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ded by Arabs and Yezidees. The northern section, called Shamali, though smallest, is by far the most populous, well cultivated, and fertile. It contains sixteen villages, while that named Kibli, or the southern, can boast but of nine. Figs and grapes, which are the principal fruits, are good of their kind, especially the former, as they are small and of the white variety.
Mr. Forbes denounces the general inaccuracy of our maps, and particularly as regards Sinjar, the Lake of Khatuniyah, and the course of the Hawali. No stream whatever runs from the northern or eastern sides of the Sinjar Hills more than a few miles into the desert; while towards the northwest, on the way to Nisibin, the first rivulet is the Hassawi, from Aznowar in Mount Masius, which, flowing southwest, joins the Jakhjakhah or Mygdonius. The Lake of Khatuniyah, said to be two hours and a half in length, and one and a half broad, with its village, is situated about thirteen miles west-northwest of Samukhah. The Khabour, rising at Ras ul Ain, directs its course to the neighbourhood of Khatuniyah, where it is joined by the united waters of the Mygdonius and Kokab, and soon after by the Hawali. It then runs southward, passing close to the Sinjar Hills on its way to the Euphrates. The source of the Hawali is two hours northwest of Khatuniyah; and, after proceeding two hours in the direction of west-southwest, it falls into the Khabour.
Present Condition of Assyria.
Portion of Kurdistan included in Assyria.-Nestorian Christians of Jewar. -Sert.-Colonel Sheil's Journey to Jezirah ibn Omar.-Plain of Mediyad. Jezirah ibn Omar described.-Its Chief.-Swimming the Tigris.-Skirt the Mountains to Accra and the Zab.-Change of Scenery. -Cross the Zab.-Erbile (Arbela).-Altun Kupri.-Kirkook.-Kufri. --Antiquities.-Tooz Khoormattee.-Kara Teppé.-Aspect of Lower Assyria.-Sugramah Pass, and View from it.-Pachalic and Pacha of Solymaneah.-Present State of the Town.--The Bebeh Tribe of Kurds.-Climate.-Shahrasour.-State and Chief of Rewandooz.-His Rise and Character -Pachalic and Pacha of Amadieh.-Dr. Ross's Description of the Meer, his Camp, Government, Army.-Scheme of executive Justice. Fate.-Town of Rewandooz.- Nestorians of Jewar.-Their Origin-Numbers-Government.-Face of their Country.-Antiquities at Shahraban.-The Zendan.-Kasr Shireen.-Haoosh Kerek.-General Meanness of Sassanian Ruins.-Kelwatha.Pachalic of Zohab.-Sir e Pool e Zohab.-The ancient Calah or Hulwan.-Antiquities there.-Royal Sepulchre.
THAT part of Kurdistan which properly belongs to Assyria comprises only the small state of Sert, Jezirah ul Omar, part of the pachalic of Amadieh, the government of Rewandooz, and the pachalic of Solymaneah. The very remarkable community of Nestorian Christians, who inhabit the vicinity of Mount Jewar, may also be considered as more properly appertaining to this province than to Persian Kurdistan, as the waters from that elevation certainly flow into the Tigris.
Sert, Isert, or Sered, supposed by D'Anville and others to represent the ancient Tigranocerta, was, when visited by Kinneir, governed by a chief subject to the Prince of Zok -a place between Betlis and Diarbekir-so powerful that it was said he could bring no fewer than 20,000 men into the field. In 1836, when Colonel Sheil passed through it, Reshid Pacha had succeeded in establishing the sultan's authority over the ruler of Sert, whose territory he had attached to the government of Diarbekir. The town is described as being situated in a large undulating plain without a single tree, and surrounded at a considerable distance
by high mountains. It is two miles and a half in circuit, encompassed by a wall with various bastions, but ruinous in many places, and having no ditch. A large portion of the enclosed space is void of buildings; and the houses were understood not to exceed 1000, occupied by Kurds, Armenians, and Nestorians. There were three large and several small mosques, two churches, five baths, and one caravansary. The governor's residence is an extensive edifice, sunk in a deep moat which can be filled with water, and has fortifications in abundance. The houses are arched, having very thick walls built with stone and lime. In the midst of each field may be seen a small building, intended for the protection of the property.
Colonel Sheil's object was to get from Sert to Jezirah ibn Omar; but the shortest road through Buhtan, a wild and very mountainous district, being impracticable, owing to the rebellion of its prince, who still held out against Reshid Pacha, he was advised to accompany a party of troops belonging to the latter, who were to go round by the Tigris. They, however, departed without him; and he was under the necessity of hiring a number of mules to relieve his fatigued horses and cattle. A laborious ride brought them to the village of Til, where a chief belonging to the district of Sert gave him and his attendants a good breakfast. While sitting at this meal, they heard several shots, which he afterward learned proceeded from skirmishing parties firing at each other across the river. Near this point they passed the Tigris, 150 yards in breadth, very rapid, and waist-deep. High mountains rose on each hand; but there were several villages, which were surrounded with cultivation, and abundance of vineyards, rice, cotton, melon, and cucumber grounds. Near one, called Chelek, they left the river, which they did not see again till they reached Jezirah ibn Omar. The road was stony, and often very bad; the hills were covered with wood, chiefly stunted oak, fir, holly, and a few elms, with raspberries, barberries, and a profusion of small plants.
The plain of Mediyad, of immense extent, though cumbered with rocks, is crowded with villages, and covered with unirrigated cultivation, although the stones were in some places piled in heaps fifteen feet high. Its inhabitants are Kurds and Yezidees. After rising to the summit of a ridge, a descent of 1500 feet conducted the travellers.
to the vast plain that stretches almost uninterruptedly to Bagdad and the Gulf. On this were many mounds scattered, with forts on their tops and villages below; others were entirely bare and solitary. Many of the hamlets had been destroyed by the military operations of Reshid Pacha.
Jezirah ibn Omar, that is, the Island of the Sons of Omar, is surrounded by the Tigris, and presents a town of the same name, the ancient Bezabde. It occupies nearly the whole surface, which is about two miles and a half in circumference, and is encompassed by a low ruinous wall of an oval shape, without a ditch. The arm of the river which forms the island was at that time (August 3) not more than a few yards broad, and only ankle-deep. It was formerly spanned by a bridge, of which five arches still remain; both it and the walls being built of square black stones. The main stream, more than 100 yards broad, flows on the other side, and was formerly crossed by a bridge of boats. Shut in between high banks, the heat is extreme; not a tree enlivens the vicinity; and the town, ruined by plague, cholera, and the army of Reshid Pacha, presents a scene of utter desolation. It had been the seat of a Kurdish chief, who used to plunder or levy contributions on all caravans. Macdonald Kinneir was imprisoned and heavily fined by this savage, who thought fit to set Reshid at defiance; upon which the pacha seized his capital, and, for this reason, he was now in rebellion in the opposite district of Buhtan. Not a soul was to be found in the town, nor a hovel to shelter the travellers; wherefore, swimming their horses across the Tigris five miles below, they continued their descent upon the left or Assyrian shore.
Colonel Sheil, being desirous to join the army of Reshid Pacha, left the road to Mosul on the right, and, keeping close to the foot of the hills, pursued his way by Al Kosh, Akereh, and Zebari to the Zab, which he crossed at a small village on its western bank. Al Kosh has been already described. The party passed through many Yezidee villages, and found the people uniformly civil and hospitable. The road, though hilly and bad, is practicable even for cannon; the heat and glare were excessive, but there was no want either of cultivation or inhabitants. Akereh is a town of 500 houses, surrounded by fine gardens, and defended by a very strong castle on a rock which
projects from the El Khair range of mountains; but the garrison surrendered to Reshid on finding themselves within range of a couple of guns brought to bear on them from the plain.
The country here presented a delightful contrast to that which the travellers had just left. Villages were ensconced in clefts of the rock, surrounded by trees and gardens, and torrents gushing from the hills crossed the path; the El Khair Mountains became lower and more verdant, while grapes, figs, and walnuts grew wild in the valleys. On the 14th August they passed the Zab, 100 yards broad, rapid and deep, upon a raft composed of inflated skins and branches of trees, guided by two men, each with large calabashes under his arms, to assist him in swimming.
Erbile, the celebrated Arbela, is a large artificial mount, sixty or seventy feet high, 300 yards in length by 200 in breadth, crowned by a brick wall with bastions and a few small guns. Beneath there is another town; but both are very ruinous, and there are no remarkable remains except those of an immense brick pillar, which is probably Mohammedan, standing alone in the plain. When the place belonged to the Meer of Rewandooz-who took it from the Pacha of Bagdad-and was visited by Dr. Ross on his way to Accra, it was prosperous and flourishing; but resistance having been made to the sultan's troops who attacked it, a siege took place, a mine was sprung, the garrison surrendered, and the town suffered severely for its imprudence, although it is still said to contain about 6000 people. The plain, which extends to Altun Kupri, though much covered with small stones, is capable of producing fair crops, and is in some parts well cultivated. In May, when Ross passed it, the surface was adorned with flowers and rich verdure, which, however, soon fade under the parching heat.
Altun Kupri, the "Golden Bridge," is situated on an island in the Lesser Zab, which is crossed by the bridge that gives its name to the place; and the town, which was taken by the Meer of Rewandooz, reverted to the pacha on the fall of that chief. It once contained 8000 inhabitants, but has been greatly thinned by plague and famine.
The road from hence to Kirkook, the Corcura of Ptolemy, lies over a stony plain, intersected with numerous