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Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1
Page 454
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Wilson, Charles William, Sir. Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 454. 1881. Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 5, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2664.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Wilson, Charles William, Sir. (1881). Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 454. Exotic Impressions, Views of Foreign Lands. Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2664

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Wilson, Charles William, Sir, Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1 - Page 454, 1881, Exotic Impressions, Views of Foreign Lands, Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 5, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic/item/2694/show/2664.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Picturesque Palestine, Sinai, and Egypt, Vol. 1
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Wilson, Charles William, Sir
Publisher D. Appleton and Company
Date 1881
Description Index: Introduction / by the Very Rev. Dean Stanley -- Jerusalem / by Col. Wilson -- Bethlehem and the north of Judaea / by the Rev. Canon Tristram -- The mountains of Judah and Ephraim / by Lieut. Conder -- Samaria and the Plain of Esdraelon / by Miss E. Rogers -- Esdraelon and Nazareth / by the Rev. Canon Tristram -- Galilee, Northern Galilee, Caesarea Philippi and the highlands of Galilee, Mount Hermon and its temples / by the Rev. Dr. S. Merrill -- Damascus / by the Rev. Dr. P. Schaff -- Palmyra, The Wady Barada, Ba'albek / by the Rev. S. Jessup.
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Egypt
  • Palestine
  • Sinai Peninsula
Genre (AAT)
  • books
  • illustrations (layout features)
  • plates (illustrations)
  • maps (documents)
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Location DS107 .W73 v. 1
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b1703789~S11
Digital Collection Exotic Impressions: Views of Foreign Lands
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/exotic
Repository Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/william-r-jenkins-architecture-art-library
Use and Reproduction No Copyright - United States
Identifier exotic_201304_014
Item Description
Title Page 454
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name exotic_201304_014_475.jpg
Transcript 454 PICTURESQUE PALESTINE. feet were the quarries from which the great hewn stones of yonder temples were taken. In front were the green gardens and groves of Ba'albek, watered by the great fountain, Ras el 'Ain. One-third of a mile to the north, above the poplar and mulberry orchards, rose the stately walls and columns of the matchless temples of the Ba'albek Acropolis. The Great Stone, as it is called, lies in the quarry, hewn smooth on the top, the sides, and south-east end, the west end not yet being detached from the native rock (see page 473). On the under side it is cut away, remaining attached to the bed rock in the middle along its entire length. This is called by the Arabs the " Hajr el Hubla," or stone of the pregnant woman, and is the wonder of architects, scholars, and practical men from all parts of the world. It is sixty-eight feet four inches in length, seventeen feet in width, and fourteen feet seven inches in height. It is computed to contain thirteen thousand cubic feet, and to weigh more than eleven hundred tons, or two million two hundred and seventy thousand pounds, and would be almost sufficient to make four obelisks like " Cleopatra's Needle," lately removed from Alexandria to New York. It was evidently intended to be placed in the northern wall, as a continuation of that on the west, where the three colossal stones lie end to end twenty feet above the ground. Some sudden war, pestilence, or revolution must have interrupted the plans of those ancient builders, or they would not have expended the labour of months, and possibly years, upon this mighty block, and then abandoned it still undetached from the quarry. Many other stones, half-quarried, stand on end here and there like square irregular pillars, separated from each other and the rock by narrow smooth hewn spaces. The modern Syrians use the same tools and process in quarrying which were used by their ancestors two and three thousand years ago, and the marks on the blocks of stone made by the tools of the ancients, exactly correspond to the sharp teeth of the Arab mason's tools of our own day. The natives insist, in the face of the evidence of their own senses, that these great stones were not quarried, but cast in moulds, and conveyed by the janns, or genii, to the temple wall. That these enormous blocks were transported to the temple, and then lifted by machinery to their place in the walls, or to the top of those towering columns, is incredible. The only reasonable supposition we can offer as to the ?nodus operandi is, that embankments of earth were built from the quarry to the temple site on a regular grade, and the stones drawn on rollers by thousands of men with ropes, as we see represented in the bas-reliefs at Kouyunjik, discovered by Layard, where the transport of the colossal bulls from the quarry to the palace gateways is represented in the most elaborate detail. I have never seen this plan suggested for the transport and elevation of the great stones at Ba'albek, but I am satisfied that none other can account for the elevation of blocks weighing two millions of pounds. In ancient times human labour was cheap, kings impressed tens of thousands of men for their great engineering and architectural projects, and the grade of an embankment from this quarry even to the top of the six columns of the peristyle (see page 468), would not be too great for the transport on rollers of even these immense masses of limestone.