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עברית

Tiamat

1.1-5
When in the height heaven was not named,
And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
And the primeval Apsu, who begat them,
And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both
Their waters were mingled together,
1.9
Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,
1.21-24
Thus were established and were... the great gods.
But Tiamat and Apsu were still in confusion...
They were troubled and...
In disorder...
2.1-2
Tiamat made weighty her handiwork,
Evil she [Tiamat] wrought against the gods her children.
4.104-106
He [Marduk] overcame her and cut off her life;(Marduk)
He cast down her body and stood upon it.
When he had slain Tiamat, the leader,
4.136-139
Then the lord rested, gazing upon her dead body,
While he divided the flesh of the [primeval Tiamat]..and devised a cunning plan.
He split her up like a flat fish into two halves;
One half of her he stablished as a covering for heaven.
One half of her he spread and established the earth.
 
The Epic of Creation. L.W. King Translator
(from The Seven Tablets of Creation, London 1902) 
After fierce battles between the primeval Tiamat and her companion- Apsu against their progeny who were disturbing their rest, as described in details in the Sumerian mythology, Murdoch, the smartest and bravest of the younger gods, cut Tiamat into pieces. “By his mighty art, he was pondering and then, like a fish, he split her body in halves.” This piece of Mesopotamia mythology corresponds to the Bible narrative: “And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.”
 
The statue of Tiamat is comprised of two concrete elements, which look like an asymmetric split-up shellfish: the larger piece, with its outer side exposed, symbolizes the waters which are above the firmament, while the smaller piece represents the waters which are below the firmament. This part of Tiamat is covered, on the outside, with raw local river stones, and so illustrates the earth.
 
On the inside of the statue a blue glass mosaic is laid and it evokes the sky or the waters which are above the firmament. The “earthy” part of the statue is obtained through a remarkable combination of blue glass tiles and green slate. It reminds the waters which are below the firmament, on the continent, and show greenish-blue shades. Four tails extend out of the “divided fish head” of the statue, twisted like the arms of a giant octopus…
 
These tails can be ascribed to the asteroid belt formed as a result of the gigantic clash between Murdoch and Tiamat. In this clash, the lower part of Tiamat’s body was cracked and smashed into pieces. These fragments went on their trajectory through the sky, looking like a tail which got firmer and became a string of beads in the sky. The Mesopotamia mythology describes it like a work of art process: "He gathered the pieces, put them together and posted them like so many guards ...
And for Tiamat’s tail, he twisted it and made the large ribbon, like a string".

 Two eyes germinate from the large inner part of the head of Tiamat’s statue. The first eye projects out like a spotlight or a telescope; and the other one is shaped like star and is flat. The erect eye sends a sharp and focused look, outward to the distance. The star-shaped eye is introverted and soft, it looks into Tiamat’s inside universe. The two eyes are complementary to each other in their looks and the delicate human balance between looking around and looking into the soul. 

Tiamat also expresses well the link between the "upper worlds" of the Begin Road Bridge and "lower worlds" of Mei Niftoah area. She connects past and present - between Jerusalem of the past and Jerusalem of today, and creates a slow and calm exit from the whirlwind of the busy bridge and the calm waters of the Mei Niftoah Spring.

Micha Bloch - Building and Architecture, Issue 61, 1999

Tiamat is placed on the Western side of a couple of statues standing on both sides of the Avenue Road that crosses Jerusalem, North to South - Sderot Menachem Begin – at the northern entrance of the Mei Niftoah Tunnel.The statue is located at the bottom of the spiral bridge for pedestrians and it makes a spontaneous response to the situation of the "Valleys".

Material: River stones, concrete plastering, cut stone, ceramic tiles and shale stone.
Diameter: 11 m. Height: 4 m.
Ordered by 'Moria co.' in the name of Jerusalem municipalit
Project Management: Yoram Gadish
Construction Engineer: Shaul Nevo
Carried out: Salmon Zilberman

 

 



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