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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Hogarth, D.G.

34.802075, 38.996815

Sat Feb 20. [20 February 1909] Still and clear. We sent a messenger
at dawn up to somewhere to bring a shahtur to Mamluk and rode off at
7.30, Fattuh, Hajj M. and I. At 8 we reached Tell el 'Abr where I bought
a charming triple god which had come from K¸rk Mughara for 11/2
mej. The Shahtur was there but half full of water, so we sent up to the
village for a tin to bail it with and meantime I rode a 1/4 of an hour to
Tell el Kumluk where there were bits of columns in the graveyard and
a large black stone in the middle of the mound but no visible
inscription. Behind, near the hills, a Tell and village called Bada'a.
So back to the boat. Hajj. M's horse made a tosheh with Fattuh's and
we decided to leave him behind moreover a sharp little west wind
had risen and the men doubted whether we cd get over. But in we
went and were carried a 1/4 of a mile downstream and presently
landed - on an island! It seemed that the further arm had risen in the
night and it was doubtful whether we cd get over. There were 4 men
with us and they gathered up their clothes and went in. By dint of
making a long curve over the shallows we got over with water up to
our girths. But the stream was swift and once my mare was turned half
round. There is a road by the river but the water had come up and we
cd not go that way, so we rode inland for half an hour over the bluffs, a
bare rocky country with a lot of ruins in one place, door jambs and cut
stones (Kiepert marks it Klosterruinen) and in a valley further away a
village. So down to the Euphrates again and over the plain for an
hour to a little tell by the river with a village beyond it, also called
Jerablus or Jerabis - the first name is Turkish, the second Arab - 1/2
an hour more brought us to the huge mound. On the NE side is the
citadel washed on 2 sides by the river. The high earth works that
mark the walls stretch out from it in a circle away from the river; the
gates can be made out I think. Inside are masses of ruins in great
blocks, foundations of walls, pavements, the line of one of the streets
and a good many broken columns with moulded caps. In the hill are
the 2 carved blocks the Brit. Mus. left and near them the broken
fragment of a third, a winged personage. The view from the top of the
citadel is superb. I lunched and then arrived Salim Nebky a friend of
Fattuh's and Catoni's. He and his 6 brothers are landed proprietors
and run with Catoni a liquorice factory in Alexandretta [Iskenderun
(Alexandria ad Issum)]. Much talk of the rly surveyors for the bridge
who have recently been here. Salim told me that the remains of the
town stretch all round for far away. At Kerakli, a village in the valley to
the N, there is a Hittite stone which has been photgraphed and
copied. Far away in the hill to the SW is a cave with loculi -Fattuh and
Mr Hogarth visited it. We got to the tell at 12, rode down to Nebky's
village - also Jerablus or Jerabis, and left at 2. At 4.5 we were back to
the river and found the shahtur waiting. Also a crowd of men and 4
donkeys eager to cross. Fattuh turned half of them out. We grounded
on the end of the island but our fellow passengers got out into the
water and pushed and tugged us into the main stream. At 4.45 we
landed and 20 minutes later were back in our tents. Bought a small
white stone at Jerablus [Jarabulus] with a lion on one side and a star
on the other for 3/4 of a mej. Great day but I was tired when I came in.
There is a big chiflik, of which Bumbij is the centre, that reaches to the
Euphrates. It ends at some point between Tell Ahmar [Tall al Ahmar]
ferry and Jerablus.

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