Sunday, November 28, 2021

More really old time travellers

Standing stones at Ballymeanoch
Watercolour and crayon
©2021 Charlene Brown

The tallest of this group of standing stones in Kilmartin Glen is four metres high.  Two of them are deeply carved with cup and ring marks.

Cup and ring marks are a form of pre-historic art found on the Atlantic seaboard of Europe and on the Mediterranean coast. And, of course, in the mid-twentieth century paintings of Friedensreich Hundertwasser 

Like the Druid’s Stone I wrote about last week, these cup and ring markings were likely made many centuries after the stones were originally placed more than four thousand years ago. But not as recently as the mid-twentieth century.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

When time travel is measured in Millennia

Druid’s Stone on the Island of Gigha
Watercolour, crayon and gouache
©1995 Charlene Brown

The Standing Stones of Scotland were likely erected in the third millennium BCE during the Neolithic Period.  Many, including this one, were associated with the Celts’ Iron Age priests in the early first millennium BCE.  

Some of these pre-historic stones were inscribed much later, in the fifth and sixth centuries of the first millennium CE, using an alphabet created specifically to represent the Gaelic language.  Then in the ninth century a few had Celtic crosses added.

The Druid’s Stone, shown here with the Paps of Jura in the distance, doesn’t have any of these inscriptions, so I’ve overlaid a few on the painting.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Finally getting out and about

Mt. Baker from Mill Hill
Watercolour and crayon
©2021 Charlene Brown

 As you may have noticed, I’ve been on lots of virtual hikes and camping trips in the mountains with my daughter and her family in the last 20 months. At long last, they’ve come out to Vancouver Island and I climbed Mill Hill with them!  So – Mill Hill at 200 metres is not what anyone would call a challenging hike, but it was Real!

My son-in-law took lots of pictures and I used one of them to paint the view from the top.  In order to identify some of the other features (Mount Douglas, Esquimalt Harbour, Cadbora Bay) in my reference  photo, I drew a line from Mill Hill to Mt Baker on a Google map of the area.  I’d always thought Mt. Baker was straight east from Victoria, but discovered it’s more like ENE, so a bit further north than we are. 

And, as Google helpfully added the distance, only 128 kilometres away! This also led to the discovery that the distance from where I live in Victoria to Mill Hill is only 10 kilometres.  Not only was our elevation gain only 200 metres, I wasn’t out and about very far. But for me it was still a Big Deal!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Time Travel in the Valley of the Shadow of Death

St George’s Monastery in Wadi Qelt
Watercolour and crayon
Charlene Brown

Wadi Qelt, said to be the valley of the shadow of death mentioned in Psalm 23, parallels the old Roman road to Jericho, the backdrop of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

St George’s Monastery was originally built in about 500 CE, destroyed by the Persians 140 years later, then rebuilt by Crusaders but abandoned after their defeat.  Restored by Greek monks in the twentieth century, it is now a site of intense Greek Orthodox pilgrimage.

This picture was originally published on this blog two years ago, in anticipation of a Travel Study program in Israel I planned join in November 2020.  Like most plans for 2020, the program was ‘postponed’ to 2021, then 2022.  I’m hoping it will happen in 2023.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Time travel in the 12th century with a 21st century solar clock

Garden at the Sorkh Dome
Watercolour and crayon
©2021 Charlene Brown

The Gonbad-e Sorkh, or Sorkh Dome, the red brick structure on the right in this painting, is an important historical building in Maragheh, Iran. It is one of the oldest buildings of the Islamic Period in the East Azerbaijan Province.  In typical Razi style, the north-facing entrance to the tower is adorned with intricate brickwork and exquisite turquoise tiles. Built in 1147 CE, it is now set in a garden with pools and floral landscaping featuring Islamic designs.  

A huge vertical solar clock on the East-West wall of the garden was set up on the occasion of the World Year of Physics (2005) in a collaborative project of the Maragheh Astrology Research Centre (dating from 1259) and the office of the cultural attaché of the French Embassy in Teheran.  BTW, although this clock is pretty new, the concept of the sundial was understood as early as the 15th century BCE.