poached| Ottoman Recycling 17 December 2007Posted by EDITOR in Culture, History, Science.
Looking at the domed ceiling of the Suleimaniya mosque I marvel at the ingenuity of Ottoman architecture: In the past the interior of the mosque was lit by huge braziers and wicker lamps. The damp, oily black smoke would rise to the ceiling, to be collected as it cooled into hidden ducts that were built within the dome itself. Slowly the liquid smoke would filter down and was collected in tiny pots, to be sifted, mixed with oil and gum, to be made into ink. That ink would then be used to write the Qur’ans that were read by the Ottomans themselves. An economy of resources at work: light to smoke, smoke to ink, ink to books, books that were read in the same light that would produce the ink. Truly, the hermetically sealed world of the Ottomans was a riddle that kept its answer to itself.
Farish Noor, Wonders of Islamic Civilization