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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


Carchemish

Sunday about April 16, 1911

Letters came in yesterday: one from Bob and you: glad all well. The idea of writing to you in the evenings is impossible I fear, because the others go to bed so early, and I cannot get off without waking them up: and what with pottery and photography, and a good deal of drawing and painting that I do there is little spare time before 11 p.m.: Sunday is our only day without digging. Mr. Hogarth goes off this week. As this dig has proved a failure to the present (tho' there is still hope of one part of the site) he is going to try and persuade the B.M. to apply for Tell Ahmar. That would be a couple of seasons dig in two years' time, at a mound only a few miles from here lower down the Euphrates. He would not come out to it himself, and the place would be left to Thompson and myself. Thompson is not a digger, so the direction of that part would be my share (as it is going to be now). Mr. Hogarth suggested that a season or half a season with Petrie in Egypt might be valuable experience: and of course it would be. Digging in any case would be always a thing I would try to do, and the more I know of it the better. The question is whether this season or next, and I would strongly recommend this season, when I am out here ready. Petrie starts in Nov.-Dec. which is about the time I will be free in Syria: and I would go straight to him till Feb. or March. Then either to Syria again, or back to England as seemed best. That is in the probable case of our not having a second season here. Of course if we do this would be the necessary course: and that would mean my second spring occupied: otherwise I would spend next Feb.-July castle-hunting.

Mr. Hogarth takes this letter to Aleppo with him. He leaves tomorrow (Thursday) probably with Professor Sayce. Of late we have found a chariot relief (our 4th) a figure adoring sacred palm, and two slabs of warriors holding captives and heads. They all come off the side of a street, which had been lined with them, but the depth of earth was not enough to save them from the Persians and Romans who have destroyed everything worth having on the site. So far it has been very nearly a failure as a digging, simply from that lack of small objects: there are still faint hopes of a second season, in a part of the site that we have not yet explored. Mr. Hogarth has recommended us to try it fairly exhaustively, and we have reduced the number of workmen in expectation of Gregori's and his going: so that there will be best part of two months work here still. My camera has of late been doing quite good work, taking sculptures, that Mr. Hogarth may give a fair idea to the Museum of what we have got. He is sending out more films. No more time now.

 

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Source: HL 148-9
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 8 April 2006

 



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