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Tell Halaf

Tell Halaf is an archaeological site in the Al Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, near the Turkish border, just opposite Ceylanpınar. The site, which dates to the 6th millennium BCE, was the first to be excavated from a Neolithic culture called the Halaf culture, characterized by glazed pottery painted with geometric and animal designs. In the Bronze Age it was a Hittite ruling city, in the 10th century BCE the location of the Aramaean city-state of Guzana or Gozan. By the end of the 9th century it was a famous Aramean kingsize; the many finds of monumental sculpture removed to various museums around the world date from the periods. In modern times, during the Syrian Civil War, People's Protection Units took control of the area; the site is located near the city of Ra's al-'Ayn in the fertile valley of the Khabur River, close to the modern border with Turkey. The name Tell Halaf is a local Aramaic placename, tell meaning "hill", Tell Halaf meaning "made of former city". In 1899, when the area was part of the Ottoman Empire, Max von Oppenheim, a German diplomat travelled through northern Mesopotamia on behalf of Deutsche Bank, working on establishing a route for the Bagdad Railway.

On 19 November, he discovered Tell Halaf, following up on tales told to him by local villagers of stone idols buried beneath the sand. Within three days, several significant pieces of statuary were uncovered, including the so-called "Sitting Goddess". A test pit uncovered the entrance to the "Western Palace". Since he had no legal permit to excavate, Oppenheim moved on. According to noted archaeologist Ernst Herzfeld, he had urged Oppenheim in 1907 to excavate Tell Halaf and they made some initial plans towards this goal at that time. In August 1910, Herzfeld wrote a letter calling on Oppenheim to explore the site and had it circulated to several leading archaeologists like Theodor Noldeke or Ignaz Goldziher to sign. Armed with this letter, Max von Oppenheim was now able to ask for his dismissal from the diplomatic service while being able to call on financing from his father for the excavation. With a team of five archaeologists, Oppenheim planned a digging campaign that began on 5 August 1911.

Substantial amounts of equipment were imported including a small steam train. The costs were covered by von Oppenheim's father. On arrival, the archaeologists discovered that since 1899 locals had uncovered some of the findings and damaged them – in part out of superstition, in part to gain valuable building material. During the excavations Oppenheim found the ruins of the town of Guzana. Significant finds included the large statues and reliefs of the so-called "Western Palace" built by King Kapara, as well as a cult room and tombs; some of the statuary was found reused in buildings from the Hellenistic period. In addition, they discovered Neolithic pottery of a type which became known as Halaf culture after the site where it was first found. At the time, this was the oldest painted pottery found. In 1913, Oppenheim decided to return temporarily to Germany; the finds of Tell Halaf were left at the building he and his team had inhabited during the dig. Most of them were securely stored; the outbreak of World War I prevented Oppenheim from returning, however.

In 1926, Germany joined the League of Nations and it thus became possible for German nationals to conduct excavations in what was now the French Mandate of Syria. Preparing for new excavations, in 1927 Oppenheim again travelled to Tell Halaf. Artillery fire exchanged between Osman and French troops in the final days of the war had damaged the building and the archaeological findings had to be dug out of the rubble. Once again, it was found. Since he had made plaster casts during the original excavation, Oppenheim was able to repair most of the damage done to the statues and orthostat reliefs, he managed to achieve a generous division of his previous finds with the French authorities. His share was transported to Berlin, the rest was brought to Aleppo, where Oppenheim installed a museum that became the nucleus of today's National Museum. In 1929, he resumed the new findings were divided. Attempts by Oppenheim to have his findings exhibited at the newly constructed Pergamon Museum in Berlin failed, as the museum refused to agree to Oppenheim's financial demands.

He thus opened his own private "Tell Halaf Museum" in an industrial complex in Berlin-Charlottenburg in July 1930. The museum's concept of presenting the exhibits is considered quite modern by today's standards. In 1939, Oppenheim once more travelled to Syria for excavations. However, the French authorities refused to award him a permit to dig and he had to depart. Oppenheim unsuccessfully tried to sell some of his finds in New York and again negotiated with the German government about the purchase of the Tell Halaf artefacts. While these negotiations continued, the Museum was hit by a British phosphorus bomb in November 1943, it burnt down all wooden and limestone exhibits were destroyed. Those made from basalt were exposed to a thermal shock during attempts to fight the fire and damaged. Many statues and reliefs burst into dozens of pieces. Although the Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin took care of the remains, months passed before all of the pieces had been recovered and they were further damaged by frost and summer heat.

Stored in the cellars of the Pergamon Museum during the period of c

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

The Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, ranking among the best documentary film festivals of the European circuit, takes place every March in Thessaloniki and is affiliated with the International Thessaloniki Film Festival. TDF celebrates the art of documentary via a rich program of films and initiatives, attracting more than 80.000 spectators and visitors during its 10-day edition. It is organized by the Thessaloniki Film Festival; the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival was founded in March 1999 by Dimitri Eipides, its director until March 2016. From May 2016 the artistic director of TDF is Orestis Andreadakis; the goal of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is to present the images of "social, political and, above all, human reality of the new century, which act as a springboard for cinematic journeys, as well as to inform and motivate the audience about crucial issues that require its critical and active participation. " The first edition of the festival welcomed a prestigious international advisory committee consisting of prominent representatives of the global cinema scene, such as Chantal Ackerman, Judith Elek, Marceline Loridan-Ivens, Johan van der Keuken, Robert Kramer, Michel Negreponte, Alexandr Sokurov, Frederick Wiseman, D.

A. Pennebaker, etc. Since its 19th edition, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival becomes of competitive character and presents an International Competition section. In addition, since March 2018 the TDF hosts a VR / Virtual Reality films competition section. Since 2018, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival is included in the Oscar Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, among 28 leading festivals around the world. Through this initiative the documentary feature film that wins TDF’s Golden Alexander Best Documentary – International Competition award is automatically eligible to submit for Oscar consideration in the Documentary Feature category; the segments of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival are the following: • International Competition section, presenting the first or second films of documentary filmmakers from all over the world. • VR / Virtual Reality films competition section. • “Human Condition” with documentaries that unfold human stories from all over the world.

• “Human Rights" with documentaries that focus on the contemporary situation of human rights around the globe. • “Memory / History” presenting documentaries which highlight landmark moments of the past and their impact today. • “Everything is Politics” with films that delve into political issues in different parts of the world. • “Habitat”, with documentaries concerning environment and ecology. • “Food Vs. Food” with films that highlight the various aspects of food in captivating stories. • "Music", "Cinema", "Art" with documentaries inspired by various artists and art forms. • “Platform”, “Screen to Screen” with a wide selection of Greek documentaries of recent production and doc offerings that transit from the small to the big screen. • “Film Forward” presenting radical films that challenge the form limits of documentary art. • “Docs for Kids” with the best documentary offerings for children and adolescents. In addition, each festival edition presents tributes to Greek and foreign filmmakers with significant work in the documentary field, as well as to documentaries from different countries.

Inter alia, the festival has presented tributes to Werner Herzog, Bruce Weber, Monika Treut, Joris Ivens, Johan van der Keuken, David & Albert Maysles, Pirjo Honkasalo, Stefan Jarl and Kim Longinotto. The program of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival includes parallel events such as round table discussions, masterclasses, exhibitions and parties; the Doc Market, an important part of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, "began as a Balkan documentary market which hosted buyers and films from the Balkans, but has now been established as a place where filmmakers from around the world meet representatives of television stations, with the purpose to promote and sell their films. " The important collaboration of the TDF with the European Documentary Network includes activities such as the EDN Docs in Thessaloniki - Pitching Forum, launched in 2001, that helps Greek and foreign filmmakers to present their work to film professionals, but to inform and educate themselves by distinguished experts of the documentary field.

The TDF awards are: • International Competition: Ten films of over 50 minutes in length compete for the Golden Alexander and the Special Jury Award. The Golden Alexander award is accompanied by a €8,000 cash prize. Τhe Special Jury Award is accompanied by a €2,000 cash prize. • VR Competition section: Best Film Award accompanied with a 3,000 euro cash prize, sponsored by the Greek Film Center. • The FIPRESCI Awards: one to the Best Documentary of the International Competition Program and one to a Greek film that participates in the International Program. • Agora Docs in Progress award that amounts to €3,000sponsored by the Greek Film Centre • “Human Values Award” of the Hellenic Parliament to an International Competition section film. • Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation Awards: €3,000 award to the Greek film that will receive the Fischer audience award and €2,000 award to the film that will receive the Doc on Air Award. • WWF Greece Award to a film from the “Habitat” segment • Amnesty International Award to a Film from the “Human Rights” segment • Fischer Audience Awards: Two Audience Awards for films over 50 minutes in length and two Audience Awards for films under 50 minutes in length.

• Youth Jury Awards by the Students of

Lowry Avenue Bridge

The Lowry Avenue Bridge is a steel tied-arch bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, completed in October 2012. The original structure was utilized a 5-span truss bridge design; this bridge lasted. In 1958, five new truss spans were built in this location, using the same piers but raised 20 feet to allow navigation on the upper Mississippi River; this bridge was notable in that it had a steel grid deck where the river was visible directly through the mesh, as opposed to the more common concrete deck. Lead-based paint was removed from the bridge during a 2004 repainting effort and the steel grid deck was replaced in 2003. At this time, the bridge was expected to be replaced in the mid-2010s, community meetings were held in 2007 to choose a design for the new span. However, the timetable to replace the bridge was accelerated as the condition of the 100-year-old piers deteriorated. During the 2004 repainting, engineers discovered that the pier 3 bearings had displaced 11 inches east of their original location as a result of unexpected movement of that pier towards the main river channel.

Hennepin County contracted with Wiss, Janey and Associates to investigate and report on the cause and extent of damage. The consultant's report concluded that evidence suggested the pier underwent many years 50, of creep deflection due to sustained lateral earth pressure at the foundation, held in check by the bearing assemblies; the bearing assemblies ultimate strength was overcome sometime in 2004 which allowed the unrestrained and rapid movement of the pier. The structural engineers at WJE were unable to predict the magnitude of future pier displacements. Hennepin County, which owns and maintains the bridge, closed the bridge at 10:00 AM on April 25, 2008 due to safety concerns. Controlled explosions were used to demolish the bridge spans 14 months on the morning of June 21, 2009. Construction of the $80 million replacement bridge began early 2010 and was opened for traffic on October 27, 2012, at a cost of $104 million; the bridge includes a 12-foot shared-use path on both sides for pedestrians and bikes.

List of crossings of the Upper Mississippi River Animation of Replacement Bridge