Mark Twain’s Journeys in the Holy Land – Day 6, September 22th
From 1:00am to 7:00pm, Twain and his Quaker City companions found themselves traveling through northern Samaria. He notes its distinct terraced hills, which can be traced back to biblical times, and where then farmers and vintners continued to use and maintain these agricultural tracts through the millennia to today.
Like much of the Holy Land, Samaria is home to many notable biblical sites and filled with archaeological treasures. It is not uncommon that when ground is broken, builders come upon ancient olive and wine presses, or the remains of ancient villages and homes. Careful steps are then taken to preserve these discoveries either by the archaeological or nature authorities.
Excerpted from Mark Twain’s Notebook 9:
Sept. 22 –
Left Genin at 1AM. Some time before daylight, passed near another place where Joseph’s brethren pitted him.
About noon after passing over a succession of mountain tops (saw Mediterranean Sea 40 miles distant) & many Biblical cities (in which the inhabitants looked savage & would have liked to throw stones (women & babies with elaborate coin headdresses,) we came to the singularly terraced hills which shewed that we were out of Galilee & into
Climbed a hill… where the good Samaritan (the only one that ever lived there) dwelt…
….It is rough stone mud hovels & camel dung, as usual.
Tomb of St John
Or Shechem. Lunched there at 2 P.M.
Ebal on the left (hill of cursing) & Gherison on the right (hill of blessing)…
Ebal is cultivated with grapes – scattering olives on the other- disproves the enthusiasts who say the accursed mountain is barren & the other blooming.
Both well authenticate…
Camped at 7PM at an Arab Village – Lubia (Libonia of the Bible). Tents behind. Slept on the ground in front of an Arab house.