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The most important discoveries made here were in the western mound.
This was the platform on which the king's palace stood. Here were discovered the bases of several of the columns, and the position of the whole of the seventy-two columns which supported the edifice. On the bases of four of these were found inscriptions, according to which this palace was built by Darius Hystaspes, and repaired by Artaxerxes Longimanus. It consisted of a central hall, about 200 feet square, and three great porches on the exterior of this, and separated from it by walls 18 feet thick. These were doubtless the great audience halls of the palace. The great central hall was probably used for all great ceremonies, such as the coronation of the kings, returning thanks, and making offerings to the gods for victories. The "king's gate," where Mordecai sat, was doubtless a hall measuring about 100 feet square, with its roof supported by four pillars, and standing 150 feet from the northern front of the portico. The inner court, where Queen Esther appeared to implore the king's favor, was probably the space between the "king's gate" and the northern terrace wall. The "royal house and the house of the women," it is supposed, were situated behind this great hall, and were connected with it by a covered bridge over the ravine.
As the hight of this splendid palace was 120 feet, and stood on a platform over 60 feet high, surrounded by subordinate palace buildings adorned with trees and shrubs, the whole reflected in the river at its base, the effect must have been truly grand and imposing.
Large blocks of marble covered with hieroglyphics are still found by Arabs when digging for hidden treasure; and at the foot of one of the mounds stands the tomb of Daniel, erected on the spot where the relics of that prophet are believed to rest.
The site of this once beautiful capital is now desolate, its only inhabitants being lions, wolves, lynxes, and jackals.
This was a famous city of Ephraim; about 18 miles north by east of Jerusalem, and 10 south of Shechem. The Ark of the Covenant remained here from B. c. 1444 to 1116 B. c. In honor of the presence of the Ark, there was a feast of the Lord in Shiloh yearly, in one of which the daughters of Shiloh were seized by a remnant of the Benjamites.
The ruins found here consist of fragments of columns, and large stones of various shapes. An immense oak, evidently of great age, stands among the ruins. Just beyond the precincts of Shiloh stands a dilapidatea edifice, called by the natives the mosk of Seilun. At a short distance from the ruins is an ancient fountain, which first flows into a pool, and thence into a large stone reservoir-from which flocks and herds are watered-presenting a scene the same as might have been witnessed here 2000 years ago.
This was a very strong place east of the Jordan,