Butler Diary: Northern and Central Syria II, 1899

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10 Many of the houses have ample colonnades whose rectangular monolithic pillars show considerate variety in their sculptured caps. There are rows of six or eight [?] in which no two caps are exactly similar in design. Most of the upper colonnades are panelled, some have seats on the inside. One row of houses of a somewhat [?] class, built of large well squared bricks have the interesting feature of a small brick [?] over the doorway with steps [?] leading up against the walls of the house. These are perfectly plain and of massive construction. Only the upper and lower steps are preserved but it is easy to see just how the flight of steps ascended.

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11. Derkîta. November 6th

This extensive ruined town lies due north of Bākirha about 20 minutes, far below it yet within the valley; but in one of the low northern foothills of the Djebel Berisha. The northern and southern portions of the town are on higher ground than the centric. The ruins embrace three churches of fair size with other eccesiastical buildins adjacent and a considerable number of domestic builldings much of which have been torn down to build a Saracenic caste which seems to have been built on this site in the middle ages.

Arabic battlements dated from the 10th-12th century are found in the vicinity. (E.h. inisc. 10)

The church in the southern extensiono of the ruins is of simple plan with square [?] and was divided by 2 rows of columns. The apex? was arched as is usual in churches of plan? no. 3. The church is much dilapiddated only the South and East walls with a single pilaster

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12. of the northern colonade standing. The ornament exterior and interior is quite plain. The windows are round topped and moulded. St. Sergius's 536 A.D. A larger and more interesting church is that to the east. It's plan is similar to the above (no. 3) perfectly rectangular, but it is better preserved and its ornament is much finer. This church has an interesting feature in the form of a small baptistry adjoining the south apse-chapel. date 520 A.D. At the west end was a narthex formed between the projecting aisle walls. Its portico consisted of four tall columns with rather bellshaped capitals decorated in a Byzantine style. The main portal was richly decorated, with a series of mouldings and foliate frieze or corona, and bears a Gr. insc (WKP insc. 14) giving the name of the patron saint as Sergius and the date as 536 AD. The ruined apse shows a pilaster for the apse arch - this is also of Byzantine character.

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