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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

31.4806325, 37.1472998

Sun March 14. [14 March 1909] A quite uninteresting day. We left at
6.45. At 11.45-12.25 I lunched at a Mazar of Sheikh Hadid interesting
because the construction of the pointed dome like roof is the same as
that of the Sitt Zubeihah. There are several little mazars near Haditha
[Hadithah, Al]; another with the same roof. 12.55 reached my camp by
the river at Haditha. It is counted 6 hours for caravans; we did it in
51/2. Most of Haditha lies on the hawijeh. I went over with a charming
old man called Ahmed Chawwish. It has been fortified at the upper
end but the ruins are I shd think of about the same date as those of
'Ana ['Anah]. Ahmed said the castle had been cut off from the lower
end of the island. There had been a bridge - its ruins can be seen on
the Jezireh [Jazirah, Al] side - and the road to it was the boundary of
the castle precincts. As far as I cd make out there had been no town
on the E. bank. Ahmed wanted me to go straight to Kasr Ahmej [Qasr
'Amij] from here saying he had crossed the desert 2 years ago in the
spring and there was plenty of water. But an Arab of the Jeraif said
there had been no rain this year and if there had been water in the
desert the tribes wd not have been crossing to the Jezireh. I ought to
have ridden round the bend of the river and seen Susa, but I had a
stupid soldier and was too bored to go. There are ruins on the island
there but Khalaf said it had all been ploughed up by the Arabs and the
foundations can only be seen when the river is very low. About Susa
are the headquarters of the Jeraif. An hour or so before reaching
Haditha we came down onto the river. Cultivated patches each with
its farm house on it like a sort of great mud fort with a tower. Here the
mud walls of the houses point inwards and have a little crenelated
mud battlement along the edge of the flat roofs.

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