.php lang="en"> Letter From A Pioneer of Biblical Archaeology (Bible History Online Quotes)

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Major-General Sir C. W. Wilson

Letter From A Pioneer of Biblical Archaeology

On November 30th, 1864 the late Major-General Sir C.W. Wilson wrote this letter to home: 

"The work goes on slowly, as the country is rough and difficult, and will keep us out here much longer than expected. I have been doing a great deal of underground work lately, and have been rewarded by several discoveries, the most important being an entire arch of one of the approaches to the Temple in a beautiful state of preservation, and a fine portion of the old wall. It is rather dirty work, crawling about in the middle of the earth, but very interesting. 

Last week I made an expedition with Dr. Chaplin through a passage cut in the solid rock to conduct water from the Kedron Valley into the Pool of Siloam. At first we were able to stand up, but were soon brought down to our hands and knees, and for some distance had to lie down on our sides and wriggle along like eels: not a comfortable sort of locomotion at anytime. But when it has to be done in six inches of water and mud, dreadfully unpleasant. There was just room between the water and the top of the passage to carry our heads along and breathe. I was leading, and managed to carry my candle through in safety, but Dr. Chaplin lost his, and got several mouthfuls of dirty water in forcing his way through. 

I find much less difficulty than I expected in getting about to different places, and, from working quietly at first, have established a sort of right to go wherever I like, and the inhabitants are now quite accustomed to see my head suddenly appearing out of wells and cisterns. The greatest difficulty I have is in getting into the interior of private houses, especially amongst the Jews, and they live just in the place that I want to work, in what is called by josephus, the Lower City."

Colonel Sir Charles Watson "Fifty Years' Work in the Holy Land" p. 13-14