Ancient Mesopotamia : 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, where the first civilisation of the world started. 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 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 used by The Emperors, Kings, Queens, Princesses, Pharaohs and the wealthy, centuries later, still handmade today.
Mardin : located on The Silk Route, The Persian Royal Road, the oldest city in Upper Mesopotamia, a Unesco Tentative Listing ; the open museum, 4500 BC with the most preserved architecture in the world, where The Persians 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, Empress, ruled with Justinian 1st for 21 years, a woman from a poor background. 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. Mardin Soap : remarkably, still being handmade today from the same historical area.
Aleppo, 64 BC a Roman Province : Soapmakers continue the more than 2300 year soap history, 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, ensuring same weather pattern as Aleppo), continuing making history, just miles over the border from Aleppo City.
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 (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), known for its plethora of thickly planted mulberry bushes, five miles from Antioch leading down to the Mediterranean waters. Antiochia Soap : centuries later, 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). Nablus Soap, remarkably, from the same historical area since the 10th century. 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.
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.
Soap : an ancient product, the greatest medical discovery in human history, cleans away something you cannot see, 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.