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emanating from such a quarter must ensure at least the most respectful attention.*

After exploring the site of Masada, or Sebbeh, M. de Sauley and his party, accompanied by the Arab Shaikh, Abu Dahuk, continued their journey in a southerly direction along the south-western border of the Dead Sea. Passing the Wad al Hafaf, the travellers approached the sandy shores of the Dead Sea. Thence they passed an extensive crater, beyond which was a promontory of detached masses of rock called Radjum es Sanin. Beyond this again was the volcanic ridge of the Jibal Hatrura, with a large crater at its foot.

This difficulty overcome, a sandy plain led the way to Kalah Ambarhaj, a little square fort, built with cut stones, and erected upon a mound, which M. de Sauley identifies with the Tharmara of Eusebius and Thaman of the Tables. There are extensive ruins around, and an

abundant spring in the same neighbourhood.

Hence the shores of the Dead Sea are described as being much cut up by water-courses, and strewn with detached masses of rock, interrupted by an occasional dyke of lava and the remains of craters. The sandy shore keeps narrowing in extent till, near the Wad es Zuwairah, it is only fifty yards deep.

Beyond this a scanty vegetation, and a plain covered with rolled stones and pebbles, led to the Wad es Zuwairah. To the west was the Jibal Usdum (Djebel Sdoum, in M. de Sauley's orthography), and to the south the plain of Usdum, or, according to M. de Sauley, of Sodom, bordered by the Jibal al Ha-uah. Traversing this plain, the travellers arrived at a low eminence some fifteen yards in diameter, covered with large coarse stones, having a burnt aspect, which M. de Sauley says evidently constituted part of a circular edifice that commanded the borders of the sea-the sea being only some thirty yards off to the east, and the cliffs of rocks some twenty to the west.

The sight of this ruin (to use M. de Saulcy's own words) struck me forcibly, and I naturally thought of Sodom. I questioned Abu Dahuk. "What is that?" I said to him. "Kasr kadim" (an old castle), he answered. "And its name ?" "Redjom el Mezorrhel" (the heap of overturned or detached stones).

It is at this point that Colonel Lapie placed Thamara. I am not aware in what narrative of travel he has found a notice of this ruin which he calls Tell el Msoggal. All that I can say is that on the map of Egypt, of Arabia Petrea, and of Syria, published by Hérison (chez Jean, Rue Saint Jean de Beauvais, No. 10), this very Tell el Msoggal is found at the south-west extremity of the Dead Sea, and consequently very conveniently placed.

As far as I am concerned (continues M. de Saulcy) no doubt is possible. I have under my eyes the ruins of an edifice which once constituted a portion of Sodom. The Shaikh Abu Dahuk is very explicit upon this point. When I ask him where was the city of Sdoum? "Here," he said. “And this ruin -did it belong to the cursed city?" Sahihh" (certainly)! "Are there any "Naam fih khirabat kitir" (yes, there are

more remains of Sdoum ?"


* Voyage Autour de la Mer Morte et dans les Terres Bibliques, exécuté de Decembre, 1850 à 1851. Par F. de Saulcy, Ancien Elève de l'Ecole Polytechnique, Membre de l'Institut Publié sou les Auspices du Ministère de l'Instruction Publique. 2 vols.

many ruins). "Where are they?" "Hon wa hon" (here and there). And he showed me the point of the Salt Mountain which we had just passed, and the plain which stretches along the foot of that mountain, as far as to the Wad es Zuwairah.

M. de Sauley had then, according to his own account, left the ruins of Sodom behind him, passed them, indeed, without recognising them, so little were they manifest-a fact he attributes in part to his attention having been drawn off by the imprudence of his companions, who had ventured, in the pursuit of game, into a cover full of imaginary dangers. Our traveller determined therefore to return to a site of so much interest, and this he did a few days after, when, passing the Redjom el Mezorrhel, which is evidently the same as the Um Zoghal of Doctor Robinson, and the cairn of Um Zoghal of Van de Velde, he says:

At fifty-two minutes past two we turned to the west-north-west. The sea was then about eighty yards, and the foot of the mountain fifty yards, distant. The shore thus expanded exhibited to the eye great blocks of weatherworn stone, in the midst of which we soon recognised regular files, which are only the foundations of ancient walls. We are then most assuredly in the midst of recognisable and visible ruins, which exhibited themselves till fiftysix minutes past two; that is only for a distance of some 400 yards. We were at that time progressing in a north-north-westerly direction. To our right is a sandy shore, and before us the cover of shrubs and dwarf trees, in which our companions had imprudently ventured to hunt on the occasion of our first visit.

To our left the Jibal Usdum has ceased to constitute an unbroken mass, and we arrived in front of the great butts which form the northern point of that mountain. A mass of ruin, certain indication of the existence at this point of a considerable town, appear on these butts (mamelons), which have a very extensive superficies. We turned round the foot of these ruins, the origin of which it is impossible for us to blind ourselves to. At three o'clock the shrubbery, which hides the sea from us, is about eighty yards to our right. We are still progressing in a north-north-westerly direction. At seven minutes past three we traverse the dry bed of a torrent near fifteen yards wide. At this point the butts covered with ruins are separated by a ravine, and are thus made to form two distinct masses, upon which repose the immense ruins, which the Arabs who accompany us are unanimous in calling Usdum. In the plain itself, beyond the bed of the torrent which I have just spoken of, are numerous files or rows of stone, the remains of primitive habitations. We continued to progress in a west-north-west direction till eleven minutes past three, when the ruins in the plain ceased to appear (pp. 71, 72).

M. de Saulcy having determined the positioning of Sodom to his satisfaction, he had next to seek for the site of Zoar in the same neighbourhood, and the name of Es Zuwairah (although scholars aver that there is no affinity between the Hebrew Zoar and the Arabic Es Zuwairah) presented itself most favourably.*

Following a west-north-west direction, M. de Sauley describes the

The Hebrew Zoar contains the letter 'Ain, which never falls away from the middle of a word; and accordingly Abulfeda and others write that name repeatedly Zoghar, and speak of it as existing in their day. (Robinson's "Biblical Researches," vol. ii. p. 480; Abulfed. Tab. Syr. ed. Köhler, pp. 8, 9, 11, 12, &c.; Ibn el Wardi, ibid. p. 178.)

delta which they were traversing as becoming a vast plain, intersected by ravines, strewn with rolled stones and interspersed with shrubs.

At fifteen minutes past three we attain the extreme point of the Jibal Usdum, which terminates in a perpendicular cliff over a large and beautiful plain, dotted with mimosas, and stretching far away to the south-south-west. It was only thirty minutes past three when we reached the foot of the first hills, barely thirty yards high, which form the mouth of the Wad es Zuwairah, and which we begin to ascend thirty-two minutes past three, continuing our journey at first in a direct westerly direction. Upon the higher part of the two hills I have just alluded to are very numerous ruins (des décombres très nombreux), similar to what is seen at Ain Jedi, Usdum, en Nemaïreh, and Sebaan. The Arabs call these ruins Zuwairah et Tahtah. They are, then, those of the Zoar, which took the place, or succeeded to the Biblical Zoar, and that upon the same place.

The Talaa, or Khurbat Sebaan, here alluded to, is identified by M. de Sauley with Zeboim; the other member of the Pentapolis, Gomorrha, he identifies with the Khurbat Gumran or Umran, at the northern extremity of the Dead Sea; and Admah or Adamah, with the Suk et Thaemeh, in the midst of the wilderness of Judah. The ruins of Sebaan are situated on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, at the foot of the mountains of Moab, and are described as extending from the Wad ed Draa to the shores of the Dead Sea.

The chief objections to M. de Saulcy's determination of the site of Sodom, are founded on the fact that the land of the Moabites was on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, that Zoar was in Moab, and that Sodom, as shown by the short time which it took Lot to pass from one to the other, that is to say between break of day and sunrise, was close to Sodom. But this argument is not perfectly conclusive. It was after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrha that the children of Lot invaded Moab. The Pentapolis was originally in the vale of Siddim, "which is the Salt Sea." We learn from the same authority that the Moabites had, after expelling the original inhabitants, a giant race called Emims, possessed themselves, previous to the Exodus, of the regions on the east of the Dead Sea, which were afterwards known as Moab Proper. Hence it is that Moses, when declaring the law, speaks of Moab, on this side of Jordan, as the coast of Moab, the country of the Emims, the land of Ar and of Aroer on the Arnon, and connected with Seir of the Edomites on the one side, and the land of Ammon on the other.

In opposition to the same objections, M. de Sauley quotes Jerome, who, in his Commentaries on Isaiah, notices Segur (Zoar) as on the confines of Moab, and dividing that country from the land of the Philistines. With Josephus, he says Zoar was a town in Arabia; and in Holy Writ this Zoar, a city of the doomed Pentapolis, becomes probably in Genesis a city of Edom (this he deduces from the negative evidence of its not being noticed in the enumeration by Joshua of the cities of Judah); and lastly, in the time of the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, it was a city of Moab. This is not a correct view of the case: Zoar was a city of Moab, as before observed, in the time of the Exodus. The City of Salt and En-gedi being enumerated by Joshua among the cities of the tribe of the children of Judah, would also tend to prove that Zoar was on the opposite shore of the Dead Sea; for had it been

where De Saulcy places it, it would have been noticed with En-gedi and with the "City of Salt."

The grounds for determining the positioning of Zoar on the western side of the Dead Sea will not appear to any unbiassed person to be in any way conclusive; yet M. de Saulcy assumes it as a point satisfactorily determined, and deduces thence that Sodom being in the same neighbourhood was also on the western side. M. de Saulcy has, however, better arguments for this positioning of Sodom than he has for the transfer of Zoar across the Dead Sea; and had he reversed his argument, and having established the western positioning of Sodom, deduced from that the neighbourhood of Zoar, and its identity with Es Zuwairah, he would have treated the subject in a manner better calculated to develop his own theories.

The first of these arguments is, that Lot, after separating from Abraham, in order to reach Sodom, had neither the Jordan nor the Dead Sea to cross over.

The second is, that Strabo speaks of the ruins of Sodom as being reputed to exist in his time, and being some sixty stadia in circumference; and the Amasian geographer further speaks of them in connexion with Moasada or Masada, a known site on the western side of the Dead Sea, and in a district replete with evidences of volcanic action.

What is still more to the point is, that Galen, or Galien, as De Saulcy calls him-and previously quoted by Dr. Robinson-speaking of the salt collected on the banks of the Lake Asphaltites, says: "They call this salt, salt of Sodom, from the name of the mountains which neighbour the lake, and which are called Sodom." These must be the Salt Mountains of Usdum.

To this may be added, what has escaped M. de Sauley and Dr. Robinson, is that Stephen, speaking of Engada, says it is a large town in the neighbourhood of Sodom, in Arabia. En-gedi, "kids' fountain," Engaddi of the Septuagint, a city of Judah, which gave its name to a part of the desert to which David withdrew for fear of Saul, and which is mentioned under its more ancient Hebrew name of Hazezon-tamar before the destruction of Sodom, as being inhabited by the Amorites, and near the Cities of the Plain, is a known site on the western side of the Dead Sea.

As far as concerns the positioning of Sodom, then, from what can be collected from Holy Writ and profane writers, there is nothing but tradition to speak to its submergence; while the conclusions to be arrived at, from the balancing of all known statements upon the subject, are in favour of its positioning on the south-western side of the Dead Sea.

It remains, then, to consider the validity of M. de Saulcy's statements with regard to the existence of ruins at the foot of the Salt Mountain, which shall correspond to the supposed site of Sodom. It will be seen from the descriptions given that M. de Saulcy found nothing but traces of foundations, chiefly blocks of stone-he does not even say cut stonelinearly arranged, among other blocks of rolled or detached stones. As to the extensive ruins said to occupy the heights of the Salt Mountain itself, and to be very doubtfully distributed upon two separate butts or promontories of rock, it does not appear from M. de Saulcy's narrative

that either he, or any of his companions, ascended the hills to explore these supposed ruins. M. de Sauley must, under those circumstances, and till further evidence is obtained, excuse the doubts which arise from his own unsatisfactory descriptions. It would not be the first time that masses of detached rock on friable supracretaceous formations have been mistaken in the East for the works of art. The old travellers, Balbi and Rauwolf, mistook the detached rocks which crown the cliffs at Irzah on the Euphrates for ruins. Paul Lucas described the fantastic rocks at Yarapason, on the Upper Halys, as the works of men; and in our own times, Captain Mignan described a range of low hills rising out of the plain at Ahwaz, on the Karun, as extensive ruins !*

As to the fragments on the plain, it is to be remarked, that at the point where they are said to occur there is not more than a width of from 80 to 300 yards between the cliffs of the Salt Mountain and the Dead Sea. Now many travellers, among whom such clever, intelligent men as Dr. Robinson, Seetzen, Irby, and Mangles, De Bertou, Dr. Eli Smith, and Captain Lynch, have all traversed this narrow fringe of land without perceiving ruins. This, it may be said, is mere negative evidence, and only shows that previous travellers had passed over ruins without seeing them. But this negative evidence is almost made to assume a positive character, when we find that Dr. Robinson, who gives a most minute and detailed account of the Salt Mountain and the adjacent shore (Bib. Res. vol. ii. p. 477, et seq.), does notice a heap of stones at what he designates as Um Zoghal, but distinguished nothing like ruins, neither on the plain nor the mountain; and he even adds of Es Zuwairah, that it exhibits no traces of any dwellings except the small Saracenic fort.

Still these were only observations made previously to M. de Sauley's discoveries. This is not the case with M. Van de Velde's explorations. This gentleman, when in Paris in October, 1851, on his way to Palestine, heard the account of M. de Saulcy's discoveries laid before the Institute of France, and finding that they were not accepted by all the learned members-the well-known Orientalist, M. de Quatremère, being among the dissentients-he determined to make the verification of these discoveries one of the objects of his journey, and he communicated his intentions to that effect in a very straightforward and candid manner to M. de Saulcy himself, who in return allowed him to take a tracing of his manuscript map of the Dead Sea.t

M. Van de Velde directed his steps almost at once to Zuwairah, which, like Dr. Robinson, he describes as the remains of an insignificant fortress, of Saracenic construction, built on a soft chalk rock, which itself stands in the midst of a crater-" one of the wildest scenes the eye can behold in the whole world." This so-called crater appears, however, to present the characters of a great subsidence rather than of an igneous vent, for it is described as an abyss surrounded by perpendicular walls of rock, yellow, grey, and white, a medley of soft calcareous earth, with all sorts of volcanic substances intermingled. "An extinct crater-yes," says M.

* Travels in Chaldæa, p. 303.

Narrative of a Journey through Syria and Palestine in 1851 and 1852. By C. W. M. Van de Velde, late Lieutenant Dutch Royal Navy, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. 2 vols. William Blackwood and Sons.

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