436 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE.
along sulphur spring valleys, had a deep moat, which is nearly filled up with debris and sand.
Outside of the northern wall is a cemetery containing several tower-like tombs, and a vast
number of subterranean vaults, whose existence can only be known by the undulating moundlike character of the surface. Similar tombs exist in the Necropolis on the south side.
We now turn our attention to what constitute one of the most interesting and striking
features in the ruins of Palmyra—the mausoleums, or tower sepulchres.
One of the most beautiful towers stands in the glen, or Wady el Kubur, near the road to
Kuryetein. It is a square tower, thirty feet on each side, and about eighty feet high, divided
into four stories, and slightly tapering (see page 425). The door is ornamented w7ith pediment
and moulding, and half-way up is a bilingual inscription on a slab, above which is a bracket
with two winged figures, and surmounted by a canopy. Entering the door wre find ourselves in
a chamber twenty-seven feet by ten, and twenty feet high. On each side are four fluted
Corinthian pilasters, with tiers of loculi between them. Opposite the door is a recess
containing five busts in relief, each having a short Palmyrene inscription, giving the name
and parentage of the person represented. Over the cornice of the recess is a projecting
slab, above which are four other busts with inscriptions. The interior of the doorway
is ornamented with pilasters, and has a large bust over it. To the left of the door is a narrow
staircase leading to the upper stories, and above the door to the staircase are five busts in two
rows. The ceiling is beautiful, consisting of heavy slabs of stone, panelled and painted. Each
of the central lacunars has a bust on a blue ground, and each of the outer ones a white flower in
relief. The colours are fresh as those in the subterranean tombs of the Sidon Necropolis,
but the busts are mutilated, as they are wherever Muslim iconoclasm has sway.
The mode of burial would seem to have been to embalm the body, place it in one of the
loculi, and seal up the opening. Wood found in one of the tombs a mummy in all respects
similar to those in the land of the Pharaohs, and fragments of mummy linen and winding-
sheets soaked in tar have been discovered here recently, like those in the tombs of Egypt.
This building is a fair specimen of the mausoleums of Palmyra, of which more than one
hundred can be seen along the mountain slopes and on the plains, a few of them entire, but
the greater part in ruins. The inscriptions on them are generally in the Palmyrene character
only, though not a few are bilingual, having a Greek translation appended. On the tower
above described is a Greco-Palmyrene inscription stating that it was built as a family tomb by
Elabelos in the Seleucian year 414 (a.d. 102) (see page 425). A similar inscription on another
tower records its erection by Gichos in the year 314 (a.d. 2). Three of these tower sepulchres
are called palaces by the Arabs. One is Kosr el 'Arus (" Palace of the Bride "), another Kosr
ez Zeineh (" Palace of Zeineh," a girl's name, or, if it be Zineh, " Palace of Ornament "), and
the third Kosr el 'Azba, or " Palace of the Maiden," which is adorned with the bust of a woman
holding one of her own shoulders. The hill to the south-west of the city is called Tell es Sitt
Balkis (" Hill of the Lady Balkis, Queen of Sheba"), the only name in Palmyra which
connects it with the a^e of Solomon. The Arabs claim that the Queen of Sheba was named