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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


[Carchemish]

[3 May] 1911

I did this this afternoon (Wed. May 3) and so I will send it off with the letter and map I wrote last week. You will excuse the badness of the drawing for the sake of the information it brings.

The thing in the middle distance is the great mound. You are looking right at the end of it, and so get no idea of its length: but it shows you how it stands from the little valley. Behind the mound (on the top of which is one of our dump-heaps and a workman with his basket) is the Euphrates, with an island in the middle, and hills on the far bank. These are about a mile away so you see they are fairly high. The smudge before the mound is a poplar-grove, irrigated by a little canal built up alongside it: it hides the low stone building of the mill: but you can see, like a shadow along the mound 20 feet above the water, the little irrigation canal of the plan. It is cut into and built against the rock.

Below the trees is the little side stream (nameless) which runs into the Euphrates at this point. It comes from a large spring about a mile up, and its lower part (as you see) is now fairly full of water, due to the flooding of the great river. Below the copse is a grass field, running up to the mill-stream, and thence to the wall of the city. Just at this point is the N. gap mentioned on the plan. This side of the little stream is a bamboo-patch, an outcrop of bare rock, cut up by two water-channels. Then a little space of stony ground, and a path (to Biredjik) through it rising to the hill-side of which I sat. The very dark object in the foreground is the far bank of another water course. A square stone, with holes in it in the foreground is a Hittite tomb-monument. There may have been a statue, or a stela, in the socket. All this near hill-side is covered with such stones, and pieces of carving, with two inscriptions. They point to a Hittite cemetery having preceded the Arab one now on the site.

Nothing to add to letter: last Sunday was very wet all day. We have got our Imperial Commissaire relieved of his duties: he had bothered us to our wits' end since Mr. Hogarth went, with impossible requests, and illegal demands, and interferences. However now he is going to Constantinople, and a clerk from Aleppo comes to take his place. The dig will go peacefully now: no new finds. Mr. Hogarth has some photographs of the house and antiquities and village: he will show them you if you ask:...

N.

Of course you keep this drawing to yourselves - and people like Florence if you think it would interest her.

 

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Source: HL 153-4, partly in DG 102-3
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 8 April 2006

 



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