14 September 2006

A Print for Iraq

Tigris and Euphrates

I've been wanting to do some kind of print about Iraq, so I've been making an effort to become more visually literate about that part of the world, looking online at various motifs, designs and photographs from the many cultures that have existed in what we now call Iraq. Last week I stumbled across some online satellite views of the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, an area that includes Baghdad. When I was a kid I learned that the area between these two rivers is called "The Cradle of Civilization," for it is here that archeologists have identified the origins of agriculture, writing (cuneiform) and civic law (Hamurabi's code) -- beginnings that shaped and informed all of later Western culture.

When the U.S. invaded Baghdad in 2003, one of the things that really disturbed me was the lack of foresight that allowed the looting of an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 artifacts from the National Museum in Baghdad. Obviously, there are a lot worse things going on in Iraq than lost artifacts, but there's something about bombing and pillaging the very place where civilization was born that strikes me as a very very bad idea.

So I think this print will be a map of the Cradle of Civilization. I have quite a love/hate relationship with maps after many years of painstakingly producing maps in my work, but I continue to be fascinated by maps. I like the view posted here, so I'll use that as a starting point.

5 comments:

Kris Shanks said...

I think that's a very powerful place to start from. I'm looking forward to seeing where you take this one.

Sharri L. said...

Annie,
Check out "Mapping A Changing World" to augment your relationship with maps. It is a book for Young Adults, but has some great images interesting to every age group. You will notice it is written by someone with the same last name as I - she is my daughter!

Annie B said...

Sharri, that's so neat! I'll check out the book.

DustyTrails said...

I am studying Hebrew by myself .. Zola's Intro. to Hebrew .. I'm 71 baling hay in the Idaho desert .. and now I'm reading "They Wrote on Clay" by Ed Chiera .. which brought me to your site.

By law all business transactions had to be written and then a seal was placed around them with the contract written on the envelope and signed.

They shrank together and if ever a controversy arose the two were taken to a judge and he removed the envelope. If one tried to alter the contract on the envelope and put a new envelope on an old contract .. they would not shrink together and the envelope cracked off.

Hebrew is the language of Adam from the garden .. it started off phonetic with some drawings .. Ox head with the horns up and then rotated 180 to the letter A ..kind of backwards from cuneiform and the picture graphs from China .. read the discovery of Genesis in the Ancient Chinese Language.

What you are pursuing is great and opening up many treasures .. and that's the whole idea.

DustyTrails said...

I am studying Hebrew by myself .. Zola's Intro. to Hebrew .. I'm 71 baling hay in the Idaho desert .. and now I'm reading "They Wrote on Clay" by Ed Chiera .. which brought me to your site.

By law all business transactions had to be written and then a seal was placed around them with the contract written on the envelope and signed.

They shrank together and if ever a controversy arose the two were taken to a judge and he removed the envelope. If one tried to alter the contract on the envelope and put a new envelope on an old contract .. they would not shrink together and the envelope cracked off.

Hebrew is the language of Adam from the garden .. it started off phonetic with some drawings .. Ox head with the horns up and then rotated 180 to the letter A ..kind of backwards from cuneiform and the picture graphs from China .. read the discovery of Genesis in the Ancient Chinese Language.

What you are pursuing is great and opening up many treasures .. and that's the whole idea.