Above Hadîtha, Upper Euphrates
April 30, 1920
You see I don’t get very far in this journal letter when we are interrupted. We are now trying to repair a broken wheel, or rather to get it off the machine so that we can put on our only new one. One of the Indian drivers stalled his engine going up a rocky hill, and let his car race back to the bottom too fast, breaking a rear wheel in a bad gully. This is the way it goes all the time from sunrise till dark. We left Baghdad four hours late Wednesday morning, because we needed more transport, as I wrote you. It was nearly ten o’clock when we crossed the bridge to the south side of the Tigris and drove off westward, five vans and two touring cars. We had engine trouble all the way to Falûjah, some forty miles, so that we arrived there very late, that is just at lunch time, when we should have breakfasted there. Just above Falûjah, we should have crossed to the south side of the Euphrates at Dibbân on a boat-bridge, but the flood had carried down a native boat slap into the bridge and broken out a section, making it unusable. It was necessary to make a long detour along the north side of the Euphrates to Ramâdi, cross there on a similar bridge and spend the night at Ramâdi. It was very interesting to inspect the British gunboats at Falûjah, and see the extensive water transport which they carry up to Hît, where the irrigation arrangements at present prevent the boats from going further.
Kalat Felluja: A view along the Euphrates looking down stream; gunboat in the left background. April 28, 1920. (N. 3736, P. 7296)
Kalat Felluja: A British gunboat on the Euphrates. April 28, 1920. (N. 3737, P. 7297)
For the full story of my exciting trip you should come to the special exhibit “Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919-1920,” at the Oriental Institute!
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