[By Agnes Conway and George Horsfield]
Went with Mr Horsfield to the opening of four graves in a round arched tomb chamber on El Habis – untouched; and photographed the skeletons. The last day’s dig, and all the men were paid off in the afternoon. Photographed and planned the three storied house in the Siyagh.
Opened the four graves in the North Tomb at El Habis. The first lies across the threshold and was covered with flagstones. The others were roughly coffin shaped and were filled in with gravel from Wadi bed. Began on the one nearest to wall inside, which contained nothing but the remains of a skull and some fragment – it was dissected by [blank] but it had never been disturbed. The next was much the same, but produced a few more bones, likewise next. They were all the same in type and equally barren in objects.
The Threshold grave was more interesting – it was much wider and square ended – on removing cover saw it was broken through into tomb under. There were two skeletons side by side, the upper part of right hand was gone, having fallen through hole and the other partly. The grave was full of sand which seemed to have been washed in. On dissection 11 skulls turned up, and underneath top skeletons was a mass of disordered bones and skulls. It had been used as a charnel house, but the last burials were orderly and the cover was sealed with lime mortar. There was not the slightest indication of the age of graves – about 1.00 m above floor on the sand were found a number of pots. The doorway has a certain architectural character but is crude and poorly executed. Not a thing was found on floor level or in the graves. The orientation was E & W. The dead were laid with their feet to the E.
Reference: Conway, A. and Horsfield G. 1929 (transcribed by A. Thornton). Petra Exploration Fund Diary. "Business Papers to be Kept", Horsfield Collection Box 8, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 9 May: 72-74.