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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth


Carchemish

May 21. (1911)

Thompson [13 words omitted] has dressed tonight, and something of the sadness of the last shirt and collar is overtaking him, for Gerty has gone back to her tents to sleep. She has been a success: and a brave one. She called him prehistoric! (apropos of your digging methods, till she saw their result - an enthusiast... young I think). Your films came up bravely: they will be of great use:- and comfort. I have been photographing this last week - and will more next. Developing too inshallah.

The Muktar carried off his own cousin on his saddle-bow from amid the shrieking women at the spring last week. So perish all our enemies! Thompson has a high opinion of him now.

A new 'com'. We are expensive in those things: our third. But no troubles of late: peace perfect peace in this dark world.... Your Athens letter is an effort. Thompson is too judicial upon it. You say a second season unless

1. There is no more palace
2. Or public building
3. Or libu wall on the mound

The third is past praying for, Libu is dusted over as from a pepper pot on all the side of our big N.E. cut: at all levels and at all periods, but nowhere a platform, or a wall more than a few inches high. I will do my best to ensure one of the other conditions being left untried, so that there may be another year!

At present the second has not turned up to much: in 4 or 5 10 x 3 m. pits no great finds: a cylinder seal (worn, not inscribed, except with a sort of Fowler) some wall foundations: perhaps in one the last few courses of a wall (to clear). But we have not yet got properly into the W. end of the site, or touched on the most likely part:- in my unofficial hope and opinion. (I don't think there ever are official hopes).

On the first condition. The great wall certainly turns at rt. angles (we have found 5 feet of the other side already) and in the pit we were on a road, or court for carriages: (as arguable from a large egg-shaped block, upturned, with guarded the edge of the corner slabs from chipping): this you saw - or guessed -. That great wall is rough, unsquared, inside. So if that was the palace! You will note we find the sculptured slabs on the wrong side: there may have been others inside: or it is a quite earlier building, to which some later "true-blue" has tacked a record of the number of his chariots.

Then at the end of the pit we have struck two nice little reliefs (about 5ft. high) in basalt, and not quite the style of the chariots: more the style of the sacred palm relief: good work (one of them shows that the object on the rump of one of the figures with palm-tree that I tried to draw was the beginning of the tail of his bull-legs): these slabs Thompson proves prophylactic: which means that they reproduce (or one reproduces) the amulet designs to scare away demons from one's door: useful things: no well appointed household etc....  If they do mark a door and I am as certain as nuts that they stood on a wall next which they were found, and built into it (we have only the core) as appears from the rough base of the stones, without rope pattern: then the long wall and stairs are no part of them: and there should be a biggish place under the tents, or towards the river: or even to the W.

This is all pure moonshine, and to be smiled over. But Thompson lacks flesh and blood in these reports: theories are what you (impersonal) want: and plenty of them.

Pots flourish: don't let Young hear that I am sticking them up with glue! Love to Leeds: if he had not had jaundice I would have tried his strength with a letter.

L.

Thompson refuses to send this in his letter: he fears the competition of my style.

L.

By the way, you will have to alter your tentative dating of the site: we have got a large church (probably) with a relief, possibly of an iconastasis, of a man on a horse (? St. George). Byzant. in style IXth-XIth Cents. perhaps as apply to Gertie, who saw and admired: 6 ins. under grass all this.....

 

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Source: DG 104-6
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 28 January 2006

 



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