website of Jelle Verheij, historian

Travel Snap Shots

travel snap shots past and present

"The Houses of Giants" of Norduz, Gürpınar district, Van (2012)

1901: “... in Nurduz are numerous examples of the remains of some historic race which occupied that country, in the shape of stone forts built of immense rocks roughly shaped and joined without mortar, which must have taken considerable skill and labour to place in position, and must be more than the work of mere shepherds... These forts were placed commanding all the principal passes into the upland pastures, and some were on the “yailas” themselves. Their use was apparently to defend the pastures and flocks against raiding-parties of some foes, as doubtless these uplands have for many ages been used for little else than a summer grazing-ground. The only modern Kurdish idea I could determine was that the forts were built by a race of giants, who handled these stones like pebbles, and were finally brought into subjection by Solomon the Great.”

(F.R. Maunsell, ‘Central Kurdistan’, in: the Geographical Journal 18-2 (August, 1901) pp.129-130

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