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McGarvey, John William: Lands of the Bible. Philadelphia & London, Lippincott, 1881. Reprinted by Elibron Classics.

 

 

Women in a graveyard

 

 

Gaza, Palestine, 1879

The modern Ar'abs have little of the reverence for burial-places which characterized the Jews of old. The empty sepulchres of the ancients are everywhere used for the folds of sheep and goats when practicable, and some of them, with their doors enlarged and an additional structure in front, are used as dwellings. Even the modern cemetery in which their own dead are buried is but little reverenced. The author saw at Gaza a crowd of women enjoying a kind of picnic under the shade-trees of a graveyard, while a small group of their company were dancing for the amusement of the others in a narrow space closely surrounded by gravestones.

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