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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
GB/2/11/5/4
Creator
Gertrude Bell
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Language
English

Tues May 4. [4 May 1909] Breakfasted at 6, the whole party - Mr Y.
[Young] rode down with me to the river - we left his house about 6.30.
Crossed at a horrible place by the shambles. M Morel of the Debt
was in the boat going to Zakho. Rode up to Kuyunjik and was
astonished by the huge mounds marking the walls to the N of that tell -
to the S of Nebi Yunis. Very hot and stuffy, broiling sun. We left
Niniveh [Nineveh] at 7.45 and got to a village called Amrkan at 11.45.
I lunched there in someone's house and he gave me leben. We left
them at 12.15 and got to Mar Behnan about 1.45. The Moslems call it
Deir el Khudr. Preusser appears to have been here so I contented
myself with photographing. These monasteries must have a close
relationship with the Coptic. As they stand they all seem to have been
built about the same time - the decoration on one of the doors here is
the entrelac and saints of Mar Tuma. They are bare churches with a
dome over the altar. Here there are side chapels also domed to the
N of the N aisle and the S of the S aisle. Mar Behnan's tomb is
outside the monastic enclosure. You go into a quite comparatively
modern and very rough kind of little chapel with a narthex and
descend by some steps into a long dark barrel vaulted passage (the
bricks slanting) which brings you into an octagonal domed chamber,
the octagon formed of 8 arched niches. Lots of Syriac inscrips. here
and in the church and many of them built in sideways. Lovely night
with a white full moon. My tents are just above the round rainwater
pool, half way up the ancient mound. Locusts flying today but the
barley is all plucked out and lying in heaps in the fields. The wheat
still green. We saw Nimrud Tell quite close today.

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