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which still remain. At the foot of the mound lies an altar or tripod, similar to that now in the Louvre.
Altar, or Tripod. (From Khoraabad.)
Khorsahad, or Khishtabad, is mentioned by the early Arab geographers. It is described as a village occupying the site of an ancient Assyrian city called "Saraoun," or "Saraghoun;" and Yakuti declares, that soon after the Arab conquest considerable treasures were found amongst the ruins. It was generally believed at Mosul, where a copy of Yakuti's very rare work exists, that it was in consequence of this notice, and in the hopes of finding further riches, M. Botta excavated in the mound — hence much of the opposition encountered from the authorities.
I had finished my examination of the ruins by the time the baggage reached the village. The sun had set, but being unwilling to expose my party to fever by passing the night on this unhealthy spot, I rode on to a small hamlet about two miles distant. It was dark when we reached it, and we found ourselves in the midst of a marsh, even more extensive than that of Khorsabad. As there was no village beyond, I was
obliged to stop here; and clambering up to a platform of branches of trees elevated upon poles, I passed the night free from the attacks of the swarms of gnats which infested the stagnant water below.
We left the hamlet long before sunrise, and soon reached some of the springs of the Khausser, a small stream which rises at the northern extremity of the Jebel Maklub, irrigates the lands of numerous villages on its course towards Mosul, and falls into the Tigris, near Kouyunjik, after traversing the large quadrangle, of which that mound forms a part.
Our road crossed the northern spur of Jebel Maklub, and then stretched over an extensive plain to the first range of the Kurdish hills. The heat soon became intense, the soil was parched and barren; a few mud walls marked here and there the ruins of a village, and the silence and solitude were only broken by parties of Kurds, lazily driving before them, towards Mosul, donkeys laden with rich clusters of grapes from the mountains.
A weary ride brought us to the Yezidi village of Ain Sifni. Its white houses and conical tombs had long been visible on the declivity of a low hill; its cleanliness was a relief after the filth of Mussulman and Christian habitations. I had expected to find Sheikh Naser, the religious chief of the Yezidis. As he was absent, I partook of the hospitality of the head of the village, and continued my journey to the tomb of Sheikh Adi. After a further ride of two hours through a pleasant ravine watered by a mountain torrent, whose banks were concealed by flowering oleanders, we reached a well-wooded valley in the centre of which rose the white spire of the tomb of the great Yezidi saint.
Stretching myself by a fountain in the cool shade, flung over the tomb by a cluster of lofty trees, I gave myself up to a full flow of gratitude, at this sudden change from the sultry heat and salt streams of the plains, to the verdure and sweet springs of the Kurdish Hills. There were "pleasure-places" enough for all my party, and each eagerly seized his tree, and his fountain. The guardians of the tomb, and a few wanderers from a neighbouring village, gathered round me, and satisfied my curiosity as far as their caution and prejudices would allow.
We passed the night on the roof of one of the buildings within the precincts of the sacred edifice, and continued our journey at dawn on the following morning.
Quitting the Yezidi district, we entered the mountains inhabited by the large Kurdish tribe of Missouri. The valleys were well wooded; many-shaped rocks towered above our heads or rose in the streams of the Gomel*, which almost cut off our passage through the narrow defiles. A few villages were scattered on the declivities, but their inhabitants had deserted them for rude huts, built of branches of trees,—their summer habitations.
In four hours we reached the large village of Kaloni, or Kalah-oni, rising amongst vineyards, and hanging over the bed of the Gomel. The houses, well constructed of stone, were empty. Huge horns of the ibex ornamented the lintels of the gateways, and the corners of the buildings. The inhabitants were at some distance, on the banks of the stream, living under the trees in their temporary sheds.
These Kurds were of the Badinan branch of the Missouri tribe. Their chief, whose hut was in the midst of this group of simple dwellings, was absent; but his wife received me with hospitality. Carpets, the work of her own women, were spread under a mulberry tree; and large bowls of milk and cream, wooden platters filled with boiled rice, slices of honey-comb, and baskets of new-gathered fruit, were speedily placed before us. The men sat at a respectful distance, and readily gave me such information as I asked for. The women, unembarrassed by the veil, brought straw to our horses, or ran to and fro with their pitchers. Their hair fell in long tresses down their backs, and their foreheads were adorned with rows of coins and beads;
* Or Gomer ; this stream forms the principal branch of the Ghazir or Bumadas.
many were not unworthy of the reputation for beauty which the women of Missouri enjoy.
The spot was rich in natural beauties. The valley, shut in by lofty rocks, was well wooded with fruit trees — the mulberry, the peach, the fig, the walnut, the olive, and the pomegranate; beneath them sprang the vine, or were laid out plots of Indian corn, sesame, and cotton. The sheds were built of boughs; and the property of the owners, — carpets, horse-cloths, and domestic utensils,—were spread out before them. From almost every door, mingling with the grass and flowers, stretched the manycolored threads of the loom, at which usually sat one female of the family. There was a cleanliness, and even richness, in the dresses of both women and men, an appearance of comfort and industry, which contrasted strikingly with the miserable state of the people of the plain; and proved that these Kurds had been sufficiently fortunate to escape the notice of the last governor of Mosul, and were reserved for some more scrutinising Pasha.
I acknowledged the hospitality of the Kurdish lady by a present to her son, and rode up to the small Chaldaean village of Bebozi, standing on the summit of a high mountain. The ascent was most precipitous, and the horses could with difficulty reach the place. We found a group of ten houses, built on the edge of a cliff overhanging the valley, at so great a height, that the stream below was scarcely visible. The inhabitants were poor, but received us with unaffected hospitality. I had left the usual road to Amadiyah for the purpose of visiting an inscription, said to exist near this village. A guide was soon found to conduct me to the spot of which I had heard; but after toiling up a very difficult pathway, I was shown a rock on which were only a few rude marks, bearing no resemblance to any writing that had ever been invented. I was accustomed to such disappointments, and always prepared for them. I rer turned to the village and visited the small church. The people of Bebozi are amongst those Chaldaeans who have been recently brought over to the Roman Catholic faith. They furnish but a too common instance of the mode in which such proselytes are made. In the church I saw a few miserable Italian prints, dressed up in all the horrors of red, yellow, and blue, miracles of saints and of the blessed Virgin.
Having rested in the village, we resumed our journey, and crossed a range of hills, covered by a forest of dwarf oak. We descended into the valley of Cheloki, reaching about sunset the large Kurdish village of Spandareh, so called from its poplar trees.
We were now separated from the valley of Amadiyah by a range of high and well-wooded mountains called Ghara. This we crossed by a road little frequented, and of so precipitous a nature that our horses could scarcely keep their footing —one, indeed, carrying part of our baggage, suddenly disappeared over the edge of a rock, and was found some hundred feet below, on his back, firmly wedged between two rocks: how he got there with nothing but the bone of his tail broken, was a mystery beyond the comprehension of our party. The valley of Amadiyah is cut up into innumerable ravines by the torrents, which rush down the mountains and force their way to the river Zab. It is, however, well wooded with oaks, producing in abundance the galls for which this district is celebrated. The peasants were now picking this valuable article of export.
The town and fort of Amadiyah had been visible from the crest of the Ghara range; but we had a long ride before us, and it was nearly mid-day ere we reached the foot of the lofty isolated rock on which they are built. We rested in the small Chaldaean village of Bebadi, one of the few in the district which still retain the Nestorian faith. The inhabitants were miserably poor, and I had to listen to a long tale of wretchedness and oppression. The church was hung with a few tattered cotton handkerchiefs, and the priest's garments were to match. I gave him two or three pieces of common print, out of which he made a turban for himself, and beautified the altar.
Some half-clothed, fever-stricken Albanians were slumbering on the stone benches as we entered the gates of the fort, which certainly during the season of Ramazan, if not at all others,