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PREFACE.

WITHIN a few years past, extensive explorations have been carried on throughout the East, which have resulted in remarkable discoveries in nearly all of the ancient and renowned cities known to sacred history.

Among the most important of these discoveries are those made in Jerusalem, in the excavations around and under the Temple site-among the ruins of King Solomon's store cities, Baalbek, Tadmor, and Hamath-at Babylon, Nineveh, and Shushan.

These discoveries have awakened an interest that will

not be satisfied with anything less than a description of the ruins of all the important cities of the East.

In the ordinary works of Eastern travelers and writers, so much space is given to incidents of travel, and the speculations of travelers, that but little room is left for a description of antiquities or relics.

The aim of this work is to comprise in a convenient compass the results of all the important explorations and excavations made in the East; especially among the ruins of King Solomon's cities. To this end, this work has been made strictly descriptive and historical; yet containing only enough of history to render the subject intelligible. By this plan a description of the ruins, as now seen, of forty of the most famous cities of antiquity is given in the space of this volume.

THE AUTHOR

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