[By Agnes Conway and George Horsfield]
A.E.C. took Mr. Horsfield to see Al Najr, and he pronounced the whole place to be a quarry, probably temp [sic] Hadrian to build the Hadrianic city. The horned altar and niche would just have been put up by the quarrymen to amuse themselves. All the surrounding cult places, recommended by Kennedy for examination, are quarries as well, and to have fixed this definitely will save us all a great deal of time. We walked through Al Nasara, also full of old quarries which looked like cult objects, to the suburb on the N.W. face. Here Mr. Horsfield agreed that the tricliniums, niches, rooms etc all included by Dalman in his account of the 6 sanctuaries under El Hubta, are houses. One room is particularly fine and considered by him to be the earliest specimen of a typical Arab house.
G. Horsfield Spent the morning with Miss Conway visiting Northern area, in which I dashed all her hopes, as the alleged Higher Places are all quarries and the crude symbols the products of the leisure of quarrymen, visited some of the rock cut chambers on the S side, many of which seem to have been houses. The facade without a door, in front of which is a wall, seems to have been a Nymphaeum.
Spent the afternoon on the dig – a wall has appeared on the W. side which seems early. Pottery same as before and scarce but the house debris, bones, pottery and ashes are in evidence. The work is going better and with more of a swing, as the men are broken to organized labour – 26 men employed – taking on 10 more tomorrow.
In the afternoon A.E.C. investigated the caves around El Habis which all seem to be houses of different dates. One has remains of a very fine black plastering on the walls and ceiling.
Reference: [By 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, 2 April: 20-21.
[possibly George Horsfield and Agnes Conway]
Continued to dig graves on El Habis South – without result as the accumulation inside the shafts is not cleared away. Found a shaft which was completely hidden and which appears to have never been disturbed – it is to the N.W. of the others. The graves so far examined all seem to have been opened at some time and their occupants renewed [sic].
A.E.C. went with Dr. Nielsen to see the sanctuaries of El Mataha and Sidd el Magin. The 1stsanctuary is an altar with somewhat the arrangement of the so-called “brand-altar” of Zibb Atuf, and Dr. Nielsen thinks it far earlier than the Roman suburb of El Nasara in which it stands. The row of cult symbols is in connection with a house next door and has nothing whatever to do with the altar about 30 yards away – the raised lid-less tomb-shaped box of No. 4 is a mystery. The very narrow gorge of Sidd el Magin, which flows between Roman houses on both banks, had water in the pools and was a perfect refuge from the sun, which today was grilling. The niches along both sides are Hadrianic and the water may possibly have worn down the gorge for 2 yards since the niches were cut. Photographed in the Siyagh in the afternoon.
Reference: [unsigned, possibly Horsfield, G. and Conway, A.] 1929 (transcribed by A. Thornton). Petra Exploration Fund Diary. "Business Papers to be Kept", Horsfield Collection Box 8, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 4 May: 67.