its upper 
course is called Wady et Taiyibeh, and descending from near 
the village of that name, the Ophrah of Scripture (alt. 2,850 
feet), skirts the southern margin of the basin until it 


approaches the opening of its chasm into the plain. It was 
confused formerly with Wady Habis and Wady el Musireh. 
The Wady Abu Obeideh has its source on the west of 
Umm Sirah, and takes the rest of the drainage of the southern 
border of the basin. In crossing the enclosed plain, here 
called Salet el Meidan, the Wady Abu Obeideh receives the 
Wady Umm Sirah, which rises among the rocks at the foot 
of the mountains near the pass of Nukb el Asfar. This is 
the Wady el Musireh of former maps, which confused it with 
Wady Dar el Jerir and Wady Lueit, and carried it into the 
Wady el Aujah, instead of into Wady el Obeideh. It also 
receives the Shukh ed Dub'a, and then begins to cross the low 
hills on its way to the Ghor, and to its junction with Wady 
el 'Aujah in the depths of the Zor. 


A small group of secondary basins succeeds the el 'Aujah, 
and intervenes between its outfall and that of Wady Nuei'a- 
meh. The only notable one amongst them is Wady Mesa'adet 
'Aisa or '* the Ascension of Jesus," with several small branches, 
which drain the eastern side of the southern part of the 
detached hills, from the Maidan el 'Abd to the 'Osh el 
Ghurab or " Eaven's Nest " a traditional Mountain of the 
Temptation of Our Lord, from whence the name of the 
Wady is derived. (Conder's "Tent Work," ii, 5, 10, 13.) 
This tradition is said to be only attached to the 'Osh el 
Ghurab at the present day by the Bedawin ; but as Lieut. 
Conder also attributes to it a " mediaeval monkish " origin, 
for which he cites authorities, it may be observed that the 
opposite summit of the Kuruntul* Mountain is reputed by 
the Eoman Church to be the " exceeding high mountain " of 
the Temptation. Le Frere Lievin, " Guide des Sanctuaires," 

* Called also " Quarantania," or Mount of the Forty days' Fast. 

G 2 



This narrow basin seldom exceeds three miles in width, 
and it is confined to barely half a mile in its lower course. 
Its sources, rising on the Mediterranean waterparting, at a 
distance of about twenty miles from its junction with the 
Jordan, lie between Tell 'Asur (alt. 3,318 feet) and the well- 
known village of Beitin or Bethel (alt. 2,890 feet). The high- 
road from Bethel to the North, runs along the waterparting 
for about four miles ; and another road follows near it for the 
rest of the distance to Tell 'Asur, or about three miles. 

The curvature of the northern boundary has been 
described in the account of the El 'Aujeh basin as far as 'Osh 
el Ghurab; where the interposition of the preceding 
secondary basin causes the present boundary to bend to the 
south-east, passing Kh. el Mefjir, and then east along the left 
bank of Wady Nuei'ameh. 

The southern boundary, starting from Bethel, follows the 
road to Deir Diwan (alt. 2,570 feet), and southward to 
Mukhmas (Michmash) (alt. 1,990 feet), and Eas et Tawil 
(alt. 1,964 feet), whence it proceeds eastward along a moun- 
tain track to Umm et Talah, and Jebel Kuruntul (alt. 320 
feet), on the north of which the track descends to the Ghor 
by a gap in the line of cliffs, and passing on the north of 'Ain 
es Sultan, follows the right bank of Wady Nuei'ameh to the 
Jordan which is here 1,230 feet below the sea level. This 
boundary has a general curvature parallel with that on the 
north of the basin, and deflecting in a similar manner from 
the Mediterranean waterparting, so as to interpose between it 
and the present basin, the north-western part of Wady el 
Kelt, which falls next into the Jordan on the south. Thus 
while the north-western part of this basin impinges on the 
south-eastern part of the el 'Aujeh basin belonging to the 
Mediterranean slope, the south-western part is divided by a 
portion of the Wady el Kelt basin from the famous plain of 
el Gib (Gibeon) or Neby Samwil, which occupies the north- 
east of the Nahr Eubin division of the Mediterranean water- 


shed. The effect of these curvatures is to facilitate lateral 
communications parallel with the main range or axis of 
the mountain system of the country. Facilities of the same 
kind are also provided occasionally by the course of the head 
streams, when they run parallel with the main range, and 
sometimes come from opposite ends of the same valley, before 
they unite to make a rectangular or an oblique descent to the 
lower grounds. > 

The Watercourses of the Nuei'ameh Basin. 

The Wady el 'Ain descending southward from Tell 'Asur 
(alt. 3,318 feet) receives on its right bank from the western 
edge of the basin, the Khallet es Sultan, Wady el Kanabis, 
and Wady Muheisin. A branch having the villages of Dar 
Jerir and et Taiyibeh on the east, joins the left bank, about a 
mile south-west of the latter village. The Wady Muheisin 
runs eastward along the northern foot of the ridge between 
Beitin and Deir Diwan. After its junction with Wady el 
'Ain, the course of the Wady Muheisin is continued south- 
eastward, and this name is changed to Wady Asis. The 
wady here enters a deep and rocky chasm in which it con- 
tinues for five or six miles. A tributary from the west of 
Eummon ("the rock Eimmon," Judges xx, xxi), running 
south for about 1^ miles, joins the main Wady at a mile from 
Wady el 'Ain. Another tributary rising on the south of 
Taiyibeh, where it is called Wady Abu el Haiyat, passes 
southward on the east of Rummon as Wady el Asa, and after 
a course of three miles meets the wady from the north-west. 
Not far below a wady falls in on the right bank, which rises 
on the hills on the east of Deir Diwan and Kh. Haiyan (Ai). 
After this junction the wady trends slightly east of south for 
a mile, and then bends to the east, and receives the Wady es 
Sineisileh from the border of the basin near Kubbet Rumm- 
maneh (alt. 2,024 feet). It continues eastward in the chasm 
as W. Rummamaneh, receiving the Wady el Harik* on the 

* The Wady Harik stands in name only for the Wady Harith of former 
authorities (Stanley's " Sinai and Palestine," 201). 


right bank, and retaining the former name till it receives the 
Wady el Makuk on the same side. The long rocky chasm 
ceases about half a mile before the junction with the Makuk. 
The Wady el Makuk rises midway between Deir Diwan and 
Mukhmas, near the road that connects those villages, and 
. passes Eas et Tawil (alt. 1,964 feet) in a rocky chasm called 
W. Sikya. It is the drain of the south-western part of the 
basin. After the confluence the Makuk is bulged slightly to 
the northward by el 'Subakah, a spur from the southern water- 
parting, which provides a tributary from the 'valley on its 
southern side. The Wady now dives north-eastward into a 
rocky chasm, where it receives the Wady Abu Jurnan, which 
rises near Khubbet Eummamaneh (alt. 2,024 feet) and skirts 
the northern edge of the basin. The chasm conducts the 
wady to the southern extremity of the enclosed plain, where 
'Ain en Nuei'ameh supplies its final name as well as a peren- 
nial stream, the latter being also augmented by 'Ain ed Duk. 
The Nuei'ameh now flows to the south-east, and divides the 
southern extremity of the hilly tract which terminates in 'Osh 
el Ghurab or the Kaven's Nest, from the long line of lofty 
cliffs which here forms the eastern base of the Mountains of 
Judsea. It crosses the Ghor on an easterly course, and 
descends to the Jordan at the ford of el Ghoraniyeh (1,250 
feet below the sea). 


The western edge of this basin is about nine miles in 
length, beginning on the north at Bethel. As far as Bireh, it 
joins the el 'Auja basin, which falls into the Mediterranean 
on the north of Jaffa. From Bireh to Shafat the western 
edge meets the north-eastern part of the Nahr Eubin basin, 
which includes the Plain of el Jib or Gibeon on the north of 
Jerusalem, and which enters the Mediterranean on the south of 

The northern edge has been already described (p. 84). 
The southern departs from the west near Shafat ; bends round 
to Anata, and eastward to the rock of Arak Ibrahim ; then it 


makes another sweep north-east and south-east to Khan 
Hathrurah on the Jerusalem-Jericho road ; then advances by 
Talat ed Dumm to Kh. el Mestrab, and continues along the 
ridge between Wady el Kelt and Wady Talat ed Dumm, 
descending to the Ghor between Khaur Abu Dhahy and 
Khaur et Tumrar, passing south of Ain Hajlah and reaching 
the Jordan at the Pilgrims' Bathing place or Makhadet 

At the western margin of the basin, its width is about 
nine miles. Where the head waters descending from it unite, 
at the confluence of Wady Suweinit from the north-west, 
with Wady Farah from the south-west, the width of the basin 
contracts to three or four miles. At the foot of the cliffs that 
form the base of the mountains in the plain of Jericho, the 
width is about two miles and a half, and in the eastern part of 
the Ghor it is about a mile. The length reckoned from Bethel 
to the Jordan is about twenty-three miles, or nineteen miles 
direct from Tell el Ful. The Kelt is the southernmost 
affluent of the Jordan from the west. 

The Watercourses of Wady el Kelt. 

The watercourses rising on the margin of the broad head 
of the basin are divided into two parts. The northern part 
contributes to Wady Suweinit, and the southern to Wady 
Farah. These unite in the -Wady Kelt, about midway 
between the western waterparting and the foot of the 

The most northerly sources of the Suweinit are two brooks 
on the south of Bethel, which soon unite at the foot of Kh. 
Ibn Barak, where a third also falls in from the north of 
Bireh. From the junction, the wady runs south-eastward, 
till it joins another wady on the east of Burkah, coming from 
the north. This wady from the north, is the recipient of 
three parallel branches also running south-eastward, which 
rise on the south side of the road along the waterparting 
between Bethel (alt. 2,880 feet) and Deir Duwan or Diwan 
(alt. 2,370 feet). These branches are divided by spurs from 



the waterparting, the spur nearest to Deir Diwan having at 
its extremity about half-a-mile south of Deir Diwan the 
ruins of Kh. Haiyan, which the successive observations of 
Kobinson, Guerin, and Conder have identified with the city 
of Ai taken by Joshua. See note on Ai, p. 95. 

The wady from Kh. Haiyan appears to derive from that 
ancient site, the name of Wady el Medineh or the Valley of 
the City. From the confluence east of Burkah, it turns 
south-westward to a small plain on the south of that village, 
where it receives two affluents from the east and south of 
Bireh (alt. 2,820 feet). It runs on to the south-east for two 
miles, till it is joined by Wady en Netif, which has its sources 
on the waterparting from Kefr Akab to er Earn (alt. 2,600 
feet), and passes on the north of Jeba (" Geba," 1 Sam. xiv). 
The main wady proceeds from the junction for three-quarters 
of a mile to the east and north-east, up to the entrance of the 
long, narrow, and rocky gorge, of Wady es Suweinit. At the 
beginning of the gorge, a wady falls in from the north-west, 
after receiving a short branch from Mukhmas (biblical 
Michmash), which is on the northern waterparting within a 
mile north of the gorge. Lieut. Conder in his " Tent Work," 
ii, 112-115, seems to place the Philistine camp which 
Jonathan seized, on a tongue of land, coming to a sharp point 
between Wady Suweinit and another gorge that joins it on the 
east of Kh. el Haiyeh and, from one to two miles south-south- 
east of Mukhmas. According to him the southern face of 
this point is the rock Bozez or Shining ; and the opposite 
side of the gorge facing the north is the rock Seneh, meaning 
the thorn or Acacia, the present name of the valley being 
Suweinit, or the Little Acacia. 

From the head of the Suweinit Gorge, to its junction with 
the gorge of the Farah, which drains the southern division, 
the course of the Suweinit is south-east, and its length is 
about four miles. About three-quarters of a mile from the 
head of the gorge a small branch falls in from the Jeba plain 
on the west. The next branch, joining on the opposite bank 
about a mile lower down, forms the tongue of land identified 


with the Philistine camp before mentioned. Three other 
branches join the main stream on the same side within a mile 
of the junction with the Farah. They descend from Eas et 
Tawil (alt. 1,864 feet) on the northern edge of the 

The Wady Farah takes the drainage of the western water- 
parting between Khurbet Erha (alt. 2,450 feet) and Shafat 
(alt. 3,524 feet). The head wadys fall into the Wady Farah 
by two branches, the Wady Eedeideh coming down on the 
north of Hizmeh, and the Wady es Senam on the south of the 
same place, the junction being in a precipitous gorge one mile 
east of Hizmeh (alt. 2,020 feet). The easternmost branch of . 
the Eedeideh descends from Jeba, which has the Wady en 
Netif on the north. 

Wady es Senam, receives the Wady Zimry from the east 
of Tell el Ful (alt. 3,754 feet). Another branch comes from 
the south side of the same prominent hill, taking a south- 
easterly course along the southern edge of the basin, till it 
approaches Anata, the biblical Anathoth (alt. 2,225 feet), and 
then bending abruptly to the north and north-east, it falls 
into Wady Zimry, on the south of Hizmeh. 

After the junction of the Eedeideh and Senam, the gorge 
of the Farah proceeds due east with a slightly serpentine 
course to its junction with Wady es Suweinit, receiving 
the Wady en Mmr from the Plain of Jeba on the left 
bank, and the Wady en Nukheileh on the right, the latter 
having skirted the southern edge of the basin from the 
neighbourhood of 'Anata to its junction with the Farah, 
within a mile of the Suweinit. 

Below the meeting of its two main branches, the gorge of 
Wady Farah turns to the north-east, then east and south, and 
again north-east and south-east, when it emerges for a time 
from the cliffs at 'Ain el Kelt, and becomes Wady el Kelt. 
Proceeding eastward, the Wady el Kelt soon receives Wady 
Abu Duba from sources on the southern edge of the basin, 
where the Khan Hathrurah and Talat ed Dumm occur on the 
road between Jericho and Jerusalem. About two miles and 


a half before it reaches the plain of Jericho the Kelt again 
enters a deep and rocky defile, which skirts the southern 
edges of the basin, and continues to the line of cliffs that 
form the base of the mountains on the west of Jericho. The 
wady proceeds due east across the Ghor as far as Eriha, the 
modern Jericho, situated within two miles of the cliffs ; after 
which it turns south-eastward, and soon receives a perennial 
affluent from Tell es Sultan in the midst of the vestiges of an 
ancient site of Jericho. The Khaur Abu Dhahy next falls in 
on the opposite bank, its origin being due east of its outfall, 
on the mountain side. The last tributary rises in Ain 
Hajlah, a little more than two miles from the Jordan and 
unites with the Kelt at the edge of the Zor. 

Wady Eijan. 

Between the Nuei'ameh basin and Wady el Kelt, there 
is a wady which descends from Has et Tawil (alt. 1,864 feet), 
and passes eastward to the plain, on the south of Jebel 
Kuruntul. In the plain it appears to be exhausted in ir- 
rigation, but naturally it seems to belong to the Kelt. An 
old road comes down through it from Bethel and Mukhmas 
to 'Ain es Sultan, but on approaching the plain the road 
ascends the ridge on the south of the wady, and turns to the 
south for nearly a mile along the top of the cliffs, before 
it descends to the plain. This wady has the following 
names in succession, Shamut, Kijan, el Mefjir, and Abu 
Eetmeh. Besides the road already mentioned, there is 
another which runs parallel to it on the north, till both meet 
at Deir Diwan. This track ascends from the plain on the 
north of Jebel Kuruntul, and follows the ridge between 
Wady Kijan and the Nuei'ameh basin, keeping about half a 
mile or a little more from the other route, all the way to 
Deir Diwan. On the north of Ras el Tawil, a third parallel 
route begins, which also runs on to Deir Diwaii. The 
central route follows the upper course of Wady Sikya or 
Makuk, in the Nuei'ameh basin, and the routes on either side 
traverse the hills which enclose it, the western passing along 


the waterparting between the Nuei'ameh and Kelt basins, 
and through the village of Mukhmas. In the direction 
of these roads eastward from Mukhmas was probably the 
Hyenas' Eavine, called in the Bible the Valley of Zeboim 
" The way of the border that looketh to the Valley of Zeboim 
toward the Wilderness," 1 Sam. xiii, 18. " The border " in 
this passage cannot refer to the border between Judah and 
Benjamin, as it has been suggested, because the locality is in 
the central part of Benjamin. The original admits of being 
rendered thus " the way of the edge (or ridge) overlooking 
the Hyenas' Ravine in the wilderness." The Eavine of Wady 
Sikya would answer to this rendering, and if the Upland 
pastures of Makuk, Eijan, and Kelt, offered no plunder in 
those days, then the expedition would have had the plain of 
Jericho for its destination, as it was quite within reach, 

Note on Ai, supplementary to page 92. 

The name of Khurbet Haiyan is given to the remarkable 
ruins on this site by Lieut. Conder. Mons, Guerin calls them 
Kh. el Koudeireh, and describes them fully (Guerin, " Judee," 
iii, 57-62). Van de Velde's enlarged map of the Environs of 
Jerusalem has the same name. It appears on the Survey on 
the west of Haiyan, and quite apart from that. Dr. Eobinson, 
who discovered these ruins on the 4th of May, 1838, does 
not supply any modern name to them. He first mentions 
their identification with Ai doubtfully, as " the site with 
ruins south of Deir Diwan " (" Bib. Ees. " i, 443). Returning 
to the same place ten days afterwards, he examined it care- 
fully and recorded his measurements and notes. After 
further search he states that he " could come to no other 
result, than to assign as the probable site of Ai, the place 
with ruins just south of Deir Diwan." "Bib. Ees.," i, 
573, 4, 5. Lieut. Conder has repeatedly included this site 
among his own identifications (" Handbook," 254, 402 ; 
"Tent Work," ii, 109; "Biblical Gains," 5, 20,) without 
any reference to Dr. Eobinson's prior claim, so that some 
reminder seems necessary. 


The light thrown by the Survey on this interesting sub- 
ject, is too explicit to be passed by on this occasion. The 
two wadys that flank the sides of Haiyan, correspond to 
those on the north and west of Ai specified in Joshua viii. 
The wady on the north was interposed between Ai and 
Joshua's prominent position on that side of the city, "which 
appears to have been just where Deir Diwan now stands 
(Josh, viii, 11). The other wady on the west was the 
place of " ambush." It is a defile stretching up for a mile 
and a half towards Bethel "between Bethel and Ai on the 
west side of the city," Josh, viii, 12. The road between 
the two places runs along the summit of the north side of 
the defile. There is a more secluded parallel valley on the 
south, which may also be said to be on the west of Haiyan. 
The King of Ai appears to have made his attack upon the 
Israelite camp on the north of the city, " before the plain " or 
literally " on the face of the Arabah ; " and the Israelites made 
their feigned flight by the roads to the Wilderness (midbar) 
on the south-east of Deir Diwan. This was probably the line 
by which they had been routed on their first attack on Ai ; 
and the chase unto Shebarim (Josh, vii, 5) may perhaps be 
commemorated in Kh. Abu Sabbah, although that name is 
said to be derived from a family who once resided there. 
Abu Sabbah lies on the line of the route, about a mile from 
Haiyan. The " going down " or Morad, along which the 
pursuit was maintained may be traced by the track to the 
northern foot of Eas et Tawil, and eastward along the ridge 
Umm et Talah, to the descent on the north of Kuruntul 
Mountain, down to the plain of Jericho. This line seems 
preferable for the purpose, to the " ancient road " through 
Mukhmas (Michmash) and Wady Eijan, which is perhaps of 
later date. 

This subject formerly drew from Dr. Stanley a dissertation 
on the topography of the mountains in relation to it, which 
afforded all the light that could be thrown upon them, up to 
the publication of the New Survey. " Sinai and Palestine," 
201-203. His Wady Harith seems to derive its name from 


the Harik of the Palestine Exploration Survey, corresponding 
to the Harit of Van de Velde's map. But it is hard to say 
whether the valley itself was meant for the Muheisin at the 
head of the Nuei'ameh basin, which is the conclusion sug- 
gested in the first line of page 202, for the last line of the 
same page, points to Wady el Medineh, as descending to 
W. Kelt. 


The next basin adjoining the Mediterranean waterparting 
falls into the Dead Sea at a direct distance of more than five 
miles on the south-west of the junction of Wady el Kelt with 
the Jordan. Near its outlet at the foot of the mountains, it 
bears the name of el Kueiserah in the new Survey. It 
is called Wady Dabor in the maps of Canon Tristram and 
Lieut. Van de Velde, and Wady el Kuneiterah in the map 
of the Holy Land in Dr. Wm. Smith's Atlas, the last name 
being derived from the mountain on the south of its exit into 
the plain, and it is so called by Dr. Wilson. Its contact with 
the Mediterranean waterparting is very slight, being confined 
to about one mile on the south of Shafat, where it meets the 
Wady Beit Hannina in the Basin of Nahr Eubin. Further 
south it is bounded on the west, by the northernmost part of 
the basin of Wady en Nar or Brook Kidron, where the City 
of Jerusalem is situated. 

The northern boundary has been already described as a 
portion of the waterparting of Wady el Kelt, as far east 
as Khan Hathrurah. Further east this basin is divided from 
the Kelt by the Wady Talat ed Dumm, and other secondary 

From the head of Wady Talat ed Dumm the northern 
boundary of the Kueiserah Basin divides it from the secondary 
basins by passing south-eastward to Jebel Ekteif and Neby 
Musa, where the waterparting descends to the plain and 
through Belawet edh Dhehaiban to the Dead Sea. The 
description of the secondary basins will now be taken up. 


Wady Talat ed Dumm and other Minor Basins of the 

Dead Sea. 

This wady is traversed throughout by the road between 
Jerusalem and the Jordan, the road to Jericho also only 
passing from this valley into the gorge of the Kelt, about two 
miles from the plain. Shortly before it descends to the 
plain, the Wady Talat ed Dumm changes its name to "Wady 
Medhbah Aiyad. In crossing the Ghor it receives the Wady 
el Hazim from the lower part of the hills and taking the 
name of Khaur el Tumrar, it passes south-eastward to the 
Zor, then southward through the Zor and parallel to the 
Jordan to its outfall into the Dead Sea. 

Wady Makarfet Kattum. 

About half a mile west of this outfall, the Dead Sea 
receives another independent wady from the foot of the hills, 
named Makarfet Kattum. 

Wady Joreif Ghuzul. 

A mile still further west, a third wady falls into the sea, 
which has its origin on the west of Jebel Ekteif (alt. 640 feet) 
about four miles from the plain, and crosses the plain as 
Wady Joreif GhuzuL 

The southern boundary leaves its brief contact with the 
Mediterranean Waterparting at a point on the road between 
Jerusalem and Shafat, about a mile on the south of the latter 
place ; and follows the ridge to the summit of the Mount 
of Olives. It descends from the summit eastward and then 
southward, leaving el 'Aziriyeh and Abu Dis on the left, and 
continues southward to Kh. Jubb er Bum. Soon after it turns 
to the east straight along an ancient road, until a track falls 
in from Wady Abu Hindi, near which it is deflected north- 
ward for a short distance, and then bends again eastward to 
reach the summit of el Muntar* (alt. 1,723 feet). From 
this elevated point it turns north-east along the range which 

* Conder's " Tent Work," i, 290, 300, 301. 


divides Wady Dekakin from el Bukei'a and Wady Kumran, 
until it reaches el Hadeidun* and approaches Wady Mukelik, 
when it proceeds eastward across the northern extremity of 
the plateau of el Bukei'a to Tubk el Kaneiterah (alt. 306 feet, 
or 1,598 feet above the Dead Sea). Here the boundary of the 
basin strikes northward to the summit of Jafet el Asia, and 
thence bends east by south across the plain to the Dead Sea. 

The Watercourses of el Kueiserah Basin. 

A Wady rising at Shafat on the north-west angle of the 
basin, runs under various names, along the whole of its 
northern margin to the Dead Sea. As the Wady Seleim it 
rises near Shafat, passes on the north of Aisawiyah and south 
of Anata to the gorges of Deir es Sidd, where it receives the 
Wady Euabeh coming from the south of An&ta, and the 
eastern slope of the northern extension of the Mount of 
Olives. Below Deir es Sidd, it appears to take the name of 
Wady es Sidr, and runs eastward till it is diverted to the 
southward by the waterparting at the head of Talat ed Dumm. 
A road from Jerusalem passes on the north of the Mount of 
Olives, and after being joined by another from the summit, 
skirts the Wady Ruabeh and the Wady es Sidr, till it crosses 
over to the Talat ed Dumm as already mentioned. The 
pass is called Thogret ed Debr in the Survey ; and to this, the 
name of Wady Debor or Dabor, given to this wady by former 
authorities, may perhaps be ascribed. 

About half a mile south of the pass, the Wady es Sidr 
receives an affluent which rises on the Mount of Olives, as 
Wady el Lehham. About two miles east of the Mount of 
Olives, the Lehham is joined by Wady el Haud from el 
'Azlriyeh, and soon after the Wady el Jemel comes from Kh. 
Umm el Jemel on the south. The Wady el Haud takes its 
name from Ain el Haud, the " fountain of the Apostles," about 
a mile west of the junction, and the same has been applied 
generally to this wady, which continues from the confluence 
north-east to Arak ; up to this place the Wady el Haud is 

* Conder's " Tent Work," i, 299, 300, 301. 


followed by the principal road between Jerusalem and 
Jericho. At Arak the Wady el Haud turns eastward to 
Wady es Sidr ; and the bounding range of hills on the south 
takes the same direction towards Jebel Ekteif, from which 
it is only separated by the intersection of Wady es Sidr. 
At the south-western base of Jebel Ekteif, the Wady es 
Sidr enters the rocky gorge of el Mukelik, previously 
receiving two distinct wadys from the southern margin of 
the basin, named Wady el Mudowerah, and Wady ed 

At Arak also, the road from Jerusalem forks in two 
directions. The road to the north-east goes to join the 
Euabeh Eoad already mentioned. The road to the south-east 
goes over the hills to the junction of the Sidr with the 
Mudowerah, near the Mukelik gorge, and passes eastward along 
the brow of the range on the north of the gorge up to Neby 
Musa ; whence it proceeds across the Ghor to join the road 
from Talat ed Dumm, at Ain Hajlah ; whence it goes to the 
Pilgrims' Bathing Place at the Jordan. The branch road 
from Arak, by Neby Musa, is distinguished in the Survey as 
the Pilgrims' Eoad. From Neby Musa to Wady Sidr, this 
road was followed by Canon Tristram, on the way to Jeru- 
salem, but the rest of the journey was performed across the 
country to 'Ain Haud. " Land of Israel," pp. 228, 229. 

The Wady el Mudowerah has its most distant source at el 
'Aziriyeh, which passes Abu Dis (alt. 2,100 feet) south-east- 
wards, and receiving several affluents from its neighbourhood, 
turns to the north-east and east at Wady Abu Hindi. On 
reaching Kabur el Madadi, the Wady Abu Hindi receives the 
Wady el 'Auwaj from the west, and after the junction it 
becomes Wady el Mudowerah, and pursues a very winding 
course to the Wady es Sidr. 

The Wady ed Dekakin rises on the east of the hills 
where the Abu Hindi takes its north-east course, about two 
miles east of Abu Dis. As the Khaleil Abu Eadt it runs 
to the east-south-east, till it receives an affluent descending 
in the opposite direction from the mountain on the water- 


parting named el Muntar (alt. 1,723 feet) ; then it turns to 
the north-east, takes the name of ed Dekakin, and receives 
several short tributaries from the waterparting on its way to 
the entrance of the gorge of Wady el Mukelik. 

The rocky gorge of el Mukelik is about two miles long. 
It occurs where the basin contracts from a maximum width 
of more than six miles, to a minimum of a mile and a 
quarter. The Wady soon afterwards opens up into a great 
circular space formed by the slopes of Jebel el Kammun, 
Tubk el Kaneiterah, Jafet el Asia, and Neby Musa, and then 
passes at el Kueiserah to the plain, where it bends round 
south-eastward to the Dead Sea. 

Besides the principal communications to which attention 
has been drawn, there are numerous tracks in all parts of the 
basin ; indeed, Canon Tristram's excursion, before mentioned, 
proved that it might be traversed in some directions across 
country. One of these tracks, perhaps formerly of greater 
importance, appears to throw light upon King David's flight 
from Jerusalem by " the way of the wilderness," and finally 
to the Jordan and Gilead, 2 Sam. xv, xvi. Especially does 
it remove objections that have been made to the identification 
of Bahurim with Almon (Josh, xxi, 18) according to the 
Targum Jonathan. See Dr. George Grove's Art. " Bahurin " 
in Dr. Wm. Smith's Diet. Bib. Almon is also the Alemeth 
of 1 Chron. vi, 60, and the modern Kh. 'Almit, identified by 
Mr. Consul Finn and Dr. Tobler, and approved by Dr. Eobin- 
son (" Bib. Ees." iii, 287), Van de Velde ("Memoirs," 284), 
Mons. V. Guerin (" Jude'e," iii, 75), and Lieutenant Conder. 
Monsieur Guerin's reference to 1 Chron. viii. 36, is curiously 
supported by the Survey, which besides representing Alemeth 
and Azmaveth, by the modern 'Almit and Hizmeh, adds also 
Wady Zimrij for the same personal name in this passage. 
Eeturning to Bahurim, as identified with Almon and 'Almit, 
it will be seen that there is a track passing from Jerusalem 
over the upper part of Brook Kidron and the northern part of 
the Mount of Olives, to Anata, 'Almit, and Wady Farah. 
Among the well-watered fastnesses of Wady Farah, David 



may have taken temporary shelter, before he hurried away to 
the Jordan and Gilead. David's intention to take this route 
appears to have become known to Mephibosheth, who antici- 
pated the entrance of David and his forces into the neighbour- 
hood of his patrimonial estate around Jeba (Gibeah of Saul), 
by sending a present, which met David " a little past the top 
of the hill " (Olives) but which however the king refused to 
accept, in consequence of eliciting from Ziba, his master's 
intention to intrigue for the restoration of himself to the 
throne which his father had lost, and for which David had to 
struggle. Perhaps this rebuff became known to Shimei at 
Bahurim ('Almit), and excited the anger which he displayed 
along the hill side, without regard to his own safety, as David 
went either towards Wady Farah or towards Hizmeh. The 
latter seems the preferable route, because, while David's 
immediate object was temporary shelter among the natural 
fastnesses by the way of the wilderness, his destination in the 
event of receiving unfavourable intelligence was Mahanaim 
on the north of Gilead. The temporary shelter which David 
selected with the further object in view, might have been the 
rocky fastness on the east of Jeba and south of Mukhmas, 
from which his friend Jonathan had expelled the Philistines. 
This natural fortress is three miles beyond 'Almit, and fifteen 
miles due west of the Jordan with a direct and main road to 
the fords. Here David got the advice to leave " this night 
and pass quickly over the water," 2 Sam. xvii, 16, 21, and 
he accomplished the march before daylight. If the more 
direct route to Gilead had been taken by Jisr Damieh and 
the Kiver Jabbok, it could scarcely have been accomplished in 
a night by a considerable body of armed men, for the distance 
is not far short of eight-and-twenty miles. The shorter route 
is therefore preferred. The further discussion of this 
interesting period in the history of David, must await the 
extension of the Survey to the east of Jordan. 



The Minor Basins. 

The outlet of the Wady en Nar into the Dead Sea, lies 
about two miles and a half on the south of the great head- 
land of Kas Feshkah, and seven miles south of the outfall of 
el Kueisirah. This interval of seven miles is occupied by the 
following minor basins : 

(1.) Wady Jofet Zeben rises between Tubk el Kaneiterah 
(alt. 306 feet, or 1,598 feet above the Dead Sea) and Jafet el 

(2.) Wady Kumran, called Maseb'a el Airneh in the plain 
bordering the Dead Sea, rises in the mountain of el Muntar 
(alt. 1,723 feet, or 3,015 above the Dead Sea), which stands 
between this basin and that of el Kueiserah on the north, and 
Wady en Nar on the south. The mountain is distant about 
eight miles from the outfall of Wady Kumran in the Dead 
Sea. Wady Kumran drains the extensive plateau of el 
Bukei'a, and a smaller but more elevated plateau on the west, 
called War ez Zeranik. El Bukei'a is about five miles long 
by two in width. It is traversed by a high road between 
Bethlehem, Mar Saba, and Jericho, which is joined at Mar 
Saba by a road from Jerusalem. Dr. Wilson came from 
Jericho to Mar Saba by this road, " Lands of the Bible," ii, 24, 
25. Van de Velde crossed el Bukei'a from Mar Saba, 
" Memoirs," 117. See also Conder's "Tent Work," i, 298. 
Passes descend from el Bukei'a by the Wady Kaneitrah 
towards Jericho ; by Wady Kumran to Kh. Kumran, which 
M. de Sauley identifies with Gomorrah ; by Nukb Feshkah 
to Ain Feshkah ; and it has four or five communications with 
Mar Saba and Wady en Nar. 

(3.) On the south of Wady Kumran several short gullies 
intersect the lofty cliffs, but the most remarkable feature is 
the fountain of Ain Feshkah, which has been often described, 
Eobinson's " Bib. Bes." i, 533 ; Tristram's " Ld. of Is." 249. 

H 2 


(4.) Wady es Sammarah rises on the north of the Tubk es 
Sammarah and descends between it and Eas Muakit through 
a ravine on the south of Eas Feshkah. Near this wady and 
mountain is Kh. es Sumrah in the Plain of el Bukei'a. These 
with Wady 'Amriyeh and the wady and ruin of Kumrcm, in 
the same neighbourhood may also be reminiscences of 
Gomorrah. See Conder's " Tent Work," i, 298. 

Wady en Nar Basin, 

The northern boundary of this basin has been described 
in connection with Wady el Kueiserah from the north and 
east of Jerusalem to the summit of el Muntar. From that 
mountain to the north of its outfall at the Dead Sea, 
the boundary runs south-eastward to Khurbet Mird and 
skirting the southern end of el Bukei'a, ascends Tubk 
Sammarah, and descends to the southernmost foot of that 
mountain and to the Dead Sea. 

The western boundary of the basin of Wady en Nar, 
begins on the Jerusalem road, about a mile on the south of 
Shafat, and takes a south-westerly direction to the Jaffa road, 
where the altitude is 2,669 feet, about a mile from the north- 
west corner of Jerusalem. Thence it pursues a south-westerly 
course to the Bethlehem road, having on the west the upper 
channels of the Wady el Werd in the Nahr Eubin basin. 
So far this basin impinges on the Mediterranean water- 
parting, but about half a mile north of the Kasr esh Sheikh, 
its western boundary, continuing on a south-easterly course, 
becomes divided from the Mediterranean basins by the 
Jordan basin of Wady ed Derajeh, which includes Bethlehem, 
and empties itself into the Dead Sea, seven miles south of the 
mouth of Wady en Nar, the interval being occupied by 
secondary basins. From the point of the divergence of this 
boundary from the Bethlehem road, it follows another ancient 
and straight road south-eastward to Kh. el Makhrum, where 
it is diverted to the south for a mile along the mountain of 
Umm et Tala (alt. 2,200 feet). Here the southern boundary 
may be said to begin. It takes up a south-easterly course 


along a range of hills to Maksar Ismain and Bir el Menwa, 
where it bends south for half a mile and goes on again east- 
ward to the summit of Kurn el Hajr (alt. 1,460 feet). Here 
it turns to the north for half a mile, and then eastward to 
within a mile of the edge of the cliffs that overhang the Dead 
Sea at Ain el Ghuweir, and half a mile from the chasms that 
break down through them including Khashm el Hathrurah. 
Here the waterparting bends round to the northward as far 
as Tubk Umm Keinis (alt. 617 feet or 1,909 feet above the 
Dead Sea), where it turns eastward to the outfall. 

Watercourses of Wady en Nar Basin. 

The valley of Jehoshaphat and the valley of Hinnom, east 
and west of Jerusalem are the heads of this basin. These 
unite in a deep valley at the Bir Eyub or Joab's Well on the 
south-east of the city. The altitude of the valley at the 
junction is 1,979 feet, the hills on the north, east, and west, 
are respectively 2,518, 2,469, 2,549 feet. 

From Joab's Well, the wady runs south-south-east to- 
wards Sheikh Sad, receiving a small branch from the valley 
between the Mount of Olives and Bethany (el 'Aziriyeh), and 
others of no importance at short intervals. Thence it proceeds 
almost south as far as its junction with the Wady Abu Aly, 
which rises near the waterparting and continues to skirt it 
for more than three miles. At the junction the Wady eh 
Nar begins to bend round to the north-east and then slightly 
south of east up to the roots of el Muntar, when it turns 
south and enters the tremendous chasm of Mar Saba, which 
is about a mile and a half long between Bir Ibrahim and 
Bir ed Dikah, the convent being about midway. 

Two main roads extend from Jerusalem to Mar Saba. 
One follows the western parting as far as Bir en Nefls, before 
which it throws off two parallel roads eastward, the northern 
road following the summit of the hills that constitute the 
right bank of Wady en Nar, quite up to the convent; the 
southern comes from Bethlehem more than three miles to the 
west, and pursuing a more direct course across the heads of 


three wadys and the hills which separate them, joins the 
upper road about a mile from the convent. The other road 
follows the Wady en Nar, partly along the wady and partly 
on the left bank, up to a point facing Sheikh Sad, when the 
road continues its south-easterly course across the bend 
which the river makes in going to the south, and afterwards 
to the north-east. After coming again upon Wady en Nar, 
this road follows the stream up to the convent, generally 
parallel and within half a mile of the road on the top of the 
right bank. A track follows Wady en Nar round the bend, 
and others connect the different roads. The waterparting 
road from Jerusalem to Bir en Nefis, after throwing off 
the branches to Bethlehem and Mar Saba, pursues its south- 
easterly course first crossing the eastern head of Wady 'Alya, 
then following the ridge between the Wadys 'Alya and 
Surah, till it turns to the east by Wady el Abd, to the 
junction of Sirah and Theleithat ; then over a stiff hill to 
Wady Umm Serj, which it descends to Wady Alya and 
Wady Jerfan. It leaves J erf an where that wady turns to 
the north, and goes south-east over the waterparting, to cross 
the basin of Wady Ghuweir, and runs on south along the top 
of the mountainous crags which skirt the Dead Sea till it 
descends to Ain Jidy. 

Below the chasm of Mar Saba, the Wady en Nar, turns 
eastward, till it is forced north-east and then south-east in 
cutting through the range that skirts the Dead Sea, between 
Tubk en Keinis (alt. 617 feet) and Tubk Sammarah (alt. 530 
feet) to each of which must be added 1,292 feet for the 
depression of the Dead Sea. 

The principal affluent on the left bank is Wady 
Akhsheibeh, which rises in the slopes of el Muntar, skirts 
the north-eastern boundary, and makes its junction with 
Wady en Nar, at the foot of Umm Keinis. About a mile 
above the last named junction the Wady Jerfan joins on the 
right bank. This Wady has its sources in a series of parallel 
valleys rising along the line of hills which cross the basin 
in a great arc from the western waterparting at Umm el 

WADY EN NAll. 107 

Tala eastward to Mar Saba. Of these Wadys (1) the 'Alya 
rises in Umm et Tala, skirts the southern waterparting for 
more than three miles, when it bends to the north-east, 
receives the parallel valleys and turns eastward, till it enters 
the Nusb Umm Seibeh, and comes out as Wady Jerfan, when 
it bends round to the northward to join Wady en Nar. 
(2) Wady el Areis, begins between Bir en Nefis and Kh. 
Deir Ibn 'Obeid, or Deir Dosi, the remains of the very ancient 
convent of St. Theodosius (alt. 2,024 feet), from which Jeru- 
salem is visible at a distance of five miles, Guerin, " Jude'e," 
iii, 88. The Wady Areis becomes Wady Surah and finally 
Wady el Abd, when it joins (3) Wady Umm eth Theleithat, 
which rises on the east of Deir Ibn Obeid. Their junctions 
together and with Alya are about half a mile apart. It is the 
heads of el Areis and eth Theleithat that are crossed by the 
lower road to Mar Saba from Bethlehem. The most easterly 
wady crossed by the lower road to Mar Saba, rises on the 
hill-side where the road bends southward towards the 
convent. Two of its valleys are on either side of the spur 
which is crowned by Burj el Hanimar, a ruined fort in a 
commanding situation. The valleys join at the end of the 
spur ; and the wady, taking the names of el Makhrum and 
Hajr, runs to Wady en Nar not far below the convent. 

Such an outline of the hydrography of the famous Brook 
Kidron, as the foregoing, could not have been written before 
the new Survey supplied the materials for it. Some of its most 
important features have been hitherto quite misunderstood. 
The wady Abu Dis of Dr. Smith's Atlas, called by Van de 
Velde, Wady el Kazir, is the Wady Abu Hindi of the New 
Survey, and actually turns from south-east to north-west to 
join el AJadowerah in the el Kueiserah basin. But in former 
maps it was continued into Wady Aksheibeh and so carried 
to Wady en Nar, out of its proper basin. The basin of Wady 
el Ghuweir, which is actually confined to the eastern slopes 
of Kurn el Hajr, within five miles of the Dead Sea, was 
extended back to the highland of Deir Ibn 'Obeid, and thus 
confused with the heads of Wady Jerfan which goes to Wady 


en Nar. The name of Deir Mirbeh, placed on 'former maps, 
between Deir Ibn 'Obeid and Mar Saba, can now only be 
referred to Burj el Hammar, before mentioned. Perhaps 
the former name may be traced in the Bir Mukheibeh, a well 
at the foot of the Burj. 

; r 


The northern boundary of the basin has been described as 
far as Kurn el Hajr, where the interposition of the secondary 
basins of el Ghuweir and a series of gullies from the cliffs, 
causes the diversion of the present boundary southward, 
eastward and again southward to reach the Dead Sea. 

The western boundary, starting from its northernmost 
point in the great plain (of Eephaim) on the south-east of 
Jerusalem, continues along the main south road past 
Bethlehem, Urtas, and el Burak, to the Eoman road which 
runs south from el Khudr, or the Convent of St. George. Up 
to this point the Wady ed Derajeh adjoins the Mediterranean 
basin of Nahr Eubin ; but here it comes in contact with the 
basin of Nahr Sukereir, which runs by Ashdod to the sea. 
It now follows the road from el Khudr down to Kh. Beit 
Sawir, when it bends to the south-east to its termination at 
the head of the Wady el Biar. 

The southern boundary proceeds from the head of Wady 
el Biar to the north by the Khurbet Breikut ; then east to 
the Plain of Tekua ; where it turns again south-east to Kh. 
Tekua (alt. 2,788 feet), and continues in the same direction 
for three miles ; then it turns east to Bir 'Alia, then south- 
east to Kanan Eujm Kuddah, where it takes an easterly 
course along the edge of one of the rocky gorges of Wady 
Derajeh, until it is diverted southward along the eastern edge 
of Wady el Kurrat. From the conical hill at the southern 
end of that wady, it turns eastward to Eas Nukb Hamar (alt. 
678 feet or 1,970 feet above the Dead Sea), where it descends 
the lofty cliffs and crosses the plain to the Dead Sea, near 
the outfall of Wady ed Derajeh. 


The Watercourses of Wady ed Derajeh. 

Two main channels with a minor one on the south, divide 
the waters of this basin. These are Wady el Meshash, Wady 
ed Derajeh, and Wady Mukt'a el Jues. 

(1.) The northern part has its heads as far south as the 
hills that divide Bethlehem from Urtas, the latter being in the 
southern division. The junction of all the wadys on the north 
of Bethlehem (alt. 2,530 feet) is on the road to Mar Saba, 
about two miles beyond the east end of the town. The 
northernmost is the Wady el Kaah, on the north of the 
village of Sur Bahir (alt. 2,612 feet). It descends to the 
junction along the northern edge of the basin. From a hill 
between Sur Bahir and Mar Elias, three main wadys run 
south to the Wady Samurah, which rises on the north of 
Bethlehem and runs eastward, receiving the valleys from the 
north, and then passing to the junction before mentioned . 

Below the junction the wady is called Wady Lozeh, and 
runs to the southward, soon receiving the Wady Umm el 
Kulah from the south of Bethlehem, and the Wady et Tin 
from Beit T'amir. The Wady now becomes Wady el War, 
and flows south-east through a gorge, when it is named Wady 
D'abub, and then Wady el T'amireh. On reaching the 
southern base of Kurn el Hajr. it turns south and south-east 
as Wady el Meshash, and descends by a precipitous gorge to 
Wady ed Derajeh. Throughout this course the wady runs 
with the northern boundary of the basin, and receives short 
branches from it. In passing southwards from the base of 
Kurn el Hajr, it receives Wady el Bussah, and some smaller 
branches from the central range which divides the basin. 
This wady was formerly known in general as Wady T'amireh, 
a name confined in the Survey to a small part of it. 

(2.) The southern part has its origin in Wady el Biar, which 
rises near Khurbet Breikut in the south-western angle of the 
basin, and skirts its western boundary northward up to Urtas. 

[This vale was identified with the Valley of Berachah (2 
Chron. xx, 26) by Dr. Grove in Smith's " Bib. Diet." ; but Lieut. 
Conder prefers Wady 'Arrub in the next basin (Handbook, 


405) ; and Mons. Guerin argues in favour of a position on the 
south or south-east of Tekoa, and especially at Beni Nairn, 
Judee, iii, 156. The situations of the " Wilderness of Jeruel," 
and " the end of the brook," are indicated hereafter on p. 242.] 

Dr. Grove's opinion seems to be the most acceptable, 
because it is more on the direct road to Jerusalem, from the 
scene of the slaughter, which was on the way to Engedi ; 
and it is also associated with an existing name, corresponding 
with the ancient one. 

At Urtas the main wady bends round to the south-east 
to Kh. Bedd Falun and Jebel Fureidis, ancient Herodium,* 
where it receives the outfall of several valleys rising on the 
east of Wady el Biar, and remarkable for the aqueduct which 
is carried along the hill-sides, zigzagging in and out of each 
valley in succession, on its way from Birket Kuffin near Beit 
Ummar to el Burak. Below this junction it is called Wady 
Fureidis and passes the ruins of Khureitun, and cliffs con- 
taining the great cave* which a false tradition identified with 
Adullam. The wady is now named after the ruined village, and 
runs on to meet the Wady Jubb Iblan and the main road 
which comes through it from Bethlehem to Ain Jidy. It is 
followed by this road south-eastward up to the entrance of 
the chasm of Wady Muallak, which becomes Derajeh lower 
down after its junction with Wady Mukta el Jass. The road 
turns to the south-west to avoid these great chasms of Wady 

(3.) The Wady Mukta el Jass rises on the southern edge of 
the basin, at Khurbet Tekua, the Tekoa of the Bible. It is 
called Wady el Menka, till it enters the chasm which leads 
it to Wady Derajeh, where it receives Wady Dannun and 
Wady Bassas. 



The next primary basin to Wady el Derajeh empties itself 
at 'Ain Jidy, the biblical Engedi (see a view in Tristram's 

* Gender's " Tent Work," i, 294, 295. Guerin, " Judee," iii, 123-139 
Kobinson, i, 478-481. 


" Land of Israel/' 293),under the name of Wady el Areijeh,that 
name is however not even retained throughout the great chasm 
by which the main Wady descends from the upland to the sea, 
the upper part of the chasm being called Wady el Kelb. 

Tlie Minor Basins. 

The distance between the outfalls of Derajeh and Areijeh 
is about seven miles. The interval is occupied by the secon- 
dary basins of Wady Husasah, Wady esh Shukf, Wady 
Sideir, and a smaller one not named but delineated in the 
Survey, and called Wady Marjari in Canon Tristram's survey 
of the Dead Sea. See Map in Tristram's " Land of Israel." 

Wady Husasah (Robinson, "Bib. Res." i, 527) rises within 
four miles on the south of Kh. Tekua, on the southern water- 
parting of the Derajeh basin; which, as it runs eastward 
through Bir 'Alia, and onwards as before described, forms the 
northern edge of the Husasah basin. On the west the 
waterparting runs southward, and hugs the precipitous gorge 
of Wady el Jihar and its continuation as Wady el Ghar, as 
far as the straight ridge of Sahlet el Muhteirdeh, from which 
the boundary of this basin makes a sharp bend to the north- 
east, and again to the south-east, and again to the north-east, 
around the heads of the Wady el Mukeiberah, and so on to 
the cliffs at Abu el Rebaa, and the Dead Sea. 

At the head of the Husasah are four wadys, spread out 
over an area of three miles by two, and uniting at Bir Sukei- 
riyeh and el Megheidhat, where the altitude is 1,406 feet. 
These are surrounded by the waterparting on the north and 
west, and by an offset or spur from it on the south-east; 
which also throws off five branch wadys to the Husasah, 
from its outer or south-eastern slope ; the southernmost being 
also the recipient of branches derived from the greater part 
of the southern edge of the basin. The outlet of this upper 
plateau through the hills is below the junction of the wadys, 
where also three tracks meet from the north, south, and east ; 
the passage westward being barred by the chasm of Wady 
el Jihar, in the next basin. The Husasah makes bold sweeps 
to the north-east and south-east, in crossing its lower but 


still elevated plateau, to the chasm of its descent to the 
shore of the Dead Sea. The road between Engedi and Beth- 
lehem, intersects the middle of the plateau obliquely, and the 
road between Engedi and Jericho crosses its eastern edge, at 
the back of the great cliffs which hang over the Dead Sea. 

Wady esh Shukf is about four miles in length. On the 
north it has the south-eastern boundary of the Husasah basin. 
On the south it is divided from the basin of Wady Sideir, by 
a range of hills extending from Eas esh Shukf (alt. 1,227 feet 
or 2,519 feet above the Dead Sea), to Khardet Hammameh. 
From this range the Wady Mekhowemeh descends south-east- 
ward to the gorge of Wady Sideir, 'Ain Sideir, and 'Ain Jidy. 

The Roods. 

The following memorandum will explain the connection 
of these small basins with the roads of the country. 

All the roads from Ain Jidi both northward and south- 
ward, ascend to the plateau by the same Pass called Nukb 
Ain Jidy, well described by Eobinson, " Bib. Ees." i, 501, 
525. At the top of the Pass the roads divide northward and 

The western road runs along the edge of the gorge of 
Areijeh and Kelb, and is continued in the same direction by 
the track to Beni N'aim, distant fifteen miles from 'Ain Jidy. 
At the third mile from the top of the Pass, this main road 
turns to the south-west, and crosses the gorge of the Kelb to 
the foot of the mountain called Kashm Sufra es Sana (alt. 
1,400 feet, or 2,692 feet above the Dead Sea). Here it divides 
again, sending one branch in a curve south-west and north- 
west to Kurmul and Yutta, and another southward to Usdum. 

The northern road skirts the edge of the Sideir gorge, and 
passes along the Wady el Mekhowemeh to the south-western 
base of Eas esh Shukf. Here it sends off to the north-west, 
the road to Bethlehem, which crosses the waterparting between 
the basins of esh Shukf and Husasah at the Eujm Nueita, and 
descends by the Wadys Nueita and el Mukeiberah, to make 
its oblique passage across the Husasah basin. 


The northern road passes over the western side of Eas esh 
Shukf, with the hill of Jafet ed Duwa'arah further west, and 
crosses the Wady esh Shukf, to its northern waterparting at 
the head of Dr. Tristram's Wady Marjari. Further north it 
enters the Husasah basin, crosses its gorge at Bir el Mun- 
kushiyeh and soon passes over the waterparting and descends 
into the gorges of Wady ed Derajeh. 

The Basin of Wady el 'Areijeh. 

The northern boundary has been traced in connection 
with the basins of ed Derajeh and Husasah, up to the head 
of Wady Mukeiberah in the latter basin. Thence it proceeds 
southward, eastward, and south-eastward, along a range of 
hills dividing Wady el Kelb and 'Areijeh, from the small 
basins of Shukf and Sideir, and terminating at Nubk 'Ain 

The western boundary begins on the north, at a point 
on the main road between el Khudr and Beit Ummar, west 
of Khurbet Beit Sawir. It passes westward by Ballatet el 
Yerzeh (alt. 3,167 feet), towards the village of Safa where the 
waterparting follows a track running due south to Beit 
Ummar (alt. 3,010 feet). 

It continues along the road till a track turns off on the 
south-west which it follows to Beit Sur, and then proceeds 
along a ridge to the high-road on the west of Hulhul, and 
terminates at Siret el Bella'a (alt. 3,370 feet). 

The western boundary of el 'Areijeh basin is conterminous 
with the heads of the valleys descending to Wady es Sunt in 
the northern part of the basin of Sukereir, which falls into the 
Mediterranean on the north of Ashdod. 

The southern waterparting of el 'Areijeh, commencing at 
Siret el Bella'a, passes eastward for about two miles, and then 
turns south-eastward by Kh. el Addeiseh and Bir el Jeradat 
to the village of Beni N'aim (alt. 3,120 feet). Hence it pro- 
ceeds by a long ridge south-eastward between Wady el 
Kuryeh and Wady Umm el 'Ausej to Kod Ghanaim, 
Hurubbet Umm el Kuleib, Khashm-Sufra-es-Sana, and the 


cliffs at the outfall of the wady into the Dead Sea. As far as 
Beni N'aim this boundary divides the basin from Wady el 
Khulil, which includes the city of Hebron, and runs by Beer- 
sheba to Wady Ghuzzeh, entering the Mediterranean Sea 
near Gaza. 

The Watercourses of el 'Areijeh Basin. 

A large and elevated plateau is enclosed at the head of 
the basin, between the waterparting and a long ridge extend- 
ing from Kh. el 'Addeiseh to Bir ez Zaferan (alt. 3,000 feet), 
and Kanan ez Zaferan to the Wady el 'Arrub, which divides 
the northern end of the ridge from a spur coming to meet it 
from the northern waterparting at Khurbet Tekua (alt. 2,788 
feet). It may be called the plateau of el 'Arrub. 

This plateau approaches the form of an equilateral triangle 
with sides of six or seven miles long. Its main wady and 
outlet is Wady el 'Arrub, which rises in the north-western 
extremity of the basin, near Safa. It receives on its right 
bank all the wadys descending from the western edge of the 
basin, including (1) Wady Marrina between Kh. Marrina 
and Kh. Beit Sh'ar; (2) Wady el'Arab, and (4), Wady esh 
Sheikh, from Beit Ummar, Kh. Kuffin, and Beit Zata ; (5) 
Wady esh Shinnar, from Beit Sur and the northern side of 
Hullul ; (6) Wady Siair, and (7) Wady ez Zaferan, from the 
south side of Hullul, and the villages of Siair and esh Shuikh. 
On its left bank it receives the outlet of a group of wadys 
descending from an enclosure between the north waterparting 
and a spur from it following the left bank of Wady el 'Arrub, on 
which Beit Fejjar (alt. 3,170 feet) is situated. These include 
(1), Wady er Eai, (2) Wady Bir el Khanzir, (3) Wady Beit 
Fejjar (separated by Eai and Khanzir from the village of 
that name), and (4) Wady Marah el Ajd. These fall into 
(5) Wady Eekeban, which empties itself at el Meniyeh into 
Wady el 'Arrub, where that wady discharges itself from the 
plateau into the long and rocky gorge of Wady el Jihar and 
Wady el Ghar. 

From the gorge of el Jihar and el Ghar, the main wady 


runs on through three miles of open ground to the terminal 
gorge of Wady el Kelb and el 'Areijeh, all the way skirting 
the northern edge of the basin. 

The Gorge of the Jihar and Ghar, with the three great 
branching gorges that fall into it from the west, belongs to a 
distinct plateau, bounded by the waterpartings on each side, 
also by the interior range of Kanan ez Zaferan, which divides 
this plateau from the more elevated plateau of Wady el 
'Arrub ; and by another long interior range which proceeds 
from the waterparting at Beni N'aim and stretches across the 
basin eastward up to the left bank and lower end of the 
gorge of el Ghar, where it tails off in a direction parallel with 
the waterparting at Sahlet el Mateirdeh. This latter range 
descends from the altitude of 3,120 feet at Beni N'aim to 
1,696 feet at Dahret el Meshrefeh. As the cross range on the 
upper side of the plateau maintains a height of not less than 
3,000 feet, there is a cue to the depression of the lower 
plateau in the altitude at Dahret el Meshrefeh, which is sup- 
ported by another on the same range near to it, at the well of 
that name. An altitude at the confluence of Wady Abu el 
Hamam with Wady el Ghar, or at the confluence of Wady el 
Jeradat with Wady el Jihar, would afford better indications. 
But unfortunately for geographers, it has not yet become the 
practice of scientific surveyors to apply their observations for 
altitude to the junctions of rivers and watercourses, as well 
as to the summits of hills and mountains ; although of the 
two the hydrographic altitudes are of the more importance. 

Between the cross range which forms the southern 
boundary of the Plateau of Jihar and Ghar, and the southern 
waterparting of the basin, there is a wady which rises on the 
north-east of Beni N'aim as Wady Umm el 'Ausej and after 
receiving Wady es Suweidiyeh, becomes Wady es Sukiyeh, 
and falls into Wady el Ghar, before it drops down into the 
rocky gorge of Wady el Kelb. This wady together with the 
great terminal gorge, may be said to form the south-eastern 
division of the basin, or one of its three divisions which the 
present exposition of the new survey has brought to light. 


A road crosses this valley and connects a track between 
Beni N'aim and Engedi with the road from Bethlehem to 
Engedi. It enters the basin at Kod Ghanaim on the southern 
waterparting, and goes across to Bir el Meshrufeh on its 
northern range, and then on to Bir Umm Jidy at the lower end 
of the gorge of el Ghar, and on northward across the Husasah 
basin to the Bethlehem and Engedi road. 


The northern boundary of this basin, extending between 
Beni N'aim and the Dead Sea, has been described. Its length 
is almost fifteen miles. 

The Western boundary extends from Beni N'aim south- 
ward, through Kh. Yukin, Tell ez Zif (alt. 2,882 feet), Kh. 
Ghanaim, el Kurmul (alt. 2,887 feet), and Kh. Maon, to Kh. 
Bir el Edd, a distance of about ten miles. It is throughout 
conterminous with the Wady el Khulil in the basin of Wady 

The southern boundary, beginning at Kh. Bir el Edd, 
runs north-eastward for three miles to Tell et Tuany 
(alt. 2,637 feet). Then it turns eastward along the mountain 
of Dahret Hameideh to Khashm Sufra Lawundi and over the 
precipices to the Dead Sea. 

The Watercourses of el Khubera Basin. 

Above its gorge, the Khubera receives three important 
wadys, which are the outlets of three distinct parts of the 
basin. These are Wady el Jerfan, Wady Malaki, and Wady 
Kujm el Khulil. 

I. The Wady Jerfan has its head wadys spread out along 
the western waterparting from Beni N'aim to Kh. Istabul. 
The northernmost branch comes from Beni N'aim as Wady el 
Kuryeh, skirts the northern edge of the basin and descends to 
the Sahel or Plain of Abu el Ghuzeiyilat, where it receives the 
Wady Nimr and another wady from Kh. Yukin. 


At the eastern end of the plain, the Wady es Sihaniyeh 
joins the Kuryeh. Its heads are found along the edge of the 
basin from Yukin to Istabul. Two wadys descending from 
Istabul and Zif unite, and running eastward receive two 
branches from Yukin on the north, and one from el Bueib on 
the south. 

Below the plain the main Wady continues eastward along 
the northern waterparting as Wady Umm Kheiyirah and 
finally as Wady el Jerfan. 

II. The Wady Malaki drains the rest of the western water- 
parting. Its principal source is in the south-west extremity 
of the basin, where it is first called Wady Kueiwis, and runs 
north-eastward to enter the gorge of Wady el War and 
Malaki. In doing so its name is changed three times in four 
miles. Before entering the gorge a branch is received on the 
left bank, which rises at the opposite extremities of a valley 
that runs along the waterparting between Kh. Ghanaim and 
el Kurmul. Another branch comes from Kh. Saima, follow- 
ing a ridge extending from Kh. Ghanaim to the entrance of 
the gorge. On the east of this ridge four valleys rise and 
unite before descending into the gorge on its north or left 
bank. The Malaki gorge is about six miles in length, and it 
is only separated by two miles of open ground from the 
Khubera gorge. 

III. The Wady Eujm el Khulil rises on the southern 
margin of the basin at Khurbet et Tuany, and drains a valley 
about nine miles in length between the margin and the 
Malaki gorge. 

This basin is one of the scenes of David's exploits. Ziph, 
Carmel and Maon, and Engedi, retain their names unaltered 
except in spelling to this day. 1 Samuel, xxiii to xxvi. 
Lieut. Conder identifies the hill of Hachilah with the range on 
the north of the Malaki gorge, the summit of which now 
bears the name of el Kolah. The Sela or cliff of Ham- 
Mahlekoth (1 Samuel xxiii, 28) is referred to the Malaki 
gorge, still bearing the identical name. Conder's " Tent 
Work," ii, 89-91. 




Between the outfalls of Kuberah and Seiyal is an interval 
of five miles occupied by the minor basins of Wady 
Mahras, W. el Kasheibeh, and W. Sufeisif. The first two 
descend from the slopes of Khashm Sufra Lawundi, a summit 
rising at a distance of six miles from the Dead Sea. 

Wady Sufeisif is only separated from the Mediterranean 
waterparting by the head of Wady Malaki. It rises on Tell 
et Tuany as Wady Meshukhkhan, runs eastward as Wady et 
Tebban and esh Sherki, and as Umin Meradhif enters the 
gorge of Sufeisif. 

Wady Seiyal. 

The survey concludes with the left bank of this Wady. 
The western boundary begins with the ridge of Kanan el 
Aseif, and diverges to the south-east along the Khashm 
Beiyad which divides Wady Seiyal from W. el Kureitein in 
the Mediterranean Basin of Wady Ghuzzeh. 

The northern boundary runs north-east with the head of W. 
Malaki for a mile and a-half ; then turns to the south-east 
dividing the head of Sufeisif from W. Umm Jemat ; then it 
makes a great curve to the north-east and south-east through 
Kujrn el Bakarah and Khashm Umm es Suweid, follows the 
promontory between Seiyal and Sufeisif, and crosses the plain 
to the Dead Sea. 

The Northern Watercourses of Seiyal Basin. 

The main wady is represented as rising in Tell Arad, 
but the cessation of the survey leaves its development on the 
south quite unknown. On the north it soon receives Wady 
Khurbet et Teibeh from KL el Kureitein and the western 
water-parting, while the Wady el Kureitein, which was formerly 
supposed to join it, goes to Wady es Seba and the Mediter- 
ranean. The drainage of the north waterparting is collected 


by the Wady es Sennein, which joins the Seiyal in its gorge. 
The most western affluent of Wady es Sennein is the Wady 
Mutan Munjid, and the next is Wady Umm Jemat. The 
next descends through a rocky defile from Tawil el Butahiyeh 
and finally the Wady el Khuseibiyeh receives the rest of the 
northern drainage. 

The delineation of the cliffs on the south of the outfall of 
the Seiyal has been considerately extended so far as to include 
Sebbeh, the site of the extraordinary fortress of ancient 
Masada, discovered by Dr. Eobinson.* See p. 168. 

Every one who appreciates the work accomplished by the 
Palestine Exploration Fund, must regret that its southern 
termination leaves so much beyond that is to a considerable 
extent utterly unknown, while altogether only scraps of 
information enable crude ideas to be formed of it. And yet 
it is a region in which some of the most interesting questions 
of biblical topography remain to be solved. It is the Negeb 
or South Country of the Scriptures ; and the Eev. Edward 
Wilton's learned attempt to penetrate the darkness in which 
it remains, sufficiently expresses the scholarly interest which 
it attracts. No doubt the extension of the Survey in this 
direction will have the attention of the Managers of the 

The division of the rivers into primary and secondary 
basins, has served to exhibit their relations to the great 
waterparting dividing the Jordan and Dead Sea from the 
Mediterranean Watershed or slope. 

Attention has also been drawn to the parallelism which 
the upper valleys frequently bear to the great waterparting, 
which in respect to the general elevation of the country may 
be considered its main range. Such parallelism is a common 
feature of mountainous regions, and is perhaps most deve- 
loped in the most mountainous. This remark is supported in 
a striking manner in Palestine by the occurrence of the most 
ample development of upper valleys parallel to the main 

* Kobinsori, "Bib. Kes.," i, 525, 526. Tristram's "Land of Israel," 
303-314. Gender's " Tent Work," ii, 139. 

I 2 


range when the mountains are highest ; as in the Litany 
along Lebanon, and the Wady el Khulil or Hebron Valley 
in the Mountains of Judea. The feature is one especially 
deserving of notice in correction of a common apprehension of 
the absence of lateral communications in unknown mountains. 
The fair inference should be quite contrary. 


A further examination of the Survey points to aspects of 
the country which, while they are connected with its drain- 
age, are not limited thereby. Such are the Plains and High- 
lands, which the Surveyors have delineated on a precise and 
accurate basis for the first time, A description of the low- 
lands, and of the most remarkable plains that are spread out 
among the heights of the interior, appears to be a fitting 
introduction to a study of the more complicated structure of 
the highlands which have the plains at their feet, and rise out of 
them. The famous Archduke Charles observed that " Once 
masters of the Plains, we are strategically masters of the Moun- 
tains," and the remark is as applicable to geography as to stra- 
tegy. In this account the plains are arranged as follows : 

1. The maritime and upper plains on the Mediterranean 

2. The plains of the Jordan Valley. 

3. The Western Shore of the Dead Sea. 


The Plains of G-alilee. The Maritime Plain of Tyre. 
The northern extremity of the Phoenician Lowland, or the 
Plain of Tyre, is intersected by the Eiver Kasimiyeh, at the 
northern limit of the survey. The southern end of the plain is 
at Eas el Abyad, the White Head or Cape, and the Promon- 
torium Album of antiquity. This part of the maritime plain is 
about 13 miles long, and it was reputed to be " some three or 
four miles in breadth."* Itenrick made it five miles at Tyre.f 
The new survey has reduced these estimates considerably. 
Generally it is about a mile broad, and this is only exceeded 
very slightly near Tyre, while at each end of the section 
there is but half a mile between the hills and the shore. 

. * Kobinson's Phys. Geog. H. Land," 114. f " Phoenicia," ]9. 


The most remarkable feature along the coast is the rocky 
promontory of Tyre, projected about a mile into the sea, and 
united to the mainland by an isthmus of half a mile in width, 
which affords shelter to shipping. An account of this famous 
site will appear in the " Memoirs," together with other parti- 
culars which cannot be noticed here. The plain is not very 
fertile, or its cultivation is limited, but there are large gardens 
for vegetables and fruit, besides patches of wheat and barley. 

The wadys crossing the plain, beginning with the 
Kasimiyeh on the north, and ending with Wady Shema on 
the south, are notified in the first part of this introduction. 
The mountains on the east will be noticed hereafter. 

From Has el Abyad or the White Cape, to Has en Nakura 
or the Hewn Headland, a distance of six miles, the moun- 
tains Of Galilee extend either quite or near to the sea, and 
end in lofty white cliffs at the headland, and also at some 
intermediate places. They separate the Plain of Tyre from 
the Plain of Acre. 

The Maritime Plain of Acre, and the Plain of Megiddo. 

The northern limit of the Plain of Acre is the mountain 
range of Jebel Mushakkah, which terminates in the headland 
of Eas en Nakura. The southern limit is Mount Carmel, 
20 miles distant. The coast runs in an unbroken line, a 
little west of south, as far as the fortified town and harbour 
of Acre, 'Akka, or St. Jean d'Acre, the biblical Accho and 
Ptolemais. Between Acre and the northern cape of Mount 
Carmel (Ras el Kerum), the coast recedes back into a bay of 
eight miles in length, and varying in width from one mile on 
the north at Acre, to three miles on the south, where the 
port or anchorage of Haifa lies at the foot of Mount Carmel. 
Dr. Kitto described the bay as about three leagues wide, and 
two leagues in depth, but the meaning is not quite clear. 
From Acre to Jebel Mushakkah, or a distance of 12 miles, 
the plain is about four miles wide. It is intersected by the 
Wadys Kerkera, el Kurn, es Salik, Mefshuk, Majmmeh, and 
Semeiriyeh, which descend from the mountains of Upper 


Galilee, and have been notified in Part I. The whole tract 
is fertile and well watered, and has extensive gardens and 
orchards, producing a variety of fruit and vegetables. Its 
general aspect is said to be that of a rich but neglected 
plain, where game of every kind abounds. 

Between Acre and the foot of Carmel, the plain may be 
described in two parts, divided between the basins of the 
Nahr N'amein and the Nahr el Mukutt'a. Both parts have 
swamps near the coast ; but the swamps of the N'amein are 
by far the more extensive, and have a length of not less than 
five miles, stretched out between Acre and the low hills of 
Shefa 'Amr. The plain is a noted pasture ground. In the 
northern part along the Wady el Halzun, the Plain of Acre 
is more than eight miles wide, and generally five or six miles. 

The hills that bound this part of the Plain of Acre on the 
east, form a range belonging to the western part of Lower 
Galilee. This range separates the Maritime Plain from a 
series of inland basins that are a characteristic feature of the 
region. The southern extremity of the range is defined by 
the Mukutt'a Eiver, which separates it from Mount Carmel. 
From thence the range stretches in a north-easterly direction 
for about 22 miles, or as far as the eastern end of the Plain of 
Eameh, whence it extends towards the Plain of Gennesaret. 
It is the Northern Eange of Lower Galilee. See p. 199. 

The Plain of Kameh divides the hills of Lower Galilee, 
from a precipitous range that extends westward to Tell el 
Tantur, opposite the city of Acre, and constitutes the natural 
southern termination of Upper Galilee. It rises to an altitude 
of 3,440 feet above the sea at Jebel Heider. 

The further separation of the lower hills from the moun- 
tain range, is defined by a succession of wadys which connect 
the Plain of Eameh with the Plain of Acre, and form with the 
plain, a continuous passage for the high road between Acre 
and the Sea of Galilee, Safed, and Damascus. These wadys 
are 1. Wady esh Shaghur which rises in the western part 
of the Plain of Eameh, and after running westward for about 
five miles, turns south to join Wady el Halzun. 2. Next 


Wady el Waziyeh, which, overlaps Wady esh Shaghur, and 
runs across the Plain of Acre, into the gardens near the city. 

The Plain of Kameh runs up into the north-eastern 
extremity of the Nahr N'amein Basin, and somewhat beyond 
into the basin of Wady er Eubudiyeh, which falls into the 
Sea of Galilee. It is six or seven miles in length, and 
generally about a mile wide. Its altitude above the sea is 
about 1,200 feet. The central part is drained by a wady 
running south, which is met by another wady from the Plain 
of 'Arrabeh, about three miles distant on the south-east. 
These wadys fall into Wady Shaib, which runs westward 
from the confluence, passing by the village of Shaib into the 
Plain of Acre. 

The Plain of 'Arrabeh, occupies the south-eastern projec- 
tion of the Nahr N'amein Basin. It is three or four miles in 
length, and gradually expands to a width of two miles. Its 
altitude above the sea is perhaps 500 feet less than that of 
the Plain of Kameh, and probably does not much exceed 
700 feet, but there are no heights recorded in either case. It 
has the villages of Deir Hanna, 'Arrabeh, and Sukhnin on 
the surrounding hills. Two of these represent the Araba 
and Sogane of Josephus. Deir Hanna, although now only 
the ruin of a modern fortress, is an ancient site. 

The plains to which attention will now be given, are 
beyond the range of hills that lie northward of Shefa 'Amr. The 
hills rise from the Plain of Acre, in a succession of wadys 
and rounded spurs, up to the summit of the range which runs 
north-east and south-west, and forms part of the waterparting 
between the basins of Nahr N'amein and Nahr el Mukutt'a. 
The altitude of the summit is 1,781 feet at two places, Jebel ed 
Deidebeh and Eas Hasweh. South of Shefa 'Amr, the water- 
parting bends to the north-west, and follows a spur of the 
hills to the Plain of Acre and the sea-coast. That portion of 
the hills which lies between this spur and Mount Carmel, is 
wholly in the basin of the Mukutt'a, and is cut through by 
the Wady el Melek, one of its principal affluents. But 
altogether the hills rise gradually to the waterparting from 


their base along the Plain of Acre and its connection with the 
Plain of Bameh ; the slope running from about four to seven 
miles in length. The descent on the other side of the range 
faces the south-east, and instead of being long and gradual, it 
is short and sharp a natural escarpment. The base of the 
hills on this side is in the great Plains of Buttauf and Merj Ibn 
Amir ; the former having been the territory of Zebulun, and 
familiar to Josephus as the Plain of Asochis ; the latter is 
the far more noted Plain of Megiddo, Jezreel, or Esdraelon, 
the chief battle-field of Palestine. These hills are part of the 
Northern Kange of Lower Galilee. See p. 199. 

The Plain of Buttauf, together with the smaller Plain of 
Toran, which lies at a higher elevation about a mile distant 
on the south, occupies the north-eastern recess of the great 
basin of the Nahr el Mukutt'a or Eiver Kishon of the Bible. 
Both plains are drained by wadys which are connected with 
the Mukutt'a by the Wady el Melek, which last joins the 
main river in the Plain of Acre. The hills which separate the 
Plain of Buttauf and the Plain of the Mukutt'a, rise but 
little above the plains, especially where the plains approach 
together most nearly; and remembering that both of the 
plains are parts of the same basin, it seems best to take a 
connected view of them, and to treat the Wady el Khalladiyeh, 
which is the outlet of Buttauf, as joined rather than separated 
by the low saddle which lies between it and the wadys on 
the south, that run down to the Mukutt'a, on either side of 
Kh. Zebdah (alt. 350 feet). Indeed Mount Carmel and 
the range of Samaritan Hills which prolongs it in the 
same continuous line to the south-east beyond Jenin, 
should be considered as the boundary of one and the same 
system of lowlands, in which the Plain of Acre as well as 
Megiddo, with their offsets would all be included. 

Thus the remarkable features of these plains would be 
observed to the best advantage. Looking then from the 
point where the eastern face of the hills of Western Galilee 
meets the base of Mount Carmel, the plain stretches out 
its great arms to the north, north-east, east, and south-east. 


Firstly comes the Maritime Plain of Acre, blocked on the 
north by Jebel Mushakkah, 25 miles distant. 

Secondly, the offset between the slope of the western hills 
of Lower Galilee, and the lofty precipitous scarp that 
terminates Upper Galilee, beginning on the west with Wady 
Halzun and Wady el Waziyeh, and ending with the Plains 
of Eameh and 'Arrftbeh, being connected throughout as 
already explained. 

Thirdly, the great north-eastern gulf or recess that runs 
along the eastward scarp of the western hills from Mount 
Carmel to Buttauf. This recess throws off three arms 
forming the head of El Buttauf, the Plain of Toran, and the 
broad depression between Seffurieh and Nazareth. These 
arms are divided by bold spurs projected from the water- 
parting of the Jordan Basin on the east. Jebel Toran 
divides the Plains of El Buttauf and Toran or Eummaneh, 
Jebel es Sik is the name applied to the eastern end of the 
spur which has Meshhed and Seffurieh on its summit, arid it 
divides Toran from the low ground between Seffurieh and 
the hills of Nazareth. These Nazarene Hills complete the 
eastern boundary of the great north-eastern recess with its 
offsets, and divide it from the next great recess. 

The Plain of Buttauf is between 400 and 500 feet above 
the sea, and the hills around rise to 1,700 feet. It is nine 
miles in length, and about two miles in breadth. The Jewish 
fortress of Jotapata, which was defended 'by Josephus against 
the Romans, is in a defile among the hills on the north. At 
the mouth of the defile is the ruin of Khurbet Kana, which 
Dr. Robinson claims to be the site of Cana of Galilee, where 
Our Lord celebrated a wedding by turning water into 
wine.* Rimmon of Zebulon (Josh, xix, 13) is identified 
with Rummaneh, at the entrance of the gorge leading to the 
Plain of Toran. The plain of Buttauf is one of the most fertile 
in Galilee. A great marsh occupies a considerable extent of 
its eastern part, and sometimes becomes a lagoon. Dr. 

* Gospel of St. John ii ; Bobinson's " Biblical Researches," ii, 346-349 ; 
iii, 108. Smith's " Bib. Diet.," art. Cana. 


Thomson found the track between Eummaneh and Kana 
flooded and dangerous.* 

The Plain of Toran is 700 feet above the sea. It is about 
live miles in length, and seldom extends to a mile in 
width. On account of its fertility, it is called the Golden 
Plain. On its southern slope is the large village of Kei'r 
Kenna, the traditional Cana of Galilee, and so regarded by 
the Latin and Greek Churches alike. The arguments in 
favour of the tradition are given at length by Mons. V. 
Guerin.j Lieutenant Conder proposes to remove the difficulty 
arising from the distance between Bethabara and Cana, by 
placing the former much nearer, and at the Ford of 'Abarah 
on the Jordan near Beisan, instead of at the fords of the 
lower Jordan near Jericho. But he is still disposed to 
prefer the traditional site for Cana of Galilee, before Dr. 
Kobinson's ; at the same time he points to another candidate 
in 'Ain Kana, between Nazareth and er Eeineh.J 

The mountain spur which bounds the Plain of Toran on 
the south, has the village of el Meshhed (alt. 1,254 feet) on 
its summit. It is the reputed birth and burial place of the 
Prophet Jonah. From this point the southern boundary of 
the Plain of el Buttauf, is found in the continuation from 
Meshhed of the hill which has Seffurieh on its summit 
(alt. 813 feet), and which descends to Wady el Khalladiyeh, 
where it meets a spur from Tell Seraj Allauneh, coming 
down on the eastern side of Wady el Ashert. 

Between this boundary and the Nazarene Hills, which 
have their western termination at Semunieh (alt. 623 feet), is 
the hollow or low ground to which the name of the Sahel or 
Plain of Seffurieh may be conveniently applied and restricted 
towards the north ; although it is at present written on the 
map somewhat further to the north than seems desirable for 
the purpose of geographical definition. The Kustul Seffurieh 

* " Land and Book," 426. 

t " Galilee " i, 168-182. 

J Conder's " Handbook," 321 ; " Tent Work," ii, 64-68. 

Guerin, " Galilee," i, 165-168. 


eomes out towards the middle of this plain, which forms the 
third and last offset from the great north-eastern recess. 
SeffurieKis all that remains of the ancient fortress of Sepphoris 
or Diocaesareia, anciently one of the strongest and largest 
places in Galilee, and often mentioned by Josephus, but 
never in the Bible. It is the reputed home of the parents 
of Mary, the mother of Our Lord. Semunieh is the poor 
remnant of the village of Simonias mentioned in Josephus 
and the Shimron of Joshua xi, 1 ; xix, 15. 

The fourth great recess of the Plain of Megiddo lies 
between the mountain range of Nazareth and the isolated 
cone of Mount Tabor on the north, and J ebel Duhy or the 
Mountain of Neby Duhy, also Little Hermon, on the south. 
It is crossed by the waterparting between the Mukutt'a and 
the Jordan Basins, which descends from the summit of the 
Nazarene range about a mile east of Nazareth, and reaches 
the plain on the east of Iksal (biblical Chesulloth), passes to 
the middle of the plain on a south-easterly course, and at 
two miles from Iksal turns for about a mile to the south- 
west, and then southward to the foot of Jebel Duhy, ascend- 
ing to the summit of the mountain by one of its shoulders on 
the east of the village of Nein, the Nain of the New 
Testament, where the widow's son was restored to life ; Luke 
vii, 11-18. Two miles from Nein, on the edge of the plain, is 
the village of Endor, retaining the name which it bore in the 
far-off days of Saul. 

This portion of the waterparting divides the heads of 
Wady el Muweileh, an affluent of Nahr el Mukutt'a from 
those of Wady esh Sherrar, which becomes Wady el Bireh in 
its lower course to the Jordan. The receding plain begins 
between Tell Shadud on the Nazareth Eoad, and el Fuleh at the 
western foot of Jebel Duhy. It extends eastward for 12 miles, 
as far as the junction of Wady Shomer from the north, where 
the hills close in upon the descent of the valley to the 
Jordan. The length of the recess is equally divided between 
the two basins ; but the width, which is from three to four 
miles up to Mount Tabor, becomes reduced to one or two 


miles on the south of that mountain. The Wady Bireh was 
traversed by Dr. Tristram,* but he was unable to visit the 
grand ruined fortress of Kaukab el Hauwa or the " Star in the 
Air," so called by the Arabs from its prominent and lofty site, 
at the junction of Wady Bireh with the Jordan Valley 
(alt. 975 feet, or about 1,900 feet above the Jordan). 
Descriptions of the view from Mount Tabor are given 
by Dr. Eobinsou;t and from Jebel Duhy by Lieutenant 

The fifth recess is formed by the Valley of Jezreel or 
Nahr Jalud, lying between Jebel Duhy and Mount Gilboa. 
It is rather a broad avenue to and from the plain, than a 
part of it, for at the entrance it begins a rapid descent from 
the plain to the Jordan at the average rate of nearly 80 feet 
to a mile. Still its general aspect persuaded Dr. Eobinson to 
regard it as an arm or branch of the great plain. The water- 
parting from the summit of Jebel ed Duhy passes down to 
the plain at the village of El 'Afuleh in a south-westerly 
curve. The altitude at the village is 260 feet. From El 
'Afuleh the waterparting curves round to the south- 
east as far as the village of Zerin (alt. 402 feet) at the 
northern extremity of Mount Gilboa ; skirting in its course 
the edge of the descent of the valley of Jezreel. From Zerin 
the waterparting passes southward for a mile, and then turns 
south-east along the crest of Mount Gilboa, a name unknown 
to the natives, who have no general appellation for the range. 
Robinson describes the ascent to Zerin from the south as 
scarcely perceptible, but on reaching the village, it was found 
" standing on the brow of a very steep rocky descent of 
100 feet or more towards the north-east."! | The valley has 
been already noticed in Part I. 

The sixth and last recess of the great plain occupies the 
south-eastern angle of the basin, and lies between Mount 
Gilboa and the south-eastern extremity of the range which 

* " Land of Israel," 453, 454. f " Bib. Kes.," ii, 354. 

J " Tent Work," i, 120. " Bib. Kes.," ii, 320. 

|| " Bib. Res.," ii, 319. 


continues along the plain in an unbroken line to Mount 
Carmel and the Bay of Acre. This range is formed by the 
final escarpment of the Hills of Samaria or Mount Ephraim. 
The entrance of this recess may be located along a track 
between Sily and Zerin, where its width is six miles ; and it 
runs back into the mountains for about nine miles, the width 
above Jenin and Arraneh being reduced to two miles. 

The arms or recesses of the great plain are so thoroughly 
connected with the central part, that a separate account of 
each of them may appear to detract from the magnitude 
which the landscape in every case actually presents. Thus, 
from Jenin the view extends across the plain northward to 
Nazareth, a distance of 17 miles ; although the imaginary line 
across the mouth of the recess is only six or seven miles 
away. Towards the north-west, the plain is seen extending 
for fully 20 miles, with Mount Carmel beyond. Similar 
remarks may be made in each case. 

The central part of the Plain may be considered to extend 
along the Samaritan Hills from ik& gorge of the Mukutt'a, on 
the north-west, to Sily on the south-east, a length of 15 miles. 
The width of this part may be taken between the Samaritan 
Hills and the ends of the opposite spurs which divide the arms 
and face these hills ; and it may be reckoned at six or seven 
miles in each case, viz., the Nazarene. Hills, Jebel Duhy, and 
Zerin at the foot of Mount Gilboa. 

A few eminences occurring in this part scarcely serve to 
disturb its generally level aspect. The most remarkable is a low 
promontory thrown out from the Samaritan Hills towards 
the recess between the Nazarene range and Jebel Duhy. 
Its extremity is marked by ruins named Ludd (alt. 275 feet), 
the Eiver Mukutt'a at the foot of the hill being 181 feet. 
On the other side of the Mukutt'a towards the north, there is 
an eminence of similar height, dominated by the hamlet of 
el Warakany (alt. 277 feet). This appears to be connected 
with the more prominent termination of the Nazarene range 
at Ikneifis (alt. 508 feet). That a certain importance has 
been attached to these features is evident from the following 


facts. The main road from the maritime plain of Sharon to 
Nazareth, passes from El Lejjun to Ludd, and then across 
the Mukutt'a, to what is probably a saddle connecting el 
Warakany with Tell Shadud, near Ikneifis. On the south 
side of this pass, the Romans had the military station of 
Legio, now el Lejjun, and most authorities agree in placing 
the Jewish Megiddo among the remarkable ruins spread 
around the natural fastness of Tell el Mutasellim, on this 
promontory. This opinion is, however, not entertained by 
Lieutenant Conder. 

The other principal roads in the great plain are : (1.) The 
highway from the coast at Haifa, along the foot of Carmel, 
and the continuing hills to Lejjun, Jenin, Beisan, and the 
east of Jordan. This road of course intercepts all communi- 
cations from the north and south. A road from Acre falls into 
it at the gorge of the Mukutt'a, on the west of Sheikh Abreik, 
and it is followed by the telegraph line from the south. A 
road from Lejjun crosses the plain to the foot of Jebel Duhy, 
where it is met by roads between Jenin and Nazareth, both 
of which are centres of highways in all directions. 


The bold headland of Carmel, thrust out into the midst 
of the sea, appears to cut off communication along the shore, 
between the plain of Acre and the western side of the moun- 
tain. But it is not so, for unlike Ras en Nakura, the base of 
the mountain is separated from the coast line by an ample 
strand, traversed by one of the chief highways of the country. 
At Tell es Semakh, the width of the strand is 200 yards. 
Here is the northern end of the plain, that continues south- 
ward without much interruption throughout Palestine and 
the Desert beyond, to the shores of Egypt. 

The width of the plain gradually increases, until about 9 
miles south of Tell es Semakh, at Athlit and beyond the 
projection of the coast to the westward, extends the breadth 
of the plain to 2 miles. This continues with little variation 
for about 12 miles further south, when the Nahr ez Zerka, or 


Crocodile Eiver, crosses the plain, and the line of hills which 
has been followed so far for 21 miles, with descents often 
rocky and picturesque, comes bo an end, in a bold bluff thrust 
out to the south, and filling up a great bend of the river. Tliis 
feature is called el Khashm, and rises to a height of 554 feet, 
where it falls in with the main body of the highland. Several 
ancient sites are found along the narrow plain, which,.may be 
called the Plain of Tanturah. Tell es Seinakh, at its northern 
end, is identified with Sycaminon. Ed Deir, with the Ashlul el 
Haiyeh, and the caves and springs adjoining, are the remains 
of the Convent of St. Margaret or St. Brocardus, the spring 
of Elijah, and the valley of the Martyrs (monks). Kh. Kefr 
es Samir, is the remnant of the Castra Samaritorum.* Athlit 
was the landing-place and castle of the Crusading Pilgrims, 
with Kh. Dustrey, or the Tower of Destroit, guarding a narrow 
pass in the neighbourhood. Jeba, is the "Geba of the 
Horsemen," colonised by Herod.f 

Before leaving this part of the plain, it should be noticed 
that a line of sandhills, and sometimes rocks, skirts the 
shore as far as Athlit, and then continues on in the same 
direction, while the shore is advanced so as to leave a strip 
of land with jungle, between the sandhills and the sea up to 
Csesarea, which is between two and three miles south of the 
Zerka. Between the ruined sites of Athlit and Csesarea, are 
also found the ruins of Tantura or Dor, and Surafend, with some 
others.J Many Arab families find shelter among the ruins. 

The Plain of Sharon. 

The Nahr ez Zerka is the northern limit of the famous Plain 
of Sharon, which extends southward for 44 miles to the Nahr 
Eubin, and is there divided from the Plain of Philistia by the 
mouth of the river, and a line of heights on the south of Eamleh. 
At its northern extremity, the Plain of Sharon expands 
eastward of the promontory of El Khashm in a bold recess, 

* Conder's " Handbook," 210. 
f Josephus, " Wars," III, iii, 11. 

t Wilson's " Land of the Bible," ii, 248-253. Guerin, " Samarie, 1 ' ii, 
301-339. Conder's " Tent Work," ch. vi, vii; " Handbook," 310. 


giving the plain a width of eight miles at Csesarea. About 
six miles further south the width is ten miles, and towards 
Jaffa it extends to eleven and twelve miles. 

The foot of the highland on the east is well defined all 
along the plain, for although the slope of the plain gradually 
approaches towards 200 feet above the sea, the hills rise 
sharply from it to 300 and 400 feet. Within four or five 
miles, altitudes exceeding 1,000 feet occur throughout the 
range, and further back the heights frequently rise above 
3,000 feet. The foot of the highland is also generally marked 
either by the high road, or by another parallel to it. 

The plain is by no means uniformly level, for blocks and 
ranges of low hills occur over a large extent of it. Some are 
well wooded, and there is quite a forest of oaks in the 
northern part near Kerkur. The low range along the coast 
which has been traced to Csesarea, continues to Jaffa ; and 
the line of hills in the narrow part of the plain north of 
Caesarea, may also be traced southward to the same extent, in 
a much less elevated and less prominent shape. 

Between Nahr Iskanderuneh and Nahr el 'Auja, there is a 
considerable cluster of hills about 20 miles in length, and 
from five to eight miles wide. Only their outer slopes con- 
tribute to the aforesaid rivers, which are here permanent. 
The interior constitutes a distinct basin drained by Nahr el 
Falik, which, previous to this survey, was supposed to extend 
far back into the mountains. The highest summit of these 
hills seems to be at Deir Asfin (alt. 302 feet), near which a 
saddle connects them with the eastern highland, and forms a 
portion of the waterparting between the basins of El 'Auja 
and Iskanderuneh. These Falik Hills are separated from the 
eastern highland by the Valley of Kulunsaweh on the north 
of the saddle, and by the Wady Kalkilieh on the south, and 
through both a high road passes from Jaffa to the north. 

Another isolated mass occurs on the south of Nahr el 
'Auja, and rises close to the gardens on the east of Jaffa. 
Its summit is named Dhahr Selmeh (alt. 275 feet), and it 
extends eastward for seven or eight miles, with traces of an 
ancient forest in that direction. 



A more considerable group begins to rise between Jaffa 
and Eamleh ; and the waterparting between Nahr el 'Auja and 
Nahr Eubin, crosses this range at altitudes of 240 and 260 
feet, passing south of er Eamleh to Abu Shusheh (alt. 756 
feet). This is the division between the Plain of Sharon 
and Philistia ; the ancient Philistine border town of Ekron, 
being now found in the village of Akir, about five miles 
south-west of er Eamleh. These may be called the Eamleh 

The two principal groups of hilly ground divide the more 
level portions of the Plain of Sharon into three parts. The 
most extensive reaches from the northern extremity of the 
plain to the head of the Kulunsaweh Valley, a length of 24 
miles. This tract is divided between three distinct river basins, 
which are those of the Nahr Zerka, the Nahr el Mefjir, and 
the Nahr Iskanderuneh. The waterparting on the plain between 
Zerka and el Mefjir is in the midst of the Oak Forest before 
noticed ; that between Mefjir and Iskanderuneh lies between 
Kakon and Jelameh, and runs on to the semicircular line of 
hills with the village of Zelefeh (alt. 101 feet). The Zerka 
basin only runs back to the waterparting of the Mukutt'a 
between Jarah and Musmus. The Mefjir extends up to the 
Jordan basin on both sides of the Merj el Ghuruk. The 
Iskanderuneh basin is also in contact with the Jordan basin 
between Yasid and Mount Gerizim. (See Part I.) 

The second and third portions of the level plain are in 
the basin of El 'Auja, and they are divided by the Dhahr 
Selmeh Hills. Through the central portion on the north of 
the hills, comes down the Wady Kanah and Wady Balut ; 
the first by Jiljilieh, and the next on the south of Mejdel 
Yaba. These descend from the Jordan waterparting between 
Mount Gerizim and Bethel. 

The southernmost level portion of Sharon receives the 
great Wadys Budrus and Selman. These barely touch the 
Jordan basin between Bethel and Bireh, being separated 
from other parts on the north and south, by the overlapping 
of the adjoining basins. This division of the 'Auja basin is of 
equal width with the northern division. The Budrus enters 
the plain on the north of Haditheh, as Wady es Surar. The 


Selman passes on the northern side of the town of Ludd, as 
Wady Ludd and Wady Razia, and it unites with the Budrus 
at Kefr Ana in the midst of the level. 

The view of all this region from the Tower of Eamleh is 
described by Dr. Robinson as " rarely surpassed in richness 
and beauty."* Dr. Thomson declares it to be " inexpressibly 
grand, the whole plain of Sharon from the mountains of Judea 
and Samaria to the sea, and from the foot of Carmel to the 
sandy deserts of Philistia, lies spread out like an illuminated 


Such are the features of this famous plain as they have 
been for the first time clearly defined by the survey. Its 
villages and ancient sites will be noted in the Memoirs. 
The most complete account of them, hitherto, is given by 
M. Guerin in his volumes on Samaria, but he was unable 
to detect the erroneous representation of the principal 
streams which was then accepted, and thus confounds Wady 
Shair with Nahr el Falik, with the result of confusing Wady 
Shair with Wady Kanah, which is 15 miles further south, 
and also Micmethah with Kakon.J 

The following upland plains are connected with the mari- 
time region in various ways, which will be explained. 

The Plain of 'Arrdbeh or Dothan. 

The Nahr el Mefjir crosses the Plain of Sharon on the 
south of Caesarea, and the upper part of its basin includes a 
series of plains which, but for the outlet of their waters into 
the Plain of Sharon, would be more nearly related to the 
south-eastern recess of the Merj Ibn Amir, the Plain of 
Esdraelon or Megiddo. 

The Plain of 'Arrabeh or Dothan, where Joseph was 
seized, and sold by his jealous brethren, is connected with 
the maritime plain by Wady Abu Nar, and continues to be a 
highway between the Mediterranean and the east of Jordan, 
as it was in Jacob's time. Dr. Eobinson, on his last journey, 

* " Biblical Kesearches," ii, 231. 
f " Land and Book," 530. 
J Guerin, " Samarie," ii, 346. 


viewed the plain from Yabud, a village on the hills above its 
western end ; and he noticed its outlet through Wady el Wesa, 
which lower down becomes Wady el Ghamik, and afterwards 
Wady Abu Nar, an affluent of Nahr el Mefjir.* 

The distance between the plains of Sharon and 'Arrabeh is 
eight or nine miles ; and between the eastern end of the Plain of 
'Arrabeh and the Plain of Megiddo, is only two miles. Dr. 
Kobinson describes the Plain of 'Arrabeh as " appearing like a 
bay or offset, running up (from the Plain of Megiddo), among 
the southern hills, "f Altogether the distance between Jenin 
and the Plain of Sharon is 17 or 18 miles. Further north, the 
distance between the plains of Sharon and Megiddo is about 
12 miles, folio wing the high road between Kh. es Sumrah and 
el Lejjun. The altitude of the plain above the sea is about 
800 feet at its eastern end, and 700 feet at the western outlet. 

At its south-eastern extremity, the Plain of 'Arrabeh is 
connected with a series of upland plains extending from the 
southern end of Mount Gilboa, along the Mediterranean and 
Jordan waterparting to the mountain range on the north of 
Samaria; these are: (1.) The upper plateau of Wady es 
Selhab. (2.) The Merj el Ghuruk, devoid of outlet, a 
luxuriant corn-field in summer, and a marsh or lagoon in 
winter. (3.) The plain on the north of Fendakumieh noticed 
byVandeVelde ("Memoirs," 236). The altitude of these 
three plains is about the same, viz., 1,200 feet. 

The Plains of Mukhnah, Rujib, 'Askar, and Sdlim. 

The northern end of these continuous plains lies on the east 
of Nablus, from whence they extend in two arms, one of which 
runs for six miles southwards along the Jerusalem road ; while 
the other stretches for five miles to the south-east, and terminates 
at Tana. The southern part, or Sahel Mukhnah, is drained into 
the Plain of Sharon, 17 miles distant, by the Wady Kanah ; 
but there is no other connection with the maritime plain 
except by mountainous tracts. The other parts have their 

* "Bib. Kes.," iii, 123, 124. 

f Koh. " Phys. Geog. Holy Land," 122. 


waters carried to the Jordan by Wady Far'ah. (see page 73). 
The altitude varies from 1,800 feet at the head of the eastern 
arm, to 1,600 feet at the outlet of the southern end. 

The Plain of Philistia. 

From the sandy range of hills on the south of Kamleh, 
the plain extends to Gaza and the extremity of the survey ; 
beyond which it is prolonged through the desert called in 
Scripture the Wilderness of Shur. The length of the Phi- 
listian coast-line is about 40 miles ; from Ekron on the north 
to the hills on the south, which divide Wady Hesy from 
Wady Sheriah, is only 30 miles. The difference is mainly 
due to the obliquity of the coast-line. 

The whole of Philistia is included in the Shephelah, or 
lowland country ; but like the lowlands of Scotland, the plains 
are only a part of the lowland, the hills forming a large pro- 
portion of the total area. The eastern border of Philistia or 
the Shephelah, dividing the lowland hills from the Highland 
of Judaea, can now be traced through the natural features of 
the country made known by the Survey. For the present 
the plain alone will be discussed. 

Like the Plain of Sharon, this southern tract is also 
broken up by low hills, which are quite inferior to the 
more elevated division of the lowland. The long line formed 
by the descent of the- highland to the Plain of Sharon, is in 
some degree preserved in the Philistine plain, as far as 'Arak el 
Menshiyeh ; but the whole aspect is less regular. At Akir 
(Ekron), and at 'Arak el Menshiyeh, there are broad plains, 
which make recesses in the general line of the higher hills. 
These are watered or intersected by the main branches of 
the Nahr Rubin and the Nahr Sukereir respectively. 

Between these plains are low hills rising to 300 feet, and 
enclosing a hollow tract about five miles across, with the vil- 
lage of el Mesmiyeh in the centre, and others around, drained 
by affluents of the Sukereir. Through the south of this 
hollow passes the Wady es Sunt, which, under various 
names, collects many branches from the highland between 
Bethlehem and Hebron, and brings them into a focus at 


the foot of the highland in the Valley of Elah, the battle- 
field of David and Goliath. From hence the wady passes 
westward through the hills of the Shephelah by a crooked 
gorge, which begins on the east at the foot of Shuweikeh, the 
site of Shocoh, and debouches into the plain at the foot of Tell 
es San, the Crusaders' Blanchegarde, and most probably the 
biblical Libnah. The plain here consists of the low rolling 
plateau which encloses the hollow around Mesmiyeh. Over 
this plateau fled the Philistines after the death of Goliath, 
northward to the Plain and City of Ekron, and southward 
across the Plain of 'Arak el Menshiyeh to Gath, by the way to 
Shaaraim. 1 Sam. xvii, 52. 

The Nahr Eubin comes down to the Plain of Ekron from 
sources at Beeroth, which lies due east of the outfall ; but 
the basin makes a great semicircular sweep to the south, 
including the Plain of Gibeon, and passing west of Jerusalem ; 
it also takes in the Plain of Eephaim, and extends as far 
south as 'Ain Shems (Beth Shemesh), where it is at the foot 
of the highland, having collected all the drainage between 
Beeroth and Bethlehem. From 'Ain Shems it passes through 
the hills of the Shephelah, by the broad Wady es Surar, in 
the midst of Samson's country, which looks down on the Plain 
of Ekron, The plain is about six miles across, and a spur 
from the Bamleh heights separates it from another on the coast, 
about four miles in extent, and containing Yebnah (Jabneel), 
with other villages. Between the Plain of Yebnah and the 
sea-shore, is a sandy down three miles in width, and forming 
part of a series, which from Jaffa southwards, takes the place 
of the narrow sandhills which skirt the shore northward. 

The Plain of 'Arak el Menshiyeh (so called here for con- 
venience in the absence of any other name), is more con- 
siderable than the Plain of Ekron, being 14 miles in length 
from the eastern hills to Esdud (AshdodX and four or five 
miles in breadth. Dr. Kobinson crossed from Tell es Safi 
to Keratiya on the way to Gaza, and found the scene en- 
livened by large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats ; 
the country beautiful and fertile, almost perfectly level, 
with a light-brown loamy soil. The crops were good, yet 


hardly half of the plain was under cultivation (Eobinson's 
"Bib. Bes.,"ii, 32). 

The wady which enters the plain at Zeita (alt. 518 feet), 
comes down from the highlands between Hulhul and 
Hebron, where the culminating summit has an altitude of 
3,370 feet; the direct distance from Zeita being only 17 
miles. The plain below Zeita is probably about 300 feet. 
Ashdod, on a hillock (alt. 140 feet), at the western end of the 
plain, is now separated from all that remains of its port, by 
sand-downs, three miles in breadth. The site is occupied by 
the present village of Esdud, with 1,800 people, but the 
remains of this primseval city, once so strong and mighty, 
are so few and insignificant, that one is tempted to suppose 
the greater part of the city may be buried beneath the sands. 
If so they may be in a superior state of preservation, and 
perhaps repay for exhumation. 

From Khurbet Yasin on the south of Esdud, or Ashdod, 
to 'Arak el Menshiyeh, a range of hills running in a south- 
easterly direction, forms the waterparting between Sukereir and 
el Hesy basins, and bounds the plain on this side, increasing in 
height as it proceeds inland. Beginning with 120 feet at Kh. 
Yasin, the altitude has become in seven miles 331 feet at Kh. 
Ejjis er Has ; and the hills so far divide the basins of Sukereir 
and el Bireh. Beyond this point the range divides the basins of 
Sukereir and el Hesy. At Tell Ibdis, seven miles farther, 
the altitude of the range has increased to 450 feet; and nine 
miles beyond, at Sheikh 'Aly, in the higher part of the She- 
phelah, it is 1,367 feet. It may be called the Sukereir 

South of this range, the aspect of Philistia undergoes a 
change. The plains give way to hill and dale. While 
heights of 1,000 feet above the sea maintain a regular align- 
ment almost due south, from Surah on the north in Samson's 
country, all the way to Kuweilfeh towards Beersheba in the 
south, the lower slopes beyond the range are advanced west- 
ward, in correspondence with the advance of the shore line 
in that direction. North of the range, the foot of the hills 
is found as far east as Zeita and Tell es Safi ; although here 


exceptional indications of the advance occur at Berkusieh 
and Suinmeil. South of the range the advance becomes 
general, and is denned by the fine valley which crosses the 
range from Keratiya in the plain, to Bureir, Simsim, and 
Tumrah, on the way to Gaza. The change is modified here 
also, by the valleys which run back from Bureir into the 
hills, at Tell el Hesy and Huj. South of Tumrah the mass 
of the hills recedes eastward, and nine miles south-east of 
that place they send a spur to the south-west, dividing the 
broken plain on the east of Gaza from the pastures of Wady 
esh Sheriah. 

The range of hills on the west of the Bureir valley is also 
more elevated and bolder than any in a similar position 
further north. It has a culminating height of 426 feet, and 
extends from Esdud to Simsim and Deir Sineid, on the north 
of Gaza. Of course these hills are traversed in all directions ; 
but the main road from Gaza to the north follows their 
western side, and sometimes encroaches on the sandy downs 
towards the sea. 

North of Gaza, the sand-downs are interrupted by the 
passage to the sea of Wady el Hesy, with the village and 
gardens of Herbieh on its north or right bank. Mons. 
V. Guerin gives the Wady el Hesy in this part the name of 
Nahr Eribiah or Nahr A'skoulan, evidently from the village 
of Eribiah or Herbieh, and the ruins of ancient Askelon on 
the north. But it should be observed that Askelon is not 
included either in the basin of Wady el Hesy or in the 
partly adjoining basin of Nahr Sukereir on the north. It 
is in a small coastal basin (like that of Nahr Falik beyond 
Jaffa) which is chiefly drained by Wady el Bireh and its 
affluents, and has its outlet in a sink among the sand-downs 
on the north of Hamameh. The former outlet of this wady, 
before the sands blocked up its channel, seems not unlikely 
to have been at Bir esh Shekeir, where there is an opening in 
the cliffs which line the coast. In this direction also, may 
have fallen the drainage of Wady el Jabbar near el Mejdel, 
and' that of the valley on the west of El Mejdel and 
Hamameh. If the outfall of the basin was at Bir esh 


Shekeir, then it is there that the remains may be found of 
Mammas Ascalonis, or the Port of Askelon, which Mons. 
Guerin sought for in vain along the coast further south, 
sunset having prevented him from extending his search for 
the port, northward of Skeikh 'Awed (Oualy ech-Cheikh 
Haoued) Guerin, " Jude'e," ii, 151, 152. 

The maritime belt extending from Gaza and Askelon, 
back to the hills bounded by the Valley of Bureir, is under 
the control, exercised from the earliest ages, of one or the 
other of those ancient places. The whole of Northern 
Philistia with its open plains, felt the weight of Ashdod up 
to the crusading times. To guard the northern frontier 
towards the interior, there was Ekron, protecting the passes 
by Kamleh and Wady Surar. The southern frontier towards 
the interior appears to have been similarly guarded by Gath. 
These were the five dominant cities of ancient Philistia. The 
sites of four of them are well known, only Gath is still in 

The new survey now shows not only the names of ancient 
sites, but also the natural features of the ground ; and thus 
the probable situation of a place intended to guard the inland 
part of the southern frontier of the country, maybe examined 
irrespectively of other considerations. Wherever the hills on 
the east of Gaza afford the readiest access from the south into 
the Philistine Plains, there Gath should be sought, especially 
in connection with the " Way to Sharaaim." 1 Sam. xvii, 52. 
An examination of the hills of South-Eastern Philistia 
shows that the passage from the northern plains to Wady 
Sheriah, so as to keep out of the way of Gaza, is most easily 
made along a line running southward from 'Arak el Menshiyeh 
in the south-eastern angle of the plains. The tendency of 
the hills and valleys is here noith and south. The ground also 
forms a sort of terrace or plateau between the descending slopes 
westward and the ascending slopes eastward. Westward of 
this line, the valleys and ranges run towards the coast, and 
form a succession of " ridge and furrow " on too obstructive a 
scale for a through route across them. Eastward of the same 
line, the country rises rapidly from a mean altitude of 500 


feet, to heights exceeding 1,000 feet ; and the routes in the 
more elevated region would lead into the poor hills instead of 
the rich plains. The salient points in the higher range are : 
Sheikh Aly (alt. 1,367 feet) ; Keshm esh Shukkak (alt. 1,085 
feet); Kh. Umm Kushram (alt. 1020 feet); Kh. esh 
Shelendi (alt. 1,130 feet). 

Such is the condition of the ground connected with the 
investigation of the site of Gath, to which attention has been 
more especially given in the Palestine Exploration Fund 
Quarterly Statement for October, 1880. 


In the examination of the Plains and Lowlands of the 
eastern side of the Highland of Western Palestine, it should be 
borne in mind that this division of the subject can only be 
treated partially, in consequence of the survey being 
terminated on the east partly by the River Jordan, and 
partly by the western shores of its expansions into lakes. 
But obviously, the features now coming under consideration 
embrace both sides of the water whether those features be 
plains or gorges or inland seas. It may therefore be de- 
sirable now and then to take the eastern side into view, on 
the basis of the information in existence beyond the survey. 
But after the misconceptions and inaccuracies brought to 
light on the west by the survey, it would be rash to venture 
far into the obscurity which lies beyond it. 

At the commencement of Part II. a few remarks have 
been made upon the features of the Jordan basin at its origin, 
in explanation of these occurring at the northern boundary 
of the survey including the Merj 'Ayun, which is the 
northernmost of the plains on this side. The following notes 
on the Merj 'Ayun will be in continuation of those then 
made in connection with it. 



Only the southern part of Merj 'Ayiin falls within the 
survey. Its name Ayun, according to Dr. Eobinson, is the 
equivalent, in Arabic, for the Hebrew Ijon of the Bible 
(1 Kings xv, 20 ; 2 Kings xv, 29 ; 2 Chron. xvi, 4), the 
meaning of both being the same. The ancient city of Ijon is 
identified with Tell Dibbin, a mound beyond the map, 
rising 110 feet above the base ; a noble site, overlooking the 
whole plain, and commanding the great road from Sidon to 
Damascus.* The map begins at 'Am Derderah in the centre 
of the plain, which is said to be six miles long, and from 
one to three miles broad. It is connected with the Huleh 
Plain and the Jordan by Nahr Bareighit, which unites with 
the Hasbany, near the junction of the Leddan and Banias. 

Dr. Thomson describes a furious storm which occurred in 
this plain in December 1856. It came on with great 
rapidity in columns of mist from the Huleh. Ten men in 
full view of their homes were unable to escape from it, and 
died in a few minutes from its intensely chilling effects. 
There was neither snow nor frost nor much rain, but the 
force of the wind tore up and drove everything before it. 
Eighty-five head of cattle perished at the same time, chilled 
to death by the wind.f 

An aneroid observation by Dr. de Forest, quoted by 
Dr. Eobinson, gives the northern end of the plain an altitude 
of 1,822 feet, the southern end being 1,500 feet, but the 
slope is imperceptible, the surface appearing to be quite level. 
The French Survey of the Lebanon, according to the "Carte 
du Liban," gives the altitude of Tell Dibbin as 1,770 feet, 
which is confirmatory. It has been said that the natural 
course of the Litany Eiver is southward to the Jordan Valley, 

* Robinson, "Bib. Ees.," iii, 393-375. Guerin, " Galilee," ii, 280. 
Thomson, " Land and Book," 222-225. 
f " Land and Book," 224. 


that is, through the Merj Ayun; and volcanic operations 
are presumed to be the cause of the formation of the ground 
which has diverted the river to the west.* It is therefore 
desirable to compare the height of the plain with that of the 
River Litany or Kasimiyeh, and with that of the Jordan in the 
Huleh Plain. The height of the Litany at Jisr Kardeli, the 
bridge below the Merj Ayun, is, according to Dr. de Forest, 
700 feet. The waterparting between the River Litany and 
Merj 'Ayun is not observed, but farther south at Neby 
'Aueidah, the Palestine Exploration Survey gives 2,814 feet. 
The range which divides Merj 'Ayun from the Hasbany 
River at Abl is 1,704 feet. North of Merj Ayun, where a 
single ridge divides the Litany from the Hasbany, between 
Kaukaba and the Burghuz bridge, the altitude is 2,300 feet. 
The altitude of the Huleh Plain is 140 feet, at the junction of 
all the streams which the Jordan carries into the Huleh Lake. 
A few more altitudes between the elbow of the Kasmiyeh 
and the Huleh are much wanted. For altitudes anterior to 
the Palestine Exploration Survey, see Van de Velde's 
"Memoir," 1858, and " Notes," 1865. 

The Huleh Plain, Marsh, and Lake. 

The total length of this low region is about 16 miles, and the 
width six miles. It is naturally divided into four distinct 
parts, namely (1) The Huleh Plain; (2) The marshes; 
(3) The Plain or Ard el Kheita ; (4) The Bahr, Baheiret, or 
Lake of Huleh. 

The Huleh Plain extends from north to south between four 
and five miles, or about one-fourth of the total length. It 
is bounded on the west by the mountain range which divides 
the Jordan from the Kasimiyeh, including Jebel Hunin, 
with an altitude of 2,951 feet, at the north-west angle of the 
plain. On the east it has the south-western roots of Jebel 
esh Sheikh or Mount Hermon, with an altitude at the Castle 
of Banias or Kulat Subeibeh of 2,485 feet. The northern 
boundary consists of high ground between the eastern and 
western mountains, rising to heights of about 1,000 feet, and 

* " Palestine Exploration Survey Memoirs," Sheet ii. 


descending by slopes and terraces to the plain. Dr. Eobinson's- 
account of this descent is very explicit, but the Survey, while 
partially confirming the detail, does not fully elucidate it.* 

The last step or offset to the lowest plain is placed by 
Eobinson at el Mansury (Mansurah), where the Survey 
denotes the elevation by the altitude of 245 feet, but does 
not mark the edge of the step. See p. 181. 

The southern limit of the Huleh Plain is the great marsh, 
which stretches across from the eastern to the western hills, 
in an unbroken line. Where the Jordan enters the marsh the 
mud village of es Salihiyeh is situated. Altitudes are wanting. 

The plain is exuberantly fertile, and considering its 
contact with the great marsh, it is worthy of note that the 
plain is free from marshy ground in the dry season ; but in 
wet weather the ground is widely flooded. 

The Huleh Marsh. 

The marsh extends from es Salihiyeh in the plain, to the 
northern edge of the lake, a distance of nearly six miles. 
There is a variable space between it and the foot of the 
western hills, amounting at the most to three-quarters of a 
mile, along which a track passes. The eastern side is 
excluded from the Survey, but according to Dr. Tristram 
(" Land of Israel," 585), the plain becomes swampy up to the 
ford of the Eiver Banias, which seems to be at el 'Absiyeh, 
two miles and a half north of es Salihiyeh. Sukeit, which 
he reached after three hours' riding, does not appear to be a 
mile further south than es Salihiyeh, and therefore it becomes 
difficult to account for his " floundering through several miles 
over swampy plain," and miles more through ripe wheat and 
cotton plants. The marsh seems to extend to the foot of the 
eastern hills. Dr. de Forest passed along the upper part of 
these hills, but no traveller seems to have attempted to trace 
the foot of them. Mr. J. Macgregor, in the " Eob Eoy " Canoe 
penetrated the only open channels that he was able to find 
among the reeds both on the north and south sides of the 

* "Phrs. Geog., H. Land," 68 ; " Bib. Ees.," iii, 389. 


marsh, but no through passage could be found ; and the 
reeds enclosing these channels resisted every attempt to force 
a way through them. A continuous channel is delineated in 
the New Survey, but no explanation of it has yet appeared. 

The edge of the marsh for half a mile is a belt of ordinary 
bog, up to the knees in water. Then comes a deeper belt 
where yellow water-lilies flourish. Then a belt of tall reeds 
with white water-lily in the open spaces. Beyond is an impene- 
trable wilderness of Papyrus or Babeer extending to the 
eastern side. This is a thin floating crust of vegetation over 
depths of about twelve feet of peaty mud and water. The 
only footing is on the slippery roots of the papyrus. Both 
Dr. Thomson and Dr. Tristram nearly lost their lives among 
it in pursuit of wild fowl.* 

TJie Hulek Lake. 

The lake is triangular, with its apex at the south, where 
it runs into the Jordan. It commences at the southern end 
of the marsh, and is about four miles long from north to 
south, its breadth along the marsh being perhaps greater, but 
the eastern part is unsurveyed. Mr. Macgregor states that 
" the lake lies quite close to the hills on the Bashan side." 
" Eob Eoy on the Jordan," 6th edit., p. 271. But the hills 
have never been properly delineated, nor has the practicability 
of passing along the eastern edge of the water been yet tested. 
Dr. Tristram describes the western edge as " fringed for the 
most part by a bank about six feet high, below which is a 
narrow strip of deep shingle formed chiefly of the debris of 
shells, and the bank waving with wheat to its very edge. The 
lake had been five feet deeper in winter, and its ordinary 
height might be told by the fringe of oleanders, which grow 
stilted like mangroves with several feet of root at present 
high in the air. The water was shallow at this side, for 
acres of yellow water lilies floated on the surface, and a few 
patches of white nymphsea grew behind papyrus tufts." 
" Land of Israel," 589. 

The observations of the Palestine Exploration Survey, make 

* Thomson's "Land and Book," 257. Tristram's " Land of Israel," 688. 


the altitude of the surface of the lake seven feet above the 
sea, which gives a fall of 133 feet from the confluence of the 
rivers in the Huleh Plain. Captain Mansell, K.N., made it 
273 feet, and De Bertou reported 20 feet below the sea 
level. Other erroneous attempts are quoted in Van de 
Velde's Memoirs. The only soundings upon the lake were 
made by Mr. Macgregor in " Eob Boy," and were found to 
vary from 9 to 15 feet. 

The Ard (Plain) el Kheit. 

The beautiful and fertile Plain of el Kheit begins on the 
north at 'Ain el MeMhah and terminates on the south at 
Kh. el Muntar, which is on a range of hills forming the 
waterparting of small streams on the south that flow into the 
Sea of Galilee. The lower part of the plain skirting Huleh 
Lake is perfectly level ; but towards the mountains on the 
west, it is diversified by rolling ground. The length of plain 
is about eight miles, and its average breadth about four. 
The high road which crosses the Jordan at the Jisr Benat 
Y'akub (Bridge of Jacob's daughters), skirts the southern 
edge of the plain ; and it is traversed by tracks along the 
foot of the mountains, also along the lake, and in many 
other directions. 

The northern part of el Kheit is watered by brooks which 
fall into a stream rising in the fine fountain of 'Ain el 
Mellahah. The southern part is crossed by Wady Hindaj 
which descends from Jebel Jermuk (alt. 3,934 feet) through 
deep and rocky chasms. Wady el Wakkas follows. It rises 
in the Merj el Jish on the north of Safed, and breaks its way 
down to the plain by a precipitous course. Another wady 
crosses the plain from Kh. el Loziyeh, and joins the lake near 
its outfall. 


The waters of Lake Huleh are nearly on a level with the 
sea. About six miles and a half north of the lake where 
the Jordan unites its affluents before entering the Huleh 


marsh, the altitude is 140 feet above the sea. About a mile 
and a half after the river has left the lake, and near the 
Bridge of Jacob's daughters, the river has already fallen 43 
feet below the sea level. About eight miles further south the 
river has descended to the level of the Sea of Galilee, or 628 
feet below the Mediterranean. This long and rapid descent 
takes place in a deep gorge, and forms a continuous cataract 
without any prominent cascade that can be distinguished 
From the general fall. The gorge separates the Plain of 
Jaulan, Golan, or Gaulonitis, from the Mountains of Galilee ; 
and no doubt much light that is now wanting, will be thrown 
upon the juxta-position of these features by the extension of 
the Survey to the east of Jordan. The western mountain 
supplies four streams to the northern shore of the Sea of 
Galilee, and it culminates at the height of 2,761 feet, on the 
east of Safed. It is indeed a prolongation of the Southern 
Eange of Upper Galilee, which rises in the Plain of Acre 
and runs eastward, dividing Upper and Lower Galilee ; while 
here at its eastern end the range separates the Huleh Plain, 
which is above sea level from the Sea of Galilee, which is 
628 feet below the sea level. The range thus marks the 
commencement of the great depression that carries Jordan 
down to the Dead Sea, where the surface of the water or 
brine is 1,292 feet below the Mediterranean, the depth of the 
water or the soundings being about the same, making the 
total depression about 2,600 feet. It is along this extraordinary 
feature that the eastern base of the Western Highland of 
Palestine will now be examined. 


At the entrance of Jordan into the Sea of Galilee, the 
Plain of Batihah is spread out on the east at the foot of 
the Plateau of Jaulan, while on the west the hills descend 
with a rugged slope to the river and the lake. In this 
plain is the site of Bethsaida Julias. The path westward is 
at a little distance from the water. About two miles 
west of the river in an open situation at the foot of the 
slope, are the ruins now called Tell Hum, one of the sites 


attributed to Capernaum ; Kobinson regards it as Chorazin. 
Conder, following Neubauer, suggests Caphar Ahim, a town 
named with Chorazin in the Talmud.* 

A wady enters the sea on the east of Tell Hum, and 
leads upwards to Kh. Kerazeh on the hill-side,' about two 
miles and a half from the sea. This site is identified with 
Chorazin. About a mile and a half along the shore, westward 
of Tell Hum, is the small plain of et Tabghah or Tabighah, 
identified with Bethsaida of Galilee. It is a fishing village 
to this day. A cliff or rocky promontory projected into the 
sea, obstructs further progress along the shore, and divides 
et Tabghah from the Ghuweir or the Plain of Gennesaret. 

The Plain of Gennesaret extends for three miles along the 
shore of the lake between the rocky heights and promontory 
which terminate it on the north, and the lofty cliffs of Wady 
el Hamam on the south. It recedes in a gradual curve 
from both ends, until it becomes a mile and a half in breadth. 
It is crossed by Wady 'Amud, Wady er Eubudiyeh, and Wady 
el Hamam. These embrace the drainage of the highlands 
between el Jish and Hattin. There is also a stream from 'Ain 
el Mudauwerah which rises in the plain. The ruins around 
Khan Minia at the northern end of the plain, are considered 
by high authorities to be the site of Capernaum. The present 
village of el Mejdel at the southern end, represents ancient 
Magdala. Mons. Guerin would place the ancient Chinnereth 
at Abu Shusheh. 

South of Mejdel the highland advances to the sea shore, 
and a narrow track follows the rocky slope around a pro- 
jection, which shuts out the view of the plain on the north. 
A mile and a half from Mejdel the southward track enters the 
rich valley of Wady Abu el 'Amis, with the fountains of 
Ayun el Fuliyeh near the shore. The wady comes down 
from Merj Hattin, and from the rear of the lofty cliffs that 
dominate the Wady el Hamam or Dovedale, together with 
the plain beyond. On the summit of the clitfs, and over- 
looking Wady Abu el 'Amis is Kh. Irbid or Arbed, the 

* tfeubauer, " Geog. du Talmud," 220, 221. Conder's " Tent Work," ii, 183. 



Arbela of Josephus (Ant. xii, 11, 1), and the Maccabees (1 
Mace, ix, 1, 2) and the Beth-Arbel of Hosea, x, 14 Near 
Irbid is the Kulat (Castle) Ibn Man, the castellated or 
fortified caverns in the face of the lofty precipices of the 
Wady el 'Hamam. They were besieged and taken by 
Herod, whose soldiers were let down in boxes suspended 
by chains from the top of the cliff, as it was found impos- 
sible to scale the cliffs from the bottom. They were after- 
wards fortified by Josephus (Josephus, "Wars," I, xvi, 4, 
" Life," 37). Dr. Tristram and his party got access to the 
caverns, after Herod's fashion. " Land of Israel," 448. 
Mons. Gruerin reached them by means of steps cut in the face 
of the rock and communicating with corridors and galleries 
in successive stages. Guerin, " Galile'e," i, 201-203. 

On the southern side of Wady Abu el 'Amis, facing 
Irbid, is the Hajaret en Nusara, a clump of basaltic blocks, 
on the waterparting between Wady Abu el 'Amis and Wady 
Fejjas, which drains the Plain of Alma. This is the reputed 
site of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand ; although 
according to the circumstances of the narrative, it occurred 
on the eastern side of the lake. About two miles on the 
north-west along the same ridge are the Horns of Hattin, 
twin peaks, which the Latin Church has chosen for the place 
of " the Sermon on the Mount." It is more certain that the 
decisive Battle of Hattin took place in 1187 on the plain 
between the Kurn or Horns of Hattin and the village of 

The road from the springs of el Fuliyeh also called 'Am 
el Barideh, skirts the shore at the foot of the hills, and after 
about a mile and a half enters the northern gate of Tiberias. 
A path runs parallel with the road, on higher ground along 
the hill-side, and enters Tiberias by the western gate. The 
town is surrounded on the land side by a wall, strengthened 
by many towers and a castle, but breached in various parts 
by the earthquake of 1837. It lies along the shore for half a 
mile, and has a width of a quarter of a mile. The ancient city 
was of much greater extent. The present town is situated at 


the northern end of an uneven plain, extending along the sea- 
side for about a mile, and running inland for a little more than 
half a mile at its widest part. The famous baths of ancient 
Emmaus or Hammath are a mile arid a half south of the 
western gate of the town. Tn this direction the mountain 
rises close to the water in lofty cliffs, which attain to an 
altitude of 1,650 feet above the lake. The highland 
continues to hug the shore, and bold cliffs descend to the 
water, the road passing over them until the end of the lake is 
approached, and also the re-commencement of the Jordan. 
As the shore deflects slightly to the east, the mountain turns 
in a similar degree to the west, throwing off, however, a small 
spur to the mouth of the river. The spur becomes a well- 
defined mound along the shore, almost cut off from the land 
by a backwater of the river. On this mound are the ruins of 
Kerak, the Tarichsea of Josephus.* 

The Jordan issues from the Sea of Galilee on the western 
side of a plain, about five miles in width, and extending 
southward, probably without diminution, for about 14 miles, 
when it expands into the great terraced recess of Beisan, for 
11 miles further south, or as far as its junction with the 
Wady el Maleh. Below this point, the Jordan enters a gorge, 
and continues in it for about 12 miles, that is, as far as its 
junction with Wady el Bukeia ; here it begins to expand 
very gradually into the great plain, often diversified with low 
hills, which ultimately becomes the Plain of Jericho, and 
terminates on the south at the Dead Sea. Along the 
western margin of the Dead Sea, and at the base of the lofty 
cliffs which overhang it, there is generally a narrow strand 
sometimes expanding to a mile in width and seven to two miles 
and sometimes blocked altogether by cliffs advancing into 
the sea. 

The following description specifies more particularly the 
variations which the Valley of the Jordan undergoes, on the 
south of the Sea of Galilee. It will be confined to the western 
side of the river and of the Dead Sea, that is, to the limit of the 

* Macgregor's " Eob Roy," 408, 413. Guerin, " Galilee," i, 275. 

L 2 


Survey, because the inaccuracies and defects in the best of 
former maps brought to light by the new work, gives to the 
information in existence concerning the eastern side, an in- 
sufficient and defective character. 

The Grhor, from Kerak to Jisr Mujdmia. 

That portion of the broad plain beginning on the south 
shore of the Sea of Galilee, which is found on the western 
side of the rivers, varies for about three miles, from a quarter 
to three quarters of a-mile in width, in accordance with the 
approach or recession of the stream to and from the foot of 
the western heights. 

About a mile from the sea, the western plain is crossed 
by the permanent stream of Wady Fejjas, which emerges 
from a rocky gorge, with cliffs at el Kulah on the south, that 
rise to 1,840 feet above the depressed plain, or 1,179 feet above 
sea level. The cliffs on the north are probably lower. An 
ancient aqueduct passing from the gorge along the hill side, 
conveyed the water - of the Fejjas to Tiberias. The gorge is 
only a mile or two in length, and forms the avenue to the 
great plain, or Sahel el Ahma, which stretches westward from 
the heights that overhang Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, as 
far as Hattin and Lubieh. It is very fertile, but devoid of 
the picturesque, and monotonous. 

At the junction of the Fejjas with the Jordan, but on the 
opposite bank, is the village of Umm Junieh, with the 
remains of a bridge on the north. Further south is the 
village of el 'Abeidiyeh, on the western side of the river. 
From this place there is the main road to the north and 
south, and another which passes through the gorge of Wady 
Fejjas to meet, near Kefr Sabt, the road between Tiberias and 

About a mile south of el 'Abeidiyeh, the plain is closed by 
the advance of a bluff towards the river ; but the passage of 
the Jordan to the south-east, and the open nature of the 
ground about the small Wady Umm Walhan, helps to restore 
and enlarge the plain up to the confluence of Nahr Yarmuk, 


from the east, the Eiver Hieromax of antiquity. This con- 
siderable affluent has had the effect of forcing the Jordan 
back towards the west, but it quickly turns east for half a- 
mile, and then takes up its former direction southward, for a 
short distance, and then returns south-westward to meet 
another advance of the hills, which close upon the river near 
the important passage of the Jordan, by the Bridge or Jisr 

The GJior from Jisr Mujdmia to Nahr Jdllld. 

On the west of the bridge, the hills fall back, and give 
this end of the plain the width of a mile, which expands at 
two miles farther south, to a width of two miles, chiefly 
owing to a remarkable bend of the Jordan, due east for more 
than half a-mile. 

This easting of the river is maintained, and upon the whole 
increased, in course of the next three miles, when the river 
makes another sharp bend, and runs for half a-mile somewhat 
north of west. This bend is the beginning of a reaction of 
the Jordan towards the west, amounting to a mile and a half 
of westing, in two miles and a half of southing, the extreme 
point westward and the commencement of a new return 
eastward, occurring at the junction of the Nahr Jalud, which 
rises on the edge of the Plain of Esdraelon, and passes the 
ruins of Beisan. 

Up to this point the western plain has a length of eight 
miles, from the beginning of this section near Jisr Mujamia ; 
and its width is, for the most part, about two miles. Besides 
the Nahr Jalud at the southern end, two other important 
permanent streams cross this section of the plain, namely 
(1) the Wady Bireh, which falls into the Jordan at a mile and 
three quarters south of Jisr Mujamia, and (2) the Wady 
el 'Esh-sheh, which joins the main stream four miles lower 

Wady el Bireh enters the plain from a magnificent gorge, 
not remarkable for cliffs, but for its depth, and for the grand 


fortress which crowns the commanding summit on the south 
of the gorge, rising to a height of 1,850 feet above the plain, 
at the junction of the streams. The fortress, now in ruins and 
only occupied by a few poor wretches, is named Kaukab el 
Hawa, and was the crusader's Castle of Belvoir or Belvedere. 
The wady descends from Mount Tabor, about 10 miles from 
the mouth of the gorge, and passes through the north-eastern 
extremity of the Plain of Esdraelon, which is at the head of 
the gorge, only six miles from the Ghor or Plain of the Jordan. 

Wady el 'Esh-sheh emanates from the hills on the north of 
Beisan, and of the Valley of Jezreel, and rises on the east of 
Jebel Duhy. About a mile south of its confluence with the 
Jordan, is the ford of 'Abarah, which Lieutenant Conder 
identifies with Bethabara of John i, 28.* 

In this part of the Ghor, the lowest level of the Jordan 
Valley, in which the channel, of the river meanders, has not 
yet become distinctly separated from the higher plain ; but 
indications of such a feature begin to be displayed. Imme- 
diately on the south of the Nahr Jalud, this feature becomes 
distinct and prominent. There, the river's winding bed is 
sunk in a deep flat of varying breadth, called the Zor, which 
is enclosed between steep and sometimes perpendicular banks, 
as much as 150 feet in height, if not more, on the western 
side, to which the limits of the Survey confine these remarks ; 
the river occasionally washes the foot of the high bank, and 
elsewhere it is as much as a mile away, and repeatedly half a 
mile, the low flat of the Zor taking its place. This precipi- 
tous bank is the limit of the plain, that extends from the top 
of it to the foot of the mountains. It is this upper plain 
that is called the Ghor, in distinction from the bottom flat or 
Zor. Commonly the whole valley, from the Lake of Tiberias 
to its southern end, bears the Arabic name of el Ghor, or the 
depression. The distinction between the Ghor (pronounced 
Eor) and the Zor, was explained by Lieutenant (now Colonel) 
Charles Warren, in "Notes on the Jordan Valley," dated 21st 
October, 1868. It is also attested by former travellers. 

* " Tent Work," ii, 64. 


The Plain of Beisan. 

The plain of Beisan may be said to extend from the Nahr 
Jalud to the Wady Maleh, a distance of 11 miles. The 
Valley of the Jordan here undergoes a great widening, which 
commences at the outfall of Nahr Jalud, into the Jordan, 
and from thence stretches westward along the foot of the hills 
on the north of Beisan, and up the Valley of Jezreel, to the 
waterparting between it and the Plain of Esdraelon, or 
Megiddo, or Merj ibn 'Amtr. a,bout 15 miles from the Jordan. 

On the south side, the Valley of Jezreel is bounded by the 
mountains of Gilboa (Jebel Fuku'a), until they come to about 
three miles west of Beisan, when the mountain range turns 
to the south, and forms the western limit of the Plain of 
Beisan. For about seven miles south of Nahr Jalud, the 
plain on the west of the Jordan is six or seven miles wide ; 
beyond which low hills advance suddenly, and reduce this 
side of the plain to a width of about three miles at its 
southern end. On the eastern side of Jordan, the foot of the 
mountains of Gilead runs straight from north to south, and is 
two miles distant from the river. Among these highlands 
are Jabesh Gilead and the remains of Pella. 

Another abrupt rise takes place in the plain, like that 
which confines the Zor. It occurs along the length of 
the broad part, from Nahr Jalud and Beisan on the 
north, towards the advancing hills on the south, where they 
are capped by Khurbet Ka'aun. It lies midway between the 
Zor and the foot of the western mountains, and is parallel to 
them. The height of this remarkable bank, is more than 
double of that which confines the Zor, and amounts to 400 
feet or more. Beisan is on its edge, and so is the Eoman 
road which connects Beisan with Nablus. It will be seen 
that this striking feature, although it stands far in front of 
Mount Gilboa, is nearly in a line with the hills at its northern 
and southern extremities, and thus appears to be the proper 
western limit of the Ghor, separating it from the long and 
gradual slope which the Valley of Jezreel makes in ascending 
to the Plain of Megiddo. 


The following altitudes define the variations in height 
which take place in the Plain of Beisan. On the north side 
of the plain, at the confluence of the Nahr el Jalud with the 
Jordan, the Zor may be reckoned from collateral observa- 
tions, in the absence of any on the spot, to be 930 feet below 
sea level. At the junction of Wady Maleh with the Jordan 
on the south of the plain, the Zor is 1,060 feet below sea 
level. The altitudes that have been observed in the Ghor, 
or the first step above the Zor, range from 850 to 685 feet 
below sea level. The altitudes on the edge of the second step 
upwards, rise from 426 to 322 feet below sea level. At 'Ain 
Tub'aun, in the Valley of Jezreel, nine miles west of the edge 
of the second slope, the altitude is 120 feet below sea level ; 
and at the head of the valley, on the edge of the plain of 
Megiddo, about four miles from 'Ain Tub'aun, the altitude 
may be reckoned at 240 feet above the sea. The total fall 
from the eastern edge of the Plain of Megiddo to the Jordan, 
at the junction of Nahr el Jalud, is 1,170 feet ; the distance 
being 15 miles. The fall is therefore at the rate of 78 feet per 
mile, measured in a direct line. 

The hydrography of the Plain of Beisan, is obscured by 
the abundance of irrigation channels, spread nearly all over 
the upper and lower terraces. These unhappily now serve 
to denote present waste, and also the high development of 
productive industry in these regions in former times, together 
with the inducements thereto, which the soil and climate 
offer, in combination with a well directed artificial irrigation, 
which the cultivators themselves appear to understand, much 
better than theoretical engineers, whose tendencies are too 
one-sided, too much bent upon the works themselves, and too 
little identified with the varying incidents that must be met 
by the cultivator himself from day to day. Such appears to 
be the explanation of failures that have too often followed 
great irrigation works by professional Europeans in India, 
and the reflection suggested by such examples as this great 
irrigated plain, is, that native talent and administration under 
the oversight of supreme European governments, is the proper 


combination to secure, in the first place, protection for life 
and property ; and in the second place, the highest results 
for local industry. Looking at the grave necessity for good 
administration in these long-oppressed regions, and the 
prospect of an early application of European instrumentality 
for their restoration to wealth and prosperity, that shall 
benefit, not these regions alone, but all the hives of manufac- 
turing industry elsewhere ; it does not seem out of place to 
seize upon such an occasion as this to strike a note that may, 
by the providence of the Almighty, reach home in the right 

The water derived from the Nahr Jalud, and from 
numerous fountains and brooks that descend from the hills, 
feeds the irrigation still partially in use, as well as the 
marshy tracts that denote the extent of the waste enforced by 
Arab spoliation and Turkish oppression. From these sources 
several streams pass from the upper to the lower terrace, and 
from the latter to the Jordan in the Zor. As many as six 
permanent streams thus find their way to the Jordan, between 
Nahr Jalud and Wady Maleh. The streams descending from 
Jebel Fuku'a, have little room for development on the short 
slopes ; but where the hills encroach on the southern part of 
the plain, the Wady Shubash and the Wady el Khashneh, 
drain more important valleys. The Shubash indeed rises on 
the western side of Jebel Fuku'a, and cuts through the 
range. The Khashneh rises in Eas Ibsik (altitude 2,404 feet), 
and skirts the Roman road to Beisan and Nablus. 

All over the upper and lower terraces of the great plain, 
numerous tells or mounds are distributed; they still bear 
distinctive names, and are the sites of former habitations, 
scenes of domestic happiness, and abundant wealth, that may 
be restored almost as rapidly as they were obliterated, when 
once the civilization and power of the West becomes con- 
scious of the connection between Oriental prosperity and that 
of its own manufacturing populations. 

These tells probably mark the substantial and lordly 
centres of villages, the latter more or less extensive, and 


readily levelled with the ground. They denote the populous 
character of the region, when a strong government restrained 
the plundering Ishmaelite, and protected instead of robbed 
the people. The tells are more indicative of a large popula- 
tion than the remains of such a " splendid " and " noble " city 
as Beisan, when it was either Jewish L Beth Shan, or heathen 
Scythopolis, with its dominating citadel, temples, hippo- 
drome, theatre, baths, monuments, and bridge.* 

At the southern end of the plain, are the ruins near 'Ain 
es Sakut, which Mons. Guerin identifies with Succoth of 
1 Kings vii, 46, and 2 Chron. iv, 17. But he carefully 
distinguishes this site from the Succoth of Jacob in Genesis 
xxxiii, 17, and of Gideon, Judges viii, which is identified with 
the town of that name, given to Gad, on the east of Jordan, 
Josh, xiii, 27.f 

This eastern Succoth is called Tarela, or Tarala, in the 
Jerusalem Talmud. J Jacob sojourned there on his way from 
Haran in Syria to Shalem of Shechem, passing the Eiver 
Jabbok. Gen. xxii, xxiii. Where the Jabbok emerges from 
Mount Gilead on to the plain of the Ghor, here broad and 
ample, the mound of Deir Ula, Darala or Tarala, commands 
the plain. Its discovery is ascribed by Lieutenant Conder to 
the Kev. Selah Merrill. But the site was mapped by Lieu- 
tenant Warren, and catalogued in his report of October 19th, 
1868, which was published in the papers of the Fund at 
the time. It was inserted in the map of the Holy Land, in 
Dr. Smith's Ancient Atlas, from Lieutenant Warren's sketch. 

At the foot of Mount Gilboa, and three miles south-west 
of Beisan, is the ruin called Khurbet el Mujedda, which has 
been adopted by Lieutenant Conder, as the site of Megiddo, 
in preference to the position on the Mukutt'a, near Lejjun.|| 
Besides the objection to this proposition, derived from the 

* Kobinson, iii, 329-332. Guerin, " Samarie," i, 285-298. 

t Guerin, " Samarie," i, 269. 

J Neubauer, " Geographic du Talmud," 248. 

Conder's " Handbook to the Bible," 253. 

ii " Tent Work," i, 128, ii, 68. 


separation of the site from the River Kishon, and the town 
of T'anak, there is the account of the flight from Jezreel, of 
Ahaziah, King of Judah (2 Kings ix, 27), which it seems 
impossible to reconcile with such a position for Megiddo. 
Ahaziah fled by way of the garden house (Beth-hag-Gan 
or Bethgan), which Dr. Grove, Mons. Guerin, Dr. Tristram, 
and Dr. Stanley, identify with Engannim, the modern Jenin. 
Dr. Stanley observes that " the garden-like character of the 
spot is still preserved."* The king was smitten at Maaleh 
Gur, " the going up to Gur," near Ibleam, and he fled to 
Megiddo, where he died. It is difficult to conceive how this 
narrative can be reconciled with a Megiddo in the Plain of 
Bethshean ; for it must be remembered that Jehu, the pursuer 
of Ahaziah, made his furious advance upon Jezreel, through 
that plain ; and it seems highly improbable that the flying 
monarch would have rushed towards his opponent, instead of 
from him. This difficulty alone seems insurmountable. But 
there is also Engannim or Bethgan, and the other points in 
the story, to be sought for somewhere in the Valley of Jezreel ; 
but nothing except Mujedda, suitable for the purpose, has yet 
been discovered in that direction. 

The Samaritan Gorge of the Jordan. 

The broad Plain of Beisan is succeeded by a gorge or 
narrow valley, extending about 11 miles between Wady 
Maleh, and Wady Abu Sidreh, the latter being the lower 
course of Wady el Bukei'a. This is the narrowest part of the 
Lower Jordan, and according to Lieutenant Warren it contracts 
to not more than half a mile in width. " For six miles the 
plain is nearly lost." Guerin repeatedly calls it " tres e'troite." 
According to Conder it is two to three miles wide. 

The summits of the hills which enclose the Ghor on the 
west, rise above the Jordan, to heights between 1,100 to 
1,840 feet, their heights above the sea being about 1,000 feet 

This range is the eastern boundary of the Wady Maleh 

* " Sinai and Pal.," 349, note. 


basin, which drains the hills that form the western side of 
the gorge. But the principal affluents of the Wady Maleh 
are derived from the range that bounds the basin on the 
south-west, and constitutes its main slope or watershed. 
One of these affluents runs for seven miles northward, along 
the eastern side of the basin to join the Jordan, which 
descends on the eastern side of the same range, in a direction 
exactly opposite. 

This south-western range seems to be the chief factor in 
the group of hills that forms the western side of the Sama- 
ritan Gorge. It was observed, heretofore, that the range 
forming the axis of the hills on the western side of the 
Galilean Gorge of the Jordan, is in continuity with the 
mountain range that divides Upper and Lower Galilee, and 
extends to the Plain of Acre. In like manner the south- 
western range of the Maleh basin, forming the main element 
of the hills on the west of the Samuritan Gorge, exhibits a 
remarkable alignment with Mount Carmel, and its continuation 
along the south-west of the Plain of Esdraelon. This range 
is also the first of a series of ranges parallel to it, which will 
be noticed hereafter. 

The foot of the hills on the west of the gorge, often descends 
to the Ghor in precipitous rocks, and advances occasionally 
to the Zor, the track being carried sometimes along the very 
foot of the hills or over the slope of the projected spur, 
or even down into indents of the Zor. For the Zor itself 
very much indents the Ghor, penetrating it along the course 
of the wadys, which descend in ravines across the Ghor from 
the hill-side. The Zor also varies in width on the western 
side (of which alone the survey takes cognizance), independ- 
ently of the indents before-mentioned. It exceeds a mile at 
Wady Marma Fiad on the north, and also at Wady Abu 
Sidreh on the south, where it reaches up to the hills ; and it 
is quite half a-mile broad for nearly two miles, on the south 
of Wady Umm ed Deraj ez Zakkum. Ten fords across the 
Jordan, are noted and named in the new Survey within this 
narrow tract. 



In the reconnaissance map and report of this gorge made 
by Lieutenant Warren, K.E., in October, 1868, various names 
of wadys occur, which would probably supply those which are 
omitted in the new map. Mons. Guerin also contributes 
some names and objects here, as elsewhere, that do not appear 
on the map.* The extension of the Survey to the east of the 
Jordan, will afford an opportunity of reconciling or explaining 
these discrepancies upon further inquiry on the spot. 




W. Malih. 
W. Um Karuby. 
W. el em Dahideh. 
W. Shiyeh. 
W. Swaida. 
W. Saujeh (S'aidiyeh). 
W. Abu Serad (Jerad). 
W. Belgod. 
W. Abu Haschish. 
W. Ghor. 
W. Abu Sidra. 


0. el Maleh. 

O. Mar my Faiadh. 

0. Rhazal. 

0. es-Seder. 

Sath er Rhoula (cave). 

Kh. el Bridje. 

0. es Seka'ah. 

Haouch ez Zakkoum. 

O. en Nekeb. 

Tell es Saidieh. 

O. Asberra. 

0. Abu Sehban. 

O. Kefr Anjda. 

0. ez Zarha. 

Unautre Oued. 

O. el E'urkan. 

Siret el Maazeb. 

Kh. es Sireh. 

0. Abou Sedra. 


Wady el M&leh (esh Sherar). 

Marma Fiad. 

Thogret el Kabur. 

Wady Fass el Jemel (Habs 


Umm ed Deraj ez Zak- 


Un-named stream. 

Sadet et Taleh. 

Wady Jurat el Katufi. 

Three ruined sites. 

Arak Abu el Hashish (rocky 

eminence above unnamed 

Wady Abu Loz. 
Sidd el Belkawy. See Belgod 

above, in Warren. 
Tombs, cisterns, and Kh. el 

Tell and Wady Abu Sidreh. 

The Ghdr between the Gorge and the Dead Sea, in 2 parts. 

South of Wady Abu Sidreh, where the Samaritan Gorge 
is considered to terminate, the Ghor begins to widen by 
successive accretions, and attains a breadth of five miles west 
of the Jordan, where the Wady el Humr crosses the plain, 
on the north of Khurbet Fusail, the ancient Phasaelis. This 
width continues undiminished up to the Dead Sea : but in 
other respects the Ghor exhibits a remarkable variety of 
features which makes it desirable to divide the plain on the 
south of the Samaritan Gorge, into two parts, the separation 
of which is found along the southern waterparting of Wady el 
'Aujah Basin. The northern part may be called the Plain of 
Phasaelis, after the Herodian city, the ruins of which remain in 
its midst. The southern part is the famous Plain of Jericho. 

* Guerin, "Samarie," i, 264-268. 


1. Tlie Plain of Phasaelis, 

The Wady Abu Sidreh was chosen to define the southern 
limit of the Samaritan Gorge, because it is a line that lies 
distinct upon the ground, and is equally clear upon the map. 
But the waterparting on the north of this wady should be 
regarded as the actual limit, although it may not be so easy 
to trace. The preference for the waterparting is due to 
natural features connected with the widening of this part of 
the Ghor. These occur in the form of a series of parallel 
valleys, commencing on the south of the range that bounds 
the Maleh Basin on the south-west, and which has been 
shown to have a remarkable influence on that basin, and also 
on the Samaritan Gorge. These valleys are (1) the Wady el 
Bukei'a. (2) the Wady Far'ah, and (3) the Wady el Ifjim, 
Lakaska, or el Humr. They run in parallel courses through 
the hills into the Ghor, and, with a singular exception, enlarge 
the Ghor by the deep bays which run up from it into the hills, 
and form the mouths of these valleys. 

The Wady Sidreh is the outlet of the first of the series, 
the Wady el Bukei'a, which runs at the base of the range 
that bounds the Maleh Basin on the south-west. The Wady 
el Bukei'a is, however, somewhat exceptional at both ends. 
At its head the Bukei'a is overlapped by the broad expansion 
of the sources of the next parallel valley which succeeds it on 
the south, the noted Wady Far'ah, the great highway be- 
tween Nablus and Trans-Jordan. At its outlet the Bukei'a 
takes a very curious and singular course ; for instead of 
gradually expanding into the wide plain, and so contributing 
to the surface of the Ghor, it contracts into a narrow, deep, 
and rocky chasm, which appears at first to be completely 
blocked at its lower end, while it really makes an abrupt and 
short bend nearly at right angles to its former south-westerly 
and straight course, and then winds about northward, north- 
east, and finally east, till it emerges from the hills to descend at 
once into the Zor, which here interrupts the Ghor altogether. 

So little is there any obvious connection between the 


Wady el Bukei'a and the Ghor, that they might be super- 
ficially considered to be quite distinct. But 110 one will deny 
the connection of Wady Far'ah with the Ghor, in the fertile 
and well- watered tract of Kurawa, which is at once the mouth 
of Wady Far 'ah, and a noted part of the Ghor. Nor can the 
commencement of the series of parallel valleys which include 
Far'ah, fail to be seen in Wady el Bukei'a. 

For five miles south of Wady Abu Sidreh, the Ghor west 
of Jordan is hemmed in by the end of the range that 
divides Wady el Bukei'a from Wady Far'ah ; and here the 
Ghor nowhere exceeds two miles in width. The range 
terminates in a point at el Makhruk, near ruins which are 
probably the site of Archelaus ; and the Ghor at once 
expands into the Kurawa at the mouth of Wady Far'ah, 
and attains a width of four miles. The Kurawa runs up 
north-west of Makhruk for four miles, and there terminates 
in a rocky chasm, through which the Wady Far'ah descends 
from the broad valley above. 

Next to the Valley of Jezreel, the Wady Far'ah forms 
the most open and important avenue between the Jordan 
and the West ; and a full description of it has been given 
in pages 76 to 81. 

The southern or south-western side of the Kurawa and 
Wady Far'ah, is the range which divides them from Wady 
Ifjim, which enters the plain as Wady Zakaska, and crosses 
it as Wady el Humr. The range terminates in a spur 
from the remarkable peak of Kurn Surtabeh (alt. 1,244 
feet or 2,390 feet above the Jordan). At the southern base 
of this mountain, the Ghor expands to a width of five 
miles, and runs up into a tapering recess for about three miles 
on the south-west of Kurn Surtabeh. The recess is a mile 
and a half wide at its mouth. It is bounded opposite 
Kurn Surtabeh, by lofty cliffs which form the northern 
termination of the long line w r hich, like a wall, forms the 
base of the western mountains, and extends with little inter- 
ruption, to the ascent of Akrabbim, at the south of the Dead 
Sea, a distance of about 80 miles. 


Into the recess descends the third in the series of parallel 
valleys, the Wady Ifjim. The passage has a peculiarity 
rivalling that of the outlet of el Bukei'a, the first of these 
valleys. The head of the recess is divided into two by a 
narrow spur about a mile long, which projects southward 
from the mountain, and has a gorge on both sides, the western 
being a rocky chasm, one side of which is the beginning of 
the long line of cliffs already mentioned. The Wady Ifjim 
comes down from a beautiful plain about two miles north of 
the chasm, through a rocky cleft, as if it were going to 
descend through the chasm, or parallel gorge on the east 
of the spur. But instead of doing so, the wady deflects 
slightly to the westward, and comes out into the plain by a 
chasm from the west, which meets the northerly chasm at 
its outlet. A Eoman road which passes from the Ghor, 
ascends by the spur aforesaid, and skirts the eastern side of 
the wady into the Sahel or Plain of Ifjim, and so onward to 
the Plain of Salim and Nablus. 

In another respect the Wady Ifjim is a counterpart of the 
Bukei'a. For as the head of the latter is overlapped by an 
expansion of Wady Far'ah towards the north, so is Wady 
Ifjim overlapped by another expansion towards the south, as 
follows : From the Sahel or Plain of Ifjim, there is a 
continuous ascent by the Wady el Kerad to the elevated 
Plain of Salim, which runs in the same line, but drains 
in a contrary direction to the Wady Far'ah. See page 78. 
Another ascent from the Plain of Ifjim proceeds westward 
by Wady Zamur to Yanun, and thence by a valley in the 
same line, but draining in the opposite direction, to the Plain 
of Mukhnah, which is a continuation of the Plain of Salim, 
but in another basin. 

About a mile and a half south of the base of Kurn Surtabeh 
are the remains of the Herodian City of Phasaelis, now Khurbet 
Fusail. The site is on a wady of the same name which joins 
Wady el Humr in the Zor. The wadys on the south belong to 
the basin of Wady el 'Auj ah, which drains the southern divi- 
sion of this part of the Ghor, up to the commencement of the 
Plain of Jericho. 


The mountains maintain their uniform direction south- 
wards for three or four miles below Fusail. Low hills then 
advance eastward into the Ghor, up to a frontage corresponding 
with the eastern side of Kurn Surtabeh. Between five and six 
miles from Fusail, the mountains recede westward for about 
two miles from their former line, and become separated from 
the low hills by an enclosed plain, varying in width up to 
about two miles. The low hills run southward for about 
seven miles, and their termination is distinguished by a 
prominent summit called 'Osh el Ghurab or the Eaven's Nest. 
The Ghor now recovers its full width, and becomes the Plain 
of Jericho. Towards the end of the hills, the mountains also 
gradually advance up to their former line with rocky 
precipices at their base ; and leaving only a narrow entrance 
between the enclosed plain and the Plain of Jericho. In the 
entrance is the noted fountain of 'Ain Duk and ' Ain en Nuei'a- 
meh. The length of the enclosed plain is about four miles. 
Within this brief distance, the plain is crossed by Wady el 
'Aujah, Wady el Abeid, and Wady Umm Sirah, and these also 
intersect the hills on the east in proceeding to the Jordan by 
the Wady el 'Aujah. It seems probable that the Vale or 
Plain (Emek) of Keziz, belonging to the tribe of Benjamin 
(Josh, xviii, 21), may be identified with this enclosed tract. 

To the Ghor itself, the name of " the Plain of Phasaelis " 
has been applied. Among the features which particularly 
characterise this part, may be noted the remarkable manner 
in which the Wady Far'ah as Wady el Jozeleh, and the Wady 
el Mellahah, a branch of Wady el 'Aujah, both advance across 
the Gh6r from the west, to within a mile and less of the 
Jordan, and then turn southwards, pursuing a parallel course 
to the main stream for six or seven miles, before the 
confluence of each is effected. Observations are wanting to 
denote the relative altitude of the tributary beds to the bed 
of the main stream, or to the surface of the Ghor ; but it is 
evident that these parallel passages of the tributaries produce 
a considerable disturbance of the surface of the Ghor, 
degrading or wearing it away to a much greater extent than 



is found along the ordinary embankment of the Zor. Perhaps 
the unusual course of these river beds may have been 
originally due to artificial channels made for the purpose of 
irrigation. The narrow tongues of land between the 
tributaries and the Jordan are called in Arabic, Monkattat or 
Mankatta'at, which according to Professor Palmer appropriately 
means " strips." 

On the south of the outlet of Wady el 'Aujah, the Ghor is 
watered by the branches of Wady Mesa'adet 'Aisa, which 
rises in the low hills crowned by 'Osh el Ghurab. 

The Arabic name of this wady means the " Ascension of 
Jesus," so called with reference to the conical hill of 'Osh el 
Ghur&b (Eaven's Nest), the traditional site among the Arabs 
for the mountain of the Temptation.* Christian tradition 
originating in the time of the Crusaders, places the same 
event at Jebel Kuruntul or Mount Quarantana. On the 
north of the wady are two groups of ruins with extensive 
sandstone quarries, called es Sumrah, which are commonly 
identified with Zemaraim, a Benjamite City. Josh, xviii, 22. 

The next watercourse is Wady en Nuei'arneh, which 
crosses the Ghor from 'Ain Duk, and divides the Plain of 
Phasaelis from the Plain of Jericho. 

2. The Plain of Jericho. 

The Ghor acquires a comparatively unbroken surface in 
the Plain of Jericho. Its commencement on the north is at 
Wady en Nuei'ameh, and its termination on the south is 
defined by the embankment of the Zor, which also comes to 
an end on the north of the Dead Sea. At Kusr el Yehud or 
Jews' Castle, about two miles below the confluence of the 
Nuei'ameh, and nearly eight miles from the Dead Sea, the 
embankment begins to slope away from the Jordan in a south- 
westerly direction towards the foot of the western moun- 
tains, narrowing as it goes, till it ends in a point at Khurbet 
Kumran, which is ten miles south of the north-west angle of 
the plain. 

* Gender's " Tent Work," ii, 13. 


At its mouth the Jordan prolongs its western bank into a 
point advanced into the sea for half a mile farther south 
than its eastern bank. From this point the coast recedes 
north-westward into a bay, and bending round to the south- 
west contracts the Zor, here forming the sea-shore, to a width 
of a mile, and finally brings it to a point at Eas Feshkah, about 
two miles south of the end of the Ghor at Khurbet 

The lofty and precipitous rocky base of the western 
mountains enters the plain from the north-west, and 
preserves that direction as far as Jebel Kuruntul or Mons 
Quarantana, the reputed scene of Our Lord's Forty Days' 
Fast. This mountain is about a mile south of the north-west 
corner of the plain, and from thence the line of cliffs takes a 
more southerly course for a mile and a half, when Wady Kelt 
comes down through them. The modern village of Jericho 
(Eriha) lies two miles east of the gorge of the Kelt, and 
the ruins of the successive sites of ancient Jericho extend 
towards the gorge, and also towards the north-western 
extremity of the plain, especially about 'Ain es Sultan, a 
great fountain not quite a mile east of Jebel Kuruntul. 
Wady Kelt is identified with Elijah's Brook Cherith ; and 
'Ain es Sultan is deemed to be the fountain which Elisha 
healed. 2 Kings ii. 

On the south of Wady Kelt, the cliffs subside, and while 
the foot of the hills, in running southward, advances slightly 
towards the east, the summits retire in a semicircle towards 
the west, giving an easier slope to the spurs as far as the 
Pass of Kueiserah. At the pass, the cliffs reappear, and run 
on with a slight ogival curve to Ras Feshkah, where they 
enter the sea, and divert the passage along the shore to a 
path over the cliff. 

Although the Glhor appears to be perfectly level, the. 
instrumental observations of the Survey have proved that it 
has a slope of some 500 feet between the foot of the cliffs, on 
the west of Jericho, and the edge of the descent to the Zor, 
near the ford of el Henu, a distance of six miles. At Kh. 

M 2 


Kakun near Wady Kelt, the alt. is 585 feet. At Kusr Hajlah, 
the alt. is 1,066 feet. The Kusr Hajlah is a mile and a half 
from the descent to the Zor. The channel of the river at el 
Henu, a mile from the descent, is 1,254 feet, or about 150 feet 
below the edge of the Ghor. 

Except at its north-west angle, the plain of Jericho is 
now for the most part in a desert state; and yet it is 
naturally one of the most fertile and productive in the world, 
well watered by the rains of heaven, and having every facility 
for abundant irrigation, a soil that is described as " fertility 
itself," and a climate so favourable that Dr. Eobinson found 
the barley fully gathered and threshed by the 22nd of April, 
and the wheat, of fine quality, was nearly harvested on the 
13th of May.* Dr. Thomson found the barley harvest over 
on the 1st of April, and he notes that it comes on about the 
middle of March, f 

Besides Wady Nuei'ameh on its northern boundary, the 
Plain of Jericho is crossed by Wady el Kelt, with an 
affluent from 'Ain es Sultan, which unites with the Kelt on 
its left bank, about half a mile from Eriha, the present 
village of Jericho. Half a mile lower, another branch called 
Khaur Abu Dhahy, rises at the foot of the hills near Wady 
Kelt, and joins the Kelt on its right bank. Opposite the 
junction on the left bank of the Kelt, are the remains, called 
Jiljulieh, which are regarded as the site of Gilgal. At the 
foot of the descent into the Zor, the Kelt also receives a 
stream from 'Ain Hajlah, a fountain which rises about a mile 
and a half from the edge of the Ghor, and is identified with 
the site of Bethhogla. About half a mile south-west of the 
spring is Kusr Hajlah, being the remains of a monastery, on 
the verge of the more ancient site. On the edge of the Ghor, 
less than a mile north of the Kelt, is Kusr el Yehud or Jew's 
Castle, the ruin of a great monastery dedicated to St. John the 
Baptist, that dominated one of the Pilgrims' bathing places on 

* See Robinson's " Bib. Kes.," i, 534^568. 
f Thomson's " Land and Book," 619. 


the Jordan. Its crypt and other substructures exist, and were 
found by Dr. Tristram tenanted by flocks of rock doves.* 

The Wady Kelt crosses the Zor for rather more than half 
a mile to its junction with the Jordan. Near the junction 
on the south, is the Hajlah Ford, the Pilgrims' bathing place 
of the present day. According to Lieutenant Conder, both the 
Latin and Greek Churches regard it now as the scene of Our 
Lord's Baptism.f Dr. Robinson, and also Dr. Thomson, make 
this ford the Greek site ; and place the Latin site near Kusr el 
Yehud.J This is reversed in Baedeker's Guide. In the 
sixteenth century, the pilgrims resorted to the Ford of El 
Ghoraniyeh, where Wady en Nuei'ameh joins the Jordan 
on the right bank, and Wady Nimrin on the left. This 
position is preferred as the site of Our Lord's Baptism, 
by M. Guerin, and by Dr. Trisfcram.|| 

The Khaur el Thumrar, rises in many branches on the 
western hills on the eastern side of Wady Talat ed Dumm. 
It crosses the Plain of Jericho on the south of the Hajlah 
road, near the Kusr Hajlah. On descending to the Zor, it 
bends to the south, and follows a course parallel to the 
Jordan into the Dead Sea. The Wady Makarfet Kattum, 
and the Wady Joreif Ghuzal come down from the same range 
and cross the plain in courses parallel to the foregoing. They 
are succeeded by Wady el Kaneiterah, which rises on the 
eastern side of the Mount of Olives, and meets the head 
waters of Wady Kelt, near Shafat, on the north of Jerusalem. 
The Kelt again meets the head waters of Wady Nuei'ameh at 
Bethel, and the Nuei'ameh Basin reaches up to Tell 'Asur. 
Thus the wadys which cross the Plain of Jericho, are found 
to form an important part of the watershed, including several 
roads to the highland between Jerusalem and the north of 
Bethel, as already explained in treating on the basins. 

Further south, the Wady Kumran crosses the plain, 
where the Ghor comes to a point at the ruins of Kumran, 

* " Land of Israel," 225. t " Tent Work," ii, 17. 

+ Eobinson, " Bib. Kes.," i, 536. Thomson, " Land and Book," 615. 

"Samarie," i, 114, 115. || "Bible Places," 333, 331. 


between the mountains and the Dead Sea, near 'Ain Feshkah. 
The wady descends from the elevated Plain of el Bukei'a, 
which contains other names like Kumran, which are severally 
and together very suggestive of a connection with Gomorrah. 


Has Feshkah to Ras Mersid. 

Dr. Tristram's description of his bold examination of the 
coast between Kas Feshkah and Eas Mersid is hardly con- 
current with the new Survey.* At Eas Feshkah, the plain is 
brought to an absolute termination by the descent of the head- 
land into deep waters, rendering a passage impracticable even 
to an adventurous cragsman like Dr. Tristram, who had to 
scramble up and down the rocks and gullies away from the 
water line to reach the south side.f Lieutenant Conder pays 
high compliments to Dr. Tristram's map of the Dead Sea ; but 
there are discrepancies between the two maps which claim 
some explanation. In the older map, there is first, the bold 
bank projected into the sea on the south of Eas Feshkah, 
and next is the advance of the cliff to the shore on the north 
of Wady Derejeh, neither of which are supported by the New 
Survey. If these may be explained by a difference in the 
level of the waters, or otherwise, it would be well to^do so. 

From Eas Feshkah to Eas Mersid, a distance of 15 miles, 
the shore of the Dead Sea is restored, and gradually becomes 
about half a mile in width, at the foot of overhanging cliffs 
rising to a height of 2,000 feet. Eight miles south of Eas 
Feshkah, the strand projects into the sea, and becomes a mile 
wide, apparently from the detritus brought down from the 
mountains by Wady ed Derajeh (meaning steps), and Wady 
Husasah (meaning gravel). Between the two great head- 
lands, the cliffs form a slight curve which recedes for a mile 
and a half at Wady ed Derajeh, from a chord line stretched 

* "Land of Israel," 276, 277. f Ibid., 254. 


between the heads. The projection of the shore at this part, 
advances to the same chord line. 

South of Wady Husasah, the shore becomes narrow, and 
on the north of Ras Mersid, after passing Wady esh Shukf, 
a sulphur spring was discovered by Dr. Tristram on the shore 
at the foot of Eas esh Shukf (alt. of the Ras 1,227 feet, or 2,520 
feet above the Dead Sea). The headland of Ras Mersid is only 
to be rounded with difficulty, and there is no track. Still it 
does not appear to be obstructive to all passage like Ras 
Feshkah, and it is presumed that deep water does not wash 
its base. A mile beyond Ras Mersid, another headland 
occurs on the north of Wady Sideir, and is crossed by the 
Nukb or Pass of Sideir, leading to the Plain of 'Ain 
Jidy (Engedi). Lieutenant Conder visited the sulphur 
spring from 'Ain Jidy. He appears to have got as far 
as Nukb Sideir on horseback, and then he had to dismount, 
"scrambling over cliffs or walking in the water round 
promontories," to reach the place.* 

The principal wadys which cross the shore, and enter the 
Dead Sea between the headlands of Feshkah and Mersid, 
are Wady en Nar and Wady Derajeh. The Wady en Nar 
(Kidron) rises at Jerusalem, passes the monastery of Mar 
Saba in a profound ravine, and reaches the Dead Sea on the 
south of Ras Feshkah. The Wady Derajeh rises at 
Bethlehem, passes Jebel Fureidis, the site of the fortress of 
Herodium, and empties itself into the Dead Sea at the widest 
part of the shore, midway between the headlands. 

The Plain of Engedi is about half a mile broad, and a 
mile in length. It has the cliffs of Wady Sideir on the north, 
and those of Wady el 'Areijeh on the south, while on the west 
rises terraced slopes on the top of which, 600 feet above the 
sea, is the plateau where the famous spring rises under a great 
boulder, and then falls down over the rocks to the plain below. 
Six hundred feet still higher, is another plateau in the form 
of a pentagon, on the summit of vast cliffs standing out with 
a salient angle to the south-east, like a bastion at the end of 

* " Tent Work," ii, 137. 


the mountain. This is the cliff of Zor (2 Chron. xx, 16). 
Plundering bands from the east, still use the pass on their 
incursions to the western highland. The plateau is surrounded 
by precipices on all sides, except at its throat on the north- 
west, where two roads unite, coming down the mountain side 
from the north and from the west, or from Bethlehem and 
Hebron. From this upper plateau, " the path descends to the 
seashore by ziz-zags, often at the steepest angle practicable for 
horses, and is carried partly along ledges or shelves on the 
perpendicular face of the cliff, and then down the almost 
equally steep ddbris." Thus the lower plateau is reached. The 
further descent to the plain follows the course of the cascade 
derived from the spring. The water is almost hidden among 
the trees and shrubs and canes that nourish on its banks. The 
whole of this lower slope was once built up for terraced 
cultivation, and at its foot are the remains of ancient Engedi 
one among the oldest of cities. 

The Wady Areijeh which bounds Engedi on the south is 
one of the principal drains of these mountains, and rises 
along the Hebron road, about Hulhul, and northward as far 
as Breikut and Tekua, which are the existing names of ruined 
sites corresponding to the Berachah and Tekoa of Jehoshaphat's 
deliverance. 2 Chron. xx, 20, 26. The Wady Sideir only 
comes from the heights above Eas Shukf, but the extreme 
beauty of the fairy scene in the lower part of the gorge is 
too attractive to be passed without notice. Dr. Tristram is 
enthusiastic in its praise.* 

Shore of the Dead Sea^-Eas Mersid to Sebbeh. 

South of the Plain of Engedi, the shore is narrow, and 
follows the direction of the cliffs for two miles, with interrup- 
tions from gullies and boulders. At Wady el Kuberah, the line 
of cliffs inclines a little to the west of south, as far as Sebbeh, 
and the coast line becomes a mile distant from the great 
cliffs. The survey displays the projection of a considerable 
terrace extending between the foot of the cliffs and the sea, 

* " Land of Israel," 289, 290, 297. 


but Dr. Tristram mentions " four great rows of eroded 
terraces one above the other, and heaps of debris forming a 
slope at the foot of each."* The coast line recedes and 
advances in easy curves) from Wady Kuberah to Sebbeh, where 
the Survey ends ; and the plain gradually increases in width, 
until on the north of Sebbeh, it is two miles from the cliffs to 
the sea. 

The isolated rock of Sebbeh rises midway between the 
line of cliffs on the west, and the sea on the east, and in the 
latter direction the summit of the rock is elevated above the 
plain for 1,500 feet. The altitude above the Dead Sea, 
according to the survey, is 1,702 feet, or 500 feet less than 
Dr. Tristram's barometrical measurement. The summit is a 
plateau 2,070 feet long by 1,050 feet broad; it beais the remains 
of the ancient Jewish fortress of Masada, built by Jonathan 
Maccabseus, completed by Herod the Great, and finally defended 
as the last refuge of the Jews under Eleazar.f Captain (now 
Lieutenant Colonel) Warren ascended by the remains of a 
zigzag track on the eastern face of the cliff, now almost 
impassable, which must be the remains of the " Serpent " path 
mentioned by Josephus. The easier ascent is by the western 
side, from which a ledge of rock is thrown off, and joins the 
western cliffs. A ravine runs along the southern scarp of 
this ledge, which slopes towards the north. Another ravine 
runs northward, dividing the slope of the ledge in that 
direction from the foot of Sebbeh. On the ledge, a great 
mound was piled up by the Roman besiegers against the 
western side of the fortress, for the purpose of planting their 
battering machines against the walls. This mound still 
affords access to the western entrance. To prevent assist- 
ance or the escape of the desperadoes in the garrison, the 
Romans built a fortified wall entirely around the base of the 
hill, and this, with the Roman camps outside, remains, and is 
traced on the survey. 

Of the wadys which enter the Dead Sea in this part, the 

* " Land of Israel," 302. 

f Josephus, " Wars," vii, 8, 9. 


Kuberah and the Seiyal rise on the waterparting that divides 
the tributaries of the Dead Sea from those of the Mediterra- 
nean, namely, Wady el Khulil, afterwards Wady Ghuzzeh. 
Along the ridge which gives rise to the sources of the 
Kuberah, are the noted sites of Beni Nairn on the east of 
Hebron, Ziph, Carmel, and Maon. The basin of Wady 
Seiyal succeeds, and comes to a termination with the Sur- 
vey at the biblical site of Arad. 

In these pages, little more than a bare topographical 
description, explanatory of the Survey, is given of the Plains 
of Palestine. Their precise and accurate geography affords, 
however, scarcely any cue to the interest which belongs 
to them. That has already elicited the eloquence and 
learning of Dean Stanley, in his comparison of them with 
those of other countries,* and in his elaborate commentaries 
on the Maritime Plain, the Plain and Terraces of Jordan, and 
the Plains of Esdraelon, Hattin, and Gennesareth. These 
will be read with fresh zest in the light thrown upon the 
localities by the new maps. 

* " Sinai and Palestine," 136. 


The Streams or Watercourses, together with the Water- 
partings of a country, form the primary foundation of its 
delineation, and the proper basis of its study. The Plains 
require the next consideration, for they form the threshold 
of the mountains, and often determine their limits. The 
intricacies of the relief, and the complicated forms of the 
Elevated Ground, are thus be'sieged by regular approaches, 
leading up to and denning the base of the outer walls, and 
penetrating the interior by exact drainage lines, which, in 
order to ! fulfil their functions, should not only define hori- 
zontal direction, but should also express by altitude, the 
vertical changes which they undergo. 

The next step is the elimination from the highland mass 
of its Culminating Summits and the Ranges which are 
crowned by them. It is necessary to consider not only 
those ranges which form waterpartings, but also those 
which are intersected by rivers and watercourses, and make 
the edges of plateaus, often indeed, displaying a regularity, 
an altitude, and important consequences to nature, and par- 
ticularly to mankind, transcending in effect the waterparting 

To eliminate from the tangled maze of the western high- 
lands of Palestine, the main ranges and groups that form 
a key to the whole mass, is the object of the following 

The rivers which define the limits of the survey under 
review, are singularly adapted to palliate the disadvantage of 


considering only an intermediate portion of the mountain 
system that extends in three directions beyond those bounds. 
The Kasmiyeh on the north is indeed a curt divider, as the 
name implies, separating the white and lofty Lebanon from 
the humbler summits that are its continuation southward 
through Galilee, if not also through Samaria, Judea, and 

So also the Jordan cuts off the western highlands by a 
well-defined line from the eastern portions of the same 
general mass. But still it is necessary in treating on a 
separated portion to bear in mind its proper adjuncts. 

Before the present Survey, a considerable number of 
observations for altitude had been made by various travellers. 
These were carefully collected, arranged, and more or less 
critically examined by Lieutenant Van de Velde, in his 
"Memoir to accompany the. Map of the Holy Land."* 
Additions were afterwards made to the list, in a pamphlet 
by the same author, entitled " Notes on the Map of the Holy 


The map of the Palestine Exploration Fund includes a 
large number of hypsometrical observations, and this series has 
the great advantage of having been taken on a uniform system, 
and by trained observers throughout, an advantage that is 
fully displayed by a comparison of the discrepancies exhibited 
in Van de Velde's lists. It cannot, however, be justly con- 
cluded that the new series supplies all that is wanted by the 
hypsometrical student. The observations appear to have 
been made casually rather than systematically. It would have 
been possible with a due regard to the horizontal continuity 
of the vertical development of the ground, especially with 
reference to leading features, to have contributed much more 
to an intelligible apprehension of the main factors of the 
relief, without incurring the labour of contouring. These 
remarks are consequent upon an experience of the difficulties 
arising from the occasional want of observations for altitude, 

* Published by J. Perthes, Gotha, 1858. 
f Published also at Gotha, 1865. 


in the following attempt to elucidate the orography of 
Western Palestine on the basis of the new survey. The 
defects are not organic, and may be supplied hereafter in this 
instance, and provided for in future operations. 


This mass of highland is bounded on the north by the 
Kasimiyeh Eiver. The eastern and western boundaries are 
the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea ; the southern bound- 
ary is the foot of a Range which begins opposite Acre and runs 
eastward to the Jordan. From these bases, which will be more 
distinctly denned, the slopes ascend with much variety of 
feature, to culminating ranges on the south, the east, and 
west; enclosing an extensive plateau, broadest and highest 
on the south, and contracting to a narrow neck on the north- 

The Southern Range. 

The southern boundary is formed by a range of moun- 
tains commencing on the west in the Plain of Acre on the 
east of the city, and running eastward to the Jordan, below 
the Jisr Benat Y'akub. It is distinguished by Kurn el 
Hennawy (ait. 1,872 feet) ; Neby Heider (alt. 3,440 feet) ; 
Jebelet el Arus (alt. 3,520 feet) ; Es Semunieh (alt. 2,235 
feet) ; Safed (alt. 2,750 feet) ; Jebel Kan'an (alt. 2,761 feet). 
From the last-named point, the range descends to the gorge 
of the Jordan between Jisr Benat Y'akub and the Sea of 
Galilee, where the river descends from 43 feet to 682 feet 
below sea level. 

The summit of this southern range is thus easily defined 
by means of the observations for altitude made by the survey 
and the concurrent remarks of travellers. The base of the 
range is not so distinctly made out, for want of altitudes at 
the junctions, and other notable features along the water- 
courses. In one point of view, the base of the range is 
traced from the Plain of Acre along the Wady el Waziyeh, 


Wady esh Shaghur, Wady el Khashab, and Wady en Nimr, 
including the Plain of Kameh. But the proper base of this 
part of the slope is undoubtedly the Wady el Halzun and 
Wady Shaib, up to Wady el Khashab and Wady en Nimr. 
The last leads eastward to the waterparting of the Jordan 
and the basin "of Wady er Kubudiyeh, the head of which is 
crossed by the footing of the range along Wady Said, and a 
valley on the south of Kefr Anan. Thus the base of the 
range is traced to Wady Maktul, a watercourse on the north 
of Kh. el Bellaneh, which falls into Wady 'Amud, and by 
that stream the base is carried to the northern shore of the Sea 
of Galilee, and up to the influx of the Jordan. See p. 148. 

It may be remarked by the reader who pursues this de- 
scription with the map before him, that the Wady et Tawahin 
intersects the range on the west of Safed. This is quite a 
common occurrence in mountain ranges, and is merely an 
indentation of the mass, without interrupting the continuity 
of the total elevation. The great range of perpendicular 
cliffs along the western side of the Dead Sea, is constantly 
rifted from summit to base, and the chasms, sometimes only 
scoring the face of the cliff, often run far back into the mass 
without affecting the continuity of its general aspects. In 
the case of the Safed gorge, although it has indented the 
summit of the range to the depth of a thousand feet, it has 
still to drop 1,500 feet to reach the base line coming from the 
west, and then has to fall another 900 feet to reach the Sea 
of Galilee. The distance of Safed from the mouth of the 
wady is about nine miles. 

The Eastern Range. 

The mountain range which bounds Upper Galilee on the 
south is continued along the eastern face of the highland to 
the top of the map. Commencing at the south-east with 
Jebel Kan'an (alt. 2,761 feet), the next observations along the 
summit occur in a group around Delata (alt. 2,740 feet). 
Northward, none are found either at Eas el Ahmar, or at 
Alma, or at Jebel el Ghabieh, or along the waterparting south 


of Kh. el Menarah (alt. 2,806 feet). Further north, obser- 
vations are found at Jebel Hunin (alt. 2,951 feet), Odeitha 
(alt. 2,215 feet), and Neby 'Aueidah (alt. 2,814 feet). On 
some future occasion it would be desirable to fix the cul- 
minating points on the west of the Merj Ayun, also around 
the curious quadrilateral basin which is deficient of outfall, and 
includes the villages of Meis. The height of the culminating 
point along that part of the waterparting range between 
Kades and Aitherun is wanted ; and also the altitudes that 
connect Delata with Jebel el Ghabieh, where the range is 
intersected by the remarkable rocky chasm, that communi- 
cates between the upper and lower parts of the Hindaj 

The slope by which this Eastern Eange descends to its 
base is varied and interesting, but the facts are inadequately 
demonstrated. The altitude of the base line is fixed at the 
Sea of Galilee at 682'5 below sea level ; it is also expressed 
near the Jisr Benat Y'akub, where the river is 43 feet below 
sea level. But at the Huleh Lake, the altitude of the surface 
is not inserted on the maps, and the Memoirs on sheet iv, 
while reporting that the observations made the surface of the 
lake seven feet above the Mediterranean, add that " they 
were not very good." In the Huleh Plain there is an ob- 
servation excellently placed at the junction of the Jordan 
with all of its affluents, before the river enters the Huleh 
Marsh. This altitude is 140 feet above sea level. Others 
are given at El Mansurah (alt. 245 feet) ; at Kh. Dufnah 
(alt. 390 feet) ; at Tell el Kady (alt. 505 feet) ; at Kh. Dahr 
es Saghir (alt. 660 feet). This is the extent to which the 
altitudes partially elucidate the inclination of the base line 
of the eastern slope of Upper Galilee. It is an unfinished 
work. The course of the Jordan itself is cut short in the 
midst of its descent from the elevated hollow of Coele Syria 
to the much lower Plain of Huleh. Dr. Eobinson called 
attention to the six successive terraces, by which the descent 
is made,* with a drop between each, generally not less than 

* " Bib. Ees.," iii, 391. " Phys. Geog. H. Land," 68. 


50 feet, and sometimes more. The same authority also 
alludes to the curious way in which the channel of the Has- 
bany Eiver forms a deep and narrow chasm along an upper 
terrace of the mountain side, instead of following the lowest 
ground. These distinct features are scarcely made out on 
the maps, and attention will no doubt be paid to them in the 
continuation of the Survey from its present limits to the east 
of the Jordan. It would be useful to define the base of the 
slopes, or the line of lowest depression in the upper part of the 
Jordan Valley, where the Hasbany departs from that line, and 
cuts its channel through the higher portion of the basaltic 
bank on the west of the valley. This base line seems to 
follow the Nahr el Leddan up to Wady en Nimr, and the 
latter wady till it forks at the foot of the slope which gives 
rise to 'Am el Tineh. The line, doubtless, ascends the branch 
from the north, but the survey does not at present assist in 
carrying it farther This part of the base line is of import- 
ance, as it divides the western slope of Mount Hermon, 
from the eastern slope descending from the Mediterranean 
waterparting, and it is an essential element in an attempt to 
understand the form of the ground in this interesting 

The slopes around the northern end of Huleh Plain may 
be resolved into three divisions. (1) Up to the northern 
termination of the Merj 'Ayun, the slope from the 
Mediterranean waterparting may be considered to terminate 
in the stream which proceeds within the map from 'Am 
Derderah, and runs to the Jordan as Kahr Bareighit. (2) The 
range on the east of Merj 'Ayun, dividing that plain from 
the Hasbany, may be conveniently regarded as the summit 
of the slope, along the eastern side of which, the channel of 
the Hasbany is cut, on its way to the Huleh Plain ; the base 
being found in a line along Wady Leddan and Wady Nimr 
to the Hasbany before it passes on to the slope ; (3) The 
slopes of Hermon, ending in the base line before men- 

It is the slope of the second division which Dr. Robinson 


found divided into distinct terraces ; and the following is an 
endeavour to trace them on the new map. (1) The upper- 
most or first terrace appears to extend from the summit 
range on the east of Merj 'Ayun down 1 to a narrow and 
parallel edge on the east of the Hasbany. This terrace was 
formerly known as Ard Serada, and it includes the* village of 
that name, alsd Kh. Jammul, the village el Ghajir, and 
the channel of the Hasbany. Judging from the height of 
Abl (alt. 1,024 feet) that place should be included, but there 
is no clue to the southern edge. (2) The second terrace 
extends to Wady en Mmr. The direction of the first and 
second terraces, is from north-east to south-west, till the 
Hasbany bends due south near Kh. Jarnmul, when the 
terraces take the same course. The third terrace shows a 
tendency to a more easterly front, and the remainder run 
east and west. (3) The third terrace is east of the base line 
formed by Wady Nimr, and at the foot of Mount Hermon. 
(4) The fourth excludes Tell el Kady, which is said to rise 
about 40 feet above the edge of this terrace and to drop about 
80 feet to its southern base in the terrace below. The edge 
of the fourth terrace appears to run eastward as far as Tell 
Ilia at the foot of Banias. (5) The fifth terrace follows the 
Eiver Banias as it curves westward from Tell Ilia, and leaves 
that river where it bends more to the south ; the edge of the 
terrace then stretches across westward to Wady el 'Asl and 
Wady el Leddan. It foUows the Leddan below Kh. Dufnah 
(alt. 390 feet); and crosses a stream from the second terrace, 
and the Eiver Hasbany, between KL el Heit and Kh. es 
Sanbariyeh, west of the Hasbany ; the edge of the fifth 
terrace seems to be defined by the course of an aqueduct, but 
in the absence of any altitude corresponding to that of Kh. 
Dufnah, there is nothing to follow. (6) The edge of the sixth 
terrace is probably found on the east of the Eiver Banias, 
which the Survey barely touches. On the west of the river 
it seems to be indicated by an altitude of 302 feet at Baiket 
Francis, and follows the river to el Mansurah (alt. 245 feet), 
then stretches westward to a mill between the Leddan and 



the Hasbany, and pursues the same direction towards the 
Nahr Bareighit, above the village of Zuk et Tahta. Two or 
three altitudes westward of el Mansurah and corresponding 
with it, would have helped this attempt. 

The structure of this slope is an orographical curiosity, 
and the notice it has received from such an eminent and 
exemplary observer as Dr. Kobinson, makes it necessary in a 
Survey like the present, to meet it distinctly, either by 
adequate delineation or positive disavowal. 

The connection of this slope with that between the 
Mediterranean waterparting and the Nahr Bareighit should 
also be elucidated. The following is a case in point. From 
Jebel Hunin (alt. 2,951 feet) the waterparting runs to the 
north-east, and bears on its summit the village and ruined 
castle of Hunin. Half a mile beyond Hunin, the water- 
parting takes a northerly direction, but a spur continues 
north-easterly to Nahr Bareighit, and has upon its brow the 
ruin of el Kuneiseh (alt. 1,064 feet). On the opposite bank 
of the river, in a more northerly direction, is Abl (alt. 1,074 
feet). It seems probable that el Ghajir on the Hasbany 
is about the same height, but there is no observation. 
One or two altitudes near this level, on the east of 
Abl, would enable a hypsometrical connection to be 
traced between Jebel Hunin, Abl, and Banias (alt. 1,080 

Eecurring to Jebel Hunin, the waterparting on the north 
of that summit, appears to have its highest points at Odeitha 
(alt. 2,215 feet), and at Neby 'Aueidah (alt. 2,814 feet). For 
rather more than three miles south of Jebel Hunin, the slope 
from the waterparting to the Huleh Plain, is rapid and some- 
times rocky and precipitous, with an average fall of one in 
two. This aspect terminates at the distance mentioned, in a 
summit without a special name, but connected with Jebel esh 
Shakarah, and having five or six spurs diverging from it in 
all directions. The altitude is unknown. The waterparting 
which has reached this point from the north, here bends 
abruptly to the west, for about half a mile, then south-west 


and again westerly, to reach Neby Muheibib. This westerly 
diversion of the Jordan or Mediterranean waterparting is 
the southern limit of the isolated basins of Meis and Tufeh, 
and the northern limit of a great recession to the westward, 
both of the waterparting and of the summit of the eastern 
slope also, which run together from Neby Muheibib only as 
far south as Deir el Ghabieh. From the last place the water- 
parting again turns abruptly westward as far as Jebel Marun, 
but the Eastern Eange continues southward to Delata (alt. 
2,740 feet). 

Eeturning now to the northern end of this Eastern Eange, 
it will be found to have a parallel range on the west, which 
runs from Jebel Hunin to the Kasimiyeh Eiver, and is in the 
same line with the range on which the great castle of Kulat 
esh Shukif or Belfort (alt. 2,345 feet) is situated. The valley 
between the waterparting and the parallel range on the west, 
is now called Wady 'Aizakaneh, instead of Wady Hunin, as 
on former maps. The Wady 'Aizakaneh is in the same line 
with the Kasimiyeh before it turns to the west, though 
sloping in an opposite direction. At their confluence occurs the 
rectangular bend of the Kasimiyeh, which diverts that river 
from a southerly to a westerly course, to become the northern 
base of the highland of Upper Galilee. The want of an 
altitude at this confluence, leaves the inclination of this 
northern base in obscurity, and prevents any comparison 
between the relative levels of the eastern and western bases 
of this portion of the Mediterranean waterparting. 

The Wady 'Aizakaneh, although of small extent, becomes 
of further interest in connection with a succession of other 
features along the summits and slopes of the Eastern Eange. 
That range has been seen to bend suddenly to the west as far 
as Neby Muheibib, when it turns again to the south. This 
inner or western parallel range will be found to be in con- 
tinuation northward with the range on the west of Wady 
'Aizakaneh. Starting in that direction from Neby Muheibib, 
this range forms the western boundary of the isolated basins 
of Meis and Tufeh ; the northern limit of which begins at 

N 2 


Ras edh Dhahr and runs on through Jebel Husein, and 
Dahruj, to the Eastern Range, at a point rather more than half 
a mile on the south of Kh. el Menarah (alt. 2,805 feet). Meis 
is a favourite camping place for travellers, but none appear to 
have noticed its hydrographic isolation. From Ras edh 
Dhahr, the western range is intersected by Wady el Jemel 
and runs on to Jebel er Rueis. The Wady el Jemel drains a 
plateau on the north of the basin of Meis, and but for this 
outlet the plateau would form a similarly isolated basin. 
Beyond Jebel er Rueis, the range from the south, appears to 
meet the western range from the north, in Jebel Hunin ; but 
when the height of Rubb Thelathin (alt. 2,292 feet) is 
compared with that of Merkebeh (alt. 2,290 feet), and of 
el Hola (alt. 2,470 feet), it may be inferred that the con- 
tinuity of the elevation between Rubb Thelathin, Merkebeh, 
el Hola, and Ras edh Dhahr, calls for an accentuation of the 
hill drawing expressing those indications better than that of the 
present map. At all events, the continuity of the western 
range from Kulat esh Shukif to Deir el Ghabieh is made out, 
whether it joins Jebel Hunin or runs through Merkebeh and 

The interval, properly so called, which has been traced 
from the Litany and Wady 'Aizakaneh on the north, to the 
basin of Meis on the south, does not stop at Meis, but is 
prolonged further south in the well known terrace or plateau 
of Kades (alt. 1,587 feet), the only altitude that is found from 
one end to the other of this intramontane tract. The eastern 
edge of the plateau of Kades is the prolongation of the lower 
part only of the Eastern Range in the line maintained by the 
upper part also, up to the northern end of the plateau. The 
plateau of Kades occupies the space caused by the westward 
recession of the waterparting along with the upper part of the 
Eastern Range. But it should not be overlooked that be- 
tween Kades and the waterparting lies a still higher terrace, 
running parallel with the waterparting and above Kades, 
from el Malkiyeh to Belideh, Kh. el Maserah, and up the 
Khallet Ghazaleh to the unnamed summit, where the westerly 


recess of the Eastern Eange begins. This is not a new feature, 
but it has never been delineated before with the precision of 
the New Survey.* These terraces of Malkiyeh, Belideh, 
and Kades, are drained into the Huleh Marsh by the steep 
descent of Wady 'Arus. But the plateau itself seems to 
have a more gradual passage to the base of the mountain 
by the Ard el Dawamin, which forms a step downwards 
to Ard el Kheit and the shores of Lake Huleh. This 
step is included in a. small basin, the western limit of 
which is in a line with the eastern edge of Kades plateau. 
There is indeed in this succession of natural features, 
confined between parallel ranges, a prolonged line of 
elevated lateral communication, extending from the Ard el 
Kheit, through the Kades plateau, Meis and 'Aizakaneh, to 
the Kasimiyeh ; and if the Survey extended further north 
the line might be pursued to the fork of Wady Jermuk with 
the Litany, and so continued either by Coele Syria or by the 
Wady Jermuk, the Upper Zaherany, and the Upper Auwaly 
to the latitude of Beirut. 

There is one more occasion to recur again to Wady 
'Aizakaneh, Parallel to that valley, but much more extensively 
developed both in length and breadth, is another affluent of 
the Kasimiyeh, coming from the south and rising at Marun er 
Ras (alt. 3,083 feet), in the midst of the higher plateau of 
Upper Galilee. Its principal channel is Wady Selukieh, the 
name of Wady Hajeir which formerly assumed that dis- 
tinction, being now applied to a tributary. Although Wady 
Selukieh belongs to the northern slope, and wijl have to be 
considered in connection with that part of the subject, it is 
also related to a portion of the eastern slope, in connection 
wit!} the upper part of Wady Hindaj, which enters Huleh 
Lake on the south of Ard ed Dawamin. 

The Wady Hindaj marks a fresh and striking change in 
the features of the Eastern Range. The recess distinguished 
by the. Plateau of Kades is backed by the Eastern Range and 
waterparting between Neby Muheibib and Jebel el Ghabieh. 

* Robinsop, "Pib. Res.," itf ; 367. 


The latter point is on the northern edge of the Wady Hindaj 
basin, the limits of which require attention, as they shed a 
light on features of the range that have been already noticed, 
as well as upon those that begin here. Beginning at Lake 
Huleh, the northern edge of the basin runs in a south- 
westerly direction to a range of hills that forms a prolongation 
of the original line of the eastern range. The boundary runs 
northward along this range to the south-eastern corner of the 
Kades plateau, where it turns westward along the southern 
edge of the plateau to Deir el Ghabieh. From this point the 
waterparting of the Mediterranean and Jordan and of this 
basin makes a further departure westward, as far as Jebel 
Marun (alt. 3,050 feet) ; while the Eastern Eange appears to 
cross the basin, from the same point southward, in the direction 
of Delata (alt. 2,740 feet). A large basaltic dyke observed 
by Dr. Tristram between Delata and Alma falls in the line of 
the range. A large patch of basalt farther north seems to be 
Jebel Gabieh in the same line. Perhaps the smaller dyke to the 
eastward is the ridge dividing the plateau of el Malkiyeh from 
the Merj Kades.* At Jebel Marun the waterparting bends 
abruptly to the south-south-west as far as a point on the range 
south-east of Jebel Adather (alt. 3,300 feet). There it turns 
south-east to Jebel Jurmuk (alt. 3,934 feet), the highest point in 
Galilee; then it goes off on a general course to the north-east as 
far as Alma, where the Eastern Eange crosses the basin and 
makes the waterparting deflect to the south-east in descending 
to the base of the range in the Ard el Kheit and the Huleh 
Lake. The wady also descends the range by a rocky and 
precipitous chasm, in a parallel direction to the waterparting ; 
but on reaching the plain, the stream bends suddenly to the 
eastward with a little northing, and so crosses the Ard el 
Kheit to Lake Huleh. 

The elevated part of the Hindaj basin extends so far 
west as to intercept the heads of Wady Selukieh running 
north to the Kasimiyeh, and of Wady 'Amud running south 
by Safed to the Sea of Galilee. The 'Amud, the Upper 

* Tristram'e " Land of Israel," 577. 


Hindaj and the Selukieh, with the bridge of K'ak'aiyeh 
across the Kasimiyeh, thus become a fully developed line of 
lateral communication connecting the Sea of Galilee and the 
Lower Jordan with the Sidonian coast. Thus is explained 
the intimate connection between Sidon and the Upper 
Jordan. Josephus calls the Huleh "The great Sidonian 
Plain."* This is the relation of the Wady Selukieh with 
the eastern slope to which reference was made partially 
in the eleventh page of this work. 

All this division of the eastern slope, excepting its 
westernmost portion along the Mediterranean waterparting, 
but including its high plateau as well as the range which 
crosses the slope, and the descent to the base in the Ard el 
Kheit, is characterised by rocky precipices and deep chasms. 
Its base is found only falling back a little from the line 
which it has maintained from the extremity of the Survey 
up to the basin of the Hindaj. The ascent from this base 
no doubt culminates in the Eastern Eange passing through 
Delata and Alma, across the Hindaj chasm to the range on 
the west of the Plain of Kades. The descent thus limited is 
without the intermediate range or the plateaus that characterise 
this eastern mountain further north, but chasms or precipices 
crossing the slope, are substituted very prominently. 

South of the Hindaj basin, the eastern slope is much 
restricted in its westerly extent, by the interposition of the 
'Amud or Safed basin. At Eas el Ahmar the waterparting is 
somewhat more westerly than at Deir el Ghabieh on the north, 
but the highest ground is considered to be further east, in a 
line between Delata and Alma, where Dr. Tristram's basaltic 
dyke occurs. At the southern termination in Jebel Kan'an 
on the east of Safed, the Eastern Eange has quite returned to 
its former meridian, and the slope is eased off by a terrace 
containing the villages of Ju'auneh, Feram, el Mughar (alt. 
1,670 feet), and Kabba'ah (alt. 1,745 feet), also by spurs 
advanced into the Ard el Kheit, and raising its level at Kh. 
el Loziyeh to 487 feet, and at 'Ayun el Wakkas to 365 feet. 

* Ant. v, 3, 1. Judges xviii, 7, 28. 


It is yet too soon to dismiss the features connected with the 
Hindaj. It is the only part of the eastern slope of Upper 
Galilee that comes in contact with the Mediterranean water- 
parting, where the latter throws off its channels cfrrectlyto the 
westward. On the south of the Hindaj, the plateau of Safed 
also abuts on the Mediterranean slope, but that plateau is 
not on the eastern, but on the southern slope of Upper 
Galilee. The plateau of the' Selukieh which follows 
that of the Hindaj on the north, belongs to the northern 

Another remark on the Hindaj may be made. North of 
the Hinplaj, the waterparting of the Mediterranean makes 
a succession of steps to the eastward, so as to become east of 
the Litany and the Lebanon. The western limit of the Hindaj 
is the commencement of the meridional direction, along which 
the Mediterraneo-Jordan waterparting zigzags for the rest 
of the Survey. Its most westerly point near Sasa is the first 
of a series of projections to the west, alternating with recesses 
to tjie east, which mark the progress of the great parting 
southward. The origin of this configuration will probably 
engage the attention of future observers. 

The .direct orographic continuation of the main water- 
parting becomes disconnected from its hydrographic accom- 
paniment, o the north of the Hindaj, and pursues a line on 
the west, instead of on the east of the Selukieh ; and reaches 
the Kasimtyeh in a bend of the river northward, below the 
confluence of tjie .Selukieh, and the K'ak'eiyeh Bridge. It is 
a line witji successive oscillations, that point to a continuous 
series of .small elevated plateaus alternating from one basin 
to another, and which will be noticed hereafter. 

The parallelism in the orography of Upper Galilee, which 
has been already remarked, extends beyond the limits of the 
eastern slope and its ranges, and includes a part of the western 
slope. But as the extraneous parallel has a direction in 
common with tjiose already noticed, and has a dividing line 
also in common with the Safed, Hindaj, and Selukieh series, 
it seems desirable to deal with it at once, and to make it the 


beginning of the examination of the western part of Upper 

The Western Slope and its Upper Plateaus. 

The line of waterparting heights that forms the western 
boundary of the valleys of Safed or 'Amud, Hindaj, and Selu- 
kieh, divides that series of valleys from another on the west, 
that in some respects presents similar facilities of lateraj. com- 
munication through the highland, between north and south. 

Eastward of the roadway carried over the plains, and the 
occasional headlands along the coast, passage in a parallel 
direction is obstructed for a considerable distance inland, by 
the constant succession of deep and narrow valleys, and steep 
ridges descending from the interior. In the direct distance 
of about 30 miles between the Eiver Kasimiyeh and Acre, 
there are no less ibhan 30 wadys or rivers and channels which 
have distinct outlets into the sea, and which have to be crossed 
in travelling northward or southward. To this number of 
main channels must be added the valleys of their numerous 
affluents, and the ridges between them, running for the most 
part in a more or less parallel direction. These obstructions 
jln the hills to communication parallel with the maritime 
plain coyer a belt of country exceeding a dozen or fifteen 
miles in breadth. Within that belt are found the sources of 
all the wadys contributing to the 30 outfalls before mentioned, 
except three. These three are the Hubeishtyeh, the Ezzlyeh, 
and the Kurn. They pass through the furrowed belt to the 
s.ea, in deep and narrow gorges like the rest, J)ut in the higher 
ground beyond, they spread out into consecutive plateaus, 
and overlap the others, their main streams assuming more or 
Jess of a meridional direction ; while the branches running 
north and south, greatly facilitate communication. 

The plateaus formed by tl^e upper parts of the Hubeis- 
friyeh, Ezziyeh, and Kurn basins, include the western division 
of the highland of Upper Galilee ; the eastern division being 
embraced mainly by the pfateaus of Safed and Selukieh, 
supplemented by the smaller series of 'Aizakaneh, Meis, and 


Kades. The edges of the western highland form the 
Western Eange which will now be made out from the New 

Western Ranye. 

The Southern Range will be used as the starting-point of 
the Western, as it was of the Eastern Eange. Although no 
intermediate altitude is found on the Southern Range between 
Neby Heider (alt. 3,440 feet) and Kurn Hennawy (alt. 1,872 
feet), yet the height of Kisra (alt. 2,520 feet) on the north of the 
Southern Range, indicates the junction of the Kisra spur with 
the Southern Range, as the probable point of departure for the 
culminating summits of the western slope. 

A cue to the course of the Western Range is found in the 
western-most observations rising above 2,000 feet. That 
guidance leads from the short spur dominated by Kisra, north- 
westward to Kh. Jubb Ruheij (alt. 2,320 feet), near Yanuh 
(alt. 2,200 feet). North of Jubb Ruheij is'Kh. ed Dubsheh 
(alt. 2,050 feet) near Teirshiha (alt. 1,810 feet). About a 
mile further north is Malia (alt. 1,800 feet), and about the 
same distance beyond, this line of heights is intersected by the 
rocky gorge of Wady el Kurn. Two miles north of the gorge, 
the line of heights is taken up by Tell Belat (alt. 2,020 
feet) in the secondary basin of Wady Kerkera. 

Before leaving the line of the western heights on the 
south of the Wady el Kurn, it should be observed that it 
corresponds very closely with the waterparting which divides 
the upper expansion of the Kurn basin, from the heads of a 
series of five minor basins, that have their outfalls into the 
sea between Wady el Kurn and Nahr N'amein. On the 
inner, upper, and eastern side of this part of the Western 
Range, the principal watercourses are parallel to this range ; 
while on the outer, lower, and western side the watercourses 
rising in the range, pass off towards the sea, at right angles to 
it. The Western Range crosses the Wady el Kurn, where the 
gorge running from south to north, takes a westerly course* 
and descends to 495 feet above the sea, at the foot of Kulat 


el Kurein, the remains of the Crusaders' castle of Mont Fort, 
which commanded the pass. The altitude of the river before 
it crosses the mountain, compared with its altitude west of 
the range, would probably indicate a considerable fall, and 
throw light on the height of the plateau at its lowest point. 

Three miles about north-north-east of Tell Belat, the 
prolongation of the Western Eange is defined by Khurbet 
Belat (alt. 2,467 feet). The eastwardly direction corre- 
sponds with the change in the course of the coast line on the 
north of Ras en Nakurah. From the northern bank of Wady 
el Kurn to Khurbet Belat, the range crosses the secondary 
basin of Wady Kerkera. It is a spur from Kh. Belat, which 
terminates at the sea in the headland of Eas en Nakurah or 
the ladder of Tyre ; and by the eastern end of that spur the 
Western Range reaches the summit of the mountain. 

The Khurbet Belat is remarkable for the ruins on its 
summit, and also for one of the grandest panoramic views in 
the country. It rises on the southern edge of the Ezziyeh 
Basin, and besides throwing off a spur to Ras en Nakura, it 
sends off another spur to Ras el Abiad or White Cape. The 
western range passes from it across the Ezziyeh Basin, to 
Ras el Bedendy (alt. 2,215 feet), which has the village of 
Yater close on the west, with an altitude already fallen to 
1,589 feet.* About a mile to the north, the range is found 
at Ras Umm Kabr (alt. 2,341 feet) ; from whence it passes 
east to Haris (alt. 2,343 feet), then north-east to Kh. el 
Yadhun (alt. 2,612 feet), Jebel Jumleh (alt. 2,625 feet), and 
Kh. Selem (alt. 2,219 feet). At the last point the Western 
Range terminates, and the northern limit of the plateau forms 
its continuation. 

It will be observed that where the range passes from Kh. 
Belat across the Ezziyeh basin to Ras el Bedendy, the basin 
contracts from the expansions of the upper part, both on the 
north and on the south ; and the principal watercourse also 
bends from a meridional direction suddenly to the westward 
by a very tortuous channel. Below the mountain, the gorge 

* Robinson's " Bib. Res." Ill, 61. 


becomes a deep and rocky chasm, with branches of the same 

Between Eas el Bedendy and Jebel Jumleh, the range 
crosses the Hubeishiyeh basin, and sends off from Kh. el 
Yadhun, the spur which has upon it the Crusaders' castle of 
Tibnin or Toron. This spur lies between two curious 
divisions of the Hubeishiyeh basin. The uppermost is the 
heacl of the basin. It is nearly four miles long by two miles 
broad, and slopes from the south-east towards tl^e base of the 
Tibnin spur, along which a wady runs to the north-east, and 
receives several streams from the south-eastern slope. At 
the north-east comer, the wady discharges the drainage of 
this enclosed plateau, by passing round the end of the Tibnin 
spur, and then entering the south-east corner of a similarly 
enclosed plateau, it skirts the spur along its north-western, in the reverse direction to its previous course on the 
other side. The wady is turned abruptly frqm the spur in 
a northerly direction by the range between Yadhun and 
Jumleh, which crosses the eastern part of this plateau 
obliquely. The wady intersects the range, and bein,g then 
diverted to the westward by a parallel range, takes the name 
of Wady el Ma, and reaches tfye north-western corner of the 
plateau, where it receives a tributary from the higher western 
range, and leaves the plateau, proceeding on a north-westerly 
course to the sea. In this direction it keeps close along the 
southern boundary of the basin, and receives all its affluents 
from the triangular slope between it, the north-western side 
of the hills enclosing the Wady el Ma, and the spur despendr 
ing from Jebel Jumleh through Teir Zinbeh, Siiah, and 
Mahrakah. This spur separates the northern and southern 
divisions of the Hubeishiyeh basin. The inain channel of the 
northern division of this basin, called Wady Humraniyeh 
towards its outlet, also hugs its southern limit in tjie same 
way, and receives nearly all its affluents from the north, where 
the waterparting divides the basin from that o,f the Kasimiyeh. 
There are three of these affluents, rising in succession, and 
running at first in the same line, parallel with the main 


stream, until each of ' them bends at a right angle, and 
descends the slope to its confluence. They are perfect 
examples on a small scale of the lateral communication 
which is seldom wanting among hills or mountains. 

Looking back southward, over the lower part of the 
western slope of Upper Galilee,, it will be found to present 
three distinct divisions, in consequence of the elevation of 
the central division which lies between Wady Ezsiyeh on 
the ndrth, and Wady Kerkera on the south. Between 
these basements, the spurs descend to the sea from the 
Western Range, where it rises up to the summits of Kh. Belat 
(alt. 2,467 feet), and Tell Belat (alt. 2,020 feet). It is how- 
ever the former alone that is the centre of the elevated spurs 
that distinguish this central tract. To Khurbet Belat may 
be distinctly traced the waterparting ridge which has oh its 
summit Birket er Rahrah (alt. 1,865 feet), and El Mejdel 
(alt. 1,375 feet). Near the latter place; the waterparting forks 
and divides the small Wady el Mansur from the great Wady 
Ezziyeh, and the minor Wady Shema. As el Mejdel is only 
two miles from the plain of Tyre, and but three miles from 
the sea, the descents into the plain of the spurs on either 
side of Wady el Mansur, must be somewhat abrupt. Another 
spur is denned by the village of Shihin, and Ktilat Shema 
(alt, 1,255 feet). It spreads out to a mile in width, west of 
the Kulat (castle), and concludes in the line of cliffs that 
has the Ras el Abiad (White Cape) at its southern end, and 
terminates the Tyrian Plain. About a mile nearer the sea 
than Castle Shema is Kh. Kermith (alt. 1,290 feet) on another 
spur apparently free frbm cliffs. Further south, Kh. Umm 
'Ofeiyeh (alt. 900 feet) is only a mile from the sea. The 
spur on which it stands comes down from Kh. Belat through 
Shihin, El Jubbein, and Teir Harfa. The last spur of this 
central division is the most important of the series, and 
passes down from Kh. Belat, under the names of el Menarah, 
Tell el Kishk, and Jebel Mushakkah ; and finally reaches the 
sea at the famous headland of Ras en Nakurah, the Hewn Cape, 
and Ladder of the Tyrians, or Sciala Tyriorum, of the ancients. 


Jebel el Mushakkah may be used as the name of the 
whole of this range from Eas en Nakurah, to the foot of Kh. 
Belat, near Birket Eisheh. Its northern base may be found 
in Wady Zemzem, Wady es Serawat, and Wady es Zerka. 
Its southern base is Wady Abu Muhammed and Wady 
Kerkera, as far as the edge of the Plain of Acre, when the 
base line is carried northward to Wady el Kutayeh, and along 
the north side of the gardens of el Basseh and el Musheirefeh 
to the sea. The altitude of 1,192 feet, is given to the trigo- 
nometrical station on the summit of the mountain between el 
Basseh and Lebbuna, about two miles from the sea. An 
altitude of 225 feet at Eas en Nakura, is probably applied to 
the roadway cut in the face of the cliff. The slope towards 
the plain of Acre is very rapid, perhaps rugged, but ap- 
parently devoid of cliffs. East of the plain, the southern 
slope expands to the south, while the ridge recedes a little to 
the north, so as to produce a space of nearly two miles in 
width between the ridge at Tell el Kishk and the base in 
Wady Kerkera. This space forms a terrace or plateau drained 
by Wady ed Delem, and bounded on the south by a suc- 
cession of bold cliffs with ruins above them, among which is 
Kh. Idmith (altitude 1,810 feet) with others which have been 
described by Mons. Guerin.* The northern slope spreads 
out towards the receding shore line, it is more varied, has 
many interesting ruined sites, and also the existing villages 
of Alma esh Sh'aub (altitude 1,360 feet), Lebbuna and en 
Nakura (altitude 221 feet). The slope from Jebel el Mus- 
hakkah to the sea is limited by a spur from Alma to en 
Nakura, the northern slope of which gives rise to its own 
watercourses, partly contributing to the lower course of 
Wady ez Zerka. This wady was formerly called by Eobinson 
and others, Wady Hamul, and the Am Hamul is still con- 
nected with it on the new map. Another spur contributing 
to the character of this slope, proceeds from the west end 
of that part of the range called el Menarah, and follows 
the Wady Zerka on the south as far as Tell esh Shatin. 

* Galilee, II, ch. kxviii. 


From the east end of el Menarah, the remainder of the slope 
descends to the base of the mountain in Wady Zemzem and 
Wady es Sera \\ at. The archaeology of this division has 
attracted the attention of MM. de Saulcy, de Vogue 7 , 
Eenan, and Guerin.* Dr. Thomson notices the coast route. t 

The divisions of the western slope on the north and south 
of the central portion, descend to the plains of Tyre and 
Acre respectively. The slope of the northern division, in 
descending from the Western Eange, appears to present 
features that separate the upper from the lower part. It will 
be found that all the larger wadys at first run northward, 
with more or less westing, and that they bend suddenly to 
the west, at points in their courses that follow in a continuous 
line, parallel with the coast. On the outer side of the same 
line, minor streams, both independent and tributary, take 
their rise. The conclusion is that the slope makes a sudden 
drop along this line, which forms a kind of retaining wall to 
the upper part of the streams, and is broken through by the 
streams in descending to the lower part of the slope. It may 
also point to some geological fact that has hitherto escaped 

In the southern division of the western slope, the course 
of the main valleys is scarcely at all northerly, and if an 
intermediate escarpment exists, it must be looked for in 
another form. Such a point may be noticed as Yerka (alt. 
1,200 feet), in comparison with Kefr Yasif (alt. 279 feet), on 
the same spur. Due north of Yerka, on Wady el Kurn, is 
found Kulat el Kurein (alt. 1,055 feet), and Kh. Menhatah (alt. 
1,405 feet). Perhaps an examination might be fruitful along 
the connecting line, including additional altitudes at or near 
Eas KeMn, Kh. el Habai, Kulat Jiddin, and Kh. Zuwei- 

* Guerin, " Galilee," IT, chaps. Ixxvi, Ixxrii. 
f " Land and Book," 302. 


The Northern Range. 

Between Khurbet Selem and the Kasimiyeh, which is the 
northern limit of Upper Galilee, it is necessary to look due 
east for the next altitude of 2,000 feet ; and one is found 
at Merkebeh (alt. 2,290 feet), on the inner of the two 
parallel Eastern ranges. The actual junction of the Northern 
with the Eastern Range, is no doubt further south, and due 
west of Hunin, which will become evide'nt in tracing the 
range from Kh. Selem eastward across the valley. Kh. Selem 
overhangs the deep and precipdtous valley of el Hajeir, and 
the continuation of the summit of the rarige is found on the 
opposite bank, in the village of Suwaneh (alt. 1,766 feet), 
from whence it ta'kes a zigzag course to Mejdel Islim (alt. 
1,910 feet). The short slope of this part of the range is 
towards the south, where it has for its base the Khallet el 
Dalieh ; while the long outer slope, extends through Tulin 
and Abrika, to the great bend of the Selukieh, where it joins 
the Hajeir, and runs on to the itasimiyeh. The Hajeir also 
gives its name to the main wady below the junction, although 
it is less thari half the length of the Selukieh. East of 
Mejdel Islim, the range is intersected by Wady Selukieh, and 
on the other side of the wady, it is proposed to trace it along 
the ridge on the north of Wady el Beiyad, up to the Eastern 
Range. The slope of this part is short to the south, while 
the northern slope is longer and extends through Tallusah to 
the bend of Wady Selukieh. Below the Northern Range, 
the heights descend to a general level of about 1,500 feet, 
and drop abruptly by rocky precipices to the lowest wadys 
which are about 600 feet, at the junction of the Hajeir with 
the Kasimiyeh. There is an observation at the junction of W. 
Bureik with W. Hajeir (alt. 635 feet). Above the range the 
country rises up to 3,000 feet. 


The Interior of the Plateau of Upper Galilee. 

It is now time to take a glance at the interior of the high 
plateau of Upper Galilee, within the ranges that form its 
outer limits. 

From Jebel Mugherat Shehab, on the east of Jebelet el 
'Arils (alt. 3,520 feet), the latter being the highest point observed 
on the Southern Eange, another range runs north-westerly, 
crossing the plateau obliquely to Kh. Belat in the Western 
Eange. This line of heights has the basins of Kurn and 
Kerkera on the south-west and those of Safed, Hindaj, and 
Ezziyeh on the north-east. It is traced through Kh. Zebud 
(alt. 3,200 feet) ; Jebel Jurmuk (alt. 3,934 feet), the highest 
point in Galilee; and Jebel 'Adather (alt. 3,300 feet). 
Northward the range runs between Katamun and Semmukhieh, 
both of which exceed 2,400 feet, but between Jebel 'Adather 
and Kh. Belat no observations are found along this line. This 
range may be called the Jermuk Range, after its culminating 

Another line of heights runs obliquely from Deir el 
Ghabieh on the Eastern Eange, to Kh. el Yadhun (alt. 2,512 
feet) on the Western Range. This line exceeds 3,000 feet at 
Jebel Mafun, and it is 2,675 feet at Ith. Shelabun. It divides 
the basins of Hindaj and Ezziyeh, from those of Selukieh 
and Hubeishiyeh. This line may be called the Marun Range. 
According to abundant observations in the upper part of the 
Ezziyeh basin, the principal watercourses average about 
1,800 feet, and the hills about 2,475 feet above the sea. The 
observations in the upper part of the Kurn basin are very 
few, and not sufficient for any purpose. 

The plateau on the south-west of the Jermuk Eange, 
consists of the two main valleys of the Upper Kurn, and the 
heads of the Kerkera. The latter, and one branch of the 
Kurn, receive the south-western drainage of the Jurmuk 
Eange. This branch of the Kurn is situated, according to Dr. 
Eobinson,* in a " deep and vast valley ; " and the aspect of the 
* " Bib. Kes.," TTI, 75, 76, 77. 


country viewed from Beit Jenn, at the head of the valley in 
April, is said by the same authority to be " bald, barren, and 
desolate, in the highest degree." The other branch of the 
Kurn drains the Bukeiah, which signifies a hollow between 
mountains, here forming a well-cultivated plain, and includ- 
ing among its population, who are chiefly Druzes, a few Jews, 
who are said to be the only Jews in Palestine engaged in 
agriculture, and who claim descent from families settled in 
this remote highland from time immemorial. This branch of 
the Kurn drains the interior slope of the Western Range. 
Between Teirshiha and Suhmata, the plain or hollow ter- 
minates in a deep and rocky gorge, at the outlet of which the 
two branches of the Upper Kurn unite, before descending 
westward to the sea, through the deep and rocky bottom of 
the narrow neck, into which the basin contracts on the 
western slope. 

The north-eastern side of the Jurmuk Range seems to be 
characterised by its plains, forming fine tracts of cultivated 
land with plenty of pasture, woodlands, and orchards. Pic- 
turesque hills and valleys, and rocky glens, villages and vestiges 
of antiquity ; horses, cattle, and camels, sheep and goats, mules 
and asses, cats and dogs, poultry and game, birds and beasts 
of prey, contribute to the scene. 

The plains spread out over the upper parts of the basins 
of el 'Amud, Wakkas, Hindaj, and Ezziyeh, and they 
extend from Meiron to el Jish and Delata, Alma, Salhah, 
Yarun, and Rumeish. This wide circuit surrounds a higher 
tier of more undulating ground, backed by the Jurmuk Range, 
and containing the villages of Kefr Birim and Sasa. On the 
north, the plains are bounded by the Marun Range, which 
forms a waterparting summit to a broad expanse of deeply 
fissured and densely wooded highland, abutting against the 
Western Range, whic h is indeed its escarpment towards the sea. 
Aligned between north- west and south-east, the Marun Range 
extends its spurs 'and valleys to the Upper Ezzlyeh on the 
south, and to the Upper Selukieh and the Eastern and 
Northern Ranges. Between Ras el Tireh, and Kh. el Yadhun, 


the range also contributes to the head of the Hubeishiyeh, 
which lies above the castle of Tibnin. The portion of the 
Upper Ezziyeh referred to, bears the names of Khallet el 
Mukeisibeh, Wady el Malek, and Wady el 'Ayftn, on the one- 
inch map ; and this channel forms so far a common base for 
the Jurmuk and Marun Eanges. 


The northern base of the mountains of Lower Galilee is 
of course identical with the southern base of the mountains of 
Upper Galilee, which has been already described and 
explained. It will be sufficient to repeat now that the 
northern base line runs from the Plain of Acre, along Wady 
el Halzun, Wady Shaib, Wady el Khashab, Wady en Nimr, 
Wady Said, Wady Maktul, and Wady 'Amud to the Sea of 
Galilee. The eastern limit, is the Sea of Galilee and the 
Jordan. The western and southern limits are formed by the 
Plains of Acre and Esdraelon, and the Nahr Jaliid. 

The difference in altitude between this region and Upper 
Galilee is relatively considerable ; for while the latter nearly 
attains to a height of 4,000 feet, the hills of Lower Galilee 
never rise to 2,000 feet. The general features of the upland 
of Lower Galilee, are also very different from Upper Galilee. 
They present a succession of parallel ranges, divided by broad 
plains ; the ranges running between east and west, with a 
slight bend towards the north. 

The Northern or Shaghdr Range. 

The northern range rises from the base line common to 
Upper and Lower Galilee, which has just been traced in detail. 
Its southern base is denned by the Wady el Melek ; con- 
tinued upward as Wady Khalladtyeh, to the Plain of Buttauf 
and thence along that great plain, and the southern foot of 
Jebel et Teiyarat, to Wady Sad, and the sinuous, deep and rocky 
gorge by which the Wady el Hamam reaches the Plain of Genne- 
saretand the Sea of Galilee, on the north of el Mejdel. About half 
a-mile above the junction of Wady Sad, with Wady el Hamam, 

o 2 


the wady is at the level of the sea, and there the depression 
of the Jordan Basin commences in this locality, The central 
part of this upland gives its name to the District of esh Shaghur ; 
the western is in the District of Shefa 'Amr, and the eastern 
descends from esh Shaghur, by the Wady er Eubudlyeh to the 
Plain of el Ghuweir or Gennesaret. The western part of 
these hills has been noticed on p. 124. 

The summit of this upland is a plateau between two 
ranges, one of which is easily defined, for it is coincident 
with the waterparting between the N'amein and Eubudiyeh 
basins on the north, and the Mukutt'a and el Hamam basins 
on the south. The Survey supplies no altitudes along this 
range, west of Jebel ed Deidebeh (alt. 1,781 feet). The alti- 
tude at Kh. Jefat (alt. 1,363 feet), is no doubt inferior to that 
of the range, which was observed again further east at Eas 
Kruman (alt. 1,817 feet) and at Eas Hazweh (alt. 1,781 feet). 
The range lies between Kh. Natef (alt. 635 feet) and Ailbun 
(alt. 515 feet), and it is doubtless higher. The range continues 
along Jebel et Teiyarat, and el Muntar, to War 'Atmeh, but 
no heights have been observed along this waterparting. 

The other range did not escape the notice of that masterly 
observer, Dr. Eobinson, and with his assistance chiefly, the 
new survey enables it to be distinctly traced. Beginning 
with Shefa 'Amr ('Omar), Dr. Eobinson remarks that it is " on 
a ridge overlooking the plain."* The altitude on the map at 
'Ain Shefa 'Amr, is 136 feet. But that must represent the 
edge of the plain at the foot of the ridge, for Captain Mansell, 
E.IST., ascertained the height of Shefa 'Amr to be 533 feet.f 
The width of the plateau is here about two miles, or the 
distance of Shefa ' Amr from the waterparting ridge on the 
south, which is stated by M. V. Guerin to be 200 metres, or 
about 650 feet at Jebel Kharouba, a summit occupied by 
Saladin during his conflict with the Crusaders under Eichard 
the Lion-hearted, and Philip Augustus. 

The range is continued through 'Abellin, two miles north- 

* Rob. "Bib. Res." ITT, 103. 
f Admiralty Chart. 


east of Shefa ' Amr. 'Abellin is " perched upon a high and 
sharp hill," 526 feet above the sea, according to Captain 
Mansell, B.N.,* and " also looking over the plain." The range 
goes on to Eas Tumrah (alt. 1,150 feet) " on the top of the 
first ridge, affording a noble view," etc, Thence to M'ar (alt. 
872 feet) (< on the western brow of the mountains, overlooking 
the great plain along the coast," The next point is Jebel 
Khanzireh (alt. 1,320 feet), where the ridge overhangs its 
base on the deep Wady Shaib. On the east of this mountain, 
the range is intersected by the gorge of Wady el Jizair, 
beyond which it is represented by Jebel el Kummaneh, and 
Jebel Hazzur, both dominating the base line which is here 
found in the Plain of Eameh. From Jebel Hazzur it proceeds 
without interruption to Jebel el Bellaneh (alt. 1,150 feet), 
and terminates on the banks of Wady 'Amud. 

On the long plateau between these ranges is found the 
upper part of Wady 'Abellin; Kaukab (alt. 1,330 feet); 
Suknin, the ancient Sogan (alt. 910 feet) ; the fertile Plain 
of 'Arrabeh, the Castle of Deir Hanna (alt. 1,070 feet) ; the 
Plain of Selameh " covered with olive groves," and contain- 
ing the ancient site of Selamis, a town fortified by Josephus. 

The Toran Eange. 

The Jebel Toran commences at Kummaneh, considerably 
short of the western limits of the Shaghur Mountains. But 
the eastern development of the range makes amends for this, 
by its extension along the western shores of the Sea of 
Galilee and the course of the Jordan, as far as the descent of 
Wady Fejjas from the Plain or Sahel el Ahma to the Ghor. 
The northern base of the range coincides with the southern 
base of the Shaghur Mountains, from the Plain of Buttauf 
eastward. The southern base is denned by the Wady Bum- 
maneh and the Plain of Toran, passing eastward by the 
Hakul el Mugharah to the north of Lubieh ; whence it de- 
scends by Wady Shubbabeh and Wady Fejjas, through the 

* Admiralty Chart 


Sahel or Plain of El Ahma, and the rocky gorge of Fejjas, to 
the Ghor and Kiver Jordan at Umm Junieh. 

The range describes a bold curve parallel with that on the 
north, and it culminates in a single ridge throughout. Steep 
escarpments are displayed towards the Plain of Buttauf and 
the Sea of Galilee, with rocky cliffs towards el Mejdel, 
Tiberias, and the Fejjas gorge. The central part of the range 
expands into a broad plateau, around Hattin and Nimrin. 
This plateau extends between Jebel Toran on the west, and 
Hajaret en Nusara on the east ; with the Merj Hattin on the 
north, and the plain between Hattin and Lubieh on the 
south, where the decisive victory of Saladin over the Cru- 
saders took place. The great plain of el Ahma lies on the 
south-east of this plateau, and is chiefly formed by the 
western slope of the range where it skirts the Sea of Galilee ; 
as the slopes on the right bank of the base line ascend 
steeply to the summit of the next range. 

The culminating points of the Toran Eange are Jebel 
Toran (alt. 1,774 feet); Nimrin (alt. 1,110 feet); Kurn 
Hattin (alt. 1,038 feet) ; Hajaret en Nusara (alt. 740 feet) ; 
Tell M'aun (alt. 715 feet) ; el Menarah (alt. 966 feet). To 
the height of Kurn Hattin and the summits which follow it, 
the depression of the Sea of Galilee ( 682-5 feet), should be 
added, in order to represent the actual elevation of those 
points above their eastern base. Hajaret en Nusara, or 
Stones of the Christians, is the reputed site of the miraculous 
feeding of the four thousand with seven loaves and a few 
fish. M. Guerin, in contending for this site, carefully dis- 
tinguishes the preceding event from the feeding of the five 
thousand with five loaves and two fishes, which requires a 
locality on the eastern shore -of the Sea of Galilee.* But a 
site on the east of the sea appears to be necessary for both. 

The Nazareth Range. 

This division of the Hills of Lower Galilee is at first 
sight, of a complicated character ; but by strictly defining its 

* Chierin, " Galilee," I, 185. 


limits, with regard to its bases, and also to its line of cul- 
mination, it will be reduced to an intelligible form. 

The northern base is, as a matter of course, identical 
with the southern base of the preceding range, from its 
eastern end on the Jordan, to its western end at the passage 
of Wady Kummaneh from the Plain of Toran into the Plain 
of Buttauf. From that point the more westerly extension of 
the Nazareth Hills, requires the base line to be continuous 
along the same channel to Wady el Khalladiyeh and Wady 
el Melek, up to the junction of the latter with the Mu- 

The southern base proceeds on the east from the Jordan, 
up Wady el Bireh and Wady esh Sherrar, to the south- 
western foot of Mount Tabor or Jebel et Tur, where it ap- 
proaches the waterparting of the Mukutt'a ; and the Wady 
then receives affluents from Iksal on the north-west, and 
from Jebel Duhy on the south. From this confluence the 
base is followed across the waterparting to the affluent of the 
Mukutt'a which descends by Bir el Hufiyin and Wady el 
Muweily to the Nahr el Mukutt'a, which it follows to 
its confluence with Wady el Melek, or so far as the hills 
extend into the Plain of Acre. 

The main summits of the hills within these limits, may be 
traced from the Plain of Acre, by a spur which rises from 
the plain near el Harbaj, and which forms a portion of the 
waterparting between the tributaries of the Mukutt'a and 
those of its affluent, the Wady el Melek. This waterparting, 
which will be more fully elucidated hereafter, leads eastward 
to a summit (alt. 1,548 feet), about a mile on the west of 
Nazareth, and this is the first observation for altitude so far 
along the waterparting. Observations on either side seem to 
imply that on the west of Nazareth it does not descend below 
700 feet, until its final decline into the Plain of Acre. The 
lowest depression, which forms a notable point in the further 
description of the range, will probably be found between the 
southern end of Wady el Khalladiyeh, and Zebdah (alt. 350 
feet), in the Plain of Esdraelon, on the west of Semunieh. 


At Neby Sain, immediately on the north of Nazareth, the 
alt. is 1,602 feet. About a mile east of Nazareth, the water- 
parting between Mukutt'a and Melek joins the main water- 
parting between the Mediterranean and the Jordan, and it 
would be desirable to ascertain the altitude there. 

The main range now follows the Mediterranean water- 
parting to Jebel es Sih (alt. 1,838 feet), and pursues it on a 
north-easterly course to esh Shejerah (alt. 795 feet), and 
Lubieh (alt. 920 feet). About half-a-mile north of esh 
Shejerah, the waterparting deflects to the south-east, and 
divides the basins of Wady Fejjas and Wady el Bireh. 
Judging from the observations on either side, as others are 
wanting, the altitude of the waterparting does not diminish 
between esh Shejerah and Sarona (alt. 892 feet). The range, 
however, proceeds from esh Shejerah to Lubieh, whence it 
follows a spur south-eastward to the cliffs on the north of Wady 
Mu'allakah. The wady intersects the range, which is taken up 
again at Kefr Sabt (alt. 650 feet), and runs on to Sarona. Two 
miles or more south-east of Sarona, the range passes el Hade- 
theh (alt. 735 feet), at the southern end of bold cliffs ; and pro- 
ceeds along the summit of the Kulah Cliffs (alt. 1,179 feet), 
which overhang the Fejjas gorge. The range now passes 
south and south-east to the junction of Wady el Bireh with 
the Ghor of Jordan. 

The Divisions of the Nazareth Range, 
1. The Western Division, 

Having traced the main range throughout, it may be 
examined more in detail under three divisions. The Western 
Division embraces the picturesque and quadrangular block of 
upland covered with oak forest, that lies between the Mu- 
kutt'a and the Melek. The boundary between this division 
and the next on the east, is to be found in the lowest de- 
pression or saddle that connects the Melek where it bends to 
the west, with the recess which the Plain of Esdraelon here 
makes northward towards the Melek and the Plain of 


Buttauf. This depression would be better defined by one or 
two altitudes, which would be ample if taken in the right 
place or places. 

The waterparting between the Mukutt'a and the Melek 
passes over this quadrangular block between its south-western 
and north-eastern corners. The Melek drainage has the 
longer slopes facing the north-east and north-west, and it 
forms a compact parallelogram, having the shorter slopes 
descending towards the Mukutt'a from its south-eastern and 
south-western sides. All the villages are on the south- 
eastern slope. The highest summit probably lies about half 
a mile north-west of Kuskus (alt. 575 feet), but its altitude is 

2. The Central Division. 

The central division of this range extends eastward to 
Wady el Mady, which descends to the southern base line on 
the east of Mount Tabor or Jebel et Tur. From the head of 
the perennial stream that washes Wady el Mady, the eastern 
limit of this division may be tracked northward along the 
Damascus Eoad, which runs nearly along the waterparting 
to the Ard ed Darun, in the direction of the village of 
Lubieh and the Hakul el Mugharah, a watercourse which 
descends to the Plain of Toron, and connects it with Wady 
Shubbabeh, parts of the northern base line of this division. 
The ground around Lubieh does not fit well, either with the 
Toron or the Nazareth ranges, but on the whole it is found to 
fall in better with the latter, and the symmetry of the former 
is left undisturbed. 

Between the northern and southern bases of the range, 
and the eastern and western limits of this division, the 
Nazareth Eange presents its most complex features. The 
main range has been already traced. Looking at the one- 
inch map, it may be inferred that the main range runs to 
Semunieh, whereas Semunieh (alt. 623 feet), is situated at 
the end of a spur given off from the waterparting on the 
south of 'Ailut. There can be no doubt that more relative 
prominence is due to the hill shading of that waterparting 


range. On the south of Semunieh, another prominent spur 
runs into the Plain of Esdraelon, and bears upon it the 
villages of Yafa and Mujeidil (alt. 780 feet), with the smaller 
hamlets of Jebata (alt. 355 feet), and Ikhneifis at its base. 
The isolated mound of el Warakany (alt. 277 feet), on the 
banks of the Mukutt'a, seems to be an outlier of this spur. 
The occurrence of this mound taken in connection with a 
similar elevation on the opposite bank of the river, accounts 
for the passage of a main road across this part of the plain, 
and also for the ancient prominence of Megiddo and Lejjun, 
as strongholds commanding the entrance into Samaria by 
this route. 

Further east, the main range descends to the plain by 
gradually shortening slopes. About a mile and a half due 
south of Nazareth, the mountain descends to the plain by 
the rocky precipice of Jebel Kafsy (alt. 1,286 feet), which is 
represented by the Latin Church as the " Mountain of the 
Precipitation."* On the east of Iksal, the edge of the plain is 
nearly within a mile of the summit of the range at Kujm el 
'Ajamy. The head of the recess is about a mile and a half 
further east, near Deburieh, and at this point, Mount Tabor 
(alt. 1,843 feet), is abruptly projected into the plain for more 
than two miles. A ridge from Mount Tabor towards the 
north-west, connects it with the main range at a point about 
half a mile north-east of the village of 'Ain Mahil, and the 
range soon makes an abrupt and short bend towards the 
north, and then another short bend to the north-east, where 
it throws off a spur towards the Wady el Mady, quite 
parallel to the ridge which connects Mount Tabor with the 
main range. The wadys which descend from the eastern side 
of the ridge, and from the main range between it and the 
spur, are all directed to a bed running along the western foot 
of the spur, which unites them in one outlet that joins Wady 
el Mady. The wooded flanks of Mount Tabor and the con- 
necting ridge, skirt the Wady el Mady for about four miles 

* St. Luke iv, 29. Guerin, "Galilee" I, 93 to 97. Rob. "Bib. Res." 
II, 335. LieVin, "Guide des Sanctuaires," 484. 


and terminate the south-eastern part of this division, in strik- 
ing contrast with the bare chalky downs spread out between 
Mount Tabor and the Sea of Galilee. 

On its northern side, the main range sends out only one 
important spur westward from Jebel es Sih, (alt. 1,838 feet), 
on which stands el Meshhed (alt. 1,254 feet), and Seffurieh 
(alt. 813 feet). This spur gradually spreads out like a fan, 
and throws off its lower ramifications from Kummaneh to el 
Khalladiyeh ; its lateral limits being the Wadys Kefr Kenna 
and Kummaneh on the east, and a wady on the south, that 
has its sources in 'Ain el Jinnan and 'Ain el Jikleh, and 
descends by er Eeineh, and Kustul Seffurieh, which is an 
outwork on the south of the ancient town, the Sepphoris of 
Josephus. Thus the outlet of the Plain of Buttauf is gradu- 
ally contracted to a narrow vale passing southward on the 
west of Seffurieh. 

Between Jebel es Sih (alt. 1,838 feet), and esh Shejerah (alt. 
795 feet), the northern side of the main range descends to the 
Plain of Toran, with a slope that gradually abbreviates east- 
ward from Wady Kefr Kenna to el Merhan, its breadth being 
three miles at the former, and only half-a-mile at the latter. On 
the north of esh Shejerah, the main range runs on to Lubieh, 
which has the northern base of the Nazareth range imme- 
diately below the village in the Hakul el Mugharah, which 
descends to the head of the Plain of Toron, where the 
western slope on the south of Lubieh, also falls. The 'eastern 
slope between Lubieh and esh Shejerah, forms the head of a 
plateau between Mount Tabor, including its north-western 
ridge, and the eastern division of the main Nazareth range, 
the description of which follows. 

3. The Eastern Division. 

The eastern division of the Nazareth Eange has its 
eastern base in the Ghor of the Jordan, and the north-eastern 
in the Wady Fejjas and Wady Shubbabeh. The western 
boundary meets the slope from the central division of the 
range between Lubieh and esh Shejerah and runs by Ard ed 


Damn southward to the Wady el Mady and the Wady esh 
Sherrar. The last finally becomes Wady el Bireh, and forms 
the south-western base of this division. 

An inspection of the features which dominate the right 
bank of the Wady Shubbabeh and Wady Fejjas and bound 
the Plain of Ahma in that direction, will bring into view a 
long line of interrupted basaltic cliffs, which stands in 
advance of the Fejjas and el Bireh waterparting, as far as 
from Lubieh to Damieh and towards Sarona ; while from 
Sarona towards the Jordan, the cliffs and the waterparting 
coincide. This is the eastern division of the Nazareth Eange. 
It will also be observed that the base line formed by Wady 
Shubbabeh and Wady Fejjas is remarkable for its depression 
below sea level. As far up as Damieh the depression is 84 
feet, and no doubt it will be found to be still greater below 
that ruin, at the confluence of Wady el Mu'allakah with 
Wady Shubbabeh. The depression is 300 feet at Kh. 
Seiyadeh, near the junction of Wady Sarona with Wady 
Fejjas. It is about 640 feet below sea level at the junction 
of Wady Fejjas with the Jordan. The observation of a few 
points on the sea level around the Plain of Ahma, including 
especially Wady Shubbabeh, would be an interesting con- 
tribution to the study of the Jordan Basin. At present the 
depression of this base line, and of the plain through which 
it passes, has only to be considered in relation to the summit 
of the eastern division of the Nazareth Eange. The depression 
will be found to be in remarkable contrast to the com- 
paratively elevated character of the Plateau of Sh'arah, which 
extends from the summit of the range to Wady el Mady and 
Wady esh Sherr&r. The range is indeed a steep escarpment 
with rocky cliffs and precipices of basalt, repeatedly inter- 
rupting the smoother parts of the descent from the Plateau of 
Sh'ar&h to the depressed Plain of Ahma. From Lubieh to 
Sarona, the range must be identified with a spur extending 
from Lubieh to the cliffs on the north of Wady Mu'allakah. 
That wady intersects the range between Kefr Sabt (alt. 650 
feet) and Damieh. The descent of the wady from the 


plateau to Damieh is no doubt rapid, for the waterparting at 
the head of the wady is probably more than 700 feet above 
the sea, while at the foot of Damieh, the wady must be at 
least 100 feet below the sea. 

At its southern end the range is extended from the cliffs 
of el Kulah (alt. 1,179 feet) due south towards the Wady el 
Bireh ; but when it reaches about a mile from the wady, the 
range turns to the south-east and descends to the Ghor, 
filling the angle between the Wady el Bireh and the Ghor. 

Besides the Wady el Mady, which flows along its western 
edge, the Plateau of Sh'arah is watered by four perennial 
streams which rise near the line of cliffs. Three flowing south- 
ward to join Wady esh Sherrar, are named Wady Sh'arah, 
Wady Shomer, and Kaud Tuffah. The fourth rises near Sirin 
and runs due west to join the Tuffah near its outlet. 

Several villages are distributed over the plateau. Along 
the summit of the range are Kefr Sabt (alt. 650 feet), Sarona 
(alt. 892 feet), el Hadetheh (alt. 735 feet), and Sirin (alt. 570 
feet). Towards the centre are Kefr Kama (alt. 650 feet), on a 
branch of Wady Sh'arah; Madher (alt. 544 feet) between 
Wady Sh'arah and Wady Shomer; and Meshah (alt. 320 
feet) about a mile from the mouth of Wady el Mady. 

From the heights of Mount Tabor and Jebel es Sih, which 
rise above 1,800 feet, the Plateau of Sh'arah is the first drop in 
the descent towards the Sea of Galilee, its mean altitude being 
about 600 feet. The second drop in the same direction, is 
the Plain of Ahma, which has been shown to be about 300 
feet below the sea level in the centre of the plain. The 
surface of the Sea of Galilee itself is depressed 628 feet ; and 
its greatest depth was reported by Lieutenant Lynch of the 
United States Navy to be 160 feet lower. 

The higher hills on the west of the plateau, and the range 
which divides the Plain of Ahma from the Sea of Galilee, 
appear to be of limestone) which also seems to underlie the 
intermediate surface of the plateau and the plain. The line of 
interrupted cliffs between the plain and plateau is said to be 
basaltic, and lava currents with fragments of lava and pumice 


cover the whole region between Mount Tabor and the 
Galilean Sea. But the exactitude of the Survey makes it 
usually very difficult to apply the geological notes of former 
observers to it ; as- their representations of the ground seldom 
embrace the details which are now delineated, and their 
allusions are too general for precise use. Dr. Tristram's 
geological account of this part is remarkably distinct, but it 
would be rather presumptuous to attempt to colour the one- 
inch survey from that or any other existing description.* 
Professor Geikie's recent theory of the emission of lava from 
dykes as well as craters, could probably be studied under 
favourable circumstances around the Sea of Galilee. 

The Jebel Duhy Range. 

The southernmost group of the Hills of Lower Galilee is 
an irregular quadrilateral, which would be wholly confined to 
the basin of the Jordan, but for the north-western slope of 
Jebel Duhy or Little Hermon, which is within the basin of 
the Mukutt'a. The entire group has two faces towards the 
north, of which one is slightly inclined to the north-west, and 
has its base in the great arm of the Plain of Esdraelon, that 
stretches up between Jebel Duhy and Mount Tabor, as far 
as the end of the plain, and the head of the gorge of Wady el 
Bireh. The other northerly face is slightly inclined to the 
north-east, and descends in a deep valley to the Wady el 
Bireh. The third face is towards the Jordan and drops 
steeply to the Ghor of Jordan between Wady el Bireh and 
Nahr el Jalud. The fourth face inclines south-westward along 
the wide, sloping vale of Wady el Jalud or the Valley of 
Jezreel, between Beisan and Jebel Duhy. The length of the 
mountain on this line is about 15 miles. Its greatest breadth 
is about seven miles. 

This block is distinctly divided into three parts. (1) The 
triangular or trihedral mass of Jebel Duhy occupies the 
western extremity and rises to the height of 1,690 feet. Its 

* Tristram's " Land of Israel," 422. Lartet, " Exploration Geologique," 


northern slope contributes partly to the Mukutt'a, but chiefly 
to Wady el Bireh. The waterparting between the Mediter- 
ranean and Jordan watersheds, ascends to the summit of the 
mountain from its northern base, passing on the east of the 
village of Nein (where Our Lord restored the widow's son to 
life), and it descends westward by the main ridge to the Plain 
of Esdraelon and the village of el 'Afuleh. This village must 
be distinguished from its neighbour on the east called el 
Fuleh, as the latter is within the basin of Nahr Jalud, 
although both may have been within the compass of the 
towns that formerly stood here. Also on the northern side 
of the mountain are the miserable caves and huts of the 
village of Endor, where the wretched old women pour 
fanatical curses on passing Europeans, reminding them of 
Saul's visit there to the ancient sorceress. 

Between Nain and Endor is a prominent hill with two 
summits named Tell el 'Ajjul, formed of basaltic rocks, which 
at a distance look like ruins.* Dr. Tristram observed a 
basaltic or trap dyke at the south-western base of the 
mountain, and he attributes the elevation of the mountain to 
it, during the period when the basalt flowed over these and 
other parts of Galilee.f 

East of Endor, a depression in the upland containing the 
village of Tumrah (alt. 680 feet) cuts off the ridge of Mount 
Duhy from the lower range on the east ; and a spur sloping 
southward from Tumrah to Wady es Sidr, a branch of Nahr 
Jalud, combines with that wady to complete the eastern base 
of Jebel ed Duhy. The eastern slope is remarkable for an 
antique necropolis at Kh. Maluf.* 

The south-western slope is drained by several branches 
into Wady el Hufiyir and Wady el Asmar, at the head of 
Nahr Jalud. Its base is spread out between Kh. Tub'aun, on 
the north of Ain Jalud and el 'Afuleh on the main water- 
parting between the Mediterranean and Jordan. The latter 
place has been identified by Mons. Guerin with Aphek,J on 

* Guerin, " Galilee " I, ch. vii, viii. f Tristram's " Land of Israel," 129. 
J 1 Sam. xxviii, 4; xxix, 1 ; xxxi, 1. 


the authority of the monk Buchardus. Aphek means a 
" stronghold " or " strength," and here has probably always 
been some indications of a fortified post. The Crusaders' castle 
of Faba is now in, ruins at Fuleh. About the midst of this 
slope is Solam (alt. 445 feet) the Shunem of the Old 
Testament. All three places are historical. At Shunem* 
the Philistines collected their forces, while Saul pitched in 
Mount Gilboa. On the day of battle, the Philistines were 
drawn up on the plain at Aphek (el Afuleh) and the army of 
Saul took ground by a fountain in Jezreel, not necessarily 
Ain Jalud, and probably close to the Plain of Esdraelon. 
The distance between the two headquarters is four miles ; and 
the battle would probably have been joined about midway or 
nearer Gilboa. On the defeat of the Israelites they fled for 
refuge to Mount Gilboa : and Saul with his sons were 
perhaps overtaken towards Beth Shan (Beisan) ; for on the 
walls of that city their bodies were exposed by the Philistines, 
and soon valiantly removed by the men of Jabesh, a 
neighbouring city across the Jordan* 

From Shunem the beautiful Abishag was brought to 
nurse the aged David. It was also the scene of Elisha's 
repeated gratitude for the hospitality of a " great woman " 
who resided there. 

In later times each end of this side of the mountain has 
been the scene of military events. At Tub'aun (Tubania) was 
the Crusaders' camp in 1183, when Saladin was posted on the 
opposite side of the valley at 'Ain Jalud, and suddenly 
decamped. Between Fuleh and 'Afuleh on the 16th April, 
1709, Kleber with about 1,500 men resisted an overwhelming 
Syrian force of 25,000. The French general maintained his 
ground during six hours from daylight to midday, when 
Bonaparte brought up a reinforcement of 600 men from Acre, 
and so manoeuvred them that the enemy became alarmed, 
and Kleber assuming the offensive, stormed the village. The 
enemy then fled in great disorder, pursued by Murat, and 

* 1 Sam. xxviii, 4 ; xxix, 1 ; xxxi, 1. 


hundreds were drowned in a swollen stream, thus repeating 
an incident of Sisera's defeat. 

A plateau on the east of Jebel Duhy embraces the remainder 
of this upland group. It is intersected almost diagonally by 
a winding wady named Wady Dabu and Wady Yebla after 
ruined sites on its banks. The wady rises on the north- 
west at Dabu near Tumrah, and it falls to the south-east 
where the wady emerges as Wady el 'Esh-sheh from the 
lofty banks of the plateau on to the Ghor. (2.) The northern 
part of the plateau is a slightly winding range, extending 
between Tumrah and the very prominent summit of Kaukab 
el Hawa, crowned by the vast remains of the Crusaders' great 
Castle of Belvoir. The general course of the range is parallel 
with the Wady el Bireh at its base, but while the wady 
descends to 900 feet below the sea level, the range rises 
gradually to 975 feet above the same datum line. The fall 
from the one to the other towards the east, or from the 
eastern wall of the fortress to the Ghor at its foot, is quite 
abrupt, the edge of the low plain being within the horizontal 
distance of a mile from the overhanging summit. The fall to 
Wady Bireh on the north, is broken by a terrace on which is 
the village of el Bireh (alt. 546 feet), the bottom of the great 
gorge being about 1,000 feet lower. The terrace widens out 
towards Denna and is terminated by a bend of the range 
towards the same place, from which a watercourse descends 
by Wady Hammud to Wady Bireh. Between Wady 
Hammud and the Plain of Esdraelon, the northern range of 
this group of hills descends to Wady Bireh, a broad and 
open down. Towards the south and south-west the fall 
varies. From Kaukab el Hawa there is a direct drop to the 
Wady el 'Esh-sheh, and its continuation westward as Wady 
Kharrar. (3.) This valley forms the first step, terrace or 
raised trough, above the Ghor and the Valley of Jezreel. On 
the outer edge of the trough is Murussus (alt. 323 feet). 
Denudation has reduced the trough within this edge to 
an altitude of 10 feet only at Zebu. This, however, 
represents a material difference between the direct ascent to 



Kaukab el Hawa on this side and on the side of the Ghor. 
Further to the west the descent from the range takes place 
through the two parallel terraces or troughs, the uppermost 
being Wady Dabu, and the next lower being Wady Yebla 
and Wady el Hokttyeh, below which succeeds the third 
parallel still lower, in Wady Kharrar and 'Esh-sheh. The 
lowest of this parallel series is Nahr Jalud. Beyond the 
Wady el Hoktiyeh, that line of valley is prolonged westward, 
over a saddle, to branches of Wady es Sidr, leading up to Kh. 

As a conclusion to this introduction to the new Survey of 
Lower Galilee, a general view of its river basins, Lowlands, 
and Uplands, may be taken. Two great basins divide its 
Mediterranean watershed, the Nahr N'amein and the 
Mukutt'a. Six tributary basins drain the Jordan slope, 
namely, Wady Eubudiyeh, Wady el Hamam, Wady Abu el 
'Amis, Wady Eejjas, Wady el Bireh, and Wady el 'Esh-sheh, 
besides Wady 'Amud and the Nahr Jalud on the northern and 
southern borders. The lowlands of the Mediterranean slope 
are all embraced in the great plains of Acre and Esdraelon 
with the offsets of the latter including Buttauf and Toran. 
On the side of the Jordan, is the Ghuweir or Plain of 
Genessaret, the narrow strand of Tiberias, and the Ghor of 
the Jordan. The uplands are formed of four symmetrical 
ranges, of which the summits in particular are curvilinear 
and parallel. These are the Northern or Shaghur, the Toran, 
the Nazareth, and the Jebel Duhy Eanges. The confronted 
slopes between these ranges, sometimes combine to form 
upland plains, like the Plain of Rameh, the Plain of Arrabeh, 
the Plain of 'Ahma, the Plateau of Sh'arah, and the Plateau 
of the 'Esh-sheh. Beautiful woodlands deck the scenery of 
the south-western slopes. Broad and open downs, bare and 
monotonous, even when rocky, meet the wearied eye on the 
south-east. In the north-east, Dr. Thomson describes the 
scenery between the Plain of Rameh and the head of Wady 
er Rubudiyeh as " exquisitely beautiful." 



South of the line formed by the Elvers Mukutt'a and 
Jalud, no recognised features have hitherto served the 
purpose of dividing distinctly the long stretch of highland 
between Mount Carmel and Beersheba. Still on approaching 
the subject, it is only reasonable to expect that in the course 
of a hundred miles, there must be variations that admit of 
being conveniently grouped, and that should not be over- 
looked in a geographical description. But before the present 
survey, the best accounts of the country were too inadequate 
to enable any attempt of the kind to be carried out on the lines 
that will be now adopted. It was the great aim of Dr. 
Eobinson's most able researches, " to collect materials for the 
preparation of a systematic work on the physical and 
historical geography of the Holy Land."* As much as it was 
possible for his genius to accomplish with the data at his 
command, has been fortunately preserved in the "Physical 
Geography of the Holy Land," made known in 1865 through 
Mr. Murray, by the tender hand on whom the duty devolved 
after the author's lamented death. This fragment will always 
be regarded by students with the attention and interest due 
to the last work of the most successful of all previous contri- 
butors to the geography of Palestine. Yet Dr. Eobinson had to 
be content with little more than a general view of the subject, 
comprehending in one sweeping glance the whole region from 
Esdraelon to Hebron ; and his details are confined to isolated 
accounts of the particular mountains mentioned in Scripture. 
The Survey of the Palestine Exploration Fund no longer 
allows the geographer to indulge in such a method. Every 
important feature is now exposed in its length, breadth, and 
height ; and thus it has become quite practicable to discern 
certain natural groups and divisions that serve to bring to 
light the distinctive characteristics of the different parts 
of the country, and facilitate intelligible description and con- 
venient reference. 

* " Bib. Kes." iii, Preface. 

p 2 


Five of such divisions have been adopted on the present 
occasion. The first has the Mukutt'a and Jalud Eivers on the 
north, and the Wadys Shair and El Humr on the south. The 
second division succeeds, and has on its southern boundary 
Wady Balut. and Wady el 'Aujah. The third has for its 
southern boundary Wady Alallah, Wady Aly, Wady Ismaen, 
Sikreh and Werd, Wady el War and el Meshash. The 
fourth and fifth are divided between the Shephelah on the 
west, and the mountains of Judah on the east. The grounds 
of these divisions will be discussed in the following explana- 
tion of their details. 

The Northern Samaritan Hills. 

The north-eastern base of the Samaritan Hills, from the 
sea at the foot of Mount Carmel to the Jordan, is generally 
defined with precision by the abrupt termination of the 
slope in the continuous lowland formed by the plain of 
Esdraelon or Merj Ibn Amir, the Valley of Jezreel or Wata 
el Jalud, and the Plain of Beisan. But for the considerable 
projection of Mount Gilboa to the north, the whole of this 
face would fall nearly in the same oblique line, running from 
north-west to south-east. Mount Carmel is slightly advanced 
beyond the central part of the range, and the foot of the hills 
on the south of the Plain of Beisan falls almost in the same 
line as the foot of Mount Carmel. Mount Gilboa projects 
between the Plains of Beisan and Esdraelon, along the line of 
the Mediterranean and Jordan waterparting, and thus brings 
prominently forward, the main axial division between the 
eastern and the western watersheds. It will be noticed that 
the western base of Mount Gilboa is nearly parallel with the 
western base of Mount Carmel ; but the comparison leads to 
110 inference. It may, however, be assumed that the recess 
between the two mountains is due to denudation of the softer 
chalky rocks which lie between those hard limestone masses, 
and which probably extended up to the line of the Mukutt'a 
Biver. Such an extension is still found running out to the 
river at Ludd, where the junction takes place of the head- 


waters of the Mukutt'a coming from the north-east and south- 
east. If the southern part of the Plain of Beisan has under- 
gone a similar denudation, then the obliquity of the ancient 
base line would have been much less, and the protrusion of 
Mount Gilboa would not have existed. 

The western face of these hills descends to the Plain of 
Sharon from Cape Carmel southward. The eastern face 
descends to the Ghor of the Jordan. There are notable 
differences between the northern and southern parts of the 
Samaritan Hills, and the natural features enable a distinct 
dividing line to be drawn between them. 

One extremity of this line is suggested by the conditions 
of the eastern slope. On the south of the Plain of Beisan, 
the hills advance to the banks of the Jordan, and soon 
exhibit a parallel structure in successive ridges and valleys, 
descending south-eastward to the Jordan from the main 
waterparting. The series terminates on the south in Wady 
el Ifjim, called Wady el Kerad towards its source on the edge 
of the Plain of Salim, and Wady el Humr in crossing the 
Ghor. It should be remembered that the limits of mountains 
and hills, are to be found in plains or watercourses. Summits 
or ridges are not available for the purpose, as they cannot be 
naturally separated from their slopes. 

On the north of Wady el Ifjim, the features of the ground 
are comparatively expanded and developed. On the south they 
are as remarkably contracted and reduced to small propor- 
tions. The northern part will be described at once. The 
southern part will follow in due course. It will then 
be seen that the Wady el Ifjim constitutes a dividing 
line between sections of country strongly contrasted with 
each other. 

In the northern section, the summit of the Jordan slope is 
thrown back westward, as much as six to ten miles ; and in a 
broad sweep it is also advanced eastward up to the Jordan in its 
central part ; while it recedes from the river gradually towards 
the north and south. The slope is divided between four parallel 
ridges and their offsets. The most northerly ridge culminates 


in Ras el Bedd (alt. 1,760 feet) ; the next is capped by Ras 
Jadir (alt. 2,326 feet) ; the third rises to Jebel Tammun 
(alt. 1,960 feet) ; and the fourth predominates in Jebel el 
Kebir (alt. 2,610 feet). To these must be added the range 
between the Maleh Basin and the Jordan, which rises in Ras 
Umm Zokah to 840 feet above the sea, or 1,930 feet above 
the Jordan, 

The interior valleys of this part of the northern section 
are included in the basins of Wady el Maleh, Wady el 
Bukei'a, and Wady Far'ah. The exterior are found on the 
slopes towards the Plain of Beisan, the Jordan, and the Wady 
el If jim. 

The 'prolongation westward of the line of the If jim and 
Kerad, is distinctly found at the base of the same ridge, in 
the mid-channel of the Plain of Salim ; and further west, in 
the watercourse which joins it through Wady esh Shejur, 
from the great gap between the mountains of Ebal and 
Gerizim, in which the city of Nablus is situated. Westward 
of Nablus, the line is taken up and carried to the Plain of 
Sharon by the Wady esh Shair, or Zeimer, which lies at the 
southern base of a mountain range on the north, that 
culminates in a summit dedicated to Sheikh Beiazid (alt. 
2,375 feet). The Wady esh Shair is continued to the sea as 
Nahr Iskanderuneh, and throughout defines the limit of 
features as distinct of their kind as those on the eastern 
slope. To trace these in order, it is necessary to recur to the 
description of the eastern slope, and connect it with the 
northern and central parts of the section. 

The northernmost of the ranges on the eastern slope, 
culminating in Ras el Bedd, joins the main waterparting 
at Ras Ibzik (alt. 2,404 feet). Its slope to the Plain of 
Beisan is a portion of the northern escarpment of the 
Samaritan Plateau. From Ras Ibzik, the summit of the 
scarp is continued along the main waterparting to Tannin 
(alt. 1,460 feet). From Tannin to Mount Carmel, the same 
line of summit is found along the south-western waterparting 
of the Mukutt'a Basin. 


Mount Gilboa or Jebel Fukd'a. 

From Tannin and Eas Ibzik respectively, two ranges 
advance from the Samaritan Plateau in northerly and convex 
gent directions ; and they unite at Jebel Abu Madwar (alt. 
1,648 feet). These embrace the southern part of Mount 
Gilboa, and form the separate summits of its south-eastern 
and south-western slopes. The village of Jelkamus (alt. 
1,308 feet) is on the western range. From Jebel Abu 
Madwar the mountain is prolonged as a single range north- 
ward to Sheikh Barkan (alt. 1,698 feet). Then it takes a 
west-north-west course with a slight curve to its western 
end, where it divides into three spurs, which descend to the 
plain at Zerin on the north, at Sundela on the south, 
and at an intermediate point on the road between those 
places. Between Sheik Burkan and Jebel Abu Madwar, a 
broad and undulating branch is thrown off, which extends 
somewhat further west than the main range. It is occupied 
by the villages of Mukeibileh (alt. 313 feet), Jelameh (alt. 
352 feet), Arraneh, Deir Ghuzaleh (alt. 738 feet), and Fuku'a 
(alt. 1,502 feet). The last is the place from whence the local 
name of the mountain (Jebel Fuku'a) is now derived. A 
spur of less length descends from Jebel Abu Madwar to Beit 
Kad (alt. 687 feet). 

The slope of Mount Gilboa towards the Valley of Jezreel 
and the Plain of Beisan, is much shorter than its western 
side, it is indeed quite abrupt, and with little variation, except 
at Wady el Judid, and Nuris, near Zerin. 

Between the two ranges of Mount Gilboa, which diverge 
southwards from Jebel Abu Madwar, there is a distinct series 
of elevated valleys, sometimes on one side of the main water- 
parting, sometimes on the other, and occasionally on both 
sides. Such valleys running laterally to the main water- 
parting range, are not confined to this part, for they will be 
found with unlimited variations of form and development, and 
with scarcely any interruption, as far southward as the 
Survey extends. Their importance in many cases, in facili- 


tating communication between north and south cannot be 

The first in the series is the Valley of Jelbon (alt. 1,062 
feet) which measured between the summit of Jebel Abu 
Madwar and the saddle which terminates it on the south, is 
three miles in length. It lies on the western side of the 
main waterparting, and its drainage passes off through 
a gorge in the western range, and reaches the Plain of 
Esdraelon as Wady en Nust This valley is divided from the 
next on the south by the transposition of the main water- 
parting to the western side of the next valley. The elevation 
of the valleys makes the separation slight, and their connec- 
tion is maintained by a road across the low saddle that 
divides their waters. 

The second valley is of greater extent, more curious in its 
structure, and divided into two distinct parts with a village 
in each. The main waterparting, in crossing from east to 
west, forms its northern boundary, and divides it from the 
Vale of Jelbon (Gilboa). Continuing to the south-west as 
far as Tannin, the parting bounds the valley in that direction, 
and has the village of Jelkamus (alt. 1,308 feet) on its 
summit. At Tannin, the main waterparting bends sharply 
to the south-east, as far as Has Ibzik, where it is again 
on the same line that it described on the east of Jelbon. The 
Jelbon range, though it ceases to be the waterparting, is not 
lost, for it passes straightway to E-as Ibzik, and forms the 
eastern enclosure of the elevated valley under notice, as well 
as the summit of the slope that descends from it to the Plain 
of Beisan. 

The interior of the second valley forms two divisions so 
distinct that they must bear separate names derived from 
their respective villages, El Mughair on the north, and Eaba 
pn the south. The drainage of the northern part originates 
on the eastern range, and runs westward along the northern 
waterparting, till that feature bends to the south-west, and 
causes the drainage to take the same direction, passing the 
village of El Mughair (alt. 1,072 feet). The drainage of the 


southern part also proceeds from the eastern range, near the 
village of Eaba (alt. 1,590 feet), and runs in two parallel 
channels also westerly, and along the foot of the waterparting 
range, where it extends between Eas Ibzik and Tannin. 
The western boundary which turned the Mughair Wady to 
the south-west, diverts the Eaba Wady after the junction of 
its parallel streams, to the north-east, that is in the same 
line as the Mughair Wady, though they proceed from opposite 
directions. The streams are thus brought to a junction, and 
acquire the name of Wady Shubash, which intersecting the 
eastern range in a deep gorge, descends rapidly to the Plain of 
Beisan on an easterly course. 

The next elevated lateral valley on the south of Eaba, 
and east of the main waterparting, extends from Eas Ibzik to 
Tubas (alt. 1,227 feet), and is drained by streams running in 
the same line, but from opposite directions, at the western 
extremity of the Maleh Basin. From Tubas, the succession 
is maintained by the wide-spreading heads of Wady Farah, 
which repeats the eccentric features of the Mughair-Eaba 
Valley, on a scale three times greater, and extends the lateral 
communication along the eastern side of the main water- 
parting from Tubas to the Plain of Mukhnah, a distance of 
12 miles. From the last named point, the series of these 
elevated plateaus will be taken up again in due course. 

If nothing else served to fix the southern boundary of 
this section towards the west, the drainage proceeding from 
the northern edge of the plateau in this direction, would 
answer the purpose. It belongs to the basin of the Nahr el 
Mefjir, which has its southern waterparting along the Beiazid 
Eange. As the southern base of the Beiazid Eange, the 
Wady Shair becomes the boundary of this part of the section, 
and thus its continuity with the eastern part of the base-line, 
is shown to be not so much a motive as a coincidence. 

When Wady Shair or Zeimer reaches the foot of the hills, 
the base line of the highlands is continued northward along 
the Plain of Sharon to Gape Carmel. But regarding the low 
eminences in the plain as related to the highland, it becomes 


necessary to prolong the boundary of the section across the 
plain along Wady Shair, to its junction with the Nahr 
Iskanderuneh, and to the outfall of the latter into the sea, 
The coast line then forms the boundary of this enlargement. 

The whole of the Western Plateau of the Northern 
Samaritan Hills from the Beiazid Eange to Cape Carmel, may 
be thus divided according to its natural features : 

(1). Mount Carmel, having its southern base in Wady el 
Mihl and Wady el Matabin, called lower down Wady 
Henu. This mountain with its parallel ranges has been so 
fully described in connection with its watercourses, as to 
require no further notice. See pages 26 to 30. 

(2). The lower tract of Belad er Euhah, with the corre- 
sponding slope to the Mukutt'a. This may be conveniently 
limited on the south by Wady 'Arah, the north-western 
branch of Nahr el Mefjir, descending westward from 
Umm el Fahm, and eastward by the wady which skirts 
Musmus, and the high road in that direction. This tract 
descends on the west, partly to the narrow Plain of Tanturah, 
and partly to the broader Plain of Sharon. The descent is 
abrupt to the narrow plain, and forms the bold headland of el 
Kashm. It is chiefly in the basins of Nahr ed Dufleh and 
Nahr ez Zerka. See pages 30, 31. 

(3). The wooded heights culminating in Sheikh Iskander 
(alt. 1,690 feet), embracing the rugged hills of Umm el 
Khataf, and extending southward to the Wady of Burkin, the 
Plain of 'Arrabeh, and Wady el 'Asl. These hills are the 
Northern Heights of the Mefjir Basin. See page 34. 

(4). The Eastern Plains of the Mefjir Basin, including the 
Plain of 'Arrabeh or Dothan, the plateau of the Upper Selhab ; 
the Merj el Ghuruk, and the Plain of Fendakumieh. 

(5). The Western Heights of the Mefjir Basin, culminating 
in Batn en Nury (alt. 1,660 feet). 

(6). The Southern Heights or the Beiazid Range and 
Jebel Eslamiyeh, the Mount Ebal of Scripture. 

For a description of these six divisions in more detail, 
reference may be made to the account of the basins which 


contain them. See pages 30 to 34. But it may be well, in 
addition, to point to the connection of the Plain of Esdraelon, 
the Eastern Plains of the Mefjir Basin, and the uplands of 
the Jordan Slope from the Plain of Salim to the Plain of 
Beisan. These form an unbroken succession of pastoral plains 
and downs. 

The following routes across the northern part of the 
Samaritan Hills also claim attention. Lateral valleys along 
the summit of the Jordan slope are traversed by the ancient 
highway between Nablus, Beisan, and the Sea of Galilee. 
The road from Nablus to Jenin and Nazareth, skirts the 
Plain of Fendakumieh, and the Merj el Ghuruk, and passing 
through Kubatieh, it has the plateau of the Upper Selhab on 
the right, and the Plain of 'Arrabeh or Dothan on the left. 
From the north-eastern edge of the Plain of 'Arrabeh, there is 
but a short descent of less than a mile, to the Plain of 
Esdraelon, by way of Burkin. The descent from the Plain of 
'Arrabeh to the Plain of Sharon is about nine miles in length, 
and the road takes a hilly track by Fer&sin (alt. 787 feet) and 
Kuffin (alt. 460 feet). The upland between the Plains of 
Esdraelon and Sharon is crossed by a highway which leaves 
Kerkur on the west, and ascends the Wady 'Arab, for about 
four miles from the foot of the hills, when it forks, sending two 
branches to the Plain of Esdraelon, through Musmus to Lejjun 
on the right, and through Kefrein on the left. The high road 
from Kerkur to Acre, proceeds at first due north, over wooded 
hills to Kannir (alt. 275 feet), and near Umm esh Shuf (alt. 400 
feet) ; thence it advances more easterly across the open chalky 
downs of the Belad er Euhah, and descends to the Plain of 
Esdraelon, at the mouth of Wady el Mihl, and the foot of the 
isolated mound of Tell Kaimoun, once fortified. The nearest 
habitation is the Druse hamlet of el Mansurah, at the foot of 
Mount Carmel ; the whole length of this route across the hills 
is about 14 miles, between Umm esh Shuf and Mansurah. 
The only village is Daliet er Ruhah (alt. 729 feet), about half 
a mile on the east of the road. 


The Southern Samaritan Hills. 

The southern limit of the Samaritan Hills, and consequently 
of this section of them, will be traced from the sea along the 
Nahr el 'Auja, and the Wady Deir Balut, which emerges from 
the hills at Mejdel Yaba.* At Kurawa ibn-Zeid (alt. 2,130 
feet), the Wady receives two chief affluents from the north- 
east and south-east respectively. The north-eastern wady 
takes several names, including Wady Ishar. The south- 
eastern branch, named Wady el Jib, is chosen for the present 
purpose. It meanders in a deep and sinuous channel as Wady 
el Jib and Wady en Nimr, and skirts the foot of the steep 
and lofty Sinjil Eidge, well known to travellers between 
Jerusalem and Nablus. The Wady en Nimr rises on the 
Mediterranean waterparting at the northern base of Tell 
'Asur (alt. 3,318 feet), and descends between the villages of 
Mezrah esh Sherkiyeh on the north, and Selwad on the south, 
to join the Wady el Jib, at the bottom of the Sinjil ridge. 
The Wady el Jib rises on the top of the plateau, near the 
village of Sinjil (alt. 2,600 feet), and makes a gradual descent 
to the valley by a gorge through the ridge, the slope being 
here three miles in length, with a fall of 600 feet. Westward 
the ridge stands out abruptly ; and about two miles and a 
half from Sinjil, at the village of Jiljilia (alt. 2,441 feet), the 
drop into the valley is 700 feet, within the horizontal distance 
of one mile. 

From the source of Wady en Nimr, the main waterparting 
is crossed to continue the line along a brook which has its 
origin at three-quarters of a mile south-east of Mezrah esh 
Sherkiyeh, and descends, first to the north-east and then to 
the south-east, to fall into the rocky gorge of Wady Samieh, 
and thus reach the enclosed plain, which has been supposed 
to be identical with the Vale or Plain of Keziz.f The Wady 
receives a permanent stream from 'Ain el 'Aujah, and with the 
name of Wady el 'Aujah it runs across the Plain of Keziz, the 

* See Corider's " Tent Work," ii, 227. 
f See pages 81, 82. 


low hills, and the Ghor, to join the Jordan, where that river 
is 1,200 feet below the sea. 

It has been already stated that the eastern extremity of 
this section, displays a remarkable contrast in its natural 
features, to the corresponding part on the north. The ranges 
of twelve miles in length, with the fine open valleys on the 
north, here give way to mere spurs and ravines, corrugating 
the face of an abrupt slope, of three or four miles in length, 
and rising within that distance, to about 2,500 feet above the 
depressed Ghor. This abrupt transition is explained by 
another contrast arising from the sudden projection of the 
main waterparting towards the east, for as much as six miles, 
a phenomenon which takes place between Jebel et Tor 
(Mount Gerizim), and the summit of et Tawanik (alt. 2,847 

The eastward advance of the waterparting, terminates 
above the Wady Samieh, where the southern limit of this 
section has been drawn. The recession of the waterparting 
to the westward, is marked by the occurrence of a curious 
feature, which has been brought to light by the survey. It 
is the small basin with no outfall, named Merj Sia, about a 
mile and a half in length and breadth, and surrounded by 
eminences rising from 2,510 feet to 2,835 feet. Besides the 
change in the direction of the waterparting, other features 
also serve to distinguish this eastern side of the southern 
part of the Samaritan Hills, and the highland that follows it 
on the south. The distinction in that direction, will be found 
in the account which will follow in its place, no less striking 
than the contrast already displayed between it and the 
northern part. 

Amid the great contraction of the width of the Jordan 
Slope in this section, the elevated lateral valleys to which 
attention has been directed, from Mount Gilboa southward 
continue to be found. Next to the high Plain of Salim, a 
valley commences at the southern foot of et Tawanik (alt. 
2,847 feet) and continues to skirt the main waterparting as 
far south as Mejdel-beni-Fadl (alt. 2,146 feet). Its length 


exceeds five miles. It formed, no doubt, a part of the Roman 
Toparchy of Acrabatene, for the modern village of 'Akrabeh 
(alt. 2,045 feet), with antique remains, is found upon the main 
waterparting about midway between the ends of the valley 
which it completely dominates. The village of Yanun in the 
northern part of the valley, is considered to occupy the site 
of the biblical Janoah. The village of Mejdel-beni-Fadl 
(alt. 2,145 feet) overlooks the southern part. 

The upland valley appears to be called the Jehir 'Akrabeh 
and to be divided into an upper and lower terrace or trough 
parallel to each other. The upper includes three different 
drainages, descending severally from et Tawanik, 'Akrabeh, 
and Mejdel, the first passes by Yanun and the Wady el Abeid 
to a stream of the lower tier, which also comes from et Tawa- 
nik : and the others fall to a distinct lower branch, called 
Wady es Seba. These form a final junction about midway 
between the extremities, and then bend suddenly to the east 
to intersect the outer range, and descend by Wady ed Dowa 
and Zamur, to the Plain of Ifjim. 

Next to the Jehir 'Akrabeh is the Wady Nasir, on the 
west of Mejdel. Then follows a more extensive system, which 
has its northern extremity on the west of the village of Domeh 
(alt. 2,006 feet) ; the southern being defined by a ridge occu- 
pied by the village of Mugheir (alt. 2,246 feet). About a dozen 
different wadys contribute to two main drains called Wady 
ed Duba and Wady el Merajem, which descend from the 
opposite ends of the valley to meet midway, and then intersect 
the outer range, and drop down some 2,000 feet to the Ghor, at 
the northern end of the ruins of Phasaelis (Fusail). It is the 
outer range which forms the culminating summit of the eastern 
slope. Mugheir is on the waterparting between this valley of 
many names and Wady Samieh. The parting runs back to 
the westward for about four miles, and separates the eastern 
parts of the Highland of Samaria and Judaea. Dr. Robinson 
traversed the whole series of the upland valleys from Mug- 
heir to the Plain of Salim, in the contrary direction to that 
which has been now followed. He gives an excellent account 


of them.* Mons. Guerin visited the same tract, . and treats 
with more minuteness than any other authority on the 
antiquities, the villages, and their inhabitants, including some 
points not to be found in the survey.t 

On the west of the main waterparting, this section is 
throughout an undulating plateau, the western edge of which, 
as observed from the Plain of Sharon, would probably be 
represented by summits of 1,200 feet, or thereabout, with 
variations descending to 1,000 and rising to 1,500. Towards 
the main waterparting, the altitudes frequently exceed 2,000 
feet, and culminate in Kh. el Kerek (alt. 3,002 feet). It may 
be well to note the small Plain of Mukhnah, because it lies 
at the eastern base of Mount Gerizim, and is so well known 
to travellers between Jerusalem and Nablus ; but it is 
insignificant in comparison with the larger plains on the 
north. There is also the straight Wady Ishar, running south- 
westward from 'Akrabeh to Kurawa, with scarcely a bend for 
13 miles. It receives no affluent of any consequence from its 
right bank, but on its left bank it takes all the drainage 
between it, the Sinjil Eidge, and the main waterparting.J 

The range between 'Akrabeh and Iskaka, throws off its 
waters northward to the Wady Kanah, and sends a spur 
between that wady and Wady Yasuf, as far as their junction. 
Another spur proceeds from Iskaka to the Kanah, and has 
the villages of Merda, Kefr Haris, and Deir Estea on its 
summit. Two ridges emanating from Kefr Haris, run to the 
Plain of Sharon, and enclose the Wady Rabah and its branches, 
dividing it from Wady Kanah, on the north, and Wady 
Ballut on the south. 

* Eobinson's " Bib. Kes." iii, 292-297. 

f Guerm, " Samarie," ii, ch. xxix-xxxii. 

Probably the Wady Ishar once formed a part of the political boundary 
between Judaea and Samaria. Although it seems to the present writer that 
there can be no question about the southern limits of the natural section, 
which is included herein, under the name of the Samaritan Hills ; yet it 
should be observed that only a qualified political significance is to be attached 
to it. It is not intended here to enter upon the question of the political 
limits of Samaria in former times. 


Like Wady Ishar, the Kanah generally hugs its right 
bank, which is formed by a range extending from Jebel et 
Tor or Mount Gerizim, to the Plain of Sharon at Hableh. 
This range affords a gentle incline between the Plain of 
Sharon and Nablus, and is consequently followed by a 
highway. Between Jebel et Tor and Funduk, the range 
throws off its waters northward to the Wady et Tin. But 
from Funduk to Hableh, its northern drainage goes to Wady 
Kalkilieh. A spur from Funduk divides Wady Kalkilieh 
from affluents of Wady et Tin, and also from the Wady 
en Naml, which belongs to the Kalunsaweh branch of the 
Iskanderuneh Basin. Indeed this spur and the range between 
Funduk and Jebel et Tor, form together the waterparting 
between the Iskanderuneh and el 'Auja Basins. 

In the Plain of Sharon this section includes an isolated 
group of low hills, bounded on the north by the Nahr 
Iskanderuneh, and on the south by Nahr el'Auja. The 
Kalunsaweh branch of the former, and the Kalkilieh branch 
of the latter divide the group from the foot of the highland. 
It has been already noticed, as a part of the Plain of Sharon, 
with which it is usually associated.* But it seems probable 
that its connection with the highland was formerly closer ; 
and considering a future examination with reference to that 
relationship to be desirable, attention is here invited to it. 
These Falik hills support a considerable population, of bad 
character, but rich in horses, flocks, and herds. Mukhalid, or 
Umm Khalid, was a station of the Survey, with a fine view 
from Mount Hermon to Jaffa. Lieutenant Conder mentions 
an open woodland as still existing around Umm Sur, and 
both he and Mons. Guerin call attention to it as a probable 
remnant of Assur Forest, where King Eichard I overcame 
Saladin in a great battle on September 7, 1191, under the 
walls of Arsuf, the ancient Apollonia.f 

* See ante, p. 15. 

t " Tent Work " ii, 213, 219 ; Guerin, " Samarie " ii, 374-388. 


Northern Group. 

From the Jordan to the Plain of Sharon, the southern 
banks of Wady el 'Aujah, Wady Samieh, Wady el Jib, and 
Wady Deir Balut, define the northern limit of the moun- 
tains of Judsea, including a part of Mount Ephraim, as well 
as the heights of Judah and Benjamin. Perhaps the 
southern edge of Mount Ephraim reached to Tell 'Asur, 
Yebrud, Bir ez Zeit, and Batn Harasheh. 

The summit of the slope descending to the northern limit 
of the Judsean Mountains, is distinguished by the following 
culminating points from east to west : (1.) En Nejmeh (alt. 
2,391 feet), on a spur eastward from Tell 'Asur, and dominating 
the Plain of Keziz and Wady el 'Aujah ; (2.) Tell 'Asur (alt. 
3,318 feet), on the Mediterranean waterparting ; (3.) A 
summit south-west of 'Attara (alt. 2,791 feet), which belongs 
to a ridge continued through Umm Suffah (alt. 1,997 feet), 
Deir en Nidhan (alt. 1,934 feet), and 'Abud (alt. 1,240 feet), 
to the Plain of Sharon. 

The height of 'Attara is also connected with a ridge run- 
ning southward to the summit occupied by the ruins of Kh. 
Bir ez Zeit (alt. 2,665 feet), which is the centre of a system of 
ranges that enclose the two branches of Wady esh Shellal 
(Surar or Budrus), that unite at Shebtin. These heights 
divide the two Shebtin valleys and their branches : (1.) On 
the north, from Wady el Jib and the heads of the Wadys 
that meet at Deir Nabala, near the Plain of Sharon ; (2.) On 
the south, from the northern branch of Wady Malakeh,* 
which joins the wady from Shebtin, on the west of Nalin ; 
(3.) On the east, from affluents of Wady el Jib, which 
descend to it northwards from Beitin and Abu Kush, to join 
the Jib on the east of 'Attara. These affluents of Wady el 
Jib, form a noted section of enlarged systems of lateral com- 
munication along the Mediterranean waterparting, which 
extend throughout the remainder of the survey southward. 

* Called also Shamo, Dilbeh, and Hamid. 


The high road between Jerusalem and Nablus, traverses them. 
They separate the Mediterranean and Jordan waterparting 
between Tell 'Asur and Beitin, from the equally high and 
parallel heights of Bir ez Zeit. 

The Wady Malakeh, from its source at Eamallah, to its 
junction with Wady Shellal at Medieh (the Maccabean 
Modin), and afterwards the latter wady, and Wady Nusrah, 
may be regarded as dividing the hills on the north from a 
region on the south with distinct features. The correspond- 
ing part of the Jordan slope is bounded by the Wady Mu- 
heisin, which rises near Beitin, and is continued by Wady 
Eummaneh to Wady Nuei'ameh. 

Westward of the main waterparting, the hills and valleys 
on the north are very intricate and convoluted. Besides 
those surrounding the two Shebtin valleys, which also form 
the western boundary of the lateral system running north- 
wards from Beitin and Abu Kush, attention to the following 
parallel features may help to throw light on the mass. The 
western slope ascending from the Plain of Sharon, appears to 
culminate, firstly, in a range of summits represented by 'Abud 
(alt. 1,240 feet), Deir Abu Meshal (alt. 1,556 feet), Shubkah 
(alt. 1,058 feet), and Deir el Kuddis (alt. 1,264 feet) ; (2.) East- 
ward, at a distance of three or four miles, rises a parallel 
series of superior heights, represented by Kefr 'Ain (alt. 2,285 
feet), Kh. Kefr Tat (alt. 2,770 feet), Neby Saleh (alt. 1,868 
feet), Deir en Nidhan (alt. 1,934 feet), Beit Ello (alt. 1,797 
feet), Deir Ammar (alt. 1,737 feet), and Has Kerker (alt. 
1,637 feet). The interval between this range and the 
western series may be regarded as an intermediate terrace ; 
(3.) About five miles further east is the Bir ez Zeit range ; 
(4.) Then follows after an interval of three or four miles, the 
main waterparting from Tell 'Asur to Beitin; (5.) Finally, 
the Jordan slope exhibits the easternmost of these parallel 
ranges in the culminating summits of the ascent from the 
Jordan Plains, which are represented by en Nejmeh (alt. 
2,391 feet), in continuation of a ridge running southward from 
el Mugheir, and by Khubbet Rummainaneh (alt. 2,024 feet). 


Between these easternmost heights and the main range, is 
the succession of lateral valleys beginning on the south of el 
Mugheir, with those which meet in Wady Samieh ; followed 
by the heads of Wady Dar Jerlr ; and the remarkable group 
descending southwards from Tell 'Asur to Wady Mueheisin 
and Wady Asis, at the head of Wady Nuei'ameh. The in- 
terval between these ranges is about five miles in width. It is 
doubtless a part of the Wilderness of Beth Aven. The main 
wadys cut through the outer range in deep and rocky gorges, 
which become exceedingly steep on the final descent. 

On the west of this northernmost part of the Judaean 
highland, must be included the isolated group of low hills 
in the midst of the Plain of Sharon, between the Nusrah 
branch and the main stream of Nahr el 'Auja. They reach 
an altitude of 295 feet. 

The Jerusalem Group. 

South of the foregoing division, the Judsean heights are 
characterised very remarkably and distinctly. Beginning on 
the west, it will be seen that a marked separation occurs on 
the south of Wady Malakeh, between the base of the moun- 
tains rising toward the east and the lowland hills sinking 
toward the west. On the north of Wady Malakeh, the 
descent from the main waterparting to the Plain of Sharon 
is gradual, and the successive terraces already indicated, 
succeed each other with comparatively little interruption of 
the general slope. But on the south of Wady Malakeh, " the 
frowning mountains of Judah rise abruptly from the tract of 
hills at their foot ;"* and the highland is divided from the 
lowland hills by a succession of valleys running north and 
south, or in a meridional direction. The most northerly of 
this series is Wady el Muslib, a branch of Wady Malakeh. 
It is followed by Wady el Mikteleh, which runs south 
through the beautiful Plain or Merj of Ibn Amir, Joshua's 
"Valley of Ajalon."f This plain is more than two miles 

* Robinson ii, 231. 
f Josh. x. 12. 

Q 2 


wide ; it strongly emphasises the division between the high- 
land and lowland, and is one of the characteristic features of 
this part. ' The continuity of the meridional valleys is broken 
at Yalo, but it is soon renewed again by a valley descending 
from the south towards Latron, and by another running 
southward to Wady es Surar, between Surah (Samson's 
Zorah), and Artuf. At Artuf, the Wady en Najil falling into 
Wady es Surar prolongs the meridional series, which is 
carried still farther south by affluents of Wady es Sunt, 
especially Wady es Sur. The distance from Wady Malakeh 
to the head of Wady es Sur is about 24 miles. 

The distinction between the lowland hills and the moun- 
tains on the east of them, is definitely expressed by the series 
of altitudes observed along the high road between Jaffa and 
Jerusalem. The plain at the foot of the hills near Ludd, is 
165 feet above the sea; and the rise goes on steadily for 
eight miles up to 940 feet at Bir Main, or 960 feet, a little 
beyond. Here the hills drop down suddenly to the Plain of 
Yalo (Ibn Amir or Ajalon), where the lowest observation i? 
685 feet. East of the plain, the mountains of Judah rise 
rapidly, and reach an altitude of 2,172 feet, near Beit Anan, 
about two miles from their base on the edge of the plain, or 
four miles from the level of 685 feet before mentioned. 
About three miles further east, the altitude is 2,621 feet at 
Beit Izza. This place is on the waterparting which divides 
the basins of Nahr el 'Auja and Nahr Rubin. Here this 
waterparting also coincides with the western boundary of the 
great Plain of Gibeon, or el Jib, drained by the Wady Beit 
Hannina and its affluents. The eastern edge of the plain is 
the main waterparting between the basins of the Mediter- 
ranean and the Jordan. The Plain of el Jib is thus on the 
summit of the Highlands of Judaea ; and the direction of its 
drainage designates it as a portion of the series of great lateral 
valleys, which, while they form parts of the general slopes on 
either side of the main axis lie at right angles to the slope, and 
parallel with the axis, and thus greatly facilitate communication. 

The northern limit of the Plain of el Jib in its fullest 


extent, is the waterparting of the Eubin Basin, from Bireh to 
Earn Allah ; or it may be confined to the foot of the slope 
descending southward from that eminence. Its southern 
edge has been already described in page 43, on the authority 
of Dr. Eobinson. But it seems preferable for the present 
purpose to take a larger view of the subject, and to connect 
with the Plain of el Jib, the ground on the west of Jeru- 
salem, and also the Plain of Eephaim, called on the survey, 
el Bukei'a, which lies on the south-west of the city. The 
whole may come under the general denomination of the 
Western Plateau of Jerusalem. There is an Eastern Plateau 
adjoining on the Jordan watershed. 

The group of the Judaean Hills now under notice, is 
limited on the south by another group, named the Shephelah 
in the Bible, and corresponding in extent with ancient 
Philistia. The low hills of the present group are of a similar 
character to the Shephelah, and adjoin that tract ; but they 
are clearly related to the Plain of Sharon, while the hills of 
the Shephelah terminate in the range including Surar and 
Abu Shusheh, and dividing Sharon from Philistia. The 
towns of the Shephelah and Philistia named in the Bible, so 
far as they have been discovered, all lie to the south of the 
Plain of Sharon, which does not extend southward beyond 
the basin of Nahr el 'Auja, including the valleys which pass 
to the plain by Eamleh and Ludd. The dividing line 
between this mountain group and the Shephelah, is therefore 
traced along the watercourses which pass south-eastward 
from Eamleh by el Kubab and south of Latron, to the 
waterparting on the north of Eshua, and then by the water- 
course which passes Eshua, to Wady es Surar. Here the borders 
of the Shephelah are left, and Wady es Surar is ascended as 
far as its confluence with Wady es Sikreh, when the latter is 
followed upwards to the junction of Wady Ahmed, which is 
next ascended up to the Jordan waterparting on the west of 
Bethlehem. On the east of the waterparting, the dividing line 
is laid along the wady named et Tahuneh, Fureidis, Khu- 
reitun, el Mu'allak, and ed Derajeh, to the Dead Sea. 


The line from Wady es Surar to Wady ed Derajeh, is 
chosen for the purpose of dividing the mountain group dis- 
tinguished by the Plain of Yalo and the higher plains of the 
Plateau of Jerusalem, from the more elevated and otherwise 
distinctly characterised group, which has its centre about 
Hulhul and Hebron, and is called in the Bible " The Hill 
Country." South of the line, the ground rises at once. At 
el Khudr, or the Convent of St. George, it is 2,832 feet, and 
at Tekua it is 2,798 feet, with a continual ascent to 3,546 
feet at er Rameh on the north of Hebron. On the north of 
the line, the prominent Frank Mountain, opposite Tekua, is 
only 2,489 feet; and the Convent of Mar Elyas facing el 
Khudr is 2,616 feet. No heights of 3,000 feet are found 
northward until Tell 'Asur is reached. 

The foregoing remarks on the present group, have been 
directed mainly to the purpose of expounding the main 
features that give occasion for the group, and the determ ina- 
tion of its limits. It is now proposed to regard the Western 
Jerusalem Plateau, including the Plains of el Jib and 
Eephaim, as the centre and summit of the group, and to take 
note of the slopes which descend therefrom to the west (1), 
south (2), and east (3). 

(1.) It has been already observed that the waterparting 
between Nahr el 'Auja and Nahr Rubin, forms the western 
edge of the Plain of el Jib. The drainage from the northern 
and western side, between Bireh, Ram Allah, and the Beth 
Horon Road is carried off to Wady Malakeh by Wady 
Hamis, Wady el Kelb, Wady 'Ain 'Arik, Wady es Sunt, and 
Wady el Mahbis and Imeish.* 

Mountain spurs, interposed between these wadys, descend 
from the Plain of el Jib, to the left bank of the Malakeh, 
and have their heads at Ram Allah (alt. 2,850 feet), el 
Muntar, (alt. 2,685 feet), and Beitunia (alt. 2,570 feet). The 
Wady Imeish has its head in the Plain of el Jib, and in its 
descent, it becomes the deep gorge on the north side of the 
famous pass dominated by the villages of Beit Ur el Foka, 

* See ante, page 39. 


and el Tahta, or Beth Horon, upper and lower. The pass is 
along the ridge of a spur, which has an altitude of 2,545 feet 
above the sea on the edge of the Plain of el Jib. It divides 
into three at its base below Beit Ur et Tahta. The Jerusalem 
Jaffa road, comes to the ridge from el Jib, and follows it to 
Lower Beth-Horon, where it continues its descent by the 
southernmost prong of the triple fork to Beit Sira in the 
Plain of Yalo or Ajalon. No less than three main roads, and 
six minor roads meet at Beit Ur et Tahta. 

On the south of the Beth Horon ridge, is Wady Selman, 
Suleiman, or Solomon, which also rises on the western edge 
of the Plain of el Jib, and descends to the Plain of Ajalon, 
on its way to el Kubab, Ludd, and Nahr el 'Auja. Another 
high road between Jerusalem and Jaffa, runs along the bottom 
of this gorge to the Plain of Ajalon, where it crosses one of 
the Beth Horon roads, and runs on to Berfilia, Ludd, and 
Jaffa. About a mile west of Jimzu, this road falls in with 
the parallel road on the north, from Beth Horon to Ludd, 
which passes under the ruins of Medieh, identified with 
Modin of the Maccabees. A spur commencing at the village 
of Beit Izza (alt. 2,620 feet), on the west of el Jib, forms the 
southern side of the upper part of the Selman gorge, and 
divides it from Wady el Marud or Keikabeh, an affluent 
which rises on the edge of the Plain of el Jib, between Beit 
Izza, Biddu, and el Kubeibeh, and unites with the Selman at 
the foot of Beit Ur el Foka. Below the junction of Wady el 
Marud, Wady Selman has for its southern bank, a spur that 
descends north-westward from the waterparting at Biddu, 
between Wady el Marud and Khallet el Kala, and originates 
in the prominent cone of Neby Samwil (alt. 2,935 feet), 
which rises in the midst of the Plain of el Jib. Another 
road from the Plain of Yalo to Jerusalem ascends this spur 
and passes Beit Likia, Beit Anan, el Kubeibeh, and Biddu. 

From Kubeibeh, a range runs westward to the Plain of 
Yalo, with a broad slope to the north, but without any place 
of note ; another spur from Biddu, passes due west to the 
Wady el Kotneh and the village of Katanneh. At its 


extremity is the ruin of Kefireh, the Chephirah of Joshua 
ix, 17. 

South of Biddu, the waterparting of the 'Auja and Eubin 
Basins ceases to be connected with the Plain of el Jib, 
although it continues to throw spurs from its northern side, 
westward towards the Plain of Yalo, and to 'Arnwas. The 
main range trends to the south-west and west, and has on its 
summit the villages of Kuriet el Enab, Saris, and Beit 
Mahsir. It is probably the Mount Ephron of Joshua xv, 9 ; 
Kuriet el Enab being Baalah or Kirjath Jearim. A road 
from Kamleh by el Kubab, and between Latron and 'Amwas, 
passes up to the summit of Saris, and follows the ridge to 
Kuriet el Enab, where it turns eastward, passing Kustul, 
Kulonieh, and Lifta, to Jerusalem. 

(2.) The orography of the middle part of the group will 
now be described. It is all within the upper portion of the 
Nahr Kubin Basin, and its watercourses are noticed under that 
heading.* The northern extremity of this tract, and indeed 
the whole of its eastern side, is included in the western 
plateau of Jerusalem, with the Plain of el Jib on the north, 
and the Plain of Eephaim or the Giants on the south. It 
will be remembered that the Wadys Ahmed, Sikkeh, and 
Surar or Ismain, form in succession the southern limit of the 
tract. The spurs or ranges thrown off from the 'Auja-Eubin 
waterparting towards the Surar, will be noticed first. Those 
from the Jerusalem Plateau, to the left bank of the Surar, 
will follow. It will be convenient here to apply the name of 
Wady el Surar to the central main wady from Lifta downwards. 

The connection of the conical mountain of Neby Samwil 
with the main range has been already noticed. The proper 
base of this mass is well defined by the Wadys Amir, Beit 
Hannina and Buwai. On the right bank of the Buwai, a 
distinct range proceeds from the waterparting on the west of 
Biddu, and descends to the Surar at Kulonieh. The same 
range is prolonged westward to the junction of Wady Ghurab 
and el Mutluk, with Wady es Surar, and separates the 

* See ante, pages 42 to 45. 


deep and rugged gorges of those wadys. It is believed to 
be the Mount Seir of Joshua xv, 10. On its summit are 
found the villages of Beit Surik (alt. 2,690 feet), Kustul 
(alt. 2,650 feet), Soba (alt. 2,567 feet), Kh. Batn es Saghir* 
(alt. 2,280 feet), Kh. Shufa (alt. 2,697 feet), 'Akur, and at its 
extremity is 'Artuf (alt. 910 feet). Below 'Artuf, the valleys 
expand into a beautiful plain, surrounded by many biblical 

Spurs of Mount Seir or Saghir descend to Wady Ghurab 
on the north, and to Wady es Surar on the south. The most 
important is one that divides Wady esh Shemmarin from 
Wady es Surar. It contains the villages of Setaf and Kh. el 
Loz. The altitude at the confluence is 1,297 feet. Another 
spur descends from Akur to the left bank of Wady el 
Hamar or Ghurab, and it includes the village of Nesla, the 
Ohesalon of Joshua xv, 10. 

Other spurs descend from the main range between Beit 
Surik and Kuryet el Enab ; but they are only short corru- 
gations of the right bank of the Upper Ghurab. Lower 
down, that wady hugs the main range closely. It is reported 
to be a deep and narrow chasm, though less deep and wild 
than the parallel Wady Ismain or Surar, on the south. 

There are no spurs emanating from the western side of the 
Jordan waterparting, or from the Jerusalem Plateau on the 
westward of it, to the northward of Lifta ; for the swelling 
ground about Shafat is scarcely of that description. South of 
Lifta, the course of the Wady Surar is advanced suddenly- 
westward for about two miles, and thus space is found for the 
commencement of tributaries to Wady el Werd and es 
Sikkeh, as well as of the ridge which separates that wady 
throughout from the Surar. It is called Jebel Ali. Along its 
slopes towards Wady Surar, are the villages of Deir Yesin, 
and Ain Karim, the latter having the Latin monastery of 
St. John. 

(3.) The Jordan watershed of the present group extends 

* This name is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew Seir, both meaning 
rough, rugged. 


from Bethel to Bethlehem, and from Wady Nuei'ameh on the 
north of the Plain of Jericho to the Wady Derajeh on the 
Dead Sea. Between Nuei'ameh and Derajeh are the basins of 
Wady Kelt, Wady el Kueiserah, and Wady en Nar or Brook 
Kidron : besides three groups of secondary basins.* 

The plains which distinguish the western and central 
parts of this group, are not without a representative among 
the rugged features of the eastern side, where the Bukei'a 
extends between Wady Mukelik and Wady en Nar, about 
two miles from the Convent of Mar Saba, and above the 
line of cliffs at the northern end of the Dead Sea.f 

The bottom of the mountains between 'Ain Nuei'ameh and 
Wady Kelt is a wall of rocky precipices, which rises at Jebel 
Kuruntul or Quarantania to more than 1,000 feet above the 
Plain of Jericho, or 320 feet above the sea. Between Wady 
Kelt and El Kueiserah, a distance of four miles and a half, 
the cliffs give way to a slope which rises about 2,000 feet above 
the plain, to Talat et Dumm on the road between Jericho and 
Jerusalem, and about four miles from the plain. The 
precipitous wall is the abrupt termination of ridges that 
descend rapidly from the line of Eastern Summits that was 
brought down in the preceding group to Kubbet Eummama- 
neh (alt. 2,024 feet). From that point the Eastern Summits 
are carried on by a distinct line of heights running south- 
ward to Ras et Tawil (alt. 1,964 feet) ; and from thence by 
another range at the head of Wady Rijan, to a summit on 
the south of the confluence of Wady es Suweinit, with Wady 
Farah. This summit is on the waterparting of Wady Kelt, 
which the line now follows to Talat et Dumm. From Talat 
et Dumm, the summit of this slope runs for two miles south- 
eastward to Jebel Ekteif, which is only three miles from the 
plain, and about 1,800 feet above it, or 840 feet above the 
sea. The slope is included in the secondary basins on the 
north of el Kueiserah, described before at page 95. South 
of el Kueiserah, the cliffs reappear, and skirting the Dead 

* See pages 84 to 106. 
f See page 99. 


Sea, they form the base of the highland for the rest of the 
survey. They rise to a height of about 1,000 feet, and 
between el Kueiserah and Wady ed Derajeh, they are capped 
by summits that slope upwards to a further altitude. Tubk 
el Kuneiterah is 306 feet above the ocean, or 1,598 feet above 
the Dead Sea. Tubk es Sammarah is 530 feet above the 
ocean, or 1,822 feet above the Dead Sea. These heights are 
on the eastern side of the Plain of el Bukei'a, which has on 
the west a range which culminates in el Muntar, a mountain 
on the north of the Greek convent of Mar Saba, with an 
altitude of 1,723 feet above the ocean, or 3,015 feet above the 
Dead Sea. The range of el Muntar is a prolongation south- 
ward from Jebel Ektief, and it is intersected by the rocky 
gorge of Wady Mukelik at the southern foot of Ekteif. From 
el Muntar the range is continued to the south-west, and 
crosses the Wady en Nar where it bends to the south, and 
soon runs due south by Akabet el Murajeh (alt. 1,600 feet) 
to the Wady el 'Alya, and passes it by Muksar Ismain in a 
south-westerly direction to Wady Tamireh, beyond which it 
follows another ridge running due south to Wady el Muallak 
or ed Derajeh, the southern boundary of this group. This 
line of Eastern Summits will be found extending to the end of 
the survey, oftentimes and generally with a distinctness 
which throws a light on less obvious portions. 

On the north of the Plain of el Bukei'a, the slopes 
between the Eastern Summits and the cliffs, is a succession of 
ridges and ravines with the rocky gorges of Wady Rumma- 
maneh, and Wady Kelt on the north and south. A highway 
from Jericho, through Mukhmas and Deir Diwan to Bethel 
crosses this part. The highway from Jerusalem to Jericho 
enters the slope at Talat et Dumm, which is therefore a 
noted point ; and it is considered to be identical with the 
Adummim of Joshua xv, 7. Between el Bukei'a and Wady 
ed Derajeh, the slope passes from the rugged valley of Wady 
en Nar or Kidron, to rolling chalk downs spreading out from 
the lofty cliffs that border the Dead Sea to the Eastern Eange ; 
which here throws out upon the downs, like advanced posts, 


the heights of Kurn el Hajr (alt. 1,460 feet), and er Eueikbeh 
(alt. 1,486 feet). One of the roads from Jerusalem to Engedi, 
crosses this part near the top of the cliffs. 

The tract between the Main Waterparting Eange and the 
Eastern Eange, as far as the summit on the south of the 
confluence of the Farah and Suweinit, may be distinguished as 
the northern part of the Eastern Plateau of Jerusalem. 
South of the unnamed summits, the eastern edge of the 
plateau must be sought further to the west than the Eastern 
Eange, as it has been traced on the south of that summit. 
The westerly projection of the Jordan Waterparting, as it 
advances southward, widens the slope ; and the altitude and 
structure of the ground together indicate the interposition of 
a medial range and terrace, which may be observed all the 
way southward from Wady Farah. 

The Middle Eange passes from the summit on the south 
of Wady Farah, along the Waterparting south-westward, to 
the rocks of 'Arak Ibrahim ; when it proceeds southward, 
across two wadys, to a long range distinguished by Arak esh 
Shem, Kh. Karrit, and Kh. er Eaghabneh. The Middle 
Eange is now intersected by a remarkable bend of Wady Abu 
Hindi, and proceeds to a similar bend of Wady Abu Nar, 
both of the bends being due to the intersection of the range 
and the sudden descent of the wadys from higher to lower 
ground. The range is next denned by the prominent heights 
of Deir Ibn Obeid* and Umm el Tala, on the east of 
Bethlehem, and crosses the Wady el War to Jebel Fureidis, 
or Paradise, called also the Frank mountain, and the site of 
the fortress of Herodium erected by Herod the Great, on the 
southern boundary of the present group. 

The Middle Eange from Wady Farah to Jebel Fureidis, 
and the Eastern Eange from Wady Farah northward to Eas 
et Tawil and Wady Eummamaneh, separate the habitable 
tract of the Eastern Plateau of Jerusalem, from the wild 
ravines and ridges that descend from it rapidly and form 
the lower parts of the mountain. The plateau is generally 

* The ruined Monastery of Theodosius, including two churches. 


more than 2,000 feet above the sea, up to its eastern edge in 
the Middle Eange. It contains Jerusalem and Bethlehem, 
with several villages and cultivated grounds, besides many 
ruined sites that are the remnants of a much larger popula- 
tion. Between the Middle and Eastern Kanges, and below 
the latter to the foot of the mountains, not a village is to be 
found, and the only settled habitation is the fortified Greek 
Convent of Mar Saba. The high lateral valleys on the east 
of the main waterparting that have been traced from the 
north of Samaria up to Wady el Ain and the northern 
boundary of this group, are continued southward from Deir 
Diwan, to Jeba, Hizmeh, Anata, and el 'Aisawiyeh to 
Jerusalem. But the lateral character of the valleys on the 
Eastern Plateau is much less developed, than it is in the 
valleys of the Western Plateau, from Bireh to Bethlehem. 
South of Bethlehem, the lateral valleys are found again 
chiefly on the eastern side of the range as far as Hulhul ; 
when they are once more transferred to the other side, and 
are taken up by the great Wady el Khulil and its parallel 

The Hill Country of Judah, or the Hebron Group. 

The eastern boundary of this mountain system is defined 
by the shores of the Dead Sea. On the south the subject 
cannot for the present be discussed owing to the limits of the 
Survey. On the west the boundary has been already indi- 
cated southward from Wady Surar along the Wady en Najil 
and Wady es Sur. South of the head of the latter wady, 
and as far as Beit Auwa, there might be some doubt about 
the continuity of the meridional division between the foot of 
the Mountains of Judah, and the Lowland Hills of the 
Shephelah, as the hill drawing of the Survey is not so 
expressive or accentuated as it might be. But here the 
evidence of Dr. Robinson removes all hesitation as far south 
as Tell Beit Mirsim and Burj el Beiyarah.* Indeed the 

* He remarks that " Idhna lies at the foot of the mountains, where the 
steep ascent of the higher ridge soon commences." "Bib. Res." ii, 70. 


meridional valleys occur again at Beit Auwa, where they 
spread out into a plain stretching southward as far as Tell 
Beit Mirsim, and are continued by Wady el Beiyarah and 
Wady edh Dhikah up to Khurbet Khuweilfeh. Here is the 
waterparting between the basins of Wady el Hesy and Wady 
Ghuzzeh, and the boundary of the Shephelah now turns 
abruptly to the west, along the line of Wady Khuweilfeh and 
the great Wady esh Sheriah, to Wady Ghuzzeh and the sea. 
South of Khurbet Khuweilfeh, the Hill Country of Judah 
drops down to the broad Plain of Beersheba. For the sake 
of precision, the dividing line between the Judean Hills and 
the mountain that divides the Plain of Beersheba from 
Wady esh Sheriah, may be traced along a wady descending 
from Khurbet Khuweilfeh, by Wady Itmy to Wady el 
Khulil, and its outlet into Wady es Seba. 

The summit of the Main Eange of this group coincides 
with the Mediterranean and Jordan waterparting from 
Bethlehem southward. It forms the eastern boundary of the 
basins of Nahr Eubin, Nahr Sukereir, and Wady el Hesy, 
and has been already traced in connection with them.* 

The Western Slope. 

The northern side of the western slope begins its descent 
to the northern boundary of the group formed by Wady 
Ahmed, Wady el Werd, Wady Sikkeh, and Wady es Surar, 
from the main waterparting between Bethlehem and el 
Khudr, where it is spread out between Wady Ahmed and 
Wady Bittir. From el Khudr. a range strikes westward by 
Hausan, and Deir Hawa, to terminate at the confluence of 
Wady Ismain or Surar with Wady en Najil. It is followed 
by a highway along the eastern part of the ridge, and by a 
track along the western part. It sends only a short slope to 
the wadys of the northern boundary; but it throws off 
considerable spurs to the south. Thus from Hausan a short 
spur forms the upper part of the left bank of Wady Musurr 

Also, " The ruins of el Burj are situated very near the border of the hilly 
region towards the western plain." " Bib. Res." ii, 218. 
* See ante, pages 46, 51, 54. 


and a longer one reaches to the lower part where it joins 
Wady el Jindy. The next spur divides Wady el Jindy from 
Wady el Werd, and terminates at the head of Wady en Najil. 
Five more spurs descending from the ridge to Wady en Najil 
complete its southern slope. 

Between el Khudr and Balutet el Yerzeh, the main 
range descends to Wady Musurr, and from the Balutet a 
long range extends westward to Wady es Sunt, and divides 
Wady el Jindy from Wady Helwas. It has the small 
village of Jeba on its summit. Between Balutet el Yerzeh 
and Khurbet Jedur, the main range descends by short spurs 
to Wady el 'Abhar, a branch of Wady Helwas. The villages 
of Safa and Surif are on this part of the slope. Between 
Khurbet Jedur and Hulhul, all the ridges descend to Wady 
es Sur or its affluents ; and the villages of Kharas, Nuba, and 
Beit Aula, are situated in a line on the lower part of the 
slope. A ridge running direct west from near Hulhul to the 
head of Wady Bir es Suweideh, and then bending northward 
along the left bank of the latter wady, divides the affluents of 
Wady Sunt from those of Wady Afranj, both being in the 
Sukereir basin. From near Hulhul to Dura on the main 
range, the spurs fall to Wady el Afranj. At Dura, the 
advance of the main range towards the west, reduces the 
length of the western slope ; and the contraction gradually 
comes to a point at Kh. Khuweilfeh from the same cause. A 
north-westerly spur from Dura divides the Afranj from the 
affluents of Wady el Ghueit, which is the southernmost of 
the great divisions of the Nahr Sukereir basin. Only a mile 
south of Dura, the waterparting between the Sukereir and 
el Hesy basins emanates from the main range at Eas el 
Biain, and is formed by a long range running westward to 
the sea at Ascalon. It is the slope drained by the affluents 
of the Ghueit, between Idhna and Beit 'Auwa, which breaks 
the continuity of the meridional valleys, that form the 
division between this mountain group and the Shephelah. But 
a careful study of the Survey, coupled with Dr. Kobinson's 
notes, leads to the conclusion that in this part the separation 


will be found as distinctly marked as elsewhere, and perhaps 
more broadly. 

Between Ras el Biain and Shaik Abu Kharrubeh, all the 
spurs descending from the main range between those points, 
which are about eight miles apart, concentrate in the plain on 
the east of Tell el Akra. Those also between Kharrubeh and 
Kh. Khuweilfeh meet in the plain called Sahel es Sabti. 
The descent from this point to Beersheba belongs to the other 
side of the main range. The bold and bluff descent of the 
western hills to the valley which divides them from the foot 
of the eastern range, is well shown on the new maps in this 

The Eastern Slope. 

The northern side of the eastern part of the present group, 
the Hill Country of Judah, descends to Wady Khureitun 
from a range which emanates from the main waterparting at 
Ballutet el Yerzeh (alt. 3,167 feet) on the east of the village 
of Safa. The range first proceeds for a mile and a half to the 
south-east, and then turns a little east of north for a like 
distance, when it bends eastward to reach the high plateau of 
Tekua. The bend at starting is made to turn the head of 
Wady el Biar, which descends the northern slope for five 
miles in a north-easterly direction, and joins the boundary of 
the group in Wady et Tahuneh, on the south of Bethlehem. 
From the plateau of Teku'a, the northern range extends to 
the south-east, and ends in Has Nukb Hamar which drops 
by lofty cliffs to the south side of the gorge of the Derajeh 
where it opens on to the shore of the Dead Sea. The Eas is 
678 feet above the ocean, or 1,970 feet above the Dead Sea. 

A ridge on the right bank of Wady el Biar, runs north- 
eastward to Wady et Tahuneh, and then bends to the south- 
east along that wady, as far as its junction with Wady Abu 
Nejeim, which rises near the head of Wady el Biar. Wady 
Abu Nejeim drains the southern side of this ridge, and also 
the northern side of the Plateau of Teku'a. On the eastern 
side of Teku'a are the great Caverns of Khureitun, in a cliff 


overlooking the Wady Khureitun, which is a part of the 
northern boundary of the present group. The caverns face 
Jebel Fureidis ; and in the time of the Crusaders they came 
to be regarded as the Cave of Adullam ; but the true site lies 
far away at the western foot of the mountains, at Kh. 'Aid el 
Ma, in the Wady es Sur. Teku'a is on the waterparting between 
the basins of Wady ed Derajeh and Wady el Areijeh, the 
latter emptying itself at Engedi. From this waterparting 
near Teku'a, three wadys with intermediate spurs descend, and 
unite in a rocky gorge which cuts through the northern 
ridge and joins the gorge of ed Derajeh. 

The plateau of Teku'a is the first part of the Middle 
Eange in this group. Its prolongation to the south is found 
in a very distinct form in the long ridge of Kanan ez 
Zaferan, which, with the plateau of Teku'a, encloses the 
heads of the basin of Wady el Areijeh, that have their 
sources along the main range from Safa to Hulhul. These 
head valleys all concentrate in the Wady el 'Arrub, which 
soon after receives the drainage of a circular tract on the 
west of the plateau of Teku'a, and then cuts through the 
Middle Eange on a rocky gorge. The breadth between the 
Main and the Middle Ranges at the widest part, where the 
'Arrub enters the gorge, is about six miles. Near Hulhul it 
contracts to two miles, but it widens out again immediately 
to three miles, and goes on with a breadth of about four 

The Kanan ez Zaf aran terminates at Khurbet el Addeiseh, 
on the waterparting that divides the basins of el Areijeh and 
Ghuzzeh, at the head of the valley of el Khulil or Hebron. 
The Middle Range passes from the Kanan to this water- 
parting range, and follows it to Beni Nairn (alt. 3,120 feet) 
and on to Khurbet Birein. Between Beni Nairn and 
Khurbet Birein the waterparting divides the affluents of 
Wady el Khulil from those of Wady el Khubera. At 
Khurbet Birein, the Middle Range has its summit on a ridge 
that contains the ancient town of Yutta or Juttah, and 
divides from the affluents of Wady el Khulil, the wady called 



at its head Wady Abu Hirsh and Wady el Butm on its 
lower course. The Middle Range conies to an end in the 
Plain of Beersheba. 

From the head of the Hebron Valley southward, the 
space between the Main and the Middle Eanges, is wholly 
occupied by that valley and its branches, which throughout 
maintain an average width of four miles. The length of the 
valley from its head to its junction with Wady es Seba, is 
about 30 miles. 

Eastward of the Middle Eange, and parallel to it, is the 
continuation of the Eastern Range, from the northern 
boundary of the group at Wady el Muallak. The line passes 
from Kubr Ghaunameh, to the head of the rocky gorge of 
Wady Mukta el Juss, thence by the spurs that separate the 
Wadys Dannun and Bassas to the range at el Megheidhah, 
and Rujm Abu Zumeitir ; thence to the summit of Dharet el 
Meshrefeh (alt. 1,696 feet), and southward to Dharet es 
Sukiyeh (alt. 1,836 feet), Dharet el Kolah, and the summit of 
the range on the south of Wady el War, which runs unbroken 
for 23 miles to the Wady el Milh. The principal summits on 
this very distinctly denned and concluding portion of the 
Eastern Range, are : Tell et Tuany (alt. 2,837 feet), on the 
highway between Yutta, Kurmul, and Engedi ; and Kanan el 
Aseif (alt. 3,002 feet), on the road from Yutta to Tell el Milh, 
or Moladah. 

This first attempt to indicate, and to give a precise limit- 
ation to the triple succession of terraces above the Dead Sea 
cliffs, which the New Survey has disclosed, may not be always 
supported by a critical examination on the ground in every 
particular ; but generally the distinct separation of the three 
steps, seems to be unquestionable. The lowest step between 
the cliffs and the base of the Eastern Range is about four miles 
wide at the north end, and gradually increases to about eight 
miles in the southern part. Only a few scattered summits 
rise to 1,400 feet above the ocean, but it must be remembered 
that the surface of the Dead Sea is 1,292 feet below that 
level. Between Teku'a and Ain Jidy, in this step, is probably 


the Wilderness of Jeruel, 2 Chron. xx, 16. " The end of the 
brook," may be the head of Wady el Mukeiberah, the invaders 
being drawn up on the slope facing the ascent to Teku'a.* 

The steep ascent to the next higher level forms part of the 
Eastern Eange, the length of which, south of Wady ed 
Derajeh, exceeds 30 miles, and for more than two-thirds of 
that length, the range has a descent on the western side, as 
well as the eastern. In other parts, it is but an acceleration 
of the slope to a greater or less extent, but it seems to be 
always sufficient to maintain the continuity of the feature. 

The southern part of the middle terrace, or the step 
between the Eastern and the Middle Eanges, includes several 
villages at the present time, and some ruins, among both of 
which are representatives of the very ancient towns of the 
Hill Country of Judah ; such are Kh. Attir or Jattir, Semua 
or Eshtemoh, Kurmel or Carmel, Tell Main or Maon, Yuttah 
or Juttah, Tell es Zif or Ziph, Kh. Gannim or Anim, Beni 
Nairn or Janum, the latter names, in each case, being 

North of Ziph, the habitable country recedes to the 
Middle Eange, or westward of it ; for on the east the country 
is too steep or broken, and only fit for nomadic pasturage. 
The triangular tracts, enclosed by ranges of hills on the east 
and west of the Kanan ez Zaferan, on the north of Hebron, 
are curious contrasts ; the western being a populated plateau, 
while the eastern is a remarkably steep slope and probably 
uninhabitable, and only fit for pasture. 

The highest plateau which lies between the middle and 
main ranges is habitable throughout, although the existing 
villages are sparse and small ; but the evidences of a much 
larger population in former times, are everywhere, both here 
and on the western slopes. Its principal features, beginning 
on the north, are (1) the long Wady el Biar, which skirts the 
Main Eange from Kh. Breikut, to Urtas on the northern 
boundary of the group. (2) The widely extended branches of 
Wady 'Arrub, with which may be noticed the more northerly 

* See ante, page 109. 

R 2 


valleys uniting in Wady Rekeban, and those further north 
that join in Wady Abu Nejeim. The spurs of these valleys 
are threaded by an aqueduct, which draws its supplies from 
Birket Kufin, near Beit Ummar, and from 'Ain Kueiziba, 
about two miles on the south-east ; these unite at Birket el 
'Arrub, and the aqueduct then passes along the left bank of 
Wady 'Arrub, till it approaches the confluence of Wady er 
Eekeban, when it turns northwards, and meanders up and 
down the sides of valley after valley, till it reaches el Burak, 
near Urtas. (3) The valley of Hebron or Wady el Khulil. 
The northernmost head of this great valley commences, as 
Wady en Nusara at Khurbet Beit Anun, the Beth Anoth of 
Judah, near Hulhul. 

The Wady el Khulil originates (1) partly on the eastern 
and southern slopes of a rectangular bend of the waterparting 
that divides the wady from the basin of Nahr Sukereir, on the 
west, and (2) partly along the Mediterranean waterparting, 
where it makes a rectangular bend eastward, and then to the 
south-east, between Hulhul and Beni Nairn, dividing the 
Khulil from the Areijeh Basin. 

The eastern and southern slopes respectively, of the first- 
named rectangular bend, have their drainage divided by 
ground thrown off as a ridge from the projecting corner of the 
bend, in a south-easterly direction, and then expanding like 
a fan, which terminates in short slopes on the north and west, 
and in a long slope towards the south-east and south. This 
divides the head of the valley into two parts, and the 
eastern and larger part slopes towards the waterparting 
that runs from Hulhul and Beni Nairn, close along which 
the channel passes which collects the waters until spurs 
from Beni Nairn, and further south, push the channel 
against the long slope of the fan before-mentioned, at the 
southern end of which the eastern channel unites with 
Wady Khulil in meandering southwards. The western part 
is limited on the south by a ridge extending eastward to the 
foot of Hebron, and throwing off a long branching spur to the 
south, as far as Rujm ed Deir. Below Hebron the ridge is 


divided by a gorge from the fan before-mentioned. There is, 
at the head of the eastern part, a valley in the centre, 
and others along the eastern and western sides of this 
part, all running southwards, till the western is diverted 
towards the head of the gorge by the southern ridge, and 
receives the others on the way. The gorge takes the 
name of Wady el Kady, or el Khulil, and after a mean- 
dering course southward for more than a mile it bends 
abruptly eastward, and meets the eastern branch. After 
the junction, the main wady again meanders to the 
south, till it is turned to the south-west by the Yutta range, 
and the spurs proceeding from it, which supply two consider- 
able tributaries to the left bank, the first at Khurbet Eabut 
and the second at the foot of a spur surmounted by a road 
from Dhaheriyeh. Here the Wady el Khulil again impinges 
on the descending Yutta Range, and winds around its short 
bluffs, down to the Plain of Beersheba. 

On the western side, from the waterparting at Khurbet 
Kanan, an inner range is given off, which forms a long 
plateau or narrow terrace with lateral valleys between it and 
the waterparting. It encloses the branching valleys at the 
head of Wady ed Dilbeh, and forms the unbroken range, 
about six miles long, on which Dhaheriyeh is situated. For 
two miles and a half in the central part the continuity of 
the range is only traceable in more rapid slopes without 
lateral valleys ; but this does not prevent the highway 
from Hebron through Dhaheriyeh to the Plain of Beersheba, 
from following this inner range throughout. 


The natural limits of the Shephelah have been discussed in 
the foregoing chapter. Viewed as a whole, these hills present 
the aspect of an amphitheatre, encircling the Plain of 
Philistia on the east, from Gaza to Jaffa. The new survey 
which has enabled the eastern boundary to be defined, also 
supplies the means of unriddling the tangled structure of the 


mass, and to that subject the following remarks will be 

A succession of main wadys from the mountains of 
Judah, intersect the hills of the Shephelah from east to 
west, and constitute dividing lines between the five groups into 
which it is convenient to arrange the mass for the purpose of 
its description. 


The Wady es Surar is the most northerly of these 
dividing wadys. From its northern or right bank, a range of 
hills extends in a north-westerly direction nearly up to Jaffa. 
The villages of Eshua, Amwas, el Kubab, the towns of Eamleh 
and Ludd, with Safiriyeh, Beit Dejan and Yazur, skirt the 
northern foot of the range towards the Judsean Hills and the 
Plain of Sharon. On the summit of the range are Surah and 
Abu Shusheh. On the western side are Kuldeh, el 
Mansurah, Naaneh, Akir, el Mughar, Zornukah, el Kubeibeh 
and Surafend. The waterparting between the basins of Nahr 
el 'Auja and Nahr Rubin, is on the summit of this range. 

The range is distinctly divisible into three parts, of 
which the southernmost has a biblical celebrity derived 
from the birth and exploits of Samson. It is a circular block 
surrounded by Wady Surar, Wady el Khalil, and Wady 
Atallah, the last flowing by Latron. From a semicircular 
outer range, rising from the south-eastern part of the base 
two main valleys pass through the block westward, and 
fall into Wady es Surar. It has been already noticed 
on p. 50 that the southern valley contains the ruins 
named Khurbet Surik, and that name combined with the 
situation of the valley, serves to identify it with the Valley 
of Sorek where Samson was taken prisoner in the house of 
Delilah. Zorah, where Samson was born, is the present 
village of Surah (alt. 1,171 feet) at the head of the valley and 
on the summit of the outer range. The northern valley is of 
greater extent and drains the main body of the block. The 
site of Samson's En Hak-kore is the Ayun el Khaijeh, and 
Ramath Lehi is placed at Kh. Ism Allah. Perhaps the site of 


the Mahaneh or camp of Dan is Khurbet Kila, or the ruined 
fort. Spurs from the outer range divide it from the Vale of 
Sorek on the south and from the Wady el Khalil on the 
north. The greatest length of this block is about six miles, 
and its breadth exceeds four miles. 

On the north of Wady el Khalil is another division of 
the range, with the Wady Harir on its north-eastern base, 
and the Plain of Akir or Ekron on the south-west. The 
north- western boundary is traced from the Plain of Ekron 
along Wady Bahlas, to an affluent of Wady Harir, having 
Eas Abu Hamid at its outlet. The only biblical site on this 
block is at Tell Jezar identified with Gezer by M. Ganneau, 
and having now in its neighbourhood the modern village of 
Abu Shusheh. The natural character of this mass is in 
contrast with the first, for the highest part instead of being 
on the exterior, is in the centre where it forms a crater-like 
summit from which the slopes descend on all sides. The 
highest point is 850 feet above the sea. 

The northernmost and third division of this series consists 
of a low range which stretches from el Mughar northward 
to Beit Dejan, a distance of twelve miles, and spreads west- 
ward to the sandy downs which separate the hills from the sea. 
This range forms the western boundary of the Plain of Eamleh 
and Ludd on the north and the Plain of Ekron on the south. 
One of its central valleys is Wady Deiran, a word probably 
derived from Daroma, an ancient name of this district. The 
highest part of this undulating track is 261 feet. 


The next division includes the hills between Wady es 
Surar and Wady es Sunt, which may be reckoned on an 
average about four miles apart. Here also are some distinct 
features. On the east there is a ridge extending from the 
Sunt to the Surar, with a short slope of about half a mile 
towards the eastern limit of the Shephelah in Wady en 
Najil ; and a longer slope of about two miles towards the 


west, where the drainage is received by a valley, generally 
parallel to Wady en Jtfajil, and also running northward to 
Wady es Stirar. At the head of the valley is Beit Nettif 
(alt. 1,517 feet) with a fine view ; in the centre is Beit el 
Jemal ; and at its outfall is 'Am Shems (alt. 917 feet), the 
Beth Shemesh of Scripture (1 Sam. vi, 9-20). 

The heights on the west of the valley also extend from 
the Sunt to the Surar. But these heights throw off spurs 
and ranges to the westward. The southern part descends in 
short spurs to Wady es Sunt where the wady makes two 
great bends to the north. 

Then a long range is thrown off to the west, beginning on 
the south of Khurbet el Kheisham (alt. 1,245 feet), and having 
on its summit the village of Mughullis and Kh. el Mensiyeh, 
where the range bends round to the north, having the village 
of Dhennebbeh on its western flank, which descends to the 
plain. On the north of Dhennebbeh, the range is indeed 
prolonged westward across the plain at a Jow elevation, but 
sufficient to make it the continuation of the waterparting 
between the basins of Nahr Eubin and Nahr Sukereir, which 
entered this division at Beit Nettif. From its. origin to Kh. el 
Menshiyeh the range skirts the right bank of Wady es Sunt 
and divides it from Wady el Menakh, at the. head of which 
is the village of el Bureij (alt. 830 feet). 

North of Khurbet el Kheisham, another range is extended 
to the west, between Wady el Menakh and Wady es 
Surar. It terminates on the plain where the wady enters it. 


The hills between Wady es Sunt and Wady el Afranj, 
now come under notice. They arise on the east in a range 
which originates between the head of Wady es Sur and 
Wady el Afranj. The range forms the left bank of Wady 
es Sur, which is a part of the eastern boundary line of the 
Shephelah, following it northward till the Sur joins the Wady 
Musurr, and from the union proceeds Wady es Sunt. The 


range now turns to the westward as far as the junction of 
Wady Zakariya with the Sunt. 

The descent of the range eastward to the Sur is abrupt, 
like that of the range along Wady en Najil on the north. 
The slope to the west is much longer, and about four miles 
in width, terminating partly in Wady el Afranj on the 
north-east of Beit Jibrin, but chiefly in Wady Zakariya, 
called also Wady es Seiji, which rises about two miles north- 
eastward of Beit Jibrin, and runs northward to Wady es 

At the foot of Beit Jibrin, but on the north of Wady el 
Afranj, a range commences, which runs northward to Wady 
es Sunt, where it terminates in Tell Zukariya. This range is 
altogether seven miles in length, and completely separates 
the eastern tract, just described, from the western. The 
range rises steeply on the east, from the banks of Wady el 
Judeiyideh, and Wady Zakariya ; but it throws off long 
slopes towards the plain, which however they are prevented 
from reaching by the interposition of another range running 
from the right bank of Wady Afranj, on the north-west 
of Beit Jibrin up to Wady es Sunt, where it ends in Tell es 
Safi. This western range throws the southernmost waters of 
the middle range to the north, and collecting the rest of the 
western drainage of the middle range in them, finds an outlet 
to the Sunt in Wady es Safi, on the east of TeU es Safi. The 
middle range rises to 1,335 feet in Kh. es Surah. On its 
western slope are the villages of Kudna and Eana, and Deir 
edh Dhibban. 

Besides Tell es Safi (alt. 695 feet), the summits of the 
western range are distinguished by the village of Dhikerin 
(alt. 680 feet), and its slopes contain the villages of Berkusieh 
(alt. 585 feet), and Summeil (alt. 405 feet). From the 
ground between those villages a slight swell extends across 
the plain to the villages of el Butani, about five miles from 
the sea. 



This group has the Wady el Afranj on the north, and the 
main channel of Wady el Hesy on the south. This main 
channel enters the Shephelah at the junction of the Wady el 
Butm, through the gorge of Tell el Akr'a ; and it emerges at 
Tell el Hesy into an arm of the western plain, having the 
villages of Bureir and Simsim at its mouth. 

The village of Idhna is the central point of the northern 
part of these hills. From thence a range runs north-west- 
ward, following the curvature of Wady el Afranj, and forming 
its left bank, until it reaches Khurbet Senabreh, when the 
range is deflected to the south-west, along the northern- 
most affluent of the southern branch of the Sukereir Basin, 
which crosses the plain as Wady el Ghueit. The range now 
divides the affluents of Wady el Afranj from those that fall 
to el Ghueit, and in the performance of this function it 
reaches the plain on the south of Zeita. The most noted 
place on its summit is Tell Sandahannah on the south of Beit 

Another range proceeds from Idhna westward to el 
Khubeibeh, and throws off considerable spurs to the north- 
west, which terminate on the left bank of the Ghueit affluent 
before mentioned, called in part Wady Beit 'Alam, and filling 
up the space between the two Idhna ranges. 

The next range arises between the wadys that rise about 
Beit 'Auwa. It is in continuation of the waterparting 
between the basins of Nahr Sukereir and Wady el Hesy, 
which begins at Eas Biain on the south of Dura. It throws 
out spurs on the south side of the range, from a point on the 
south of ed Dawaimeh. They are divided by the Wady el 
Butm ; and at its western end it sends two spurs towards 
Bureir. Otherwise it hugs the right bank of Wady el Hesy 
so closely, that no features of that kind occur. To the basin 
of Nahr Sukereir, this range contributes not only spurs, but a 
considerable branch, which, beginning on the west of ed 
Dawaimeh, passes to the plain at Arak el Menshiyeh. From 


the main range further west, a spur passes between Wady el 
Habur and Wady es Sukriyeh ; and between the latter and 
Wady en ISTeda, a broad slope descends to Khurbet Fattatah. 
Tell Ibdis caps the termination of the main range, which falls 
boldly to the plain northward from that summit between 
Arak el Menshiyeh and Khurbet el Jils. 


South of Wady el Hesy, the next dividing line is found 
in Wady esh Sheriah, and its upper course called Wady 
Khuweilfeh. Along the eastern margin of this extremity of 
the Shephelah, a range rises from the banks of Wady el Butm 
and Wady el Beiyarah, which extend between the plains of 
Aitun and Sabti. From the central points of the range at 
Kh. Jeimer (alt. 1,530 feet), a range proceeds north-westerly 
to Kh. Surrar, presenting an abrupt escarpment to form the 
left bank of Wady el Jizair or el Abd, and a long slope with 
tributary streams towards the left bank of Wady en Nas. 

South of the Plain or Sahel es Sabti, a long range emanates 
from the waterparting between Wady el Hesy and Wady 
Ghuzzeh at Kh. Bureideh. On its summit on the south of 
Sabti is Kh. Z'ak (alt. 1,370 feet), followed by Jebel Abu 
Huteirish, and the Ard el Mak-huz, the termination being at 
Tell el Hesy. The only notable spurs on the north-east side of 
the range are near the Ard el Mak-huz. On the south-west side 
they occupy a considerable slope which descends to the Wady 
el Muleihah. The country is entirely pastoral with some ruins, 
but no existing villages. 

The next range is part of the waterparting between the 
Wady el Hesy and Wady Ghuzzeh, beginning at Kh. Khuweil- 
feh and proceeding westward with bold curves to the maritime 
plain on the south of Gaza. It has been already traced.* Its 
northern side is closely followed for about six miles by the 
Wady Nuksar ; indeed so closely that the wady may almost 
be said to be on the summit. After that wady turns to the 
north-west, five spurs descend in succession to Wady el 

* See ante, pages 54, 55. 


Muleihah and Wady el Hesy. The most westerly of these 
spurs, throws off several very rugged arms westward to the 
plain. From Sateh Burber on the main range, a considerable 
branch extends to the villages of Huj and Nejed in the plain, 
spreading out its lower features towards Gaza. North of 
Nejed a group of low hills of a similar character divide the 
plain between Simsim and Keratiya from the margin of the 
sea, where the famous city of Ascalon once held its powerful 
sway. Westward of Sateh Burber, the main range nowhere 
reaches an altitude of 500 feet, and the undulations do not 
invite much notice. The same may be said of the slope from 
the main range towards the Wady esh Sheriah. Judging 
from the map it exhibits the ordinary aspects of chalk 
downs. It appears to be passable in every direction, if the 
numerous tracks over it may be taken as evidence to that 
effect. The hills to the south of Wady esh Sheriah within 
the Survey, appear to be of the same character, and seem to 
be deprived of interest, owing to the obscurity in which the 
south country or Negeb is still left. That the country will 
ultimately be surveyed to which Abraham bent his steps in 
fulfilling to the utmost the divine command, the Gerar 
which became his home, and the scene of his exemplary 
confidence in the presence of the Almighty, the Negeb with 
its interesting events in the life of David, and the southern 
border of the Promised Land with the long disputed site of 
Kadesh, and many other places the sites of which Mr. 
Wilton has so ably discussed, that this portion of the Land 
of Promise, may'be added to the Survey is ardently desired. 





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