A burial-place like that into which Sindbad was let down with the body of his wife, is described by Henry Timberlake, as then in use at Jerusalem, in his Discourse of the Travels of two English Pilgrims, 1616. Re-printed in the Harl. Miscellany, vol. 1.
They brought me, he says, to the field, or rather to be more rightly termed, the rock, where the common burial-place is for strangers; being the very same, as they say, which was bought with the thirty pieces of silver that Judas received as the price of his master; which place is called Aceldama, and is fashioned as followeth:— It hath three holes above, 249and on the side there is a vent; at the upper holes they let down the dead bodies, to the estimation of about fifty feet down. In this place I saw two bodies new or very lately let down, and looking down, (for by reason of the three great holes above, where the dead bodies lie, it is very light) I received such a savour into my head, that it made me very sick, so that I was glad to entreat the friars to go no farther, but to return home to the city.