The 5th Puzzle: Why are the Treasures of Istanbul unknown?

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Research

When I was growing up I heard nothing about the beauty and wonders of Istanbul. I heard a lot about the wonders of Paris and Rome, but nothing positive about Istanbul. And I am a voracious reader of newspapers and magazines. Istanbul was the city of Midnight Express, a depiction of pure violence, and occasionally a political story would appear about a coup.  Imagine my surprise when I went to Istanbul to discover: 1. A museum that was the largest cathedral in Christendom for a thousand years, Hagia Sophia, which displays many of most important Byzantine artworks, mosaics, ever created. This building influenced mosques and inspired millions.  2. A palace, Topkapi, containinig Moses’ rod, original harem buildings, a treasury containing an 86-carat pear-shaped diamond, perhaps the most beautiful in the world, priceless art and artifacts and a view over the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn that thousands died for. 3. A Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, a vision of ages past, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world dating from early Ottoman times. The list goes on too, the remains of a Roman Hippodrome, gigantic fortified Byzantine city walls and palaces, and mosques that are as beautiful as any in the world. The views everywhere make Istanbul perhaps the most beautiful city in Europe and certainly one of the most beautiful in the world. So why have all these treasures been ignored, and why do we rarely see mention of the beauty of Istanbul anywhere? Is it simply that many people just haven’t been there? I believe so. And I hope you enjoy Istanbul as much as I do when you go there. Before you go though, one last treasure must be mentioned. The vast majority of Istanbulers are among the friendliest and kindest people in the world. Perhaps they are its greatest treasure.   To order The Istanbul Puzzle click here....

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Symbol Secrets from The Jerusalem Puzzle & a £100 prize.

Posted by on Dec 6, 2012 in Historical Puzzles, The Jerusalem Puzzle

The square and arrow symbol in the manuscript Sean and Isabel found under Hagia Sophia in The Istanbul Puzzle returns in The Jerusalem Puzzle. In The Jerusalem Puzzle the symbol is discovered in the Museum of Antiquities in central Cairo near Tahrir Square.  This is the museum where  King Tutankhamun’s famous golden mask is on display. The remains of many famous Pharaohs are housed there, as well as items from their tombs, along with a huge papyrus and coin collection on the ground floor. Sean goes to the museum after seeing a picture of a papyrus fragment in a guide to the museum. Here is the fragment: My interest in the square and arrow symbol was inspired by this fragment. The caption on the card beneath the fragment reads, according to my notes: Papyrus fragment found 1984 in rubbish pit near the Black Pyramid (built King Amenemhat III, Middle Kingdom era, 2055-1650 BC), by the Austrian Institute of Cairo. The lower hieroglyph represents the Queen of Darkness. The upper hieroglyph has not been deciphered. The only other example of these hieroglyphs is from a stone inscription at the Gihon Pool in Jerusalem, a Canaanite province of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom era. The symbol reappears later in The Jerusalem Puzzle when it is used as a marker and also near the end when its purpose is further alluded too. The Jerusalem Puzzle provides strong clues as to what this symbol means. And there is still a prize of £100 available to anyone who breaks the code contained in the symbol. Some other possible meanings since I created this original post on what the symbol means, include that it was used as a mnemonic or that it was an old Mandarin symbol for the sun found in the  Zhongyuan Yinyun. The character has been simplified in modern Mandarin to 日 (rì) meaning day; sun; date; or day of the month according to that theory. I don’t know if any of that will help you win the £100 prize! But it just might. Good luck! And remember – no purchase is necessary to solve this...

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The 5th Puzzle: Why Are the Treasures of Istanbul Unknown?

Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Historical Puzzles

When I was growing up I heard nothing about the beauty and wonders of Istanbul. I heard a lot about the wonders of Paris and Rome, but nothing positive about Istanbul. And I am a voracious reader of newspapers and magazines. Istanbul was the city of Midnight Express, a one-sided depiction of pure violence, and occasionally a political story would appear about a coup or a new government. Imagine my surprise when I went to Istanbul to discover: 1. A museum that was the largest cathedral in Christendom for a thousand years, Hagia Sophia, which displays many of most important Byzantine artworks and mosaics ever created. This building influenced mosques everywhere and inspired millions. This is simply one the most important buildings in the world. Everyone should see this. 2. A palace, Topkapi, containinig Moses’ rod, original harem buildings, a treasury containing an 86-carat pear-shaped diamond, perhaps the most beautiful in the world, priceless art and artifacts and a view over the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn that thousands died for their masters to possess. 3. A Grand Bazaar and Spice Market, a vision of ages past, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world dating from early Ottoman times. The list goes on too, the remains of a Roman Hippodrome, gigantic fortified Byzantine city walls and palaces, and mosques that are as beautiful as any in the world. The views everywhere in the city make Istanbul perhaps the most beautiful city in Europe and certainly one of the most beautiful in the world. So why have all these treasures been ignored, and why do we rarely see mention of the beauty of Istanbul anywhere? Is it simply that many people just haven’t been there? I believe so. And I hope you enjoy Istanbul as much as I do if you go there. Before you go though, one last treasure must be mentioned. The vast majority of Istanbulers are among the friendliest and kindest people in the world. Perhaps they are its greatest treasure. To go to the 6th puzzle click...

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