Day 10 Agargouf , Al-Mad’in Shrine & Ctesiphon
We drove through the chocking traffic and checkpoints to the Agargouf ziggurat, a partially restored platform built in 3,000 BC by the Kassites. Obviously we had to wait to get in because of renovations and the local police were reluctant to let us on site.
The original pavement is still in situ and is littered with cuneiform script stating who built what under which king.
D and I had to don burkhas for our visit to the Shia shrine of Al-Mad’in (Salman al Farsi, one of Mohamad’s followers), something I’m never comfortable with. The synthetic nylon coverall was really uncomfortable and hot in the 120 degree heat. It has an interesting ceiling but little else.
My mood bucked up for Ctesiphon, the largest single span brick arch in the world. Again we had trouble getting in when we drove to the renovation work’s entrance. We were closely guarded by the army as this area has seen some savage Sunni / Shia fighting over the past few years and some buildings have been totally destroyed. The arch was built in the 3rd century AD and has been very well restored.