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Samarra, Iraq
February 24, 2006 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Samarra is in the news. The modern city is small, but built on the colossal ruins of the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate. Google Earth reveals amazing details of the ancient city, one of the largest archaeological sites in the world.
posted by grahamwell (16 comments total)

 
Haha, you linked to your own flickr.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:16 AM on February 24, 2006


Cool stuff tho
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:20 AM on February 24, 2006


I once had an appointment there...
posted by Seth_Messinger at 5:29 AM on February 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


While you've got Google Earth pointed at Iraq, take a look at Najaf as well, that enormous area to the north of the shrine is probably the world's largest graveyard.

More Samarra - the hidden imam and the military angle.
posted by grahamwell at 5:29 AM on February 24, 2006


Wow, amazing images and excellent supporting links. That WSU World Civilizations site, judging by the Shi'a section, is a great resource; I've bookmarked it. Thanks for the post.

(If anyone is interested, the stress in Arabic is on the last syllable: sa-ma-RRAH.)
posted by languagehat at 5:51 AM on February 24, 2006


In due time all human cities will be like that: Built on the ashes of some greater city. >;>
posted by Harald74 at 6:37 AM on February 24, 2006


Excellent, i was going to post a round-up of Samarra/Hidden Imam links yesterday, but didn't feel that I had the expertise to really do it properly.

There is still a good FPP about Twelver Shi'a and The Hidden Imam that could be done, though, it's fascinating stuff.
posted by empath at 6:53 AM on February 24, 2006


I agree empath, like you, I couldn't find the right link. Ideally it would include the text of V.S.Naipaul's Among the Believers. However from the post not written here's an excellent piece from the Guardian on Ahmadinejad - and here's a terrific write-up of modern Shi'ism from Timothy Garton-Ash.
posted by grahamwell at 7:04 AM on February 24, 2006


Excellent FPP, lots of good stuff to read, thanks
posted by Wilder at 8:24 AM on February 24, 2006


Damn you, Seth_Messinger. I had only one joke for this thread, and you already made it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:10 AM on February 24, 2006


Iraq could be a wealthy country from tourism if it capitalized on its cultural heritage and accomplishments instead of beheading tourists feed them fallafal and hanging gardens.
posted by stbalbach at 9:10 AM on February 24, 2006


and then they could give us all their oil for free!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:15 AM on February 24, 2006


stbalbach says,
Iraq could be a wealthy country from tourism if it capitalized on its cultural heritage and accomplishments instead of beheading tourists feed them fallafal and hanging gardens

Yeah, I really disagree with the Minister of Culture's decision to behead all those tourists visiting Iraq. But then again, who am I to complain, I supported New York's mugging initiative.
posted by mulligan at 9:36 AM on February 24, 2006


Ideally it would include the text of V.S.Naipaul's Among the Believers.

Oh, please no. Naipaul's "aren't the filthy wogs ludicrous" shtick got tired decades ago, and he has nothing worthwhile to say about Shi'ism or the Hidden Imam. Try Moojan Momen, Yann Richard, Roy Mottahedeh, or someone else who actually cares about the subject.
posted by languagehat at 12:19 PM on February 24, 2006


It Didn’t Work
posted by homunculus at 6:48 PM on February 24, 2006


Back to the original subject, the BBC's series "In Our Time" did a show on the Abbasid Caliphs on Feb. 2. (avail. as podcast.)
posted by shifafa at 7:23 PM on February 24, 2006


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