Ai Lieut

Ai. Lieut.

Conder reports the existence, near the modern village of Deir-Diwan, of the "remains of a large town, bearing the name Haiyan, which closely approaches Aina, the form under which Ai appears in the writings of Josephus. Rock-cut tombs and ancient cisterns, with three great reservoirs ctit in the hard limestone, are sufficient to show that this was a position of importance. To the west is an open valley called Valley of the City,' which, gradually curving round eastward, runs close to the old road from Jericho by which Joshua's army would probably have advanced. To the north of the site there is also a great valley, and the plain or plateau on which the modern village stands close to the old site expands from a narrow and rugged pass leading up towards Bethel, which is two miles distant on the watershed. Beside this pass and north of the ruins is a large terraced knoll, very stony, and crowned by a few olives-a conspicuous object in the landscape. It is called simply Et-Tell, 'the mound,' and a connection has been supposed between this name and the fact that Joshua made Ai ' a heap (tell in the Heb.) forever.' The place does not, however, show traces of having at any time been covered with buildings, and the rock-cut tombs and cisterns above noticed seem too far from it to indicate Et-Tell as the exact site of-Ai, being close to the pass; it has moreover no valley such as would seem fitted for the ambush immediately west of it" (Tent Work in Palestine, ii, 109).

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