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Many scholars and historians have made reference to the remarkable if largely ruined bridge which either spanned, or was intended to span, the river Tigris a few kilometers downstream from what is now the Turkish frontier town of Cizre (?
However, they were obliged to rely upon the work of Conrad Preusser who studied this ruined bridge, as well as other historical structures in the area, early in the 20?
The latter is normally represented by a cloven-hoofed goat, whereas a closer inspection of this carving shows that the armoured figure is riding upon a perfectly normal horse (see below) but was facing a goat. ); 8 - Sagittarius and, being badly damaged, an unidentified serpent (? Subsequently Herzfeld, followed by Hartner, believed that this figure was “riding on Capricorn”. Whelan had been able to visit or photograph the site when she came within a kilometre or so in 1975. It is located in a territory which played a significant role during the early Islamic period, and even more so during struggles against the Crusades in the 12 centuries AD. For example, Preusser, being unable to photograph and perhaps even to view all of the carvings from a close and convenient angle, mistakenly thought that panel 3 with the mounted figure (identified as Mars), also included a scorpion. More is, in reality, known of the history of the bridge. Hence the importance of fords, ferries and bridges across various rivers large and small which essentially flowed from north to south, from the highlands of eastern Anatolia, through the ? Panel 3 would appear to have been more misunderstood than any of the others. It lays in the north-eastern part of a broader region known as the ? This was also a prosperous, mercantile part of the pre-Mongol Islamic world, being criss-crossed by major trade routes, the most important of which ran east-west. Until the 12 centuries AD the majority of its rural, and perhaps also of its urban population, remained Christian though under an Arabic-speaking, local Muslim élite descended from the frontier garrisons of the early Islamic period (7 centuries AD). The area was very fertile, as it remains to this day, being famous for orchards and vineyards in medieval times. Meanwhile, the overall control of these regions by the Great Seljuk Sultanate declined following the death of Sultan Mu? The establishment of small Crusader States in western Syria and Palestine at the start of the 12 century had little direct impact upon Diy? Lying close to the frontier between the Zangid Diy? However, what was originally a bend in the river had become an island when a canal was cut across this bend.