410 Route 6. THE RED SEA.
About 5 M. to the N. is Old Koser, with the remains of the ancient
Leukos Lrtitt'ii, a famous harbour in the time of the Ptolemies, but now
blocked up with coral, and accessible to small boats only.
Between Koser and Rds Bends, where Berenike was situated, dwell
the nomadic ''Ababdeh' (p. 45), and between the latter and Sauakin the
'Bisharin' (p. 45), both being tribes of a Nubian type.
Sauakin (10,000 inhab.), situated in a sterile region with a saline
soil, possesses a good harbour. It belonged to the Turks down to 1865,
when it was ceded to Egypt, and since that period it has rapidly im¬
proved. The principal part of the town lies on a small island, and there
are also a number of substantial stone houses belonging to it on the
mainland. Behind it extends the busy village of Get, which is inhabited
by the native Bisharin. About l'/i M. farther inland are the springs
which supply the town with water and irrigate the gardens. The chief
exports, being products of the district, are cattle, hides, butter, india-
rubber, tamarinds, and mother-of-pearl; while ivory, ostrich-feathers, and
other commodities from the Sudan are brought to Sauakin via Kassala
and Berber, and exported hence. Sauakin was formerly an important
depot of the slave-trade, which is not yet entirely extinct. This seaport
is a convenient starting-point for the exploration of the Sudan.
Masau'a (5000 inhab.), the seaport of Abyssinia, belonged to the
Turks as early as 1557, and has recently been ceded to Egypt. Like
Sauakin, it lies on an island, opposite to which, on the mainland, are
situated the pleasant villages of Arkiko and Mokullu, with their country-
houses and gardens. Masau'a carries on a brisk trade in commodities
similar to those of Sauakin. The population consists of Ethiopians,
Arabs, and a few Europeans. The climate is very hot, but not unhealthy.
Arabian Side. The seaports of the province of Yemen, on the E.
side of the Red Sea, are Mokhd, Hodeda, and Lohdya. Mokha has fallen
entirely to decay, and Hodeda alone is visited once monthly by the
steamers of the Austrian Lloyd. These places have long since been
superseded by the English seaport of 'Aden.
The most important seaport on the Red Sea, a great focus of Oriental
trade, and one of the wealthiest towns in the Turkish empire, is Jedda,
situated 46 M. to the W. of Mecca, of which it is the port. Pilgrimages
from every Mohammedan country converge here, and the merchants
transact business with the devotees on their arrival and departure. The
inhabitants trade with the interior of Arabia, with Egypt, E. Africa as
far as Mozambique, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, and the Malay Islands.
Jedda is the chief market for pearls, mother-of-pearl, and black coral,
and for the coffee, balsam, senna leaves, aromatic herbs, and horses and
donkeys which Arabia produces. It is also a great depot of Oriental car¬
pets, muslins, woollen and silk stuffs, spices, cocoa-nuts, essential oils,
and other products which are exported to the western Mohammedan
countries. The imports are corn, rice, butter, oil, and not unfrequently
slaves. The covered bazaars and khans are therefore very interesting,
and the markets are well supplied with fruit, which does not grow in
the utterly sterile environs, but is imported from El-Yemen by water and
still more extensively from Tdif by land. The harbour lies at a con¬
siderable distance from the town, which can only be approached by small
craft. Water for drinking is collected in cisterns. The houses are lofty
and substantially built, and the town possesses handsome government
buildings and a castle. Outside the walls the Muslims point out a stone
structure, 120 yds. long and 6 yds. wide, as 'Eve's Tomb'. Over the 'holy
navel' is placed a chapel, containing a hole in the interior through which
the visitor can look down on the stone covering that part of the sacred
remains. This spot is only one-third of the way from the feet to the
head (39 yds.), so that the upper part of Eve's frame must have been dis¬
proportionately large. At the time of the Wahhabite wars the town was
taken by the Egyptians, but has again belonged to the Turks since 1840.
In 1858 a terrible massacre of the Christians took place here , on which
occasion the French and English consuls were murdered, and the town
was bombarded by the English in consequence.