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Picture of the Day 9/21/07

Iraqi contractors work on the new National Police barracks and training center north of Samarra. When finished, the center will house (and serve as the operations center for) over 1,500 Iraqi and National Police. The 52-meter high Spiral Minaret of the Great Samarran Mosque (built in 852 AD), once the largest mosque in the world, looms in the background. The minaret, located in the northwestern part of the city, is the dominant terrain feature in the area, visible from kilometers away in every direction.
(photo © Jeff Emanuel 2007)


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At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2007 16:05:02 -0400
From: Alan Fisher fishera@MSU.EDU
Subject: H-ISLAMART: Jeff Emanuel photographs new security construction at Samarra

Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 12:08:33 +0200
From: Alastair Northedge


From the angle of the photo, it is possible to calculate that the complex is being built at E 396388 N 3785995 (UTM Zone 38 North) or Lat. 34.209760° Long. 43.875325°, to the west of the Malwiya (Spiral Minaret), and behind the Spiral Cafe. While the point itself may not have more than Abbasid houses under the ground, it is adjacent to the palace of Sur Isa, the remains of which can be seen in the photo. While the initial construction might or might not touch the palace, accompanying activities will certainly spread over it.

Sur Isa can be identified with the palace of al-Burj, built by the Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil, probably in 852-3 (Northedge, Historical Topography of Samarra, pp 125-127, 240). The palace is said to have cost 33 million dirhams, and was luxurious. Details are given by al-Shabushti, Kitab al-Diyarat.

Samarra was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO at the end of June. The barracks could easily have been built elsewhere, off the archaeological site.

Alastair Northedge
Professeur d'Art et d'Archeologie Islamiques
UFR d'Art et d'Archeologie
Universite de Paris I (Pantheon-Sorbonne)
3, rue Michelet,
75006 Paris
tel. 01 53 73 71 08
telecopie : 01 53 73 71 13
Email : ou


End of H-ISLAMART Digest - 19 Sep 2007 to 26 Sep 2007 (#2007-110)


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