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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Andrae, Walter
Herzfeld, Ernst
Iraq ยป Assur

33.223191, 43.679291

Friday Ap 23. [23 April 1909] We left camp at 6.30 and rode along the
foot of the hills. At 8.50 we {crossed} mounted the first range by a little
stream and rode along its ridge crossing at 10 the Wadi Jehannum.
On the other side there were grass and pools of water. I left Jusef to
direct the caravan and rode straight down by ridges and dry valleys
filled with grass, getting to Assur [Ashur] at 12. Met Mr Hinrichs at work
on the ruins who directed me to the Expeditionshause. Mr Jordan
greeted me and presently there appeared Mr Bachmann and Mr
Andrae. We all lunched very cheerfully together and they agreed with
me that Herzfeld was a charlatan. He worked here for 2 years and cd
learn nothing because he knew everything before. Then Andrae and
I and Hinrichs went out and saw the Parthian colonnade, the big
zigurrat [sic] and the Anu Adad temple. Also Temple A. very late.
The latter is on the Babylonian plan with rooms placed broadways.
But the real Assyrian temples have an ailam placed broadways
behind the doorway and then the heikab[?] lengthways with a niche
behind. The Parthian colonnade extraordinarily interesting Parthian
brick work is apt to have the bricks placed upright. They use a
binding mortar. This was probably a discovery of Nebuchadnezzar's
at Babylon. Here the latest Assyrian building has no binding mortar,
only mud. For example the great rusticated stone facing of the N wall
is without mortar and behind it are big chunks of rubble thrown[?] in
with more or less filling of earth, partly empty. At the first strong
pressure it was bound to fall down. Parthian and Assyrians alike built
of stone or burnt brick foundations and unburnt brick above. The
Parthian stone is cut. Andrae found and reconstructed parts of a very
interesting Parthian facade near the colonnade; two storeys of
engaged columns and pilasters with Ionicising caps with a bead and
reel on them and between a triple band, 2 vine rinceaux and one
geometric pattern with a very insignificant and flat cymatium below the
{second} upper colonnade. The Parthian town was as big as the
Assyrian; they find Parthian remains over the whole area and a
Parthian reconstruction of the Gurgurri door. The great zigurrat is
decorated with a series of niches. It belongs to the temple of Assur,
two dates - the first very early, probably about 1450, the zigurrat early,
which lies mostly beneath the modern kishla. Between the zigurrat
and the Anu Adad temple are a few remains of the palace of
Asurnasirpal - in the palaces all the rooms are set broadways
according to the Babylonian plan. There are 2 temples one over
another, the older they cd only find by tunnelling. They were built by
Assurissi, c1100 his son Tiglathpelaser. So home to tea after which I
showed Andrae my plans till dinner which was a very cheerful meal.
The Constitution is reported to have fallen. Troops going down
stream on keleks to Amara ['Amarah, Al].

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