Thursday, September 24, 2015

now it's late September

This is a noria, one of the great water wheels of Syria. The origins of them are obscure but it is thought that they were invented in India or the Hellenistic Near East in the centuries preceding the birth of Christ.  It is also believed that they were pivotal in the Muslim Agricultural Revolution which started in the eighth century and lasted several hundred years. Islamic Spain also used the noria and there are still a number there too.

The noria of Hama were almost industrial in their capacity. The largest has 120 water collectors and was capable of delivering almost one hundred liters of water each minute to the aqueduct.  Although none of the larger noria are now in use they are being maintained by the Syrian government so that future generations can witness the ingenuity of centuries gone by for themselves.

We have the money, the power, the medical understanding, the scientific know-how, the love and the community to produce a kind of human paradise. But we are led by the least among us – the least intelligent, the least noble, the least visionary. We are led by the least among us and we do not fight back against the dehumanizing values that are handed down as control icons.

~ Terence McKenna

Having spent September telling myself tomorrow is the day I'll get around to drawing a picture and writing a blog post that particular tomorrow remained elusive. Do you ever have times like that?


L'Adelaide said...

hi, sweet Susan... these are truly amazing machines and that they are so old is fascinating. I know they moved water from here and there, not that i can remember where, but have never seen these before. and yep, i go thru all sorts of time without creating anything. that's fairly obvious.... i cannot paint unless life is going well. any negative distraction and i'm out of the game til things change or i get my head on straight. no worries, we come here to read your thoughts... you don't have to post something you've created as well. if you feel that way, you'll make yourself feel guilty and take the joy out of both, no? xoxo

Tom said...

I'm surprised by your last question. I thought all times were like that.

marja-leena said...

Amazing machines those. Makes me also think of the vast network of Roman aqueducts moving water through their empire.

McKenna's words are very timely right now as we are in election mode in Canada!

I nod in rueful and vigorous agreement to your last lines, Susan!

susan said...

Hello again, dear Linda.. it's always such a delight to see you've been by for a visit. Yes, that such devices as the noria are very old but still capable of drawing water is a very good thing. Gives one a bit of hope, eh?
I know what you mean about not being able to create if you're not in top form. Sometimes drawing, painting or making something will pull me out of a slump - then there are the times where I'm just trashing the things I've lost interest in finishing. It's been one of those months :) when I've spent a little too much time considering climate change, overpopulation, resource depletion, and the way humans are apt to respond to these factors. Coming up with any pat answers seems an act of hubris.

susan said...

Sometimes more so than others, Tom :)

susan said...

You're right. I should probably write more about some of the systems that were in use long ago, Marja-Leena. Tricks with water were a very big thing in times past.

McKenna was a very thoughtful man. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for anybody but 'you know who' but I'm very worried the vote will split into three almost equal parts again.

I'm sure you do, my friend. :)

Sean Jeating said...

At least, there might remain some photos of these water wheels.

Always looking on the bright side of life, though, as "you can't say civilization don't advance. ... for in every war they kill you another way" [Will Rogers].

Oh, and tomorrow I shall tell you and your esteemed readers all I know about procrastination.
Until then.
The peace of the night.

susan said...

Yes, of course I can prove I time traveled to ancient Rome. I brought back this grape!

"Even from the greatest of horrors, irony is seldom absent."
--H.P. Lovecraft

I can hardly wait.. :)

Sean Jeating said...

Ha! My friend Tetrapilotomos despite currently being busy with proof-reading his 1,669 pages short opus magnum "Pre-Assyrian Philately in a Nutshell" would certainly like to learn more about your very time travel. There has, by any chance, no wormhole been involved?

"Wie lautet der kürzeste deutsche Witz? - Auschwitz." / "What's the shortest German Witz? - Auschwitz." [George Tabori]

Ah, yes, procrastination. Gosh, yesterday evening I had a brilliant explanation in front of my eyes, but then suddenly felt it was time for a man of my age to put my head on a pillow. Blimey, I should have taken the chance as, right now, the proper words seem to have gone with the hours. I think the best will be, before sinking in the feathers to wish the peace of the night, and hope for tomorrow . . .

susan said...

We do our time travel the easy way around here - interdimensionally. You just pick a time and place, then step away.

What's the difference between a Taliban outpost and a Pakistani elementary school?
I don't know, I just fly the drone!
~ anonymous

Now I've procrastinated bedtime long enough.
Peace of the night :)

troutbirder said...

A great step forward in an early civilization. And today?

susan said...

I mourn the loss of wisdom and dignity in our leadership.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
Quite amazing to see such massive structures harnessed water power in Syria dating back thousands of years. It certainly proved a highly effective means of raising the water level into aqueducts for irrigation and to service the city and surrounding countryside before it was supplanted by diesel pumps.
Best wishes

Rob-bear said...

Times when writing blog posts are elusive? I've just been through three months of that. But now I'm back. So be watchful. Your cavorting Crow may come back with a Bear some day.

Fascinating story about the water wheels. Thanks for sharing that.

Blessings and Bear hugs!

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
Yes, the noria really are interesting devices - not unlike windmills in that they provided an essential service but were never used to produce electricity. It took a very different set of inventions for that to happen.
There a web page I enjoy reading called Low Tech Magazine that you might like too.
All the best

susan said...

I'm glad to see you've returned, Bear, and I'll be visiting your spot soon. As far as Crow and Bear are concerned I have an idea there may be something of that nature going on.
All the best