National Geographic : 1930 Jan
HERODOTUS SAW NATIVES BUILDING RAFTS JUST LIKE THESE 2,400YEARS AGO Arabs at Mosul are loading keleks to float down the Tigris. The use of such rafts, made of inflatedgoatskins, held together by poles, and cov ered with a platform of straw mats, is very ancient in the Land of the Two Rivers, for they are depicted on Assyrian bas-reliefs. They come down to Baghdad laden with wool, pottery, grain, and other commodities. At Baghdad the rafts are broken up, their wood furnishing some ofthe city's fuel supply. The skins, when deflated, are sometimes sold to harness-makers, but are usually taken back home. Across the river from Mosul is the site of Nineveh. It is best known as the Assyrian capital, but the Sumerians may have lived there before they migrated south toUr.