Lone Bullet Backs Up Lawrence of Arabia's Story
Scientists have unearthed evidence that aligns with tales from Great Arab Revolt
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2016 4:03 AM CDT
In this 1961 file photo, actor Peter O'Toole is shown in the title role in the film "Lawrence of Arabia.”   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures, file)

(Newser) – Ten years into a broader hunt throughout the Arabian desert, archaeologists have unearthed a bullet they are "almost 100% certain" is the one Lawrence of Arabia claimed to have fired in 1917 in a guerrilla attack on the Hallat Ammar train. Many, including his own biographers, have suspected that the man originally called TE Lawrence wove tales too grand to be true, saying his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom exaggerates the role Lawrence played as a liaison officer with the rebel forces during the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Turks and Germans between 1916 and 1918, reports Phys.org. But the bullet found at the site of the famed train ambush comes from a Colt automatic pistol that Lawrence, and likely no one else in his party, carried.

"Lawrence has something of a reputation as a teller of tall tales," notes lead researcher Dr. Neil Faulkner of the University of Bristol. "But this bullet—and the other archaeological evidence we unearthed during ten years of fieldwork—indicates how reliable his account ... is." Critics have cast doubts on the book since it was first published in 1922, notes the Bristol Post. "I think it's very, very nice to have a bullet that we're almost 100% certain was fired by Lawrence himself," Faulkner adds. "What we have done is add to a picture which has been building over 10 years." Coincidentally, a Hejaz Railway engine nameplate was discovered just two months ago, further fortifying Lawrence's story of the ambush. (Many things, not least of all people, get lost in the Arabian desert.)