Saturday, December 31, 2011

From our Neighbors to the North

In an otherwise unrelated article in The New Yorker [not free online], The Sanctuary: The world's oldest temple and the dawn of civilization, by Elif Batuman, in the magazine's Dept. of Archaeology, published in the special double issue 19-26 December 2011. Locus of article is the archaeological site Göbekli Tepe, located near the town of Şanlıurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa), in southeastern Turkey near Syria.
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After my last afternoon at Göbekli Tepe, I decided to devote the rest of the day to the other Urfa pilgrimage--the Abraham one. [ . . . ]

I reached a large park with manicured lawns, a rose garden, gushing fountains and shady tea gardens, and made my way to a rectangular stone-line pool crammed with fat gray carp, indicating the spot where Nimrod failed to burn up Abraham. It's said that anyone who eats one of these carp will go blind. All kinds of people--tough-looking men in black leather jackets, women in shapeless trenchcoats and head scarves, two girls dressed like Arabian princesses with gold coins on their foreheads--were buying fish food from the venders and hurling it into the pond by the fistful. The sacred carp accumulated in a great heap below the surface of the water, their gaping circular mouths angled upward.

[ . . . ]
Fish Haiku #15

Giant sacred Carp

Living in the lakes protect

Iraq's future hopes.

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