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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


Carchemish (Jerablus)

March 11, 1911

We have got here, and this is a hurried note to go off by the returning camelmen. We left Aleppo Thursday: this is Saturday, nothing of note on the journey except the flooded Sadjur: which was easily crossed tho', at a ford. I had no camera ready unfortunately. Mr. Hogarth drove and walked and rode: Thompson rode and walked: I walked, except of course over the river. Not much yet of course to say about this place. The mounds are enormous: but I'll send you a photo. or drawing later. We only got in about 4 o'clock: and have been unpacking since: eleven baggage horses, ten camels.... The head-man of the village, who is also the agent of the Liquorice Company that I ran into last time, has put the Co's house at our disposal. It is a big, stone-built, one storied place, with a court-yard adjoining: the roof will be good for sleeping on later in the year: at present the thermometer is 40° with a gale off those N.W. summits of the Taurus, that, snow-clad, were in view all this afternoon. We have bedding enough, good hap, for a host. The village is about ¾ of a mile from the site, and the river: on high ground, so there is no possibility of fever in the hot weather, when or if it comes: snow here a few days ago: no skating on the river, worse luck. As for the place: there is a high plateau in the corner N. of Sadjur and W. of the Euphrates: this is some 500 feet above the river. We started on that this morning and then dropped gradually from foothill to foothill until we reached this village. It is a little place, of about 40 houses, very clean and fresh-looking, being all quite new, with a very fast-running spring on one side. I thought (and Mr. Hogarth said) that there was nothing but river-water in the place: as it is 'the most delicate fabrics may be washed without damage': the water is quite clear, fairly cool, and good-tasting. Its situation puts it out of the way of defilement. The mound is about ¾ of a mile N. of the village: the river about ½ a mile to the E.: and it bends round until it washes the edge of the great 'Acropolis' hill. Our unpacking was a lively sight: heaps and heaps of baggage animals of all sorts; horses mules, donkeys, camels: about a dozen of our men, and perhaps 20 villagers, who swarmed out of their houses when we approached, and as soon as we had approved the house, all turned to under the orders of the little overseer, and cleared it out. It was full of camel-hides, and corn, poplar-poles and lentils. The last were impounded for the benefit of the expedition. I cater to some extent.... I want to go to bed now: we have had two very rough nights, and it is very cold. All quite well: I like the second-man Thompson, very much.

N.

 

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Source: HL 139-40
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 8 April 2006

 



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