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Researches of the American School in 

I. The Tombs of the Judges, and a Neighboring Tomb hith- 
erto unexplored. 2. Investigations near the Damascus 
Gate of Jerusalem. 3. The Inner Harbor of Joppa. 



Director of the School for tJie Year iqo2-iQ03. 

i. The Tombs of the Judges. 

DURING the first weeks in December, 1902, we had the op- 
portunity of observing the clearing out of two tombs in the 
interesting old necropolis north of Jerusalem. One of these is that 
commonly called the Tombs of the Judges ; the other has not before 
been explored and described, but is of similar structure, and prob- 
ably dates from the same period. The tradition which connects the 
Tombs of the Judges, called by the Jews the Tombs of the Seventy, 
with the Sanhedrin is mentioned as early as 1537. 1 

These tombs are on an estate which is a part of the property of an 
insolvent bank ; and the receiver of the bank, Mr. Serapion J. 
Murad, determined to explore the tombs, and gave us the privilege 
of watching, and even at times of directing, the workmen. 

Robinson gave a general description of the tomb and its different 
apartments. After stating that "at the N.E. and S.W. corners of 
the anteroom, a few steps lead down through the floor to a lower 
apartment in each corner, of like form and dimensions," he con- 
tinues : " It is not improbable that similar apartments may exist 
under the other two corners of the anteroom, the entrances to 
which are now covered with stones and rubbish." 2 

1 See Carmoly, Itineraires de la Terre Sainte, pp. 430, 443, cf. 387. 

2 Biblical Researches, 1841, I. 527 sq.; 2 ed., I. 356. 


Tobler afterward gave the tomb a much more thorough examina- 
tion. 3 He took exact measurements of all that could be measured 
without excavation, but to him, as to Robinson, some of its problems 
appeared insoluble. He remarks : " Ob im Nordwest- und Slidost- 
winkel, wie in den andern zwei Winkeln der Kammer A, schutt- 
bedeckte und darum verborgene Locher (Eingange) in ahnliche 
tiefere Kammern sich noch vorfinden, kann nur frageweise angedeu- 
tet werden." Tobler' s description has been regarded by more recent 
archaeologists as sufficient, and in later literature one finds only 
passing allusions to the Tombs of the Judges. In the English Sur- 
vey of Western Palestine but a short paragraph is devoted to this 
interesting sepulchre, 4 the explorers being apparently content to rest 
upon Tobler's results. 

As all the debris in the tomb was to be removed, we had high 
hopes that Robinson's conjecture would prove to be correct, and 
that we should come upon some chambers hitherto unknown. In 
this, however, we were disappointed, for when the floor of room A 
was entirely cleared, the rock at the southeast and northwest cor- 
ners appeared to be entirely solid. No entrances to undiscovered 
apartments had ever existed there. 

In order to test Tobler's measurement, all the dimensions of the 
different apartments, niches, and recesses were taken anew, and are 
given below. Tobler's measurements are given in feet, while ours 
were taken in metres and centimetres. 

The present porch is 4.15 m. wide and 2.75 m. deep. It is partly 
filled with earth, and its height is not known. Its appearance is 
shown in PI. 1. 

Room A. — West side, 5.66 m. ; south, 6.07 m. ; east, 5.69 m. ; 
north, 5.95 m. ; height from floor to roof, 2.52 m. ; width of main 
entrance at the outside, 0.76 m. ; on the inside, 1.01 m. ; thickness 
of outer wall, 0.76 m. 

On the north side of the room there are two tiers of niches {kukhn), 
arranged as shown in PI. 3. The lower tier are cut directly into the 
solid rock, and are seven in number. Their length varies from 1.98 
m. to 2.20 m., their height from 0.81 m. to 0.90 m., and their width 
from 0.47 m. to 0.62 m. Above these is a tier of three arched re- 
cesses, each containing two niches. The length of the recesses varies 
from 1.72 m. to 1.75 m. ; their greatest height from 1.20 m. to 1.24 m., 

3 Topographie von Jerusalem, 1854, II. 326-340. Tobler cites most of the 
literature on the tombs which had been published before his time. 

4 Jerusalem, p. 407. 

barton: researches of American school in Palestine. 


and their width from 0.73 m. to 0.79 m. The niches opening from 
these are approximately of the same dimensions as those of the lower 
tier. At the northwest corner there is a single niche running east and 
west, which is of a very curious character. It is about 1.75 m. from 
the floor of room A, and is reached by a step cut into the solid rock, 
into the front of which a notch has been cut to receive a slab which 
closed the entrance to this niche. The odd thing about this niche 
is that two recesses (see a, Fig. 2) are cut from the solid rock on 
its north side, as though for receiving water jars. 

2. Plan of the Tombs of the Judges: Upper Level. 

Room B. — On the east of room A is room B, entered from it 
through a door 1.45 m. high and 0.48 m. wide. This room measures 
on the west side, 2.30 m. ; on the north, 2.35 m. ; on the east, 
2.25 m. ; and on the south, 2.25 m. The height in the middle is 
1.82 m. Around the north, east, and west sides of the room runs 
a bench cut from the solid rock, varying in width from 0.81 m. to 
0.84 m. There are in this room twenty-one niches arranged in two 
tiers. The lower tier consists of three on the north, east, and south 
sides respectively, and the upper tier, of four on each of these sides. 
These niches are of about the same dimensions as those in room A. 

Room C. — From room A we pass by an entrance 1.40 m. high 
and 0.49 m. wide, to room C. The north side of this room measures 
2.45 m. ; the west, 2.48 m. ; the south, 2.44 m. ; the east, 2.53 m. ; 






its height in the middle is 1.79 m. This room contains nine niches 
of the same dimensions as those in the other rooms. They are on a 
level with the floor, and are arranged three on the west, three on the 
south, and. three on the east sides. Above each three, on these 
sides, is an arched recess. The length of these varies from 2.25 m. 
to 2.28 m., the width from 0.82 m. to 0.86 m., and the height at the 
centre of the arch from 0.77 m. to 0.83 m. 

Room D. — From the northeast corner of room A we descend 
a little stair, 1.58 m. long and 0.65 m. wide, cut into the rock, and 
pass by an opening 0.71 m. high and 0.42 m. wide, through a wall 
0.78 m. thick, and step down 0.60 m. from the threshold into room 
D. This room is in reality an antechamber to room E, and is so 
treated by Tobler. The removal of the accumulated earth from the 

4. Section of the Tombs of the Judges. 

floor of this room revealed a sill cut out of the solid rock running 
entirely around the room. This sill is approximately 0.30 m. high 
and 0.30 m. wide, though like everything else about the tombs the 
measurements vary, being slightly different on the different sides. 
At the northeast and southeast corners posts of the same dimensions 
as this sill rise to the roof. The dimensions of this room are as 
follows: length, 1.84 m. ; width, 1.58 m. ; height, 1.52 m. Two 
niches open from it, the one at the north end, and the other on the 
west side near the northwest corner. They are of about the same 
size as the others. From the south end a small opening, about the 
size of the openings of the niches, leads into a chamber of roughly 
cubic form, measuring in length 0.96 m., in width 0.76 m., in height 
0.92 m., which was evidently used for depositing bones from the 
ossuaries after the bodies had decayed and the ossuaries were 
needed for the bones of those who had died later. (See plan of 
Room D, PI. 5.) 



Room £. — From room D we pass by an opening 0.70 m. high and 
0.42 m. wide, and descend two steps into room E. The sides of this 
room measure respectively 3 m., 2.95 m., 2.955 m., and 2.96 m. ; 
and its height 1.85 m. On the north, east, and south sides are three 
arched recesses, 2.35 m. long, 0.75 m. wide, and 1.07 m. high. The 
only niches in the room are in these recesses. Those on the north 
and south sides contain four each, while that on the east contains 
three that are let into the rock, and a fourth which is let into the 
rock from the south end of the arched recess at right angles to these. 
At the other end of this eastern recess a narrow passage, about the 
height of the opening of the niches, leads to a chamber 1.15 m. 

5. Plan of the Tombs of the Judges: Lower Level. 

long, 0.85 m. wide, and 1.39 m. high. This chamber, like that which 
led from room D, was used as a receptacle for old bones after they 
had been emptied from the ossuaries. 

Room F. — In the floor of room A, at the southwest corner, a 
stairway, 1.35 m. long and 0.55 m. wide, descends to a small opening. 
This opening admits one to a little cell on the left of which another 
small opening brings one to some steps which conduct one to the 
floor of room F, a chamber directly under room A. This chamber 
is irregular in form (see plan, PI. 5), and was never finished. As 
Tobler remarked, one can see here the method on which these 
tombs were constructed. Its greatest length, east and west, is 
4.75 m., and north and south, 4.14 m. An opening has been cut 
from this through the floor into room A, as marked in the diagram 


(PL 2). There is evidence that at some period this room was used 
as a cistern. 

It will be noticed that none of the apartments are quite square. 
The workmen who constructed these chambers were guided largely 
by the eye, and did not work by exact rule. 

There are two chambers of different form from the niches, the pur- 
pose of which seems not to have been apparent to Tobler. One is 
connected with room D (x, PL 5), the other with room E (y, PL 5). 
These chambers are not long enough to receive a sarcophagus and 
are considerably higher than the niches. As Mr. R. A. Stuart Mac- 
alister, of the Palestine Exploration Fund, who has made a consider- 
able study of tombs, suggests, these chambers were used as receptacles 
for bones, after the bodies had decayed. First the bodies seem to 
have been placed in sarcophagi until the flesh had decayed and the 
bones separated ; then the bones were placed in ossuaries that the 
sarcophagi might be used for other bodies. As other members of 
the families or kindred who used the tombs passed away, the sar- 
cophagi and ossuaries were needed for them, and thus it happened 
that after a few generations, the bones were thrown into these cham- 
bers in an indiscriminate heap. 

In our examination we noted a hitherto unobserved feature in the 
original structure of the tomb. The former literature of the subject, 
so far as it is known to me, nowhere makes mention of the fact 
that a court, or outer porch, nearly ten metres in length and nine in 
width, once existed in front of the tomb. The walls of this court 
were formed on two sides, the east and south, by a scarp of the solid 
rock, a little of which projected also on the west side (see PL 2). 
The front was apparently approached through two or three arches, 
the masonry of which was attached to the rock scarp at the southwest 
corner of the court, where a bit of it still remains. In consequence 
of this evidence that an arched front existed to this court, I conjecture 
that a wall once ran along its north side (see dotted line, PL 2). 

In the doorpost of the main entrance to room A is a notch cut to 
receive a latch. This groove is so arranged that a door could swing 
inward, and seems to indicate that the tomb was once used for a 
dwelling. The fact that room F appears to have been used for a 
cistern points in the same direction. It was probably at this period 
that the opening in the floor of room A, just in front of the main 
entrance and leading to room F, was cut. It was apparently made 
for convenience in drawing water. 

Since this tomb had been open so long, and had been used for 


such varied purposes, we could not hope to discover in it many 
antiquities. Fragments of sarcophagi and of ossuaries were found in 
nearly all the niches. Some of these were ornamented. In one 
or two of the niches a few bones were found, but they were too dis- 
connected to have any significance. One or two Arabic coins, in- 
scribed in Cufic characters, and a fragment of an Arabic lamp, were 
also found. 

By far the most interesting objects discovered were five rough bits 
of stone on which modern Jews had written prayers to the ancient 
worthies whose bodies were buried here, and had then cast them 
into the various niches, evidently in the hope that the rabbi or judge 
addressed would intercede for them with God. Mr. Murray, a mis- 
sionary at Hebron, tells me that into certain holes in the wall of the 
Haram there, Jews often cast letters addressed to Abraham, contain- 
ing similar prayers. 

Of these five stones, two were inscribed in the modern Jewish 
script, one in the Judaeo-Spanish script, one in square Hebrew char- 
acters, and one in Syriac characters. On all of them but one, mois- 
ture had rendered some of the letters illegible. This one reads as 
follows : 5 — 

Yakhiye-Yakhiel, son of Yoseph — may he grow up to a prosperous life and to 
peace, with male issue continually. 

The Second Tomb. 

A little to the south of the Tombs of the Judges, and slightly nearer 
to the path which leads from Jerusalem to Nebi Samwll, is another 
interesting tomb which has never before been described. Our atten- 
tion was first called to it by Mr. R. A. Stuart Macalister, who dis- 
covered it. This tomb had a wide entrance, which must have been 
very imposing before the earth, brought down the slightly sloping 
ground by the rains, had hidden it from view. When we approached 
it, the tops of the pillars of this fine entrance were just visible. The 
two corner posts and the two pillars of this entrance (see PL 6), 
with their ornamentation, and the porch behind them, were cut out 
of the solid rock. The earth, which had silted into the entrance 
and filled the porch, was much less deep at the back or eastern 

5 Mr. Feinstein, the second Dragoman of the American consulate in Jerusalem, 
transliterated this for me from the modern Hebrew script. 




side of the porch, than at the front, or western side. At the back 
of this porch the top of a doorway into an inner chamber was 
visible. By removing a little of this earth it was possible to enter 
this chamber (see room A, PL 7). Into this room comparatively 
little earth had silted and that only about the doorway. From it 
three others opened, as shown on the accompanying plan (PL 7). 
The interior of this tomb appeared to be quite clean. Two of its 
rooms were never finished, and the others, if ever used, had been 
so thoroughly cleaned out as to leave no trace of the fact. 

We did not wholly clear out this tomb. A shaft was sunk between 
the northwest doorpost and the pillar next to it, with the purpose of 
ascertaining whether a sill or threshold had been cut out of the rock 
at their base. No such sill or threshold was found. The pillars rest 
upon the level rock-floor of the porch. 

Both the corner posts and the pillars were ornamented at the top 
with a simple ornamentation which is shown in PL 6. The southern 
one of the two pillars is now broken away at the top, and its stump is 
worn down to a level with the accumulated earth. 

Shafts were also sunk at the two ends of the porch, to ascertain 
whether there were rock chambers on the north or south, opening 
out of this porch ; but no such chambers were found. 

In the course of the digging one or two Arabic coins and two 
lamps were found. One of these was of the simple type, supposed 
to be the most primitive form of lamp in Palestine ; 6 the other was 
an early Christian lamp bearing an inscription. 

The dimensions of this tomb are as follows : length of the west 
(front) side of the porch, 6.93 m. ; of east side, 7.23 m. ; width (i.e. 
depth) at north end, 3.42 m.; at south end, 3.44 m. ; height of roof, 
2.70 m. The pillars were 1 m. and 1.02 m. respectively from the 
corner posts. The circumference of the pillar which is still intact is 
1.2 1 m. From the porch, we pass through the east wall by an open- 
ing 0.45 m. wide and 0.80 m. high into room A. The floor of room A 
is about a metre below the floor of the porch. Its exact measure- 
ment could not be ascertained without removing the earth which had 
silted in through the entrance. The height of the roof of this room 
from its floor varies from 2.29 m. to 3.03 m. Its west side measures 
4.33 m. ; south side, 4.22 m. ; east side, 4.13 m. ; and north side, 
4.27 m. This room contains neither niches nor arched recesses. 

6 See Bliss, Mound of Many Cities, p. 87; and Excavations in Palestine, 1898- 
1900, by F. G. Bliss, R. A. S. Macalister, and R. Wiinsch, London, 1902, PI. 20. 
Lamps of this form are still used by the peasants in Palestine. 

barton: researches of American school in Palestine. 175 

Through the north wall of room A we pass by a doorway 0.54 m. 
wide and 1.87 m. high and descend two steps to room B. This room 

7. Second Tomb: Ground Plan. 

measures, on the south side, 2.31m.; on the west, 2.30 m. ; on the 
north, 2.70 m.; on the east, 2.37 m. ; and its height is 1.93 m. It is 
only roughly finished, and no niches were cut in its walls. 

yb. Cross Section. 

Through the east wall of room A we pass by a doorway 0.47 m. wide 
and 1.87 m. high and descend two steps to room C. This room 


measures, on its west side, 2.29 m.; on its north, 2.41 m. ; on its 
east, 2.44 m.; and on its south, 2,50 m. Its height is 2.04 m. 
This room contains, on the north, south, and east sides respectively, 
three arched recesses, two of which, those on the south and east 
sides, are approximately 2 m. long, 0.55 m. wide, and 0.95 m. high at 
the centre of the arch. That on the north side is 2.03 m. long, 0.25 m. 
wide, and 0.60 m. high at the centre of the arch. Each of these is 
about 1 m. from the floor. From each of these recesses there open 
two niches, the width of which varies between 0.45 m. and 0.50 m. ; 
the height between 0.75 m. and 0.78 m., and the length of which is 
approximately 2 m. each. 

Through the south wall of room A we pass by a door 1.47 m. high 
and 0.50 m. wide into room D. This room is in as unfinished a state 
as room F of the Tombs of the Judges. A large block of stone, which 
had been broken from the wall of solid rock, lies on the floor. 
Smaller fragments of stone are all about it, but this had not been 
broken up to be carried out. The methods of these ancient tomb- 
builders can easily be followed here. We tried to secure a photo- 
graph of this rock and the wall from which it was broken, but the 
small size of the room rendered our efforts unsuccessful. The room 
is so unfinished that it is quite irregular in shape. Its dimensions 
are as follows: east side, 1.85m.; south, 2.60m.; west, 2.70 m.; 
north, 1.83 m. ; the height varies, but averages about 1.60 m. 

This tomb was finely conceived, but was never finished. The 
little ornamentation which may still be seen at the tops of the pil- 
lars contains no work as fine as the delicate carving over the porch 
of the Tombs of the Judges. It seems probable, however, that the 
two tombs were constructed in the same general period of history. 
In the immediate vicinity there are many other rock-cut tombs, but 
if we except one described three years ago by Mr. Macalister, 7 none 
are nearly as fine as the two described above. 

2. Investigations near the Damascus Gate. 

During the last weeks of the school year (1903), the owner of a 
piece of land near the Damascus Gate was digging on his own ground, 
with the object, as I think he said, of finding, if possible, an old cis- 
tern. By his courtesy we were permitted to observe and report 
upon the work. This piece of land is situated outside the wall, im- 
mediately to the west of the Damascus Gate. It is bounded on the 

7 See Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1900, pp. 54 sq. 

barton: researches of American school in Palestine. 177 

north by the road which runs from the Damascus Gate (Bab el- c Amud) 
to the New Gate (Bab e Abdul-Hamid), parallel to the city wall; on 
the east, the Damascus road bounds it ; on the south, the city walls ; 
while on the west it is bounded by the tract of land on which the 
discoveries reported by Dr. Selah Merrill in the Quarterly Statement 
of the Palestine Exploration Fund, April, 1903, pp. 155 sq., were made 
last year. 

The length of the tract is about 140 yards. Its width varies 
with the windings of the wall. The digging was begun here on April 
22, and was continued with a small force till May 14. Most of 
the excavation was made near the northwest corner of the tract. 

I }En RUp i 

8. Investigations near the Damascus Gate. 

A, Damascus Gate; B, road to the north; C, road to the New Gate; aaa y trenches; bbb, 
remains of stone piers; cc, wall of a peasant's dwelling; dd, northern terrace; e y eastern 

Some months previous to the beginning of the work described here, a 
shaft had been sunk about four metres from the wall which separates 
this lot from the property adjoining on the west, and a piece of 
masonry had been discovered. The owner of the land now deter- 
mined to continue the work, in order to discover, if possible, the pur- 
pose of this masonry. The original shaft was, therefore, gradually 
extended into the trenches marked a a aaaa, in PL 8. The piece 
of masonry first seen proved to be a pier, or the base of an arch, 
which once formed a part of the crypt of a church or monastery. In 
the course of the work two others were found east of the first. 
These piers are marked bbb, in PL 8. They were once connected 
by arches, of which they formed the bases. Portions of the arches 
may still be seen (see PL 9). Between the eastern and middle piers 
the trench was carried down to the native rock which underlies Jeru- 

1 7 8 


salem, and it appeared that these foundations were laid on this native 
rock. There was no older structure intervening between them and it. 
These piers were constructed of two kinds of cut stone. In parts 
of the structure which (when the building was intact) were not ex- 
posed to view there were used stones with the drafted edges charac- 
teristic of Jewish work of the Herodian period or earlier ; while the 
face consisted entirely of stones smoothly hewn, the diagonal cutting 
of which is characteristic of the work of the crusading period. (See 
Pis. 11 and 12 for the two kinds of stone.) The front of this build- 
ing was toward the 

It is probable from 
the character of the 
stones used in these 
arches that the build- 
ing to which they be- 
longed was a part of 
a Christian church or 
monastery, in erecting 
which stones from 
some older structure 
had been used. Can 
we go farther and 
determine what this 
church or monastery 
was ? MujIr-ed-Dln 
(1496), in his list of 
the gates of Jerusa- 
lem, 8 mentions, between the Bab el- c Amud (Damascus Gate) and 
the Bab ar-Rahbeh (St. Lazarus Postern), another gate, which he 
calls Bab Deir es-Serb, or Gate of the Servian Convent. The 
St. Lazarus Postern was a small gate which received its name from 
its proximity to an important hospital. Le Strange places it to the 
east of the present Franciscan Monastery. If this be the correct posi- 
tion of the St. Lazarus Postern, and the Bab Deir es-Serb intervened 
between it and the Damascus Gate, it is clear that the Bab Deir es- 
Serb was very near the building the remains of which we have dis- 
covered. This conclusion is also confirmed in another way. Mujir 

9. Western Pier, from the Northeast. 

8 See the quotations and discussion in Le Strange, Palestine under the Mos- 
lems, pp. 212-217. 



ed-Dln, as quoted by Le Strange, 9 says, in speaking of a certain quar- 
ter of the city : " It has in it Saladin's Bimaristan (or hospital), and 

the Church of the Kumamah (of the Resurrection). On its west 

side is the Quarter of the Christians, which extends from south to 

north, from the 

Bab al Khalil 

[Jaffa Gate] to 

the Bab as-Sarb, 

and includes the 

Harah ar Rah- 

bah, the Quarter 

of the Square." 

Now the 
Church of the 
Resurrection is 
the Arabic name 
for the Church 
of the Holy 
Sepulchre, and 
a glance at any 
plan of the city 

9 Ibid., p. 215. 

11. Western Pier: West Face. 



will make it clear that, if a certain quarter of the city extended from 
the Jaffa Gate to the Bab Deir es-Serb and included the Church 
of the Holy Sepulchre, the Bab Deir es-Serb must have been very 
near the structure the foundations of which we have discovered. The 
evidence does not warrant a positive conclusion ; but I am strongly 
inclined to suspect that the building which these shattered arches sup- 
ported was none other than the monastery of the Servians which gave 
its name to the Bab Deir es-Serb. If this hypothesis represents the 

truth, these founda- 
tions are, in all prob- 
ability, considerably 
older than the cru- 
sading period. 

The time during 
which the Servians 
— a branch of the 
Greek Church — 
would be likely to 
construct a large 
monastery in Jerusa- 
lem was in the period 
before the Moham- 
medan conquest of 
the city, the general 
period during which 
the church which now 
forms the Mosque el- 
'Aksa was built. The 
fact that in this 
structure we find 
stones of the type commonly classed as " crusading stones," is, I 
think, no real reason for regarding this foundation as a work of the 
crusading period ; for evidence is altogether wanting, so far as I know, 
to prove that this style of stone-cutting first came into vogue in the 
time of the crusades. It may well have been employed for three or 
four centuries before. 

Be this as it may, there were in this region many important build- 
ings during the crusading time. There was a palace of Odo near the 
Damascus Gate (then called St. Stephen's Gate), on the inside; 10 
another palace stood outside the walls on the east side of the 

10 See Rohricht, Regesta Regni Hierosalymitani, p. 140. 

12. Middle Pier: West Side. 



Damascus Gate, 11 while not far from this was the Asnerie, discovered 
some years ago by Col. Conder. 12 

One who explores the foundations of the present buildings within 
the walls and just west of the Damascus Gate will find much work 
of the crusading times or of the period anterior. The Rev. J. E. 
Hanauer called my attention to one doorway which apparently comes 
from the crusading age. 

How extensive the foundations of this old monastery were we did 
not succeed in discovering. Trial trenches were sunk at two differ- 
ent points (marked 
dd and e in PI. 8), 
but no traces of simi- 
lar foundations were 
discovered there. In 
the trench dd only 
small objects were 
found; in the trench 
e was found a stone, 
carved as though in- 
tended to ornament 
the top of a gate or 
building (see PL 13). 
It was 80 cm. high 
and 30 cm. square at 
the base. It is to be 
hoped that other at- 
tempts will be made 
to find traces of these 
interesting founda- 
tions in other parts 

of this lot of land, before it is all utilized for building purposes, as it 
will be in a few years. 

It was my hope, when the opportunity came to make the obser- 
vations which are here recorded, that something might be found 
which would bear upon the vexed question of the position of the 
" second wall " of Josephus. While it might seem at first that the 
discoveries here related have no such bearing, a little further reflec- 
tion is sufficient to modify this conclusion. We noted above that 
the foundations which we discovered contained two styles of stones, 

11 Rohricht, I.e., p. 85. 

12 PEF. Quarterly Statement, 1875, p. 190, and 1877, P* I 43« 

r **/'♦• W^ 



1 \ . r 

t& ' 



Stone Post. 


one Jewish, the other post-Jewish. An element of uncertainty is 
introduced by the fact that we do not know how long after the Jew- 
ish period these drafted stones continued to be used. An exam- 
ination of the present city wall, which was built in 1542, in the 
immediate vicinity of these foundations, reveals in it the same two 
kinds of stone, the Jewish element being quite large. It is altogether 
probable that this Deir es-Serb, which had fallen into ruin, was 
demolished by the Turks, and the stones which it furnished incor- 
porated in the present wall. Moreover, as one follows the present 
wall westward toward the present Franciscan Monastery, he finds a 
very large number of these stones with the Jewish drafting built into 
the present wall. Whence did they all come? It does not seem 
possible to account for their presence, except by the hypothesis that 
a wall such as the " second wall " described by Josephus ran near the 
line of the present city wall, and that its stones, incorporated into 
successive city walls, or into such structures as the Deir es-Serb, 
found their way at last into the wall of Suleiman, which still stands. 
Owing to our ignorance of the date when the fashion of stone-cutting 
changed, this conclusion can be only tentatively held. 

One interesting fact in the history of these ruined arches remains 
to be recorded. At some time before the arch which connected the 
eastern and the middle piers had fallen in, and after about a foot of 
debris had accumulated on the floor, a fellah made himself a home 
there by building a wall of rough stones across the front and plaster- 
ing the inside of the room which the arch, completed by this wall, 
made. The entrance to this rude dwelling was from the north. In 
the rude wall constructed on the south two receptacles for food and 
stores, such as are now found in Palestinian houses, were built. In 
this dwelling a stone trough was found, length 30 cm., width 20 cm., 
height 17 cm. Not only caves, but ruins of all kinds, are still utilized 
by the peasants as dwellings. One of the arches of a ruined khan on 
the Nabulus road, opposite Er-Ram, is to-day similarly used as a 

In the course of the excavations there were found a number of 
fragments of glass, pottery, and other objects, none of which were 
whole, and nearly all of which were from the Arab occupation of 
Jerusalem. After the monastery fell into decay, the place appears to 
have been used as a dumping ground. 


3. Examination of the Supposed Inner Harbor of Joppa. 

In the spring of 1903 we were able to make an examination of a 
site near Jaffa, which is believed by some students of Palestinian 
topography to be the site of the ancient harbor. This piece of land 
is situated to the eastward of the city of Jaffa, and is a basin of low 
land, the soil of which consists of a fertile water deposit. On all 
sides this tract is surrounded by higher land which slopes gradually 
toward it, except to the northwest, where there was evidently once 
an outlet toward the sea. The higher ridges of land by which this 
basin is surrounded consist mainly of sand, but in this basin the 
owners tell me they have penetrated twelve metres without getting 
below this black water deposit to the sand. This tract of land 
belongs to the estate of Mr. Murad, who is endeavoring, by means 
of drainage and by planting eucalyptus trees, to render it suitable for 
an orange garden. 13 

The Rev. J. E. Hanauer of Jerusalem, who resided for some years 
in Jaffa, kindly furnished me with the chief points of an article which 
he was preparing on this subject for the Quarterly Statement of the 
Palestine Exploration Fund. 14 The grounds upon which the theory 
of an inland harbor in the depression or valley east of Jaffa may be 
justified are, in Mr. Hanauer's judgment, of two kinds. First, the 
configuration of the ground : " We have a low-lying tract only about 
eight or nine feet above sea-level, toward which it slopes steadily, 
and bounded on either side by two ridges of higher ground. The 
result of excavations shows that the soil of this tract is a fertile water 
deposit of remarkable depth, reaching considerably lower than the 
level of the present sea bed close to the shore. The most marked 
features remind us of what we find at other places along the Syrian 
coast, namely, a prolonged ridge running up to the shore, and along- 
side of or behind it a fertile plain sometimes drained by a river. 
Such ridges are sometimes continued into the sea by a line of rocks 
or an island. The ridge is sometimes, but not always, very strongly 

13 The situation of this depression may be seen in Sandel's map of the neigh- 
borhood of Jaffa {Zeitschrift des Deutschen Pal'dstina- Vereins, Vol. III., Part 1, 
PI. iii.; cf. pp. 44 ff.), where it is named El-Bassat es-Saghlreh (No. 37) ; on the 
reduced map in Baedeker's Palestine it is represented as a swamp east of the 
" Garden of the German Consul." Mr. Hanauer has printed a sketch map of 
the vicinity in the Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund, July, 
1903, p. 258. 

14 It has since been published in the July number, 1903, pp. 258 sqq. 


marked, as in the Carmel range. As examples of the occurrence of 
these features may be cited Tripolis, Beirut, Tyre, and Sidon." 

Second, Historical allusions : " We possess," says Mr. Hanauer, 
" as far as I am aware, no single record mentioning the existence of 
such a harbor at the spot indicated, or of an inland lake or lagoon ; 
but we have historic allusions to show that some changes have taken 
place in the level of the shore line at Jaffa. Thus Josephus (BJ. hi. 
9, 3) tells us that it was the ' black north wind ' that was dangerous 
and much dreaded as destructive to shipping at Jaffa. This is not 
the case at present. It is now the west, or more particularly the 
southwest, wind that is feared. The north wind is, indeed, disliked, 
but not on account of the shipping. It is popularly considered a 
poisonous wind, bringing down the malaria from the marshes on the 
north. Then again several of the Crusading Chronicles, amongst 
which I may mention William of Tyre (History, viii. 9), Vinisauf (in 
Bonn's Chronicles of the Crusades, pp. 312 sq.), Beha ed-Dln (Life 
of Saladin, "Palestine Pilgrim Texts," pp. 365-370), and Joinville, 
(Memoirs, Bonn's translation, p. 486), make a clear distinction be- 
tween ' the town ' and ' the citadel ' of Jaffa, the former, according 
to Joinville, being a large village on the seashore, while the latter 
' resembled a well-defended town, and was situated on an island 
near the seashore.' This island, which to judge from the quotation 
must have been of noteworthy size, now no longer exists. We may 
conjecture that volcanic agencies may have caused the changes to 
which I have referred. We know that earthquakes are not uncom- 
mon here, and we have the statement of Arab historians (see Besant 
and Palmer, History of Jerusalem), that about a.d. 1068, i.e. shortly 
before the first crusade, the sea receded for a considerable distance, 
and the land left dry was occupied and reclaimed by people of the 
district, but that the sea suddenly returned and caused a great loss 
of life." 15 In addition to this argument of Mr. Hanauer, I learned 

15 [The inference from Josephus is erroneous. The " black norther " (fxeXafi- 
pdpiov) is not the clear north wind " which brings most fair weather " on this 
coast (Josephus, Antt. xv. 9, 6), but a violent northwest wind; at the other end 
of the Mediterranean the famous mistral was called by the same name (Strabo, 
p. 182). Joinville does not say that the castle of Jaffa was on an island, but 
that it was on the shore. The passage is as follows : " Nous nous lojames entour 
le chastel, aus chans, et environnames le chastel, qui siet sur la mer, des l'une mer 
jusques a l'autre. Maintenant se prist li roys a fermer un nuef bourc tout entour 
le vieil chastiau, des l'une mer jusques a l'autre. Le roy meismes y vis-je mainte 
foiz porter la hote aus fosses, pour avoir le pardon" (ed. de Wailly, 1874, § 517). 
The "island" in Bonn's translation owes its existence solely to unconscionable 


from Mr. Murad that some twenty years ago, in making some inci- 
dental excavations, some rocks were found, which contained holes 
and rope-marks, as though they had been used for the anchorage of 

When, therefore, Mr. Murad determined to investigate the matter 
a little further, and to give the American School the opportunity of 
watching and describing the work, the privilege was eagerly accepted. 
Accordingly, between April 20 and May 12, three trenches were dug 
at two points near the western boundary of this piece of land. Dur- 
ing the progress of the work I made three excursions from Jerusalem 
to Jaffa to make observations upon it. Mr. Irwin Hoch De Long 
and Dr. Hans H. Spoer each spent at different times three or four 
days in Jaffa for the same purpose. 

At first we were highly gratified at the results of the work. On 
the second day of the digging we came upon a wall, which we hoped 
might prove to be the wall of the old harbor. It was built of rough 
stones, and the part first found was seven metres long and one metre 
wide. To the south this wall was interrupted by a well. It is prob- 
able that when this well was dug stones from the wall were used in 
its construction. Later some stones which probably formed a part 
of the same wall were found on the other side of the well. Still 
other stones, in line with this same wall, and probably once a part of 
it, were also found considerably to the north. 

All thought that this wall had any connection with an ancient 
harbor had, however, soon to be given up. As the trenches were 
carried down, the wall found appeared to be nowhere more than half 
a metre in depth, and it rested everywhere upon the same black 
water deposit of earth which forms the soil of this whole basin. 
What the purpose of this wall was can only be conjectured ; but it 
seems reasonable to suppose that it was built at a comparatively 
recent period, possibly as a barrier against the floods, such as that of 
1893, to which this land was subject, or possibly as a division wall 
between two estates. Be that as it may, the wall as we found it was 
everywhere buried half a metre or more below the present surface. 
A short distance to the west of our trenches one comes upon sand 
at a very slight depth, but the part of the trench which ran parallel to 

blundering, and it is unnecessary to have recourse to an earthquake to get rid of 
it. The account in Beha ed-Dln (ed. Paris, 1884, pp. 323 sqq.) of the relief of Jaffa 
by Richard I. (a.d. 1192) agrees entirely with Joinville's description. It is per- 
haps not superfluous to add that the translation of Beha ed-Dln in the " Palestine 
Pilgrim Texts " is not to be trusted. — Editor.] 


the wall was carried down four metres without coming to sand. The 
black water deposit extends here to a greater depth than that. 16 

While the level of the different parts of the estate in relation to 
one another had been previously determined, the height of the whole 
above the sea-level had never been accurately ascertained. A sur- 
veyor was accordingly employed, who determined the top of the wall 
found in our first trench to be 4.50 m. above the present sea-level. 
The conformation of the land at this point is such that there may 
have been a harbor here in early times, but our investigation revealed 
no evidence that there was. 

An examination of the historical references to Jaffa, so far as I can 
at present see, affords no evidence that the depression which we 
investigated was ever used as a harbor. 17 

16 In the course of the excavation three pieces of a broken shell from a cannon 
were found ; also an iron object shaped something like an axe head, but without 
an eye for the helve (the iron was about one-half inch thick), and three coins. 
Two of the latter were too much corroded for identification. The third was an 
Egyptian coin dated 1223 A.H. 

17 At the time when my report to the Managing Committee was written 
{American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. VII., Supplement, pp. 35 sqq.), the 
authors cited by Mr. Hanauer (above, p. 184) were not within my reach, and I 
was led to express a different opinion, which examination of the sources shows to 
be unfounded.