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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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1 entry, paper
Syria ยป Antioch

34.802075, 38.996815

Fri 7. [7 April 1905] Went out about 9 and called on our vice Consul,
Mr. Duwek, a Jew from Damascus [Dimashq (Esh Sham, Damas)].
He walked with me presently to M. Potton's where we found Mme P,
very agreeable. An enchanting old house with lovely Arab
decorations to ceiling and wall, rather sombre but most excellent, and
a court with orange trees. Potton came in and we went together to
Rifa'at Agha. He was away but his brother Refa'at Agha was there
and showed me his collection. The best thing he has is a bronze
lamp with a curly haired head on it. Also a fine collection of Seleucid
coins and some Greek fragments, one, I think, a 5th cent head. So
back to lunch. Crowds round the tents. At 4 came the Pottons and we
walked up into the gorge full of rock cut tombs and down to the bridge.
I had tea with the Martens, he an American, she a newly married
Swiss, missionaries. There was an American girl staying with them.
Mr Duwek and Mr Orr a young Scotchman working for the American
liquorice trust came to see me and stayed till past 7. The island was
higher up than the present town. Lower down on the river banks they
come on fragments of villas, but very deep for the river has often
changed its course by reason of earthquakes. They say there is a
bad earthquake every 50 years. Duwek remembers the last in '62 I
think it was and his father remembered the one before. There are 2
sarcophagi in the Serai, one rather good. Otherwise nothing above
the surface.

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