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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

35.6879042, 36.539177

Wed 22. [22 March 1905] Tolerably fine. I spent the morning in El
Barah and Mijleyya with the Sheikh's son whose name is Hawwash.
His father, Yunis, remembers De Vog¸È. In the church to the extreme
north there has been a very beautiful running frieze of foliage each
circle enclosing a hare. Photographed some of it. They have circles
on the brain, either running connected foliage or separate circles
each with a star or a whorl or a monogram inside. A pyramid tomb to
the W, the pyramidal roof broken has a very lovely double course of
ornament and an elaborate door lintel. Copied a Greek and a Latin
inscription. Gable roofs to all the houses - they look quite
extraordinarily modern. At Mijleyya there are 2 churches, one with an
apse and 5 sides, the other with a columned narthex. All have
chambers on either side of the apse. I think the N church of El Barah
had towers on either side of the W door. Copied a tomb inscription at
Mijlayya. After lunch rode with Mahmud and Yunis to Serjilla. Here
the houses are extremely well preserved, especially the cafÈ with its
columned liwan and the bath. The mosaic in the big hall of the latter
was been much destroyed since it was uncovered. A church very
much ruined and an admirable house to the NE, called the Big House
- liwan very well preserved. A pretty little tomb to the SE by a big
house. So to Rbebah where there is a church with a square
baptistery which I think has been turned into a mosque. There is a
later arch to support the roof - it blocks the original door - and a niche
for a mihrab to the S. Arabic or Cufic on the side of the arch. A big
mausoleum not very interesting and to the W of the town a huge stone
with a horse and a rider in relief but I could not photograph it owing to
the light. Cold and cloudy all day but thank Heaven it did not rain. We
passed Bu'da on our way home but did not go up to it. There is a
very perfect pyramidal tomb. All the world rocks, very little earth.

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