1900-1999 A.D. Assyrian History

1909: Letter, dated May 11, from Gertrude Bell
by The Gertrude Bell Archives - Robinson Library
Posted: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 02:33 pm CST


Tuesday May 11. [11 May 1909] Today we have crossed over into another chain of hills, the spurs of the great mountains whose snow covered heads rise over the top of our ridge. We crossed the Khabur actually by a bridge, but we had a merry time with one of its affluents which comes down very deep and swift from the snows. A whole village on its bank turned out to escort us over, stripped themselves stark naked and waded through by the side of our horses. The water came above my knee as I rode, and buffeted my mare so that I thought she would certainly fall, but she didn't, bless her. We are camped tonight in a splendid rocky gorge by the tiny village of Hassana. They are Christians here, Nestorians and Chaldaeans; terribly harried by the Kurds, poor dears. The Chaldaean Protestant (sic! he has been converted by the American missionaries) priest is to take me up the mountain tomorrow to see some Assyrian stelai [sic]. I shouldn't call him Chaldaean perhaps at all; he calls himself Prot. But whatever he is, he has brought me a very nice bunch of roses.



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