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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

30.0444196, 31.2357116

Thurs 28. [28 January 1909] To Sakkara [Saqqara] at 9.30. When I
got to the Quibells' house I found they had gone to Cairo. But I
lunched there and their man Ahmed took me to the ruins. Furthest N is
a big refectory with 2 lines of columns. On the pavement the mark of
the feet of the monks where they stood looking towards the E and the
name of the monk cut on the stone. E of it a curious chamber with 4
columns. Next to the S an open court with a minbar (but Xian) against
the N wall and towards the E 5 columns [sketch of columns forming a
X] perhaps supporting a dome - something like the Ruweiha tomb.
This may have been a tomb? SW of it some large parallel vaulted
magazines of sun dried brick. S. of the court the big church, a basilica
with an apse on either side of which are chambers making the E line
straight. Quibell tells me there are 2 apses, one over the other and
that the monastery was probably destroyed at the time of the Arab
invasion and rebuilt after, the monks being then very poor and using
up the materials from the ruins anyhow together with sundried brick.
Part of the S wall stands, well built of faced stones carefully fitted, a
litle rubble in the middle. All along the S wall runs a water conduit and
there are lavateries [sic] on the outside of the wall. The conduit runs
on to a basin and water jar (of stone) just outside the main door of the
monastery. A door in the S wall. A narthex of, I think, 3 chambers.
Further up to the W another small basilica with a quite straight E end
and slabs forming the sanctuary in front. Slabs of marble in the E wall
- [sketch]. Then a mass of cells everywhere. So back and reached
Bedrashin an hour and a half before the train. Read and drank coffee.
In at 6. Oppenheim came at 6.30 and Moritz at 6.45. The latter dined
and we talked much of Mesopotamia. He advised the E bank of the
Euphrates and an excursion from 'Anah to the Lakhmid castles.
Oppenheim advised me to go straight N into the hills from Urfa
[Sanliurfa (Edessa)] and so to Diarbekr [Diyarbakir (Amida)] in the
hope of Xian remains. At 9.30 came Mr Quibell and we talked over
the monastery.

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