Thursday, 26 March 2009

When on Google Earth 17

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Here’s the latest one in the When on Google Earth series after I managed (after an embarrassing false start) to get WOGE 16 on Dan Pett's Portable Antiquities Scheme blog - Dambulla cave temple in Sri Lanka.



This one is in a way related to the topic of this blog, the site may even have been mentioned here. It turns out that most of the trickier sites I thought of occurred in areas where Google Earth was annoyingly low resolution (yes, even in the USA). As a result I think this one is going to be relatively easy. The colours were very dreary so I tweaked them a bit (it does not say anything in the rules about that).

The Rules of When on Google Earth are as follows:

Q: What is When on Google Earth?
A: It’s a game for archaeologists, or anybody else willing to have a go!

Q: How do you play it?
A: Simple, you try to identify the site in the picture.

Q: Who wins?
A: The first person to correctly identify the site, including its major period of occupation, wins the game.

Q: What does the winner get?
A: The winner gets bragging rights and the chance to host the next When on Google Earth on his/her own blog!

The early history of this game is here, somewhere I saw a fuller list of previous ones, but lost sight of it again, if I find it I'll post a link here.

UPDATE: 14th April 2009

Since in my efforts to make it more entertaining, I seem to have cropped the last photo a bit too much, here is another view of the same place. To make it a little easier, since someone was looking for this site in Cyprus, this oblique view is taken looking in the general direction of Nicosia, several hundred kilometres away.


The definition's not too brilliant here, but its the topography that is important. I've made it a bit more contrasty and brightened the colours a little as the original is pretty dreary. The width of the photo at is about six kilometres in the middle distance.


Photos: courtesy Google Earth

20 comments:

Charles Ellwood Jones said...

WhenonGE 1-14 are listed at:
http://ancientworldbloggers.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-on-google-earth-no-14.html

Alun said...

My first thought was to look on the Polish coast, but now I'm wondering if I'm looking at something by a river.

The western and southern corners look like they're designed to fend off cannon fire. I'm not sure about the east. That suggests occupation after 1500, but it could be modification to a medieval castle.

Paul Barford said...

Hi Alun, if you look at GE, most of Poland is terribly low resolution, this site is not in Poland.

Paul Zimmerman said...

Those pointy bastions were making me think that it was Spanish. (I was just in Old San Juan last week, so I've got Spanish fortresses on the brain.) But after scouring the Caribbean, I'm pretty sure I was barking up the wrong tree since I can't find anywhere that the urban plan looks so Medieval. So now I'm thinking that it's in Europe.

That narrows it down, right?

Paul Barford said...

Well, I am glad that it's not so stupidly easy that somebody got it first go, but I hate to think of people wasting the morning scouring the entire Caribbean for Spanish forts. Both are false trails, as indeed (I would say) are two other things you suggest Paul. One remark of Alun might be more fruitful to follow up, and remember I said that this site was in some way related to the overall theme of my blog.

Alun said...

I looked at the Caribbean too.

I'm also ruling out Turkey. I didn't seriously think it was in Turkey, it's just that Google Earth is crawling terribly whenever I look at a new site and the number of castles I know of in Turkey is quite small.

corinne mills said...

is it Fort Manoel?

Paul Barford said...

Sorry, it is not Fort Manoel on Malta, you (plural) are getting warmer than "the Caribbean". In some way related to the overall theme of my blog.

Alun said...

I thought it could be a Venetian castle in the eastern Mediterranean, but I'm not finding anything in Cyprus.

Paul Barford said...

Nope. "In some way related to the overall theme of my blog". The blog is not about post-medieval military architecture. Geographically though you are a bit closer....

declan said...

Any chance of another hint?

Paul Barford said...

Yes, I was beginning to feel guilty about the fact nobody got it.... In my efforts not to make it too obvious, I may have gone too far the other way. Give me an hour or two, I have a couple of things to sort out after easter after which I'll put a second photo of the same place up after which it should be less cryptic.

SJM said...

Is it Rosetta (Rashid) Egypt? If so, the site is Ptolemaic, since the Rosetta Stone (a "portable antiquity" now in the British Museum) is of Ptolemaic vintage (196 BCE).

SJM said...

Also, I think the bastion fortress is Ottoman, although it was the extension of the fortress by the French in 1799 that exposed the Rosetta stone.

Dorothy King said...

31.439406,30.38997 - it's the fort in the Nile Delta, near where the Rosetta stone was found, by the Mahmudiyah Canal. The fort is Mamluk, but the area has been inhabited since PreDynastic times

Southiesham said...

Damn! I checked the Nile Delta weeks ago, but only followed the coastline!

It's Rashid Castle. The castle was first built on the orders of the Mameluk Sultan Qunsuwa al- Ghouri. The citadel was rebuilt by Sultan Al-Ashraf Abou Anasr Saif El-Din Qaitbay El-Jerkasy Al-Zahiry (1468-1496 A.D).

The castle is more famous as the location where the Rosetta Stone was discovered by French soldiers who were repairing the fortifications in 1799.

Paul Barford said...

Congratulations to all three of you. Yes that is indeed the site. Although all three found it and correctly identified it and the reason why it's here, it seems SJ McDonough wins due to the order in which the comments were sent - sorry Dorothy (SJM's comment was not posted earlier as it's five in the morning here and I have just got up). Thanks all for looking in.

I realised after I'd posted it that of course it has never been proven that the Rosetta Stone was used in a Ptolemaic structure on the site of the Rashid Fort. But the top of the Parthenon was just a little TOO recognisable to use...

So, I presume it is over to "An Intermittent Waste of Time..." http://sjmcdonough.blogspot.com/ for WOGE 18.

Well done to all concerned, thanks to everyone who took part, I apologise to all those who wasted afternoon tea breaks etc searching the Caribbean etc when the answer was much closer to the theme of this blog.

Now, should Britain "give it back" and to whom and why?

Paul Barford

Dorothy King said...

It's fine - I realised just after I'd posted that Scott got there first (saw a comment he left on Chuck Jones' FB). It might be sensible in future to leave comments unmoderated for future Google Earths.

Paul Barford said...

Believe me Dorothy, however much some would like to treat portable antiquity collectors as archaeology's "partners", it is not at all a "sensible" idea to let metal detectorists, antiquities dealers, ancient coin grabbers or anyone else just post anything they like wherever they like to a blog of this nature unmoderated !! Really, believe me.

I don't think you can turn the moderation off here for individual posts can you?

SJ McDonough said...

When on Google Earth 18 is now available: http://sjmcdonough.blogspot.com/2009/04/when-on-google-earth-18.html

 
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