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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper

37.3201156, 41.7939896

Sunday May {17} 16. [16 May 1909] Heavy dew and quite cold in the
night. I got up soon after 4 and was ready to set out at 5 but my mare
needed shoeing. Finally at 5.25 I rode up to the village which lies in
the rocky valley and is mostly to this day troglodyte. Extraordinarily
beautiful. We got a Kurd to guide us and my soldier Hajji and I went
up to the high castle, a most attractive place, much of it rock cut. The
entrance gate is rock cut with ditto chambers on either side. All up the
slope there are rock cut chambers and even on the summit citadel the
rooms are {partly} vaulted but the walls rock cut and the stairs. I saw
the remains of a rough squinch in one place. I do not think any of it is
very old but some of the walls of the citadel seemed to be of finer
masonry than others and there may be 2 periods. One big rock cut
chamber had a niche to the S. which may have been a mihrab. So
down again and across the valley to the Parthian stele. There is no
water channel here (vide Ainsworth's notes to Xenophon) and no
possible water conduit. He must have confused it with Kasr Ghelli
where there is a rock cut conduit. I asked for Iran and my guide
hurried forward and while I eat white mulberries in the village
prepared me an omelet which he brought with bread and Iran. So
down to the ferry at about 8 and found only one boat load had gone
over. We had 2 boat loads more. The stream was very swift and
when they turned the gamiyyeh into the opposite bank it as near as
anything capsized - the animals all fell over. Left the ferry at 9.25. And
climbed up. At 9.45 we passed the little Xian village of Handak[?]. At
10.40 Thelaila (Moslem) on the top of the plateau. The whole country
smelt sweet of clover. At 12.15 we saw Kodach a little to the SE. I sat
down and lunched for about half an hour. We got to Azakh (the accent
is on the last syllable) at 2.15 and camped under a tree. The village
is nearly all Xian. After I had visited came to see me the Khawaja
Hanna and the Syrian priest (they are all Syrians here) and gave me
very extraordinary news from Adana [(Seyhan, Ataniya)] and
Diarbekr [Diyarbakir (Amida)]. Apparently Abd ul Hamid made a
great conspiracy all over the country. The Xians are very fanatical
here. They won't sell us so much as an egg because it is Sunday.

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