The Land of Midian (Revisited) — Volume 1

The Land of Midian (Revisited) — Volume 1

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. BREAKING NEW GROUND TO MAGHAIR SHu'AYB. On January gth we left 'Ayniinah by the Hajj-road, and passed along- the Quarry Hill visited during my first journey: the crest has old cuttings and new cuttings, the latter still worked for Bedawi headstones. The dwarf pillar with the mysterious cup is reflected by the Nubians, who hollow out the upper part of the stela to a depth of eight or ten inches without adding any ornament. Hence, perhaps, the Sawahili custom of the inserted porcelain-plate. After issuing from the stony and sandy gorge which forms the short cut, we regained the Hajj- road, and presently sighted a scene readily recognized. Fronting us, the northern horizon was formed by the azure wall of Tayyib Ism, the Mountain of the Good Name, backed by the far grander peaks of Jebel Mazhafah: the latter rises abruptly from the bluer Gulf of El-Akabah, and both trend to their culminating points inland or eastward. On our right followed the unpicturesque metalliferous heap of Jebel Zahd or 'Aynunah Mountain, whose Breche de Roland seems to show from every angle; its chocolate-coloured heights contain, they say, furnaces and Mashghal, or ateliers, where the Maru (quartz) was worked for ore. In places it is backed by the pale azure peaks of Jebel el- Lauz. This Mountain of Almonds is said to take its name from the trees, probably bitter, which flourish there as within the convent-walls of St. Catherine, Sinai. They grow, I was told, high up in the clefts and valleys; and here, also, are furnaces both above and below. Of its white, sparkling, and crystallized marble, truly noble material, a tombstone was shown to me; and I afterwards secured a slab with a broken Arabic inscription, and a ball apparently used for rubbing down meal. The Lauz appears to...

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