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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

36.368132, 36.9406718

Sat Ap 1. [1 April 1905] Grey morning. Rode off at 8 with Mikhail and
Musa. We passed by the ruins of [space left blank] but as it seemed
a very little place I did not go up. Then we came to Burjke where
there is a square tall tower and several houses of a very simple kind,
mere cottages but all built in polygonal. On the lintel of one there were
a couple of olive branches, thus [sketch] that was the only decoration.
A big oil cave near. Below a church, also polygonal, very perfect,
one shipped, the apse square and built out with diacon. and prothesis
a running scroll round all the windows and some circles with crosses
and whorls over the door very unevenly placed. Nearby a newly
opened tomb with the loculi very curiously placed, 4 deep ways in on
each side and a big one at the back with a cross on over it at one
end. Found a dated inscription. So on to Sarkanya which is most
charmingly situated on the top of a shallow rocky valley, even a few
trees. Very well preserved. The houses extremely massive, all
polygonal with heavy stone balconies forming a porch over the door.
One with a stone corbels for a balcony (?) inside it seemed to have a
stable in the body of the house, perhaps the ground floor was stables
and the upper living room. A very perfect church, one shipped with
built out apse and chambers. The stone slabs roofing the square
apse complete. Found one dated lintel early in the 5th cent. The
church with running mouldings ending in spirals. So on to Fafertin
where there are many rock cut tombs and the apse of a church. It was
3 shipped but very simple in decoration, the capitals having only a
moulding like the running moulding. Here it began to rain. We
lunched in the apse which was roofed. The inhabitants are Kurds and
Yezidis (so are those of {B}Kbeshin.) In the streaming rain we rode to
Khirab esh Shems where there are 2 churches (1 hour) but I cd do
nothing and we rode on to Kalote and so to Burj el Kas (1 hour more)
getting in soon after 2 to find the tents pitched. Rained all the
afternoon and I did Turkish. Mikhail gave me notice. Musa says that
this year's rain has washed down a great deal of earth from the hills
into the valleys.

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