Ancient Mesopotamia : THE UNTOLD STORY, THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST, MORE UNTOLD THEN WE THOUGHT, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today, please scroll down. A biblical presence of the world’s first olive oil, pistachio oil, laurel berry oil and almond oil soaps traded on The Silk Route, 2nd century BC -14th century AD (when the Ottoman Empire boycotted trade with the west and closed the route), where the first civilisation of the world started, WHERE TIME BEGAN. Ancient Mesopotamia's collection of these imported cultural soaps are skilfully made by hand, hand-cut, dried stored for months reducing moisture content making the soap hard and long lasting with the original ingredients unchanged for 40 centuries, remarkably today, still being handmade from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history. The Silk Route, The Soapmakers, all from the area of Ancient Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent. Antiochia, Queen Zenobia's preference. Aleppo, laurel berries received daily from Antioch for 300 years. Mardin : The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel (the abundance of pistachios and pistachios with kernel of the apricot favoured by Assyrian Queens and Princesses for their hair), almond, The Romans preference. The profusion of olive tree plantations at Antioch in the 4th Century AD and 5th Century AD. Nablus Soapmakers began in the 7th Century AD, the families increased through popularity. From the 10th Century the first pressed olive oil was made from the finest ancient olive groves in the world (five thousand years old, still today) Nablus, Palestine, The Fertile Crescent (the preference of Elizabeth 1). 40 centuries of soapmaking, used by The Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs and the wealthy, two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, centuries later, still handmade today.
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA : continuing the ethical and sustainable ethos, the culture and spirit of the first Soapmakers of the world remarkably, 40 centuries later, still handmade today from the original historical areas whilst supporting their families.
SOAP : the greatest medical discovery in human history, cleans away something you cannot see, soap does not attract germs, water does. UNICEF : doctors wash their hands half as frequently as they should, if every cook used soap it would cut the world’s rate of respiratory infections by 25%. Saves the life of a healthy person oblivious to the bullet they dodged, has saved more lives than penicillin, doesn't just make cities healthier it makes them possible, enabling our existence.
MARDIN : located on The Silk Route, The Persian Royal Road, the oldest city in Upper Mesopotamia, where humans have existed for 11,500 years, the first farming communities of the world (Unesco World Heritage Site Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia). Mardin the open museum, Unesco Tentative Listing, 4500 BC with the most preserved architecture in the world, where The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel. The ochre sunset of Mardin, where olive oil, pistachio oil, travelled on The Persian Royal Road, where Persian Sogdian Traders travelled on The Silk Route and spoke the language of Sogdiana for hundreds of years from Chang'an (Han Dynasty), Samarkand to Antioch (The Roman Empire). The Province of Mardin, Dara three miles from the Persian border of Nisibis, founded in 505 AD. EMPEROR ANASTASIUS builds a city, where masons were summoned to build the last Roman Fortress 114 feet tall : great storehouses, palaces, churches, bazaar, houses, reservoir, water channels and graves of the Roman warriors wrapped around a two and a half mile wall 'Anastasiopolis'.
EMPEROR JUSTINIAN 1st 527-565 AD rebuilds and strengthens the last Roman Fortress, Wife Theodora, exceptionally beautiful, intelligent, Empress, ruled with Justinian 1st for 21 years, a woman from a poor background. Theodora had grown up among the working classes of Constantinople (330 AD the new capital of The Roman Empire, lasting 12 centuries) previously, Ancient Greek City of Byzantium, four times the size of Byzantium, built on seven hills, just like old Rome), she was a child of the circus who became Constantinople's best known actress. Theodora loved the male, female baths and frequented them often, early in the morning and leaving late. The mixed baths (where olive oil and alkali (ash) was used) ended in the 8th century AD. Procopius, Writer, Greek Scholar, Principal Byzantium Historian of the 6th century AD portrayed Theodora as a wanton of the most promiscuous sort, sighting a stage act that the future empress was said to have performed involving her naked body, some grain and a gaggle of trained geese. Justinian 1st passed a law allowing intermarriage between social classes, his marriage to Theodora caused a scandal but, she became one of the most influential women of the Ancient World. The earthquake of earthquakes 526 AD Antioch, Theodora ensured the fine Church of St. Michael and The Basilica of Asterius were rebuilt despatching marble columns from Constantinople (first campaigner of women's rights). Mardin Soap : two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
ALEPPO, 64 BC a Roman Province : Soapmakers continue making history two thousand years before The Silk Route opened remarkably, still being handmade today in Gaziantep, on the Silk Route, just miles over the border from Aleppo City, where laurel berries were received daily from Antioch for 300 years. The mixture of olive oil, water and lye; underground fires begins the process heating the oil for 3 days for the oil to react with the lye and water, creating a thickness thereafter, adding laurel berry oil. Pouring the mixture over a sheet of waxed paper awaiting ageing, chemical changes for the cutter's hand and stamped seal. Reactions with the air gently turning the soap gold on the outside and mystical emerald green on the inside, reducing moisture content making the soap hard and long lasting. The Aleppo Soapmakers : still handmade today in Gaziantep on The Silk Route, 40 centuries of soapmaking, ensuring same weather pattern as Aleppo, continuing making history, just miles over the border from Aleppo City. Aleppo : Unesco World Heritage Site, once ruled by Hittites, Assyrians, Akkadians, today, continuing to stay on the 'The List of World Heritage in Danger'.
ANTIOCH, 64 BC a Roman Province : the third largest city of The Roman Empire, after Alexandria and Rome on The Silk Route, 1,100 acres, the only Roman City illuminated at night for hundreds of years. Third century AD, The Imperial Palace residence of Queen Zenobia (Antiochia, the preference of Queen Zenobia, just a short walk from the Soapmakers), Queen of Palmyra Empire, Queen of Syria, Queen of Egypt, ruler of one third of The Roman Empire (6 years, loved by her people). Libanius, Antioch's celebrated Orator, born Antioch 314 AD, a Greek teacher of rhetoric of the Sophist School who tells the story of the City being illuminated each night 'People of Antioch were sleeping on the roofs at night where the summer breeze would gently stir the garments of the sleepers,' favoured by The Emperors, the centre of literature, the romantic magnet for scholars, writers, philosophers, the marriage of Antony and Cleopatra 37 BC, the park of woods at Daphne (Daphne : ancient Greek meaning laurel, spoken in Ancient Antioch), known for its plethora of thickly planted mulberry bushes, groves of cypresses and laurels forming a dramatic continuous roof, the carpet of rose groves interspersed with streams five miles from Antioch leading down to the Mediterranean waters. Antiochia Soap : two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
NABLUS, PALESTINE 63 BC a Roman Province : the world's most ancient olive groves, a Unesco World Heritage Site, Central Highland area of Nablus, Battir to Hebron, seven natural springs, The Roman Empire (10th legion) channels and pools irrigate, centuries later, still worked today, continuing making history. Nablus Soapmakers began in the 7th Century AD, the families increased through popularity, from the 10th Century the first pressed olive oil was made from the finest ancient olive groves in the world ( five thousand years old, still today). Local lime, ash (ashes of the barilla plant from the salty banks of the River Jordan) are pounded into a powder, the pure olive oil soap mixture is gently heated and continuously stirred over many days in copper vats, then spread out to set, soaked in red vegetable pigment, a grid of woollen threads leaves its imprint, as the process of lines are established for the cutter's hand, whilst the stamped seal of the two crossed keys completes the process; Nablus Palestine,The Fertile Crescent (the preference of Elizabeth 1) and popular with Jordanian Families, Nablus Soap, remarkably, from the same historical area since the 10th century.
PALESTINE in the ancient world was part of the region known as Canaan where the Kingdoms of Israel and Judaea were located. The term `Palestine’ was originally a designation of an area of land in southern Canaan the people were known as Philistines. The Philistines are thought to have come to the area towards the end of the Bronze age c. 1276 BC and established themselves on the southern coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea in an area afterwards known as Philistia. The whole of the region was referred to as ‘Canaan' in Mesopotamian texts and trade records found at Ebla and Mari as early as the 18th century BC while the term ‘Palestine' does not appear in any written records until 430 BC in the Histories of Herodotus. Later, the term ‘Palestine' came to be used for the entire region which was formerly known as Canaan.
ANTIOCHIA, ALEPPO, Laurel Berry oil (not seen in the West) with the perfect percentage of Olive oil. Antiochia, Aleppo both assist gardeners, eczema, dermatitis, rosacea, psoriasis. Both natural moisturisers, antiseptic, anti-itching, antibacterial, anti-fungal, assisting problematic skin, calming sensitive skin, leaving skin soft, nourished and silky. Ancient Mesopotamia products contain no perfumes, artificial colours or, preservatives, 100% biodegradable and not tested on animals. Ancient Mesopotamia imports the collection of soaps traded on The Silk Route directly from the Soapmakers. 40 centuries of soapmaking, still handmade today remarkably, from the same historical area.
The Apādana Palace, East Stairway and Throne Hall 'Hundred Column Hall' founded by Darius I in 518 B.C. Persepolis the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Darius 1, King of Kings : son Xerxes I title, Shahanshah, King of Kings (486-465 BC), and grandson Artaxerxes I (465-424 BC), Unesco World Heritage Site.
Assyrians with Rams, gifts for The King of King's, Apādana Palace, Persepolis (The City of The Persians), East Stairway.
Delivering messages Susa (ancient capital of Persia) Sardes, Darius 1, 522-486 BC, Horses from The Royal Stables, The Kings Pirradazis (horse changing), Angareion (horse posting), Royal Chapars, Angaros (riders), in relays 24 hours each 1,677 miles, 111 stations (caravanserai) on the heavily guarded Persian Royal Road, 7-9 days or, 3 months on foot. First postal system of the world.
Darius 1 allows The Soapmakers to travel on The Persian Royal Road. The Parthians from Persia (247BC-224AD) allowed silk to travel through their Empire trading ostrich eggs for silk, later, Persian Sogdian Traders, 2nd Century BC, travelled on The Silk Route for more than 800 years.
ASHURBANIPAL, the last King of Assyria, 7th century BC (Assyrian Empire 1365-609 BC) ,The North West Palace, Nineveh, Upper Mesopotamia; where he establishes the great library, until the Babylonians sacked the city and palace in a rebellion 612 BC resulting in The Palace being burnt down. Ashurbanipal’s library was buried beneath the burning walls of his palace and was lost for over 2,000 years. The first broken and scattered remains of the library were found in 1849 and are now at the British Museum.
1840 Austin Henry Layard assisted by Hormuzd Rassam (a Nineveh local) funded by The British Museum uncovers thousands of clay tablets written in cuneiform and Akkadian language at The North West Palace.
1872 George Smith, intrigued by history of Assyria (by profession, an apprentice bank note engraver) spent each lunch hour observing hundreds of clay tablets at The British Museum. The Museum realised his knowledge and invited him to assemble the tablets. To his amazement he married a clay tablet story about a world drowned by flood, about a man who builds a boat, about a dove released in search of dry land. His thoughts were the Noah's Ark story but, this was not the book of Genesis astonishingly, it was Gilgamesh (Sumerian King), an epic poem inscribed into damp clay around 1800 BC. He was invited to read his translation of the tablet to an audience at The Society for Biblical Archaeology in London attended by Prime Minister Gladstone. Epic of Gilgamesh read by George Smith caused a sensation. The Daily Telegraph put up 1000 guineas for George Smith to continue his investigations and excavations; he died in Aleppo of dysentery at the age of 36 years in 1876 leaving 8 groundbreaking books on Assyria.
Hormuzd Rassam was recalled by The British Museum to continue excavations at the Babylonian City of Sippar discovering the great door of the Palace of Balawat and 70,000 cuneiform tablets.1880 was his final expedition as he was being erased from the records due to hyperbole of Sir Henry Rawlinson he was a trustee of the British Museum from 1876 until his death and a British East India Company army officer, claiming Hormuzd Rassam was just a digger who oversaw works in progress. The British Museum removed his name from plaques and visitor guide books. Hormuzd Rassam could not find one publisher for his memoirs having a good relationship with his best friend Austin Henry Layard since he was 19 years old and after spending 18 months at Magdalen College Oxford. He died in Hove 1910, aged 84 years knowing that Layard wrote 'One of the honestest and most straight forward fellows I ever knew and one whose services have never been acknowledged'.By the end of his life, Rassam's reputation and achievements were once again receiving greater recognition, at least amidst his professional colleagues; in their obituary for Rassam, The Royal Geographical Society wrote: 'The death of Mr Hormuzd Rassam deprives The Royal Geographical Society of one of its older and more distinguished Fellows.'Hormuzd Rassam was also a Fellow of The Society of Biblical Archaeology and The Victoria Institute. Today, The British Museum acknowledges that Hormuzd Rassam was an archaeologist later, an official and an assistant to Austen Henry Layard. His excavation papers are held in the central archives in The British Museum.
THE BRITISH MUSEUM : The royal gardens at Nineveh were spectacular. They were irrigated by canals which stretched over 31 miles into the mountains in order to make them a year-round oasis of all types of flora. There is a recent argument that the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) were actually those at Nineveh and later writers had confused Nineveh and Babylon. Even if this was not the case, Ashurbanipal’s gardens were certainly impressive and exotic. The King collected plants from across the Ancient World and brought them back to his capital. The largest Capital of The Ancient World. However, it was not just the architecture that made the royal residence impressive, surrounding the palace were orchards, game parks and lush and exotic gardens that evoked a paradise on earth. Ashurbanipal claimed : 'I planted alongside the palace a botanical garden, which has all types of trees and every fruit and vegetable.' The gardens at Nineveh were irrigated by an immense canal network built by Ashurbanipal's grandfather Sennacherib. He brought water to the City over 31 miles using channels and aqueducts to create a year-round oasis of all types of flora.The canals stretching 31 miles into the mountains, and Sennacherib boasted about the engineering technology. A monumental aqueduct crossing the valley at Jerwan, which can be seen still today, made of over 2 million stones and waterproof cement. The aqueducts were constructed over 500 years before the Romans started building their aqueducts and inscribed with the following words: Sennacherib King of the world King of Assyria. Over a great distance I had a watercourse directed to the environs of Nineveh, joining together the water, over steep-sided valleys, I spanned an aqueduct of white limestone blocks, I made those waters flow over it.The excavations at the site of Babylon have never yielded any evidence of raised architectural gardens. Drawings of a now lost bas-relief ( first discovered by layard 1840) in Nineveh incredibly, Austin Henry Layard's artist had already made a copy of the original and Layard published it in his book on Nineveh in 1853 showing trees growing on a roofed colonnade, similar to those described in classical accounts of the Hanging Gardens.
Dr. STEPHANIE DALLEY, Assyriologist of Oxford University’s Oriental Institute a scholar of The Ancient Near East. She has retired as a teaching Fellow from the Oriental Institute, Oxford, author of 'The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon' where The Professor describes : deciphering cuneiform scripts and reinterpreting Greek and Roman texts : a 7th Century BC Assyrian inscription mistranslated : cognisant of the bas-relief in Layard's book : Bronze water raising screw (4 centuries later Archimedes) : Sennacherib referred to his Palace gardens (700 BC) 'a wonder for all the peoples' : Nineveh renames all of its gates, after the Babylonian gods, after sacking Babylon, The New Babylon : Alexander the Great and his Generals spent days at Jerwan encamped close to the great stone aqueduct awaiting The Battle of Gaugamela : a complex system of canals, dams and aqueducts (500 years before The Romans built aqueducts). The Professor looked at the comparative topography of Babylon and Nineveh and realised that the totally flat countryside around Babylon would have made it impossible to deliver sufficient water to maintain raised gardens described in the classical accounts, it therefore became quite clear that the ‘Hanging Gardens’ could not have been built in Babylon. Hanging Garden of Nineveh received mountain water from streams 50 miles away to the citadel and the Hanging Garden. History re-written, with full detailed definitive evidence.
Layard's artist copy of the original, now lost, bas-relief depicting trees growing on a roofed colonnade, The Hanging Garden of Nineveh.
Oldest surviving Royal Library, Hanging Garden of Nineveh, one of The Seven Wonders of The Ancient World.
Some of the Storytellers - The Ancient Near East
Mardin : The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel the abundance of pistachios favoured by Assyrian Queens and Princesses for their hair, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today.
Celebrated Theatres of The Near East
Bosra Theatre Southern Syria, Capital of The Roman Province of Arabia, Emperor Trajan 2nd Century AD, seating 15,000, Unesco World Heritage Site
The Library of Celsus, Ephesus, built in 117AD. The repository having a capacity to hold 12,000 scrolls, Unesco World Heritage Site.
Celsus Library is one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus built in 117 AD Commissioned in 114 AD by Tiberius Julius Acquila with provision to purchase scrolls in the amount of 23,000 Denarius and finished by his heirs. The library was built to commemorate his father Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus aged 70. Celsus had been a member of the Roman Senate and he was, from 105 to 107 AD, the proconsul of Ephesus. Celsus had also been Consul in Rome in 92 AD, where he was responsible for all public buildings. He was one of the richest businessmen in Ephesus. The library was then a fitting memorial and burial place for one of Ephesus’ grandees. Completed in 117 AD, Celsus was then entombed in a lead coffin encased in a marble sarcophagus decorated with high relief figures of Nike, Eros, rosettes and garlands. The sarcophagus was buried under the flooring near the apsidal wall.
A Little History
MESOPOTAMIA : Mesopotamia, ancient Greek meaning 'land between two rivers' ( meso middle, potamos river ) the Tigris-Euphrates, the biblical land known as Ancient Mesopotamia, The Fertile Crescent, on The Silk Route, the rise of the first civilisation of the world, WHERE TIME BEGAN, Sumerians : 60 parts. Babylonians : 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 360 degrees, The Map. Sumerians : Luna calendar 12 months, the wheel, weaving cloth, the cart, the chariot, the sailboat, the plough, mathematics, architecture, sun-dried bricks, astronomy, astrology, agriculture, irrigation, cuneiform writing, monarchy, stamp seals, cylinder seals, copper tools, arrowheads, razors, swords, harpoons, maces, slings, clubs, beer made from barley, oil in soaps began.
SUMERIANS ( 5,400 BC - 1750 BC 3,650 YEARS ) created distillation by applying resin or, fat with alkali, elementary soapmaking, cleaning wounds and sores, they were excellent at washing wounds and preparation of poultices, they also used essence of cedar accomplished by distillation and the washing of the diseased part with beer and hot water. The birth of the first antiseptics, alcohol, honey and myrrh, the battle of humans and bacteria. Soap : an ancient product has saved more lives than penicillin, SUMERIANS 2200 BC : WHERE OILS IN SOAP BEGAN.
SUMERIANS, four main classes : Priests, Upper Class which, included The Royals, Lower Class and Slaves. Unchanged words of The Sumerians, still today, crocus (flower), Saffron (colour and spice). Sumerians were paid for their work, women had the freedom to work and able to set-up their own business.
SUMERIANS, before 2,200 BC where oil in soaps began, Sumerians used tallow and ash for personal hygiene valued for one’s standing in the community and honouring their gods. Sumerians personal hygiene was a matter of presentable performance to their gods and duties.
FIRST USE OF SOAP RECORDED ON A CUNEIFORM TABLET GIRSU, a City of ancient Sumer 2,500 BC used for removing lanolin from sheep, alkalis from burned wood and fats equals saponification, water absorbs the alkali from the ash 'leaching' creating impure soap. The Sumer City of Ur would call up to 10,000 to labour, dominated by women producing four hundred tons of wool each year. First known recipe of soap one quart of oil, six quarts of potash equals impure soap. The first evidence of soap being used to clean the skin, cuneiform tablet found in Hattusha : the Hittite Capital located in Boğazkale District of Çorum Province. The first recorded evidence of soap production written in cuneiform on a clay tablet 2800 BC, Sumerians. 2200 BC, Sumerians (where oils in soap began), a formula of soap consisting of water, alkali (ash) and cassia oil (cinnamomum) was written on a clay tablet (two thousand years before The Silk Route opened) . King Nabonidus, Neo-Babylonian 6th century BC : ashes, cypress extract, sesame oil (antibacterial, antiviral) written on clay cylinders Ur.
BABYLONIANS : The rise to power of The Babylonians in Mesopotamia around 1900 BC, known as 'Old Babylonian Period’. 1792-1750 BC sixth King Hammurabi of The Amorites, First Dynasty of Babylon Later, Neo-Babylonian period 626 BC - 539 BC.
BABYLON, Mesopotamia : the eighth gate to the inner city, The Ishtar Gate 575 BC, one of The Seven Wonders of the World, a Unesco World Heritage Site, where eighty five percent of Babylon remains unexcavated, still today, 164 feet from end gate to end gate, each side of the gate consisted of nineteen, 39 feet high wall sections. The gates measured more than 38 feet high with a vast antechamber on the southern side. Etemenanki : Babylon’s largest Ziggurat 299 feet cited in Ancient Greek accounts as The Temple of Belus and the probable inspiration for The Tower of Babel 298 feet high.The Processional Way : New Year celebrations, over a half a mile long, with walls over 50 feet tall on each side built by order of The King Nebuchadnezzar 11 dedicated to The Babylonian goddess Ishtar. In the works of Greek historians Babylon was distant, exotic and incredible. Greek historian Herodotus, declaring 'Overwhelmingly opulent the walls so broad chariots could race around them'. Implementers of The Seven Wonders of The World, of the known Ancient World : Herodotus, Philo of Byzantium his work 'On Seven Wonders' 225 BC, Callimachus of Cyrene Architect, Writer, Chief of The Library of Alexandria, Diodorus Siculus, Ancient Greek Historian, Antipater of Sidon, Greek Writer, Poet 2nd century BC begins the official listing replacing The Ishtar Gate for The Lighthouse of Alexandria.
The first handmade olive oil, pistachio oil, laurel berry oil and almond oil soaps traded on The Silk Route at a time when Jesus was born, Roman Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs of Egypt reigned, where the cradle of civilisation began : Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, Alexander the Great's greatest expansionism of the know Ancient World. Awakening the activity, The Near East, more untold then we thought.
GALEN OF PERGAMUM : 129-210 AD, Philosopher, Greek Physician, Surgeon, Personal Physician of The Emperors summoned by Marcus Aurelius 169 AD at the age of 40 years back to Rome, later serving Commodus and Septimius Severus, Chief Physician for the treating of wounds to the gladiator school in Pergamum. Discoverer, that urine was formed in the kidney (as opposed to the bladder which, was common belief) and arteries carried blood, not air ( as had been taught for 400 years). His theories dominated medicine for 1500 years.He was a prolific writer 300 titles of works, 150 survive today. His 12 years of learning the doctrines of ancient medicine : Corinth (medical school), Pergamum (medical school), journeying through Cilicia, Antioch, Aleppo, Smyrna (medical school) to the greatest medical school of the Ancient World, Alexandria (5 years of studying) declaring to his patients the importance of hygiene and the healing powers of the oils in soap (antiseptic, anti-itching, antibacterial) Soap : the greatest medical discovery in human history. Galen collected plants with healing properties for debates of their uses. Galen’s final works were written after 207 AD, which suggests that his Arab biographers were correct in their claim that he died at age 87, in 216-217 AD, either in Pergamum or, Sicily.
ZOSIMOS OF PANOPOLIS 3rd century AD, unanimously recognised as the greatest of the Graeco-Egyptian alchemists, investigates the composition and chemical changes that occurred in the water and oils. Centuries later, still handmade today, remarkably, from the same historical areas, as the Soapmakers continue making history; hand-cut, dried stored for months being traditionally produced by hand through the generations of families, with only natural ingredients, unchanged throughout the centuries.
THE SILK ROUTE : The Merchants of Antioch earned their reputation for hundreds of years from the sale of silk, soap, glass, spices, cotton, dyeing, tanning, furs, wine, vineyards produced the cities wine but, produced much to export with The Orontes River busy with olive oil, wine and rich fishing (eels for the poor), bread (wheat for the wealthy, barley for the poor), copper tools and the appalling trade of Slaves. Caravans of camels loaded with jewels and spices from Cappadocia, Persia, India, Arabia travelled through the City where exchanges on a large scale were conducted. Trading under 1400 Roman columns, 18 feet tall and porticoes for two and a half miles, using their vegetable oil filled lamps each night to light up The Colonnaded Street for more than 800 years. Hedonistic Antioch, 'Queen of the East' of the known Ancient World, the City of up to 500,000 people (115 AD), patrolled by Roman Legionaires, where residents used their oil filled lamps outside their homes ( where rich houses were almost always three stories) increasing the illumination of the City at night, Hellenistic art, a fusion of Greek and Near East artistry. Persian Sogdian Traders travelled and spoke the language of Sogdiana for hundreds of years from Chang'an (perpetual peace), Han Dynasty, Samarkand to Antioch the third largest city of The Roman Empire, where Hadrian was in command of the army of the East. Commissioned by the 9th Emperor Vespasian establishing The Praetorian Fleets : Classis (Fleet) Syriaca. Classis (Fleet) Mesopotamica. Patrolling Antioch (Selucia, seaport) to Alexandria, reinforced, if necessary, with 200 ships from Classes Praetoriae. Emperor Hadrian (Imperator) nominated by his legions of the East, Antioch, 11th August 117 AD, 41 years old, 11 months later he journeyed to Rome arriving 9th July 118 AD. The Roman Empire reaching its most expansionism upon the death of Emperor Trajan, where Emperor Hadrian stabilises The Empire for the next 21 years, the third of the five Good Emperors.
THE VESPASIANUS - TITUS TUNNEL (The Dam), 1st century AD, ANTONINUS PIUS completes, 2nd century AD (Unesco Tentative Listing) . 10th Legion Engineers, built by Roman Legionaries, Sailors and skilled Jewish Prisoners, more than three quarters of a mile digging into The Nur Mountains. The longest handmade dug tunnel in history, preserved authenticity, without damage still today, ensuring Antioch's seaport Seleucia from silting-up, flooding and water supply during summer.
The Vespasianus - Titus Tunnel
2696 BC procuring silk
SILK : 2696 BC Lei Zu, daughter of Xi Ling, Empress, Wife of The Yellow Emperor, the implementer of silk; by chance a silkworm cocoon fell from a tree into her tea cup unwrapping the silk and strong but, soft thread. Ancient Greek word for China 'Seres' 'The Land of Silk'.
Permission was granted to trade outside of China for the first time and later, silk for gold with The Roman Empire. Chang'an, Capital of China-Antioch, 3rd largest City of The Roman Empire on the Mediterranean waters, 4,025 miles. Han Dynasty's Emperor Wu Di 138 BC sends explorer Zhang Qian, as diplomat, envoy, to the West opening The Silk Route. By 102 BC China controlled traffic and taxes at Tun-Huang Oasis later, called Dunhuang Oasis. Traders from the West were compelled to wait until Chinese soldiers checked for silkworms or, cocoons. The Roman Empire's Pliny the Elder 'At least a hundred million sesterces flow out of the empire every year to India, China and Arabia, that is how much luxury and women cost us'. Yellow silk : a class distinction. 552 AD : Emperor Justinian Ist sends two emissaries (Nestorian monks) to China to smuggle silkworm eggs, hidden in rods of bamboo, tired of paying exorbitant silk prices. Later, sericulture (silk farming) began.By the 1st century BC silk reached Rome, initiating the first ’Silk Route’. Pliny, writing about silk, thought it was made from the down of trees. The Parthians from Persia (274BC-224AD) allowed silk to travel through their Empire trading ostrich eggs for silk.The Roman Emperor Augustus (ruled 27 BC-14 AD) was the first from Europe to arrive in China confirmed by Roman historian, Poet Florus. 166 AD, rumour reported at the time an emissary from Andun (China) on behalf of Emperor Marcus Aurelius brought gifts of ivory, tortoiseshell, rhinoceros horn to the Chinese. Romans are believed by some to have made it as far east as the Gobi Desert. The people in Liqian, a village in Gansu Province in western China on the fringes of the Gobi Desert, near the Qilian mountains, say they are descendants of Romans and say the curly hair, straight noses, and light-coloured eyes that some of them have proved it.The Romans that made it to China are said to have been soldiers under Crassus a Roman leader who formed the First Triumvirate with Julius Caesar and Pompey who survived a battle against the Parthians in Syria and Persia and then made their way east, working as mercenaries for the Huns, until they were captured by Chinese troops during a Chinese attack on the Hun ruler Zhizhi, Uzbekistan. Han Dynasty, four immense innovations : Gunpowder, Paper, Printing, Compass. Paper arriving first in Samarkand as late as 700 AD destined for Europe.
The Han Dynasty wanted a formidable cavalry horse and found a special breed of horse large and of great stamina located in the Ferghâna Valley, north of the Hindu Kush, the valley being continuous across eastern Uzbekistan, south of Kyrgyzstan, northern Tajikistan. Ferghâna was especially noted for its horses, and attracted the attention of the Chinese who wanted to improve the breed they used for their cavalry. An envoy was sent to purchase the desired animals, but was not only turned down, he was killed. General Li Guangli was then sent in 104 BC with an army of 60,000 over the Pamirs to seek revenge and to bring back the Ferghâna horses, known to the Chinese as 'blood-sweating’ or, ‘heavenly' horses. Li besieged the city of Tashkent, but failed to take it and returned with the remnant of his army. Reaching the frontier of China, he asked for permission to proceed on to the capital. This was denied and reinforcements were sent, he was told not to come back without the horses. This gave him added determination and the second expedition was successful, returning in 101 BC with 1000 horses.
THE MUSEUM HOTEL (Antioch), Hatay Province.
Centuries Later, Still Preserved Today, 10 year project, over 27 feet below ground level, 4 acres of Antioch ( City of Antioch 1,100 acres, where the Soapmakers made history), excavating, authenticity preserved, still today.
30,000 objects dating back to the 3rd Century BC : The Necmi Asfuroğlu Archaeology Museum, Hatay Archaeology Museum overlooking Mt. Silpius. Peter digs the foundation of the first church, St Pierre, Mt. Starius, Antioch (Unesco Tentative Listing). His missionaries were his imperative, suffering martyrdom under Emperor Nero, Rome : The Marble Roman Forum, public meeting place 9000 sq ft, The Pegasus mosaic, 160 shades of plant dyed stone, Frescoes of Apollo and Nine Muses 2nd century AD, Eros : marble statue 200 AD, World's largest single floor Mosaic 11,302 sq ft, observing its undulating flow, subsidence, earthquakes 4th Century AD, Wildlife Mosaic 5th Century AD, Roman Baths 5th Century AD and stone surfaced Roman Road 64 BC Antioch, preserved authenticity, still today.
Mosaics, columns and walls of ancient Antioch, the third largest City of The Roman Empire after Rome and Alexandria, favoured by The Emperors, third century AD, The Imperial Palace residence of Queen Zenobia (Antiochia, the preference of Queen Zenobia, just a short walk from the Soapmakers), Queen of Palmyra Empire, Queen of Syria, Queen of Egypt, ruler of one third of The Roman Empire (6 years, loved by her people), declaring ancestry with Cleopatra, educated in Greek, Latin, Egyptian (fluent) and Aramaic, defeated by Emperor Aurelius, chained in gold chains, treated with humility but, paraded in Rome for a life in Tivoli, where she re-married and died 34 years old, 4 children.
ANTIOCH, the centre of literature, the royal library (built by the Seleucid Empire 323 BC and later, 223 BC under the direction of grammarian, poet Euphorion of Chalcis), theatre, temples, public squares, baths, palatial homes, churches, aqueducts (Hadrian's finest work). Herod the Great became King in 37 BC ruling Judaea for 33 years, as a client of Rome. His generosity towards Antioch (he's appalling guilt, jealousy, entirely possible that King Herod was capable of the atrocity of children, as confirmed by Matthew thereafter, he had his wife Mariamme and three sons killed) where the muddy streets were replaced with polished marble and adorned with a Colonnaded Street for two and a half miles, together with a Stoa erected along the east side of Antioch. Later, Emperor Tiberius builds Two long Colonnades, southwards towards Mt. Silpius. Theatre, Augustus Caesar, enlarged by Agrippa, Tiberius, Trajan, 1st Century BC - 2nd Century AD. Amphitheatre, from the Greek word amphitheatron, spectators all around, on both sides, Julius Caesar 47 BC. Hippodrome, Circus, chariot racing, 80,000 spectators, obelisk from Egypt, spina divides the course, donated by Quintius Marcius Rex proconsul of Cilicia 67 BC.1400 Roman columns and porticoes for two and a half miles, The Colonnaded Street, the surface of Egyptian granite, ordered by Emperor Antoninus Pius 138-161 AD paving the great east to west artery wide enough to accommodate caravans, as the merchants passed through buying and selling, until 3 a.m. ( the abundance of mules, asses, camels, horses). Libanius, Antioch's celebrated Orator 314-393 AD 'Indeed, if a man had the idea of travelling all over the earth, not to see how cities looked, but to learn their ways, our city would fulfil his purpose and save him his journeying. If he sits in our market place he will sample every city, there will be so many from each place with whom he can talk. The city loves the virtues of those who come to it exactly as it does the virtues of its children, imitating the Athenians in this also'. The one thousand, one hundred acre Roman City illuminated at night for more than 800 years. The romantic magnet for scholars, writers, philosophers. Antioch, 64 BC a Roman Province. Antioch, where The Silk Route 200 BC, on The Mediterranean waters ended.
Impression of Antioch Theatre, Augustus Caesar, enlarged by Agrippa, Tiberius, Trajan, 1st Century BC - 2nd Century AD.
40 CENTURIES OF SOAPMAKING, used by The Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs and the wealthy for two thousand years before The Silk Route opened, centuries later, still handmade today. Awakening the activity, The Near East, more untold then we thought.
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA : continuing the ethical and sustainable ethos, the culture and spirit of the first Soapmakers of the world remarkably, 40 centuries later, still handmade today from the original historical areas whilst supporting their families.
The Silk Route 2nd Century BC Chang'an - Antioch on the Mediterranean waters, 4025 miles.
NABLUS PALESTINE,THE FERTILE CRESCENT (the preference of Elizabeth 1). Nablus Soap, remarkably, from the same historical area since the 10th century AD. The world's most ancient olive groves (five thousand years, still today), a Unesco World Heritage Site, Central Highland area of Nablus, Battir to Hebron, seven natural springs, The Roman Empire (10th legion) channels and pools irrigate, centuries later, still worked today, continuing making history.
Jacob's Well, located at the entrance of Nablus. Jacob, on his return from Mesopotamia, bought a plot of land from Hanor on which he pitched his tent and dug a deep well for himself, his children and his flocks. Followers of Jesus say that it was at this well that Jesus met the woman from Samaria and asked her for water to drink, the well has been a pilgrimage still today, Nablus, Palestine, The Holy Land.
9,000 years, it was mentioned in the Bible as Shechem with the names of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob. Neapolis, the New City named in 72 AD by The Flavian Emperors 69 AD-96 AD, the modern name of Nablus is a corruption of the Greek name Neapolis. 2nd Century, Emperor Hadrian builds an impressive Theatre in Neapolis seating 7,000. Always the home of The Samaritan's, still today, meaning a person who is generous in helping those in distress, Old Town of Nablus, Unesco Tentative Listing.
The Great Theatre of Ephesus, leading down to the waters edge, seating up to 25,000, enlarged by The Roman Empire 1st Century AD, where Paul preached. Lysimachus, is credited with the building of the theatre in Hellenistic times, 60 years of digging into the mountainside. Unesco World Heritage Site.
The Silk Route 138 BC Chang'an - Antioch on the Mediterranean waters, 4025 miles, Han Dynasty's Emperor Wu Di sends explorer Zhang Qian, as diplomat, envoy, to the West opening The Silk Route. Antioch : Seleucid Empire 323- 64 BC The Roman Empire.
The Near East, Hellenistic art, a fusion of Greek and Near East artistry, The Near East, more untold then we thought.
The presence and importance of The Silk Route 2nd Century BC where oil in soaps travelled from MARDIN (near the Persian border), ALEPPO CITY and just a short distance from The Imperial Palace, ANTIOCH to be traded in Antioch Market, later in the 10th century AD NABLUS soap from PALESTINE continued history at Antioch Market the finest first pressed olive oil from olive groves of 5000 years, still today.
BEESWAX CANDLES introduced by The Romans. One hour taper candles with Egyptian, Indian cotton wicks releasing negative ions, purifying the air, negative ions attached to positive ions eliminates common allergens. The Roman Generals were always full of respiratory issues knowing that they could have dinner for one hour with their body relaxed to normal times, keeping the wick short, no smoke, after fighting another day, used by Byzantium Churches and the wealthy Antioch,1st century AD.
500 BC, The Romans first rolled Papyrus into little cylinders called Candalae.
Mardin, located on The Silk Route, The Persian Royal Road, the oldest city in Upper Mesopotamia, 40 centuries of Soapmaking, still making history, still today.
The Silk Route 2nd Century BC Chang'an, Capital of China, Han Dynasty - Antioch on the Mediterranean waters, 4025 miles, Seleucid Empire 323- 64 BC, 3rd largest City of The Roman Empire.
Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia.The first farming communities of the world, where humans have existed for 11,500 years : Monuments, Limestone T - shaped pillars 18 feet tall, used for social events, rictuals, funerals, Unesco World Heritage Site.
Unexplained telepathy; handbags, Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, a Unesco World Heritage Site : Sumerian handbags, Olmec handbags, Maori handbags, Egyptian handbags, Indian handbags, stone art handbags from the Americas and Australia and handbags at Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, unexplained telepathy, a Unesco World Heritage Site Göbekli Tepe, Upper Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia.
Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus, Mt Koressos, The House of Mary, Unesco World Heritage Sites.
The Pegasus mosaic, 160 shades of plant dyed stone, Frescoes of Apollo and Nine Muses 2nd century AD, Antioch.
The Pegasus mosaic full photograph : Hesiod receiving his poetic inspiration from The Queen of Muses Calliope 2nd century AD, Antioch.
World's largest single floor Mosaic 11,302 sq ft, of different patterns, shades of colour, in one large Roman floor mosaic, observing its undulating flow, subsidence, earthquakes 4th Century AD, Antioch.
Roman Villa mosaic 5th Century AD, Antioch.
Wildlife mosaic Roman meeting place 5th Century AD, Antioch.
Hot room (Caldarium) flowing warm water creating steam, warm and cold rooms (Tepidarium, Frigidarium) followed by exercise, massage and food 5th Century AD, Antioch.
Roman Villa mosaic 5th Century AD, Antioch.
Stone surfaced Roman Road Antioch, authenticity preserved, 64 BC a Roman Province where a visitor was over-heard saying 'If you listen quietly you can hear their sandals on the stones'.
Mardin, Upper Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia 4,500 BC, the most preserved architecture in the world, Unesco Tentative Listing.
Mardin : The Persians, Assyrians and Romans allowed the Soaps to travel the abundance of pistachios and pistachios with Kernel of the apricot favoured by Assyrian Queens and Princesses for their hair, 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today.
Celebrated Theatres of The Near East
Aspendos Theatre Pamphylia, Emperor Marcus Aurelius 2nd Century AD, preserved authenticity, still today, remarkable antiquity, Unesco Tentative Listing
Breathtaking Palmyra Theatre, before destruction. Palmyra, the home of Queen Zenobia, an oasis in the Syrian dessert. The important link on The Silk Route, Unesco World Heritage Site, now continuing to stay on the 'The List of World Heritage in Danger'.
Antiochia, Daphne : ancient Greek meaning laurel, spoken in Ancient Antioch.The Imperial Palace residence of Queen Zenobia, Antiochia, the preference of Queen Zenobia, just a short walk from the Soapmakers, Queen of Palmyra Empire, Queen of Syria, Queen of Egypt, ruler of one third of The Roman Empire (6 years, loved by her people). 40 centuries of soapmaking, still making history, still today.
ANTIOCH : where the word Christianity began implemented by Peter and Paul who converted Gentiles to become Christians. Antioch the centre for the first Christians, the followers of Jesus. Antioch, the centre of the missionary of Paul 47-55 AD. Peter digs the foundations of the first church Mount Starius, Antioch (Unesco Tentative Listing), their missionaries were famous. They both suffered martyrdom under Emperor Nero, Rome.
Impression of The Alexandrian Museum, The Research Institute Library, Museum 247 BC Ptolemy 1 Soter, instructs Demetrius of Phaleon, a Politician from Athena to build.
THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA the innovation of Ptolemy 1 Soter which, became the jewel of The Ancient World, 400,000 papyrus scrolls. Pergamum, Celsus Library housing 12,000 Papyrus scrolls was becoming so famous in competition that the rivalry between the two libraries was formidable where respect for Greek Culture was unstoppable. When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, his empire stretching from Macedon to the western border of India was divided into three dynasties: Antigonids, Seleucids, and Ptolemies. All of the kings of Macedonia competed to become the commander’s rightful successor. The struggle for royal supremacy spilled into scholarship and preservation of Greek culture, giving way to a new wave of elaborate libraries.The Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty stopped shipments of papyrus to Pergamum. Although stretched leather was discovered previously in the east, The Pergamum's developed leather as writing material, parchment was implemented. The word parchment evolved (via the Latin pergamenum and the French parchemin) from the name of the city of Pergamum.
The sophisticated City, 1400 Roman columns and porticoes lined the colonnaded street for two and a half miles. Shopkeepers trading below each column would use their vegetable oil filled lamps each night until 3 a.m. to light up The Colonnaded Street for more than 800 years, Antioch Market, Antioch. The Third largest City of The Roman Empire on The Mediterranean waters.
Sumerians : 60 parts, Babylonians : 60 seconds, 60 minutes, WHERE TIME BEGAN, where children of the world need to know.
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA : continuing the ethical and sustainable ethos, the culture and spirit of the first Soapmakers of the world remarkably, still handmade today from the original historical areas whilst supporting their families.
Ancient Mesopotamia Gifts. 644, Charlton Horethorne, Sherborne, Dorset. DT9 4NL. UK.