“To me history ought to be a source of pleasure. It isn’t just part of our civic responsibility.
To me it’s an enlargement of the experience of being alive, just the way literature or art or music is.”
I chose a few historical sites and museum collections for Patti’s weekly photo challenge — history
Xi’an Museum: “Taking you on a journey from prehistoric times through to the Ming and Qing dynasties, you’ll travel through 7,000 years of history via its collection of 10,000 relics.” ~ BBC
Neolithic period ( 9,000 B.C. to about 3,000 B.C) water jar, Xi’an Museum, China:
Bronze collections of Mid Bronze age, National Archaeological Museum, Athens:
“The only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know,”
Terracotta Army, 210–209 BC in Xian, China.
It held held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, The Exhibition Hall of the Bronze Chariots contains the world’s largest and most intricate ancient bronze artifacts.
Acropolis of Athens, 529–520 BC:
“How can we know who we are and where we are going if we don’t know anything about where we have come from and
what we have been through, the courage shown, the costs paid, to be where we are?”
The Pergamon Museum, Berlin houses magnificent collections of Babylon. Below is a building inscription of King Nebuchadnezzar II (634 BC – 562 BC).
The Pergamon Musum in Berlin also has a great collection of the Tell Halaf ruins located in northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border:
The oldest inscriptions that are recognized unequivocally as Chinese date from about 1200 BC and were found in Anyang, the capital of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC) in 1895. Some 400,000 fragments with inscriptions in the Oracle Bone Script have been found. Read more….
Photo of the Oracle Bone Script is from Wikipedia:
“Reading history is good for all of us. If you know history, you know that there is no such thing as a self-made man or self-made woman. We are shaped by people we have never met.
Yes, reading history will make you a better citizen and more appreciative of the law, and of freedom, and of how the economy works or doesn’t work, but it is also an immense pleasure the way art is, or music is, or poetry is. And it’s never stale.”
~David McCullough Historian
During our trip to China, I was amazed by the Fortifications of Xi’an, China:
The fortifications of Xi’an is one of the oldest and best preserved city walls, 39-52 ft. (12-16 meters) in thickness at the base and 39 ft. (12 meters) in height, and 16 miles long. It has 18 gates.
The first city wall was constructed in 194 BC, but the wall that we see today was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).
Photo below is from Wikipedia:
The above photo is from Wikipedia
Note: David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, popular historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian award. (John Adams,1776, Truman, and The Path Between the Seas written by David McCullough are my favorite history books.)
This week, Patti invites us to capture history, “History can be personal or public. It can last for a moment, a decade, or a century. It is local, national, or international. It can be a monument, a relic, a person, a place, or a memento. It’s totally open to your interpretation.” Visit Patti’s history post.
This week Tina calls for Around the Neighborhood for this week’s L-A Photo Challenge.
The neighborhood is different in Amsterdam. Here you see boat houses are parked in front apartments and a narrow street is in between.
From the ship balcony, we could see the crowded neighborhood near the port of Cork.
The countryside is beautiful, they have more space to breath.
These mega houses are located in the west side of Dallas resident area. Each house has their own “park” with a fountain and pond, plus a swimming pool, playground… in the backyard.
This one I took during Christmas time.
We are not far from our neighbors. My camera and the long lens can capture some their daily activities.
To keep Blue Jay quiet I make sure they don’t go hungry.
Woodpeckers are always busy. They dash in and out staring from early morning.
Both take turn to feed their new babies. Sharing parenting duty is what they do so well, day in and day out.
The other day, Cardinal Jr. and Tufted Titmouse came for lunch with the same hairdo. C Jr. was not amused.
Mr. Cardinal is such a responsible husband. He makes sure Mrs. C is well fed since she is pregnant.
Having tried a few days, I finally captured Chickadee.
The Egret is around in the early spring looking for a nest location for his bride.
“Around the Neighborhood” is fun theme. Tina provides many opportunities to explore. “We are looking forward to seeing what you found interesting this week in your own neighborhood or another that caught your eye and your lens.” Tina shows her beautiful neighbors via her lens, you don’t want to miss it.
“Machu Picchu: The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.” — Wikipedia
After entering the gate, we followed the path, walked around the stone walls and up/down the stairways, hiked the narrow trail…, then, a corner of the Machu Picchu village appeared:
A little while later, the clouds and mist were slowly lifted opening up the scenery. Urubamba River was flowing down the mountains smoothly. The village was quietly sitting there and terraces were perfectly curved and angled on the other side:
As we continued to hike down, we could see the village setting clearly. This was the place we fell in love with long before we came for which we had been waiting.
The village sits in a saddle between the two mountains: Machu Picchu and Huayna PicchuIt. The location of the village was a military secret, and its deep precipices and steep mountains provided natural defenses.
It is situated above a bow of the Urubamba River, which surrounds the site on three sides, where cliffs drop vertically for 450 metres (1,480 ft) to the river at their base.
Buildings were in rows, each has its functions. A 5-mile creation.
Walls and buildings were made with blocks of white granite. They were perfectly cut and fit together without cement.
These terraces were built in layers. The structure ensured good drainage to protect erosion and landslides. The bottom layer of larger stones covered by loose gravel, the top of the gravel was mixed sand and gravel packed together with rich topsoil covering all of that.
Temple of the Sun: “the stone is situated at 13°9’48” S. At midday on 11 November and 30 January, the sun stands almost exactly above the pillar, casting no shadow. On 21 June, the stone casts the longest shadow on its southern side, and on 21 December a much shorter shadow on its northern side.” –Wikipedia
How was it built 500 years ago, with minimum tools? How was it even possible? Even today it would be a huge challenge.
A great architecture marvel!
I’m looking forward to seeing your photos and stories of architecture. Make a link here and tag your post.