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that until the language in which the inscriptions of Syria are written has been really determined and found to be, like that of the Hittites, non-Semitic, we are as yet not able to say with certainty that the texts are Hittite or Turanian. The opinion of great authorities at present favours this supposition, which is prima facie probable—this is the utmost that can be safely said ; but meantime the careful collection of authentic information-though it might be supplemented by further details from Rosselini and Chabas, and though it should be clearly understood that the Kheta or Hittites were known to the Egyptologists twenty years ago, and have not been newly discovered within the last few years—renders Dr. Wright's work a valuable contribution to Oriental archæology.

The Hittites and their hieroglyphs are not, however, the only relics of the earliest Syrian races. The survey of Moab resulted in the examination of various great centres of rude stone monuments erected by an illiterate race at an early period ; and a study of the distribution of these remains and of the incidental notices of menhirs, stone circles and stone altars, of the Canaanites, in the Old Testament, seems clearly to indicate that the Syrian dolmens, circles, and menhirs were originally erected by the nations which Israel conquered and dispossessed. The injunctions of the author of Deuteronomy, put in force by the later kings of Judah, included the destruction of these monuments; and we find that while in the region beyond Jordan, where the kings of Judah were powerless, the dolmens yet remain intact, they have entirely disappeared in those districts which were visited by the iconoclastic Josiah and the priests of Jehovah. Thus, while among the Hittites we have evidence of early civilization in Syria, we have evidence also of the existence of other tribes whose rites must have closely resembled those of the Druids in our own lands, including human sacrifice, which, as can be conclusively proved, remained a common custom throughout Syria to a late historic period. It is very remarkable, as a writer in the Edinburgh Review points out, that one of the great dolmen centres is close to the probable site of the Mizpah where Jephthah lived, and where he sacrificed his daughter, in fulfilment of his rash vow, an episode which has its parallel in Greece in the story of Iphigeneia.

The study of Phænician archæology is yet another most important department of Syriology. The work of Gesenius, Movers, Renan, and others in this direction, still remains to be completed. Hitherto we have suffered, first, from the zeal of those who saw in Phænicia the origin of all European civilization; and, secondly, from misconceptions due to seeing the facts through the medium of Greek misrepresentations. Much also in Phænicia is of very late date, belonging to a period of decadence under classic influence. This was the age of many Phænician antiquities discovered by Renan; and the religion of the Phænicians must be judged by better information than that contained in the perverted accounts of Philo of Byblos. New light is, however, being continually shed on the civilization and history of this most interesting race. From Egypt we obtain details as early almost as the time of Moses; and in Phænician seals and gems we discover that curious mixture of Assyrian and Egyptian art which we should expect to find among a people commercially connected with the two great centres at Memphis and at Nineveh.

The researches of Dr. Isaac Taylor, founded on the long neglected discovery of De Rougé, have clearly shown to us the natural birth of that great Phænician alphabet which is the parent of every form of European writing, and of the scripts of Persia, Bactria, Arabia, and India as well. We now know that by simplifying the hieratic syllabaries used in their trading negotiations with Egypt, the Phænicians constructed the alphabet, which the Greeks and the Arameans borrowed from them, and which spread at least as early as 800 B.C. (and in all probability much earlier) over the whole of Palestine, and even to the deserts of Moab.

The old objections to the antiquity of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were founded on the supposition that writing was unknown until about the time of Peisistratos (550 B.c.), have thus been swept away for ever; and the newer argument representing the Hebrews as inferior in civilization even to the Moabites, which was founded on the discovery of the Moabite stone, has shared the same fate since the recovery at Jerusalem itself of a beautifully graven text (the Siloam inscription) in six lines, dating probably from the time of Hezekiah, and showing us both the character employed and the language used by Israel in the time of the Kings of Judah before the Captivity.

The discovery of this important inscription teaches us that we need not despair of finding monumental evidence of Hebrew historic events within the limits of the Holy Land itself. As yet, we have only two monuments, although a tomb with a short inscription in letters like those of the Siloam text was found in 1873 by the English Survey Party in the Jordan Valley; but who shall say that nothing remains to be found under the ruins of Jerusalem or in Damascus or elsewhere in Palestine, now that we know the Hebrews to have engraved on stone like the Phænicians and other neighbouring peoples? *

A great deal has also of late been done in the study of the later characters used by the scribes after the Captivity. The surveyors have added more than one inscription to those already known, and M. Clermont Ganneau, to whom we owe a valuable Phænician text from Cyprus, has made an interesting collection of sepulchral graffiti from Jaffa and Jerusalem, some of which may be as early as the

* The Phænician text mentioned by M. Clermont Ganneau, in a recent letter to the Times, as discovered by himself in the village of Silwân, must not be confused with the Siloam inscription. M. Ganneau's inscription is unpublished, and it appears to be

legible from its age he action of the weather. It is now in the British Museum, but is unfortunately of little value on account of its condition.

rst and third centuries A.D. The surveyors have also found in Moab Nabathean texts, which offer new forms of great importance to the history of the alphabet. Such knowledge, while, on the one hand, it at once enables the student to detect such frauds as the notorious Shapira MS. of Deuteronomy, will, on the other, enable him to set a date upon really valuable texts, like the Harkavy MS. of the Prophets, which may prove to be the earliest text of any part of the Old Testament yet found—the tattered fragments of the earliest previously known MSS. (the unpointed texts of St. Petersburg) being at earliest not older than the seventh century. The use of vowel points began about 570 A.D., and the newly-found MS. might therefore be supposed to be earlier than that time, but the forms of the letters used, together with the absence of final forms, would seem to indicate the seventh century A.D. as the earliest possible age of the newly found copy from Rhodes deciphered by Dr. Harkavy.

Dry as such researches may be in themselves, the general reader will be interested to glance at the slow but steady accumulation of sound knowledge in such matters, and especially if he is aware how meagre are still our materials for critical examination of the Bible. The doctrines of the youngest German school, depending mainly on an exegesis which is not alone sufficient to carry conviction, will assuredly be found in many instances both fanciful and unscientific when they are weighed in the balances of a knowledge firmly based on a true comparative study of Hebrew antiquities.

But it is not merely through the recovery of ancient sites, ancient monuments, and ancient writings, that material is to be collected for the advancement of learning. We have living commentaries to study in the East; we have the descendants of Hittites and Canaanites, with Oriental Jews and other ancient stocks, from whose manners and dress, language and superstitions, we have much to learn. The student of literary Arabic lays down grammatical rules as to that rich but guttural language, which to himself, in his study among his folio lexicons, appear to be immutable laws. The explorer who lives among the peasantry from year to year, and who watches their life and hears them speak almost in the very tongue which poets and prophets used in the days of Isaiah and in the time of Christ, thinks little of the fictions of the grammarian when he can penetrate to the very heart and genius of the language. Much has been done, but yet more remains to be accomplished, in carrying out this comparison between the sturdy Syrian stocks of our own days and the energetic races, Phænician or Hebrew, Hittite or Accadian, of the earliest Asiatic history. The folk-lore of the pure Arab tribes, the peasant customs VOL. XLVI.

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of the Fellaheen, the secret rites of the pagans of North Syria, handed down from the times of the Assassins and of the secret societies of Islam and of Persia, dating back to the orgies of Cybele, the Dionysian mysteries, the old Tammuz worship of Phænicia, and the sacred libations and may-poles of Chaldea; all these survivals of paganism interest to the utmost the student of ancient religion, and cast new light on many an obscure passage in the Talmud or the Targums, and not less on the books of the Old and New Testament.

But there is a danger which is ever to be guarded against—natural to the student of these early civilizations—the danger of forgetting the lapse of centuries, and of overlooking the history of the country he studies. There was a time when the recovery of a drafted stone was sufficient evidence in the eyes of a traveller that he had found a Hebrew or Phænician ruin; there was a time when Stonehenge was supposed to be a Phænician temple, and the bronze celts of Norway to be of Phænician manufacture. The work of the Palestine Exploration Fund has been important, not only on acccount of a few genuine discoveries of primary importance, but also because of the destruction of a great mass of hasty and unfonnded assertions which clogged the wheels of true progress.

Those who have worked for the Society have not striven after the sensational. Men like Sir C. Wilson and Sir C. Warren have set truth and permanency before effect and popularity; and, however arduous be the way which leads to knowledge, it may safely be predicted that the work done in Palestine will outlast many brilliant theories and many popular delusions. The study of the ruins of Palestine shows us that, with the exception of the Tyrian tombs, the Hebrew sepulchres, the great rampart walls at Jerusalem and Hebron, and the dolmens of Moab, Gilead, and Galilee, we have as yet nothing that can with certainty be ascribed to a period older than the Christian era. We have a few relics of the Herodian period, we have magnificent Roman work of the second century, we find synagogues in Galilee of the same period, and countless chapels and monasteries of the Byzantine centuries. Rather later, we find in Jerusalem, Damascus, Ammân, and elsewhere some of the oldest Moslem buildings in the world ; and then suddenly the Gothic work of the Normans rises throughout the land, eclipsing in strength and beauty all previous efforts, and covering Palestine with castles, cathedrals, and burghs. Norman law supersedes all other, and Norman society replaces the purely Oriental, or the imitation of classic civilization. Again, a century later, this is once more swept away by the fierceness of the Kurdish Saladin ; and the beautiful erections of the Arabs in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen. turies mark the latest period of prosperity which Palestine has as

yet known.

Now, all these remains have to be studied, dated, and classified, in order to clear the ground for the examination of more ancient things. We no longer mistake a Crusading castle for a specimen of “pure Phænician art," as one popular writer did only twenty years ago. We know when we see a drafted stone that, although it may be either Roman or Byzantine, Crusading or Arab, in workmanship, according to its size and finish, it is almost certain that it is not Phænician. The Herodian masonry of Jerusalem and Hebron is drafted, no doubt, but the stones are 4 feet high and 20 feet long, and they are finished with a toothed chisel, which no other builders used. By such minute observation alone can really sound generalizations be reached in treating of monuments undated or without inscription.

In conclusion of this brief summary of architectural study in Palestine, reference may be made to two points in particular. First, the thorough exploration of the Hebron Haram, which has added to our information concerning the mysterious cave where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to have been buried, the fact that a rockcut chamber really does exist under the mosque, with a door very like that of an ordinary Jewish tomb. In the second place, no single discovery of the Palestine Exploration Fund has apparently excited greater interest than that reported in 1881 of a single Jewish tomb, which might with probability be indicated as the real site of the Holy Sepulchre. The whole argument, based on architectural and literary evidence, will be found detailed in the volume on Jerusalem just issued by the Society. The identification of Calvary proposed in 1878 in " Tent Work in Palestine," has received a large measure of acceptance among later writers, and the view regarding the newly found tomb rests on the former discovery of a Jewish tradition concerning the site of Calvary.

The Survey of Palestine has also thrown light on another most important question concerning ancient Palestine-namely, the relation of the present climate of the country to that of Old Testament times. This question has been fully worked out in papers which will be found in the Memoirs of the Survey, and the conclusions reached may be briefly summarized. Palestine is a small country, but it presents great varieties of soil, climate, and watersupply in various districts. We have the tropical Jordan valley and the Arctic region of upper Hermon and Lebanon. We have rich volcanic corn plains in Bashan and round Jezreel, and sandstones covered with pines and cedars, and hard limestones over which perennial streams flow between fine woods of oak and terebinth in Galilee, and yet more in Gilead. We have flat maritime plains, sandy and marshy, hot and malarious, bounded by ever-rolling dunes, but well watered by sluggish streams from the clear springs at the mountain foot. These plains run from Carmel to Gaza, ever widening, and supporting rich harvests. We have the low chalk hills, with their

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