The Market


The Palace
The Public Baths
The Market
The Naumachia



The Market

Towering above the modern buildings in the midst of the modern village are the ruined walls and vaults of an ancient structure called by the natives Khan id-Dibs, the „honey khan", to which we have given the name of Market because it seems to fulfill the requirements which such a structure as an ancient bazaar in the Orient would demand. On our map it is shown to lie just north of the intersection of the two principal streets of the city, It is also shown in the map as two distinct buildings, its western half being labelled „Central Baths". This error resulted from the presence of modern structures between the eastern and western sections of the building, and the necessity of measuring and drawing the two parts separately. It was only when the two sections were drawn out side by side that their mutual interdependence was established. This great structure has been mentioned by a number of travellers, but no plan of it has been published hitherto. Some writers have confused the late, quite modern, parts of the building with the ancient parts, and have described the while structure as Arabic. Porter's plan of the city and his description would seem to make the main north-and-south street pass through this building; but, as a matter of fact, it lies fully 20 metres west of that street. It is probable that the paving of the court between the market and the main street was mistaken for the pavement of the street itself.
It will be seen, by reference to the plan here offered (111. 240), that a heavy . wall extended along the west side of the colonnaded street, carrying one side of the roof of the covered walk in the usual manner. The face of this wall toward the street was probably unadorned and flat; though its entire facing has been carried away; but the face toward the market, i. e. the west face, has a long row of niches, alternating curved and rectangular, with brackets for colonettes projecting on either side at the bottom. This wall was broken for two entrances, near the ends of the Market, and there are remains of an inner colonnade corresponding to the street colonnade on the other side of the wall, but of a smaller order. This interior colonnade formed the east boundary of a court, about 20 metres wide and 70 metres long, on the east of the Market. The long east wall of the main building was very well constructed, and is almost perfectly preserved. It is about 3 m. thick, but is lightened by many recessed wall-arches, passage-ways, open arches, niches and doorways. Within this wall, at a distance of about 9 m., and running parallel with it, is a second heavy wall now partly in ruins. The two walls carried between them a series of alternating short tunnel vaults and cross-vaults. Parts of the former kind are still in place, and may be seen rising in the distance beyond the columns in Ills. 224 and 225. The great east wall appears to have been utilized to carry the conduit of an aqueduct, perhaps the aqueduct for" the South Baths, a portion of the specus, lined with excellent opus signinum, is still in situ.
To the west of the northern end of this massive structure stand three masonry structures occupying three angles of a rectangle the fourth angle of which is marked by the ruins of a fourth structure of the same kind. Broad arches connect the standing masses, at the north and west sides of the rectangle, and it is certain that similar arches completed the other sides of the figure which is not far from being a square. The north end of this enclosure was certainly covered by a short tunnel vault, the rest, almost certainly, by a square cross-vault. An examination of the masses of ruin to the east and south of this structure induce one to believe that the adjoining spaces in these directions were likewise roofed with combinations of tunnel and cross-vaults. The space to the east, between it and the long section of the building described above, is almost exactly equal in width to the vaulted spaces on either side of it. There were thus three great vaulted aisles extending north and south.
The massive ruined structure opposite the south end of the long section of the building that is well preserved, though not carrying out the system of vault supports of the part of the structure to the north of it, nevertheless falls easily into our scheme of reconstruction. Here is a small stair tower, and here are found the grooves for water pipes which at first appearances stamp the building as a bath. Under the southern half of this part of the ruin is a low vaulted chamber difficult of access and impossible to measure. There are inscriptions, not in situ, built into the walls at this point which make -it clear that the building could not have been erected before the third century. At the south end of the great vaulted eastern division of this structure, and at right angles to it, a long and narrow chamber is still preserved. The chamber is about half as wide as  one longitudinal

 division of the Market, and its ceiling is about half as high and carried on transverse arches. Its floor, well paved with basalt blocks, is now below the present level of the larger divisions, and probably gives their original level. One doorway connects this chamber with the eastern aisle of the Market, another opens to the south. There was probably an upper storey at this point. At the northeast end of the high vaulted portion of the Market the east wall extends beyond the wall which marks the end of the vaults and has two ornamented doorways opening into long narrow chambers which were roofed with transverse arches and slabs. These chambers were probably carried up in one or two more storeys. The south end of the eastern division of the Market is now covered by a vault set somewhat lower than the other vaults, which appears to have been a reconstruction of a late, perhaps Arabic, period.

A study of the plan, based upon acquaintance with modern bazaars in the Orient and with some of the early brick vaulted khans in the bazaars of Constantinople, will convince one of its adaptability to the purposes of a bazaar, khan, or, to use a more general term, a Market. There is first the open area at the east with its colonnade and covered walk with niches for statues in the wall. Here was a place where produce brought in from the country might be displayed for sale during the day and sold out, or carried away, before night. The doors of the court however could be closed when the Market was not open. On the opposite side are the arched recesses, almost 5 m. wide and 1.50 m. deep, like the little shops in so many Oriental bazaars, and the niches for drinking fountains. The recesses could be closed with shutters when not in use; indeed almost all of them are inhabited today, crude walls having been erected in front of them. This side of the court might easily have been protected also from sun and rain, either by a lean-to roof supported by columns, or by awnings. Within, the long vaulted alley, 9 m. X 50 m., with no openings for light except the doorways, afforded a roomy storehouse for the more bulky merchandise. All the rest of the building, covered by great vaults, offered wide space for the display of goods as well as for passing back and forth under cover.

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