Mausoleum of Zeynel Bey, son of Sultan Uzun Hasan (Hasan the Tall) of the Aq Qoyunlu dynasty, or White Sheep Turkomans (1378–1508)
Source Wikimedia Commons. Image credit Htkava
The Wikimedia entry for Hasankeyf reads in part –
With its history that spans nine civilizations, the archaeological and religious significance of Hasankeyf is considerable. Some of the city’s historical treasures will be inundated if construction of the Ilısu Dam is completed. These include the ornate mosques, Islamic tombs and cave churches.
According to the Bugday Association, based in Turkey, Ms. Huriye Küpeli, the prefect of Hasankeyf, the Swiss ambassador to Turkey and representatives of the Swiss led consortium of contractors for the dam project have suggested what they believe to be a suitable nearby spot for moving the historical heritage of Hasankeyf, an operation for which the Turkish Ministry of Culture pledges to provide 30 million euros.
The threat of the Ilisu Dam project prompted the World Monuments Fund to list the city on its 2008 Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. It is hoped that this listing will create more awareness of the project and prompt the Ilisu Consortium to develop alternate plans that are more sympathetic to this site of exceptional historical and cultural significance.
In December 2008 export credit insurers in Austria, Germany and Switzerland announced suspending their support for the project amid concern about its environmental and cultural impact and gave the Turkish government 180 days to meet standards set by the World Bank. These standards were 153 requirements on environmental protection, resettlement of villages, protection of cultural heritage, and resource management with neighbouring states. As Turkey did not fulfil any of them, the three ECAs indicated in a joint press release issued on the 7th of July 2009 that they withdrew from the project. Shortly after, in another joint press release issued on the same day, the three banks (Société Générale, UniCredit and DekaBank) financing the Ilısu Dam project also stated – in line with the decision of the ECAs – that the export credit granted by the three banks for the construction of the Ilısu Dam would no longer be available.
Meanwhile, writing for National Geographic last Friday, Julia Harte in Turkey reports that -
From the Neolithic caves riddling its cliffs to the honey-colored, 15th-century minarets looming over its streets, Hasankeyf, Turkey, is a living museum of epic proportion.
But today’s reigning power, the Turkish Republic, has a unique plan for Hasankeyf: submerging the ancient town beneath 200 feet (60 meters) of water. That will be the result of a hydroelectric dam now under construction in Ilısu village, 60 miles (97 kilometers) downstream from Hasankeyf. In February 2013, Turkey’s highest administrative court ordered construction to halt until an environmental impact assessment had been carried out.
Only one-fifth of the archeological sites around Hasankeyf have been unearthed so far, and local archeologists predict that 85 percent of the remainder will be flooded before they can finish excavating.
Knill’s Monument, St. Ives, Cornwall
High on a hill overlooking the British coastal town of St. Ives, Cornwall stands Knill’s Monument, a 50-foot-high granite obelisk steeped in local tradition dating back over two centuries. The imposing structure was the final work of the architect John Wood the Younger, and was built in 1782 as a mausoleum for and memorial to the mayor of St. Ives, John Knill (1733–1811). Exposed to the harsh coastal elements, Knill’s Monument suffered notable deterioration over the years, its ailing condition marked by missing and damaged pointing, vegetation growing on the structure, and the poor state of the original commemorative shield. This brief video produced by World Monuments Fund Britain highlights its restoration.
More from the World Monuments Fund here.
Hear, hear Lara, we couldn’t have put it better, but we’d also like to ask George whether or not he’s actually seen the Marbles at the British Museum and whether or not he’s aware of the restrictions in place on the Museum when it comes to disposing of any object in its collection - whether through sale, exchange, repatriation or disposal in some other way. It can’t be done - at least not without changing the law. That’s not to say there isn’t a case to be made for the Marbles repatriation (it would certainly free up much needed gallery space for, dare we say it, more interesting exhibitions) and we’ve presented both sides of the repatriation argument on these pages before (type Elgin Marbles in the search box above for more).
Ear studs, buttons or hair adornments? The studs are believed to be the only ones ever found in south-west England
BBC News Devon reports on 7 February that -
When archaeologists unearthed the contents of a tomb in a remote part of Dartmoor [south-west England] 18 months ago, they had no idea they were about to find an internationally important treasure trove. Academics and scientists alike were fascinated by the well preserved findings from this prehistoric cremation burial chamber which allowed them one of the best glimpses into life in Bronze Age Southern England that they have ever had. The booty included prehistoric jewellery, animal pelts and finely executed tailoring. Most remarkable of all was that the find included beads made of amber, a substance that doesn’t occur within 1,000 miles of Dartmoor, prompting new insight into possible prehistoric trade routes between Britain and other countries.
This absorbing programme follows up on a BBC Inside Out South West programme from earlier in the year. It highlights ground-breaking work by internationally renowned archaeologists as they get to grips with how this discovery helps paint a picture of Bronze Age society; and as a consequence, how North Dartmoor is being reconsidered as an area of historical importance.
Presenter Mike Dilger is on hand as scientists examine more secrets from the tomb including bracelets and yo-yo shaped ear studs that would have stretched the ear lobe. Most thrilling is when Mike and the TV crew are present when archaeologists reveal the contents of an intricately woven bag, unopened for 4,000 years.
The video, Mystery of the Moor, is available on BBC iPlayer until 7:59pm on Friday, 14 February 2014. Duration: 29 minutes.
Putting aside Mike Dilger’s somewhat enthusiastic style of presentation, we couldn’t help but be impressed by the beauty and technical skill of the contents that emerged from the Dartmoor tomb. One or two things didn’t ring quite right however; the horsehair bracelet, with tin studs, was referred to as ‘woven’. To us it looked more like it was platted or braided, and the lady who was working on the reconstruction seemed to be using a platting/braiding technique not a weaving one. Given the right type of braiding stool, the tin studs could have been braided into the bracelet as it was being worked rather than being pushed through it. That thought led us to look at the ‘ear studs’ a little more closely as well. It would be interesting to know if similar wooden objects were being used in ancient Britain as ear studs. The tin studs in the bracelet and the wooden ear studs were very similar in shape, and the fact that there were two pairs of studs made in two sizes is puzzling. Why two sizes if they belonged to the same person? Surely someone who wore such a lovely necklace and bracelet would not have inserted rather crude wooden studs into their earlobes. The studs may, of course, have been covered in something to enhance their appearance but why two sizes if they were studs for the same person? Might they not just be a simple type of button or perhaps something else entirely? See mullien’s comment above.
Is it not possible that the wooden ‘ear studs’ were used in exactly the same way as the tin studs in the braided bracelet, but braided into the woman’s hair not inserted into her earlobes. They were, perhaps, decorated in some way but whatever that was has either been missed or has degraded beyond trace.
Finally, are these items really of ‘princess’ status? Because we find one set of grave goods of this standard doesn’t necessarily mean it belonged to a princess. Women everywhere, from all ages and from all social levels, would aspire to own things of beauty, and the woman whose grave has been found on Dartmoor would not need to be a princess to aspire to, or even own, such items.
UNESCO assess damage to Cairo Museum of Islamic Arts
Video by Rowan El Shimi for Ahram Online
Daily News Egypt reports that -
Members of the UNESCO delegation said it was especially shocking to see the museum in its current state, but praised the quick response of the rescue team. “We were so pleased when we saw in Paris the response of the rescue team,” the delegation said. “This team of 11 people were trained for two years by the Ministry of Antiquities, UNESCO and the International Council of Museums.” Another member of the delegation added; “This museum is so important for us, and when I say ‘us’, I mean anyone who cares about culture; this is the mother of all Islamic museums. Its artefacts are important, but the building itself is equally important. Excellent work has been done here in the aftermath of the explosion, but more will be needed in this coming time. We will connect the conservation specialists in Cairo to other conservation specialists abroad so Egypt can have the best technical support and these artefacts could be seen by you, your children and visitors here in Cairo.”
UNESCO has confirmed that it is setting aside $100,000 in emergency funds to help rebuild the Museum of Islamic Arts.
Full article here.
The event will be held on Saturday, 8 February 2014 from 11:00 - 16:00. Details here.