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136 REV. F. A. WALKER, D.D., F.L.S., ON ORIENTAL ENTOMOLOGY.

which they are found. The beetles burrow in the ground, and the grubs they produce are white, and of different sizes, according to the size of the parent beetle. These grubs first of all eat the roots of the tea-plants, and then they attack the upper part. The only way in which we could get rid of them was by setting women and children to dig them up and collect them. They lift up the grass as one would raise a sheet or table-cloth, and underneath they find the grubs as thick together as plums in a plum-pudding.

The CHAIRMAN.—There is no doubt that the locusts prefer some plants to others; and in all the invasions of these insects I have known, they have gone on in regular succession, although they have always eaten the vines last. They seemed to me to have great objection to these, prabably because of the acid in the leaves. The locust-trees they never ate at all, but went away and left them untouched.

Rev. J. J. COXHEAD, M.A. I think we ought to express our thanks to Dr. Walker for his able and interesting paper. He has handled his subject in such a way-as to show how highly valuable are careful observations such as he has been able to make in Palestine and other parts of the East. What struck me most forcibly in the paper was that the commonest species of butterflies, such as those with which we in England, and Europe generally, are familiar, are more abundant in those parts of the world than any other particular species which is there met with.

Rev. Dr. WALKER.—Locusts, as far as I am aware, differ from all other insects in this respect, that they grow after they have reached the mature stage. It is a characteristic of other insects that, when no longer in the larva state, they do not increase in size ; but the locust increases from a very small size to a very large one after it has reached the perfect stage,

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The Meeting was then adjourned.

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GEOLOGICAL SECTION ACROSS MT. HOR, PETRA (WADY MUBA) AND MT. SEIR.

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G. Granite and Porphyry, forming the foundation Rocks of the district.
8. “Nubian Sandstone" formation with a base of conglomerate.
L. Cretaceous Limestone, forming upper part of the Table-land of Edom and

the Arabian Desert.

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The Minutes of the last Meeting were read and confirmed, and the
following Elections were announced :

MEMBERS :-W. Edwards, Esq., C.E., Hyderabad; Miss L. E. Loveday,
London,

ASSOCIATES :-Rev. D. E. Evans, M.D., United States; Rev. E. P.
Ingersoll, A.B., United States.

The following Paper was then read by the Author :

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PETRA," THE ROCK-HEWN CAPITAL OF IDUVEA.

By Professor HULL, LL.D., F.R.S.

А

MONGST the ruined cities of the world there is

probably none which carries with it so unique an
interest as the deserted capital of Arabia Petræa, owing to
the peculiarities of its construction, and the marvellous state
of preservation in which its buildings are found after a lapse,
in some cases, of over two thousand years. The ancient city
of Petra lies deep amongst the recesses of the Edomite
mountains, only accessible through narrow defiles or over
difficult passes, and easily defensible against an attacking
host:

“ Where rocks on rocks-on mountains, mountains piled
Have forun'd a scene so wondrous and so wild,
That gazing there, man seems to gaze upon

The rough, rude, ocean frozen into stone.'
So completely hidden is this wonderful city from all
outside observation, that, independently of its situation in the
Desert inhabited only by Bedawins, it might easily be passed
by on either side by travellers proceeding to Damascus on the
one side or to Jerusalem from the head of the Gulf of Akabah
on the other.

It is scarcely, therefore, to be wondered at
that, during the Middle Ages, Petra was lost to view
for several centuries. The Mahomedan wave of conquest,
which swept with such irresistible fury over Western Asia,

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overwhelmed Arabia Petræa and its capital; its commerce was destroyed, its Christian inhabitants massacred or forced to embrace the religion of the conqueror, and all that was left--namely, its palaces, temples, and tombs-remained much as we see them at the present day. Owing to the genial climate which pervades the valleys of Mount Seir all the year round, though snow and frost visit the adjoining mountains and table-lands, the rock-hein structures come down to the present day in a state of high preservation; and, from the beauty and boldness of design, variety of style, and peculiarities in construction, cannot fail to excite feelings of the highest adiniration and interest in the minds of the favoured few who have an opportunity of visiting the remote valley in which they are situated, known amongst the Arabs as the Wady Musa.* Though much has been written on Petra

“The rose-red City, half as old as Time” and its surroundings, yet the interest can scarcely be exhausted, and it is hoped some account from the pen of a recent traveller may not prove unworthy of perusal.

The history of Petra still remains to be written ; and probably, were such a history in existence, it would be found unsurpassed in incident by that of most of the cities of the Eastern world. Occupying the sides of a wide and deep valley, which ultimately opens out into the Arabah, with branches bounded by cliffs and precipices of sandstone under the shadow of Mount Hor, it may be supposed that it offered a secure retreat against the nomadic tribes to the more settled descendants of Esau, who gradually established their sway over the mountainous region as far north as the borders of Moab, and southwards to the head of the Gulf of Akabah. At the period of the Israelitish Exodus, Petra was the residence of kings, the successors of the “Dukes of Edom"; and when the host of the Israelites encamped for the second time after the period of the wanderings in the wilderness at Kadesh Barnea,—which presumably lay at some distance to the west of the borders of Edom,t-the embassage sent by Moses to the King of Edom had only two days journey in order to reach the capital of the country. The request on the part of Moses for permission to pass through the land in order to reach the table-land of Moab was refused;

* From the tradition that Moses, the Jewish Lawgiver, cleft the valley with his sword.

+ Probably at the spot discovered by the Rev. J. Rolands, and described by Dr. Trumbull, 1884.

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