National Geographic : 2000 Nov
Forum NA *- July 2000 Readers of the July issue were moved by what one termed the "breathtak ing coverage" on Turkey. A member from Malaysia wrote: "Your article on the life of the Turks after the quake was both heart wrenchingand mind-boggling." Another said that the story "gave valuable insight into the terriblehistory of the region and the dynamics that create one of the world's most active tectonic areas." Earthquake in Turkey It might be of interest to note that the metaphor "wrath of God" was also used by the tenth century Byzantine historiogra pher Leo Diaconus to describe the devastating earthquake that hit the city of Bolu, located on the North Anatolian Fault, in 967 [see maps on page 39 and pages 59-60]. It is easier to ascribe geo logic catastrophes to vengeful gods that might be placated than to those merciless geologic forces you point out in the article. FRIEDRICH BECKER-BERTAU Hamburg, Germany Rick Gore and Reza have described our earthquake in Turkey very well. Thanks for explaining-to today's genera tion and to future generations what mistakes in construction can mean. Nature does not excuse human mistakes. YAVER ZEYTINOGLU Popuelles, Belgium I was disappointed to note the mistake in the caption on page 62. The large domed building on the right is Hagia Sophia, with its four minarets. The domed building on the left is the Blue Mosque, with its six minarets. Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque are often confused in photos; one can tell them apart by counting the minarets. MARK DANIELS Washington, D.C. People Like Us The real reason large animals are portrayed on flat surfaces is not to ensure the fertility of favored prey or to mark the artist's turf. It's much simpler: Dad points and says, "Kids, stay away from this!" or "We're leav ing now, dear. We'll be home before sundown. Get the barbe cue ready. We're bringing back one of these." DANIEL POHULY West Mifflin, Pennsylvania I wish to offer an interpretation of some of the items shown in the photograph on page 111. The disk has ten peripheral slots. The horse figurine has 50 holes: five on each leg and 20 on each of the two parallel curves. Surely this means these people had a base ten number system. The horse could have been a learn ing aid or a form of currency. DAVID H. WEBSTER Kentville, Nova Scotia Whether hunting or scaveng ing mammoths, early humans would bring back only the soft parts in transportable pieces to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * NOVEMBER 2000 ~_ii_ _ _ _;; i i NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "Forthe increaseand diffusion of geographic knowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 6,500 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge ofearth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. 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