5o PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
cramps. The style of ornament is similar to that of the Golden Gate. The Double C
undoubtedly a relic of the Temple of Herod. Close to the eastern lintel is a ded'
inscription to Hadrian, built into the wall upside down, which some writers suppose bel
to the statue erected to that emperor in the Temple area.
Allusion has frequently been made to Captain Warren's excavations for the Pal r*
Exploration Fund. Those excavations are, for their extent, for the boldness with wh' h
they were conceived, and for the skill with which they were carried out, without a parall 1 '
the history of archaeological exploration. It will not be out of place to give here in th
explorer's own words, a description of one of the shafts by means of which he penetrated
through the rubbish which conceals the foundations of the Temple platform.
"On Friday (October nth, 1867), having arrived at a depth of seventy-nine feet the
men were breaking up a stone at the bottom of the shaft. Suddenly the ground crave way •
down went the stone and the hammer, the men barely saving themselves. They at once
rushed up, and told the sergeant they had found the bottomless pit. I went down to the spot
and examined it, and, in order that you may have an idea of the extent of our work, I will
give you a description of our descent.
" The shaft mouth is on the south side of the Sanctuary wall, near the south-west angle,
among the prickly pears. Beside it, to the east, lying against the Sanctuary wall, is a laro-e
mass of rubbish that has been brought up ; while over the mouth itself is a triangular gin
with iron wheel attached, with guy for running up the excavated soil. Looking down the
shaft one sees that it is lined for the first twenty feet with frames four feet six inches in the
clear. Farther down, the Sanctuary wall and soil cut through is seen, and a man standing
at what appears to be the bottom. An order is given to this man, who repeats it, and then,
faintly, is heard a sepulchral voice answering as it were from another world. Reaching down
to the man who is visible is a thirty-four feet rope ladder, and, on descending by it, one finds
he is standing on a ledge which the ladder does not touch by four feet. This ledge is the top
of a wall running north and south and ^butting on the Sanctuary wall ; its east face just cuts
the centre of the shaft, which has to be canted off about two feet towards the east, just where
some large loose stones jut out in the most disagreeable manner. Here five more frames
have been fixed to keep these stones steady. On peering down from this ledge one sees the
Sanctuary wall with its projecting courses until they are lost in the darkness below, observing
also, at the same time, that two sides of the shaft are cut through the soil and are self-
supporting. Now to descend this second drop the ladder is again required; accordingly,
having told the man at the bottom to get under cover, it is lowered to the ledge, from whence
it is found that it does not reach to the bottom by several feet. It is therefore lowered the
required distance, and one has to reach it by climbing down hand over hand for about twelve
feet. On passing along, one notes the marvellous joints of the Sanctuary wall stones, and
also, probably, gets a few blows on skull and knuckles from falling pebbles. Just on reaching
the bottom one recollects there is still a pit of unknown depth to be explored, and cautiously