Friday, November 04, 2005

Architectural Marvels of Ancient Mesopotamia

Architectural Marvels of Ancient Mesopotamia - Offers various maps and timelines of the growth of civilization in Mesopotamia, as well as illustrations and photographs of major architectural features of the successive empires.

This is a good resource. However, I do wish the page creator had made a file structure with links to content. Putting this much content on a single page is not a good idea. It is hard on the eyes, it is difficult to find what you want, and it does the site no favors when search engine spiders visit.

From the site:

The land between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, it is said, hosted the legendary Garden of Eden - if it existed anywhere. To emphasize this the ancient village of Al-Qurna singled out a tree ("Adam's tree") with a sign - in Arabic and English. On this holy spot where the Tigris meets the Euphrates this holy tree of our father Adam grew symbolizing the Garden of Eden. Abraham prayed here 2,000 years B.C. Throughout Iraq loom ziggurat temples dating from 3,000 B.C. which recall the story of the Tower of Babel. One such ziggurat is Aqar-Quf (a suburb of present day Baghdad) marking the capital of the Cassites. In the south lie the ruins of Sumer where were found tens of thousands of stone tablets from the incredible Sumerian culture which flourished 5,000 years ago. On some of these tablets, which were used for teaching children, are found fascinating descriptions of everyday life, including the first organized and detailed set of instructions on when to plant and when to harvest. Also in the south lie the ruins of Ur from which at God's prodding Abraham set out for the promised land. Here the Akkadians introduced chariots to warfare. Nearby on the west bank of the Shatt-el-Arab lies Basra which later became the home port of Sindbad the Sailor. The Marsh Arabs (Ma'dan) are found at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates in the south. In the north of Iraq the gates of Ninevah the Assyrian capital with their imaginative stone winged-bulls mark the place where the prophet Jonah is said to have preached penance to the wicked inhabitants, all of whom repented, much to Jonah's chagrin. Later neighboring Mosul became the crossroads of the great caravan routes. Kirkuk is the oil center of the north and boasts of the tomb of the Old Testament prophet Daniel. The city of Mosul has given us the cloth that bears its name "muslin" as well as building materials, alabaster and gypsum cement with its remarkable strength and rapid-drying properties.

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