Monday, January 25, 2010

A Stage, and bits of tile

I’m looking out the window. The rain has slowed to a drizzle, for now, and the sun is peeking, but the wind is gusting so hard that the water dripping off the building is, more often than not, flying away parallel to the ground. It’s been stormy all night. I have serious doubts that my, most probably drowned, wifi will let me post this today, Monday, but I might as well get it ready to go.

I have a few more photos from our last trip to Jerash. I am thinking this is the far north end of the site, but I am not completely sure as we were turning around to head home before the sun went down.

The north gate area is an imposing stretch of road. According to this map, the large building in the foreground is the North Tetrapylon, and beyond the North colonnaded street, is the actual gate. I want to wander down this path another time.

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It makes me wonder why such a grand entry point was needed in this location, at that time? Apparently this way led to Pella – I’ll need to read more on that city.

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I am not sure what this ruin is. I need to find our book – or get a new one on our next outing! It may be the West Baths that were destroyed by a massive earthquake in 749AD, as apparently, were many things in the region.

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We also explored a bit of the North Theatre. It seemed smallish from the outside, as well as upon entering this entry hall.  

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But once we were in – wow! It opened up, and down. The kids were immediately energized and wildly enthused. They were instantly down the stairs and all over the place – the place has energy!

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After romping up and down the stairs and around the rows of seats, we made it back outside… and had to take a break. Honor was so winded that she just plopped right down in the dust! I believe Brian had run off again when I took this photo… he still had some energy.

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As my knees were used up, and Honor was done, us girls turned back to the colonnade to make our way back to the car. Brad, the boys, and our friend, went a little bit further to check out a number of the broken Byzantine Churches down the road. They found some amazing mosaic work, which dated to 553AD.

Actually – first – this bit of mosaic floor came from up near the Hippodrome. I forgot to include it earlier, so I’ll lump it in with these mosaic pieces.

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Now, back to the other end of the complex – these are from the churches.

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I like the square below – can I get this is my living room?

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Below on the right, is a sad example of religious fundamentalism, where this lovely art work was vandalized by those of the 8th century Christian Iconoclastic Movement – they forbade the depiction of humans or animals in art, and destroyed parts of these mosaics. I suppose we might like to look back on such destruction as primitive and based on ignorant superstition, that hopefully, more modern and civilized humans outgrew, but unfortunately, it has continued through the centuries. In Egypt, in 1378, with an attack against the Sphinx , and disgustingly enough, another such attack within this very decade, in 2001, when the ignorant, hate-filled extremists of the Taleban destroyed the Buddhas of Bamyan (built in 507ad and 554ad).

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Was this a lady, or maybe an angel, playing a harp?

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Sections of these floors are supposed to depict the seasons.

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I see the head of a peacock here. I don’t get the destruction. A peacock is a beautiful bird. If god did not want us to be awed by its loveliness, why did he make it so pretty, or, more importantly, why did he give us the emotions to appreciate it? 

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In my opinion – the rantings of certain humans have done far more harm than any depictions of god’s creatures could ever do (including human creatures) and yet words remain…. although, in the case of artwork like these tiles, I think that’s wonderful, as even though I cannot read them, I can appreciate the work and their historical importance. (I know, I know!…  Tolerance, logic and education are to extremism, ignorance, and fundamentalism, as water is to oil… but I can wish it were otherwise, can’t I?!) DSC06156

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4 comments:

Julia said...

i really like how it lookes we all miss you love rachel

Connie said...

Hi Rachel - wish we could share it with you live! But I'll do my best to try and send you a 'visit' as best as possible! Love you!

Lydia said...

Those mosaics are amazing and gorgeous! I could stare at them all day! Oh wait . . *sob* j/k ;) I love to live vicariously through you, Con!

Veronica said...

love the tiles ... quite amazing.