The Desert of the Exodus: Journeys on Foot in the Wilderness of the Forty Years' Wanderings; Undertaken in Connection with the Ordnance Survey of Sinai and the Palestine Exploration Fund

By E. H. Palmer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI.
THE MOUNTAINS OF THE 'AZáZIMEH.

Wády Marreh. — Rujúm Ahmadi. — Arab Battle-fields. — Legend of Jebel Maderah. — Interior of the mountain Plateau. — Wády Hanjúrat el Gattár. — Wády Rámán. — Direction of the old Roman Road. — Identification of Gypsaria. — Wády Ghamr. — Concluding Remarks on the Identification of the Negeb of Scripture.

LEAVING El 'Abdeh, we walked on down Wády Marreh for about seven miles, amidst scenery as dull and uninteresting as can well be imagined. The Wády-bed is filled with fine white sand, broken jorfs rise up here and there, and ranges of low and perfectly featureless mountains on either side complete the picture. Those on the right hand are called Es Shahabíyeh; those on the left El Hadhirá. At the eastern extremity of the latter range is a broad plain, called Abu Taraibeh, into which debouches a Wády, called Wády er Rákib; on the mountains north of this stand the ruins of Kurnub. Presently the plain between the two mountains (or rather the cutting in the plateau, for such it really is), along which Wády Marreh runs, becomes blocked up by low irregular hills, through which the path takes one or two sharp turns. In the entrance to the little pass thus formed are two small stone heaps, each with a flat stone lying beside it, on which is cut a rude cross, the mark of the hero Ahmadf, whose exploits they are placed to commemorate. Ahmadí and Jirmí are the names of two warriors who, Arab traditions tell us, came this way, and opposed single-handed an invading force of five hundred horsemen, slaying every one. Just past the heaps, which are called Rujúm Ahmadí, is yet another, at the head of Wády Maderah, a stony-bedded valley which rises near this point. It has the same cross beside it, and is covered with tributary tufts of grass

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