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two villages, in both of which are remains of antiquity. The full name is Deir el Kasy, to distinguish it from another Deir farther south. The eastern part of the place is mainly built within an ancient fort, some four hundred feet square, in its present form apparently Saracenic. From thence I descended into Wady el Kurn, down a romantic path some fourteen hundred feet, and then toiled out of it again to Tarshîha, a feat which took me two hours to accomplish.
We looked into it, and wisely kept round to the east, where it is less profound, and, passing Harfush, came to a considerable place, whose name I spelled Sehemoita. We now had Tarshîha in a vale to the northwest of us; and in an hour more we stopped to rest and lunch at Yanoah, which I took to be very ancient. Descending from thence to the plain, we reached Acre just before sunset, having been nine hours in the saddle. Thus ends my brief story.
And in good time, for we now commence to climb the mountain to Jiddîn, whose castle sits proudly above us, as if in defiance of all enemies, and the nature of the path forbids farther conversation. But, before we begin the ascent, , let me call your attention to that village on the left. It is 'Amkah, supposed to mark the site of the Emek given to Asher. The radicals are the same in both Hebrew and Arabic.
Here we are at last, before the castle of Jiddîn; no great affair after all, and far from equaling the promise that beckoned us on from the plain. This is owing to its position on the bold swell of the mountain facing the sea, and with deep wadies on both sides. This modern castle was obyiously built on the site of one more ancient, and was, no doubt, an important place. Dr. Robinson suggests that this wady may be the Jiphthah-el mentioned by Joshua as belonging to Asher, but I think this can scarcely be so. Jiphthah-el was farther south.
The castle need not detain us long. In its present form it was built by Dahr el 'Amer, who preceded Jezzar Pasha in Acre-about a hundred years ago. It is like that of
1 Josh. xix. 27.
KULA ET JIDDIN-WAAR.
Shem'a, except that here there are more traces of antiquity. It is not easy to see any motive for building a castle at this spot. The position is not strong, and there is neither great road nor village, nor even a fountain of water near it. The view over the plain, however, is most beautiful, and it might have been designed as a sort of health-retreat for the pashas in those days when castles were necessary to safety. Like all other castles in Syria, this has been suffered to fall into decay, and the only inhabitants are these crabbed and sinister Arabs, their flocks, and their dogs. These invite us to begone, and so does the declining sun, for if we return to Acre by Kabery, we have no time to spare. The path leads down the mountains diagonally toward the northwest, over a wild rocky region for fifty minutes. Such tracts are called waar by the Arabs, and the same word occurs very often in the Bible, and doubtless it indicates the same sort of country. Thus David, at the instance of the prophet Gad, departed from the hold of Mizpeh of Moab, and came into the “forest" (yaar or waar) of Hareth. And again: the great battle against Absalom was in the "wood" (yaar) of Ephraim; and this yaar devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. These waars are not pleasant, open forests, for the ground is too rocky for that—rocks piled in horrid confusion, and covered with prickly oak and other thorny coppice, which confound the unhappy traveler who gets entangled among them. The natives, when they wish to deter you from attempting a given road, shout in your ear waar, waar, with a harsh, guttural emphasis, which bitter experience has taught me always to respect. Nothing is more impracticable than these stony, thorny waars, and I can readily believe that such a "wood" would devour more of a routed army than the sword of the victors. And now, escaped from our own waar, we descend into this beautiful vale of Kŭzrone, which comes rambling down from Tarshîha and M'alia. In the cliffs higher up the country a little animal abounds, called senanûr, a kind of marten, not found any where else in Syria, I am told. What rich fields 11 Sam. xxii. 5.
2 2 Sam. xviii. 6-8.
of wheat! and they spread down the widening wady to Kabery yonder on the edge of the plain. There are two great fountains in the village, one of which is led directly into the aqueduct, and never pauses until it reaches the courts in Acre. The other is elevated in a birkeh, like those at Ras el ’Ain, and drives the mills that are built against it. The cluster of hamlets below bears the name of Nahr (river), and abounds in mills, orchards, and vegetable gardens. Near it is seen the line of an ancient aqueduct, covered with immense masses of tufa, which not only proclaim the antiquity of the work, but also informs us that this water, like that at Ras el 'Ain, is far from pure. The people say that this aqueduct was built by Jezzar Pasha, and destroyed by Bonaparte—both incorrect. It was a ruin ages before Jezzar, and Bonaparte never destroyed such works. It can be traced along under Sheikh Daûd and Ghabsîyeh, and thence in a direct line toward Acre. The present aqueduct was made, it is said, by Suleîman Pasha, and is therefore not fifty years old. This is doubtful; he, perhaps, only repaired it. It runs much lower down the plain than the ancient canal. This entire region, both in the plain and on the mountains, is full of ruins, which I once examined, but they are not historically important, so far as is known, and we have no time to devote to them to-day.
The distance from this to Acre is not far from ten miles, and my aneroid gives one hundred and seventy feet as the elevation above the sea-quite sufficient to carry the water over the walls, and to the tops of the highest houses in the city.
We shall return by Bŭssa, and thus take a look into the northwest corner of this great plain. It abounds in antiquities beyond most parts even of this land of ruins. We shall find the explanation of these old quarries on the hill above us.
This daughter of Jabal says those nearest remains are called Shwoizerîyeh-a very hard word, and apparently foreign.
Why call this curly-headed Bedawy by that name?
in tents, and of such as haye cattle.' Now she dwells in one of those goat-hair tents on the mountain side, and she is tending this drove of poverty-smitten cattle. This Biblical form of expression is very common. Any one who should now invent tents, or the custom of living in tents, would be called the father not only of tents, but also tent-dwelling; indeed, the Arabs call a person distinguished for any peculiarity the father of it. Thus, a man with an uncommon beard is named abu důkn—father of a beard; and I have often heard myself called abu tangera—father of a saucepan–because the boys in the street fancied that my hat resembled that black article of kitchen furniture. And now we are among the ruins of Shwoizerîyeh: look closely to your path if you would not plunge headlong into an old cistern. These ancient sites are perfectly honeycombed with them. This entire region above us is covered with ruined sites, among which I have spent days of agreeable excitement, first and last; but there are no names of historic notoriety, and therefore we shall pass them by without notice. We will now cross this Wady el Kŭrn, and ride up to that column, which stands like a solitary sentinel of by-gone generations. It has maintained its lonely watch over the plain for at least two thousand years. The shaft is composed of ten pieces, each three feet thick, and hence it is thirty feet long, standing on a base ten feet high and nine feet square. The entire elevation of this singular column is therefore forty feet, and it is sixteen feet in circumference. Of course it must have had a statue or something else on the top to give it symmetry, but what that was, and how high, no one can tell; nor when, by whom, or for what it was erected. Those who sought to immortalize their names or deeds by it have utterly failed. This column is now called Hŭmsîn, and also Minawat, from this collection of ruins in its neighborhood. Scattered over this hill side below the column are the remains of a large town, but without a name. From this to Bŭssa is a little more than half an hour, but we shall not go any farther than to this very ancient site,
i Gen. iv. 20.
called 'Ammarîyeh, from which much of the stone used in building Bŭssa has been quarried. They are at it even now, and you see in this spot a striking proof of extreme antiquity. These men are digging out old foundations many feet deep in the soil, beneath an aged olive-tree which they are undermining. Now these houses were ancient ruins, buried thus deep under rubbish before this olive could have been planted, and the tree itself is many hundred years old. There is another very large ruin in the valley east of Băssa, called M'asûba, from which marble slabs and sarcophagi are also quarried, some of which have Greek inscriptions. And still farther up the country are other sites of ancient places, which I have examined on former occasions. The path to Alr leads over that rocky mountain to the northeast, and it takes about an hour and a quarter to reach it. But now for Acre; and we shall find ourselves shut out, unless we put our steeds to the gallop, for the gate closes at sunset, and waits for no man.
How have you spent your time in Acre?