Category: prad - Part 5

Daily Flickr Finds: Vit Hassan’s Sandstorm in Bajrawia

Sandstorm over pyramids in Bajrawia. Image Credit - Vit HassanOn the banks of the Nile, some 200km north-east from Khartoum is the ancient city of Meroe – the southern capital of the Kushite empire, which spanned across Sudan and part of Ethiopia. Nearby are a group of villages called Bajrawia which is where today’s Flickr photograph was taken byVit Hassan, who captured this stunning sandstorm engulfing the area.

The city of Meroe is flanked by over 200 Nubian pyramids, many of which lie in ruins as is evident in Vit Hassan’s fantastic capture of the site. Although once a flourishing city of great importance in its time, much about this historic site remains a mystery as the Egyptian language was dropped in favour of their own Meroitic language, of which a key has never been found so far.

Further excavations of Sudan’s largest heritage site are hampered by the country’s ongoing civil war, despite being listed on the UNESCOWorld Heritage List.

Read more about Meroe here at Heritage Key, and be sure to check out Vit Hassan’s photostream at Flickr!

Daily Flickr Finds: Roy Filou’s Acropolis

Acropolis view, Athens. Image Credits - Roy FilouEasily the most recognisable heritage site in Greece, the Acropolis spans 3 hectares on a site which sits 150 metres above sea level. Much of this fascinating site remains today, albeit a little bit spread out! Roy Filou’s fantastic capture of this stunning site at dusk creates a shadowy and relaxed feel which portrays a warm feel.

The Older Parthenon was originally pillaged and burnt to the ground in 480BC after a Persian atatck on Athens. In the aftermath, the whole site was rebuilt during the Golden Age of Athens, overseen by Emperor Pericles and two prominent architects – Ictinus and Callicrates. Between 460BC and 415BC, much of the Acropolis had been rebuilt to much more glory.

When not being sent over to the British Museum in pieces (despite much talk of permission and censorships), the site of the Acropolis has also seen it been used as church in the Byzantine era, an administrative centre and as a military garrison, as well as being replicated into a restored state. Who said buildings can’t be multi-functional?

The Acropolis is also site of the New Acropolis Museum, designed by Bernard Tschumi and recently opened to the public, despite some controversy. It’s also been digitally replicated in a 3Dmodel that you can play around with!

Read more about the Acropolis here at Heritage Key, and have a look through Roy Filou’s photostream at Flickr!

Daily Flickr Finds: rinogas’ St. Simeon Church

Having a bit of a soft spot for HDRphotography, this gorgeous photograph by rinogas of the Church of St. Simeon Stylites near Aleppo, Syria immediately caught my eye. The subtle and soft glow on the remains of the structure, combined with the wispy white clouds and contrasting greys of the sky creates a perfect picture of this well preserved heritage site.

Built in honour of St. Simeon Stylites, a secluded monk, the Church was consecrated in 475AD covering a staggering 5,000 square metre of floor space, almost matching that of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.Located over 60 kilometres away from the nearest city on the top of a hill, the site includes the Church of St. Simeon Stylite, two smaller churches, a monastery and several large hostels.

At the centre of the courtyard within the complex is St. Simeon Styliyes’ column where he relocated to from a cave, in order to reach new levels of seclusion. The column eventually reached 15 metres high, and crowds would travel to the site to hear his preachings. He stayed on his column for 37 years before he died, and was ceremoniously buried, with his grave site and column becoming destinations of pilgrimage.

The column today stands at just 2 metres tall, after centuries of relic-gatherers at the site. The site in general though is still in a good condition considering it’s age, and the stunning quality of this church is evident in rinogas’ outstanding capture!

Google Map: Key Sites in France’s Roman Triangle

Map to show towns with Roman sites in South-Eastern FranceA recent article here on Heritage Key by Bija Knowles looked at Roman sites across the South East of France. There are many sites across the area which remain today as relics to the Roman past, the empire having controlled the area as early as 125BC.

The map shows the triangle area between the towns of Nimes, Arles and Orange where many of the heritage sites reside, but also includes Lyon which also has many notable Roman settlement relics.

Using this interactive map, you can see the exact locations of these sites, and easily plan your (real or fantasy) trip through Roman France.

By clicking on the relevant Heritage Key icon, you can access images and detailed information about each site, including key structures, entrance fees, and the ancient historical background.

The locations shown in the map below
are the following:

Key Sites in France’s Roman Triangle:

The map works through Google’s interactive map service, and is easy to navigate by dragging on the map to pull it around. Additionally, you can control the map by using navigation controls in the top right of the corner. The plus and minus buttons allow you to zoom in/out.

Have a look through our Google Earth Tours too to experience flythrough tours of world heritage sites!

Daily Flickr Finds: Suleyman Demi’s Miletos Amphitheatre

Miletos AmphitheatreHaving grown up in the Midlands (England), I know a thing or two about grid-based cities. Miletus, was the world’s first grid based city, designed by Hippodamus in 479BC. The city boasts your usual Ancient Greek features – arches, statues, and of course – Amphitheatres.

The Miletus Amphitheatre has three layers, with the underground layers constructed in 700BC and the ground level constructed in 100AD. Sleyman Demi’s photograph is of a corridor on the ground floor of the amphitheatre.

The photograph is a black and white shot which could easily be taken as a lighting study of the corridor. The opening is clearly visible as the light removes all detail, as the rest of the image perfectly accentuates the remains of the relic. The “light at the end of the tunnel” effect too is a nice touch which makes this a beautiful image!

Learn more about Miletus here at Heritage Key, and have a look through Sleyman Demi’s Flickr photostream too!

Valuing Chairs: Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Chair versus King Tut’s Throne

Dr Hawass recently announced that he is looking to raise $2,000,000 for his “Chair of Egyptology”. Now I don’t know about you, but I find that to be one pricey chair! That said, King Tutankhamun’s Throne boasts a $17,000,000 valuation* (well okay – it is priceless, but in this economy, everything has its price apparently). That said, Dr Hawass’ “Chair” is also priceless as the amount will be invested back into Egyptology, and will aid the careers of future budding Egyptologists. Personally, I’m pretty happy with a 5 stool from the local market, but then I’m easily pleased.

Admittedly there is a bit of difference in the upholstery being used. And I’m not sure how much plastic they used back the Egyptian Dynasty days. And I’m not certain that DrHawass’ Chair would include the Ankh engravings and the famed scene of King Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun.

But at Two Million Dollars, I bet you’d be pretty darn comfortable!

* Price – or rather, Value – Comparison:

The $17,000,000 is the amount offered to the Cairo museum for King Tut’s throne in 2000. They weren’t willing to sell for that price at all. The chair is made using gold leaf, opposed to the golden mask (on display in the King Tut VX exhibition!), which is solid gold. Just the gold in Tutankhamun’s death mask alone is worth about 1.5 million dollars – and gold prices are still rising – and then there’s also the value of the precious stones and jewelry and – the main price determing factor – the fact that it’s King Tut’s and unique.

A sculpture of Kate Moss by Mark Quinn also drew parallels with the ancient Egyptians and Greeks when it was revealed last October at the British Museum. It was the biggest statue to have been made entirely out of gold since ancient Egyptian times, and was displayed alongside ancient Greek goddesses in a purposeful nod to the past. Part of the Statuephilia exhibition, Kate Moss was made out of 50 kilos of 18 carat gold, a total value of this precious metal of almost 1 million dollars. Marc Quinn said in total it cost about $2,250,000 to make the ‘Golden Kate Moss’.

Daily Flickr Finds: Xavier Fargas’ Pyramid of Djoser Restoration

I hate going all the way to a heritage site, armed with a camera in one hand and a carrier bag with a day’s supplies, only to find the subject I was hoping to grab the perfect photograph of is now partially hidden behind scaffolding. Restoration works are a vital part of conserving our heritage, but why can it not be done when I’m not trekking along to take a photograph!

Well Xavier Fargas bears no such handicaps when it comes to producing a stunning image of a relic being restored. The Pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt was his subject, and he incorporated in the scaffolding to capture not only the beauty of the Pyramid itself, but also made the scaffolding looks pretty too!

Needless to say, that’s no easy feat! The effect of the picture to give the pyramid a “glowing” effect, as well as the strong oranges of the stone against the deep blue of the sky, this image is definitely one which conveys the beauty of this site.

Dr. Zahi Hawass has an interesting article over on his website about Saving The Step Pyramid, which has suffered from strong desert winds and rising water table leaving it vulnerable.The article goes into detail about the restoration works being carried out to save this relic, and preserve it for generations to come.

Read more about The Pyramid of Djoser here at Heritage Key, and have a look through Xavier Fargas’ Flickr photostream to see some of his other stunning images! You can also join Dr. Hawass on a tour in this video:

Despicable Me: Stealing The Great Pyramid of Giza

Despicable Me“Mummy.. are we there yet?!”

“Mummy.. are we there yet?!”

“Mummy.. are we there yet?!”

“Mummy.. are w..”
*Cue muffled sounds as a hand covers my mouth*

I’ll admit that I’ve never grown up. Life’s far too short to do something silly like that – I’ll forever be a big kid who fantasises about climbing up honey waterfalls and jumping off Pterodactyls. Whilst Sean may be off looking at big people movies which show global landmarks being destroyed, I’m perfectly happy flicking through my collection of Disney classics on a quiet night in.

The movie release I’m going to share is called “Despicable Me” and it’s not actually out until July 2010 (and then us Brits have to wait until October!). It’s from the makers of Ice Age, and stars Steve Carell of Bruce Almighty fame.

But what is ‘Despicable Me’ about? Well, for that, it’s worth watching the trailer:

So a supervillain is going around and stealing famous landmarks such as the Great Pyramid of Giza, and replacing them with scaled inflatables!

Eat your heart out Roland Emmerich – making films about the destruction of mankind may well rock your boat, but when it comes to a rainy Saturday night in, I’d much rather lounge about on the sofa and watch a kid puncture the Great Wall of China!

Google Earth Tour: Ancient Africa – The “Forgotten” Roman Empire

Google Earth Tour - Roman Sites in North AfricaA recent interview by Lyn with author of North Africa:The Roman Coast, Ethel Davies, inspired me to take another look at Roman archaeological finds across this somewhat forgotten continent. When most people think of the Roman Empire, they immediately envision the temples, statues and amphitheatres spanning across Europe. But the vast coastal border of North Africa was controlled by the Romans too, and they certainly left their mark!

Ethel Davies listed her top ten sites across North Africa, which I’ve compiled into an easy to navigate Google Earth Tour, which will whisk you across the continent in just minutes! It’s complete with images and key facts about ancient relics across the vast continent. The tour enables you to fly over and explore the sites and their surroundings, and where you see a Heritage Key logo, you can click it and you’ll see more information about the adjacent landmark.

To view this Google Earth Tour, you will need to download additional software created by Google. You will require Google Earth 5.0 which will need to be installed in order to explore the aerial photography in a 3D environment. Once the software is installed, you will need to return to this webpage and download Google Earth Plugin (Your browser should meet minimum requirements). the Plugin can be downloaded by selecting it in the panel below:

To open webpages in a new window, right click the link in the information window and select “Open link in new window”. This will enable you to view the link in a full web browser.

You can also download this tour to your computer by clicking here, selecting “Save” and then running the file. It will automatically open Google Earth and begin the Heritage Key: Ancient Rome tour.

Have a look through our previous Heritage Key Google Earth Tours, and subscribe to be notified when new ones are added!

Daily Flickr Finds: Pablo Charlón’s Torre de Hércules

Torre de Hrcules – or it’s English name – Tower of Hercules, is a 55m Roman lighthouse which has stood at the La Corua harbour in north-western Spain since the first century AD. With the HDRskill and beautiful lighting that only a talented photographer can bring together, Pablo Charln has created this stunning image which brings drama and power to this magnificent relic.

There are myths that Hercules fought with the giant Geryon at this site for three days and three nights, and upon victory Hercules built this Tower on top of his bones.The tower remains the oldest Roman lighthouse in the world, and the only one to still be operational. It was also recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, joining the likes of famous ancient sites around the world.

Be sure to check out Pablo Charl’s Flickr stream to see his fantastic photography, as well as his portfolio website!