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are some patches of cultivation. I made the most diligent search all through the gardens, but found not the slightest vestige of ruins, though previously I heard of many, an example of the value of information resting solely on the authority of the natives. The reason is obvious. Ruins composed like those of Babylon, of heaps of rubbish, impregnated with nitre, cannot be cultivated, and any inferiour mound would, of course, be levelled in making the garden.
The ruins of the eastern quarter of Babylon commence about two miles above Hellah, and consist of two large masses or mounds, connected with and lying south and north of each other, and several smaller ones which cross the plain at different intervals. The northern termination of this plain is Pietro Della Valle's ruin, from the southeast angle of which (where it evidently once joined, being only obliterated there by two canals,) proceeds a narrow ridge or mound of earth,
wearing the appearance of having been a boundary wall. This ridge forms a kind of circular inclosure, and joins the southern point of the most southerly of the two graud masses.
The river bank is skirted by a ruin, which I shall for perspicuity's sake call its embankment, though, as will hereafter be seen, there is good reason for supposing it was never intended for one. It commences on a line with the lower extremity of the southern grand mound, and is there nearly three hundred yards broad at its base, from the east angle of which a mound proceeds, taking a sweep to the south east, so as to be nearly parallel with, and forty yards more to the south than the boundary : this loses itself in the plain, and is in fact the most southerly of all the ruins. The embankment is continued in a right line to the north, and diminishes in breadth, but increases in elevation, till at the distance of seven hundred and fifty yards from its commencement, where it is forty feet perpendicular height, and is interrupted by a break nearly of ihe same breadth with the river : at this point a triangular piece of ground commences, recently gained from the river, which deserts its original channel above, and returns to it again here : this gained ground is a hundred and ten yards in length, and two hundred and fifty in breadth at its angle or point, and along its base are traces of a continuation of the embankment, which is there a narrow line, that soon loses itself. Above this the bank of the river affords nothing worthy of remark; for though in some places there are slight vestiges of building, they were evidently not connected with the abovementioned embankment.
The whole of the area inclosed by the boundary on the east and south, and river on the west, is two miles and six hundred yards in breadth from east to west (exclusive of the gained ground, which I do not take into account, as comprising no part of the ruins,) as much from Pietro Duis la Valle's ruin to the southern part of the boundary, or two miles and one thousand yards to the most southerly mound of all, which has been already mentioned as branching off from the embankment. This space is again longitudinally subdivided into nearly half, by a straight line of nearly the same kind as the boundary, but much its inferiour in point of size. This may have crossed the whole enclosure from south to north, but at present only a mile of it remains. Exactly parallel with it, and a little more than a hundred yards to the west of it, is another line precisely of a similar description, but still smaller and shorter; its northern termination is a high heap of rubbish of a curious red colour, nearly three hundred yards long and one hundred broad, terminating on the top in a ridge: it has been dug into various parts, but few or no fine whole bricks have been found in it. All the ruins of Babylon are contained within the western division of the area, that is, between the innermost of these lines and the river, there being vestiges of building in the eastern or largest division between the outermost line and the external boundary. Before entering into a minute description of the ruins, to avoid repetition, it is necessary to state that they consist of mounds of earth, formed by the decomposition of building, channelled and furrowed by the weather, and the surface of them strewed with pieces of brick, bitumen and pottery.
On taking a view of the ruins from south to north, the first object that attracts attention is the low mound connected with the embarkment; on it are two little parallel walls close together, and only a few feet in height and breadth, which bear indisputable marks of having formed part of a Mahommetan oratory, or koubbé. This ruin is called jumjuma (Calvary) and gives its name to a village a little to the left of it. To this succeeds the first grand mass of ruins, which is one thousand one hundred yards in length, and eight hundred in greatest breadth, its figure nearly resembling that of a quadrant: its height is irregular, but the most elevated part may be about fifty or sixty feet above the level of the plain, and it has been dug into for the purpose of procuring bricks. Just below the highest part of it, is a small dome in an oblong inclosure, which it is pretended contains the body of a son of Ali, named Amran, together with those of seven of his companions, all slain at the battle of Hellah. Unfortunately for the credit of the tradition, however, it is proved on better authority to be a fraud, not uncommon in these parts, Ali having had no son of this description. From the most remarkable object on it I shall distinguish this mound by the name of Amran.
On the north is a valley of five hundred and fifty yards in length, the area of which is covered with tussocks of rank grass, and crossed by a line of ruins of very little elevation. To this succeeds the second grand heap of ruins, the shape of which is nearly a square, of seven bundred yards length and breadth, and its southwest angle is connected with the northwest angle of the mounds of Amran, by a ridge of considerable height and nearly one hundred yards in breadth. This is the place where Beauchamp made his observations, and it is certainly the most interesting part of the ruins of Babylon: every vestige discoverable in it, declares it to have been composed of buildings far superiour to all the rest which have left traces in the eastern quarter : the bricks are of the finest description; and notwithstanding this is the grand storehouse of them, and that the greatest supplies have been and are now constantly drawn from it, they arpear still to be abundant. But the operation of extracting the bricks has caused great confusion, and contributed much to increase the difficulty of decyphering the original design of this mound, as in search of them the workmen pierce into it in every direction, hollowing out deep ravines and pits, and throwing up the rubbish in heaps on the surface. In some instances they have bored into the solid mass, forming winding caverns and subterranean passages, which, from their being left without adequate support, frequently bury the workmen in rubbish. In all these excavations, walls of burnt brick laid in lime mortar of a very good quality are seen; and in addition to the substances generally strewed on the surfaces of all these mounds, we here find fragments of alabaster vessels, fine earthen ware, warble,
and great quantities of varnished tile, the glazing and colouring of which are surprisingly fresh. In a hollow near the southern part, I found a sepulchral urn of earthen ware, which had been broken in digging, and near it lay some human bones which pulverized with the touch.
To be more particular in my description of this mound, not more than two hundred yards from its northern extremity is a ravine, hollowed out by those who dig for bricks, in length near a hundred yards, and thirty feet wide by forty or fifty deep. On one side of it a few yards of wall remain standing, the face of which is very clean and perfect, and it appears to have been the front of some building. The opposite side is so confused a mass of rubbish, that it should seem the ravine had been worked through a solid building. Under the foundations at the southern end an opening is made, which discovers a subterranean passage, floored and walled with large bricks laid in bitumen, and covered over with pieces of sandstone, a yard thick and several yards long, on which the whole being so great as to have given a considerable degree of obliquity to the side walls of the passage. It is half full of blackish water (probably rainwater impregnated with nitre, in filtering through the ruins which are very productive of it) and the work nen say that some way on it is high enough for a horseman to pass upright; as much as I saw of it, it was near seven feet in height, and its course to the south.
A little to the west of the ravine is the next remarkable object, called by the natives the Kasr, or Palace, by which appellation I shall designate the whole mass. remarkable ruin, which being uncovered and in part detached from the rubbish, is visible from a considerable distance, but so surprisingly fresh in its appearance, that it was only after a minute inspection, I was satisfied of its being in reality a Babylonian remain. It consists of several walls and piers (which face the cardinal points) eight feet in thickness, in some places ornamented with niches, and in others strengthened by pilasters and buttresses, built of fine burnt brick, (still perfectly clean and sharp,) laid in lime cement of such tenacity, that those whose business it is, have given up working it, on account of the extreme difficulty of extracting them whole. The tops of these walls are broken, and inay have been much higher. On the outside they have been cleared in some places nearly to the
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foundations, but the internal spaces occupied by them are yet filled with rubbish in some parts almost to their sunimit. One part of the wall has been split into three parts and overthrown as if by an earthquake; some detached walls of the same kind, standing at different distances, show what remains, to have been only a small part of the original fabrick; indeed, it appears that the passage in the ravine, together with the wall which crosses its upper end, were connected with it. There are some hollows underneath, in which several persons have lost their lives; so that no one will venture into them, and their entrances have now become choked with rubbish. Near this ruin is a heap of rubbish, the sides of which are curiously streaked by the alternation of its materials, the chief part of which, it is probable, was unburnt brick, of which I found a small quantity in the neighbourhood, but no reeds were discoverable in the interstices. There are two paths made near this ruin by the workmen who carry down their bricks to the river side, whence they are transported by boats to Hellah : and a little to the northeast of it is the famous tree which the natives call Athebé, and maintain to have been flourishing in ancient Babylon, from the destruction of which they say, God purposely preserved it that it might afford Ali a convenient place to tie up his horse after the battle of Hellah! It stands on a kind of ridge, and nothing more than one side of its trunk remains (by which it appears to have been of considerable girth ;) yet the branches at the top are perfectly verdant, and gently waving in the wind produce a melancholy rustling sound. It is an evergreen something resembling the lignumvitae, and of a kind I believe not common in this part of the country, though I am told there is a tree of the same description at Bassora.
All the people of the country assert, that it is extremely dangerous to approach this mound ofter nightfall, on account of the multitude of evil spirits by which it is haunted.
A mile to the north of the Kasr, or full five miles distant from Hellah, and nine hundred and fifty yards from the river-bank, is the last ruin of this series, which has been described by Pietro Della Valle, who determines it to have been the tower of Belus, an opinion adopted by Rennel. The natives call it Mukalibé, (or according to the vulgar Arab pronunciation of these parts, Mujelibè,) meaning overturned ; they sometimes also apply this term to the