Here is the ceiling of the hall. There are now eighteen piers which carry a clerestory and a dome open at the top.
In the centre is the Shrine of the Holy Sepulchre. The natural light filters in from the top of the cape, casting a holy spell over the hall. The dome, 11 meters high, is supported by 18 massive columns, and the only major part in the church that corresponds to the Constantine church.
The tomb chamber is entirely lined with marble, and from its roof hang forty-three lamps. These lamps are kept burning day and night.
Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.