SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Shuruppak

Shuruppak, modern Tell Fara, was an ancient Sumerian city situated about 55 kilometres south of Nippur on the banks of the Euphrates in Iraq's Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate. Shuruppak was dedicated to Ninlil called Sud, the goddess of grain and the air. Shuruppak is located in Al-Qādisiyyah Governorate 55 kilometres south of Nippur; the site of extends about a kilometer from north to south. The total area is about 120 hectares, with about 35 hectares of the mound being more than 3 meters above the surrounding plain, with a maximum of 9 meters. After a brief survey by Hermann Volrath Hilprecht in 1900, it was first excavated in 1902 by Robert Koldewey and Friedrich Delitzsch of the German Oriental Society for eight months. Among other finds, hundreds of Early Dynastic tablets were collected, which ended up in the Berlin Museum and the Istanbul Museum. In March and April 1931, a joint team of the American Schools of Oriental Research and the University of Pennsylvania excavated Shuruppak for a further six week season, with Erich Schmidt as director and with epigraphist Samuel Noah Kramer.

The excavation recovered 87 tablets and fragments—mostly from pre-Sargonic times—biconvex, unbaked. In 1973, a three-day surface survey of the site was conducted by Harriet P. Martin. Consisting of pottery shard collection, the survey confirmed that Shuruppak dates at least as early as the Jemdet Nasr period, expanded in the Early Dynastic period, was an element of the Akkadian Empire and the Third Dynasty of Ur. Shuruppak became a grain storage and distribution city and had more silos than any other Sumerian city; the earliest excavated levels at Shuruppak date to the Jemdet Nasr period about 3000 BC. Surface finds are predominantly Early Dynastic. At the end of the Jemdet Nasr period, there was an archaeologically attested river flood in Shuruppak. Polychrome pottery from a destruction level below the flood deposit has been dated to the Jemdet Nasr period that preceded the Early Dynastic I period. Several objects made of arsenical copper were found in Shuruppak/Fara dating from the mid-fourth to early third millennium BC, quite early for Mesopotamia.

Similar objects were found at Tepe Gawra. The city expanded to its greatest extent at the end of the Early Dynastic III period when it covered about 100 hectares. At this stage it was destroyed by a fire which baked the clay tablets and mudbrick walls, which survived for millennia. Two possible kings of Shuruppak are mentioned in epigraphic data from sources found elsewhere. In the Sumerian King List a king Ubara-Tutu is listed as the ruler of Shuruppak and the last king "before the flood". In the Epic of Gilgamesh, a man named Utanapishtim, son of Ubara-Tutu, is noted to be king of Shuruppak; the names Ziusudra and Atrahasis are associated with him. These figures may well be mythical. History of Sumer Cities of the Ancient Near East Instructions of Shuruppak Pomponio, Francesco; the Fara Tablets in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. CDL Press. ISBN 1-883053-66-8. Matthews, R. J.. "Fragments of Officialdom from Fara". Iraq. 53: 1–15. Doi:10.2307/4200331. Aramco article on Samuel Kramer Photographs from the University of Pennsylvania expedition to Fara

Islamic calligraphy

Islamic calligraphy is the artistic practice of handwriting and calligraphy, based upon the alphabet in the lands sharing a common Islamic cultural heritage. It includes Arabic Calligraphy and Persian calligraphy, it is known in Arabic as meaning Islamic line, design, or construction. The development of Islamic calligraphy is tied to the Qur'an. However, Islamic calligraphy is not limited to religious subjects, objects, or spaces. Like all Islamic art, it encompasses a diverse array of works created in a wide variety of contexts; the prevalence of calligraphy in Islamic art is not directly related to its non-figural tradition. It is noteworthy, for instance, that the Prophet Muhammad is related to have said: "The first thing God created was the pen."Islamic calligraphy developed from two major styles: Kufic and Naskh. There are several variations of each, as well as regionally specific styles. Islamic calligraphy has been incorporated into modern art beginning with the post-colonial period in the Middle East, as well as the more recent style of calligraffiti.

The traditional instrument of the Islamic calligrapher is the qalam, a pen made of dried reed or bamboo. The ink is in color and chosen so that its intensity can vary creating dynamism and movement in the letter forms; some styles are written using a metallic-tip pen. Islamic calligraphy can be applied to a wide range of decorative mediums other than paper, such as tiles, vessels and stone. Before the advent of paper and parchment were used for writing. During the 9th century, an influx of paper from China revolutionized calligraphy. While monasteries in Europe treasured a few dozen volumes, libraries in the Muslim world contained hundreds and thousands of books. For centuries, the art of writing has fulfilled a central iconographic function in Islamic art. Although the academic tradition of Islamic calligraphy began in Baghdad, the center of the Islamic empire during much of its early history, it spread as far as India and Spain. Coins were another support for calligraphy. Beginning in 692, the Islamic caliphate reformed the coinage of the Near East by replacing Byzantine Christian imagery with Islamic phrases inscribed in Arabic.

This was true for dinars, or gold coins of high value. The coins were inscribed with quotes from the Qur'an. By the tenth century, the Persians, who had converted to Islam, began weaving inscriptions onto elaborately patterned silks. So precious were textiles featuring Arabic text that Crusaders brought them to Europe as prized possessions. A notable example is the Suaire de Saint-Josse, used to wrap the bones of St. Josse in the Abbey of St. Josse-sur-Mer, near Caen in northwestern France; as Islamic calligraphy is venerated, most works follow examples set by well-established calligraphers, with the exception of secular or contemporary works. In the Islamic tradition, calligraphers underwent extensive training in three stages, including the study of their teacher's models, in order to be granted certification. Kufic is the oldest form of the Arabic script; the style emphasizes rigid and angular strokes, which appears as a modified form of the old Nabataean script. The Archaic Kufi consisted of about 17 letters without diacritic accents.

Diacritical markings were added during the 7th century to help readers with pronunciation of the Qur'an and other important documents, increasing the number of Arabic letters to 28. Although some scholars dispute this, Kufic script was developed around the end of the 7th century in Kufa, from which it takes its name; the style developed into several varieties, including floral, plaited or interlaced and square kufic. Due to its straight and orderly style of lettering, Kufic was used in ornamental stone carving as well as on coins, it was the main script used to copy the Qur'an from the 8th to 10th century and went out of general use in the 12th century when the flowing naskh style become more practical. However, it continued to be used as a decorative element to contrast superseding styles. There was no set rules of using the Kufic script. Due to the lack of standardization of early Kufic, the script differs between regions, ranging from square and rigid forms to flowery and decorative ones. Common varieties include a technique known as banna'i.

Contemporary calligraphy using this style is popular in modern decorations. Decorative Kufic inscriptions are imitated into pseudo-kufics in Middle age and Renaissance Europe. Pseudo-kufics is common in Renaissance depictions of people from the Holy Land; the exact reason for the incorporation of pseudo-Kufic is unclear. It seems that Westerners mistakenly associated 13th-14th century Middle Eastern scripts with systems of writing used during the time of Jesus, thus found it natural to represent early Christians in association with them; the use of cursive scripts coexisted with Kufic, cursive was used for informal purposes. With the rise of Islam, a new script was needed to fit the pace of conversions, a well-defined cursive called naskh first appeared in the 10th century. Naskh translates to "copying," as it became the standard for transcribing manuscripts; the script is the most ubiquitous among other styles, used in the Qur'an, official decrees, private correspondence. It became the basis of modern Arabic print.

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Zarina Baloch

Zarina Baloch was a Pakistani folk music singer and composer. She was an actress, Radio and TV artist, teacher for over 30 years, political activist and social worker, she was born in 29 December 1934 in Allahdad Chand Village, Sindh, Pakistan her mother, Gulroz Jalalani, died in 1940 when Zarina was six years old. She studied with Mohammad Juman, a Sindhi singer. At early age 15 years, her family arranged her marriage with a remote relative, she had two children: Akhter Baloch known as Zina, Aslam Parvez. However and her husband disagreed on the subject of her further education and the pair were separated in 1958. Baloch joined Radio Hyderabad in 1960 and received her first Music Award in 1961. Zarina married Sindhi politician Rasool Bux Palijo, their marriage took place in Hyderabad on 22 September 1964 and they had a son, Ayaz Latif Palijo. In 1967, she became a teacher at the Model School Sindh University, she died in 2005 of Brain Cancer in Liaquat National Hospital. In 1979, Zarina was arrested and imprisoned in Sukkur and Karachi jails for leading the protests against President General Zia ul Haq's Martial Law.

Because of her struggle against the ruling classes and against gender discrimination and martial laws of Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan, she earned the title of JeeJee of the Sindhi people. She was one of the leading founders of Sindhiani Tahreek, Women's Action Forum, Sindhi Adabi Sangat and Sindhi Haree Committee, she was fluent in Sindhi, Seraiki, Persian and Gujrati. Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 1994 Faiz Ahmed Faiz Award Pakistan Television Corporation Award Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Award Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Award She wrote many songs and poetry which became popular among the nationalists in Sindh and Balochistan, she was the author of several stories and poems, her Book "Tunhinjee Gola Tunhinjoon Galhion" was published in 1992. Mor Tho Tilley Rana Sabhka Moomal Sabbko Raarno Tunhnjii Yaarii Sindhri tey sir ker na dendo Kaang Lanvain Guzrii Vaii Barsaat Bbii Khabar Na Aahai Par Kiin Karyaan Maan Jjariyan Bhar Jaaiyoon Saavak Rat main Saanvara Paee Yaad Aaya Gehraa Gehraa Nairn List of Sindhi singers Rasul Bux Palejo Ayaz Latif Palijo Sassui Palijo Profile of Zarina Baloch