State Museum of Arts,Tashkent

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 6 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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On our last day in Tashkent we had some spare time before catching the plane and chose to visit the State Museum of Arts.

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Archaeology, Art, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan.

Reconstructed face of Neanderthal boy, Teshiktash Cave, Surkhandaraya region.

There was also a Neanderthal skull, 100,000 years old, from the same location.

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Flint tools from 4th Millennium BC, Bukhara region.

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Rock carvings, 3rd Millennium BC.

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Jar handle in the form of a goat, 5th to 4th millennium BC.

This image and the next two are images of objects from the Amudarya Treasure.  The originals are gold but these are replicas.  In 1880, Captain F.C. Burton happened upon some Afghan merchants being attacked by bandits in the roads of what is now Northern Pakistan, and drove off the bandits.  One of the merchants later showed Burton some items he had and Burton was most intrigued so purchased one.  Burton later showed it to Major General Sir Alexander Cunningham, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India, whose jaw hit the floor.  Cunningham correctly identified it  as a a fine example of Achæmenid Persian metalwork, from a period when the Achæmenid Emprire stretched from Egypt to the Indus Valley.  Together with Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, a curator of the British Museum, Cunningham scoured the markets of Pakistan and Northern India for several months and succeeded in purchasing 170 items from the hoard.  They are now in the British Museum.  The treasure had been found on the northern bank of the Amyu Darya River (the Oxus in Classical times), in what is now Tajikistan.

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Priest, 5th to 4th millennium BC.

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Bracelet with Griffins, , 5th to 4th millennium BC.

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Ancient individual with Central Asian headgear (didn’t record the label for this one).

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Coins of Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, 3rd to 2nd centuries BC.

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Solar Deity, 1st to 2nd centuries AD, Fayaztepa, Old Termez, Southern Uzbekistan.

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Buddha with monks, 1st to 3rd century AD.

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Cover from reliquary vessel, 3rd to 4th centuries AD, Kara-Tepa, Old Termez, Southern Uzbekistan.

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Hunting scene, mural painting, 7th century AD, Varakhsha, Ancient Sogdian city near Bukhara.

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This is a copy of one of the world’s oldest Korans.  We saw the original at the start of the trip in Barakh-khan Madrasah (in Tashkent).  Photography is not permitted of the original one.  In either case, it is huge.  The original supposedly dates back to the 630s but testing indicates an early 8th to early 9th century date.

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Glazed ceramic, Samarkand, 10th century.

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Glazed ceramic, Samarkand, 11th century.

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Ceramic dish, 10th to 12th Centuries.

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Glazed ceramic, Samarkand, 12th century.

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Armour of one of Timur’s soldiers, 14th to 15th centuries.

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Glazed ceramic, Samarkand, 15th to 16th centuries.

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Chain mail armour, shield and sword, Bukhara, 18th to 19th centuries.

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Embassy from Khiva, in Tashkent, early 19th century.

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Nineteenth century door from Khiva.

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Nineteenth century door from Bukhara.

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Nineteenth century door from Tashkent.

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Military uniform, Bukhara, 1861-1865.

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Siege of Samarkand, 1868.

Russia occupied Samarkand in 1868, which had been held by Bukhara.  The Russian army then left to pursue the Bukharan army, leaving a small force behind to hold Samarkand.  A combined Bukharan/ Kokand force then laid siege to Samarkand.  This is what is shown here.  The besiegers withdrew when the main Russian force returned.

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“Bazaar in Samakand”, 1897.

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“Bibikhonum Square”, Samarkand. 

(See here for my post on its restored appearance).

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“The street of a Central Asian city”, 1896.

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Decorative embroidery, late nineteenth century, Tashkent.

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Saddle, Namangan, Ferghana Valley, late 19th century.

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Archaeology, Art, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan.

Emir’s horse-blanket, 1911-1912.

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Jewellery, early 20th century.

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Archaeology, Art, Ceramics, History, Landscape, Photography, Tashkent, Travel, Uzbekistan.

Gidjak and Rubab (traditional instruments), 1978.

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That was the last post on Uzbekistan, apart from monochrome conversion posts to follow.  Particular thanks to Advantour who organised a wonderful custom tour for us at a reasonable price.  There have been 22 posts with 600 images and 15,000 words.  I have updated the index of posts in the Trip Itinerary.

Ulugh Beg and Afrasiab, Samarkand

Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 4 October 2018.

(Click on any image to see it in a larger size.)

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This post is from out last day in Samarkand.

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Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

Young woman extracting strips of bark from branches of young mulberry trees.

We visited a traditional paper mill in the village of Koni Ghil, just outside Samarkand.  Paper making in Samarkand dates back to 751AD when the Abbasid general Abu Muslim defeated a Tang Dynasty army with the aid of the Tibetan Empire and the defection of Karluk mercenaries who were over half of the Tang army.   They took many prisoners, some of whom then introduced paper making to the region.  This replaced the use of papyrus and became an export industry to the rest of the Arab world.  The paper-making tradition was lost following the Russian takeover in the nineteenth century and it has been recently recreated. 

(China retreated from the region soon after the Battle of Talas but not due to that, rather due to the An Lushan Rebellion which started in 755.)

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The strips of bark are next boiled for four or five hours.

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They are then pounded to a pulp by a trip-hammer powered by this water mill.  Then they are pressed and dried and finally polished with an agate stone for a smooth finish.

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A local woman welcoming us to the small museum for the Ulugh Beg Observatory.

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Inside the museum, a model of the observatory built by Ulugh Beg in the 1420s.

At the top front of the building is the viewing hole of the astrolabe inside.  The smaller structure on top of the building appears to be a sextant able to rotate, for less precise observations at flexible angles. 

The site is close to the ancient city of Afrasiab (prior to the existence of Samarkand).  There was another observatory here as early as 840AD, of which no trace remains.  Although Afrasiab was the capital of the Sogdians, in the ninth century they had been taken over by the Samanids, based in Bukhara, who featured in a brief renaissance of science and culture, unmatched in the world at that time.  

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Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

Inside this 13th century building was a meridional arc, or astrolabe, aligned north-south, for celestial measurements.  Since they took measurements using 60 degrees instead of the full 90 degrees available, it is also a sextant.  This is clearly not a working model because there is no viewing hole to the sky at the top.  I presume the little vertical windows on the back wall are for viewing the angle cast by the sun.  The rest of the building was rooms for scientists to confer and calculate, maybe even some to sleep in.

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The astrolabe as it survives.

In 1908 Russian Archaeologist Vyatkin discovered the location of the Observatory and excavated the remains.  In particular, he  uncovered the below-ground part of the massive astrolabe, as shown here.  Only the foundations remain of the rest of the building.

As well as being Lord of Transoxiana from 1409 to 1447, Ulugh Beg was a scientist and imported the best scientists available for the observatory. It could accurately measure the length of the year, the local time of noon each day, the altitude of a star and other planets, the period of planets, and eclipses. They estimated the length of the year more accurately than Copernicus subsequently did and the axial tilt of the earth as accurately as modern measurements.  They constructed an atlas of over 1,000 stars, Zij-i-Sultani, the first to be published since Ptolomey and including those stars but with more accurate measurements.  The atlas also included a sine table accurate to six places from 0 to 87 degrees, and to 11 places from 87 to 90 degrees.  The atlas survived for posterity because when the observatory was destroyed, scientist Ali Kushji fled to Constantinople and published it.  It was in use until the nineteenth century.

Ulugh Beg became Emperor when his father died in 1447, but only for two years of turmoil until he was deposed and then murdered by one of his sons.  The observatory was then destroyed by religious fanatics and the scientists fled.  

“Religions dissipate like fog, kingdoms vanish, but the works of scientists remain for eternity” – Ulugh Beg.

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This is a view from outside.  The big black tube is the top of what remains of the astrolabe.  Perhaps that gives you a better idea of the scale of it.

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Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

… as does the view from here.  This also gives a sense of how high the arc of the original version would have climbed to reach the top of the third floor.

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A short distance away, we are near the Mausoleum of the Prophet Daniel (as in Daniel and the lions), sacred to Moslems, Jews and Christians.  Inside, the tomb is eighteen metres long because Daniel is supposed to be still growing inside it.  There are also other tombs of Daniel in seven other countries.  There was no-one stopping me taking photos inside but notwithstanding my religious cynicism, I did not do so because it was clearly a place of veneration for other people there.

Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

The tomb of Daniel is in the background to the right.  However, the line of hills in the background is the edge of the location of the ancient city of Afrasiab.  This was the capital city of the Sogdians, from the sixth century BC to 1220 AD when Genghis Khan razed it, though they were not independent for all of that period. 

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Three hunters, probably Scythians, with horses and lions or leopards.

We next visited the Afrosiab Museum, a short distance from the Mausoleum of Daniel.  Russian archaeologists discovered Afrasiab in the 1880s and the museum includes some of their finds.  It also includes some seventh century murals from the royal palace, discovered in 1965 when building a road. They are from the time of King Varkhuman, and painted between 648 and 651, or shortly after 658.  He ruled a multicultural entity and was nominally a vassal to China but his polity did not last long as his palace was destroyed by the Arab general Sa’id Ibn Ithman between 675 and 677 CE and after that there were no kings of Samarkand.

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Here we see ossuaries and skulls, from the sixth to the eighth centuries.  Some of the skulls exhibit cranial deformations that I had previously associated only with the Maya, but that I discover were performed in many cultures.  This practice was brought to Sogdia by the Yuezhi, who were driven out of China and established the Kushan Empire in Central Asia and India in the early first century.

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Fresco showing the the arrival of a king and a princess to a country church or the arrival of a royal bride.  There are details from this fresco in the next four images.

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In most of these human representations, the eyes may have been later gouged out by Islamic Arabs.

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Birds (swans?), possibly for sacrifice.

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Detail of camel saddle.

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Part of the saddle of the elephant.

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Ambassadors from Chaganian (south of Afrasiab, central figure) and Chach (modern Tashkent).

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Turkish (Turkic?) dignitaries, one of them is labeled as coming from Argi (Karashahr in modern Xinjiang).

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Left hand group: Tang Dynasty emissaries carrying silk and a string of silkworm cocoons;

Right hand group:  Sogdian chamberlains and interpreter introduce Tibetan messengers.

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Women on boats, probably local Turkic aristocrats copying the fashions of women in Tang China.

Tang Dynasty China was a major force in Central Asia during this period and Sogdia may have shared a border with them at this time (the border fluctuated).

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A duck – a sacred bird of the Zoroastrians.

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Model of eleventh century kiln.

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Ceramic plate from 10th to 12th century.

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We are away from the museum now and still had some spare time so we headed for a small mosque in the country.  I do not know the name of the village.

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The minaret of the mosque.  I could remove the wires, but they were there.

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Some kind of restoration exercise in the grounds of the mosque.  I do not remember the details.

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This is the mosque and we are definitely not in the city.  It was small and unassuming and the locals, who were not expecting us, were polite and friendly.

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Later in the evening, since we were staying very close to it, I decided to go back for some night-time exposures of Gur Emir, Timur’s Mausoleum.

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.Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

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Afrasiab Museum, Ak Saray Mausoleum, Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Paper Making, Photography, Samarkand, Street photography, Travel, Ulugh Beg Observatory, Uzbekistan

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La Brea Tar Pits

Los Angeles, California USA, 29 September 2016

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I had long been interested in visiting the La Brea Tar Pits.  It’s a place where oil oozes to the surface and forms asphalt.  This in turn becomes covered with water and leaves.  Animals wander in and become trapped and then predators come and they are trapped too.  This has been happening for up to 38,000 years and still happens to some extent today although the areas are now fenced off.  The bodies of the trapped animals are preserved in the asphalt.

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This is Harlan’s Ground Sloth ((Glossotherium Harlani).  It was a little under two metres tall and 700 kilos in weight.  The largest giant sloth was six metres long (including the tail) and weighed four tonnes.

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Antique Bison (Bison Antiquus).  It had a larger body, larger hump and larger horns than the surviving species.

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On the left and centre, American Mastadon (Mammut Americanus).  They had shorter legs, a longer body and tusks up to five metres long, as compared to modern elephants (not close relatives).  On the right is an extinct camel, Camelus Hesternus, a bit larger than modern camels and probably with one hump.  Camels evolved in the Americas and this species was likely exterminated by the arrival of humans.

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Colombian Mammoth (Mammathus Columbi), up to four metres tall and ten tonnes in weight.  Tusks could be up to five metres long.  It is not clear to what extent climate change or human hunting was responsible for their extinction.

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel .

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Archaeology, History, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, Photography, Travel

Large Game of Thrones puppy, or alternatively, Dire Wolf (Canis Dirus).  It was probably a little larger than the largest wolves today but had stronger jaws and bite.

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Big Pussycat or Naegele’s Giant Jaguar (Panthera Atrox), also known as the American Lion.  It was larger than both a Siberian tiger and a Sabre-Toothed Cat.  There is some doubt as to whether it was closer to today’s lions or jaguars.  Jaguars, though, have one of the strongest bites of all animals behind only some crocodiles and hippos, stronger than tigers, so if it was more like a jaguar it wold have had a fearsome bite.

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Sabre-toothed Cat (Smilodon Fatalis), about the same size as a African lion but much more heavily built.  It was an ambush predator and died out due to climate change.

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An exposed section of tar pit.

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Plymouth (Montserrat)

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

We are about to enter into the high risk volcanic zone.

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You can only get in there when all is quiet and no volcanic activity is detected.

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All these images are from the abandoned capital of Plymouth.

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You have to go in with a trained operator.  The car must be parked facing the way out and the engine kept running at all times.  Pyroclastic flows can be lightning fast.  Entry has only been allowed since 2015 and permission will be withdrawn if there is more activity.

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Looking south from the old wharf.

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Government House, the residence of the Governor.

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This is how it appeared in 1915.

(By National Archives, UK – Public Domain).

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This is the Molyneaux Building, built in 1989 as the corporate office for Cable and Wireless and the Government’s Audit Department.  It was the only building built entirely of concrete and was the town’s tallest building at four stories high.

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Much of the centre of Plymouth is actually completely buried beneath the ash and debris and there have been several layers through different eruptions.

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This is the Flora Fountain Hotel, built in 1984 and named for the fountain in the middle of the circular wing you can see in the distance.

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Plymouth was evacuated in 1995, then abandoned and destroyed in 1997.

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No-one died in Plymouth itself but 19 people died further inland at Streatham Village in a pyroclastic flow in 1997, though the village was officially evacuated.

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On the left, the circular wing of the Flora Fountain hotel, the top floors.

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Top floor of the Police Station.

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This is the building behind the Flora Fountain Hotel.

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Government Building.

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After the 1997 eruption, about 7,000 people, two-thirds of the population, left Montserrat and  4,000 went to the UK.  The current population is around 5,000.

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An abandoned office.

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Many of the buildings on the hill in the background were not completely destroyed by the eruption but the whole area will be uninhabitable for many years.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

In early 1998, there was a bank robbery in the vaults of an abandoned bank in Plymouth.  The robbers made six or seven visits to the bank and got away with $US300,000.  Eight people were arrested a few months later and most convicted.  The banks at least initially would not recognise stolen notes with listed ID numbers that had become in circulation.

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Buildings above the inundation zone, still inaccessible.

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Some areas saw more than twelve metres of mud and debris.

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We visited an abandoned sugar windmill tower in Richmond Hill, just outside the exclusion zone.

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We were able to climb up and see the view.

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Just because buildings are just outside the exclusion zone does not mean they can be reoccupied.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano .

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano .

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

On the far left with the brown rooves is the Montserrat Springs Hotel, that we shall visit in the next post.

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Archaeology, Architecture, Eruption, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Plymouth, seascape, Travel, Volcano

These were once upmarket dwellings.

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(See previous post for details of the fascinating history of Montserrat).

(Trivia note:  Just passed 1,000 posts a few posts ago).

Montserrat – North and East Coast – and History

Montserrat, 23 September 2016

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

This is Montserrat.  The blue lines show where we went on the island.  Above the grey line is the part of the island that is still inhabited.  Below the line is the two thirds of the island that was abandoned after volcanic eruptions from 1995 to 2010 and to which access is largely prohibited due to the continuing risk of eruptions and sudden pyroclastic flows.  The grey areas are the areas covered by ash, lahars (mud) or other volcanic debris.

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This is a view from where we were staying, with the headland at Little Bay in the distance.

The earliest archaeological evidence of human presence is from around 2800 to 2700BC, in the form of a number of stone blades at Upper Blakes, in the north interior of the island.  The blades are made of chert or flint and come from Long Island, just off the north coast of Antigua.  This is the primary source of chert in the region because the rock there includes uplifted limestone as well as volcanic.  The makers of these blades appear to have probably been visitors because there is no further evidence of human activity for thousands of years afterwards.

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This is the wharf at Little Bay, now the main wharf on the island, well the only wharf on the island, following the abandonment of the former capital of Plymouth.

Settlement appears to have commenced around 500BC and the main origin of these people was the Orinoco basin in what is now Venezuela.  The two main early sites were Trants on the mid-east coast and Radio Antilles on the far south coast.  Most of the archaeological sites though were wiped out by the volcanic eruptions from 1995 to 2010.  Fragments have been found of fine thin-walled pottery from this early ceramic period (500BC to 600 AD), decorated in red on white, black on red or black and white on red.  There are more sites from the late ceramic period (600AD to European contact) but the pottery is coarser and usually not decorated.  In all eras there is evidence of trade with other islands.

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Brades Fire Station.

Allioüágana is the Amerindian name for the island.   Columbus saw it and named the island as Montserrat in 1493 but did not land.

The conventional view has been that Montserrat was uninhabited at the time of European arrival and an Amerindian woman from Guadeloupe told Columbus the inhabitants were driven out, probably in relatively recent times, by Carib raiders.  It appears that there were no large villages on Montserrat at this time but there were inhabitants, as attested by early Dutch and French reports.  Some middens from a site in the north-west of the island also contain European trade goods.

Amerindians appear to have been living in Montserrat until at least the early eighteenth though most of the references to Amerindians in the late seventeenth century were to raids by Caribs from elsewhere.

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Lookout Yard Sugar Mill, built in 1921.

A group of English appear to have settled in Montserrat for three months in 1629 following a Spanish invasion of St Kitts but only stayed for three months.   Permanent settlement started in 1632 with a group of Irish Catholics who were joined after a few years by English Protestants.  Initially the economy was based on the cultivation of tobacco and indigo and there were no slaves.  Slavery was increasingly adopted along with a shift to a plantation cotton economy after 1650.   Black slaves came to be the great majority of the population.

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Inside of the mill.  It was destroyed by a hurricane in 1928 and rebuilt.

In the 1650s, the population was 600 or 700 and predominantly Irish.  Due to slavery, the black proportion increased over the years.  Overall population and proportion of black slaves increased as follows:  1671: 1,700  (31%); 1678:  3,700  (27%);  1707:  5,115 (70%).  The white population nearly halved from 1678 to 1707 due to white indentured servants leaving and being replaced by black slaves.  It then became:  1729: 7,000 (84%);  1788:  11,600 (89%) (peak population); 1805: 10,800 (91%); 1828:  7,400 (96%);  1834:  6,200 (95%);  1851:  7,100 (98%).  Slavery was abolished in 1834 and by 1851 the white population had fallen by more than 50% to 150.  The population in 1994 was 13,000 of whom 8,000 left the island following the eruption.  Current population is 5,400 and in 2011 the ethnic distribution was Black 88%, mixed 4%, Hispanic 3%, Caucasian 3%, East Indian 2%, other 1%.

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Looks like a steam boiler, out the back of the mill.

In the 1678 census nearly 69% of the population self-identified as Irish and since there were 27% black slaves, only 4% were English or other.  There were three groups of Irish.  There was the Anglo-Irish elite and then there was the poor farmers, labourers and indentured servants.  There were two sections of the Anglo-Irish elite as well.  There were the older group, dating back to Norman settlement of Ireland, Catholic and with much in common with the Irish workers.  The younger group derived from Elizabethan or Stuart settlement of Ireland, were Protestant and had more in common with the English.  None of the Irish were slaves but they nonetheless could be treated brutally.  The treatment of black slaves though could be worse.  For example, in 1771 a black slave was found not guilty of stealing a board and whipped through town anyway.

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Another corner of the mill’s back yard.

From 1750, the proportion of mixed race people and freed slaves gradually increased.  For example, in 1828, six years before the abolition of slavery, while 96% of the population was black, that comprised 85% slaves and 11% free.

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Looking north across Marguerita Bay on the east coast of the island.

Montserrat was attacked fifteen times between 1650 and 1712 by French, Dutch, Caribs and pirates – specifically 1650, 1665, 1666/67, 1672, 1674, 1676, 1682, 1693, 1697, 1702, 1707, 1710, 1711, 1711 and 1712.

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Some of the houses built for people displaced from the south of the island, largely financed by British money.

The French and their Carib allies captured Montserrat from February 1666 to July 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.  They took the Governor and 200 settlers prisoner and burned English dwellings, warehouses and sugar mills.  They also removed from the island slaves, cannon, horses and cattle.  The only group not targeted were those Irish who took an oath of loyalty to the French.

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We are driving as far south as we can go on the east coast of the island, towards Trant’s in the distance.

Sugar had come to be the main industry and by the time of the 1666 invasion, there were 40 sugar mills on the island, increasingly relying on African slaves.

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There was a settlement here at Trant’s but it was covered by the eruption in 2010 and the coastline extended by 650 metres.

Following the deposal of James II in England in 1688, Montserrat was often neglected by England due to the large Irish Catholic element in the population.

Montserrat was invaded and sacked again by the French for a few months in 1712 during the War of the Spanish Succession.  Again they burned properties and sugar estates and removed slaves, equipment, livestock and provisions.  Stapletown, one of the first settlements, was never rebuilt.  The eighteenth century after 1712 was the peak period for the dominant sugar industry, dependent on black slaves.

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Perhaps the only local resident.

Montserrat is also susceptible to hurricanes which on occasion have damaged or destroyed almost all buildings on the island.    There were for example such severe hurricanes in 1737, 1747, 1766 and 1772.

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The edge of the new coastline.

In 1782, during the War of American independence, the French invaded again and stayed for two years.  Initially they burned buildings and crops on sugar estates but there were some benefits for the locals since while the British had generally neglected their colony, the French Governor was relatively liberal, paved the roads of the main streets, improved public buildings and allowed trade with North America.

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The boiling house smoke stack at Trant’s sugar mill and the top of the windmill tower.  It had been fertile, flat land and there was an Indian village here for thousands of years until European settlement.

Montserrat is the only country outside Ireland to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, although this also commemorates an unsuccessful slave revolt on that day in 1768.  Slavery was abolished in 1834 and cotton became uneconomic, creating problems for the economy in general but not necessarily for former slaves.  Irish Gaelic was spoken by descendants of slaves as recently as the early 20th century.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

Some buildings on a ridge, not completely buried.

The years after emancipation were years of particular hardship.  The sugar industry had been declining for many years and had collapsed, most of the white population left, only 1.5% of the population was literate, and the government was incompetent and repressive, continuing to try to implement slavery-era laws that were now illegal in the British Empire.  Attempts to find substitutes for sugar were not successful until 1850 with the introduction of citrus lime production.  The late 19th century became a time of prosperity and Montserrat lime juice gained an international reputation.  The British Navy adopted Montserrat lime as an additive to grog (watered-down rum) and thereby earned British sailors then name of “limeys”.  The lime industry was wiped out by blight and the hurricane of 1899 though.  It was replaced by cotton from 1903.  These days most economic activity is in tourism and services.

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Archaeology, Architecture, History, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, seascape, Slavery, Travel, Volcano

And in the distance, the volcano.

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(Main source for the history:  An Archaeological History of Montserrat, West Indies, Cherry and Ryzewski, Google Books download).

Barcelona Day 2.

Barcelona, Spain, 28th October 2018.
Temporary Post. Brief image descriptions and no commentary.

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At Fundació Joan Miró.

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Sagrada Familia from Castell de Montjuic.

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Temple Expatiori del Sagrat Cor and Parc d’Atraccions Tibidao from Castell de Montjuic.

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Model of Sagrada Familia in nearby souvenir store.

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Sagrada Familia spire.

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Casa Batló.

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Night visit to Casa Batló.

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Marga Mbande at Casa Batlo Magic Night (music on the rooftop).

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 Casa Batló on the way back down.

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Barcelona Day 1.

Barcelona, Spain, 27th October 2018.
Temporary Post. Brief image descriptions and no commentary.

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Museu d’Història de Barcelona.

The ancient Roman city under the streets on Barcelona.

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Fresco, Chapel of Santa Àgata.

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Chapel of Santa Àgata.

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Barcelona Cathedral.

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Barcelona Metro.

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Rain and wind.

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Bronze Age House.

Museo d’Història de Catalunya.

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The Coca of Mataró (model of 15th century merchant ship).

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Sagrada Familia.

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Alhambra.

Alhambra, Granada, Andalusia, Spain, 26th October 2018.
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Alcazabar de Benedin, Alhambra.

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Church of St Mary, Alhambra.

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Inside the Alhambra.

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Street scene from the Alhambra.

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Alhambra Gardens.
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In the street outside the Alhambra.
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Alhambra at Night:  Palace of Calos V.
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Alhambra at Night.
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Cabo de Gata to Guadix.

Cabo de Gata to Guadix, Andalusia, Spain, 24th to 25th October 2018.
Temporary Post. Brief image descriptions and no commentary.

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Cabo de Gata Lighthouse.

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Not a lighthouse, just a farmhouse.

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Near La Isleta de Moro (also next two images).

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On a country back road (also next six images).

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Inland watchtower.

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Guardians of the road.

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Ruined Moorish castle, El Calahorra.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Castillo El Calahorra and Ruined Moorish castle.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Spaghetti Western country.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Cave Houses, Guadix (and next five images).

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Guadix.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Guadix Cathedral.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

It’s Guadix and it’s very old, not sure exactly what.

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Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, Cave houses, Guadix, History, La Calahorra, Landscape, Photography, seascape, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Castillo de Guadix.

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Amuñécar and Cabo de Gata.

Amuñécar and Cabo de Gata, Andalusia, Spain, 24th to 25th October 2018.
Temporary Post. Brief image descriptions and no commentary.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Castillo San Miguel, Amuñécar.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Amuñécar Beach from Peñón del Santo.

Next four images also from Peñón del Santo.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Castillo San Miguel, Amuñécar.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Peñón de Salobreña.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Castillo de Salobreña.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

View from the balcony of our room, Cabo de Gata, near sunset.

Following images all Cabo de Gata.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Deserted town, late at night.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

Coastal Watchtower.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel

View from the balcony of our room, Cabo de Gata, early morning.

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Amuñécar, Andalusia, Archaeology, Architecture, Cabo de Gata, History, Landscape, Photography, Spain, Street photography, Travel .

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