Ruins of Babylon, Mesopotamia, Thursday Noon
April 1, 1920
I came up in the general’s car from Hillah, the rest having all spent the night here among the ruins in Koldewey’s house. Things have improved in our situation at Hillah, perhaps as a result of General Hambro’s telegram. General Wauchope’s aide-de-camp called on me with an invitation for dinner this evening, and also hoped I would be able to take him about the ruins of Babylon tomorrow morning. I took the opportunity of securing from the aide-de-camp a number of things I wanted, especially transport for the remainder of our stay here. We finish Babylon tomorrow (Friday) night; go out to Birs Nimrûd (ancient Borsippa) Saturday, returning the same day, and then going out 30 miles to Nejef, the sacred city of the Shi’as on Sunday, returning to Hillah Sunday night. The same night we shall take train about 12:30 for Baghdad, reaching there Monday, April 5, early in the morning. I found two letters at the Political Officer’s desk this morning, one a business letter from Cairo, the other letter for Luckenbill from his wife. I am still without a single word from home since 3 or 4 days before leaving Cairo, that is for about 6-1/2 weeks. I am unable to understand it. The clerks in the Cairo Consul’s office must have made a mess of it. Luckenbill sits reading his letter as I write in the German House. Well, I must make the best of it, and get what satisfaction I can contemplating my little family in the group photograph which I keep standing on my camp table at the head of my bed; but if I could get my fingers on the fool consular clerk who is responsible, — the good Lord pity him!
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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