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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth


Aleppo

Sunday August 6 [1911]

I have reached civilisation at last, and am vastly content with its beds. Last night was paradise and a half. Have tramped nearly a month - Tell Ahmar, Seruj, Urfa, Harran, Seruj, Biridjik, Rumm Kalaat, Tell Bashar, Jerablus, Tell Ahmar, Bab. Only I didn't tramp in from Jerablus, but rode and drove for I got dysentery, and felt like Leeds proverbial boiled rag.

At Jerablus I found a letter of yours to Thompson which he had sent on for me to read. You emphasise the importance of the palace:- most certainly that is the place. Thompson will have told you we went down inside the right-angle of [the] great wall with disappointing result, until the day before the last. Then we found a cross-wall and good floor inside, proving that there never had been anything just in the angle except perhaps a garden! We had only been uncovering the foundations and the true floor level lay somewhere in the neighbourhood of the top course of the wall. The palace was thus much raised above the street.

The floor we found was a good one, of square cobble-stones. I should say a court or path, not a room.

Thus we have there a great palace, most likely of Sangara for it is the last Hittite building in Carchemish (c.p. pottery) not extending over much ground (it does not go far beyond those two rooms of the 'house' you uncovered and left: they were really part of the palace) not at all deep (about a 3m. max.) fairly well preserved, for there is a good height of wall in your two rooms, and the stone-paved floors are there, and with very interesting pottery. Try and get a look at the rough notes I made on the 'Palace' pottery, the two or three photographs of it, and the coloured drawings Thompson made of some pieces. These were not very accurate but will give a better idea than the photographs. [four lines omitted] A second season would clear all the palace, and be a fairly satisfactory wind up to the digs. If they are left as at present it will only mean someone going on in a few years time: and now I know 3/5 of the pottery, and the men know their job and the railway has not come. Surely the ground plan of the palace of Sangara would be a tolerable result? Or do they all want cuneiform? If so tell them they might find some.

I have had dysentery (at Jerablus after my tramp) and it has put an end to ideas of more walking this season. I expect to be in England in a month and will come and see you. I fear I have no antiques: not the will lacked, for I asked all over Urfa district, and in 16 villages near Bashar: I saw nothing worth buying, but at Jerablus I have set several people to collect for me, and I hope after the winter to send you a box of terracottas, at any rate. I hear there is a good deal of stuff in the village, at present afraid to come out. Thompson cut down the bakshish after you went: I fear false economy! Still if I can recover the booty for English hands so much gained. If there is to be a second season (and there should be I am certain, if only to save the B.M.'s face) try and have Gregori sent to us. He would have, I am convinced, saved us a lot this year: the Hoja is no use as a digger, and we (pianissimo) weren't very brilliant either. Salaams: but am writing to Leeds.

L.

 

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Source: DG 118-9
Checked: jw
Last revised: 29 January 2006

 



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