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exact period of which it is by no means easy to determine. The names given to many of these larger sepulchres have plainly no authority, such as, the Tombs of the Prophets, of the Judges, of the apostle James, and of Jehoshaphat" and others. The tombs so distinguished by names, are not the only ones of this kind near Jerusalem. Robinson (for example) describes another in a state of decay, at some distance S.E. of the Tombs of the Kings, and states that several others of a similar character may be traced”. For the elucidation of my subject, I shall venture to lay before my readers a description of two of the larger class of tombs, namely, of the Tomb of the Judges, as a specimen of the excavated catacomb; and
of the Tomb of Absalom as a monolith.
* Plans and drawings of the Tombs of the Kings may be found in various works. Mr Wilde (Vol. 11. p. 300) has described them at length, and with some particulars omitted by other travellers. “There are no troughs or soroi in any of the chambers of this subterrabean mausoleum, but simply ledges or sides like those of the regal sepulchres in Asia Minor.” He proceeds to describe minutely the sarcophagi. The best plan appears to be that of Catherwood, which is published in Robinson, Vol. i. p. 530. Cassas gives plans and sections, which, compared with those of more recent travellets, appear to be sadly dressed up from very scanty and inaccurate notes. See also Bartlett, p. 129, and most of the picturesque works on Jerusalem.
Cassas has also given plans of the tombs of the apostle James and of Jehosaphat; but I regret to say that these drawings of Cassas exhibit every symptom of having been made up from very hasty sketches. A plan and description of the tombs of the prophets is given by Lord Nugent, in his “Lands Classical and Sacred.” Shaw describes the rock-sepulchres of Latikea (the ancient Laodicea), and adds that those near Jebilee, Tortosa, and the Serpent Fountain, together with those that are commonly called the Royal Sepulchres at Jerusalem,...are of the like workmanship and contrivance with the cryptae of Latikea (Shaw's Travels, Second Ed. p. 263). Consult also “Agincourt, Histoire de l'Art parles Monuments.”
* Bib. Res. Vol. i. p. 534.
THE remarkable catacomb which is known by the name of the Tombs of the Judges, is an excellent example of the various modes in which the niches, or places of deposit for the dead, were arranged, when a considerable number were to be provided for, and a series of chambers formed with due regard to symmetry.
The kindness of my friend, Mr Scoles, to whom I have so often had the pleasure of referring in these pages, has enabled me to lay before my readers his complete architectural elucidation of this hypogeum, which, as far as I know, has never been attempted before, although the tomb itself is commonly referred to.
Plate 4 contains a plan and two sections which will completely explain the whole".
* Fig. 12 is a vertical section of the | whole, from West to East, and it shews that there are two floors in the eastern portion.
In fig. 13, which is a general plan, the lower floor is laid down in dotted lines, and the section in fig. 12 is taken in the centre of the upper plan along the line A, B, D, while the section of the lower chambers is taken also along their central line E...K, which is necessarily considerably to the North of the sectional line of the upper chambers.
Fig. 14 is a transverse section of the principal chamber B, and its southern chamber C, taken from North to South. The same letters of reference are employed in all the figures.
Mr Wilde (Vol. 11. p. 306) describes a tomb which appears to be the one in question. He tells us that each of the deep loculi is slightly arched at top, as Mr Scoles' drawing shews, and adds that each has a square groove hewn in the rock round the entrance of it, for the reception of a door. They are more probably for a single slab to be cemented against the front of it. These square sinkings are indicated in the drawings.
“The bodies must have been put into these holes without any coffins... I would say that, from the appearance presented by the hewn surface, the rock was first roughly cut with an instrument in the form of a pick, with a
flattened point, and then smoothed by