Their arid country was the best safeguard of their cherished liberty; for the bottle-shaped cisterns for rain-water which they excavated in the rocky or argillaceous soil were carefully concealed from invaders.
Good water is everywhere so scarce that but for the rain preserved in cisterns the country would be mostly uninhabitable.
In several places the debris within the walls is saturated with sewage, and the water of the Fountain of the Virgin, and of many of the old cisterns, is unfit for drinking.
We learn from Oriental writers that one of the Buyid (Buwaihid) sultans in the 10th century of the Flight constructed the great cisterns, which may yet be seen, and have been visited, amongst others, by James Morier and E.
The ova of Culex, on the other hand, are deposited in any stagnant water, including cesspools, drains, cisterns, or water collected in any vessel; they float in boat-shaped masses on the surface.