3 posts tagged with middleeast by Kattullus.
Displaying 1 through 3 of 3.
Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire may sound like a dry website, but its subject and content is fascinating. In the 7th Century BC King Assurbanipal of Assyria built a library that was to contain all the world's knowledge. Destroyed by the Medes in 612 BC, the library was not rediscovered until the 1840s. 28000 clay tablets written in Akkadian have been found. 1600 can be read online, all translated into English. It's a somewhat overwhelming amount, but there's a lovely highlights section, which even includes pictures of the pillow-shaped writing tablets. For a thorough overview, you can listen to the In Our Time episode about the Library of Nineveh. The most famous text to have been found in Nineveh is undoubtedly the Epic of Gilgamesh. The story of its decipherment and the controversies that ensued, is interesting in its own right.
Holy Land Maps and Ancient Maps of Jerusalem both showcase parts of Eran Laor Cartographic Collection. Both collectiona can be browsed by cartographer and date. Here are some of my favorite maps: 1497 perspective map of Jerusalem, Jacotin's 1818 map of Nazareth, Jordan and Acre, 1685 perspective map of Jerusalem, 1482 Ptolemy of the Middle East, 1751 map of Egypt, Arabia and the Middle East and 1928 perspective map of Jerusalem (complete with Hebrew guide). [Another part of The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection previously on MetaFilter]
What was Jiroft? An ancient civilization in what is now southern Iran that was lost to history until very recently. Many beautiful artifacts have been dug up. It is claimed that writing originated with the Jiroft civilization and that this is the legendary kingdom of Aratta, subject of one of the world's oldest works of literature, Enmerkar and the lord of Aratta. There is dispute over both. Either way, it certainly was a commercial hub as early as 3000 B.C. The site has been extensively plundered in recent years, but is so rich in artifacts that excavations can go on for decades.