Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Syria: comparative architecture

Traveling through Syria, I was continually reminded that not only is this a very ancient land, but it really has been witness to everything, in terms of human behaviour and invention, and that it has been the playground and battleground of people from virtually all over the planet.

Driving through a sandstorm from Resafa to Palmyra, we saw beehive houses. These houses are mud-built and whitewashed and cool in summer and insulated against freezing winter nights. Few of these houses are left, as they have been replaced by grey concrete blocks...far less attractive and effective. Beehive houses are also seen in Turkey, Italy (where they are called trullis), South Africa (called rondavels), Ireland, and Scotland. See the photos below. The first two photos are near Palmyra, the next in Transkei, South Africa, and the last in Alberobello, Italy.

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