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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

37.439586, 33.164415

Mon June 3 [3 June 1907] Started off at 5, deliciously cool, with
Haidar and Mehmet for Meliz. The big Euren round the corner of the
hill is called Duzla, the yaila and euren under the rocky hole further on
Gecheli, the site at the NW foot of Kolbasan [Kilbasan] Kizil D is called
Aylan Kilisu. After Gecheli there is a well marked road along the side
of the hill and a little further on there are many stones that look like
displaced paving stones. I expect this is the old road from the plain to
the castle. We went below the castle road and crossed 3 deep
ravines, 2 quite close together. This brought us to the foot of Bash D
and here we came upon {the} Naghran Euren with the lintel with 2
peacocks on it. I saw no ruins standing at all but a bit of a house with
a door moulded all round (not well) and a round boss on the lintel
above the moulding. A little further and we came to the top of the col
at the foot of Bash D. The mt falls very steeply here and soon breaks
into a cliff. We got to this point at 8.10, allowing for stops to measure
and photograph at Naghran. Mehmet and I climbed up into the big
cave which is called Melizin Mughara. You come to the entrance from
the side; it is high up on the cliff and guarded by a wall to protect the
entrance passage. 2 roughly cut stone seats at the entrance. We lit
candles and crept in and downwards for about 45 yards. The
passage winds and is very narrow and low, a mere crack, in one
place so small that one can scarcely creep through. At the end of it
are 3 recepticles, the largest about 4 ft square at the top. They run
down into the rock, the irregularities are carefully filled in with square
tiles and the whole plastered over with a thick smooth coat of plaster.
Mehmet said they are about the height of a man but they were half full
of debris. Many bits of the tiles lying about most with patterns on them,
either a wavy line or a sort of fir tree pattern which Sir W says is very
common on Byz tombs - a branching pyramid. Mehmet says the
tradition is that the Arabs at the conquest carried off 3 loads of gold
coins from here. I shd think it was the treasury of the castle. We came
out and went down the hill to the bottom of the cliff. Half way down
there were 2 round holes high up in the cliff, one completely broken
away, the other showing traces of steps leading up. {They} It is now
full of bees. Meliz at the bottom of the cliff is a volcanic passage like
the other cave, guarded at the door by a wall and rude gate. The
passage is much blocked[?] by fallen dÈbris and you can only get a
little way into it. I did not go at all. Under the big upper cave there are
some other holes in the face of the cliff now inaccessible. Lunched
and rode home getting in at one. The flowers lovely. All sorts of
charming herbaceous things, the gentian blue thing and a sort of
mullin and a beautiful kind of yellow accacia and lots besides. Found
the R [Ramsay]s had begun the trench and cleared out my mihrab.
Changed and washed and started off for the trench, R joining me. He
has cleared a great stone water trough on the slope of the hill
opposite 16. Photographed the mihrab, took some notes and
photographs of 16 which is a very rude badly built place and watched
the trench making till 4.15 when we came in to tea. None of the pottery
we have got so far is at all old, at oldest late Byz. Rather sleepy and

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