Reflections on a Bridge and Its Waters: Fleeting Access at Jazirat b. ʿUmar / Cizre / ʿAin Diwar = Reflections on a Bridge and Its Waters: Fleeting Access at Jazirat b. ʿUmar / Cizre / ʿAin Diwar

Persis Berlekamp


Whether for medieval or modern audiences, the Zangid bridge at Jazirat b. ʿUmar / Cizre / ʿAin Diwar has been integrally linked to its waters. Historically, reflections of its dome-like arch, astrological reliefs, and Kufic calligraphy shimmered on them in shifting combinations. The bridge and its waters thereby together expressed the widespread poetic trope of the earth as the mirror of the heavens, the causal link medieval audiences believed existed between terrestrial and celestial realms, and the highly elusive nature of earthly access to heavenly influences. In the modern world, the same waters define the troubled state border between Syria and Turkey. As a result, scholarly access to the bridge has also been highly elusive, making it particularly vulnerable to theft, and endangering our access to the past. The bridge ultimately exemplifies both the sophistication of medieval relationships between art and nature, and the inescapable ways the present impedes historical inquiry.

Tanto para la sociedad medieval como para la  moderna, el puente Zangid en Jacirat b. ʿUmar / Cizre / ʿAin Diwar ha estado siempre íntimamente ligado a sus aguas.  Históricamente, los reflejos de su arco de bóveda, los relieves astrológicos y la caligrafía cúfica brillaron sobre ellos en una variedad de combinaciones. El conjunto del puente y sus aguas expresaban el amplio símil poético de la tierra como espejo del cielo, el vínculo casual que la sociedad medieval pensaba que existía entre los ámbitos terrestre y celestial, así como la naturaleza altamente intangible del acceso terrenal a las esferas celestiales.  En el mundo actual, esas mismas aguas delimitan la conflictiva línea fronteriza entre los estados de Siria y Turquía. Como resultado, el acceso de los expertos al puente también ha sido muy restringido, convertida en una zona peligrosa por los robos y que dificulta nuestro acceso al pasado.Por todo ello, el puente ejemplariza tanto la sofisticada relación medieval entre arte y naturaleza, como las formas inevitables en que el presente impide la investigación histórica.

Palabras clave

Islamic architecture; astrology; mirror writing; war; art market.como las formas inevitables en que el presente impide la investigación histórica = Arquitectura islámica; astrología; escritura especular; guerra; mercado de arte.

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