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From The Contemporary Review. sions may be reached. The Egyptologist ANCIENT PALESTINE ANDMODERN
and the Assyriologist may perhaps be EXPLORATION.
unwilling to allow the Syriologist, as he Line by line and touch by touch the may be called, an equal footing with them. picture of ancient Palestine is being selves. Their own discoveries have, pero drawn, and in proportion as it grows in haps, been more numerous, more imporfinish and begins to stand out on the can. tant historically, and founded on more vas, public attention is the more attracted difficult and arduous study than those of to it.
the explorers of Palestine and of Syria. The results of Palestine exploration are Yet there can be no doubt that this will in harmony with the true scientific spirit, not be the view of the general public, and, because, on the one hand, they are based indeed, the fact is confessed in the mao. on actual and special information, col. ner of appeal to that public adopted by lected without reference to any theory and the students of Assyrian and Egyptian free from suspicion of any tendency; and, antiquities. To Englishmen generally on the other, because they depend on that the results of these researches are inter. comparative method whereby all our great. esting, not so much in themselves as in est results in science have been gained. reference to the light thereby thrown on The main object has been to provide am. the study of the Bible and of Hebrew ple, accurate, and recent information as to antiquities in general. It is most importhe country, its architecture, topography, tant for the student of Syrian antiquities fauna, flora, and geology, and as to the to be fully aware of the work which is social peculiarities (race, dress, customs, being done in these other departments of manners, language, and employments) of research. Nor can he feel that he thor. the various dwellers in that Holy Land of oughly understands the Jews of the Talthe Hebrew and the Christian, which is mudic period till he has penetrated to the theatre of the events recorded in the their land of exile — has become familiar Old and New Testaments. But it is not with the ideas of Medes and Persians, merely by visiting and measuring ruins, with Zendic literature, and even with photographing peasants, executing sur. Esthonian folk-lore, not less than with the veys, and collecting specimens and in- pre-Islamite Arabs of the Hejaz, and with scriptions that results of general interest the mixed Greco-Turkish populations of are to be obtained. The explorer must Cyprus and Asia Minor. be a student as well; he must be in cordial It is for this reason that hasty journeys, communication with all otber students undertaken by travellers not familiar with with whom he may be able to communi. the real problems to be solved in Syria, cate; he must know what others have have as yet led only to very meagre redone and are doing, and what he may sults. Here and there a lucky find may fairly expect to find in the places he visits fall to the share of one whose knowledge
- where to look, in short, and what to is hardly sufficient to enable him to ap. seek. The results for which such a stu- preciate its value; but if the study of dent hopes are not always those which Palestine antiquities is to attain to the the public expects; but if the Palestine level of true science, it can only be through explorers have not brought back the ark the combined efforts of properly instructed from Jerusalem, the golden calves from explorers working in harmony with their Bethel, Abab's ivory palace, or Samson's fellow.laborers and students of the East. coffin, their claims to the public confi- During the last four years there has dence are not thereby weakened; for it is been considerable activity in the work of by that which they bave not discovered, exploration and in the study of Syrian quite as inuch as by that which they have, antiquities, and the results now begin that real students will judge the value of very evidently to affect the critical examthe work which they offer for general use. ination of the Scriptures and the primary
But, still more, it is by a comparative instruction of our schools. The work system only that really important conclu. has not been confined to the action of the
Palestine Exploration Fund, although publication of Dr. Isaac Taylor's "History this society has been the centre round of the Alphabet” marks an important adwhich it is grouped. Individual efforts vance in our knowledge of epigraphy which have largely contributed to the increase will assist future students of this great of our knowledge, and the members of subject to assign due value to their disthe Biblical Archæological Society have coveries, while the Harkavy manuscripts also not been idle. As regards the work of the prophets may well be expected to of the first-named society, we have re- yield new critical results, especially if they ceived sioce 1881 seven stout quarto vol should prove to be older than the earliest umes full of plans, sketches, and detailed existing manuscripts as yet knowo of the descriptions. Five of these relate to the Hebrew Scriptures; and the discovery of survey of western Palestine, one contains the valuable tractate called "Teaching of a valuable account of the fauna and flora the Apostles,” in Turkey, shows that even of the Holy Land, by Canon Tristram; in early Christian literature new and imand the last is devoted to an account of portant discoveries may yet be possible. twenty years of exploration in Jerusalem, In individual discoveries the general with papers in addition on the history of reader may feel little interest. There are the city and on its existing monuments. some who do not care where Succoth was, The great work thus completed forms the and think it of little importance in what basis of a true scentific study of Palestine character the kings of Judah wrote their antiquities; but the most valuable results inscriptions. Yet such general readers are perhaps still in the future, when this do feel a constantly growing interest in mass of information has been well sifted the general question as to the results of and summarized. In addition to this all those inquiries which bear on the work, we have the survey of eastern Pal. Bible literature. There are questions con. estine, inaugurated in 1881, which has nected with the Bible on which explora. already yielded important results as yet tion throws no light, and aspects with lying hidden in manuscript plans and which the antiquarian has little to do. notes which the society should strive to The naïve question, which the explorer produce as soon as possible; for though has often to answer, “Do your discoveries the district examined was small, the go to prove that the Bible is true?” beamount of information collected was tokens a somewhat vague habit of thought larger and more interesting than any and speech, and is one which cannot propwhich they have as yet published relating erly be answered in a single word. It to western Palestine. Accounts of the cannot but be felt, however, that explora. exploration of the Hebron Haram by the tion has resulted in disposing of many officers accompanying the royal princes in crude objections to the Bible narrative. 1882, and the reconnaissance of Sinai and It has explained very many difficulties, it southern Palestine, with a view to the has shown some curious expressions and settlement of geological questions, under episodes to be perfectly correct from an taken by Professor Hull for the society Oriental point of view. It has given a in 1883, are also among the more recent true coloring to our understanding of the publications of the Palestine Exploration Hebrew Scriptures, and has shown that Fund.
the historic facts of such books The Biblical Archæological Society has Kings or Chronicles with the geography turned its attention to the so-called Hit- of Joshua and of the New Testament are tite question, which promises results of genuine and reliable, and that they can be great interest in the future; and the Egyp. checked by incidental notices in the his. tian Exploration Fund has employed M. tory of Assyria or of Egypt, in monuments Naville, the well-known Swiss antiquarian, yet legible in Syria or Moab, in the ruins to dig in the Delta, with the interesting and ancient nomenclature still remaining result that he has identified Pithom, thus in the Holy Land. From a purely human casting important light on the Exodus standpoint, which regards the Scriptures route. In addition to these labors, the as ancient literature, exploration has be.
yood doubt done great service in destroy: ninety-two feet lower than the Mediterra. ing error, and in showing how hasty and nean level. The naturalist who would crude are many of the views and objec. explain how the delicate sun-birds, who tions of theorists who have written against now inhabit this tropical valley, came to the Bible. Huge libraries of controversy find a home separated by great tracts of have been swept away when the spade of uncongenial desert from their fellows in the excavator bas dug up the truth. Africa, would add an important detail to
Let us glance, then, at the picture of this picture of gradually changing climate, ancient Palestine which has been thus which converted a glacial Palestine into recovered; and first let us consider what the sub-tropical region of our own times. the country resembled in the early ages But while thus glancing at the geolog. when it rose from the sea as dry land.ical history of Palestine, we must be Professor Hull, after visiting the East, and careful not to confuse geological and his. after studying the conclusions of Lartet torical time. Professor Hull is of opinion and other writers who had previously that the Jordan valley lakes were sepatreated of Palestine geology, draws the rated from the Gulf of Akabab already as following sketch of the pre-human bistory early as Miocene times, and this view is of the country:
fully confirmed by the observations of The whole of Palestine, and the greater previous explorers. The watershed which part of the Sinaitic peninsula, was up- divides the Dead Sea from the Red Sea heaved, Professor Hull tells us, from the
was shown, by observations taken during sea, during the Miocene period. The the professor's tour, to rise to a level of chalk, the nummulitic limestone, and other about six hundred feet above the Mediter: beds which now form the chains of Leba. ranean, and this observation was of value non and the backbone of the Holy Land, in two ways : first, as showing the chimerwere before this time the floor of the ical nature of the scheme which lately
When these chains were elevated, found favor with many, of making a Jorthe great crack or fault, to which all geol. dan Valley Canal to connect the Gulf of ogists who have visited these regions Akabah with the Mediterranean; and attribute the formation of the deep Jordan secondly, as showing clearly that the views valley, was the result of the shearing of already held by competent writers were the strata, which left the wall of Moab correct, and that the Dead Sea already standing up, while the slopes on the west existed in Abraham's time in much the of the valley slid down beneath the sea same condition as at present. Josephus level. A pluvial period followed, when believed that the cities of the plain were glaciers covered the mountains, and a still to be found in his own times at the chain of great lakes extended from Her. bottom of the Dead Sea ; but such an idea, mon to the Dead Sea, the existence of though it still commends itself to the which has now been long demonstrated fancy of some writers, has been concluby various observations. The climate sively proved by geological examination resembled that of Great Britain as now to be destitute of foundation in fact. existing, with an abundant rainfall; but Great changes have, nevertheless, oc. the volcanoes of Bashan and the volcanic curred even within historic times, in the lakes found in western Galilee in 1872 regions under consideration. F. Delitzsch were then in active movement, continuing has carefully collected the evidence which as late as the Post-Pliocene period. Grad. shows that the length of the Euphrates ually, as the climatic conditions changed, and Tigris has increased about one hun. the lakes of the Jordan valley, and those dred miles since the dawn of history, the found by Sir C. Wilson and Professor head of the Persian Gulf having been Hull in Sinai, dried up, until in our own filled by the mud brought down by these times they have dwindled down to the and other rivers from the plateaux of Kursmaller sheets of the Merom and Tiberias distan and of Persia. In the same way Lakes, with the present Dead Sea, the the Egyptian Delta has been steadily surface of which is twelve hundred and growing since Memphis was founded
probably in a bay of the Mediterranean pig-tails, and indeed approached the Taruntil its ruins are now more than a hun. tars in appearance; and it may in the end dred miles inland; and it has been shown, be found that they were a branch of the by aid of the otservations taken by engi. old Accadian race which peopled Chaldea, neers, since the making of the Suez Canal, whose language has been shown by Lenor. that the Isthmus of Suez is now much mant and others to be akin to the Finnish. broader than it was in the time of Moses. The suggestion that the curious Syrian At the date of the Exodus, Kantarah, now hieroglyphs found at Hamath and Aleppo, fifty miles inland, was probably on the and further north at Carchemish, and in shores of the Mediterranean, while the various parts of Asia Minor, are of HitBitter Lakes and Lake Timsah formed tite origin, was first hazarded by Dr. the head of the Gulf of Suez. The chok- Wright, and was independently advocated ing of the Nile mouth, now called Wady by Professor Sayce in 1880. These bieTumeilât, and the gradual rise of the roglyphs are still unread, and it cannot shores of the Red Sea, account for the be too distinctly stated that until we know change, which is important in connection in what language they are written and with the story of the crossing of the Red what they really contain, we cannot say Sea. Professor Hull seemed inclined at with confidence with whom they origione time to suggest that Africa' was an nated. The reading of the Syrian hieroisland, and the Isthmus of Suez non glyphics is one of the great problems of existent in the days of Moses, but further Oriental scholarship still awaiting its consideration has induced him to follow Champollion or its George Smith, and the opinion of previous writers, in suppos. however probable the suggestion may be ing an isthmus reaching from Ismailiah that these monuments are due to the Hit. (probably to Kantarah), which appears to tites, who without doubt dwelt in Syria, have been formed earlier than the earliest in Mesopotamia, and in Asia Minor, the historic period of which we have any attempts as yet made to treat the question record.
of their interpretation are hardly to be From the Miocene to the pre-historic considered safer than those made to read period is a great step in time, but one Egyptian or Cypriote before the key was which we have few means of bridging discovered to its real meaning. The civ
The earliest tribes of which we ilization of the Hóttites appears, however, have any notice in Syrian history are those to have been closely connected with that which Abraham found in possession of the of Egypt, and, so numerous are the signs land. It might, perhaps, appear hopeless common to the supposed Hittite and Egypto expect that any contemporary records tian hieroglyphs, that we can hardly think concerning these tribes should exist out the coincidence to be accidental, and, side the pages of the Old Testament. Yet when the key at length is found, we may for the last twenty years the Eyptologists expect to obtain great assistance in read. have been in possession of facts which ing these new texts from our knowledge prove the contrary, although it is only of Egyptian signs on the one hand, and of within the last few years, through the the language of the Accadians on the other. energy of Professor Sayce and other stu- Meantime, we cannot be too cautious in dents, that the British public in general the conclusions we draw from the very has become aware of the fact. We may meagre materials as yet in our possession mention the Hittites, the Phænicians, and with respect to the Hittites. the Amorites, as the earliest inbabitants An interesting and valuable work called of Syria and Palestine of whose existence “ The Empire of the Hittites” has just we have monumental evidence extant. been published by Dr. Wright. In it the For the last twenty years Egyptologists reader will find summarized all the infor. have been aware of the importance of the mation already collected which is diffused Hittites as a dominant race in northern through the works of De Rougé, Chabas, Syria. Chabas was among the first to G. Smith, Brugsch, Mariette, and in the point out that they spoke a language ap- later
publications of Professor Sayce and parently not Semitic. They had also Mr. Rylands. Dr. Wright does not refer to scribes, and, consequently, were able to the early papers of Chabas on the subject, write, and their civilization and political published in 1866, but most of the results importance were such as to place them on of this scholar's work were adopted by an equal footing with the Egyptians in the Dr. Brugsch. To the plates already pubfourteenth century B.C. From pictures of lished by the Biblical Archaeological Sothis period we know that the Hittites were ciety Dr. Wright adds a long text by a light-colored, hairless race, who wore | Professor Ramsay, and several other valu
able drawings; and be has, moreover, , est Syrian races. The survey of Moab written a most graphic account of bis ex. resulted in the examination of various pedition to Hamath in 1872, when he great centres of rude stone monuments succeeded, where all before had failed, in erected by an illiterate race at an early getting a true copy of the famous inscribed period; and a study of the distribution of stones here found by Burckhardt early in these remains and of the incidental notices the century:
of menhirs, stone circles and stone altars, To Dr. Wright's book two chapters are of the Canaanites, in the Old Testament, added by Professor Sayce concerning the seems clearly to indicate that the Syrian reading of the texts. The conclusion that dolmens, circles, and menhirs were orig. the hieroglyphs found in Syria and Asia inally erected by the nations which Israel Minor by Burckhardt, G. Smith, Professor conquered and dispossessed. The inRamsay, Dr. Gwyther, Professor Sayce, junctions of the author of Deuteronomy, and others, and even as far north as the put in force by the later kings of Judah, Halys, as far west as Smyrna, and on the included the destruction of these monu. east round Aleppo, are of Hittite origin, ments; and we find that while in the is accepted by Dr. Isaac Taylor and by region beyond Jordan, where the kings of several safe authorities; but with defer- Judah were powerless, the dolinens yet ence be it said – it is not yet proven, how. remain intact, they have entirely disapever probable. The discovery that the peared in those districts which were vis. boots of the figures which really repre-ited by the iconoclastic Josiah and the sent Hittites at Karnak are turned up like priests of Jehovah. Thus, while among the boots of the figures on the monuments the Hittites we have evidence of early with Syrian hieroglyphs is the latest and civilization in Syria, we have evidence: perhaps most valuable item of evidence also of the existence of other tribes whose as yet collected by Professor Sayce; but rites must have closely resembled those as a rule tbe figures approach much more of the Druids in our own lands, including closely to the Semitic work of Phæni. human sacrifice, which, as can be conclucians and Babylonians than to the repre. sively proved, remained a common custom sentation of beardless, pig-tailed warriors throughout Syria to a late historic period. given by Rosselini from the great bas- It is very remarkable, as a writer in the reliefs of the battle of Kadesh at Karnak Edinburgh Review points out, that one of (which have by-the-by not found a place in the great dolmen centres is close to the Dr. Wright's otherwise exhaustive work), probable site of the Mizpah where Jephand it is well koown that Syria in the inah lived, and where he sacrificed his fourteenth century B.C. bad a mixed pop. daughter, in fulfilment of his rash vow, ulation, Semitic and non-Semitic; while an episode which has its parallel in Greece the local deities, Set, Kadesh, and Ashto in the story of Iphigeneia. reth, mentioned in connection with the Hittites, were all Semitic. It is evident, yet another most important department then, that until the language in which the of Syriology. The work of Gesenius, inscriptions of Syria are written has been Movers, Renan, and others in this direcreally determined, and found to be, like tion, still remains to be completed. Hith: that of the Hittites, non-Semitic, we are erto we have suffered, first, from the zeal as yet not able to say with certainty that of those who saw in Phænicia the origin the texts are Hittite or Turanian. The of all European civilization; and, secondo opinion of great authorities at present ly, from misconceptions due to seeing the favors this supposition, which is primâ facts through the medium of Greek mis. facie probable — this is the utmost that representations. Much also in Phænicia can be safely said; but meantime the is of very late date, belonging to a pe. careful collection of authentic information riod of decadence under classic influeoce. – though it might be supplemented by This was the age of many Phænician furtber details from Rosselini and Chabas, antiquities discovered by Renan; and the and though it should be clearly under religion of the Phænicians must be judged stood that the Kheta or Hittites were by better information than that contained known to the Egyptologists twenty years in the perverted accounts of Philo of Bye ago, and have not been dewly discovered blos. New light is, however, being conwithin the last few years — renders Dr. tinually shed on the civilization and his. Wright's work a valuable contribution to tory of this most interesting race. From Oriental archæology.
Egypt we obtain details as early almost The Hittites and their hieroglyphs are as the time of Moses; and in Phænician not, however, the only relics of the earli. I seals and gems we discover that curious
clia The study of Phænician archæology is