Jerusalem Old City Design (Christian Quarter)

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I have no idea how old they are, but I loved these little ornamental designs over a rather insignificant arch somewhere in what I think is the Christian Quarter of the Old City in Jerusalem. There’s nothing “religious” about them. They’re just there. What I think is interesting about them is what they say about the ordinary impulse to decorate ordinary things and places, and the way this gets done with neat geometric and semi-organic shapes. The designs  are grouped together haphazardly. They look bigger in these photos than they actually are because of the zoom-lens effect, and that too says something about the way modern technologies allow one to blow things up.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Jerusalem Old City Design (Christian Quarter)

  1. samuelgruber says:

    Zak – These are probably fairly recent carvings, and I know nothing about them, but they remind me in their cutting, patterning and even in some of the designs of the carved stone 1st century CE ossuaries found in tombs around Jerusalem. I’ll send you photos via email. — Sam

    • zjb says:

      thanks, Sam! i’m going to post some ossuaries from the Israel Museum soon. i’m wondering though he might have made these and why?

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