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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper

36.5907952, 38.3007613

Sun Feb 21. [21 February 1909] Off at 7.55. We followed the road to
Kubbeh, Ja'deh (to the right) and Mughara which we reached at 10.55.
Then up the hill leaving the Euphrates to the right - we did not see it
again. At 11.20 we were opposite a village called Kayik Deb¸ about
1/2 a mile off the road to the E. At 11.45 we saw traces of a ruined
village 5 minutes E of the road. At 12 we came to Serin lying under its
Tell and camped opposite near a little stream that flows from an 'ain
about 1/2 a mile away. A Xian called Georgi lives here and collects
liquorice for the Nebkys. Besides the villages marked by
Oppenheim there is one beyond Metras called Gaur Kharab. I
lunched and then rode up the hill to Oppenheim's tower tombs. The
one to the N which has the Syriac inscrip. is about 1/2 an hour from
Serin. Near it are a good many rock cut tombs in caves with a
passage sloping down to them; but all are filled with stones and
rubbish. There is a curious mixture of classical and unclassical (such
as the stylobate of the upper engaged columns) details. We rode
half an hour through the bare hills to the S. tomb which is a good deal
ruined. Only the S side is perfect. Oppenheim says they were
doubtless crowned with pyramids: they may have been but one
cannot be certain till one has climbed to the top of the N tomb - the
second is too much ruined. The porphyry block he calls a
sarcophagus. Georgi was very full of Ibrahim Pasha who crossed
below Kal'at en Nejm on his way back from Damascus [Dimashq
(Esh Shams, Damas)] swam[?] the river on horseback he and 100[?]
men with him. They passed through Serrin on their way back to
Viransheher [Viransehir]. Georgi does not believe him dead. Fine
view from the S tomb. We saw K. en Nejm and down to Masudiyyeh
and all up the river. To the E a rolling desert country; nothing visible S
of Oppenheim's road but Arab tents. We are about 100ft above Tell
Ahmar [Tall al Ahmar]. It was hot today; the temp. in my tent at 4.30
was 64?. Last night it froze a little. There were a few Arab tents near
the village here. The Arabs here are the Beni Sa'id, belonging to the
Fahl. The Great Sheikh of the Fahl is 'Abd at Tamr. There is
everywhere in flower a small white bulbocodium which sometimes
flushes to a pale mauve.

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