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Re: VMs: Merlons in the Southwest

Hi everyone,

At 11:05 28/12/02 -0500, John Grove wrote:
I don't know about anybody else, but I had never noticed the merlons on the
southwest image
before. The northwest castle yes, but I don't recall anyone mentioning these
before. They
are a little strange though (what a surprise). The left side of the 'bridge'
shows the merlons
on only one wall, but the right side of the bridge 'appears' to have two
sides of the roadway
with merlons on both sides. Although, the merlons with the windows below
them appear to be drawn much
better and seem to be 'across the street' looking away from the roadway.

OK, I've had a much closer look, and I think the story may be getting a little stranger again...

If you look carefully (at reasonable magnification) at the join between map pages (which the row of merlons go across) on Petr's sw scan for a while, it should quickly become clear:
(1) that the page join is almost certainly covering up about (say) 2-3 centimetres of the map
(2) that the lower of the two rows (on the right) is probably a zigzag, not merlons
(3) that the two rows of merlons should join up somehow
(4) that the white space above the left merlons should join up with the (wider) white space above the right merlons
(5) that the left row of merlons actually terminates in a castle tower
(6) that the right row of merlons appears (vaguely) to terminate in a gateway
(7) that the marks below the row of merlons actually seem to contain a central beach
(8) that the marks below the central beach look like the sea

In short, this looks (to me) a lot like the kind of castle the Knights of St John (ie, the Hospitallers) built on Rhodes and the surrounding Greek islands mid-15th century (yes, many of them had swallowtail merlons - like Rhodes and Halki, which I visited last summer) in order to house their fleet.

As always, though, the quality of the CopyFlo is way beyond diabolical, and it would be so *very* nice if Petr had been allowed to scan the map page in Kraus at significantly higher resolution. Ah well. :-(

Perhaps it might be a good idea to find if any other copies of the Kraus book are in other (more sympathetic) libraries or private hands, as there appears to be much more to be found here... just a thought! :-)

Curiously enough, the markings behind this castle remind me of the extensive terracing on Halki - it was one of the most fertile islands in the Dodecanese 500 years ago, until the water table suddenly dropped and all the crops died.

Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....

PS: I'm constantly amazed by the close control of the draughtsmanship on this page - there is so much fine detail, it's an interesting question as to how fine a detail could have been created by its creator. It's also an interesting question as to how closely it could physically have been copied, if the diagram itself were traced and the encoded text added in.

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