Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Scenes from the Absheron Penninsula...near Baku

Absheron Penninsula

We had training sessions recently in Baku, and a chance to do some additional sight-seeing in and around Baku.  Fellow PCV Liz and I enjoyed the Carpet Museum.  Azerbaijan is noted for its carpets, as are most countries in this region.  The greatest number of geometric and paisley designs are found in true Azerbaijani carpets, including those from what is sometimes called South Azerbaijan (actually part of Iran).  Persian carpets from Iran proper, however, often have flower designs and animals.  Some of the Azerbaijani designs in the ancient carpets in the museum actually reminded me a bit of Navaho and other Native American carpets from the American Southwest.  In the museum, no photos...

However, Liz and I took a tour of some other sights...a trip which included the ancient Fire Temple--perhaps from ancient Zoroastrian times, though also with (relatively) more recent Hindu mysticism, also an archeological site and town at Qala, and the Yanar Dag or Fire Mountain, where fire spews out of the hillside continuously from underground natural gases--a true burning hillside.

Camels greet us

Some ancient finds, labelled 10,000 B C
Fire Temple

Could not read the door inscription

Rooms surrounding the inner temple were used for pilgrimages--a type of caravansaray

Ancient stone shelter
Interior of merchant's house

More friendly camels
Prehistoric dwelling
Caspian Fortification
Human figures, rock carvings several centuries B.C.

Secret escape passage to Caspian Sea or to Baku
Hillside on Fire...naturally, and continuously, since ancient times

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