Harran was a major ancient city in Upper Mesopotamia whose site is near the modern village of Altınbaşak, Turkey, 24 miles southeast of Şanlıurfa. The city was the chief home of the Mesopotamian moon-god Sin, under the Babylonians and even into Roman times.
In its prime Harran was a major Assyrian city which controlled the point where the road from Damascus joins the highway between Nineveh and Carchemish. This location gave Harran strategic value from an early date.
Harran was first inhabited in the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC). The earliest records of Harran come from the Ebla tablets (late 3rd millennium BC). The city was known as Harrānu in the Assyrian period; Carrhae under the Roman and Byzantine empires; Hellenopolis in the Early Christian period; and Harrān in the Islamic period.
The Battle of Carrhae was fought in 53 BC between the Parthian Empire and the Roman Republic near the town of Carrhae (Harran). The Parthian Spahbod (“General”) Surena decisively defeated a superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus. It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.
During the late 8th and 9th century AD Harran was a center for translating works of astronomy, philosophy, natural sciences and medicine from Greek to Syriac by Assyrians and then to Arabic, bringing the knowledge of the classical world to the emerging Arabic-speaking civilization in the south.
More about Harran…
Earliest sign of human habitation in Canada may have been found
Researchers using a robotic underwater vehicle off British Columbia’s northern coast believe they may have found the earliest evidence of human habitation in Canada.
Unfortunately, the site that could date back almost 14,000 years lies beneath hundreds of metres of water in the ocean around the Haida Gwaii archipelago.
Black giant squirrel (Ratufa bicolor)
The black giant squirrel is a large tree squirrel in the genus Ratufa native to the Indomalayan zootope. Head and body length varies from 35 to 58 centimetres (14 to 23 in) in length, and the tail is up to 60 centimetres (24 in) long, with an overall length of up to 118 centimetres (46 in). Ratufa bicolor's range includes a variety of bioregions that all share the commonality of being forested. R. bicolor is diurnal and arboreal, but sometimes climbs down from the forest canopy to feed on the ground. Its diet consists of seeds, pine cones, fruits and leaves. It is primarily solitary, and has a litter of 1 to 2 young, which it raises in a drey (or nest), often located within a hollow space of a tree. Its is considered as “Near threatened" by the IUCN.
In addition to 81 students, Little Singer Community School is also home to asbestos, mold and scores of mice. Students have to carry their seats from class to class, presumably because the school can’t afford chairs for each classroom.
October 20th 1632: Christopher Wren born
On this day in 1632, famous British architect Christopher Wren was born in East Knoyle, Wiltshire. The son of a rector, Wren received a top education at Westminster School and then the prestigious Oxford University. Wren’s initial intellectual interest was in astronomy and physics but this eventually developed into architecture during the 1660s. When the Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed a large portion of the city, Wren seized the opportunity and became a chief architect of the rebuilt capital. He designed fifty-two new churches for London, most famously St. Paul’s Cathedral. St. Paul’s was London’s tallest building until 1962, having survived the Blitz during World War Two. The cathedral remains a major British landmark and is used for state services including the funeral of Winston Churchill (and more recently Margaret Thatcher), monarch’s jubilee celebrations, and the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. Wren’s work in London caught the attention of the crown and he received multiple royal commissions including designing the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, the front facade of Hampton Court Palace and several hospitals. Christopher Wren died on February 25th 1723 aged 91 after having caught a bad chill. His gravestone in St Paul’s Cathedral features the Latin inscription "Reader, if you seek his memorial - look around you."