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loneliness, burst upon Mr. Rich's view under circumstances of a peculiarly impressive nature. It was a stormy morning, and dark clouds obscured every surrounding object, till, when just within a favourable distance, they broke, and discovered the Birs, with its picturesque mound, relieved against the opening sky, yet enveloped with a gauzy haze that added to the sentiment of mysterious awe which the sight of this venerable pile cannot fail to inspire.

The mound of Al Heimar resembles the one now described, though on a much smaller scale, and stands about six miles east of Hillah, being generally included among the Babylonian ruins. It is a conical mass of rubbish, surmounted by a structure of brickwork, which, like that of the Birs, but far inferior in style, evidently rises from the foundation. It is called Al Heimar from its red col


Several other remains are noticed in the vicinity of these, the most remarkable of which are Nebbi Eyoub, the tomb of the prophet Job, three leagues south of Hillah, near the Euphrates, with a canal and two large mounds; and a collection of ruins, named Boursa by the natives, near Jerbouiya, a village four leagues south from the same town, but distant from the river. Two considerable elevations are visible from the top of the Mujelibé, looking southward, and another, called Towereij, to the northwest. The governor also mentioned one as large as the Mujelibé, thirty-five hours south of Hillah, where, a few years ago, a cap or diadem, and some other articles of fine gold were found. This was probably Mugheyer, of which we shall hereafter have occasion to speak more at length.

Such is an abstract of Mr. Rich's account of these interesting relics; and, in the few observations which he has offered regarding them, his object has rather been to enable his readers to form their own opinion, or to make their own conjectures, than to pronounce any decision himself. He has been followed by Mr. Buckingham and Sir Robert Ker Porter, who have each of them given a detailed narrative, not only of what they saw, but of the conclusions they arrived at, respecting the various mounds which they describe from personal inspection. The first-mentioned gentleman spent only two days in his examination, the latter ten; but, as the result very nearly corresponds with

that attained by Mr. Rich, we shall only notice the points on which any difference exists. Mr. Buckingham, indeed, on all occasions, refers to the Memoir as to a document which cannot be improved in point of accuracy. He adopts Rich's measurements generally, and quotes extensively from his publication. He thinks the Mujelibé was certainly enclosed by walls and ditches, but differs entirely from those who have been disposed to regard it as the ruins of the Temple of Belus; being satisfied that it must have comprised a variety of edifices, varying in form as well as in use and materials. On its exterior surface are the remains of walls sufficient to prove that its base is still a solid building, very little enlarged by debris; while the summit, for similar reasons, affords ample evidence that its elevation could never have much exceeded that of its present height. All this goes to establish that it cannot be the Tower of Belus, which must have left an infinitely larger quantity of ruins. Its area, too, is larger than what has been attributed to that celebrated structure, which, besides, is stated by Diodorus, Strabo, and others, to have been built of fire-burned bricks and bitumen, whereas the chief part of the Mujelibé is composed of sun-dried ones, cemented with clay mortar and layers of reeds or rushes.

Mr. Buckingham is rather disposed to consider this mound as the old castellated palace mentioned by Diodorus, which he supposes to have been built on the side of the river opposite to the Temple of Belus.

The Kasr, distant from the Mujelibé somewhat more than a mile, is, he observes, occasionally called Babel; and here he conjectures was the royal abode to which were attached the hanging gardens. "Were it not that the palaces are said to have been seated on opposite sides of the river, I should have said, when looking towards the Mujelibé, There was certainly the old palace, and here is the site of the new;" but this he acknowledges to be at variance with all existing accounts, though he suggests that the stream may have changed its course, and once passed between them.

Viewing the mounds of Amran and the Kasr, connected together as they are with a broad and lofty ridge like a causeway, and faced by an embankment on the edge of the river, he is inclined to regard them as forming the space and buildings which, according to Diodorus and

Strabo, were surrounded by three walls, one of sixty stadia in circuit, one of forty, and a third, of which the extent is not mentioned. The first of these walls, he observes, may be represented by the mound which strikes off from the east corner of the embankment, and which, he says, may be traced at its northern end in an eminence appearing northwest of the Mujelibé. The wall of forty stadia is the circular ridge mentioned by Mr. Rich, joining the southeastern corner of Amran, and coinciding nearly with the southeast angle of the Mujelibé. The third he considers to be represented by the straight mounds E and F of Mr. Rich's plan.*

After surveying this place, Mr. Buckingham and his companion rode eastward across the country, to try if they could find any traces of the walls of Babylon. Their more definite object was Al Heimar, in their way to which they saw many straight lines of mounds running in various directions, some intersecting others, which that gentleman identifies at once as being the remains of the rectilinear streets of the old capital, because they rise too high above the soil to be formed of the earth from the intervening space, which was level with the surrounding land. Had Mr. Buckingham been better acquainted with the nature of the ancient canals of Babylonia, he would have known that their banks generally rose above the surface; and that these mounds, therefore, more probably represent aqueducts than houses, which were too insignificant both in point of size and material to have continued so long where so many great fabrics have entirely disappeared.

This author enters into a long and elaborate disquisition to prove that the mound at Al Heimar is the remains of part of the wall of the ancient metropolis; a conclusion which we shall notice hereafter. As to the Birs Nimrod, he estimates the mound at 200 feet high, and the brick building on the top at fifty more. He describes four stages in this remarkable ruin, besides the step already mentioned, a little raised above the ground, and exceeding in extent by several feet the true base of the building. Within this rises the lowest stage, showing a part of its material only where a pit has been dug or worn. These are of sun-dried though firmly made brick, cemented with bitu

* Rich's Journey to the Site of Babylon, &c., p. 60,

men or mortar, but without reeds. The second stage presents at the northeast angle, which is exposed, a wall, externally, at least, of burned brick. The third, which, like the last, recedes in a due proportion, is also formed of the same material. Above all rises the fourth and last stage, which is the tower-like pile. The summit of this, still 250 feet above its base, occupies, says he, nearly an area of 100 feet, only one side of which is now erect, being a wall of thirty feet in breadth, fifteen in thickness, and fifty feet high. He adverts to the vitrified masses at its foot, and seems to think that, had fuel been collected in the upper stage, and set on fire, it might have burst the fabric asunder, and produced such effects; alluding here to a quotation by Sir Isaac Newton from Vitringa, in which that author speaks of a Parthian king having, about 130 years B.C., burned many of the temples of the Babylonians with fire. Mr. Buckingham entertains no doubt that this is really the remains of the Tower of Belus, notwithstanding the objections that may be urged against it on the ground of its locality or otherwise.

Sir R. K. Porter spent ten days at Hillah, great part of which was employed in examining the ruins; and his accounts, though in some respects more detailed, differ little in substance from those furnished by Mr. Rich. He limits the circumference of the Birs Nimrod to 694 yards; but the difference between this and the measurement of his predecessor may probably have arisen from the difficulty of determining the exact limit of the base. The mound he states to be 200 feet high, and the fragments of the brick wall thirty-five. He remarked that in the upper part of the masonry, lime is exclusively used for cement, while bitumen has been confined to the lower parts of the building. The bricks, too, used below were larger, so that in some parts of the wall, exposed at the eastern angle, he found them twelve inches and three quarters square, by four inches and three quarters thick, and laid in mortar an inch deep. In a portion of the wall at the northwest angle, the several courses, instead of being on a level, had a gentle inclination; those facing the north sloped towards the east, and those on the western face towards the south. Still lower down, a large hole afforded a peep into what Sir Robert calls the pith of the building, which was composed of large sun-dried bricks, cemented with clay-mortar mixed

with broken straw or reeds to the thickness of an inch and a half. Hence he supposes that the whole interior of the lower part is constructed of these materials, each stage or story being cased with furnace-baked bricks, binding the rest together; and that the bitumen was used only near the foundation, where damp was likely to do injury. He entertains no doubt that the Birs is the ancient Temple of Belus. Of the Mujelibé his description is quite the same as that of Mr. Rich, but his measurements vary. As to its height he nearly agrees, the southeast corner being the highest point; but states that the north side measures 552 feet; the south, 230; the east, 230; and the west, 551. In this there is probably some error, as the south, instead of the west side, must correspond with the northern one. He thinks it never rose much higher than at present, and concludes that it must have been a platform on which more magnificent buildings were meant to be erected, as at Persepolis. He repudiates entirely the opinion that this could have been the Tower of Belus, and inclines to consider it as the remains of the castellated palace.

In the measurements of the Kasr he agrees in the main with Mr. Rich, since whose visit, he remarks, the excavations had greatly altered its external form. Here, also, he observed the use of bitumen in the lower part of the building, but adds that the core or pith of these mounds is composed of furnace-baked bricks cemented with lime. He entertains no doubt that the two mounds of Amran and the Kasr conjointly formed the new palace, of which the first enclosure was the rampart-like mass that joins it to the Mujelibé, and which Sir Robert lays down as forming an angle with the apex pointing eastward instead of a circular sweep. The second and third enclosures he conceives to be represented by the several ridges which divide the enclosed space in a direction from north to south, and subtending the angle, along the summit of one of which the present road to Hillah runs. He considers Rennell's idea of the river having ever flowed between the Mujelibé and Kasr as totally chimerical.

At Al Heimar, Porter discovered nothing new. He visited certain mounds about a mile to the eastward, but conceives that they could never have stood within the precincts of Babylon. He took considerable pains, also, in

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