Tag Archives: Civil War

Syrian archaeological site endangered — a look at Ebla

During the course of the bloody civil war in Syria we have heard of damage to various archaeological sites such as Aleppo and Palmyra. A recent article in The New York Times here includes a report specific to Tell Mardikh in northern Syria, about 30 miles SW of Aleppo.

The headline tells the story, “Grave Robbers and War Steal Syria’s History.” An excellent video illustrates what both of these factors (vandalism and war) are doing to destroy the ancient site.

Tell Mardikh, ancient Ebla, and one of the tablets discovered in 1975. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tell Mardikh, ancient Ebla, and one of the tablets discovered in 1975. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

We have previously written about Ebla, and the Ebla tablets, here, and here.

More than 17,000 cuneiform tablets were discovered in 1975. They date to the mid-third millennium B.C. when Ebla was the capital of a great Canaanite empire. Scholars state that there are important affinities between the Eblaite language and biblical Hebrew, both being members of the Northwest Semitic family.

The first golden age of Ebla is dated to 2400–2250 B.C. This is long before the time of Abraham who lived north of Ebla at Haran in Padan Aram for a time. Haran is about 150 miles north of Ebla.

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  (Genesis 12:4 ESV)

The death and destruction that has been going on in Syria is almost beyond comprehension. When we destroy our ancient history we become what Elton Trueblood called the Hippie generation, “a cut-flower generation.”

Memorial Day 2011

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. (Memorial Day History)

When I was a kid, growing up in the American South, the day we now call Memorial Day was called Decoration Day. Families went to the local cemeteries to clean up the grave sites of relatives and leave fresh flowers. If it was known that there were no family members left in the community, those graves also were cleaned. I don’t recall when I first began to hear, or think, that the day was intended to honor those fallen in war.

Like many holidays, the original purpose has changed. Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Christmas, Easter, and other holidays, have become times for picnics, trips, vacations, and assorted non-related practices. Every holiday has become a time for stores to have sales.

I like the idea of Memorial Day. I am pleased to join in the remembrance of troops fallen in battle, and all of the dead who have played a significant role in my life.

I have chosen a photograph that I made at the Gettysburg National Military Park of the monument erected to the men of Florida who fought in the American Civil War.

Gettysburg monument to Floridians who fought in the Civil War. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Gettysburg monument to Floridians who fought in the Civil War. Photo: F. Jenkins.

On July 2 and 3, 1863, the 700 Floridians of Perry’s Brigade suffered 445 casualties. The monument reads this way:

Like all Floridians who participated in the Civil War, they fought with courage and devotion for the ideals in which they believed by their n0ble example of bravery and endurance. They enable us to meet with confidence any sacrifice which confronts us as Americans.

The photo below is another I made on the battlefield. It has been converted to a pencil drawing using a program called Topaz Adjust.

The Gettysburg Battlefield. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Gettysburg Battlefield. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! (Psalm 133:1 CSB)

The first portion of this post has been repeated from a year ago.