[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.
[possibly George Horsfield and Agnes Conway]
Working on Tombs to S. of El Habis. They are very disappointing as all so far observed have been disturbed. The finds amount to a few pots, bones and sherds, but not amounting to much. Can find no signs of cremations.
The undisturbed tomb seems to be entered from a crack in the rock and if my surmise is correct should be both interesting and important. The “crack” is a vertical stratification – in which stairs are commonly cut. At one end it shows signs of cutting – but the sides show a natural weathered surface – the width is the same as a shaft and length just over 4 metres.
Finished photographing at the Edomite High Place and describing it. I’m never going there again! Measured houses 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, 5 May: 68.
[possibly by Agnes Conway]
Mr Horsfield went to Maar [sic] to get money and started packing pottery. AEC went to Zibb Atuf and got the larger cistern dug out. She brought back all the fragments of pottery, which include most of the types from Byzantine to Nabataen and Greco-Roman already found here. She then dug a square yard in front of the small cistern to see whether there was an artificial channel for the liquids from the round altar. A wall 50 centimetres thick was found running at right angles from the corner of the cistern to the natural stone. Immediately in front of the cistern, at the 40 cm level, a stratum of burning was struck, full of burnt pottery, which Mr H declared to be Nabataean. The outflow of the liquid must have been stopped by the wall, one stone of which is still in position standing above the ground.
She went down by the S. way to the Wady En Mer and the Hrabet-en-Mer, where the Obodat inscription is. This shrine to the Divine Obodat, if it is one, looks exactly like a house. What Dalman calls a statue and which should probably be translated “image” is clearly an omphalos in a niche; the spot above it, said by Dalman to be the hollow for the upper part of the statue, being the last remains of the fine tooling of the niche above the omphalos. The stone on which the inscription is, occupies the position of a 9 inch vertical beam in relation to the ceiling, and covers two yards to the front of the niche. The beam, squared and tooled its whole length where it is not inscribed, as well as on the bottom face, has apparently been broken off to the left of the inscription, and forms an integral part of the ceiling, which, elsewhere, is extremely roughly tooled. The walls are delicately tooled and squared. The omphalos looks like the Dushara symbol commonly employed at Bostra on the coins. If so, the Divine Obedat was worshipped as Dushara. Does the inscription imply that it was put up by a private family in their private house? That is what it looks like.
Photographed the Stibadium house above the Siyagh and finished planning the excavated Siyagh house.
Reference: [unsigned, possibly Conway, A.] 1929 (transcribed by A. Thornton). Petra Exploration Fund Diary. "Business Papers to be Kept", Horsfield Collection Box 8, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 8 May: 71-72.