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of the natural rock separates this inclosure from an inner square open court, then covered with rubbish and brambles, and into which it opens by a round arch on the southern side. This inner court has a very handsome square portico with a beautiful carved architrave—one of the most perfect specimens of Hebrew sculpture that I believe at present exists. The frieze is adorned with a regulus, trygliphs, vine leaves, and other floral embellishments; and in the centre is an immense bunch of grapes, of a size that might lead us to believe that the architect had far surpassed nature, did we not read of similar ones being brought to Joshua by the spies whom he sent to inquire into the fertility of the land. A pilaster at either end still remains; and in all probability there were two columns in the centre like those in the porticos of Telmessus, which, on the whole, it must have very much resembled. These columns have long since been broken off, and the entire carving has been very much defaced; a small portion of the left-hand column still, however, remains at the top. The face of the rock within the portico is smooth, and presents no appearance of openings; but a small low door-way in the lefthand side, - leads into a large square antechamber, hewn with extraordinary skill out of the solid rock, similar to the hypogea at Sackara. There are no niches or places for sarcophagi within this apartment; but a series of small chambers branch off on each of its three sides. These are for the most part oblong cryptæ, with ledges on either side for holding the bodies or coffins. The floor of each has a small channel cut in its centre; probably to collect and drain off, the moisture that is constantly dropping from the soft limestone rock out of which they are excavated.
The most extraordinary and ingeniously-contrived part of these chambers are the doors, each of which is formed of a single stone seven inches thick, sculptured so as to resemble four panels; the stiles, muntins, and other parts are cut with great art, and exactly resemble a door made by a carpenter of the present day—the whole being completely smooth and polished, and most accurate in all their proportions. The doors turned on pivots, of the same stone of which the rest of them were composed, which were inserted into sockets above and below; but I regret to say that they are all now torn down and many broken across. Many persons, supposing that these were carved out of the rock
that filled up the door-way, have been puzzled to know how the hinges were constructed; but this has been already clearly described by Dr. Pococke, who has given a plate, and a most ingenious explanation of the manner in which this curious work was completed.* There are no troughs or soroi in any of the chambers of this subterranean mausoleum, but simply ledges on the sides, like those in the regal sepulchres in Asia Minor, which have been described in the former part of this volume.
A low door and a flight of steps leads down to another suite of chambers of similar form and construction below those just described. In these we found some of the most rare and elegant sarcophagi, as regards their form, ornamental work and adornment, that I have ever beheld in any country. Each of them consisted of two half cylinders of white marble excavated within ; and which when placed together resembled the shaft of a beautiful pillar. The bottom part was of comparatively plain workmanship; but the lid or upper piece was literally covered with the most elaborately carved foliage in basso relievo, traced in vines, roses, and lily-work.
The groove or cavity for the body, which was principally hollowed out of the bottom part, was about two feet broad and a foot deep; a space sufficiently large to contain the body of an ordinary sized person. The ends of the sarcophagus were also carved ; and in its form and appearance it resembled very much the large carriage trunks of former days.
The niches for these sarcophagi were somewhat different from those in the upper chambers, and formed the segment of a dome similar to those I have described as existing at Tyre. Above the coffin was a small niche apparently made for the purpose of holding a lamp, though not unlike those places found in heathen temples, for containing votive offerings.
See Pococke's Description of the East, vol. ii. p. 21. + In two learned essays written by my esteemed friend, Baron Hammer Purgstall, in the Oesterreichische Zeitschrift for 1836, he gives an account of some Christian (Arabian) kings of Gashan under the title of “The Adventures of Dschebele the son of Eihem, the last of the kings of Gashan; translated from the work of the prophet Ibrahim aus Kaleb Kano." Dschebele returns to Jerusalem after his expulsion from Mecca, (in the days of the Emperor
SIMILARITY OF SEPULCHRAL ARCHITECTURE.
When describing some of the peculiarities of the tombs that I discovered at Tyre, I mentioned the similarity that existed between the ground-plan of the Egyptian, the Phænician, the Grecian, and also the Irish, (as exhibited in the cromleigh or pyramid of New Grange,) in all of which the tomb consists of a stone chamber, having three recesses or tabernacles for bodies, i. e. one on each side, and one opposite the entrance. Now in these chambers that I have just described, the same character is preserved, showing a similarity of sepulchral architecture throughout these several countries, where the type is preserved, though the form is different. Sometimes we find the crypt of a round form, as at Alexandria, and in a few instances at Tyre.-See No. 1 in the annexed wood-cut. The eastern nations, who had made greater progress in the arts, carved their tombs out of the solid rock ; the western piled up great stones for a similar purpose, as may be seen in No. 2, which represents the ground-plan of the Irish-while at Jerusalem, in Asia Minor, and in other parts of Egypt and the East, it is square, as in No. 3.
Many of the chambers in the royal caves are so filled up with
Heraclius,) and a slave sings to him a song, in which the two following lines, as translated from the Oriental into the German, occur :
The tomb spoken of in this description, the great orientalist believed to refer to the Tombs of the Kings, or those of the Judges; but it is evident that it alludes to that known as the Sepulchre of the Virgin, in the Valley of Jehoshaphat.
stones and rubbish that it is with great difficulty they can be entered. It is evident that the outer door was constructed for the purpose of concealing the entrance, and I have little doubt of the existence of a similar set of chambers on the other side. * Much remains to be done in clearing away the rubbish and carefully exploring these and all the other tombs in the environs of the city; and I am convinced that great light would be thrown upon the subject by such an examination.
How much would science be benefitted and how greatly would it redound to the honour of those travellers who go about from place to place, merely for the sake of saying that they have been here, or there, if, instead of scribbling their names upon whatever they can reach, disfiguring the roofs, and with a candle setting forth their address, they were to spend a little time and money in examining these places, which would amply repay them, and confer a benefit upon society. A few pounds would transport one of these splendid sarcophagi to England; and it is the duty of the British Museum, or some other of our institutions, to avail themselves of the facility given by the Básha at present, for conveying it to Beyrout; from whence
* It is very remarkable that Messrs. Banks, Irby and Mangles, Dr. Robinson, and myself, should have come to precisely the same conclusions, with respect to the continuation of these sepulchral chambers, and that, too, without being at all acquainted with each other's opinions; for until the late“ Colonial and Home Library” edition of Irby and Mangles, I had never seen the book. Dr. Robinson, who, I believe, had never seen the first edition of this “Narrative," says, “ It was not until after these pages were written that I was able to get access at Berlin to the travels of Irby and Mangles." These industrious travellers, with Mr. Banks and their servants, did actually make some excavations, (in 1818,) but just as they had arrived at the place where they might expect to meet the entrance, they were discovered by the authorities at Jerusalem, and prevented proceeding farther. Dr. Robinson made some examination of the spot, and had much of the rubbish cleared away from the northern extremity, but ineffectually. “ Yet,” he adds, and in this I perfectly agree with him, “I would not aver that such an entrance may not, after all, actually exist, having been perhaps purposely concealed."-Biblical Researches, vol. i. p. 533. It is certainly well worthy of the especial attention of future travellers.
it could be easily transported to England by one of our steamers.* The crime of plunder that has been so justly inveighed against in Greece and Italy, where a more enlightened and refined people exist, could not be justly chargeable in this case, for in removing any of these antiquities we would be but preserving them from destruction, for the Mohammadan takes especial delight in defacing and mutilating any object of antiquity existing in the country, and breaking down “the carved work thereof with axes and hammers."
We next bent our steps to the Tombs of the Judges, as tradition has been pleased to call them ; and on our way passed through the level district of Scopus, where the camp of Titus was placed. These tombs are situated about two miles north of the city, the intervening tract of ground being rugged and mostly uncultivated. Fig-trees, olives, and sycamores, however, redeem it from the term barren ; and in some places we passed vineyards, in a few of which were erected towers and wine-presses, reminding us of the descriptions given of them in Scripture history. Indeed it was impossible to travel through this land of sacred associations, where every object in the landscape, every custom of the country, and each of the common usages of life, and the very forms of expression, both within and without the city, hourly exhibited to us some ancient rite, or scriptural reference, without feeling that we were placed amid the scenes from which were drawn the descriptions and the imagery of the prophetic writers, and which furnished materials for the striking parables of the Saviour.
This vast cemetery in which it is supposed the Judges of Israel were interred, occupies the front of a stratum of rock facing the south-west, and situated on the way-side leading to Samaria. Some of these tombs are detached, while others are found in clusters; altogether the space covered by them is rather more than a quarter of a mile in length. The front of each tomb consists of a plain, square, and unadorned aperture, cut in the rock somewhat similar to the portico of the royal sepulchres ;
* Alas! since the above was written, England has deposed this friendly Basha. Let the travellers of the present day tell under whose rule they experienced most safety and facility.