2nd c AD

The red ribbon bridge?

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These intrepid Bible Land Explorers pose on one end of what is possibly the second longest Roman bridge still standing today. The arch in the center spans Chabinas Creek and measures 34.2 meters (112 feet) across. The entire bridge, including build-up, measures 120 meters (390 feet) in length. It is a marvel of Roman engineering.

Nearby signage identifies it as the Cendere Bridge or the Septimius Severus Bridge. It was likely built between AD 198-200 as part of the Roman preparations for another chapter in the Parthian conflict.

The construction was undertaken by Rome’s XVI Legion. Inscriptions dedicate the bridge to Septimius Severus who was emperor at the end of the 2nd century AD. It may have replaced an earlier bridge from the time of Vespasian.

While some may dispute that the Cendere Bridge takes the red ribbon as far as Roman bridges go, there is no dispute about which bridge gets the blue. The Puente Romano on the Guadiana River in Mérida, Spain, is easily the longest with an impressive length of 790 meters (almost 2,600 feet).

The bridge pictured above is located in SE Turkey, not far from the modern town of Adiyaman.


*Note the discussion of construction/reconstruction in the article “Severan (Cendere) Bridge” posted in Turkish Archaeological News (11/18/2017). Here is a link.


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A last minute trip of Bible Land Explorers is coming together. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee are in the mix. Dates are May 25 through June 4, 2019. Late fees have been waived for a short time, but you'll need to grab your seat now if you are going to get it. Inclusive price out of Washington Dulles is $3,963. Other departure cities are possible. Write me at markziese@gmail.com for more information.

It was not always so quiet

The sun follows a shower and falls on the theater of ancient Thugga (Dougga), Tunisia. Built in the middle of the second century AD, time has been kind to these stones. The cavea is well preserved. 3,500 rowdy souls gathered here to listen, sing, and laugh.

I take my seat among them, alone.