The Madaba Map (also known as the Madaba Mosaic Map) is part of a floor mosaic in the early Byzantine church of Saint George at Madaba, Jordan. The Madaba Map is a map of the Middle East and associated holy places. It contains the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. While modern maps are labeled as if you stand on the south pole and look north. The Madaba map is labeled from the north looking south. This means that the lettering of the map is upside down to how we would orient the map on paper. It is like looking at a map of the United States 180 degrees (upside down). The Madaba map is not to scale. Jerusalem is greatly enlarged and distances are greatly distorted to what we would expect from a map. But the map was for devotional purposes, not science and geography as we would like it to have been from a modern perspective. Nonetheless the map is extraordinarily precise, including many cities known from other sources.
Since this is a food site, I thought it would be appropriate to write on cutlery or table utensils. As the country of origin of chopsticks, China was the first country in the world to use chopsticks (and forks) and has a history of at least 5,000 years of using eating utensils. Chopsticks play an important role in Chinese food culture. Chopsticks are called “Kuai zi” in Chinese and were called “Zhu” in ancient times. Chopsticks seem quite simple with only two small and thin sticks, but they are in possession of many functions, such as picking, moving, nipping, mixing and digging. Anyone using chopsticks would without exception admire the inventor of chopsticks although westerners might wonder if he was only trying to torment them. No one knows how they originated, but there is a myth that about 3000 BC two poor Chinese farmers stole a chicken from a storehouse. They hid out in a forest and cooked it over an open fire. They were so hungry that they could not wait for the meat to cool and pulled off the done portions with a pair of sticks so that they would not be burned. From their humble beginning as twigs or small branches, Chinese chopsticks (kuai zi) evolved into the modern square cross section with blunt ends and tapered length.
Saint Irene is the greatest church of Byzantine. The ancient sources suggest that Saint Irene was built during the reign of Constantinus I (324 – 337) in the early 4th century on the ruins of the Roman temples of Artemis, Aphrodite and Apollo. Saint Irene, which is located within the same yard as Hagia Sophia, was burned along with Sempson Zenon, which was located adjacent thereto, during Nika Riots of 532. In the aftermath, Emperor Justinian had Saint Irene as well as Hagia Sophia rebuilt. Even though the construction was started in 532, the date of completion is not known definitely. The strong earthquakes, which occurred in the 8th and the 9th centuries, caused considerable damages on the church. Saint Irene, which was referred to as the Patriarchate's Chapel by the Byzantine, became a part of the domain inside the Imperial Walls, which surrounded Topkapi Palace, after the conquest of Istanbul. Thus, since it was not converted into a mosque, it did not undergo any significant architectural modification after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. It was used initially as the internal armory and subsequently as the arsenal of the Ministry of War. The first museum of the Empire was opened in Saint Irene in the 19th century when the weapons kept in the armory became antiques. The double-leaf stairs, which enable the access to the galleries, were constructed when the structure was turned into a museum. The Ottomans added the inscription, dated 1726, and the said stairs to the ancient church.