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The popu

an Arab village and an Arab camp. lation here are all Mohammedans, and from some cause which no one could explain, there was a remarkable deficiency in the proportion of female inhabitants.

3d. We quitted the village of Bahrahah at an early hour, and having a fine day, proceeded on our journey with quickened pace. The first inhabited spot we saw was the hamlet of Beit-elRas, on the hills to the right of our track, where there are said to be considerable ruins and


A few miles to the north of Beit-el-Ras is a place called Abil, which is described to be situated on the angle of a mountain, and is said also to contain caverns. It is now totally abandoned, but is reported to possess some fine ruins of large edifices, walls, arches, columns, &c., some of which last are without the walls of the town, and from their size must have belonged to some temple or palace. This is near to Beit-elRas, and is only one day's journey, or from twenty to thirty miles from El Hussun, the first town at the foot of these hills to the N. E., on entering from hence the great plain of the Hauran, and may probably be the Abila of Josephus.*

A few miles further on, we came to the village of Tugbool, which, like the last, was very small ;

* Ant. of the Jews, b. 19. c. v. s. 1.

as well as another cluster of houses on the left, called Cufr Sou.

Continuing on our way, we reached, in about three hours after our first setting out, a stoney tract of hill, in which were some few grottoes, and a number of sepulchres hewn down into the rock, exactly as our common graves are now dug in the earth. Some of them were several feet in depth, others only a few inches below the surface, and all were now full of water. They were exceedingly numerous, and seemed, from their want of uniformity in size and relative positions, as well as from the peculiarity of their construction, to have been the works of a very distant age, and the sepulchres of a rude people.

Passing onward over this bare and hilly tract, we had on the right, at some little distance, the villages of Simma and Jejean; and on the left, far off among the hills, was pointed out to us the town of Tibbany, of a larger size. We then passed the small village of Sar on the right; and before noon reached Foharrah, where we alighted to refresh.

Our place of entertainment here was one of those square towers with loop-holes and other marks of Saracenic work, such as we had seen in almost all the villages we had yet passed, from Soof to this place, and were unquestionably intended for security and defence. Our reception

was as kind as at the place of our halting on the preceding day; and after a meal of warm cakes and oil, we prepared to depart. The village of Foharrah, which occupies two divisions, contains from three to four hundred inhabitants, all Mohammedan, and is under the direction of a Sheikh subject to Damascus; its situation is low, and the country around it is bare and uninteresting.

From hence we continued to ascend on our way, still directing our course to the N. W., nclining somewhat more westerly than before. The country into which we had now entered, resembled that in the midst of which Jerusalem stands; bleak stoney hills, with scanty soil and few spots even capable of cultivation. The view around us, too, was as monotonous as that from the Holy City, and formed a striking contrast of positive ugliness to the rich and verdant beauties of the enchanting scenery through which we had recently passed in the land of Bashan and Gilead, and in the approach to and departure from the ruins of Geraza.

On the left we passed the village of Seyfeen, and reaching now the summit of the hills we had been ascending, we came among some few clusters of wood, and at about three hours after noon, approached the modern settlement of Oom Kais, on the site of the ancient Gamala, whose ruins we alighted to examine.



As we approached these ruins from the east, our attention was first attracted by the sight of. several grottoes facing towards that quarter, and forming apparently the necropolis of the city on the eastern brow of the hill. The first two that we examined, were plain chambers, hewn down so as to present a perpendicular front, and having the posts and architraves of door-ways, but destitute of sculpture or other ornament, either interior or exterior. The third, however, delighted and surprised us as much as if it had been a discovery of the highest importance. We had heard much of the stone-doors and ceilings of the ruined towns in the Hauran, which were thought to be the works of the old Chaldean age, and we had seen with regret the destruction of those which closed the tombs of the kings at Jerusalem, and which, from their being supposed to be unique, had given these monuments a claim to a higher antiquity than they perhaps possess ; so that our gratification was higher than can be described in finding here a tomb with its stone

door as perfect as on the day of its being first hung.

On entering it, we found an excavated chamber of about seven feet in height, twelve paces long, and ten broad: and within it a smaller room not more than ten feet deep and twelve wide; the whole irregularly hewn, without regard to uniformity of dimensions or design, and having its walls and roofs quite rough. The outer front, however, was extremely perfect, and was descended to by a gradual slope, the space being cut away out of the hill.

The rock out of which the chambers were excavated was a coarse grey lime-stone; but the portals and architrave of the door-way, as well as the door itself, were all of the black basaltic stone, of which we had seen sarcophagi at Bahrahah. The portals were solid, and, though plain, were well-hewn and squared. The architrave, which was broad and deep, was ornamented in front with three busts of coarse execution; the head bare, the face full, and the ears prominent, like the heads sometimes, but rarely, seen among Egyptian hieroglyphics.

The door, which was seven spans high, was pannelled by a double moulding, in four oblong squares, and divided by a perpendicular line, left in relief upon its centre, and resembling exactly a bar of iron, with five studs, like the

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