Chapter 89

Stanchion – a vertical, mostly non-permanent, post or bar which usually provides support for another object and can be added or removed. In this context the stanchions are rope stanchions which act as a barrier in front of the tomb.

Rope stanchions

Cistern– a waterproof storage space for water. Cisterns are mostly used in regions where water is scarce as they can be built to catch and store rainwater. It is also advised to clean cisterns regularly as to avoid contimination of any sort. The earliest cisterns date back the the New Stone Age and have been used all over the world in many different cultures and they are still used today, albeit in modernized versions.
The probably most famous cistern is the Basilica Ciatern or Yerebqtan Sarayi in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Basilica Cistern in Instanbul

Yerebatan Sarayi – The Basilica Cistern or Yerebatan Sarayi (Turk.: Sunken Palace) from the 6th century is one of the most famous cisterns ever built and the largest of several hundred cisterns beneath Istanbul, located only 150 meters from the Hagia Sophia. It’s chamber size is 138m by 64.6m and is capable of holding 80,000 cubic meters of water. It’s ceiling is supported by 336 columns, each 9m high. Two of the columns’ bases in the northwest corner are marble blocks with the visage of Medusa, where one head is rotated sideways and the other turned upside down. These play an important role in the climax of Inferno. 

The upside down Medusa visage as a base

author: Anselm Coogan

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