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CRANIA OF THE LEFT-HAND CHAMBERS.
class it belongs. Of this cranium Dr. Prichard writes to me, “I think, with you, that this skull is that of an African.” Its characters are so well exhibited in the drawing, that I need not enumerate them, except to add, that the alveolar process of the upper jaw, which ought to have projected more forward, has been accidentally broken off. The skull is one of great weight and density, and belonged to a person about the middle age.
Here again is one of those skulls found in the left-hand cham
bers; and although it differs in some respects from the true Mongolian, yet under that variety it must be classed. Its most striking characters are its very remarkable narrowness in its longitudinal diameter, not only in contra-distinction to the
respective tongues of the different nations among whom they were scattered, yet that they would, like Jews of the present day, all understand Hebrew. But, even supposing that they were Jewish proselytes, still they were strangers, and must have belonged to separate tribes before their conversion, and consequently had skulls different in form from the Hebrew.
Regarding this miraculous gift of tongues, a friend has lately suggested to me an idea that deserves attention. It is, that these people heard a language which they themselves understood, and which, though spoken by one person, was equally intelligible to the whole multitude, and not that
Ethiopian, which is characterised by extreme length, but in comparison with all other known crania. It has an uncommon breadth and flatness of the occipital or posterior region; and the very remarkable protuberance at the top of the head gives this skull a place among those termed pyramidal.
Dr. Prichard, who considered these heads as some of the most extraordinary he had ever seen, has stated that, in his opinion, they are of Turkish origin, and that they belonged to those tribes that possess much of the Mongolian form of skull; and, on the whole, he agrees with me as to the place I have given them—that is, although not true Mongolian, yet that they approach nearer to that race than to any other. Altogether, I am of opinion that they may have belonged to some of the Turcoman tribes, that to this day wander in hordes over different parts of those countries, called by the ancient names of Parthia, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, and Pamphylia, and extending in the form of a semi-circle from the eastern extremity of Asia Minor, between the Mediterranean and the Euxine, on the one hand, to the countries lying between the Caspian and the Persian Gulf, on the other, and mingling with the Tartar or Kalmuc hordes that extend to the north-east of the Black Sea beyond Mount Caucasus.
The Turks of the present day, it should be recollected, are not true Mongolians; for though descended from a race of Turcomans, yet now by intermarriage with the Georgian and Circassian females, the very purest and best marked of all Caucasians, they have lost the original configuration of head, except in the peculiarity of the protuberance at top, to which I before alluded. The base of this head is also remarkable for its great breadth and shortness, in a longitudinal direction.*
they were alternately addressed in the seventeen different tongues of those nations. The opinion is well worthy of consideration, and it in no way detracts from the character of the miracle, that each heard a different language from one speaker, as for instance, when they were addressed by Peter.
* As an explanation of the minute anatomical peculiarities of these heads might not be interesting to the general reader, it will be found in the Appendix, together with a description of the modern Egyptian. See Appendix N.
CRANIA OF THE CENTRAL CHAMBERS.
Lastly, the skulls found in the central apartments, one of which is exhibited below, deserve our attention. This is one of the most remarkable I have ever seen, and if it were the peculiar form of any race, as I see no reason to doubt, for there were numbers of the same kind in these crypts, that race is now either extinct, or is unknown to physiologists.
This head, which was that of a very old person, appears to have belonged to a mixed variety, and inclines more to the European or Caucasian. Perhaps it may be classed among those of the Medes and Elamites, who resided in a country beyond the Tigris, and were the same, in all probability, as the modern Persians. This skull is remarkably light, and so thin as to be almost semi-transparent; and it is curious to find that Herodotus mentions the extreme thinness of the Persian skulls, in contradistinction to the Egyptian, which were particularly dense and thick. (Herod. Thalia, xii.)
Finally, I may again add, that though I searched diligently, yet I could not find a single Jewish or well-marked Caucasian head. It may be objected to the hypothesis that these skulls belonged to the several nations that I have enumerated, that bones would not be preserved in so perfect a state for 1800 years; but the climate of Judea, and the peculiar construction of this tomb, would prevent their decaying for a much longer period. I do not think that any antiquary can instance a rock-carved sepulchre such as this having been formed after the Christian era.
INFERENCE FROM THE FOREGOING INQUIRY.
In a subsequent communication, Dr. Prichard concludes his observations upon the skulls, by saying, “The information you give as to their locality is very curious, and the circumstance that strangers were probably buried there, accounts for the diversity in the forms of these skulls.”
From all the concurrent circumstances connected with this tomb—its being situated on the site of the acknowledged Field of Blood; the appearance of its external architecture, particularly its door, which differs from all other sepulchres we have yet heard of, except those at Petra and Bysan, in being formed for occasional opening; from its curious internal hall and chambers ; the remarkable human remains found in them, so perfectly different and distinct one from another ; and these belonging to foreign nations, and not to Hebrews–I conceive there is a strong probability, almost amounting to presumptive proof, that this sepulchre was one of the tombs, if not the actual one, purchased with the thirty pieces of silver to bury strangers in, and from that circumstance receiving the name of ACELDAMA, or FIELD OF Blood.
The Jews—Their Character in Jerusalem-Number-Benjamin of Tudela-Means of Subsistence
-Their Love for the City-Patriotism--- Transportation of their bones—Their language Synagogues---Ancient Customs—Present State and Prospects—A Touching Seene-HopeLæpers-Houses-Female Inhabitants-- Their Amugements--Missionaries—The English Church
- The Different Sects of Christians — The Latin Fathers--A Pharmacy-Greeks-ArmeniansTheir Convents---Door of the Holy Sepulchre-Copts-Their History and Customs-Effects of the Conscription-An Arab's Love-Pool of Bethesda-Its remarkable Masonry-Tomb of David--A Prussian Prince-A Navigator of the Dead Sea-Irish Travellers--Eastern Shepherds - Bethlehem -- Its Beautiful Females-Convent - Place of the Nativity--EthamSolomon's Cisterns-Aqueduct--Visit to Bethany-Sepulchre of Lazarus - Return to Ramla -Sirocco_Climate of Palestine-An Adventure-How to catch a Mule-Reflections on the East-Its Wonders and present Prospects-Proceed to Europe.
Tae Jews inhabit a particular portion of the southern part of the city, the Harat-el-Youd, between the foot of Sion and the enclosure of the Mosque of Omar, and are not the least interesting of the objects presented to the traveller in the Holy City. This extraordinary people, the favoured of the Lord, the descendants of the patriarchs and prophets, and the aristocracy of the earth, are to be seen in Jerusalem to greater advantage, and under an aspect, and in a character, totally different from that which they present in any other place on the face of the globe. In other countries the very name of Jew has associated with it cunning, deceit, usury, traffic, and often wealth. But here, in addition to the usual degradation and purchased suffering of a despised, stricken, outcast race, they bend under extreme poverty, and wear the aspect of a weeping and a mourning people ; lamenting over their fallen greatness as a nation, and over the prostrate grandeur of their once proud city. Here the usurer is turned into the pilgrim, the merchant into the priest, and the inexorable creditor into the weeping suppliant. Without wealth, without traffic, they are